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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Book sale

There is only one event left in the Olympic games and that's the ice-hockey final between the US and Canada. Sweden got a total of eleven medals and that's a great result. The cross country skiers did best. The gold medal in curling (women's) was won after an incredible match against the homeland of curling, Canada. The audience was surprisingly quiet when it was clear, after the very last stone, that Sweden was the winner. I was awake until 2 pm Friday night to watch the game, but I gave up when Canada was in the lead by 4-2. I never thought that the Swedish team would be able to win, so I went to bed.

Saturday morning I went to Lund to look at the books offered at the annual book sale. It was interesting to see, but I didn't buy any. There was maybe one book with chocolate cake recipes that I might get later, but it's uncertain. I also did some shopping for a party the social club will host in March. It will have a safari theme, and it has been difficult to get suitable items for it. But I found napkins with elephants on and some small plastic toys in the shape of wild animals to have for decorations. We will also get candy shaped like monkeys and marshmallow bananas. In the afternoon I was at work to start writing that biography. I did some more genealogy on Olga's brother-in-law's family, since she had mentioned some of them in her almanacs. They seem to have been sailors. Two of his brothers were missing in the 1900 census, and I wonder if they might have emigrated. An American woman named Gladys (without surname) was mentioned as having sent letters to Olga's niece. There could be a connection there somehow.

The attentative reader of this blog (if there are any) might have noticed that I have only been to the mall once this year. This is mainly because of the bad weather. The weather is much better now, rather wet and mild. Still some snow on the ground, though. Today I intended on going to the mall by bus, but when I got to the bus stop the driver was unable to get the vehicle started. The batteries had died, and he called for another bus, but it took so long time that I gave up. I walked downtown Kävlinge and did some grocery shopping instead. This afternoon I spent almost two hours on the phone with another researcher. She will publish the travel diary written by Nils Nilsson during his emigrant journey to Australia in 1909. He was a relative of mine (on the Mattisson side) and she wanted more information about him and his family.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Melting snow

It is my turn to drive the storage round this week. There have been some minor problems and Monday I refused because of the icy roads, but apart from that it has functioned. The roads are rather narrow because of the bad plowing, and getting out from the parking space at the library can be tricky. Starting there it's now like a one way street about 500 meters and I always seem to meet the huge postal service truck there. Yesterday I had to back up twice to let trucks pass by (both of them headed to the library).

It is raining right now and the weather is a lot milder than before. There is still snow, but it's rather wet. The spring flood might cause problems in a few days or weeks, there are enormous amounts of snow that will turn into water. My sister made a comment to one of the blogs and said that her husband had been shovelling snow from the garage roof, there had been 60 cm of snow there. They got more than we did here in the very south. In other parts of Sweden roofs of sports arenas have caved in from the pressure.

It's Thursday afternoon and I attend the manuscript reading room. There is one visitor. All members of stacks staff worked for her today, she asked for all the material we have about a certain trade union. Let's just say that there were a few items.

In the world of sports, Sweden got more Olympic medals. The 4 x 10 km cross country relay was also a very exciting race, and Sweden finally won. The cross country participants have done very well, but one wonders what happened to the ice-hockey team. They lost against Slovakia and is out of the tournament. What a disgrace.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

More Olympic medals

I made my own Lenten buns this week. Meaning I bought the individual ingredients and put it together. I didn't bake anything. There are limits.

I really wonder when this winter will end. It was great the first few weeks, but we are getting tired of all the snow now. A lot of it melted yesterday, but today it was freezing, so the roads are very icy. Mid-Sweden is experiening great difficulties because of the weather. During the night 2500 passengers were stuck onboard trains out on the tracks. That's what you have to count on when commuting with the national railway service......

The Swedish Olympic team has a total of six medals now. Last night I watched the incredibly exciting 30 km cross country race, where Sweden got the gold and bronze medals. The race was dramatic, with a Swede leading a large part of it by 15-20 seconds, but the others caught up on him just before the finish and he ended third.

This weekend was similar to the previous one, I have mostly watched TV. Also did the laundry today. I have made a plan for Olga's biography, with chapter headings and source list. It's an interesting project, I have never written anything like this before.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lenten buns

Some of my colleagues were envious of my delicious salmon lunches, and rightfully so. It's sometimes difficult to come up with good recipes and vary the menus. I tend to make basically the same dishes, for instance sausage casserole, pasta with meatsauce and Thai chicken.

This week the employer treated us to the traditional Lenten buns. Very tasty wheat buns with whipped cream and almond paste.

The weather is milder here now, just about freezing temperature. It's snowing again, this time it's moist snow and not so slippery. There was a hearing in parliament today, where the railway company had to explain why they had failed so miserably to maintain the train service during this winter. It was the national train service company, not the local one in Skåne. They promised improvements, of course, but people find it hard to believe. One local train had derailed north of here this evening, causing massive train delays. Again, I was lucky and got on the "right" train home.

