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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas party

This past week there have been both good and not so good things happening. Monday I went once again to the Christmas buffet at Ikea. The herring was really tasty. Tuesday was an archive day. Wednesday was not one of my greatest experiences. I had to go to a dentist and it was not something that could wait since I had lost a part of a tooth. The only option given was a dentist in the area of Malmö you shouldn't visit after dark. It's scary even in daytime. I had no choice so I went there. The dentist did a good job, thankfully. On my way back to the train station I did some shopping also.

Thursday there was a Christmas party at work. There were some activities for us to do; we assembled ginger bread houses, had a quiz and ate some food. The menu was very limited and not that marvellous (no herring!) but we survived. The big event was a surprise - seven of our colleagues had formed a live band and performed three songs. We were very impressed by this, we had no idea about it. I found out afterwards that they had only practised three times and that's incredible. In all, it was a great party.

Friday I went to work to attend a meeting. It had been re-scheduled four times already and now the one who called the meeting was at home sick. With the technology of today it was solved because he could attend by Skype. He had a cold and was also taking care of his son who had the same issues. The son interrupted the meeting several times when he wanted to show us his toy cars. It was not the most efficient meeting I have attended but it was alright.

This week I decided to give up the scarves so now I don't have any headwear. My hair is slowly growing and is about 1 cm long. This week I also decorated my apartment in the spirit of the season. The new tree is overloaded with ornaments and there are santas, bells and candles in many other places. In my opinion it looks great. Today I sent out the Christmas letter by e-mail. If any one feels neglected, let me know.

Sunday, December 10, 2017


This past week was the last at work for me this year. I will however attend a few upcoming meetings anyway. This Wednesday I was at the storage all day. One of the faculty libraries brought about 80 boxes with books to us. They have weeded their collection of journals and given us a large part of it. They shelved most of it, thankfully. I took care of those books that had a hard-to-find shelf location. It was rather exhausting work, especially since I used the waiting time before the transport truck came to shelve some of our own books.

That same afternoon I attended a lecture at the Archive Center (which is the same place as our storage). The lecturer had done a DNA test on her maternal line and had discovered that someone in her ancestry had a sister who had left Sweden in the 1600s and settled in northeastern part of America. Sweden had a colony on both sides of the Delaware River 1638-1655. There are not enough written sources so she couldn't find the names of these people. It was still an interesting lecture showing how much you can really find out through a DNA test.

This Saturday I went with a colleague to a Christmas market in Lund and also to a few other stores. I did some shopping for the holidays and we had a nice lunch. Sadly, this colleague has also been on sick leave a large part of this year so we had some common issues to discuss.

The weather is not really the Christmas holiday kind. It's raining a lot, with high winds.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Archive center visits

The past week was all about research. I had vacation and visited the Archive Center three days. On one occasion I requested old tax records and incredibly enough the staff retrieved the wrong volumes. When I discovered this it was lunch time. This fact didn't stop the receptionist from getting hold of the guy who had made the mistake - he came running from the lunch room. Literally. He apologized several times and went out to the storage to get the correct volumes. I thought the entire event was rather funny but I tried to hide it. Since I have the same kind of job I know how easy it is to make such a mistake.

Tuesday I went too work to attend a meeting only to discover it was cancelled. Instead I did some research. The weekend was also spent at work. There are always more clues to find.

Sunday evening I attended a Christmas concert at the local church. It happened to be the Police Force Choir and Band. It was a very nice performance with many of the traditional carols of the season.

Today it was back to work. I went out to lunch with a colleague who is going to retire. He will be difficult to replace. This afternoon we had coffee and cookies for the social club board members. We had some cash left and decided to spend it on ourselves. We have now cleared out everything relating to the social club.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


I have 20 days of vacation to use before the end of the year so I'm not at work that much. Last week I was away two days. Monday I went to Ikea in Helsingborg to taste their Christmas buffet. The selection of pickled herring was great, especially the one in crayfish sauce. The veggie gratin was also very nice. Naturally, I also made some purchases while there but only some candles and minor items. This Friday it was Black Friday, which is something we have copied from the US. The stores had huge discounts on many things. I did go to a mall after work and came home with a top, an alarm clock and some house plants. All very affordable. Previously I also bought a new fake Christmas tree since the other one was old and not in good shape anymore.

At work I have engaged in shelving. Since I haven't done that in many months, it was exhausting. Apart from this I was asked to pose for photographs for our website and information material. I'm not sure they will use images of me for anything, though. Some of my colleagues had to pretend they were in a meeting for these photographs.

Most weekends have been about research. Nothing really exciting worth mentioning, just some more clues about the emigrants from Hjärsås and Knislinge parishes.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Last event for the social club

Last weekend one of the large genealogy database providers had a free access period. I made use of this. I spent both days at work searching for more clues using the databases with scanned material I normally don't have access to. I found some information about my great great grandfather who was a sailor. It was difficult to track him in the records but I got the names of at least some ships he sailed on. There was also an obscure file with various death records handed in to the regional court during the 19th century. To my great surprise there were death records for about 20 years for Hjärsås and Knislinge parishes for a time when the church records do not exist (almost everything before 1860 was destroyed by fire). It was a great find.

