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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Figure skating

Tuesday evening the social club at work arranged an evening with opportunities to go figure skating at the local indoor ice arena in Lund. We rented the small rink for a couple of hours so that we didn't have to expose our inabilities to other people. There wasn't much "figure" performed, mostly "skating". We were eight people and only one had experience to speak of. The rest of us hadn't been standing on a pair of skates for decades. I had bought a pair of used skates at a second hand store, they were fairly old and not so sharp anymore. I fell once, and I was not the only one. Ice is slippery... But it was fun to try something different. There are pictures online..... http://picasaweb.google.com/LUBkamratforeningen (Click on the first picture).

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I forgot to write about some events that also happened this past week. Tuesday I did like millions of other people around the world: watched the Presidential inauguration on TV. A historic event that was shown live on half of the 12 channels I can watch. I would say he has a power of speech that the previous president lacked. I hope that the change he has referred to will happen.

Wednesday I went swimming in the indoor pool in Lund for the first time this year. The water was pretty cold and the sauna wasn't even near as hot as it should, but I still plan on going swimming there about once a week.

I got two desk duties this week, and there were a few things to do. It seems like the scholars have started on new projects this semester. French 18th century literature, Swedish books on linguistics from the same era and images of Death in 17th century books were some of the topics.

Friday I got an unpleasant letter from my bank. They said my credit card number might have been used in an attempted fraud, and they sent me a new card. I immediately checked the balance on the account, but found nothing unusual. I did, however, move most of that money to my savings account instead (no card connected to that one).

This weekend has been a slow one. I have cleared out the cupboard in the kitchen and thrown away outdated food (almonds with expiration date October 2007, for example). It was also laundry Sunday.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Train delays

This evening's train delays were not of historic proportions, but they caused a whole lot of problems for people. Especially for those coming from southern Sweden and were going to the airport in Copenhagen to catch a flight. It took two and a half hours for me to get home (normally it takes 10-20 minutes). All of the trains were cancelled for several hours due to a massive computer error. I learned a lot from that memorable day in January 2006 when there was a snowstorm and my boss had to drive in to Lund to get me. I now know what other ways there are to get home, so I took a bus to the mall Center Syd and waited there for about an hour for the bus to Kävlinge. It was a detour with opportunities for shopping. I found an umbrella at half price off the sales price, so it was really cheap.

This Sunday I removed all the Christmas ornaments and changed the curtains. It's a little sad to put it away, I have enjoyed the decorated tree and the lights for a while now.

My mother called me yesterday. She had been shopping furniture at Ikea and is comfortable in her apartment in Borås. She has started to do volunteer work a few days a week at a second hand/flea market store nearby. It's definitely her kind of thing and they were so happy to get more staff (especially since my mother is very experienced). She takes care of the clothes section. It's a place that gives clothes and the surplus money from the sales to poor people in Russia and the Baltic states.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Work and research

It has been a busy week at work with lots of book returns and the students are also ordering the books for the semester that starts next week. My office computer was replaced after several crashes and it was very nice to get a new one that didn't take eight seconds to load a webpage and that didn't sound like it was going to explode any second. On Thursday I had desk duty in the manuscript reading room for the first time this year, and it was rather boring - only two visitors. But I had brought work with me, I was picking out books to be weeded. We have a small collection of books no one uses anymore, so I'm going through them to see which ones we can throw away and which ones we should keep.

The new year started with train delays and the 25 000 daily commuters to Lund will have a challenging time the next six months. The train station in Lund will be renovated, the platforms will be made wider and longer, and there will be elevators installed, among other things. They closed two of the tracks this Monday and it had immediate effects. All the trains in rush hour are delayed now, so it really doesn't matter when I go to the station, the time-table is totally off. You are only lucky if you don't have to wait too long for the train. I have commuted by train or bus every weekday for more than 20 years and it requires a stable mental health to endure all the delays and the over-crowded trains.

This week I was contacted by a distant cousin who had just started researching his family tree. I sent the documents about the family I had, and he was happy to get it. It meant that he didn't have to do all the research himself. This week someone else called me to ask me to find out what had happened to one of her relatives. It was an easy task. I searched a vital records database on the internet and called her back within ten minutes to give the answer. I wish all requests are that easy to solve.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Research task

The new year started with a fairly slow week at work, since Swedes celebrate Twelfth Day. We had Tuesday off from work, so it wasn't a full week.

Last weekend I got a research task that was very tricky. It was about a Gray family on Long Island, and the information to start with was meagre. Gray is a very common surname also. But with the help of an Ancestry.com subscription and several long distance and international phone calls, the American relatives were found after three days of extensive research. They were very surprised to hear from their Swedish cousins, especially since the contact between the families was broken over 60 years ago. The cousins who once played together on Long Island now got to talk to each other again many decades later. Part of the family had moved back to Sweden in the 1940s, and then lost contact with the ones who stayed. It's yet another of these tragic stories I get to hear fairly often. I'm glad it was a successful ending to this one.

The readers of this blog already knows that my mother is accident prone. (This is a mystery to her family members, by the way). She now lives in Borås and had decided to take the bus downtown yesterday. It seems like the driver got suddenly sick and ran into and damaged several parked cars along the street. This was very upsetting to the passengers, and several of them were quite shocked, but physically unharmed. My mother became shocked also, but managed to stay calm. She commented on it and said something about being used to accidents.....

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A new year

I spent New Year's Eve at a friend's place here in Kävlinge. It was just Eva and I, and we had a very tasty salmon for dinner and then we watched a dvd with a stand-up comedy performer from Skåne. A very funny guy. About 15 minutes before 2008 became 2009, we went outside in the bitterly cold weather to watch the fireworks. Even for a small town like Kävlinge there are lots of fireworks. The financially bad times were not that apparent this holiday, the stores sold more than ever before and it seems like people bought at least the same amount of fireworks as before also.

The first day of the new year my mother called me in the morning and said she intended on visiting about an hour later. I didn't quite expect that, so was in a hurry cleaning the floors and tidying up the messy areas in the apartment. She brought my aunt Elna also, and a fairly large number of houseplants. She can't bring all her plants to Borås, so she let me have some of them, hoping they will survive. We'll see about that. I'm not known for watering my plants that often. My mother also brought the remaining items from the Leroy Anderson exhibits (books, flags, LP:s and decorations). While they were here, I borrowed her car to go grocery shopping and then we had dinner (shrimp and pasta).

Friday I had to work and it was a pretty slow day. I drove to all the remote storages to retrieve books and there were no other people there, it was dark and locked everywhere. Few other libraries were open, and I really don't see why we would have to be. In the afternoon I went to a mall, Nova, in Lund, but there was very little shopping done. It was packed with people, but I didn't find much to buy. I came home with toothpaste and a book entitled Chocolate : 365 irresistible temptations.

Today I haven't done much, apart from roasting a ham and cooking for the future lunch boxes.