Tuesday, 29 June 2021

'Devil Whirls'

I don't know where to start. Perhaps I'd better just pick up where I left off...

Towards the end of Midsummer Eve, Friday evening, I cracked a tooth (a pre-molar in the upper jaw). It broke in two, but the loose half did not fall out. I spent the rest of the weekend keeping my jaws clenched and/or keeping the tooth in placer with my tongue; with occasional breaks for very careful intake of fluids and half-liquid/mashed food. And worrying about how to manage Monday, when I knew I'd need to call my dentist first thing, hoping they'd be able to fit me in the same day, and preferably early, as in the late afternoon I also had my important 2nd covid jab scheduled, which I also had to count on to perhaps be followed by similar flu-like side-effects as with the first one, and...

Well, I did my best to distract myself from worrying too much over things I could not do anything about over the weekend anyway. But it wasn't easy!

I thought of contacting an on-call dentist but for one thing I wasn't in severe pain (just "in trouble"), and for another I really thought it best to have my regular dentist handle it. (Even if she's new and I'd only met her once before. But I've been going to the same clinic for 30 years, and they have all my dental records etc.) 

On Monday morning I got up early; I needed to get dressed and have some sort of breakfast (yogurt) before calling (as soon as they opened), in case they would be able to fit me in early. I called around 7:50, actually did get an appointment at 8:30 (and walking into town takes me around 25 minutes)... Good news: Although it was a tricky job, the dentist was able to replace the broken-off half of the tooth with a filling. (Bad news: Next time something happens to that tooth it might not be fixable any more... But I'll worry about that when the time comes...)

I was back home again before 10 am, and my covid jab was not until 5:30 pm (across town). In between, a (local) friend messaged me - the same friend who was kind enough last time to offer to drive me to the vaccination center. I asked if she would have time to do it again, and she did. I feared there might be more of a queue this time, as I knew they were carrying out at least around 1500 vaccinations that day.* But again, it turned out well organised. I got there around 5:20 and was out again by 5:45 including the 15 minutes wait afterwards. 

*The reason I knew the number of people that day is that all of us were the same 65+ who had been given our first jab the last weekend in April. (My friend's husband also among them, by the way. But not the same time of day as me.) Back then, we were all told we'd have to wait until 2 August for our second jab, i.e. 14 weeks, which was longer than the 9-12  recommended. In between, some people have protested about that; and then recently the 'delta' version of the virus caused some concern, so the authorities decided to reschedule after all, and - with extra resources - moved all of us forward to 28 June. So we ended up waiting only 9 weeks instead of 14!

Felt very relieved last night to have it over and done with, but was prepared to face similar side-effects as last time setting in during the night or morning (fever, headache, muscle ache etc). However, that did not happen. My morning temperature was normal and I felt pretty much as usual (except still a bit sore in my mouth, from the dental job!) 

So I even decided to go for a walk into town (late morning, back before noon) and take some photos of that new sculpture at the travel centre; which by now I knew had been unveiled already the day before (we caught a glimpse of it from the car when driving to the vaccination centre). They filmed it in advance to include it in a digital celebration of the town's 400th birthday today.

Here it is:



I like the sculpture; less sure about the name... But while writing this post, it struck me as a quite suitable title for this whole post after all...!

More about the 400th jubilee and some other things to follow - another day.

Sunday, 27 June 2021

The Times They Are A'Changin'


On my way home from the city centre on Midsummer Eve, I snapped this photo of an old lady with a walker, moving very slowly into a part of town that is going through a major transformation compared to what it used to be. When I moved to this town to live in the mid 1980s, this was a rather deserted area of old industrial buildings. Now only a couple of those still preserved, while others are being replaced by one 'skyscraper' after the other of new apartment blocks.  

I know nothing about the old woman; but watching her, I could not help thinking that if she has perhaps lived all her life in this town, it must all seem even more strange to her. Even to me (not yet in need of a walker, but recently 'old age' pensioner), the world seems to be spinning ever faster these days, while I keep slowing down...

