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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Designer clothes

The Andersons have been in the Kristianstad area for a few days now. They seem to be enjoying their visit. They have been to the ancestral home in Övarp, where they met the current owner Mats. My father was also there and he said it had been a very nice visit. The Andersons will leave today to go to Copenhagen, for further transportation to Italy early tomorrow morning.

I just received the both good and bad news saying that Mark Anderson got his job back and can't come to Sweden. He was supposed to come next week, but was forced to cancel everything because he had to start working again. He was laid off this spring and expected to have lots of time to travel, so it was disappointing that he will not get to visit us as planned. We are happy his job situation got solved, though.

There is a fairly new second hand store in Lund that sells designer clothes. At least that's what it said in the shop window. In my experience, designer clothes never come in my size, so I was skeptical. But I did find a pair of black jeans with embroidery that was on sale for only 79 SEK. It was not a designer brand, however I don't think I have ever bought jeans that cheaply.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Salmon and blueberry pie

Saturday my mother and I spent a few hours in Åhus. First we went to the two flea market stores, but only found one thing worth buying (an egg cup). Afterwards we had a baguette at the nice cafe in the center of town. We also went shopping at a clothing store where everything was half price off. It's very unusual to find jeans in my size in ordinary clothing stores, so I was surprised to find a pair there, and quite affordable too. My mother found two very nice tops there. After going up and down the shopping street, we finished with a big ice-cream from the stall in the old square. Åhus is a picturesque town and there were many tourists from different countries (mainly Germany and Denmark).

Sunday morning my mother and I loaded the car with boxes of decorative items and shoes, and drove about 600 meters down to the public sports area, where there is a tennis court and a field for basketball. The local home owner's association arranged a small flea market, where the residents sold their unwanted stuff. It was fun to be there, but we really didn't sell much. The people who had brought toys to sell were doing pretty well, but we had no such things. We managed to get rid of one pair of shoes, two table runners and a set of coffee cups. Naturally, my mother shopped from the others (fabric), but we still ended on plus.

Around lunchtime we gave up the flea market, went home, changed clothes and drove to Kristianstad. We met Jane and her family at the hotel, and it was great to see them again. They had borrowed a car and we drove to a fish restaurant south of Åhus. The salmon was incredible. Very, very tasty. We had a good time talking about basically everything from environmental issues to the trip they had just been on in Norway. Then we continued further south to my mother's place and had afternoon coffee. The blueberry pie was praised, and rightfully so. We also made a quick visit to the ocean. The water was bitterly cold, but it was beautiful weather and we all enjoyed the view. Back in Kristianstad late afternoon, they dropped me off at the train station. I arrived home at nine pm.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lots of materials

There really isn't much to report. It's busy days at work. Today we had two scholars from Germany visiting the manuscript reading room. Luckily, they could speak English. We have been challenged several times recently by visitors who have asked for material not found in any of the catalogs. We do have a huge collection (more than seven million items) and a fairly large part of it is not properly cataloged. As a general rule, if it was printed in Sweden, we should have it. It's a repository library, we (should) get everything printed in this country. I mean everything. The paper ads displaying the local grocery store's special deals, newspapers, brochures from the IRS explaining how to do your taxes, phone directories, text books, maps, billboard posters, novels & poetry, calendars, yearbooks from local historical societies, annual reports from businesses, glossy magazines, encyclopedias, mail order catalogs, children's books and fact books about any imaginable subject. It's a challenge to keep track of everything.

Tomorrow I will travel to my mother's place after work and spend the weekend there. We will see Jane and her family on Sunday.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Projects at work

There are still problems with the trains, but it's not as bad as it could have been. During the summer there is the summer pass, which is much more affordable than the regular monthly card. The summer pass gives you 50 rides in Skåne, no matter the length of the trip. My monthly card is only valid between Kävlinge and Lund, so now I can go to other cities more easily. This year I haven't been to that many other places. The weather has been either too warm or too rainy. Right now it's cloudy and very windy, and I decided to stay at home.

We have a lot to do at work, because of all the extra projects. They hired three people to move some 40 000 books and they did that much faster than we expected. We had to come up with another task, so they are now out at a remote storage to unpack eight pallets with books. This means that we have to give them a ride there every morning, get them for lunch and pick them up at 3 in the afternoon. Lots of driving, and my boss who was supposed to do most of it got sick, so I have had a busy week. I have also tried to train the recent employee to manage retrieval from the older collection, discarded unwanted books and several other things. Next week will be even worse, two of the most experienced colleagues will be away (one just got married and the other is a heavy metal fan who goes to Germany for a music festival every year).

In about a week Leroy Anderson's daughter Jane and her family will visit Sweden! They will arrive in Kristianstad on Saturday and spend about five days there. It will be great to see them again, and I really hope the weather improves until then.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Saturday I didn't do much, but Sunday was shopping day. I went by train and bus to Väla, a large mall outside Helsingborg. There is a special (and expensive) clothing store for the full sized woman, and it's affordable only during sales. I ended up with two pairs of jeans and a long tunic. I also found bargains in other stores, some tops mainly. One store had the offer of getting three pieces on sale and pay only for two, and annoyingly I found two pieces there that I wanted. After some searching I chose a skirt also.

