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Friday, November 17, 2017

Last event for the social club

Last weekend one of the large genealogy database providers had a free access period. I made use of this. I spent both days at work searching for more clues using the databases with scanned material I normally don't have access to. I found some information about my great great grandfather who was a sailor. It was difficult to track him in the records but I got the names of at least some ships he sailed on. There was also an obscure file with various death records handed in to the regional court during the 19th century. To my great surprise there were death records for about 20 years for Hjärsås and Knislinge parishes for a time when the church records do not exist (almost everything before 1860 was destroyed by fire). It was a great find.

This week at work was rather busy. There are the usual meetings to attend, of course, but also other things to do. Yesterday we had the very last social club arrangement. It was basically a wake. After 44 years the library management decided to cancel the budget for all the activities. We were nine people on the board who arranged excursions, bowling evenings, lectures and parties with various themes. It was appreciated by the employees and we are all upset about this incomprehensible decision. Without any money we can't continue, that's the harsh reality. For the last event we had produced a booklet about the history of the social club. There were photos and descriptions of the activities during all the years. It turned out to be 63 pages. I wrote a large part of the text and also a page with my memories of some of the activities. I was the chairwoman for the last seven years. At the wake I was given flowers and some chocolate for my long commitment.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Back to work

Tuesday last week, which was the last day of freedom, I went on a relatively short shopping trip to Copenhagen. There were train problems so I arrived over an hour later than planned. I made only a few purchases, two tops and some socks, but it was a nice visit.

I started working again last Wednesday. There were no great surprises. I had an enormous amount of emails to go through. I have spent some time talking to my colleagues about the future work and all the projects we need to do. There were also five cases of missing books to search for (so far I have found three). The first workday the department head invited us for coffee & cookies, which was very nice. It took quite a while before I understood that it was in my honor. They wanted to wish me welcome back. It seems like they have really missed me...

I only worked two days last week because Friday I had an appointment at the hospital in Malmö. The port-a-cath was removed. It was a minor operation and I was awake. The nurses put on some rock music, which was very enjoyable. The staff members were amazing, actually. They made sure I was comfortable and that I knew what to do if the wound would bleed a lot. Afterwards they gave me cheese sandwiches and apple juice. Not really what you expect in our health care system, where budget cuts are frequent. I'm very glad the port-a-cath is out because it was annoying to have.

This weekend I didn't do anything because of the wound. Did get some groceries but that was all. This week at work is about the same as last week, I try to get everything organized and try to catch up with all the news. I went to the storage to search for a missing book (found it) and realized that we definitely need to do some shelving there. The piles of returned books were large.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

More research

The radiation treatment ended last week. The last day the nurse said it was nice to see me but he hoped I would never have to come back ever again. There are still minor issues like irritated skin but it's not much to bother about.

I have used some of my free time to do more research. There are both some requests and some long-term projects regarding emigrants. They have databases at the regional archive that I don't have access to normally, so I have spent a few days there doing research. I have also made trips to other towns. One day I went by train to Tomelilla, which is a small place in the very south of Skåne. I go once in a while because there are two stores of interest there; one large discount store and a shop with plus size clothes. This time I made purchases in both. I was very happy to find a pair of boots at the discount store. I have also attended a nice choir event in the Lund Cathedral.

My private computer is not working and it's very frustrating. I handed it over to the technician at work and even he has a lot of trouble with it. The system files are taking up too much space and we can't figure out what's wrong. So incredibly annoying. For this reason I have had to spend a lot of time at work to use the computer there instead.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Book reading

The radiation treatments are going like planned. I have two more to do. It gives you pain and irritated skin but there are lotions to ease it. I'm lucky the clinic has a drop-in arrangement because the trains are unreliable. But sometimes there is a rather long waiting time, up to two hours. I am bringing crosswords with me to keep busy.

