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Thursday, November 29, 2007


My colleagues hadn't managed that well during my abscence this Monday. Two of them had attended a party last Saturday and it must have been some party, because they were not able to work on Monday. The story is much longer, really, but I will not bore you with details. Three full-time workers absent meant problems in the stacks, and exactly how the rest of them managed I still don't know. The number of requests are dropping at the end of the year, but there are still many things to do.

There was no hot water in my apartment this morning. Very annoying. I decided not to take a shower, it was just too cold. It functioned again when I came home this evening.

The comments under the November 22 message were written in Swedish, and they were fairly uninteresting. My sister just asked me if I wanted some of the candy she (or her husband) had won in a competition. My sister and mother are really good at coming up with rhymes and slogans for competitions. There are usually flyers/forms in the grocery store where you write a slogan for a particular brand and you can win lots of prizes. Very often these competitions are arranged by makers of hygienical products, coffee/tea and candy. This time she had won about 3 kilos of candy (sort of marshmallow in the shape of small cars). Just this week I found out that I had won a package with DVD:s and chocolate in a store in Åhus. It's very nice, and I haven't really done anything to get this, it's my mother who writes my name on the forms. Though sometimes she calls me to get answers to quizzes, if the questions are difficult.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sewing circle auction

It has been an interesting weekend. My mother had booked a huge number of activities for my visit, and it was exhausting. On Saturday we started at nine by going to one of the second-hand stores in Åhus. We bought a small desk for John (my nephew). It was problematic to get it into my mother's car, but we managed. We drove (carefully) to my aunt's place and put it in her storage room. Someone will have to bring it to Borås later. From there we went to Kristianstad to look at even more flea market stores, and we bought curtains and some decorative items. Lunch at a café; seafood pie. Very tasty. At about two o'clock we picked up a friend of my mother's and drove back to Åhus to go to the Christmas market. We managed to get some Christmas presents there. Since my sister reads this, I can't tell you what it was!

After two hours at the market, we were tired, and drove back to town. Dropped my mother's friend off, and returned to my aunt's place, this time to actually visit her. We had sandwiches there. At six, we drove a very short distance to the parish hall next to the church. The local church sewing circle had arranged their annual auction and bake sale. It's going to be difficult to explain this, but I will try. Imagine 70 women and 20 men past normal retirement age, eagerly awaiting the raffle tickets and the homebaked loaves of bread and the jam to be sold by an auctioneer pushing 90. He was hard of hearing, and the old ladies got upset when they missed out on the decorative items/basket of apples/candles/knitted mittens. It was the first time in many years I had attended such an event, and the flashbacks were numerous. During the 1980s my grandmother brought me to some, but very few sewing circles exist these days, and even fewer have auctions. On the way home, after having purchased jam and bread and won a candle arrangement, my mother said that it had brought back memories also from her childhood. It's a tradition rarely seen today, a remnant of old times, when the parishioners gathered funds for the local poor children's education and clothes. Nowadays, the money is sent abroad to children who don't have the privilege of living in a wealthy country.

The next day, Sunday, it was very difficult to get out of bed. We were pretty tired. Basically, we only managed to go for lunch at Furuboda and then in the evening my mother cut my hair.

Yesterday, Monday, was also busy. At eleven, I had an appointment with a librarian in Kristianstad. We are going to have a Leroy Anderson exhibit there, so we had a few things to discuss. After lunch, my mother and I went to even more flea market stores (three, to be exact). It's unbelievable how many places like that there are. I found ornaments for my Christmas tree. At five, there was another Leroy Anderson meeting at the city administration building, and then I took the train back home to Kävlinge.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Desk duty again

I have desk duty in the manuscript reading room again. Usually, I get Thursday afternoons. It has been quite busy here with several people doing research and reading. One wanted a detailed map of a parish in northern Sweden, and another was interested in a book on geology from 1706, for instance.

The head of the historical collections told me he has started to plan for the new exhibit opening in February. The topic will be the Roskilde peace treaty of 1658 and the war preceding it. The Danes and the Swedes fought bitter wars in the 17th century. In the negotiations, the Danes lost almost half of its land to Sweden. Skåne, Halland and Blekinge provinces were suddenly to belong to Sweden instead. The people living here weren't happy about this development, to say the least. The Swedish king did everything he could to make the people Swedish. He founded Lund University, installed Swedish pastors in the parishes and distributed hymnal books and bibles in the Swedish language. Somehow, this is what we are going to make an exhibit of. We have a fairly large number of books printed around this time, but it's mostly texts about the peace treaty and odes to the Swedish king. It might be a little boring to look at in an exhibit, so we will have to make it more interesting here, I think.