Monday morning the work of exchanging the train tracks beween Malmö and Lund started. It was not a good day for the train operators in this region. The line is heavily used, and even though it is summer, the number of passengers is large. Instead of three trains an hour, there is now only one an hour for me to get to and from work. A significant change, since I have never had to bother about the schedule before. We will have to endure this arrangement for three weeks.

Since my father asked me to get a book for him about the area in southern Stockholm where he grew up, I also ordered some books I have been thinking about for a while. I got two cookbooks for myself, by the same authors (two sisters). I had one of their books on loan for several years, that's how interesting it is. Both books contain recipes for cookies, cakes, icecream and other sweets. Some examples: Southern pecan pie, Death by chocolate, Aunt Martha's secret almond & nougat cake and pop tarts. Definitely my kind of cookbook.

This evening I went by train from work to Helsingborg (45 minute ride) for the only reason to have dinner at Ebba's cafe. It's a well known cafe with everything in 1950s style. Posters with ads for soft drinks no longer in existence, real china plates and utensils from that era, a jukebox playing Elvis and old fashioned food. They have hamburgers, salads and sandwiches, in addition to a huge selection of homebaked cookies. I got a grilled chicken sandwich that was very nice. Pecan pie for dessert.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Failed cakes

It has been a pretty ordinary week at work. The weather is not so good anymore (rain showers and partly sunny), and it's bearable to sit at my desk. We have started on the summer projects, and it's not fun. I sit and compare about 5000 printouts from the database with a card catalog. Very boring. The others got their share of tasks: one got the long term project of moving about 20 000 meters of books and another is scanning an entire set of a journal which started around 1890.

Yesterday evening I made an attempt at baking cupcakes and failed. I started baking according to the recipe and discovered that the wheat flour was outdated. I couldn't use it, so I had to walk across town to the store. They were out of flour! How is it possible not to have such a basic food item in stock?! I had to walk even further to the other store to get it. Back home I continued baking and decided to add pieces of strawberries. The result was not good. I claim that there was something wrong with the recipe, the cakes were not baked all through. I was supposed to treat my colleagues today, but they got bought cookies instead. They actually commented on it, because I always have homebaked ones.

Monday, July 6, 2009

More research

Despite the hot and humid weather I went on the free bus to the mall Saturday. In retrospect, I probably should have stayed at home. It was an ordeal to try on clothes and shoes in such a temperature. Even though most of the stores are under a roof, it took a long time to get cooled off indoors. I did find a few tops and a pair of (short) jeans.

The rest of the weekend was slower. I talked to my mother several times on the phone to help her with clues to crosswords. It's kind of difficult when you don't see the actual crossword, but we finally managed all of the missing clues. I hope she wins something when sending them in. I also did some more searching in my grandfather's ancestors, trying to get further back on the Danish side. It was fairly successful, thanks to other researcher's postings on the internet. We descend from people named Lorup, Finck, and Torm, in addition to more Danish-sounding names like Christensen, Jensen and Olufsen. They originate mainly from Denmark, northern Germany and Holland. Several lines can be traced back to the 15th century, and that's rather unusual. I would never have found information about the ancestors that far back without access to the internet.

Speaking of ancestors, my mother got an interesting book for her birthday at the end of June. It was from John, and the book was entitled: For my grandchild. It is like a simplified autobiography. It contained many pages with questions like favorite color, lucky number, how did your parents meet, where did you grow up, where did you go to school, when did you leave home, and many, many more. There was also a family tree with spaces to write the names of the ancestors. The idea is that she fills in all the answers and then gives the book back to John. I encourage all efforts to make people write about their lives, and I hope my mother will take the time to fill in the answers in this book.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Upgrade and weather

It had been a tough week for the others at work when I was at Furuboda. The database was upgraded, and it went rather badly. When the database started functioning again on Wednesday, the staff members (at about 30 libraries) entered all the transactions they had kept on paper for over a week. The next day there was a message saying that all the transactions done Wednesday had been lost and no back-up had been made. By then several libraries had shelved all their returns. This means that there are thousands of books on shelves that are still on loan, according to the database. It will be interesting to see what the patrons will say when they get notifications about books they have already returned. And then there are all the books that really are on loan and will be lost, because there is no longer any evidence indicating the patron's names. This was one of the best upgrades, believe it or not. On other occasions we have had much bigger problems.

The weather has been very sunny and warm, with some thunder and rain. It's very humid also, and it's not at all pleasant to work in the old part of the library where my desk is. It's much better to be down in the basement where it's cooler. Unfortunately, I don't have any projects to do in the basement. At home there is 29 centigrades in the kitchen and it's kind of difficult to do any extensive cooking.

There are sales in almost every store at this time of year, but I haven't really had the energy to go to that many of them. The only bargain was a pair of jeans for 99 SEK. Apart from that, just some small things. I have also been to several opticians because I need new glasses, but haven't found any ones to my liking yet.