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Sunday, October 19, 2014

One more project

I have been busy doing lots of research. One more visit to the archive was necessary. The book about Olga is almost finished. It will be about 75 pages. I have added photos and images, and I have to say that it was more challenging than expected. Some photos were in my camera, others as pdf-files and jpg-files.

I have already started on a new project. My great grandfather Arndt (Olga's brother) will be the next subject. Olga wrote a fair amount about him also in her almanacs and there are supposed to be letters he wrote to his brother. Arndt died before I was born, so I never met him. I think this project will be more difficult, because there isn't as much material as in Olga's case. We'll see how it goes.

I have made some excursions in Skåne (I have a train pass valid in the entire region). There was a mail order company which had a closing-down sale and had opened their storage to sell to the public. They sell arts and crafts material, like ribbons, Christmas decorations, souvenirs, beads and all kinds of ornaments. All of it was spread out in this large warehouse in random order (at least so it seemed). It took a long time to go through, but it was quite interesting. I got some small things, it was extremely cheap.

It was also time to get new sandals. There is one particular kind that I get, which is very heavy-duty black leather sandals. I walk a lot on concrete floors at work, so I need shoes with thick soles. Sometimes I buy them in Copenhagen, but last time I was there the store didn't have my size. There is another store in the southern part of Skåne which imports them, so I placed an order there and had to go on a long train ride to pick them up.

The fall weather changed from nice and sunny to very windy and rainy just over the last few days. I couldn't find my boots this morning (they might be in the attic), so I had to wear sneakers. Not a wise decision. I was soaked from head to toe (literally) when I came home this evening. It doesn't help much to use an umbrella, it soaks through after a while.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Shopping and research

There hasn't been much written here lately. I have been enjoying my free time. It's wonderful not to have to get out of bed at 5.45 AM. If it rains I can stay at home. Having this much freedom makes you look forward to retirement. The only thing I have to worry about is the book, and it's going better than I thought it would. I have written more than 40 pages now.

There have been some other things going on also. I went on a long train ride to Kristianstad to visit the dentist. Everything was fine. I went on an even longer train ride to far eastern Skåne to visit a large discount store, but that was a disappoinment. For one thing, the hygiene products I like were more expensive there, and the difference was large. I get shampoo for 19 SEK normally, and here it cost 33 SEK. Not what I call discount. I bought nothing. But the local pizza place had nice pizzas.

Two weeks ago it was Culture Night in Lund and I watched some bands play in the streets. The Geological Survey Institute had engaged a rock band to play (and I wonder if anyone gets the joke)... I also went to the History Museum, which had changed several of their exhibits recently. I saw the zoological display, the history of the Church of Dome (it's almost 1000 years old), an exhibit on Death and a few more. Rather interesting.

I have also been on a few shopping trips to different cities. I made one more visit to Ikea and got a new bathroom mat.

Wednesday I went to the regional archive, which is at the same place as we have the library's book storage. I know the people who work there, not only for that reason, but also because I have done research at  the archive on and off for more than 25 years. The staff spotted me right away and asked what I did in the reading room. The answer was research, of course. They have more databases than I can access from the library. One of the major databases, the index of Swedish deaths, had been updated, so it's now complete 1901-2013. I found some more details to add to the genealogy files. I tried to get more information for Olga's ancestor chart, but the old records were very hard to read. Several decades of birth books were missing also, so I didn't find much there.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Copenhagen visit

Last weekend I spent mostly at work, both to find articles for the Historical Society and to do research for the book about Olga. I have now found out that the gravestone for Olga and her parents has been destroyed by the cemetery administration. Very annoying, but there is nothing to do about it.

Sunday afternoon the northbound trains were cancelled, so after three different bus-rides I arrived at the summerhouse. It was time to make everything ready for the winter season. I helped my mother putting away the garden furniture and move the flower pots inside. We also tried to finish the food in the freezer. I was given some of it to take home, so now I have three different homemade marmalades. My mother has now returned to Borås for the winter.

Yesterday I made a short trip abroad - to Copenhagen. I had checked where some of the thrift stores were located, which meant going to several areas of the city I had never been to before. One other store, which was completely dedicated to the art of baking, was fun to see. I also went to Field's, the biggest mall in Scandinavia, with about 140 shops. The trip resulted in only two new tops, but it was still a nice visit, although tiring.