This week at work was rather busy. There are the usual meetings to attend, of course, but also other things to do. Yesterday we had the very last social club arrangement. It was basically a wake. After 44 years the library management decided to cancel the budget for all the activities. We were nine people on the board who arranged excursions, bowling evenings, lectures and parties with various themes. It was appreciated by the employees and we are all upset about this incomprehensible decision. Without any money we can't continue, that's the harsh reality. For the last event we had produced a booklet about the history of the social club. There were photos and descriptions of the activities during all the years. It turned out to be 63 pages. I wrote a large part of the text and also a page with my memories of some of the activities. I was the chairwoman for the last seven years. At the wake I was given flowers and some chocolate for my long commitment.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Back to work

Tuesday last week, which was the last day of freedom, I went on a relatively short shopping trip to Copenhagen. There were train problems so I arrived over an hour later than planned. I made only a few purchases, two tops and some socks, but it was a nice visit.

I started working again last Wednesday. There were no great surprises. I had an enormous amount of emails to go through. I have spent some time talking to my colleagues about the future work and all the projects we need to do. There were also five cases of missing books to search for (so far I have found three). The first workday the department head invited us for coffee & cookies, which was very nice. It took quite a while before I understood that it was in my honor. They wanted to wish me welcome back. It seems like they have really missed me...

I only worked two days last week because Friday I had an appointment at the hospital in Malmö. The port-a-cath was removed. It was a minor operation and I was awake. The nurses put on some rock music, which was very enjoyable. The staff members were amazing, actually. They made sure I was comfortable and that I knew what to do if the wound would bleed a lot. Afterwards they gave me cheese sandwiches and apple juice. Not really what you expect in our health care system, where budget cuts are frequent. I'm very glad the port-a-cath is out because it was annoying to have.

This weekend I didn't do anything because of the wound. Did get some groceries but that was all. This week at work is about the same as last week, I try to get everything organized and try to catch up with all the news. I went to the storage to search for a missing book (found it) and realized that we definitely need to do some shelving there. The piles of returned books were large.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

More research

The radiation treatment ended last week. The last day the nurse said it was nice to see me but he hoped I would never have to come back ever again. There are still minor issues like irritated skin but it's not much to bother about.

I have used some of my free time to do more research. There are both some requests and some long-term projects regarding emigrants. They have databases at the regional archive that I don't have access to normally, so I have spent a few days there doing research. I have also made trips to other towns. One day I went by train to Tomelilla, which is a small place in the very south of Skåne. I go once in a while because there are two stores of interest there; one large discount store and a shop with plus size clothes. This time I made purchases in both. I was very happy to find a pair of boots at the discount store. I have also attended a nice choir event in the Lund Cathedral.

My private computer is not working and it's very frustrating. I handed it over to the technician at work and even he has a lot of trouble with it. The system files are taking up too much space and we can't figure out what's wrong. So incredibly annoying. For this reason I have had to spend a lot of time at work to use the computer there instead.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Book reading

The radiation treatments are going like planned. I have two more to do. It gives you pain and irritated skin but there are lotions to ease it. I'm lucky the clinic has a drop-in arrangement because the trains are unreliable. But sometimes there is a rather long waiting time, up to two hours. I am bringing crosswords with me to keep busy.

I have visited at work a few times for meetings and also to participate in the Friday morning fika. Some days I have done excursions to other towns, to have lunch and to explore the area. Over the past few months I have visited book stores, libraries and quite a few second hand stores in the western part of Skåne. The weather has been acceptable. Now the leaves are turning into fall colors and it's very pretty, It does rain a lot but we are used to it. I changed the (remains of the) summer flowers on the balcony to heather instead and it looks nice.

I have read a book of fiction. This is not common. Normally I read fact books. But this one was entitled Swede Hollow. It was an area in St Paul, Minnesota populated by Swedish immigrants. The author, Ola Larsmo, had done a lot of research for this book. He wrote a fictional account of some of those poor people who ended up in this slum in the 1890s. It was worth reading, despite the fact that it's not really a happy story. It has not been translated into English yet.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Research trips

I am recovering more and more and can now make longer trips than before. It's something I have wanted for quite some time. Last week my father and his girlfriend came to pick me up in their motor home. We made a journey in the footsteps of our family history. We tried to find the places where my Herrlin ancestors used to live in the area just east of Trelleborg. We went to small villages and searched the cemeteries for gravestones. We talked to the caretakers there, and even they were local people, they couldn't really tell us much. They were, however, very friendly and interested in our questions and tried to refer us to other people. At last, we found the place where our relative Nils Hansson Herrlin once had a flour mill. We also found a preserved windmill in the area that once had belonged to him, there was even a sign saying so. The mill was in good condition, since it was maintained by the local historical society. The final stop was an old school house, where our ancestor Peter Herrlin had been the teacher in the early 19th century. We drove around on these small roads in a flat agricultural landscape for most of the day, looking for houses, talking to people and taking photos. It was a great day, so interesting to see it all.

I visited Trelleborg one day to do more research at the library. I went through all the books in their local collection and found some more clues. There was one house we couldn't find on our trip and it seems like it had been torn down already in the 1930s, according to a book there.

Since I have more energy now I have visited some malls and also Helsingborg. In total, I have bought five pieces of garment, which is a lot. I think the last time I bought any clothes was about a year ago. In Helsingborg there is a very nice store selling licorice of various kinds, it's a place worth visiting. 

This Wednesday the radiation sessions started. I have to go to the hospital every day for 15 days for this. It takes only a few minutes every time. You have to be absolutely still when the machine moves around you. It doesn't hurt during the treatment but afterwards you can get pain and burn wounds. I have already noticed a little of that. Though this is not even close to the problems I had after the chemo therapy.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Boring times

It was (and still is) a long recovery time after the last chemo injection. It has been tedious and uncomfortable in several different ways. I have been so incredibly bored. The chemo makes you inactive and there is no energy to do anything. This Monday I had to go to the nearest mall because I had run out of a supplement I need to ease the side effects. It was a short visit but I was exhausted when I returned home.

