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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Train delays and cancellations

I don't think it has ever happened that I have posted two entries the same day. But this has been an extraordinary day. I started from Kävlinge at 4 PM, changed trains in Lund and got as far as Eslöv. We were told that there was no power on the line between Hässleholm and Höör, so the trains had to terminate in Eslöv. We all got out and went to the bus terminal, where there were supposed to be buses for us. Every normal person could understand that there is no way they could find that many buses. There are at least four departures an hour going past Hässleholm, each containing hundreds of passengers. The train I went on was triple the normal length - it was rush hour. I spent three hours in Eslöv and then gave up, went back to Lund and had dinner at Burger King (no food at the apartment), and returned home. I have just written a very angry message to the train service company. If they had had the sense of telling us that the train wouldn't go further than Eslöv before we embarked on the train, I would have made it. I would have taken the other route from Lund, going to Helsingborg instead and changed trains there to Hässleholm, and further on. A detour, but it would have worked. No one said anything about this, and that's what is bothering me the most. There are alternative ways, but the train crew/station announcer didn't even hint this fact. There is even a bus from Lund that I could have taken, if I had known about the problem. I really hope they have fixed it by tomorrow. I will make a new attempt then.

Upcoming trip

I haven't really done much because I have a cold and feel rather tired. I managed to do the laundry yesterday and get groceries, that's about all. I have been sitting in front of the computer a little to look for more information about emigrants also.

This afternoon I'm going to my mother's place again. On Thursday we are going to drive to Borås in her car, with a large part of her belongings. We did the same thing last year. We will keep up the tradition of making a stop at Sweden's largest outlet store in Ullared on the way, and this I look forward to. I will be in Borås about a week and I hope of course that there will be opportunities for shopping also there.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Museum visit

Since I was in Lund anyway last Tuesday to get treatment by the chiropractor, I went to the library also to see what was really going on there. They had actually managed to rearrange things so that it was functioning better, which was a relief. There were very few staff members that week and the semester is about to start, so they were busy. I did some chores while I was there, but not a lot.

Wednesday I spent the entire day at the archive. It was for one of the projects I have started on, emigrants from other parishes. Thursday was a busy day. I worked in the morning (one of the others had to be elsewhere). At noon about 30 librarians went by bus to a museum near Skurup. It's a memorabilia museum with lots of different things like old cars and bicycles, interiors from several kinds of businesses; bank, hair dresser, smith, carpenter, general store, book binder and car mechanic. Many things from the 1950s and a special exhibit on wooden toys. Also other strange items such as a barrel organ and a balcony from an old theater. Very interesting place. We had coffee and cakes there also. After returning to the library, we had drinks outdoors and then we walked downtown to have dinner at a restaurant. More people attended this event, about 40. It was a buffet with chicken, cold cuts, salmon, potato salad and vegetables. High quality food. The excursion was yet another success arranged by the social club - and surprisingly easy to make bookings for (I did all of it). The biggest problem is finding a restaurant that can have up to 60 seated people and agree on a menu that all of them can eat. It worked out very nicely this time.

Most of Friday I spent cleaning the apartment and trying to get things more organized. The new Ikea catalog had arrived, and I started to make some plans for the bedroom. Even though I have thrown out several bags of clothes, I need more storage space. I'm thinking of getting one more wardrobe. I also want to get a new mirror in the hallway and some other small items. Yesterday I went to the mall to see what the other furniture stores had to offer and there were some really nice items there. Much more expensive than at Ikea, though, but I wanted to compare.

It seems like the fall weather has arrived. It's colder, rather rainy and windy. It's difficult to get used to after such a warm summer. I also have a cold, and it's not making things better.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Start of vacation

Sorry about the long silence. The last week at work before my vacation started Thursday was a little crazy. I actually couldn't go to work last Monday because of my bad back ache. The chiropractor said he had never seen my back in such a condition. And all this because I had been sleeping in my new bed..... Really annoying. My back is a lot better now. Tuesday and Wednesday were busy days, trying to get the others updated and making sure things would function during my absence.

