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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Second hand items

It has been another week with lots of returns and also three meetings. Two ordinary ones and one more on Dewey. We discussed how on earth we will cope with changing all the call numbers on 70 000 books. We decided that we can't. We will have to make the current collection a "dead" one and start over with the number system next year. The problem is space. There will be more meetings on this subject, I'm sure...

The weather here is not very spring-like. It's still not warm. The far northern part of Sweden has had better weather than we have down here. It's windy and rainy. I hope it improves quickly, because we will have a picnic on Wednesday.

This weekend I have been in Lund both days. Yesterday I went to a closing-down sale. It was a gift shop and they had Swedish style souvenirs more than half price off. I did some shopping there, and I also got some office materials. The second hand store in Lund had a pizza plate of the same kind I had dropped on the floor a few months ago, so I got that one. I went to a book shop and noticed several used books on emigration. When I looked at them more closely, I noticed that they were rather unusual for being sold here in Sweden. It was mainly local histories of small towns in North Dakota and Minnesota, for instance. Also some cookbooks with Scandinavian-American recipes. Some of them had a dedication on the title page. I just stared at the names - Karin and Stig Johansson. I know where those books came from - my distant relatives who both died within the last two years. I had only met them once and weren't able to communicate with them because of their poor health, and it's really sad that their books ended up there. In the 1970s and 1980s they had made several trips to the US (without having relatives there) and the books they bought ended up being a fair sized collection. I bought three of them now, and might go back for some more later.

Today was another trunk fleamarket in Lund. I bought some necklaces (to get the beads) and a book (fiction) on Swedish gold diggers in Alaska. I will give the book to my father. He has been talking about going to Alaska some day.

This evening has been very busy. I started cooking and for some strange reason half an onion ended up behind the stove. It was very slippery..... I couldn't get to it, so I finished cooking (sausage stew and rice - tasty) and then moved the stove. The wall behind it looked terrible, so I decided to clean. The mess extended into the actual kitchen also, so I continued cleaning the floor with a mop. And then I also did the bathroom floor. It was hard work and I was exhausted afterwards. The whole apartment now smells of lemon.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Carnival in Lund

Sorry about the long silence. Most of last week was uneventful, so there was nothing to write about. When I finally had something to write about, my computer was not cooperative.

Last week there was a shift in the flow to and from stacks. We now have more returns than requests. It's at the end of the semester, and the students are finishing their courses. During the summer we will get visits from scholars mostly.

Last Friday the student carnival in Lund started. It's only every four years, so it's a big event in town. They occupy one of the park areas near the church of dome and offer shows, concerts, theater, dance, food and drinks (lots), and several other things. It's arranged by 5000 volunteer students. People visit from other parts of Sweden, and also Denmark. I stayed in town after work on Friday to do some people-watching, listen to the student bands playing and to see the Rufus Wainwright concert. The concert was pretty good, and it was surprising that they managed to get an international star to perform there.

Saturday I watched the parade. Along with 250 000 other people. Very, very crowded. There were about 16 floats on the back of trucks slowly driving through town, and in between there were marching bands, small floats on wheels and students in different costumes. What a spectacle! The floats illustrated, in the minds of students, current events. Among other things, there were references to bad student economy, the constant delays in the public transportation system, lack of housing (a tent on wheels), the Icelandic volcano (a papier-maché volcano with smoke), bonus programs for executives (new subject to learn at the economics faculty), the upcoming royal wedding and general partying. It was well organized and fun to watch.

Sunday was the last carnival day, but I wasn't there. I had laundry to do. I went through my closet and threw away some old clothes also.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Shopping at Ikea

Friday I had to work and we were rather busy. I did another person's job also, but I could leave at about 2 in the afternoon. I managed to go grocery shopping and clean some more in the apartment before my mother arrived at 6 in the evening. She had brought small photos of Olga, and I will use them in the biography. It's a long-term project, and I have no time plan, but it's moving forward.

Saturday it was raining unbelievable amounts, so the only thing we could do was to go shopping. Not that it's a problem, but still. I had heard of a second hand store in Åkarp, but had never been there. We made this our first stop and it turned out to be a large and well organized place. My mother found a small table for her deck at the summer house. After this, we drove to Ikea in Malmö. It's a new building and probably one of the biggest Ikea stores in this country. This was my first visit at the new place. It was packed with people, not only from Sweden, but also from Denmark. We started with having a very nice lunch and then we walked the long round in the store looking at furniture and other things. I tried their beds, and found (to no surprise) that the most exepensive one was also the best one. They had wooden floor boards (in the shape of small squares) for sale there, and after some calculating and measuring, I got seven packages. After several hours at Ikea, we were tired and went home.