And my father's annual hunting trip to the north was not successful this year - no moose.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Visit to Halmstad

The new Ikea-catalogue provided inspiration for interior design, so Friday I went to Helsingborg to check out the new collection. I bought a shoe rack for the hall and a small but practical hook to be attached to the exterior of a wardrobe. It's meant to be for hanging clothes on temporarily, for the next day or for when you iron them. Saturday I went to the nearest mall to get more practical hooks, this time I found some to hang over the wardrobe doors and also on the side of a bookcase.

I got a task from the historical society, they wanted me to gather material about an event in Swedish history just before World War I started in 1914. I went to the library to do research. I hid in the newspaper room in the basement, but there were still colleagues who spotted me. No, they were not surprised to see me. Today I continued the research by going to the city library in Malmö, because they had a book I couldn't find at my library. Really surprising, as we should have all Swedish books. This one might be in our ephemera collection though, and it takes such a long time to find it, since there is no catalogue of that collection. It was easier to get the book in Malmö, and I only needed to write a few things down from it.

Yesterday I went to Halmstad by train. It's the city in Halland province where Aunt Olga lived. I knew from prior visits that it's a large city and of course the places I needed to go to were spread out in almost every direction. The cemetery, museum, library and train station are not close to one another. After an entire day of walking I was very tired.

At the cemetery I actually couldn't find Olga's grave. Slightly disturbing. I have sent an e-mail to the cemetery office to ask if it still exists. I hope I have somehow missed it, since it's a very large cemetery. I knew it was there a few years ago and I have a photo of it. They sometimes remove gravestones if there are no known family members left. I did find the other two graves belonging to this family. At one there were nettles growing in front of it. I made an effort and dug them up. It's sad that no one has the opportunity to attend these graves, but we all live far away from there.

The visit to the museum was not productive, as they didn't have any photos of my relatives or the houses they had lived in. It was, honestly, a very long shot, but you never know. At the city library I browsed the local history collection. I was looking for information about the schools my relatives had attended and found some details in various books. I noticed that the library had a database of old vital records for most of the parishes in Halland province. Too bad I didn't know this - I didn't bring Olga's ancestor chart. There are some death dates missing on it, and I might have been able to find them easily in this database. Those particular church records are very hard to decipher, so it would have helped a lot. I might have to visit Halmstad again soon. It's a nice city, beautifully situated by the west coast, with the Nissan river flowing through it. There are very nice parks and bridges. The library is also special, it's a big glass house extending out over the river.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Play Day at Furuboda

The dinner with my colleagues last Thursday was very nice. It was the second part of the annual bus excursion arranged by the social club. The others had been to a castle and a limestone quarry in northern Skåne, but I decided only to participate in the dinner, since I grew up near those places and have been there several times. The restaurant in Malmö provided an excellent selection of fish, meat, cheese and a marvelous dessert table. All in buffet style and of course you eat too much. There were six different cakes, fruit and candy for dessert and I tried five of the cakes... Very tasty.

Friday I went again to the summerhouse, and Saturday it was time for Play Day at Furuboda. It was the tenth time, and it is by now a big organization. Over 120 volunteers and 5000 visitors (a new record). The area was packed with kids and their parents. Everything was for free, the only cost was for food. The attractions included all sorts of games and sports, carousels, horse & buggy rides, hay trailer rides, boat rides, jumping castles, face painting, computer games, music making and performances by pop idols. The local police and fire department had presentations, and Pippi Longstocking and other children's book characters visited "in person". My mother helped out at one of the carousels and I instructed the kids (and some adults) going on the segways (an electric scooter you stand on). After six hours (including an eight minute lunchbreak) we were absolutely exhausted. But I cannot explain in words how fun it was to see the kids enjoy the day's activities. Several parents thanked me for being there, and said that this is an event they never miss.

The activities the following days were, for obvious reasons, not that extensive. We basically rested. My mother did paint the window frames of the house, but she did a little each day for three days, so it was not a big job. Apart from that we solved a few crossword puzzles. One visit to Åhus to get groceries also. Yesterday I returned home.

