Welcome to Tessa's blog

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Nice chocolate

The second week at work was also incredibly busy. More meetings, lots of shelving and several trips to the storage for various reasons. I picked up eight boxes with a donated collection from a faculty library and placed it at the storage. A nice thing was the pay raise that no one had told me about - I discovered it when I logged on to the administrative system to see how many vacation days there are left (only six).

This week I got a package containing a box of chocolate - it was my mother who had entered my name in a consumer competition again. Very nice chocolate, it's already gone.

This weekend I went to an indoor fleamarket store but didn't buy anything. The lunch at the 1950s style cafe in Helsingborg was very tasty. Today I was at work to print out more copies of the books I have written. I had run out because other people, apart from relatives, have asked to read them too.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Unusual work week

The first day of work turned out to be a real anti-climax. I arrived at work at about eight on Monday morning only to discover that everything was closed. There had been a threat posted online, indicating something bad would happen at the university that Monday and the police decided to close all the university-related workplaces. This had happened during the previous night and I hadn't seen the text message sent to me at 1 AM. I met one other colleague who hadn't seen it either. So I had to return home again. I went grocery shopping and did the laundry instead. Tuesday it was business as usual, though. The four remaining days of the week were very hectic. We had lots of books to retrieve, as there were requests from one extra day. I attended three meetings and was very quickly given two shifts per week driving the storage round. I still haven't been able to read through all my e-mails properly, even though I have had access from home. It's slightly overwhelming. This weekend I didn't do much, and that was also the plan. The only useful thing was vacuuming, which was very much in need. I have also been writing on a short publication about the visits to Germany my ancestors made in the 20th century. It's soon finished.

The weather is rainy and it's about ten centigrades, just like a typical Swedish fall. It's also getting darker, especially in the mornings.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Visit to Berlin

For the third time in four weeks I went on a trip abroad this week. I haven't really had time to travel the past few years, so now I took the chance. I have spent three days in Berlin. It was both for pleasure and for research. My great grandfather (and my grandmother) visited Berlin and other parts of Germany quite often. There are some short descriptions of these visits and also some old postcards. I went to Berlin to see what was left of the sights they saw, and that wasn't a lot. Berlin suffered huge losses during World War II and not all buildings were repaired. The city has also changed since the Berlin Wall was torn down in 1989. There is lots of history to learn there, without a doubt. Many museums and historic monuments. I visited the Memorial for the murdered Jews, which is a fairly large area with concrete blocks in symmetrical pattern. Beneath it, under groundlevel, is an information center presenting the history of the Holocaust, examples of family destinies, maps with concentration camp locations and a room with video testimonies and access to databases. I have rarely been in such a silent museum. The visitors didn't say anything at all, they wandered through the place in respectful silence. So did I. In the last room I searched the databases for a Jewish family my great grandfather tried to help during the war by sending food to them while they were in a concentration camp. It did actually keep them alive. I found out more details and discovered that four of the five family members survived and later ended up in Brazil. Very interesting.

I spent one morning at the Aquarium, which is a three storey building next to the zoo. My great grandparents had been there in 1921 (same building) and were amazed at what they saw. I do realize that everything has changed there since then, but I too found the place interesting. I was especially fascinated by a large round tank with jelly fish floating around. There were many different kinds of fish and also snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, insects and sea horses. It was difficult to see the frogs, they were hiding under the leaves. It was a well kept aquarium with very informative displays.

Since it rained basically all three days, I spent much time in shopping malls. There are many of those in Berlin. It's a great place to go shopping. I visited a Christmas shop, second hand stores, discount stores, large department stores and some pretty expensive fashion boutiques. I came home with a total of nine pieces of garment. Over these days I enjoyed German pastry and other baked goods, in addition to the visit to Hard Rock Cafe, of course. The hotel was one of the best ones I have ever stayed at because everything functioned and a very nice breakfast buffet was included. Compared to the hotel in London this was a dream, and at a considerably lower price. The flight time is only 45 minutes, so I can't really understand why I haven't discovered Berlin until now. It's a very nice city. And the German I learned at school in the 1980s still worked, at least in some cases...

Tomorrow it's time for a reality check - I will start working again. I have several hundred e-mails to go through and I'm sure my colleagues will hand over some tasks. In fact I know they will, there are already items in my (physical) mailbox.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Moose meat and lingonberry jam

Last week I wrote a travel description of my visit to Rome. I included both Arndt's photos from 1929 and mine. It wasn't possible to take exactly the same photos as he did in some cases. For one photo he had climbed up on a hill, but that wasn't allowed now. Also in the Colosseum he was one floor higher up than I could go.  In my previous blog entry I forgot to praise the Italian icecream - it is very well worth tasting!

Also last week I did some excursions around Skåne. I went to Ystad and Malmö, among other places. Wednesday I went to visit my father, I haven't been to his place in several years. We always meet at the summerhouse, so we almost never visit him. My father's first moose hunt this fall was successful and I ended up with some meat, and also homemade (yes, my father's) lingonberry jam and apple sauce. This last thing was a little unexpected, but his girlfriend had supervised the making of it. My father is definitely not known for his cooking abilities. He has recently bought a motor home, which looked very nice. He is planning on doing some travelling both in Sweden and possibly to mainland Europe next year. It will be very practical to have such a vehicle then.

This Thursday I passed by the central train station in Malmö and was very sad to see the large number of Syrian refugees sitting there. It is a terrible situation. Last month 24 000 people applied for asylum here - record breaking amounts. We have major problems finding housing for them. They are going to open a closed correctional facility and put up temporary buildings in a city square, but it will not be enough.