This morning we cleared out my attic space. We brought cardboard boxes, an old lamp, damaged kitchenware and other things to the recycling place on the other side of town. It's strange how much junk finds its way up to the attic, and it was great to get rid of it. Then we went north to the fleamarket town of Marieholm. We went to three places there, but I was the only one who made a purchase - two egg cups. This afternoon we have been busy cleaning the balcony and laying the floor boards there. It looks much better than the grey concrete. We have also replanted some of the flowers. Meaning that my mother did it and I cleaned up afterwards. For dinner we had pizza and then my mother drove home to her place again.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Trunk fleamarket

Sunday I got out of bed fairly early and went to Lund to go swimming at the indoor pool. I missed it the previous Wednesday because I forgot the swimsuit at home. There were lots of people Sunday, but it was ok anyway. Just behind the building there is a football field, and this day there was a "trunk" fleamarket. People park their cars at the sides of this field, open their trunks and sell items from there. Most of them had a table in front also. The prices were very low, and I got two pairs of short pants and some necklaces.

The only thing worth writing about from the work place is the cake we got Wednesday. Monday morning we received the 10 000th article request. We have had this service for two years and it's very popular. We work hard with it and we told our boss that we expected cake to celebrate. She complied.

Today is Ascension day, a holiday. I have spent a few hours at the mall Nova, but didn't get much. I have been looking for some sort of floorboards for my balcony, but haven't decided on any yet. I need some assistance getting it home, so I have to wait until either of my parents visits. My mother has actually been talking about coming here this weekend. For this reason I have also spent a fair amount of time tidying up in the apartment today.

The flowers on the balcony are still alive, even though the weather has been pretty bad. Lots of rain and colder than usual in May. We are really waiting for better times here.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lots of meetings

It has been a week of meetings. Not the most constructive ones, but we have to pretend we are deciding something. The best one was the social club board meeting, where we greeted two new members and managed to decide on a date for the picnic and the destination for the fall excursion. Both items will be kept a secret for now. At the stacks meeting I handed out a 17 item project list for the summer. When I wanted volunteers for these projects, there was silence. It will take some persuasion to get those things done. The third meeting was about the problems we will encounter when we start using Dewey as a classification system next year. We will have to rearrange the entire open collection (70 000 books) and the reference section (30 000 books). It's not only a question of moving them physically, we have to change the entry in the catalog also. There are several issues left to solve. We have absolutely no staff for this. We have no room to rearrange anything either. The number one rule about libraries is the fact that they never cease growing.

Today I have been in Helsingborg. One of my favorite places to go shopping. I located a second hand store I had never been to before. I had to take the bus from the station, and that's always interesting. They drive like mad in that town. You have to hold on tight even though you are sitting down. But I survived the trip and found the store to be quite large and packed from floor to ceiling with all sorts of things. Clothes, furniture, china, kitchen utensils, books, and much else. I got two egg cups and a table cloth. Unfortunately, the owner was aware of what things were worth, so it wasn't possibly to make any great finds. I continued on another bus to the mall to have lunch. Also did some minor shopping there. The weather was kind of bad, so the mall was really crowded. On the way back I stopped by at the café in 1950s style and got a piece of chocolate cheese cake with orange flavor topping to go. I can't make cakes like that.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Peanut butter cookies

The end of the work week was rather busy because we had to move back all the furniture and everything else to our room. I was very happy to get my computer back. Friday was half working day, but I stayed longer to get things in order on my desk. For the morning coffee I had baked peanut butter cookies. It was a somewhat delayed celebration of my birthday. The cookies turned out pretty good, so there were no leftovers.

Friday was Walpurgis night, which is the time when we light bonfires and celebrate the arrival of spring by singing. This is the traditional way, at least. In Lund they have an additional tradition including astronomical amounts of alcohol. The students occupy the city park, drink, sing, play and go crazy. It looks like there have been riots afterwards. I avoided all of it.

Saturday was May 1st, which is our Labor Day. The day for political speeches and union demonstrations. Neither interests me, so I went shopping at the mall instead. I got some flowers for the balcony. When I came home I got the furniture down from the attic and placed it on the balcony. I made a mess in the kitchen when I planted the flowers, but now there are pink, white and blue flowers in the box and on the table outside. Let's see how long they survive.

The mess in the kitchen meant that I had to start this day by vacuuming. I also did the laundry and went grocery shopping. Necessary, but not worth writing about, really.