Wednesday evening I went to my mother's place by train and bus. Thursday my sister and her family arrived. Friday her in-laws arrived also. We have had a full house. We haven't been extremely active, but still we have been in Åhus (flea market, art glass factory, shopping street and marina), to the beach (John would throw himself into water of any temperature it seems) and to the museum train (Brösarp - S:t Olof round trip in an old third class train with a steam engine from 1914 - a fun ride)! We have also been picking mushrooms and blackberries. The weather has been quite nice until today when it started to rain. I returned home this evening by train.

As you can probably imagine, my efforts to make things work at the library were useless. I read my work e-mail this evening. I have been away for three days and things have already gone straight to hell. I got a message saying they can't even make the deadline this week. I lack words.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tour of the library

It has been a fairly slow week at work, even though we have had quite a few requests. I have also tried to clear my desk. Books and papers have a strange tendency to pile up on my desk.

Wednesday at noon I walked down to the Church of Dome to meet the Andersons. They had arrived on the train just before that. Keira had a friend from college studying here, and she and her boyfriend joined us for lunch at a pizza place. Afterwards we walked (in rain) through Lundagård (park) up to my library. I brought them to the basement level and showed the oldest collection of books. They were also shown my messy desk, one floor of the stacks, the large rune stone in the entry hall and the manuscript reading room. After this express visit I walked with them to the station and they just barely made it on the intended train back to Kristianstad. It was very nice to see them again, and it seemed like they were enjoying their visit to Sweden. They went to Germany by train early the next morning.

Friday morning I woke up with a neck ache, probably from sleeping in an odd position. I have slept in my new bed for a few weeks and I'm not totally agreeing with it yet. The ache has actually become worse, now it hurts all the time and I can't find a way to sit/stand without feeling the pain. I can't even stand up straight. I went online to find my chiropractor (who has moved), and managed to get an appointment on Monday afternoon. It's the last weekend with the summer pass and I thought I would go somewhere, but the pain and the rain have kept me inside. It has been raining the entire day.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Andersons on a visit

Thursday evening I went to my mother's place by train and bus. I needed a hair cut and since my mother has talents in that direction, she did it.

Friday morning we went grocery shopping and in the afternoon I drove off to Kristianstad to meet the Andersons. They arrived by train from Stockholm at 2 PM. Mark and his daughters Keira and Alexa (and I) were shown parts of the town by Tommy, who was the chairman of the Centennial committee two years ago. We visited the Holy Trinity Church which is right by the train station. It was built 1618-1628 on the order of the Danish king Christian IV as a cathedral with very high windows. Tommy, whose wife is one of the ministers there, had the key to the treasure cabinet and brought out beautiful pieces of silver, chalices, cups and also a large Bible printed in Denmark 1633. Afterwards we walked in the center of town and did some shopping, before we went to my mother's place. For dinner we had quiche, one with broccoli and one with turkey. Dessert was icecream with forest raspberries and cream. Very tasty.

Saturday we started at the fleamarket store in Åhus, but didn't really find anything, so we continued on to Glashyttan. The art glass was colorful and rather expensive, but worth a look. Downtown Åhus we had a baguette at a bakery and then the Anderson girls went horseback riding at the local riding school. Keira got a yellow fjord-horse named Flora, and Alexa got a brown larger horse. During the hour they were away on the trail ride, the rest of us went to the east side of the marina to look at the rich people's boats and an occasional fishing vessel. We also walked over the bridge to the west side to view the rich people's riverfront houses and some of the old buildings. When the girls returned from the trail ride, we went back to the house to rest. I took the opportunity to go swimming in the ocean - the first time this season! It was fun to jump in the waves. In the evening we went to the Rökeriet restaurant for the seafood buffet. It was a nice meal, several kinds of salmon, crab, fish soup, shrimp and more. We all agreed that the music entertainer (a guy with a guitar) would have needed some more practising, though. After the dinner we drove a round in Åhus, down past the marina to the hotel facility known as the Chanterelle. It's right by the ocean. We walked out on the pier and viewed parts of Åhus in a light rain.

