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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Storage round

It was another tough week at work. This Wednesday I drove the storage round for the first time in almost an entire year. It took a long time and there were problems with the electric compact shelves. There was only one meeting scheduled but it meant that I got more tasks to do. My to-do list is now almost two pages long. I had to go to the chiropractor also. The last treatment was in April. I should go at least once every three months so it was definitely time.

It's relatively cold outside. It has been below zero most days recently. Also windy, which makes the cold effect feel even worse.

The Olympic Games started this weekend. There is one gold medal for Sweden already. A female cross country skier won the first event called skiathlon. Impressive.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Free genealogy database

The big news in the world of genealogy here is the fact that the Swedish National Archive is no longer requiring a fee to view their scanned material. They got extra money for the budget so they don't have to charge people. Both as a librarian and a researcher I am in favor of this development. The databases now available can be used by not only people doing family history research but also scholars of history, geography, demographics, social history and much else. It contains a varied kind of material from about the 15th century and on. The link is: https://sok.riksarkivet.se/digitala-forskarsalen. If you prefer the website in English, chose Other languages in upper part of the page.

At work it was a tough week, both for my brain and my body. I was scheduled to attend five meetings but only made it to four. There just wasn't time for all of them. I have desk duty at the internal desk every Friday starting this past week. It's the desk on which all the problems end up, basically. Books without barcode, call slips not processed, printer failures, questions from staff and patrons, books not catalogued and every possible mishap imaginable. Friday evening I was pretty brain dead, in other words. The woman who was hired to replace me during my illness was not allowed to continue even though we really would have needed her. One person has retired so there should be budget allowance for it. We are not happy about this, as she proved to be very well suited for the job.

Saturday my father came to visit. We had quite a lot to talk about because the local history book was published. He is interested in the history of Norra Strö even though this is not his ancestral home. We did live there for a few years in the 1970s and we do know many people there so there was lots to discuss. We also made a trip to the nearest mall. I handed over even more junk to the charity shop and we did some shopping. I also stocked up on food items.

Sunday, January 28, 2018


This past week was busy at work. I am involved in several projects and there have been a few meetings. Wednesday I went with two colleagues in the larger transport vehicle to the storage. We needed to move two ladders and five carts with books out there.

Thursday I stayed at home because a firm would come and inspect the ventilation system. It was given approval. That day I also did quite a few chores like cleaning the bathroom, moving stuff off the floor and doing some hand-washing.

This week I received a copy of the local history book from the author. I'm very glad to have it. This has meant that I have started a new project. I'm currently listing articles and books relating to the history of Norra Strö parish. It's a small parish so there aren't that many references but the list is five pages long already. I have found several articles I didn't know existed. Someone had for instance interviewed my mother's godmother and written about it in a journal for children. There were also some prints from 1736, relating to a funeral of the owner of the manor house. Very interesting finds.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Archive visit and a new book

This past week was rather busy. The semester started on Monday and we had a lot of requests to process. We just barely made the noon deadline that day. The lines were also long to get student id-cards (they are produced at the library). I was busy doing even more shelving and book searching. Had to go to the storage one day also.

Friday I was really surprised to find a new book about my home parish Norra Strö. It was written by a local resident and included both results from research and his own recollections. I got even more surprised when I read the preface. My name was mentioned there. The author thanked me for my efforts to dig up archive material relating to the parish. I had no idea he had written this. The book is nice with varied content spanning several hundred years.

Saturday I went to the Malmö city archive. They had open house and I joined a group allowed down into the stacks. The archivist showed us a book with tax records from 1517 and I could read most of the names on the displayed page. They have records from factories, societies, churches and local administration dating back hundreds of years. I also attended a lecture on DNA in genealogy, which is the latest in this business. The lecturer gave an example from his own research, where his great grandfather had an unknown father. After doing the DNA test he had to change a part of his ancestral tables because the man he thought was the father of this child could not be related. Eventually, he was able to find the correct father thanks to other people having done this test too. It was a very interesting day at this archive.

At home the biggest change is the fact that all the Christmas decorations are gone. It took an entire day to store everything in the attic again. Sadly, one of the glass decorations broke but there are quite a few items left. This December we could chose (from a mail order catalog) a Christmas present from work. I did this a little late and didn't get mine until last week. I opted for a hand-held blender.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Back to work

Monday I started working again. We are all very sad about the loss of our colleague. She was only 56 years old and a good leader of both the library and the staff. This week it was difficult to get things done. No one was in the mood for working. We did the necessary tasks but spent most of the time talking about what had happened. I did engage in some shelving and was given a few book searching requests.

Several people have commented on my (new) hair. It actually has a somewhat darker tone and it is not entirely straight anymore. It does happen that the hair changes both color and texture after chemo therapy.