A couple of weeks ago I took some more photos of what is going on:



(this photo from back in April, hence no leaves on the tree)

I know the population is growing and that we need housing, but I have to say that this "densification" with more and more tower blocks close to the city centre does not appeal to me... In the flats at the top, or facing the river, I suppose some lucky people are or will be enjoying great views. But with so many tall buildings so close to one another now, a lot  of other people must just be staring straight at their neighbours in the next building...

I live in a flat myself, but on the 2nd floor of a 3-storey building, and with quite wide green lawns between the buildings. It's not a high status area (built in the 1940s and the flats rather small) but I keep praying/wishing they'll continue to keep it like this - with low buildings and spacious green areas in between. 

Here I should have some photos to insert for comparison, but although I must have taken plenty over the years, they prove difficult to find in my archives... Oh, found a couple of old ones at last that should prove the point: Distance between the buildings, and a larger park/playground area in the middle of the estate. And plenty of trees and flowers.


Linking to Weekend Street

Friday, 25 June 2021

A Quiet Midsummer Eve

It's Midsummer Eve, and just like last summer there are still a lot of corona restrictions in place here, so no big gatherings allowed - which is otherwise very much part of our Midsummer Eve traditions in Sweden. (See for example my Midsummer Eve post from 2019, which in turn contains a link to 2014.)

The weather has been fine though - mostly sunny but without being too hot.

I went for a walk into town in the late morning - quite forgetting that I did same thing last year and found everything closed. (I had expected some shops to be open part of the day.) Well, never mind. The camera and I got a bit of exercise anyway.

At the Travel Center there is a new sculpture waiting to be officially uncovered on the 29th (Tuesday) when they city celebrates its 400th birthday. Again, they can't make a really big public event of it because of the corona restrictions. I'm not sure how they will go about it to avoid people gathering, though, as at some point someone will still have to pull some actual piece of string to unveil the sculpture...

Anyway I don't expect to be there myself when that happens, as my 2nd covid jab has been moved forward to the 28th (Monday). It will be good to get that over with, but based on my experiences of the first one, I'm not counting on Tuesday as a day to go walkabout, as I might then be feeling more like this...

(...Only probably not quite as flexible, as I recall that one of the worst initial side effects for me with the 1st jab was rather bad muscle pain the first couple of days...) Anyway, this is a sculpture that has previously been in one or two other places in the city, but that I now found to have been moved  to the place in front of the railway station.

In the river by the park, there is a "text installation" (in Swedish) saying "Borås 400 years and influential". There is a pun involved which might come through even in English but even more so in Swedish ('flyt' can refer to influential, flow and float)


Walking back home along the river I came across these two ducklings swimming. (Mum and dad and siblings weren't far away, but my camera focused on these two.)

Monday, 21 June 2021

Heat Wave and Chillers


It's been a hot and sunny weekend... Too hot for me to be out much, except for very short walks either in the morning or early evening (and even then more for exercise than for pleasure). So the afternoons I've mostly spent sitting very still behind drawn blinds and curtains, with fans whirring in the background, and watching streamed reruns of old British crime series (to send a 'chill' down my spine...) Just now it's Lewis (spin-off from Inspector Morse, set in Oxford). For some reason, I don't think I've seen more than occasional episodes of this series before. (Possibly because I don't like watching crime series late at night!) 

While the detectives are trying to figure out whodunnit, I usually end up trying to figure out "in what other TV series and as what character have I seen that actor"... While I'm rather hopeless at remembering names of actors (beyond perhaps some particular favourites), the name of the character they played in another context does often eventually come to me. But sometimes not until the next day, and while watching another episode with different actors! 

Meanwhile, Swedish politics has been offering its own nail-biter, in the shape of a major political crisis, resulting in Sweden's parliament today voting for a no-confidence motion against our Social Democrat Prime Minister and his government, which in turn might lead to a snap election in the early autumn. (Next regular election is in 2022.) 