The weather here is pretty bad with high winds and a lot of rain. Typical of a Swedish fall season. Not what I was hoping for, since I really should go out for walks. I have to start getting some exercise now that I have endured the last of the chemo. (And I can't believe that it's finally over!)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Nice dinner

Wednesday was a busy day. I had to go to the hospital again for blood tests. I spent most of the day at work, both for a meeting with my boss and to talk to colleagues. In the evening I attended an information session at the radiation department at the hospital. They showed us a film of how the machines work and how the radiation treatment functions. We also got to see the the actual machines used for it. It was quite interesting to see. I will start getting my treatments in about three weeks.

Thursday the social club at work had arranged a bus trip to Copenhagen but I couldn't go. I did however join my colleagues for the fabulous dinner at a restaurant in Malmö afterwards. It was a very nice arrangement. It was a buffet style place with very high quality assortment. Lots of salmon, herring, shrimp salad, crayfish, clams, all kinds of meat and a large selection of cheeses. The dessert tray was incredible.

Friday I got the last chemo therapy injection. I can't believe there actually would be an end to this madness. There will be many more visits to the hospital but not for that horrible thing. It really is hard to get through the side effects. Right now I feel pretty bad, there is pain everywhere and my stomach is objecting to it all. I shouldn't go outside because I have no immune defense. It's just a matter of enduring the following days. From experience I know that it will be better at the end of the week.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Genealogy fair

This past week I have watched TV quite a lot. There were a few sport events of interest, mainly athletics and the European championships in equestrian sport. The show jumping event was won by a Swede so that was successful.

The main thing this week was the annual Genealogy Fair, this time in Halmstad. Attending it was one of my goals for the year. I had already started planning for how I could get there by train when I got an e-mail from a colleague asking if I was going to Halmstad. She was going to drive there, and I was very happy to get a ride with her instead. We spent Saturday afternoon at the fair, looking at (and buying some) books, talking to vendors, searching the databases available and checking out what was new (everybody was talking about DNA!). We also attended a lecture on emigrant research. In all, it was a nice day but we were very tired afterwards.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Surprise letter

It has been an incredibly boring week. I have done very little. The side effects from the chemo are not pleasant at all. I have major stomach problems. It's worse than last time. The strange thing is that I'm hungry. To ridiculous levels. Some nights I have to get up and get something to eat because I'm so hungry I can't sleep. The doctor called this Friday to ask how I was doing (I wonder if this is normal, they cannot possibly have time for this). She was surprised to hear that it was worse this time because they had made a mistake and given me a lower dose than she had ordered. Sigh.

There is one thing that has happened worth mentioning and it has nothing to do with illness. Last week my father received a letter from America. We were very surprised. The sender was no one we knew. It turns out that my father's grandmother had several uncles and cousins who emigrated, and one of their descendants had now done research and found my father to be a relative. I have known for quite a while that those relatives emigrated and did locate them in the US (Chicago and Colorado) but never contacted any living relatives. I thought the distance in relationship was too far. The person who wanted to reconnect would be my father's third cousin. We are now exchanging family information by e-mail.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Actual size cars and model trains

Wednesday last week I went to the summerhouse, where my sister and her family also were staying. We did some excursions around Skåne. On the Friday we went to an automobile museum at Simrishamn. There were over 120 cars on display; the oldest a Danish vehicle from 1898 and the newest a dragster from 2014. It was a big place. There were also motorcycles and in separate rooms toys and phonographs. It was quite an interesting museum even for someone who normally wouldn't be into cars.

Another day we went to a model train museum at Hässleholm. It was a rather large display with built-up landscapes and towns with railway lines. It was local towns so we recognized several places. It was a very detailed display with people working on or near the tracks, trucks on the roads, people waiting at stations and trains going by. This was also a nice museum to visit. After a massive brunch at the golf club we continued on to a farm where there was a fishing pond. The kids wanted to go fishing, but the interest faded after a while so the adults took over. There was unfortunately no fish in sight. Instead my father showed us one of his best places to find mushrooms in a nearby forest. We did get some chanterelles that we had on toasted bread later. Very tasty.

Apart from this we mostly took it easy, relaxing in the sun and playing with the kids. The weather is a little better but still there is a fair amount of rain. I returned home yesterday and that was a journey I never want to experience again. There were big problems with the trains. I went on one bus, three trains and one bus. Total time five hours. The issues were not solved this morning so I had to take a bus again. I went to the hospital for blood tests today. Tomorrow it's time for another chemo injection.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Side effects

This new chemo has some weird side effects. I feel rather strange and have stomach problems but it's not at all what they told me. The nurse said that I would not have an appetite, get a headache, get nauseated and possibly vomit. I haven't noticed any of this, which I am grateful for. On the contrary, I am hungry.

Because my immune defense is very low I only made some very short trips outside the apartment the first week. I had to get more food since I had a surprisingly big interest in eating. There is a small convenience store two blocks away so that's where I went. The weather has been terrible with lots of rain. I have enjoyed my balcony only a few times this summer. Needless to say, I have been incredibly bored. There is a limit to how many crosswords I can solve. To keep sane I have started a new research project. It's a list of all the emigrants from a small parish near my home parish. Hopefully this will keep me busy for a while.

