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Saturday, February 25, 2017

New stove

My father returned this past Sunday. We had to visit two different malls before I could get the stove I had decided on. It was a long drive to Malmö but it was a fairly smooth project. It's not difficult at all to spend a lot of money, apparently. The biggest problem was to get the stove up three flights of stairs (there is no elevator). We also brought the old stove along with some other junk to the big recycling place in my town. Already the same evening I tried the new stove when I cooked for lunchboxes. It works very well.

The week at work was no big deal. This week it was school sports break and the amount of visitors was rather low. The new temporary worker is learning the job fast and is asking for more tasks. She and I did some book moving. I had discovered that about 20 meters of books were misplaced so we corrected it. I also took the time to show her the section with books from the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. It's much more challenging to retrieve books in that section because of a complicated call number system.

Speaking of books, I have actually bought a book at the annual sale at the bookstores. It was an interesting subject; the DNA background of Europeans. I haven't started on it yet.

I did write to the person who had posted one of our old family photos on his website and received a very short answer back, thanking me for the correction. I don't think this photo had anything to do with his family (but perhaps he thought so because he had attached incorrect names to it). He has his ancestors posted there also and they are not connected to mine.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

New shade

The week at work was not that bad. It started very nicely this Monday when I received a chocolate box from a patron. We had given her a book (a dissertation) which had been written by one of her ancestors in the 19th century. We have an extra supply of old dissertations and we sometimes get asked to distribute them. Usually to other libraries, but we decided it was ok to give this woman the book her ancestor had written. I do wonder if she will understand it though, because it was a science topic and written in German.

Last weekend I went to Ikea. I have long been thinking about remodelling my kitchen. Everything needs to be done; wallpaper, flooring, cupboards, new fridge and stove. I got some brochures and looked through the displays in the store. It's slightly overwhelming. And rather expensive. Today my father came to visit and we went to the nearest mall. I looked at a new stove but was not impressed so didn't get one. Instead I got a freestanding clothes rack (drum major) to have in my bedroom (usually you have this in the hall). We assembled it and it looks very good. My father also put up the long shade for my bedroom window. This shade is thicker and will not let through light like the previous one did.

I'm sorry to say that my health isn't as good as it used to be. I have in fact been to the doctor (several different ones) six times in three weeks. For someone who never has to do that normally it's remarkable. It's interesting to be a patient in the health care system these days. I have heard a lot of bad things but so far I have been lucky. They are of course constantly lagging behind schedule but it's not strange at all. I have now received medicine for one health problem but will unfortunately have to be operated on for another.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Visit to Göteborg/Borås

Thursday last week I went by train to Göteborg around noon. In the afternoon I met my father and his girlfriend near the city library. We went out to a nice dinner at an English style restaurant/pub. After this we all went to the theater a few blocks away to see a show by a Swedish performance group. They made a very popular comedy series on TV in the 1990s called "Macken" (The Garage) and they had now done a remake for the stage. It was a very funny show where the audience knew most of the lines and could (and did) sing along. Truly marvelous, but there is no way I can explain the show or why it's funny to someone who isn't Swedish. Let's just say it's rather local comedy.

After the show we drove (my father had a car) an hour east to get to my sister's place in Borås. We spent the weekend there. My father got the job of felling a tree in the back yard. Saturday I joined my mother and worked as a volunteer at the charity shop, selling fabric, lace and ribbon of all kinds. It's quite fun. In the evening we went to my mother's boyfriend's place. I had done some research for him and now he had invited his sisters to meet me. I was asked to go through the documents and explain the details. The dinner afterwards was great, seafood and various cheeses.

My niece had a cold and since I don't meet kids that much I have no resistence. I got sick, of course. Sunday we went to the ice-skating rink. It got too cold rather quickly but at least one of the kids enjoyed skating there. We had lunch at a café and then my father drove me all the way home. It took three hours. This was not the plan from the beginning but I'm glad he did. I was a little too sick to take the train and then I had also bought a long shade for my bedroom window that would have been difficult to bring on a train.

Monday I was at home but worked short days the rest of the week. There are not that large piles with unshelved books anymore. The new person is doing a good job keeping the volumes down.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Staff changes

There have been several changes at work. We have lost two staff members for various reasons. One went on to another job at a college library and one had to leave since we couldn't afford to keep her. The latter one was working in the stacks and we are of course not happy about this. She knew a large part of the job. She will be missed. To avoid total disaster, we have rearranged the storage round, so now I have to drive Mondays and Fridays. Not what I wanted, really. We have also a replacement a few hours a week. It's a guy that worked in the stacks about 7-8 years ago but was moved to another department. He needed very little introduction, so that was positive, at least. Today we also got a temporary worker placed at the library to train job skills. She will work part-time with shelving and we are in desperate need of that. I spent the afternoon introducing her. Basically, I start out by teaching new staff members how to find their way in the building. It's an old and complicated house with lots of different levels (and you need to know what elevators go to those different levels because not all go to the same). We think this new worker will be useful, because she understood the task right away.

