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Monday, August 29, 2016


The most important thing that happened last week was the annual bus excursion Tuesday. It was arranged by the social club but I didn't do much since I was on vacation. That particular day I worked, however. This was because we have to leave already at noon and I wanted to make sure we had done all the tasks so that everybody who wanted to could join us. We visited a beer brewery in Helsingborg. Even though I am not into this kind of drink it was rather interesting to hear the lecture on the art of making beer. We got to peek into the house where the beer is made. It's a small brewery with a select production. My colleagues tasted several kinds in the bar on the premises. After this we continued on to Sofiero, which is a large park area. The castle in the middle of it used to be a royal castle. The park contained planted flowers of many kinds, apple and pear trees, a labyrinth, sculptures, art installations, greenhouses, plant sales, exhibits and a cafe. There was lots to see and the view over the ocean was great. We were very lucky with the weather also. Back in Lund we had dinner at a restaurant. The barbecue buffet was very tasty. The dessert table was incredible. We have been to this place before and it's worth the money.

Apart from this I have enjoyed the sunny weather. This year I was bold and bought a tomato plant for my balcony. It's small yellow tomatoes and to my great surprise I have been able to eat a handful of them. I made a trip to Helsingborg to have lunch at a 1950's inspired restaurant and then went out to the pier. There is a small section of sandy beach close by with palm trees. It looks very much out of place. The rest of the beach is very rocky. Anyway, I went there to get an icecream. I had been recommended this particular kind, locally made. It was indeed very good. You could tell there were actual pieces of raspberries in it. Not common in other brands.

Over the weekend I did research at work. I can't go on weekdays because then my colleagues think I am working. I got a rather interesting case with lots of hard-to-find clues. Some emigrants and some sailors that never returned home. Today I had to go to the archive center to use databases I don't normally have access to. Also there I had to explain that I was not on duty (the staff see me several times a week because that's where our storage is). The databases did shed some light on those clues I had struggled with. But there is still one sailor I can't track down.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Weekend at the summerhouse

Last weekend (Fri-Sat) my mother and I hosted a visit from my second cousin and his wife. It's a tradition that we meet once a year. We did a fleamarket tour and went to see a classic car exhibit. It was a weekend full of nostalgia. On the Sunday we got other visitors, some people we have known for over 25 years came for coffee and waffles. My aunt also visited. The weather was varied but I was able to sit in the deck chair at least a few minutes. My mother had of course a project for me - she wanted the outdoor wooden furniture sanded and painted, so we did that. I returned to my place again the day after. It took three hours by one bus and two trains.

This week I have enjoyed my freedom quite a lot. I haven't been that active. I had to do the laundry and some other chores, though. It was the last week for the Olympic Games, it's ending today. Sweden got a total of eleven medals, most of them were won by women athletes. Impressive. I have engaged in a research request that is quite challenging. I spent two days at work to do part of the research but got frustrated when the subscription database quit working. One woman I tried to trace in the records emigrated to the US in 1891. I was able to find out that she got married to a man named John Johnson... in New York City... Let's just say that it is more challenging than normal. I haven't given up yet.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Freedom at last

After a long and tiring summer at work I finally got vacation. Last week was also rather strained with only two people in the stacks. Starting this week my colleagues will have to make it without me. I actually haven't decided how long my vacation will be. At least five weeks, probably longer. So far I have taken it rather easy. I have done a few excursions to places like Helsingborg (where my favorite mall is), Trelleborg (a port city on the south coast), the nearest mall (where there are two rather large second hand stores) and the largest mall in this province, Emporia (only to have lunch).

The Olympic Games in Rio started this past weekend. Because of the time difference we can't see all of it live. There were some hopes for Swedish medals and so far we have one gold (women's swimming - first ever) and two silver medals (women's swimming and women's cycling).  Later the Paralympics will take place. One of my Australian relatives (a descendant of August Nelson's nephew Nils Nilsson who emigrated to Australia 1909) will participate. Brianna Coop is a sprinter who will compete in the 100 and 200 m. I will certainly cheer from here!

Tomorrow I will go to the summerhouse. The weather is pretty awful with rain and chilly temperatures, so there will be no sun bathing. We will host some visits from relatives and friends.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Market fair

A little over a week ago I got treatment by the chiropractor but I'm still suffering. Last week we were only two people in the stacks. It was hot weather and we spent most of the time at the storage, where there is air conditioning. We got the most important things done. We were not at our best game, since my back was troubling me and my colleague had a cold.

Friday a week ago I went on an extra bus to a large event - Sjöbo market fair. There are a few of these around Skåne every summer. The biggest one is in Kivik. The one in Sjöbo was big enough for me. There were many things for sale at the various stalls; candy, clothes, toys, jewelry, kitchenware, cookies, fruit, donuts, spices, nuts and many handcrafted items like baskets and things of fabric. There were also several food trucks with just about anything to eat. I had a langos with shrimp and cheese. I was able to find a practical item there, teflon baking tray paper (for multiple use).