I have visited at work a few times for meetings and also to participate in the Friday morning fika. Some days I have done excursions to other towns, to have lunch and to explore the area. Over the past few months I have visited book stores, libraries and quite a few second hand stores in the western part of Skåne. The weather has been acceptable. Now the leaves are turning into fall colors and it's very pretty, It does rain a lot but we are used to it. I changed the (remains of the) summer flowers on the balcony to heather instead and it looks nice.

I have read a book of fiction. This is not common. Normally I read fact books. But this one was entitled Swede Hollow. It was an area in St Paul, Minnesota populated by Swedish immigrants. The author, Ola Larsmo, had done a lot of research for this book. He wrote a fictional account of some of those poor people who ended up in this slum in the 1890s. It was worth reading, despite the fact that it's not really a happy story. It has not been translated into English yet.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Research trips

I am recovering more and more and can now make longer trips than before. It's something I have wanted for quite some time. Last week my father and his girlfriend came to pick me up in their motor home. We made a journey in the footsteps of our family history. We tried to find the places where my Herrlin ancestors used to live in the area just east of Trelleborg. We went to small villages and searched the cemeteries for gravestones. We talked to the caretakers there, and even they were local people, they couldn't really tell us much. They were, however, very friendly and interested in our questions and tried to refer us to other people. At last, we found the place where our relative Nils Hansson Herrlin once had a flour mill. We also found a preserved windmill in the area that once had belonged to him, there was even a sign saying so. The mill was in good condition, since it was maintained by the local historical society. The final stop was an old school house, where our ancestor Peter Herrlin had been the teacher in the early 19th century. We drove around on these small roads in a flat agricultural landscape for most of the day, looking for houses, talking to people and taking photos. It was a great day, so interesting to see it all.

I visited Trelleborg one day to do more research at the library. I went through all the books in their local collection and found some more clues. There was one house we couldn't find on our trip and it seems like it had been torn down already in the 1930s, according to a book there.

Since I have more energy now I have visited some malls and also Helsingborg. In total, I have bought five pieces of garment, which is a lot. I think the last time I bought any clothes was about a year ago. In Helsingborg there is a very nice store selling licorice of various kinds, it's a place worth visiting. 

This Wednesday the radiation sessions started. I have to go to the hospital every day for 15 days for this. It takes only a few minutes every time. You have to be absolutely still when the machine moves around you. It doesn't hurt during the treatment but afterwards you can get pain and burn wounds. I have already noticed a little of that. Though this is not even close to the problems I had after the chemo therapy.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Boring times

It was (and still is) a long recovery time after the last chemo injection. It has been tedious and uncomfortable in several different ways. I have been so incredibly bored. The chemo makes you inactive and there is no energy to do anything. This Monday I had to go to the nearest mall because I had run out of a supplement I need to ease the side effects. It was a short visit but I was exhausted when I returned home.

The weather here is pretty bad with high winds and a lot of rain. Typical of a Swedish fall season. Not what I was hoping for, since I really should go out for walks. I have to start getting some exercise now that I have endured the last of the chemo. (And I can't believe that it's finally over!)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Nice dinner

Wednesday was a busy day. I had to go to the hospital again for blood tests. I spent most of the day at work, both for a meeting with my boss and to talk to colleagues. In the evening I attended an information session at the radiation department at the hospital. They showed us a film of how the machines work and how the radiation treatment functions. We also got to see the the actual machines used for it. It was quite interesting to see. I will start getting my treatments in about three weeks.

Thursday the social club at work had arranged a bus trip to Copenhagen but I couldn't go. I did however join my colleagues for the fabulous dinner at a restaurant in Malmö afterwards. It was a very nice arrangement. It was a buffet style place with very high quality assortment. Lots of salmon, herring, shrimp salad, crayfish, clams, all kinds of meat and a large selection of cheeses. The dessert tray was incredible.

Friday I got the last chemo therapy injection. I can't believe there actually would be an end to this madness. There will be many more visits to the hospital but not for that horrible thing. It really is hard to get through the side effects. Right now I feel pretty bad, there is pain everywhere and my stomach is objecting to it all. I shouldn't go outside because I have no immune defense. It's just a matter of enduring the following days. From experience I know that it will be better at the end of the week.