It's a unique situation as it was only made possible by the Left party joining forces with the three right-wing parties (which no one ever thought they'd actually do). The situation after the last election (2018) was very difficult to solve, but ended in a government consisting of the Social Democrats + the Green Party, formally (by written agreement) supported by two "middle" parties (Center and Liberal), but also needing the silent support of the Left party in the parliament (which has kind of been taken for granted). But now there was a proposal coming up (to do with a -possible- change of rental laws) that the Left party just could not support...

So for the first time since corona restrictions, the whole parliament gathered today to cast their votes for or against a no-confidence motion against the present prime minister; with the outcome that the majority of the parliament no longer has confidence in him and his government. And "bang"... Suddenly we're in this most unusual situation - including, of course, a lot of different opinions about who's most to blame for it...


The practical outcome is still uncertain. There are two alternatives, and the prime minister has one week to decide which way to go: Either to call a snap election; or else leave it to the speaker of the parliament to first try a new round of negotiations with all parties to see if there is another way to form a new government. Either way, it's likely to involve difficulties.

Remains to be seen if there is a way out!

Friday, 18 June 2021

Golden Rain & Memories


Laburnum - 'Golden Rain' or 'Golden Chain' trees

Yesterday evening, and again this morning, I went for walks around the old cemetery, and noticed that it's "golden rain" time... The first two photos taken with my mobile yesterday; today I brought my camera and took some more.

We used to have a whole hedge of these at 'the House', i.e. where my grandparents lived when I was little, and later my parents in their retirement years. The current owners have removed them all, I noticed when passing by there a year or two after we sold the place... I've known 'all my life' that these trees are poisonous - I was probably told so very early on in childhood, but I can't remember any incidents (like actually trying to eat the seeds). But they are really beautiful when in bloom, and seeing them elsewhere now (like in this cemetery) always brings out a bit of nostalgia (or memories).

This week, seeing the Golden Rain trees in bloom also helped to remind me that it's 10 years today since my dad died - 18 June 2011. He and mum are buried in the village where they lived. As I don't have a car, and with the corona situation and all, it's been a couple of years now since I last visited the churchyard there. But we have their grave tended to, and that of my grandparents' as well. My personal memories of family and friends who have passed on are not primarily connected to their final resting place, though; but more to all those little things that trigger memories of them alive - like for example now a tree reminding of where they used to live.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021



Yesterday I bought this small sunflower at my supermarket. It was only ~35 cm ( ~14" ) high including its original pot. At home, I re-potted it in a somewhat bigger pot, which I then put in this basket and put it out on my balcony. It will be interesting to see if it grows really tall, or if perhaps it remains a "dwarf" variety. 

The last few days we've been having (in my opinion) "nice and cool" summer weather here - by which I mean not too hot neither outdoors nor indoors (but also not cold, nor very rainy).

Now they say that we can expect another heatwave coming in for the weekend, with like 33°C on Friday (or into the 90s in °F). Way too hot for my liking, as that will soon turn my flat into an oven with nowhere cooler to escape to. So I can't say I'm really looking forward to it... What I will never understand is why our weather-people on TV insist on always reporting forecasts about really hot weather as "good news", looking pleased about it!

Perhaps the Sunflower will enjoy it, though? (That remains to be seen!) 

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Rhododendron & Azaleas


The rhododendron and the azaleas have been amazing these past couple of weeks. Beginning to fade away now (after a hot period followed by rain), but the photos above were taken while they were in their prime. The massive hedges of purple rhododendron are found in our town park. The pink ones grow "right on my doorstep"; and the azaleas in the old graveyard where I walk almost daily. A blast of colour to get summer started!

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Smoke, Sticks and the Sound of Stones...

 Remember the Curtain of the Sky from one of my previous Art Biennial posts? 

Sadly, that only got to stay up for about one week - then someone set fire to it... 😢 

All that remains is the blackened framework left empty in the middle of the bridge...

A new sculpture for the biennial also got broken and thrown into the river (I learned from the newspaper) - it was one I did not happen to find on my previous walks through the park, so have no photo of it. Possibly that one can perhaps be restored (?) But the curtain was unique as it was made from fabrics donated locally. 

The wooden "megaphone" in the river is still standing (or floating) , though, and this time I went out to it and too a photo from the inside as well:

It's got little lamps inside it, so one should probably also go and look at it at night. (As it doesn't get dark here until really late in summer, it's unlikely that I will, though.)

