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Sunday, June 28, 2009


The weather changed between Monday and Tuesday. We now have the sunny Swedish summer weather we have been waiting for the past month.

Tuesday evening I went back to my mother's place. Wednesday and Thursday we were busy unpacking an incredible amount of kitchenware, decorative items, electronic devices, fabric, curtains, paintings, prints, books, lamps, furniture, ceramic pots, jewelry and a whole lot of junk. Furuboda gets estates through wills and donations, and they sell most of the household items at the flea market. They sell the more expensive furniture and paintings at an auction house. The money acquired goes to the education center, making it possible to (among other things) arrange excursions and study visits for the handicapped students. The unpacking was hard work, and I'm glad I remembered to bring my work shoes so that I didn't get sore feet. There were more things to sell than last year. And it really is amazing what people will buy. The fleamarket on Friday was great fun! I sold books, of course. I had arranged the books in order, separating fiction and fact books. I even sorted the fact books in large subject areas. Once a librarian, always a librarian. My sister also helped out, she sold ceramics. She didn't sell that much, but then a woman came and said she would buy all the remaining items afterwards. The other things left will be donated to two second hand stores that give the incomes to charity.

During these days I have also had several icecreams, played with my nephew (especially Lego-building), solved the most difficult crossword puzzles with my sister and her husband (my mother wanted to send the puzzles in to win something), had several tasty lunches at Furuboda (we got that in return for the work at the fleamarket) and made a visit to the ocean (but the water was too cold for a swim). I returned home this afternoon and found my plants on the balcony in a sorrow state. Some of them might survive, but the roses were beyond hope.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Midsummer holiday

The Midsummer holiday was a nice relaxing one. I went by train and bus to Åhus Thursday evening, and my mother picked me up there. Friday was the actual day for celebrations and the weather was again pretty bad. Two of my mother's friends visited us, and we had strawberry cake in the afternoon. We were sitting outside despite the rain and cold winds. If it is a tradition, then you can't change it. But we didn't have a maypole and we never went to the dancing. In the evening we had herring, potatoes, sour cream, chives and a salad. More strawberries for dessert. My mother's friends are almost as talkative as my mother, and the chatting was extensive.

Saturday my mother and I went to another town to visit the handcraft store. We brought an old lady we know through Furuboda, Hanna. She is a first class knitter, and is a regular customer at this store. I found a great fabric for aprons, it was Dalahorses printed on a dark blue background. Afterwards we visited Hanna. She is in her late 80s and still lives in the old family farmhouse. It was like visiting the 1950s. Old furniture, wall paper that hasn't been changed for decades and the stove was definitely not a modern one.

Today my mother and I had lunch at Furuboda, and it was an especially tasty salmon. I ate too much. Today is also my nephew's birthday, he turns four. He didn't want to talk to us on the phone because he was busy opening presents. We will see him and his parents later this week when they arrive to help out at the fleamarket at Furuboda. I will only work at the library two days and then return to my mother's place Tuesday evening. We will prepare for the event on Friday. It starts with a fleamarket and then there is an auction on the more valuable items. This year we have 22 volunteers and an enormous amount of stuff to sell, so it's a major operation.

Thank you to those who have sent me Midsummer greetings!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hard work

The weather has been terrible here. Friday I endured a cold rain storm on the way to work and I was soaked when I got there. I changed all my clothes, and I'm lucky my closest colleagues are male and have no sense for fashion. The extra clothes I keep at work are for accidents like tomato sauce on the shirt, and not meant for exchange of the entire outfit. They said on TV that this has been the coldest beginning of June in 50 years. It has improved a little now, but it's still not really a Swedish summer.

This past weekend was rather boring and that was the intention. There has been too much going on lately, and I decided to stay at home and do very little. I gathered some of the documents on the floor and made two new files, making the total number of genealogy files 77. Sunday was laundry day, and the load was large.

I really earned my salary at work today. I moved about 60 shelf meters of books, and most of them were very heavy oversize books from the old collection. I worked with a colleague and we were both exhausted afterwards. Like usual, the people in the stacks get the heaviest work when our bosses can't plan things correctly (or not at all). We were told that the books housed in the third floor west wing had to be removed by Monday. What they failed to say was the fact that the cleaners would start already this Wednesday, and that shortened the time span considerably. There are fewer retrievals now since the semester ended, but we still have a lot to do, and this additional project messed things up quite a lot.

One of my American relatives, Mark A, will visit us in August. It will be great to see him again and we are planning for the grand tour of Skåne!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Loud students

There has been a lot to do this week even though many students have left town. Today I was so busy that I totally blacked out and forgot to go to the meeting at 8.30. My boss couldn't call me because I was in the basement, two floors below ground level. She got hold of me later, when the meeting was over. If it had been really important, they would have found me. But I took part in the coffee and sandwiches we were treated to afterwards. It's a tradition in our department that marks the end of the semester.

Today's desk duty was rather busy. Some of the studied subjects included Kepler's books on astronomy, a Swedish-German society in the 1940s and the earliest Swedish language hymnal book from 1686. People's interests vary a lot.

Some days this week I have seen young women in long ball dresses walk (still in high heels) to the bus at 7 AM. They were on their way home from a student party. In the afternoons the high school students who graduate make their rounds in town with the ambition to be as loud as possible. They celebrate that high school is over by getting drunk and riding in the back of a large truck while shouting, singing (sort of) and playing music. It hasn't been that bad this year, mainly because of the lousy weather. But generally I try to stay away from the center of Lund this week.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More balcony flowers

It has been a cold beginning of the summer. It's about 12-14 centigrades and there's a cold wind coming from the north. It's not a good start of the season.

Knowing that we are in a recession, the note stating my new salary surprised me. It was a fairly large pay raise, and I can't really figure out why. Not that I'm going to complain or anything.

The National Day, June 6, passed more or less unnoticed. There were some music and speeches on TV, but I can't say it's a big event here. I spent most of the day house cleaning.

Today my father and his girlfriend came to visit. He wanted to get rid of a few family heirlooms, some china plates with a rose pattern. I already had most of the set in my cupboards. We did some shopping at the mall in Löddeköpinge, but it was a pretty quick visit. I got some more flowers for the balcony, so now there are bluebells and a sunflower also. I had to get new ink cartridges for the printer and I'm sorry to say that they cost about the same as the printer itself. My father helped me exchange a lamp switch while he was here. It's great to know handy people.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Monday the fire alarm interrupted work twice at the library. On both occasions I had to walk six floors down the stairway. The cause was (after a long while) discovered to be an engine for part of the air conditioning that had become over-heated. There was no real fire. Though it's reassuring to know that it takes only four minutes for the fire department to get here.

Tuesday evening the social club arranged a picnic in the city park. It included bagels, drinks and a boules tournament. We had a very good time eating, talking and trying to throw the ball in the right direction. I had bought the prizes at Ikea, and the winners were awarded a sun umbrella each. There were also beach towels and small bags for second and third teams. The whole thing was a great success and it was suggested that this tournament should be arranged once a year.

I write this during desk duty and I can't say it's overloaded with visitors. There is none at all at the moment. The first two weeks of June there are many other things going on in Lund; school graduations, balls and other parties and most of the students leave town around this time also. Later, in July and August, we get visitors that come here as tourists and those teachers who don't have time to do research during the semester.