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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Grandfather's funeral

I worked until noon last Thursday and then walked to the train station. When I got there it was announced that all northbound trains had been cancelled due to an accident. There is always a lot of misinformation in these cases (28 years of daily commuting tells me this). So I stayed and waited without doing anything. After about 30 minutes they had decided to turn a southbound train, so my train was suddenly changed from cancelled to delayed. We finally arrived in Stockholm one hour and forty minutes late. It didn't really matter to me, but I feel sorry for the foreign tourists who were on their way to the far north. Not only was the most important information given in Swedish, it was also incorrect...!

Like every time I stayed with my mother's cousin. Friday morning I went out to take photos of the buildings where my great grandfather Arndt had lived and worked. At noon I had changed my clothes and went by commuter train to a small town west of Stockholm. On the same train I met two of my father's cousins and we talked a lot about family history. My father picked us up at the station and drove to the church. My aunts and cousins were there, along with father's cousin from Denmark and also grandfather's girlfriend and her family. Grandfather's funeral was an event celebrating his long life, with appropriate hymns hinting at his ancestral origin in Dalarna and his connection to Jämtland province (where he had a vacation cottage). Afterwards there was a meal at a conference center. There were a few stories told, mainly about grandfather's special traits and habits.

I spent most of the Saturday doing research at the Royal Library, but also managed to do some bargain shopping at a mall. We had a tasty pizza in the evening. Sunday I visited my other relatives two subway stations away. It's Arndt's nephew and his wife. We had a good time talking about the old days, I think we covered the last 100 years or so. We all have a huge interest in history and a desire to learn new things. Monday morning I helped my mother's relatives do the laundry. It was pretty bad weather, snowy and icy, so I stayed until it was time to go to the train. I returned home, without delays believe it or not, in the evening. It rained in Skåne.

I started working Tuesday and it was not that pleasant. There were lots of books to retrieve and sort to the different locations. I'm not used to such hard work, I haven't done anything like this for several months. Today I also had the first desk duty in three years. I will sit in the manuscript reading room every Thursday afternoon from now on. In all honesty, it was a little boring today because there was only one visitor.

Last week one of my colleagues died of a heart attack, aged 60. He was my boss during the entire book moving project so I knew him rather well. This morning we had a gathering to talk about this, and many of the retired librarians also showed up to pay their respects. We are all very sad, he was a great colleague and a very nice guy.

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