Tomorrow I will go to visit my mother for the weekend, so the next blog entry will not be written until next week.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Christmas tree

Yesterday I went to the archive to do research. I had some minor tasks to solve and managed to find the answers in most cases. The resources are so much easier to search in nowadays than when I started going to the archive 15 years ago. Now there are databases with census records, vital records, passenger lists and much more. Another thing that has become easier is finding living people, since the phone books for many countries are on-line. Researchers also tend to post their family history on the internet, which of course helps a lot in finding relatives. Sending a message today takes minutes. 15 years ago, I very often couldn't even find an address to write to. Things have definitely changed.

I admit that it's a little early, but I have actually put up the Christmas tree. I had to put some things in the storage in the attic, and when I was there I thought that I could bring down the tree. I haven't decorated it yet. It's the first time ever I have had a tree for Christmas. My previous apartment was too small, so I could only have a miniature juniper there.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bedroom renovation

The renovation of my bedroom has finally been completed. It has been a long wait. The renovations started in February, but nothing has been done about it since early summer. This Sunday my father was here to do the last small details. There were some baseboards left on two sides. I'm very happy to get it finished and it turned out very well. The walls are now painted in peach color, the ceiling is white and the floor is covered with wooden floor boards. It was nice to be able to put the rest of the furniture back - at last!

My father and his girlfriend provided the lunch - we had moose! My father is going hunting several times a year, and this moose he had shot himself.

Like most other Wednesdays I went swimming at the indoor facilities in Lund today. I try to go once a week. Not that I enjoy swimming that much, but I really need some exercise. And they also have a large pool with hot water and a nice sauna. In case anyone wondered, there is actually an outdoor pool that will keep open during the winter. This is due to repairs on the main indoor arena in Malmö.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Archive Day

There hasn't really been anything worth reporting from the past working week. There were the usual meetings and the ordinary work retrieving the ordered books. We still have problems with the book transportation project. Books get sent to the wrong libraries and the database can't keep up with it all.

Today it was Archive Day at the regional archive. There were exhibits, lectures, book sales and tours of their stacks. The library shares a big storage facility with the archive, so I wasn't so interested in seeing their stacks - I have been there a huge number of times for work. Instead I looked through the books for sale and searched some of the genealogy databases on display. There was no regular research today because the reading room was occupied by other activities. I only stayed for a couple of hours, went back to town for lunch and then stopped by at work to do some more research.

It's cold and dark here now. Yesterday it was very stormy weather. The winter season has definitely arrived. It's dark when I leave home in the morning and dark when I get back. I spend a lot of time in the basement (where a large part of the books are) during the day, so I don't get to see much sunlight in the winter.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Slow weekend

Friday was a short working day. Because of the All Saint's Day weekend, we got to go home early. I stayed a little longer though, to see the opening of the new exhibit entitled "curio cupboards" (according to my dictionary). During the time 1550-1750 there was a great interest in the strange, the abnormal and the grotesque, and wealthy people in Europe collected strange objects, very often from far away countries. These collections were open to the general public, and functioned as some sort of museum. The exhibit at the library included mostly books (these collections were often described in a catalogue), but also of some objects borrowed from the zoological faculty.

It has been a slow weekend. I have spent most of the time doing laundry, cooking, cleaning (not much), writing e-mails, solving crossword puzzles and watching TV. I even remembered that I had four candles shaped like pumpkins, so I decorated for Halloween also (a little late, but still). For various reasons I haven't been able to go to the archive for five weeks, and this Saturday was a holiday, so I'm starting to get symptoms of withdrawal. The Swedish Roots-website, where the genealogists post messages and queries to get help in research, has been down for change of server for several weeks now (something went wrong, apparently). I don't have that many research questions right now, but it's still pretty annoying. But next Saturday it's Archive Day, and I will definitely go to the archive then.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The return of the interns

The interns returned to the stacks this week. They have been in the library for several weeks and have seen all the departments. The last part of their internship they could choose what department to be in, and to our surprise both of them chose the stacks. They seemed to like searching for the books ordered by the students, and they did the job well.

We have also had an international visitor in the stacks. It's a retired German librarian who is engaged in the compilation of an old book collection. He has been here several times before and he needs my help quite a lot to retrieve books. It's a challenge to speak to him, because his English isn't so good. We try to communicate in German..... Not my favourite language, I understand it better than I speak it.

My back hasn't been in such a good shape lately, so I got treatment by my chiropractor. I hadn't been there since June, and it's a long time ago. Normally, I get treatment every three months.