Today I visited my workplace, but only for a short while. I returned some books and then I walked another block to a newly renovated and extended building called Lux (means light in Latin). Five former humanities institutions have now moved there, and today was the grand opening. We got to visit the staff rooms, cafeteria, lecture halls and library. I got a guided tour of the library, which is on three floors with brand new interiors and book shelves (some compact systems). The furniture was all new (mostly in orange and black) and there were many places for the students to sit and study. I did notice that the shelf space was limited, and that might become a problem later. But it was a very nice place and I hope they will enjoy working there. Most of the former libraries used to be housed in old buildings without functional elevators, so this is a big improvement when it comes to accessibility.

A completely different thing - there is an election coming up here in mid September. The authorities send out the form you need to vote for parliament, regional and local government to all who are eligable to vote - several million people. This time they didn't proofread the form before sending it out. There was a significant spelling mistake on it. Because of this they had to send out a correction to everybody. A rather costly mistake, since postage is expensive here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Freedom again

Last week was the last week at work for several months. My colleagues were not that happy about it, but I have taken leave this fall to get some projects done. Most of them relate to genealogy. I have started on the book about Aunt Olga, but it goes slowly. I need to do more research and I think I will also have to visit the town in Halland province where she lived. There is supposed to be a painting in the museum there, which is of one of the ships her father and brother-in-law sailed on.

The weather has changed and is now very wet, windy and pretty chilly. It's only around 18-20 centigrades. It's a big difference and I have now been able to catch up on the chores at home. It was way too hot and humid before, so I did very little apart from working. I have also gone through my book collection and thrown out some of the books. I let my colleagues take what they wanted first, and then gave the rest on to charity. I think I have given about ten bags with various items to charity this summer. Despite this, I still can't fit all of my clothes into the wardrobes. It's the aim, so I will have to throw out even more.

This evening I'm going to a dinner with my colleagues and tomorrow I will travel to the summerhouse. My mother is still there, and this Saturday we have signed up to be volunteers at Play Day at Furuboda.

Monday, August 11, 2014

One more weekend at the summerhouse

Last week was pretty ordinary at work. I brought the new employee to the storage and she liked the cool temperatures indoors (17 centigrades). It was about 35 in the corridor outside our storage. I showed her around in both stacks.

Friday at lunchtime I took the train and a bus to get to the summerhouse. My sister and her family were still visiting, but there were also some additions. My second cousin and his wife had arrived to spend some time with us. It was his wife who found me through a genealogy query on the internet, it's quite a few years ago now. We meet usually once a year, and this time it was our turn to host the visit. We started out by going to the ocean, and most of us jumped in. The waves were not as high as last time, but it was still fun.

Saturday my mother and I went with our guests on a tour of northeastern Skåne in their car. We first went to the fleamarket in Åhus, and then continued on to more fleamarkets in Kristianstad. We all made some small purchases, my mother got some clothes, shoes and a lamp, for instance. After lunch we headed out to an area east of town called Kjugekull. It's a natural reserve with hiking trails and it's popular to go rock climbing there. 20 years ago my sister and I ran the summercafé at the local museum at Kjugekull, and it was interesting to see what it looked like now. They have more space than we did, one more room. The ice-cream was pretty good. We walked on one of the trails and made it to the highest point 85 meters above sea-level. Not that high, but the view over the lakes and forests is wonderful. On the way back my mother and I were dropped off at a bus stop and our guests returned to their place in mid-northern Skåne.

Sunday my sister and her family went home again and the remaining two rested. My mother in the hammock and I in a deck chair. I returned directly to work this morning, a two hour journey.

The weather is cooler now, about 22 centigrades and much more tolerable. The extreme heat we have had caused many problems, both health issues and major fires and traffic problems. A gigantic forest fire is raging in Västmanland province. It started twelve days ago and is just barely under control now, thanks to rain. They have used enormous resources to try to stop it; 17 helicopters, four special water distributing airplanes (flown in from Italy and France!), military personnel, rescue personnel from all over Sweden and many volunteers have done their best to limit the damages. One person has died and 25 homes have been lost. Thousands of people are evacuated and have no idea if their houses will be there when they are allowed to go back again. A terrible situation.