This Monday I had to go to the hospital for some blood tests. Afterwards I stopped by at the library to hand in some documents. A few people were on duty and they all asked how I was doing. Even though I tried to give short answers it took a long time to get from the entrance up to my office on the 5th floor. I have very talkative colleagues.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Museum visit

There were some problems with the port-a-cath so I had to go back to the hospital for some tests. Everything was ok according to the EKG. After some discussions, both with the doctor on duty and the doctors who inserted the device, it was decided that I will have to endure it. Once the port-a-cath is in they can't make any adjustments. It seems like it's situated a tiny bit too far down in the vein, so it affects my heart in an unwanted way. My heart races occasionally. This was very noticeable the first week but it has calmed down now.

Wednesday my mother and her boyfriend came to stay for a night. Thursday we went to the Kulturen museum in Lund. It is both an outdoor museum with old buildings and halls with arranged exhibits. I hadn't been there in quite a while. We saw exhibits on fashion history, glassware and a comedy duo called "Hasse & Tage". For this last exhibit they had borrowed archive material from my library. All was very interesting to see. After this we continued on to a mall for a herring lunch and some shopping. I was also able to get rid of some junk from my attic. Part of it was handed over to the charity shop and the rest to the recycling place.

Yesterday I got another chemo injection. It's a new kind that has other side effects. I have already noticed some of them. I have stomach problems. Not nice at all.

I hope that the attendants at the Nelson Family Reunion in Milaca tomorrow will have a great time!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


After just a few days at home for doctor's appointments I returned to the summerhouse this past Thursday. On my way I stopped at Hörby to go to the annual market fair. It was quite fun with lots of stalls selling all kinds of things like toys, hats, candy, craft items, jam & marmalade, clogs, clothes, sausages and much else. I got a book and some licorice, and a langos with shrimp for lunch. I was also surprised by seeing my father and his girlfriend there, I didn't know they would visit this market.

The weekend at the summerhouse was nice. Saturday we went to Åhus to the Lions second hand store. There were minor purchases made there. Sunday my mother and I drove about an hour north to get to a friend's 70th birthday party. There was a quiz and I won a box of chocolate. At this party there was a woman I had met before and I knew she is interested in research, so we spent some time talking about that. She is currently researching the history of a building and I was able to make some suggestions for further information.

Early Monday morning I had to return to Lund for some tests at the hospital. Tuesday (yesterday) I crawled out of bed at 5 AM. A transport service picked me up and brought me to the hospital in Malmö. After some preparations I was wheeled into an operating room. The doctors inserted a port-a-cath just underneath my skin, with a tube into a vein. This last part was the most complicated and they actually had to ask another doctor for assistance - he did it on the first attempt. This port-a-cath will be used to give me the rest of the chemo injections (at least three). I was awake during the entire operation and was very fascinated by the big screen showing x-rays of my body. The x-ray was on all the time so it was live images, I could see my bones and everything else move as I was breathing. The doctors looked at the same screen, to see where my veins were and to correctly insert the port-a-cath. Very interesting. Afterwards I stayed for a few hours and was then allowed to go home. There is some pain of course but the biggest problem is the substantial pieces of plaster they attached to me. I'm allergic to it and it only took 24 hours before I went to the medical center and asked the nurse to replace them. She knew me from before and she was appalled when she saw what it looked like even after such a short time. She helped me so that it's a lot better now.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Rainy weekend

This past Friday I was supposed to get another chemo injection. However, the nurse called in the morning saying that the blood tests I had done the previous day were not good. They didn't want to give me the injection. This changed a lot. I called my mother right away and said I could help out at the fleamarket at Furuboda, which was that same afternoon. I packed very quickly and then travelled by train and bus and managed to get there an hour before it started. I was not scheduled to be there but I assisted the others selling books, paintings and lamps. I also stood in the doorway, trying to prevent people from leaving without paying. We have had problems with that other years. This year we didn't notice any problems. The weather was really bad with lots of rain but I think the sales went pretty well despite this. We also had after-sales on the Saturday and there were still things we could sell.

The rest of the time I spent at the summerhouse, taking it easy. I am not used to hard work since I have done basically nothing for several months. I had to rest. Over the weekend it was also incredibly rainy so we were really not active. The only activity was playing catch with the small dog my mother was taking care of. After going shopping in Kristianstad I returned home today by train and replacement bus (there were big problems on the train tracks to and from my town).

Monday, June 26, 2017

Slow Midsummer weekend

The Midsummer holiday was very quiet. I got a chemo injection the day before (Thursday) so there was no celebration to speak of. I couldn't go to the summerhouse so stayed in the apartment. I made a short walk to the convenience store to get fresh strawberries. That was what I had energy for, basically. The weather has been pretty bad with high winds and rain. I have engaged in solving crossword puzzles and watching TV.

I visited the doctor this morning and she re-calculated the time this treatment will take. I already knew everything is delayed but she also said the radiation treatment will be three weeks instead of one. I will probably be on sick-leave through October. I am already now bored out of my mind, so I wonder how this will end.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cookie mania

Last Monday I had to go to the hospital for tests so I took the opportunity to have lunch with the colleague who told me about the antiquarian bookstore sale. She also brought me to her workplace, which is at the top floor of the History Museum. Wednesday my department had arranged afternoon coffee, so I joined in. There was a large number of cookies on offer, since most people had brought some to share. It was very nice to see my colleagues when everybody had time to talk.