Looking up from inside it, there was nothing but BLUE to be seen this afternoon!

In another corner (or whatever) of the park, there are three smooth (but fake) boulders placed in a triangle - and making weird noises! While I still remember where to find the video editor on my computer, I decided to make another movie including the Sound:



Our World Tuesday

Monday, 7 June 2021

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Art is in the Air


Walking back downtown from the church and art museum (recent posts), I got a good view of art hanging in the air over this street. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the photos are all from a beach in some foreign country - I forget which.



Friday, 4 June 2021

Turn on the Sound

Now I hope I've managed to convert my video from the Art Museum to "Blogger format" - with sound and all... (Thanks to Sandra for reminding me about the how-to procedure in a comment to yesterday's post!)

Would you like being alone in a big museum, with these sounds as your only company?? ;-)

Thursday, 3 June 2021

More 'Deep Listening for Longing'

On 1 June, Sweden took a small step towards lifting some of the corona restrictions we've been living with for a while. So far, mostly to do with adjusting some rules about how many people may be allowed to participate at various kinds of events (depending on indoors vs outdoors, sitting vs standing, the size of the venue, etc etc). I haven't kept up with all the details, but for one thing I know that there have been no church services over the past year or so, as they count as public gatherings, and no public gatherings of more than 8 people have been allowed. But now up to 50 will be allowed in that context. 

Today, I decided to go and have a look at some of the indoors art involved in the ongoing Art Biennial (with the theme Deep Listening for Longing). 

Besides our Art Museum, I knew there were also supposed to be some art on display in the nearby church (the biggest church in Borås, from the early 1900s). I decided to go there first, as I recalled also seeing somewhere that there would be short "lunch concerts" there on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But should it turn out that 50 other people had had the same idea, I could always just go across to the museum instead.

I arrived at the church around 11:45. There was exactly 1 other person inside when I entered - I think probably a church warden -  and she disappeared out of sight almost immediately. So I had the whole huge church all to myself.

The art on display for the biennial consisted of these mystic coloured "clouds" painted on glass (or perhaps plexiglass). How much you see of them varies with the light and from what angle you are looking at them - and I guess that is probably "the point" (?)


I sat down for a little while in "silent meditation", waiting to see if there was going to be any music. At 12:05 the church was still empty and silent, though, so I decided to leave - not really sure  I had got the concert dates right.

I went across to the Cultural Centre (besides the art museum, the building also houses library and theatre). On a wall outside there is a new mural. As the town is celebrating 400 years this year, I guess it's supposed to represent our history even if I wasn't able to make out all the details. (It started as a market town in the 1600s, later came industrialism etc.)

When I entered the art museum, another odd experience awaited me: it turned out that here too, I was the only visitor at the time. So was completely free to just wander around as I pleased. I know I've been "almost" alone in this museum a few times before; but with this exhibition it felt extra weird, as most of the various installations also involved sounds - which overlapped and followed you around from one hall to another. So while you were listening to one thing, you could also suddenly be hearing for example a creepy laugh coming from another room... A bit bit extra spooky when you're there all alone!

This (above) was one of the major sound installations. I tried to film a video of it with my camera, to include the sounds. But Blogger won't accept it and just now I can't remember how to adapt it to a format that will work. (I think I've done it before but I've so rarely worked with videos that I forget from one time to the next how to do it! If I figure it out -again- I'll post it some other time.) 

 Some other exhibitions one might also ponder about a long time without getting any wiser.

Looking out on the real world. (No idea what's in the bottles!)

One room had a theme focusing on women and housework.
This figurine is the size of classic ornaments of ballerinas and shepherdesses etc...

It may have been because I was all alone in the museum, but one thing that came to mind for me was that the experience of walking around this exhibition was not all that different from the internet - only "3D" and bigger!

And just as I often do when sitting at the computer, I also kept thinking that maybe I'll go back for a closer look at this or that "later". 

(As there is no entrance fee this summer, I very well might. But who knows...)

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