I went to Ystad again to pick up a pair of sandals I had ordered. I often buy a certain heavy duty sandals with memory foam to have at work. It's a Danish brand so I either have to go to Copenhagen or ask a store to import for me. I have recently tried two other kinds of shoes but there is no comparison. I have to buy those rather expensive ones.

Apart from this I have enjoyed several evenings on my balcony. The weather has been nice but now the rain and clouds have started coming again. I have also cleaned the walls of the balcony and washed the windows. Yesterday was the usual cooking Sunday - chicken with peanut sauce. Pretty tasty.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Shopping for jeans

The situation is the same at work. We haven't had many requests so things are slow. I have tried to do some of the projects I was supposed to do this summer. I have spent hours in front of the computer, changing the location marker for thousands of books in the database. They were marked as placed at the main library but they are in storage. I have also changed many books to non-circulating, as our loan rules have changed and the information in the database should reflect that. The only noteworthy thing that has happened this week was the cake we received from a visiting researcher. She was very grateful for the service (which my colleague said was really nothing worth mentioning). In any case, we got a tasty cake for the afternoon coffee today.

This Saturday I went to Ystad on the south coast. It's a nice town that I visit now and then. This time there was an international food market, the regular flea market and the other shops were open, of course. Lots to look at. There were sales everywhere. I bought three pairs of jeans in one store. It may seem excessive but there was an offer of taking three sales items and paying for two. Very affordable. I was lucky that they had three pairs left in my size. It's the kind of jeans I like very much so there was little hesitation from my side.

Apart from this, nothing much has happened. I went to Malmö yesterday evening but it wasn't possible to see the stand up show I had planned on as there were an incredible amount of people in the audience and the PA-system didn't reach that far. But I spent some time in the park and did a short round in a mall before I returned home again. At least the weather is better now, it's around 23 centigrades and sunny.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

More work issues

Last Friday my former boss came to visit. He hadn't seen the new office space so I brought him on a short tour of it. He was rather impressed. We also talked about all the book moves in the stacks and storages.

I got some back problems last week so I decided to take it easy this past weekend. I only did some minor chores like going to the recycle place with paper and plastic. There was also sport to watch on TV, it was the European championships in athletics. The night between Sunday and Monday there was a very impressive rainstorm with thunder and lightning. It kept me up for several hours. When I arrived at work in the morning I was met by a colleague saying there was water on the floor in the stacks. Because of the repairs to the lunchroom they had removed part of the concrete floor (which is the ceiling in the stacks). This rainstorm had produced so much water that it went through the covers and poured down the walls and even through the ceiling. There was water on two floors of the stacks and it had damaged eight shelf meters of books. All that is now frozen, in order to save it. Yesterday part of the ceiling fell down where the water had been so this will take a lot of work to repair, I think.

This week I have been to the storage four times in total and it's not good for my back problems. In addition to retrieving books we have done some much needed shelving. Part of the electrical shelving system has been down for two weeks and a few patrons are still waiting for their books. The shelves are stuck and we can't move them by hand, unfortunately. This morning my colleague who had arrived at the storage called me to say that the entire building (in fact the entire area) had no electricity. We can't retrieve any of the books there today. It seems to be a complicated problem as it happened several hours ago and it's still not fixed. And as if these problems weren't enough, one of the servers hosting several critical systems at the library is down. And all the technicians are on vacation. But we carry on as best we can.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Work issues

Friday evening I returned to the summerhouse to spend the weekend. My sister and her family were still there, although the guys went off to sports camp those days. On the Saturday I went to a fleamarket with my sister but we didn't get much. The weather was very varied with lots of clouds and pretty intense rain showers. (It still is). Sunday I had to ride one bus and three trains in order to get home again. It took most of the afternoon and evening.

Monday morning I was at work early because at 8 AM two students arrived in the stacks. We need to move some books again. It's folio format journals. Luckily it's all on the same floor so the distance is short. The students seemed to understand the job and started right away.

Apart from this I have spent much of the work week looking for books my colleagues couldn't find. There were some challenging cases. It took three attempts to find one of them. It had a call number I had never seen before (which is remarkable as I have worked there for almost 20 years). We have also  rearranged the pick-up system for the patrons. We used to place the requested books by patron name but we have now changed it to a number system instead. Needless to say it didn't function to 100% from the start but we are working on it. There are fewer staff members everywhere now so I get more storage rounds and more desk duties at this time of year. We also get more requests from hobby researchers in the summer. These tasks can be quite difficult since those researchers are not familiar with our catalogues and often they need several shelf meters of material at once.