Thursday it was time for another chemo injection. They had changed it, so it was another kind and also a smaller dose. They had done this change because I got so sick last time. I wouldn't have agreed to continue if they hadn't made changes. The side-effects are the same, basically. Pain everywhere and stomach problems. I shouldn't go out because I have no immune defense. It really is remarkable that you are expected to endure all this for a preventive treatment.

This Saturday my father came to visit. I think he was bored because he offered to take me grocery shopping. I accepted. He also agreed to go to the library to pick up the books that I bought earlier. It turns out that my father had never been to this library, so I gave him a guided tour first. On display right now we have our most famous and impressive works, so it was convenient. I also showed him the stacks and my office.

The weather over the weekend was very good, around 24 degrees and sunny. I enjoyed sitting on my balcony, even though I have to stay out of the sun.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Visit to Copenhagen

The stronger antibiotic had a better effect. After I stopped taking the medicine Friday there is no sign of the infection. This is very good but of course it means that I will have to continue with the chemotherapy now. The next time is booked for Thursday.

Our national holiday is June 6 and in recent years I have spent it abroad - in Copenhagen. The shops are open there that day so many Swedes go across the Öresund to go touristing. Huge crowds of Swedes go there daily to work but this day it was even more people on the trains. I got off at the airport to take the metro about five stations. There is a mall that tourists rarely visit. I have found it because there is a store where they sell plus size clothes. This time there was also a pop up-store selling a well-known brand and everything was half price off. I bought two dresses. I had lunch at a buffet style restaurant. It was marvellous food, traditional Danish dishes. Lots of herring (differently spiced than ours), salmon, fish & chips, roasted ham, bacon, quenelles (a kind of meatballs), sausages and a large number of vegetarian choices. In total over 60 dishes. Before going home again I stopped by at the biggest mall, Fields, but there was nothing of interest this time.

Last week a colleague told me an antiquarian bookstore was going out of business. They had a sale of all the stock. You could fill a bag for 60 SEK, which is very affordable. I was there twice to shop both for myself and the library. I found three books not previously at the library. We are collecting all Swedish books but there are gaps for various reasons. Most often our patrons lose the book somehow but in these cases we had never received the books from the publisher.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Weekend at the summerhouse

Last weekend the period with antibiotic ended. Just like I thought it would, the infection came back right away. That antibiotic wasn't strong enough to kill it. I had problems getting in touch with the hospital clinic to tell them about this. This marvellous medical system we have means that you cannot get sick outside of the hours they receive phone calls, usually between 9 and 10 in the morning. Not even if I visited personally was I allowed to speak to a nurse. Very frustrating. Later that day I had an appointment at the medical center, where a nurse was assisting me with the wound (from the operation in March) that still hasn't healed. She saw that the infection had come back and I told her about my bad luck trying to get someone to pay attention to it. She sighed. She actually called the clinic on my behalf, and since she was medical staff they let her call through. It was interesting to hear the conversation. She used strong words to point out that I needed to see a doctor urgently. I am very grateful for this (I thanked her at least five times) because I got an appointment at 9 the next morning. That doctor gave me a stronger antibiotic and I hope it will have a better effect.

Last weekend was a long weekend since Ascension Day was on the Thursday. I spent a few days at the summerhouse with my mother and her boyfriend. It was unusually hot weather, one day it was up to 30 degrees. We did some shopping; there were two fleamarkets in the area and my mother needed soil to plant flowers and some vegetables. I mostly took it easy and relaxed with some crossword puzzles. Because of the medicine I couldn't sit in the sun so I was inside a lot. That Sunday it was Mother's Day and I treated my mother to the buffet at Furuboda. The food there is very good, this time it was salmon and spicy chicken.

The weather is more normal now, it's about 18-20 degrees, rather windy and right now some rain. The new medicine is making me tired so I haven't done much. I still have to go to Lund several times a week for various medical appointments and that's about what I have energy for.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


I have taken it rather slow lately. I have been to several doctor's appointments. After 20 days I am still on antibiotics. The situation is getting better every day but it will be a very long process. I have done some excursions, just to get out of the house. I have noticed that the two months I was unwell and didn't do anything have meant that I don't have much energy now. I get tired pretty fast and walking up stairs is exhausting.

The summer weather is here after a long and rather cold spring. It's about 20 degrees and usually sunny. My mother has moved to the summerhouse now.

There will be a Nelson family reunion in Milaca, Minnesota this year. The date is July 23. I am unable to attend because of my health but if any one wants to go I will share the details if you contact me.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Hospital stay

After the second injection of chemo I suffered basically the same side-effects as last time but I got a lot more fever now. The problem is that I didn't understand I was that sick. I didn't check the temperature since I thought it would pass without any medication, like the first time. I experienced two nights with chills and then I noticed the fever. It got worse by the minute and my heart rate was getting high and I breathed heavily. After calling the clinic they arranged for an ambulance to pick me up. It was an interesting experience. The ambulance staff asked me questions and I clearly noticed how difficult it was to give replies; my brain was deteriorating. They saw this and lead me to the ambulance pretty quickly. During the "priority one" transport the doctor slapped me every time I closed my eyes for more than a few seconds. He thought I was losing consciousness. At the emergency room eight people were waiting, two of them with antibiotics in syringes. They did of course already know about me. The doctor had sent the info from the ambulance. All is very high-tech these days.

After about an hour they had managed to slow the raging infection down with a massive dose of antibiotics. They took large amounts of tests on me and hooked me up to all sorts of machines. I had needles and cords everywhere. I didn't care about any of this. I was just glad to be alive.

