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Monday, January 27, 2014

Computer issues

Last week was tough. It was the first week of the semester and the new students all wanted library cards at the same time. We noticed a definite increase in the number of requests, so we were busy. I also had to pick up seven boxes with journals from a faculty library and shelve them at the new storage. There are five faculty libraries that will merge into one and they are now hard at work trying to reduce their collections. If we have the first 20 years of a specific journal and they have additional volumes, they donate their part to us. They will also give us large sets of journals later, so the new storage will soon be full.

I spent the weekend at home, mainly because of the bad weather. It's cold and windy. It happens to snow today, but I guess it will be gone again by tomorrow. In the far north of Sweden it's a little colder than here, they have had down to 42 centigrades below zero. The record is around 52, I think. Not pleasant.

My new laptop was finally installed properly and that was a lengthy process. I handed it over to the technicians at work, so they helped me get some programs installed. Since I work at a university, I'm allowed to use work-related programs also at home. However, getting them to function was not easy and it required a lot of problem solving by the technician. I'm grateful for this, because I have not enough knowledge to deal with these issues.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Bad weather

Last week was a very normal January week at work. We had a fair amount to do. It's already now noticeable what subjects will be popular this semester. Apart from the standard textbooks, the students borrow books about architects, biofuel, mechanics, mindfulness, immunology and a large number of other subjects. The semester really doesn't start until next week, but they have been given the reading lists ahead of time.

This weekend I removed the Christmas decorations and the tree at home. It was hard work (the tree was overloaded) and it took most of Saturday. All of that is now up in the attic again. I did sort some things out to give to charity. Sunday I defied the bad weather and walked across town to a grocery store. I made my own hamburgers, not only for that day, but also for future lunch boxes. Very tasty, if I may say so myself.

It has snowed quite a bit here, but on this side of Skåne (the west) it has blown away again. It's just about freezing and the winds are very high, so this is causing trouble for commuters and others. Parts of the train lines are out, but I think I will make it home this evening.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

After-Christmas shopping

I have spent much of the vacation doing as little as possible (and intentionally so), but I have accomplished some things. I have changed zippers in three pairs of jeans (very difficult), shortened one pair and mended a top. I did research for a colleague and that is now finished (interesting case, the ancestors lived in Jämtland, and several family members emigrated to Canada). Went shopping at the after-Christmas sales and came home with something I have needed for a long time - a new laptop. I have been busy removing files from my old laptop, so I haven't had time to install the new one yet. As a preparation for this new year, I have also changed the calendars, filed away old documents and made some plans for the next few months.

Twelfth Day is a holiday here, so the workweek started Tuesday. It was not a pleasant experience to get out of bed that early, especially not after such a long vacation. We were all tired and it takes a while before you get back into the routines. We had the usual problems when a new year begins, one of the databases went down (it does every January 1st), but it was soon fixed.

We are still waiting for the winter here. It's 6-8 centigrades and rainy. The winter resorts in the north don't have any snow and hence they don't have any visitors. I have been watching some sports on TV, like biathlon and cross country skiing, and they have problems getting enough snow for their competitions also in other parts of Europe.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas holiday

The Christmas holiday was very nice, despite the lack of snow. Christmas Eve I took the train to Göteborg, where my sister's in-laws host the festivities. It was the usual buffet with lots of good food (herring, meatballs, salmon, sausages, cheese and much else) and a fair amount of presents were handed out by Santa. I got some gift certificates, a necklace and a ring my mother had made herself by fusing colored pieces of glass, a knitted scarf, a pocket book and both muffin and petit four cases plus a book in which to write my own cookie recipes.

The rest of the holiday was spent in Borås with my mother and sister & her family. We made some purchases at the after-Christmas sales in town (I got a knitted top and a pair of boots). My sister suggested that the family women should visit Sweden's largest discount store, and the women agreed. It's a huge place about an hour and a half away by car, and the prices there are sometimes ridiculously low. Of course you buy more than you really need, but it's practical things like hygiene products, toys, clothes and household items. I found a top and some small things.

Monday I returned home again, after a pretty relaxing week. I celebrated New Year's Eve by eating pizza in front of the TV. I had a nice view of the fireworks from my balcony. Today was the first workday of the new year, and it was incredibly hard to get out of bed at 6 AM after such a long vacation. But I made it, and we have been busy at the library, since there were requests from several days waiting to be processed.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the Christmas letters and holiday greetings! Remarkable how many of you suggested that I should visit the US again soon...