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Thursday, January 28, 2010


The weather has been interesting here. There was a magnificent snow storm yesterday afternoon and evening. It was ok as long as it just snowed, but then it started to blow real hard, and that's when there are logistical problems. I went home almost two hours earlier than normal so that I wouldn't get stuck in Lund. I was lucky to catch a train that was the only one going that hour. There are three an hour usually that I can get home on. So there were passengers from three trains onboard. Not fun.

The car that had radiator problems is now repaired, to our great sorrow. We had hoped we would get a new one to drive to the storages with. I guess we will have to make do with the old Volvo a few more years.

The week at work has so far been a very average one. The meetings, both formal and informal, have been about the lack of staff and why the routines for the open collection don't work. No solution in sight, unfortunately. Right now I have desk duty, and there is a total of one visitor. A little boring, but there were a few more earlier.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New TV

I forgot to write what I did last Sunday. I removed the Christmas ornaments and put the tree back in the attic. It actually took most of the day. And my apartment isn't large, it's only two rooms. I couldn't get the ornaments to fit in the boxes either, I must have bought too many items and/or not thrown away enough items.

I have continued to do research about the people mentioned in Olga's almanacs, both relatives and not. I'm lucky to work at such a big library, because we have the newspapers on microfilm. There were obituaries that shed some light on what people had been doing for a living, for instance. One thing that really bothered me was the entries about Olga's niece Agnes. It said almost every Friday that Agnes arrived back from Varberg and every Sunday that Agnes returned to Varberg. But what on earth was she doing there? This was of course obvious to Olga, but I couldn't figure it out until Agnes, at about age 60, got sick and ended up in hospital. Olga then wrote that Agnes had received flowers from her class in Varberg. She was a school teacher!

There are so many interesting things in these almanacs. Apart from the personal things she wrote about for instance: the beginnings of World War II, the ending of the same, food rationing, when they got color TV for the first time, when we changed from driving on the left side of the road to the right, the first time a woman was ordained to priesthood and many other events.

Today my father and his girlfriend were here, and we got so much done. I now have a new TV!!! I can't say I have missed it greatly, though. But we started by emptying the fridge and freezer and put the food on the balcony. There was a thick layer of ice inside the freezer and I wanted to get rid of it. We then threw the old TV at the recycling station and went to the mall to find a new one. After some measuring (it couldn't be wider than 80 cm because of the book case) and some thinking, I decided on a flat Samsung. The brand was not important at all, really. Then we did some shopping at the indoor mall, but not much. I got a fair amount of groceries (and a fire extinguisher!) at the store before we returned home also. I didn't think there was so much ice in the freezer, but there was quite a lot of water on the kitchen floor when we got back. Still, it took hours to get all of the ice out. My father installed the TV, but didn't get the channels right, so I will have to work on that later. He also installed the weather station he gave me for Christmas. Now I can see what the temperature is outdoors and also the weather forecast.

Speaking of weather, it's about 7 degrees below zero and pretty chilly. There is some snow on the ground still. It has been a long and cold winter, and it seems to continue.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Archive visit

I haven't done much research for other people the past six months or so. But all of a sudden there have been several requests coming. This, in addition to being curious about some people mentioned in the old almanacs I'm reading, made me decide to go to the archive Saturday. It was a day full of research and I still didn't have time to check everything. One of the requests was really an impossible one, because the church records had been destroyed by fire. I couldn't find a way around it, unfortunately.

I have now finished reading the almanacs written by Olga 1910-1981. It was truly amazing to come to know her life this way. I have an entire writing pad filled with notes of various kinds. It's going to take a long while to put this together, but someday I hope to write her life story.

Not having a TV has meant more radio listening. I especially favor the station that plays rock music, www.rockklassiker.se. (To listen live click on Lyssna live and wait for 20 sec). It reminds me of my youth.....

The week at work is filled with - work! These past two weeks have been pretty tough. Someone said that there are more students than ever before at the university. You notice this also in town, there are lots of young people in the restaurants and book stores.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lots to shelve

The three pieces of cheese that I chose for my Christmas present finally arrived, after almost two weeks in the mail. They seemed to be ok. They were ripe and sharp in taste, I tried one on top of pizza and it turned out great.