The project with listing all the emigrants from Hjärsås parish is progressing. The document is already over 80 pages. There were many emigrants but the parish wasn't particularly large. Many of them ended up in Rhode Island, Galesburg in Illinois and various places in Minnesota. When I searched for information about these emigrants I ended up on a Swedish website where someone had posted old photos with unknown people. I was very surprised to see one of our family photos there. It was from 1898, when August Nelson visited his sister's family in Sweden (she had died a few years earlier). If any one has the book about August and Lovisa, it's the photo on page 52. I still don't know why this photo is posted on that website but I plan on contacting the owner next week.

Apart from this, I managed to get a hair cut this week, do the laundry and remove all the Christmas decorations. I discovered that there was a box of ornaments I hadn't even opened. I weeded the collection a little before getting it all back up in the attic storage. Afterwards it required extensive vacuuming to get rid of all the glitter on the floor and in the rug.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Tragic play

Last week at work was busy. Already Monday morning at 8 I went over to an old building nearby to look at shelving systems. We had been offered it since the place will be completely remodeled and everything will be thrown out. We said yes, provided we could get a moving company to dismantle it and find space at one of our storages. The rest of the week was about retrieving books for the students. It was a tough job since it's at the beginning of the semester. Today was the real peak so far, we had a huge amount of requests. I went to the storage with a colleague and we spent longer time than usual there.

This Friday evening I made use of the theater ticket I had been given for Christmas. It was a rather odd version of Shakespeare's tragedy Richard III. There was only one actor, a stand-up comedian. He did all the speaking parts himself. I was impressed by the fact that he could remember all of it. He was rather true to the original. It was both funny and tragic at the same time. There was the underlying theme of how men of power aqcuire their positions and what means are acceptable to reach those positions. It's a play that says a lot about also the time we live in now.

This weekend was all about research. I didn't even watch TV.

Monday, January 16, 2017

20 years

Last week I had been working at the library for 20 years. I really can't believe it. It sounds like an eternity. I have seen incredible developments in the field of work, mainly because of the internet and the technological advancements. The job is, in essence, the same as when I started - retrieval and shelving of books. But nowadays we get the request slips printed in picking order. 20 years ago it took a long time every morning to get each request printed and manually sorted into the right pile. There have been many changes over the years, most of them for the better.

For the Friday morning coffee I baked some cookies, which were well received. It was to "celebrate" those 20 years. Apart from that, it is business as usual. The semester hasn't started officially but we get many new students asking all sorts of questions at this time. There was a sharp increase of the  number of requests all of a sudden, so they have their reading lists already.

This weekend was a research weekend. I spent it at work. The computer there is larger and better, and there is access to a printer. The new project concerns emigrants from a parish near my home parish. It is very challenging, since the church records were destroyed by fire. There is almost nothing before 1860. But I can see that there were emigrants also before that year, since there is a database of passport applications 1783-1860.

The weather is typical of a winter in Skåne province. Just below freezing and occasional snow that melts quickly.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Happy New Year

All the best for the new year! Time really flies. I spent the new year's weekend mostly cleaning and tidying up. I threw out old calendars, receipts and catalogues. I tried to organize my documents by filing them. The desk does look a lot better now.

The actual celebration New Year's Eve was modest here. I watched TV and solved crosswords. The meal was salmon baked in the oven, with cream and cheese. Very, very tasty. Chocolate mousse with raspberries and blueberries for dessert. Nothing wrong with that either. I had a good view of the fireworks from my balcony.

This holiday season the work-free days were very few. I have been working all the days this week, except today. For some reason Swedes celebrate Twelfth Day. We were rather busy at the library this week, it seems like some of the new students have already arrived and are asking for textbooks. One colleague was off sick and that meant some problems as we couldn't do all of her duties.

The weather was mild, wet and dark up until yesterday, when it changed to a little drier, cold and dark. It's about ten degrees below zero. No snow at all. So boring. I spent most of today cleaning the stove and the fan above it. Not fun, but necessary.

Thank you for the letters and e-mail greetings I have received for the holidays. The Fleet Farm calendar is hanging on the living room wall!