So far, Sweden has two gold medals in the Olympics. One in cross country skiing and one in biathlon. It's a little strange, but biathlon is pretty exciting to watch. It was possible to see it live, since it was in the evening our time. It's incredible that the athletes are willing to train that hard for it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New member of the family

A big congratulation to my sister and her husband who became parents of a baby girl very early this morning!!! It's a very suitable day to have a baby on Valentine's Day, because it's easy to remember. Everything went well.

In my own world not much has happened. I have taken it easy this weekend also, and mostly watched TV (no Olympic medals yet) and tried to clear the floor of various items not belonging there. Also cleared out parts of the closet and did some cooking. There will be salmon lunches the next few work days.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Busy week

It has been a tough week at work. The other driver has been on vacation, so I was forced to drive the storage rounds. I haven't had any problems driving, actually. I tested the brakes on the slippery parts, so I knew how the car would react. Today I had to go back again to the first storage, though. I had made a mistake this morning and sent a request to the wrong place. Then half of the shelving system failed to co-operate. It wasn't movable at all. This usually solves itself until the next day, and I decided that those requests had to wait until Monday.

The weather hasn't been that bad, there isn't any more snow than last week. But they sure don't know how to plow the streets in this town. Even so, they have used up almost all the budget on it. We don't normally have winters like this, so there is not much money set aside for snow removal.

Later today the Olympic Games will start. Since it's in western Canada, there will be very little live viewing for us. Most of it will take place late evening until 5 AM our time. Swedish Television will broadcast everything, but it looks like I will only see some of the evening events. Nevertheless, we hope the Swedish team will do better than ever before and bring those medals home!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bad Wednesday

Still snow and cold, but not as much as last week. I was lucky with the trains all days except Friday afternoon, when there was a somewhat chaotic situation at the station in Lund. There were three northbound trains scheduled to depart, but none of them did. At least not even close to the estimated time. One train had the doors open, the display listed Helsingborg and everything looked like normal. About 20 minutes after the departure time, there was a message saying that the train didn't have a driver and they didn't know where he was..... I got out (along with a few hundred others) and went over to another platform, where another train was standing. After waiting another 20 minutes it actually left, and no one knows how delayed that train really was.

Wednesday was a day no one at my department cares to remember. It started already before I had arrived at work. When I got out of the bus near the library, it was so slippery that I fell face down right into a pile of snow. I didn't turn around to see the other passenger's reactions, but I can imagine it. No harm done, luckily. Since the weather is so bad, I can't drive the car at work. I have no experience driving in these conditions, and it means that another colleague has done all the storage rounds this entire year. This Wednesday he was particularly upset, and I don't blame him. It wasn't plowed at one of the storages and he got stuck there. When he got out of the car to retrieve the books, he realized that he had his own house keys with him - not the storage keys. He had big trouble getting out, but managed to drive back to the library to get the right keys. When he returned it was plowed. At the third storage there was a big garbage truck blocking the way, and there was no driver in it. He waited for five minutes, then gave up and went to the fourth storage. When he got back to the third, it was clear way, but he couldn't find the two clipping collections that someone had requested. He was in a really bad mood when he got back to the library. In the afternoon he went back to the third storage again, this time bringing another colleague and the print out of the catalogue card. They found one of the collections, and then he gave me the not so pleasant job of explaining to the patron that we couldn't locate all the material, even though it's in the catalogue.

This weekend has been a slow one. I have been out a few times to get groceries. Mostly I have searched the internet for information about events that Olga wrote about in her almanacs. I found a very interesting account of the events in Sweden during World War II. It matched with the dates and information Olga had written. Since her family was involved in shipping, she especially noted when ships had been lost. She also wrote about the Jewish refugees arriving in Halmstad, the American planes that had made emergency landings there and all the different ration cards she had to get. She sold cheese in the square and also had to get a special license in order to continue. Reading her almanacs is like visiting a different era.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dry cup-cakes

There is even more snow now. I'm not sure I remember there to have been this kind of winter in southern Sweden before. There was that winter of 1979, which people here are comparing this one to, but I have no memory of it. I had to go home early from work also today. The snow drift is impressive and the high winds and freezing temperatures make all transportation very difficult. It said on the newspaper website that people have left their cars on the road and walked home because they couldn't continue driving. We'll see if I make it to work tomorrow. We have flexible hours, so I can come in anytime before 9 AM, but I really shouldn't be that late. If I arrive after 8, there are problems coping with the work load.

This past weekend I continued with the old almanacs, trying to figure out how to write Olga's life story. I have taken so many notes that it fills two writing pads in folio format. I will have problems picking out the entries, because there are so many interesting things to include.

Monday afternoon the board of the social club at work had a meeting. I thought I would make an effort and bake some chocolate+cinnamon cup-cakes to serve the others. The cakes didn't turn out that great, unfortunately. In retrospect, I should have taken more butter and more sugar. The dry cakes were eaten anyway. My colleagues are not that picky, apparently. At the meeting we managed to decide dates and places for several upcoming events, so it was pretty successful.