Later in the evening I was moved to the oncology ward. They kept me there for eight days. Rather surprising, since there is a shortage of hospital beds. I was told my infection was very serious and that I should be happy there was still antibiotics to be found that had any effect on it.

I must say that all the staff members at the hospital were great, they deserve gold stars for all their hard work. I was a challenging patient because my veins do not cooperate at all. It's very difficult to draw blood from me. Even worse now when the chemo has destroyed the veins.

It's going to take a long time to recover completely from the infection, so the chemotherapy is on hold for now. My focus at the moment is just to get better, and it seems to be going in the right direction.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Social club meeting

Last week I was feeling a little bit better and I managed to host the annual social club meeting on the Tuesday. It was a 15-minute meeting to get through the agenda. Afterwards a senior scholar gave a speech about his experiences in the Middle East, particularly Jerusalem. It was an entertaining speech. We also had a meal in our lunchroom and we continued talking there, of course.

I have done some short excursions this past week. One day I took the train to Helsingborg, just to have lunch. I have also been to the nearest mall to go shopping. I have been told to keep active but it's not easy. The weather has been pretty bad with high winds and rain recently.

Last week my hair fell off, so now I really look sick. I made an inventory of my scarves and decided to use some of them for headwear. It works ok. Tomorrow it's time for the next injection. Not something I look forward to.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Hell started

My last working day for a long time was April 5 - my birthday. This fact was not celebrated much. I bought a cake for dessert, that was it.

The next day hell started. It is necessary for me to get chemotherapy. No one who hasn't endured this can understand what it's like. The first week after an injection it's a matter of surviving from one minute to the next. The side-effects are horrible. They stuff you full of extra medicine and that has side-effects too. The first five nights I didn't sleep. Chemo messes with your entire body. It affects the digestive system, blood, nails, hair, skin, immune defense, etc. I had to go to the hospital because I had a blood value that was hardly measureable. I was isolated at two different hospitals for a couple of days (and one night). Incredibly boring. There is not a part of my body that hasn't ached. After 12 days I have started to recover but there will be more problems ahead.

My mother came to help me for a few days. She is surprisingly energetic. She planted flowers on the balcony, cleaned floors and windows and cooked for me. It was very nice of her. She didn't get to see much of me though, since I had to go to hospital several times.

Monday, April 3, 2017


I have been busy at work with lots of meetings. Last week there were four. I have also spent the weekends at work but for personal reasons. Mostly to do research but also to host a visit from my sister and her friends this Saturday. There were six of them who had made the trip, organized by my sister. She had not told any one in advance what they were going to do or even where they were going, so it was all a surprise. I showed them the library and told some of the history of the university, which celebrates its 350th year right now. I had gathered a sample of our vast collection to show. There were pamphlets, catalogues, children's books, postcards, ads, an 18th century newspaper, some of Carl von Linne's dissertations, a journal for ladies dating back to 1862 and a few other items. Some rather weird. This was well received and one of the most fun presentations I have done. They all seemed to be interested in books, which was great. After this, I joined them for lunch at a restaurant. It was a very nice brunch with a generous selection.

Today I have also given a presentation but it was slightly different. I showed my colleagues from the ephemera department some of the un-catalogued material we have in the stacks. Normally this would be placed in the ephemera collection but for some reason it was never moved there. We have a fair amount of this "grey" material and I thought it would be a good idea to tell the staff at the ephemera department about it. They agreed. I had made a list of this material and brought a few items to show. It turned out to be a varied selection with material on math, medicine, political science, law and fiction.

I still have to go to several doctor's appointments a week. The after-care will last for months.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Back to work

It was very boring to stay at home those two weeks after the surgery. My colleagues missed me. At least I think so, because they sent me two large bouquets of flowers and two boxes of chocolate. Very nice of them. The wound is healing the way it should and the doctor is happy about the result. My biggest problem is the fact that I'm allergic to plaster of all kinds. I have tried about five different kinds but it doesn't help. The kind of sticky tape for sensitive skin I was recommended was itching so badly I removed it after only a few hours. You are really supposed to have some plaster on the scars for three months afterwards but the doctor told me to ignore that instruction. The itching would have made me crazy.

I did get some things done during my sick-leave. I went to a mall once and visited the archive center twice. There are always projects to do there, this time I looked at sailor's records. My great great grandfather sailed the seven seas but I have never looked him up in the sailor's lists. It wasn't as difficult as I thought, but the information given was meagre. The only thing I didn't already know was his listing as a cook onboard. I also asked for some old tax records and managed to write incorrect information on the call slip. It meant that they couldn't find the material. Slightly embarrassing. I hope the staff didn't understand that processing call slips is a large part of my job...

Today I returned to work. It wasn't overwhelming. I have just done some minor tasks like talking to people, making plans and answering e-mails. I was given three requests my colleagues hadn't been able to process and solved two of those cases. Heavy lifting is out of the question, so book retrieval is not possible right now.

Monday, March 13, 2017


Last week I worked Monday and Tuesday, basically tidying up my desk. I managed to hand in a report also, which my boss had asked for. Tuesday evening my father arrived. This was not the plan from the beginning but my mother got health problems and couldn't come. Early Wednesday morning my father dropped me off at the hospital. After a long series of examinations, tests and medicine I was wheeled in to the operation room around noon. It was quite an experience. They sedated me and I was completely out until a few hours later. I was of course in pain when I woke up but that was all. I thought that I would be wiped out for days afterwards. This was not the case at all. The surgeon came and told me everything had gone according to plan. My father came to get me at 6 PM and we went to the pizza place in my town. Not something I thought we could do either, just a few hours after surgery. But I was not so affected by this experience as I had anticipated. Thursday afternoon my father left again, after watching a (according to him) very interesting reality show about American loggers in Maine on TV. My father hasn't had a TV in about a year, so he doesn't know what there is to watch these days.