Sunday we had an early start. At 8 AM we left in a miserably rainy weather that continued on and off for the rest of the day. We went to Norra Strö - the origin for the Andersons. The Sunday service in church was early, and we had to be there some time before to view the mural paintings and tell the tale about the old wooden chair. Mark and I attended the sermon, which none of us really could understand. It's beyond me why they can't make it easier for normal people to comprehend. Two children were baptised also, so the whole event was rather noisy. After this we drove a few rounds in the parish, visiting the ruins of my ancestral home, for instance. We had lunch at the golf club in Färlöv. It's by the 18th hole where there is a pond. We watched several (soaked) players hitting the ball into the pond. After shopping some in the store there, we went home to Mats, who is the current owner of the Anderson family house in Övarp, Norra Strö. Mats and his shy cat were waiting for us and we were invited for coffee. We accepted this offer, especially since it rained so much. We sat in his kitchen for quite a while, eating cookies and talking about the family matters. Even though Mats is not related to the Andersons, he is very interested in the history of the house. The next stop was the local historical museum, just a few hundred meters from the house. We had quick look at the exhibit on the second floor and the school classroom. I dropped the Andersons off at the hotel in Kristianstad in the afternoon and drove the car to a certain parking space and left it there. I then took the bus to the train station and two different trains home again. My mother, who had spent the day in Helsingborg (she has a summer pass too), picked the car up later and drove home to her place.

The Andersons are still in Kristianstad, exploring the neighborhood. I hope to see them in Lund tomorrow, so that I can show them the sights here.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Upcoming visit

It has been a slightly easier week at work, because almost all staff members in the stacks were on duty. The best thing was that I didn't have to drive the storage round. It is so boring and it has been tough due to the heavy loads.

Tuesday my maternal grandmother would have been 100 years. There is only one left of her siblings now, a younger sister.

This afternoon I will take the train + bus to my mother's place. Tomorrow we will pick up Mark Anderson and two of his daughters at the station in Kristianstad. They will visit Skåne for almost a week. They will spend this weekend with us and we have lots of things planned for them.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Visit to Ystad

Tuesday afternoon I was on a two hour visit to Sweden's most boring town - Eslöv. It's just north of Lund and it's a place you pass by, never visit. There is nothing there to do or see, really. I had searched on the internet for a plus size brand and found out that there are more stores in Skåne offering this than I thought. One store is in Eslöv, so I took the train there. It was only a small part of the collection that was plus sizes, but almost everything was on sale. I got one top there and then checked out the other stores. One, a clothing store primarily for elderly women, had a talkative sales assistant, and she gladly picked out the pieces that she thought would fit me. She was actually right. I got two tops there and then went back to Lund to have dinner at a restaurant I had never been to before. Very nice bacon cheeseburger.

We were very few people running things at the library this past week. I got two desk duties instead of the normal one, and I was on call the other days. We did manage quite well, but I had to skip the morning break.

Yesterday I was on a very nice visit to Ystad, a picturesque town in southern Skåne, on the coast. It's an old town with small houses in pastel colors with narrow cobblestone alleys. It's known for having a film studio where they make films in the detective story genre, called Wallander-films (after the detective). Some of the films are shown in other countries. There are many tourists here, also because there are direct trains from Copenhagen and a ferry going to Bornholm (a Danish island situated southeast of Skåne). The shopping area is rather large for being such a small town, but that's because there are so many tourists. There was a flea market in one of the squares, and I got a Tupperware bowl there, a whipping bowl with a lid, that I had been wanting for quite some time. She asked 20 SEK for it, and that's a ridiculously low price. For clothes shopping, I got a lavender colored top and a turquoise-green blouse. They have a little different types of stores in Ystad than the big towns and it was fun to go browsing there. Lunch was a baked potato at a cosy book café. I also found, to my great surprise, that particular kind of sandals I have at work, Green Comfort. There are no better shoes. The inner sole is made of a gel-like substance so the foot sinks down and the shoe forms itself after my foot. Very expensive, but worth it. Now I don't have to go to Denmark to get them.

All this clothes shopping has meant that there are no more hangers in my closet..... And no room for any more either..... Even though I have just given my friend Eva some clothes, there is a great abundance of items. I will give some things to the charity shop, and also to my aunt. Recycling is the best way.