Welcome to Tessa's blog

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 eigth 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.

Sunday, December 10, 2017


This past week was the last at work for me this year. I will however attend a few upcoming meetings anyway. This Wednesday I was at the storage all day. One of the faculty libraries brought about 80 boxes with books to us. They have weeded their collection of journals and given us a large part of it. They shelved most of it, thankfully. I took care of those books that had a hard-to-find shelf location. It was rather exhausting work, especially since I used the waiting time before the transport truck came to shelve some of our own books.

That same afternoon I attended a lecture at the Archive Center (which is the same place as our storage). The lecturer had done a DNA test on her maternal line and had discovered that someone in her ancestry had a sister who had left Sweden in the 1600s and settled in northeastern part of America. Sweden had a colony on both sides of the Delaware River 1638-1655. There are not enough written sources so she couldn't find the names of these people. It was still an interesting lecture showing how much you can really find out through a DNA test.

This Saturday I went with a colleague to a Christmas market in Lund and also to a few other stores. I did some shopping for the holidays and we had a nice lunch. Sadly, this colleague has also been on sick leave a large part of this year so we had some common issues to discuss.

The weather is not really the Christmas holiday kind. It's raining a lot, with high winds.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Archive center visits

The past week was all about research. I had vacation and visited the Archive Center three days. On one occasion I requested old tax records and incredibly enough the staff retrieved the wrong volumes. When I discovered this it was lunch time. This fact didn't stop the receptionist from getting hold of the guy who had made the mistake - he came running from the lunch room. Literally. He apologized several times and went out to the storage to get the correct volumes. I thought the entire event was rather funny but I tried to hide it. Since I have the same kind of job I know how easy it is to make such a mistake.

Tuesday I went too work to attend a meeting only to discover it was cancelled. Instead I did some research. The weekend was also spent at work. There are always more clues to find.

Sunday evening I attended a Christmas concert at the local church. It happened to be the Police Force Choir and Band. It was a very nice performance with many of the traditional carols of the season.

Today it was back to work. I went out to lunch with a colleague who is going to retire. He will be difficult to replace. This afternoon we had coffee and cookies for the social club board members. We had some cash left and decided to spend it on ourselves. We have now cleared out everything relating to the social club.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


I have 20 days of vacation to use before the end of the year so I'm not at work that much. Last week I was away two days. Monday I went to Ikea in Helsingborg to taste their Christmas buffet. The selection of pickled herring was great, especially the one in crayfish sauce. The veggie gratin was also very nice. Naturally, I also made some purchases while there but only some candles and minor items. This Friday it was Black Friday, which is something we have copied from the US. The stores had huge discounts on many things. I did go to a mall after work and came home with a top, an alarm clock and some house plants. All very affordable. Previously I also bought a new fake Christmas tree since the other one was old and not in good shape anymore.

At work I have engaged in shelving. Since I haven't done that in many months, it was exhausting. Apart from this I was asked to pose for photographs for our website and information material. I'm not sure they will use images of me for anything, though. Some of my colleagues had to pretend they were in a meeting for these photographs.

Most weekends have been about research. Nothing really exciting worth mentioning, just some more clues about the emigrants from Hjärsås and Knislinge parishes.

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.