This week has been busy at work. More busy than I thought. It turned out that the stacks staff had to do also other people's jobs. We do not ever shelve the books in the open collection, other people are supposed to. It's the same thing every year. The desk in the open collection is closed during the holidays. This means that the staff doesn't shelve there either, even though several of them are working. To me, this behavior is not acceptable. If the staff in my department would lack in responsibility to that extent, I would be really upset. There are few things more important than having the open collection in order. Wednesday there were about ten carts with books not shelved. The situation in the stacks was under control, mainly because I had sorted five-six carts every day and actively tried to keep up. It wasn't a surprise that we would get a lot of returns this week. It's like this every year, but somehow the open collection staff seems to forget it. Or doesn't care.

The project of reading the almanac entries written by my great great aunt Olga continues. It is incredibly interesting. I have come to the 1970s now. The first time I visited Olga and her nieces (four unmarried women shared a house) was apparently in 1972. I was two years old then, and was there with my parents and grandmother. It even said what they had served us; open faced sandwiches, cake and coffee.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Since I still don't have a TV, I have started on a project. It involves the almanacs written by my great great aunt Olga. It turned out to be a huge material to go through. The first one is from 1910 and the last one from 1981. She died in 1985. I met her several times, we visited once every summer. The almanacs contain short statements of what she did, like put up new wallpaper, baked gingersnaps or went to the beach. She also wrote about other family members, especially when they came to visit her, but also if they were on trips elsewhere. This means that I can trace my great grandfather's travels abroad. He was a sales director for Swedish Match for a long time, 1919-1956 approximately. He was travelling a lot in Europe. He even did one trip by air to the US in 1951, to a chemical company in New York (this I knew from passenger lists on Ancestry.com). I have read through the almanacs for 1910-1950, and I really think that it's worth the time and effort to write Olga's life story. It will have to be a long term project, but at least I have started.

Saturday I went to Svedala church to attend the baptismal ceremony of Lucas, the third child of my cousin Anders (this is also on my father's side). It was a nice ceremony. The godparents were Anders' sister-in-law and her Australian husband (they had married just three days before). They reside outside Townsville in northeastern Australia. Anders' wife has great talents in baking and had made seven kinds of cookies for the coffee after the baptism. There were also two large cakes. Everything delicious. There were few guests from Anders' side of the family, mainly due to the cold weather, other engagements and the fact that his parents are on a trip to - Australia!

Today I have been sitting on the couch reading almanacs and also managed to do the laundry. Tomorrow will be a busy day at work, mostly because they decided that the 11th would be the first return day for books after the holidays. We will get large loads of books to stacks, without a doubt.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Slow beginning

The beginning of the new year has been fairly slow with rather few activities. The weekend was spent at home. It was too cold to go out. I vacuumed, baked a chocolate cake, made some more ornaments for the tree, watched TV, started sorting the documents on the floor (again) and spent a few hours trying to solve one of the brick-wall genealogy cases (no luck).

I worked Monday and Tuesday, and there were quite a lot of requests. The librarians at the desk said that the students already got their reading lists (semester starts at the end of January). Today is Twelfth Day, a holiday in Sweden, so we are off from work. It's a little strange to have a day off in the middle of the week. This year there will be very few extra days off. Our national holiday is on a Sunday, Labor Day is on a Saturday, All Saint's Day is on a Saturday and then Christmas Eve is on a Friday. We do not get any compensation for this. One positive thing though is the fact that I will get more vacation days this year. It will be a total of 35 days now. It's very generous, but they have to give us something else in return for the lousy salary. This is the way it is in state/governmental jobs, though I have to admit that I can't complain about my salary. It seems like I don't have the huge expenses many other people have either. I don't have a car, for instance. My hobbies don't cost much. The only cell phone I have is the one they gave me at work. And then I like to shop in second hand-stores.

One very annoying thing happened last night - my TV quit working! This is one of those occasions when I wished I had a car. I can't just go to the store and buy a new TV, it's a little too heavy to carry on the train.....