Since then, I have tried to take it easy. This Friday I went to the hospital for a check-up in the morning and stopped by work to join my colleagues for the morning coffee and sandwiches. Everybody was surprised to see me. I can understand that, since I had given warning I would be away for some time. Apart from this, I have mostly spent my time watching TV, solving crossword puzzles and reading that book about the DNA background of Europeans. It's quite interesting, I have to say.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Train trouble

I didn't get that much done this past week. I had three doctor's appointments. It takes a lot of time. Most of the week I tried to clear my desk and get at least some of the many projects done. Success was limited. The high point of the week was Thursday evening, when we had After Work at a nearby restaurant. It's nice to talk to the colleagues outside of the workplace.

Friday was a bad day. When I got to the train station at 7 AM I learned that all the trains were cancelled. Not only the next five departures or so, but all of them the entire day. Part of the track had a large crack and it was in a very inconvenient place because they needed to make all the train tracks in southern Sweden powerless before they could fix it. They didn't have any parts for it either. They had to do the repairs overnight. I was able to get onboard one of the regular buses instead. It was extremely crowded but we made it. I arrived about an hour later than normal. The janitor gave me permission to borrow the storage round car that evening. I made good use of it and transported some of my research home (those files with paper tend to get heavy). I also made a stop at the grocery store. Saturday morning I had to drive the car back again. So I spent the day at work to do more research (and yes, it produced even more paper documents).

In just a few days it's time for my operation. It may take a while before I get any writing done here.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

New stove

My father returned this past Sunday. We had to visit two different malls before I could get the stove I had decided on. It was a long drive to Malmö but it was a fairly smooth project. It's not difficult at all to spend a lot of money, apparently. The biggest problem was to get the stove up three flights of stairs (there is no elevator). We also brought the old stove along with some other junk to the big recycling place in my town. Already the same evening I tried the new stove when I cooked for lunchboxes. It works very well.

The week at work was no big deal. This week it was school sports break and the amount of visitors was rather low. The new temporary worker is learning the job fast and is asking for more tasks. She and I did some book moving. I had discovered that about 20 meters of books were misplaced so we corrected it. I also took the time to show her the section with books from the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. It's much more challenging to retrieve books in that section because of a complicated call number system.

Speaking of books, I have actually bought a book at the annual sale at the bookstores. It was an interesting subject; the DNA background of Europeans. I haven't started on it yet.

I did write to the person who had posted one of our old family photos on his website and received a very short answer back, thanking me for the correction. I don't think this photo had anything to do with his family (but perhaps he thought so because he had attached incorrect names to it). He has his ancestors posted there also and they are not connected to mine.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

New shade

The week at work was not that bad. It started very nicely this Monday when I received a chocolate box from a patron. We had given her a book (a dissertation) which had been written by one of her ancestors in the 19th century. We have an extra supply of old dissertations and we sometimes get asked to distribute them. Usually to other libraries, but we decided it was ok to give this woman the book her ancestor had written. I do wonder if she will understand it though, because it was a science topic and written in German.

Last weekend I went to Ikea. I have long been thinking about remodelling my kitchen. Everything needs to be done; wallpaper, flooring, cupboards, new fridge and stove. I got some brochures and looked through the displays in the store. It's slightly overwhelming. And rather expensive. Today my father came to visit and we went to the nearest mall. I looked at a new stove but was not impressed so didn't get one. Instead I got a freestanding clothes rack (drum major) to have in my bedroom (usually you have this in the hall). We assembled it and it looks very good. My father also put up the long shade for my bedroom window. This shade is thicker and will not let through light like the previous one did.

I'm sorry to say that my health isn't as good as it used to be. I have in fact been to the doctor (several different ones) six times in three weeks. For someone who never has to do that normally it's remarkable. It's interesting to be a patient in the health care system these days. I have heard a lot of bad things but so far I have been lucky. They are of course constantly lagging behind schedule but it's not strange at all. I have now received medicine for one health problem but will unfortunately have to be operated on for another.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Visit to Göteborg/Borås

Thursday last week I went by train to Göteborg around noon. In the afternoon I met my father and his girlfriend near the city library. We went out to a nice dinner at an English style restaurant/pub. After this we all went to the theater a few blocks away to see a show by a Swedish performance group. They made a very popular comedy series on TV in the 1990s called "Macken" (The Garage) and they had now done a remake for the stage. It was a very funny show where the audience knew most of the lines and could (and did) sing along. Truly marvelous, but there is no way I can explain the show or why it's funny to someone who isn't Swedish. Let's just say it's rather local comedy.

After the show we drove (my father had a car) an hour east to get to my sister's place in Borås. We spent the weekend there. My father got the job of felling a tree in the back yard. Saturday I joined my mother and worked as a volunteer at the charity shop, selling fabric, lace and ribbon of all kinds. It's quite fun. In the evening we went to my mother's boyfriend's place. I had done some research for him and now he had invited his sisters to meet me. I was asked to go through the documents and explain the details. The dinner afterwards was great, seafood and various cheeses.

