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Monday, December 28, 2015

Very nice Christmas holiday

I worked Monday-Wednesday last week. Not many others did, so I was busy. Wednesday evening I engaged myself in baking - three different cookies. All of them rather experimental as I don't always follow the recipe. Thursday, Christmas Eve, I brought the cookies with me on the train to Göteborg. My sister's in-laws usually invite us all to holiday celebrations at their apartment. We have the main meal there (very tasty with herring, homemade crisp bread, roasted ham, meatballs etc) and then stay over to the next day. This year I got some presents; necklace, fudge candy and an egg cup. Generally, the number of presents was moderate this year, which is a good thing. We have all given money to charities - more needed now than ever before. Three of us also attended the midnight mass at a nearby church.

Back in Borås I stayed with my sister and her family. Their kitchen was being renovated, which meant that the fridge was in the living room and there were some logistical challenges. But I got to sleep on the couch like usual and it all worked out well. Over the weekend I went shopping with my mother and sister (got a pair of boots), went to the movie theater to see a hilarious Swedish movie with my mother and delivered the research I had done for one of my mother's friends (and got dinner there). Before I arrived my mother had gone shopping for me at a mail order outlet. She bought a black down winter jacket of high quality at a ridiculously low price (about one tenth of the original price). She had also found a pair of mittens and a pair of jeans very cheaply. If anyone is wondering, bargain shopping is my mother's favorite hobby. We all benefit from it. The deals she finds are just amazing.

Today I got a ride to Göteborg and first went to lunch at my favorite restaurant. I also went shopping at a closing down sale (a plus size chain is closing down at all locations), where I got a long tunic. After buying a blouse at a very crowded H&M I took the train back home.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the Christmas letters I have received, both in print and electronically. I especially noticed the Farm Fleet calendar from the Nelsons in Stillwater! It will be on the wall next year, for sure. Also a special greeting to Anders and Lydia in New York, who welcomed their first child about a week ago!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Decorated tree

We had lots to do at the library the last full week of the year. I attended four meetings and drove two storage rounds. We were one staff member short and that was noticeable. The number of requests are going down at this time of year but the returns are increasing in volume.

This year's Christmas present at work was a pedometer. At the same time a competition was arranged. The next three months there will be a prize offered to the employee who walks the most at his/her job. I don't know if that will be much of a competition. The ones working in the stacks walk the most, there is little doubt about that.

At home there is now an overloaded Christmas tree in the living room. It is decorated with all sorts of ornaments I have inherited, received as gifts or bought (or made) myself. There are items shaped like santas, angels, apples, hearts, balls, pine cones, cupcakes, wreaths, stars, icecream cones, shoes, snowmen, flags, bells and all kinds of figurines. It looks very nice.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Lots of food

The theme last week seemed to be food. There was a large supply of ginger snaps and candy offered at work. Also Wednesday all the staff members were treated to Christmas lunch at a fancy hotel. It was the first time we have received such an expensive meal at the employer's expense. It was the same place we had dinner after the August bus excursion and were disappointed by the food. This time it was better but not near five stars. Like I usually do I focused on the herring and salmon, and some were not edible. The mustard herring was over-spiced and the salmon was very dry. It was somewhat compensated by the dessert table, which was magnificent. Almond cakes with whipped cream and cloudberry jam, rice pudding and all sorts of handmade candy and toffee.

The other major food event occurred Saturday. I decided to go to Ikea in Helsingborg to try their Christmas buffet. It costs less than one third of the hotel buffet above, but it was better. There was one kind of herring that was just amazing and the salmon was very tasty. The Småland ostkaka (rice pudding Småland style) was incredible, without a doubt the best one I have tasted. While I was at Ikea I bought some textiles, and went to the mall next door also. There was a closing-down sale where I got a top rather cheaply.

We did some other things last week at work. One of my colleagues got the idea to use the National Union Catalogue (a large set of green volumes) to build a Christmas tree in the main hall of the library. This is sometimes done at American libraries so the idea was not unique in any way. The tree turned out to be about two meters tall and has attracted some attention. It looks pretty nice.

Today I started to decorate my apartment in the spirit of the season. I got the fake tree, four boxes and two bags down from the attic. The candles, santas and other figurines are up on the shelves and tables, and the star is in the window. I assembled the tree but haven't decorated it yet.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas party

It was a tough week at work with three storage rounds and long hours. I had lots of books to relocate from the open collection to the stacks also. Friday evening it was time for the annual Christmas party, arranged by the social club. We chose to have it at a restaurant this year and it turned out great. It was a cosy place and we had a very good time eating and talking. It was traditional food like meatballs, herring, Jansson's Temptation, rice pudding and much else. Very tasty. We had asked people to dress for a theme (castle) and some of my colleagues had gone far and dressed up as a fair maiden (a guy) and a knight in armour (a woman). They both got first prize. Presents were also handed out. A very nice party.

I have received a new request for research and that has kept me busy. It was a very tricky case, where the families moved to a new place every year. I couldn't always follow them everywhere because some archival resources were missing. Sometimes the information in one household ledger was incorrect and in one case the husband got his surname changed in between two ledgers and there was no explanation for it. It took a while to establish his identity because of this.

Today there was a Christmas market in town, but there were not many people or stalls this year. The weather is pretty bad, it's raining with strong winds. It's not really cold, it's about 10 centigrades, which is warmer than usual for the season.