This Wednesday I had an appointment at the medical center and they wanted some blood from me. This is rather difficult. This time more so than normal. It took three nurses eight attempts before there was any sign of blood. My veins run very deep. They apologized for their inability but I said not to worry. After everything I have endured I don't think eight needle marks give reason for concern.

Last night there was a movie entitled The C Word (2015) on TV. I have seen it before and do recommend it. It's based on the blog that Lisa Lynch (1979-2013) started writing when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was brutally honest (in a sometimes hilarious way) and wrote for instance about the horrifying side effects from chemo that she got. (I admit to having censored a large part of that in this blog). She also published a book with the same title as the movie. The blog was (and probably still is) helpful to many people who are affected by cancer in one way or another. The blog is called Alrighttit and can be found if you google it. Lisa died in 2013 and the last posting she did herself was in December 2012.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Christmas holiday

I had a long vacation over the holiday season. I travelled to Borås by train already December 20. I stayed with my mother and her boyfriend. We made some purchases in the second hand stores (very cheap Christmas ornaments and two tops for me), baked cookies, went swimming at the indoor pool a few times, helped my sister and her family decorate their tree (a real one, very big) and made some craft items for decorations. On Christmas Eve we all went to Göteborg, the hosts were my sister's in-laws, like usual. It was a very nice celebration. Great food; herring, Janson's Temptation, sausages, meatballs, roasted ham, salad, homebaked bread, cheese, chicken quiche and much more. Tomten brought some presents even for me: a tray with dalahorses on, coasters in the same style, a scented candle, fine chocolate, shower gel and soap, a handpainted tree decoration and a ticket for a movie. The weather was miserable with rain and high winds but we still went out for a walk the next day (this has also become a tradition). After eating leftovers and/or lutfisk for lunch we returned to Borås the next day.

Remarkably, I didn't buy anything at the after-Christmas sales. My sister, mother and I went out to see the movie. We started at a restaurant for an up-scale pizza that my mother claimed was the best she had ever tasted, and then we saw a Swedish comedy that was better than average. Wednesday my mother, her boyfriend and I travelled by car to the summerhouse in Skåne. It took about four hours. The house was pretty cold inside. After two days of cooking, cleaning and preparing, my sister and her family arrived too. Saturday the women went to a clothing store that my cousin owns. We were mainly going there to visit her but I ended up buying some clothes also. I was surprised to see that she had plus size clothes in stock (and it was my favorite brand, Zhenzi!). I got a long tunic and a pair of jeans.

New Year's Eve some of us went to the local church to listen to a performance by an opera singer. He had a strong voice and the church was small, so it was powerful. In the evening my mother served a three-course meal: shrimp toast, chicken with bacon in mustard sauce and rice pudding with cloudberry jam. Very tasty. Just before midnight we all walked down to the beach. It was a special experience to see the fireworks along the coastline. We have never celebrated New Year's there before.

The day after my father and his girlfriend came to visit to play with the kids. Later that afternoon my sister and family returned to Borås and the next day I also travelled home. Most of my house plants had survived. My brother-in-law had fixed the problem with my lap top (for this I am very grateful) so I checked my e-mails and found out that the library boss had died Saturday morning. She had been ill with cancer for five years but still insisted on working at least part-time. She was very concerned for me when I was diagnosed with cancer and was very supportive. We talked quite a lot and communicated via e-mail about our health issues. She didn't respond to my last message so I suspected that things were going wrong rapidly. Very sad.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas party

This past week there have been both good and not so good things happening. Monday I went once again to the Christmas buffet at Ikea. The herring was really tasty. Tuesday was an archive day. Wednesday was not one of my greatest experiences. I had to go to a dentist and it was not something that could wait since I had lost a part of a tooth. The only option given was a dentist in the area of Malmö you shouldn't visit after dark. It's scary even in daytime. I had no choice so I went there. The dentist did a good job, thankfully. On my way back to the train station I did some shopping also.

Thursday there was a Christmas party at work. There were some activities for us to do; we assembled ginger bread houses, had a quiz and ate some food. The menu was very limited and not that marvellous (no herring!) but we survived. The big event was a surprise - seven of our colleagues had formed a live band and performed three songs. We were very impressed by this, we had no idea about it. I found out afterwards that they had only practised three times and that's incredible. In all, it was a great party.

Friday I went to work to attend a meeting. It had been re-scheduled four times already and now the one who called the meeting was at home sick. With the technology of today it was solved because he could attend by Skype. He had a cold and was also taking care of his son who had the same issues. The son interrupted the meeting several times when he wanted to show us his toy cars. It was not the most efficient meeting I have attended but it was alright.

This week I decided to give up the scarves so now I don't have any headwear. My hair is slowly growing and is about 1 cm long. This week I also decorated my apartment in the spirit of the season. The new tree is overloaded with ornaments and there are santas, bells and candles in many other places. In my opinion it looks great. Today I sent out the Christmas letter by e-mail. If any one feels neglected, let me know.