My niece had a cold and since I don't meet kids that much I have no resistence. I got sick, of course. Sunday we went to the ice-skating rink. It got too cold rather quickly but at least one of the kids enjoyed skating there. We had lunch at a café and then my father drove me all the way home. It took three hours. This was not the plan from the beginning but I'm glad he did. I was a little too sick to take the train and then I had also bought a long shade for my bedroom window that would have been difficult to bring on a train.

Monday I was at home but worked short days the rest of the week. There are not that large piles with unshelved books anymore. The new person is doing a good job keeping the volumes down.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Staff changes

There have been several changes at work. We have lost two staff members for various reasons. One went on to another job at a college library and one had to leave since we couldn't afford to keep her. The latter one was working in the stacks and we are of course not happy about this. She knew a large part of the job. She will be missed. To avoid total disaster, we have rearranged the storage round, so now I have to drive Mondays and Fridays. Not what I wanted, really. We have also a replacement a few hours a week. It's a guy that worked in the stacks about 7-8 years ago but was moved to another department. He needed very little introduction, so that was positive, at least. Today we also got a temporary worker placed at the library to train job skills. She will work part-time with shelving and we are in desperate need of that. I spent the afternoon introducing her. Basically, I start out by teaching new staff members how to find their way in the building. It's an old and complicated house with lots of different levels (and you need to know what elevators go to those different levels because not all go to the same). We think this new worker will be useful, because she understood the task right away.

The project with listing all the emigrants from Hjärsås parish is progressing. The document is already over 80 pages. There were many emigrants but the parish wasn't particularly large. Many of them ended up in Rhode Island, Galesburg in Illinois and various places in Minnesota. When I searched for information about these emigrants I ended up on a Swedish website where someone had posted old photos with unknown people. I was very surprised to see one of our family photos there. It was from 1898, when August Nelson visited his sister's family in Sweden (she had died a few years earlier). If any one has the book about August and Lovisa, it's the photo on page 52. I still don't know why this photo is posted on that website but I plan on contacting the owner next week.

Apart from this, I managed to get a hair cut this week, do the laundry and remove all the Christmas decorations. I discovered that there was a box of ornaments I hadn't even opened. I weeded the collection a little before getting it all back up in the attic storage. Afterwards it required extensive vacuuming to get rid of all the glitter on the floor and in the rug.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Tragic play

Last week at work was busy. Already Monday morning at 8 I went over to an old building nearby to look at shelving systems. We had been offered it since the place will be completely remodeled and everything will be thrown out. We said yes, provided we could get a moving company to dismantle it and find space at one of our storages. The rest of the week was about retrieving books for the students. It was a tough job since it's at the beginning of the semester. Today was the real peak so far, we had a huge amount of requests. I went to the storage with a colleague and we spent longer time than usual there.

This Friday evening I made use of the theater ticket I had been given for Christmas. It was a rather odd version of Shakespeare's tragedy Richard III. There was only one actor, a stand-up comedian. He did all the speaking parts himself. I was impressed by the fact that he could remember all of it. He was rather true to the original. It was both funny and tragic at the same time. There was the underlying theme of how men of power aqcuire their positions and what means are acceptable to reach those positions. It's a play that says a lot about also the time we live in now.

This weekend was all about research. I didn't even watch TV.

Monday, January 16, 2017

20 years

Last week I had been working at the library for 20 years. I really can't believe it. It sounds like an eternity. I have seen incredible developments in the field of work, mainly because of the internet and the technological advancements. The job is, in essence, the same as when I started - retrieval and shelving of books. But nowadays we get the request slips printed in picking order. 20 years ago it took a long time every morning to get each request printed and manually sorted into the right pile. There have been many changes over the years, most of them for the better.

For the Friday morning coffee I baked some cookies, which were well received. It was to "celebrate" those 20 years. Apart from that, it is business as usual. The semester hasn't started officially but we get many new students asking all sorts of questions at this time. There was a sharp increase of the  number of requests all of a sudden, so they have their reading lists already.

This weekend was a research weekend. I spent it at work. The computer there is larger and better, and there is access to a printer. The new project concerns emigrants from a parish near my home parish. It is very challenging, since the church records were destroyed by fire. There is almost nothing before 1860. But I can see that there were emigrants also before that year, since there is a database of passport applications 1783-1860.

The weather is typical of a winter in Skåne province. Just below freezing and occasional snow that melts quickly.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Happy New Year

All the best for the new year! Time really flies. I spent the new year's weekend mostly cleaning and tidying up. I threw out old calendars, receipts and catalogues. I tried to organize my documents by filing them. The desk does look a lot better now.

The actual celebration New Year's Eve was modest here. I watched TV and solved crosswords. The meal was salmon baked in the oven, with cream and cheese. Very, very tasty. Chocolate mousse with raspberries and blueberries for dessert. Nothing wrong with that either. I had a good view of the fireworks from my balcony.

This holiday season the work-free days were very few. I have been working all the days this week, except today. For some reason Swedes celebrate Twelfth Day. We were rather busy at the library this week, it seems like some of the new students have already arrived and are asking for textbooks. One colleague was off sick and that meant some problems as we couldn't do all of her duties.

The weather was mild, wet and dark up until yesterday, when it changed to a little drier, cold and dark. It's about ten degrees below zero. No snow at all. So boring. I spent most of today cleaning the stove and the fan above it. Not fun, but necessary.

Thank you for the letters and e-mail greetings I have received for the holidays. The Fleet Farm calendar is hanging on the living room wall!