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IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS
Just now, under the bird feeder, pecking up dropped sunflower seeds: a big, well-fed ring-necked pheasant strutting and bobbing his head, and a tiny-in-comparison golden-beige Eurasian collared dove. I had to look up the dove as I wasn't sure exactly which breed it was; we don't see them very often. We get pheasants almost daily, both the big male and a full harem of smaller, browner females that scuttle over to sweep up seeds and then dart back to the safety of the hedge. I've only got sunflower seeds left and not that many of them; the season for feeding birds is about over, unless you are a year-round feeder. The bags of seeds and the big bins and suet balls have already disappeared from our local grocery store, so if I want to continue, I have to go further afield for supplies. I plan to get some more suet balls at least; they don't leave quite such a mess.

Yesterday was Walpurgis Eve (Beltane), or Valborgsmässoafton as it's known in Sweden. We spent the evening with our friends Mats and Annelott again, as we do most years, with a open-grill over a small, contained bonfire. There are already grill and fire restrictions further north in Sweden, but nothing in Skåne so far, so we were able to enjoy our outdoor BBQ with cheese and chorizo dogs and plenty of smoke in our faces, which at least kept away the mosquitoes. We got lucky with the weather as well as rain had been forecast for yesterday at the beginning of the week and even though it was cloudy and fairly chilly most of the day, by late afternoon it has warmed up and the sun was out. A nice change from the years we've spent huddled in rain clothes, freezing as our hotdogs sizzled.

Today is a holiday, and I've mostly been a slug, partly due to all the headaches and allergy symptoms I've been battling this past week. Suffering again from abominably itchy eyes and have tried several different eye drops, all to no avail. I've been taking Allegra this past week which has helped with the rest of the symptoms but the itchy eyes, which started again a few days ago, are really bad. GAH. I can't wait until the birch is done pollinating.

The tomato plants are thriving in the study window, over a foot tall already and both of them have a couple of tiny yellow flowers on them! I sure hope it warms up soon so we can get them into the big pots out back where Anders has prepared a trellis for them to climb up.

Because yesterday was a half-day holiday, I was able to catch up with Game of Thrones before we left for the bonfire, but it was a near thing as the Internet connection cut out about half an hour from the end of the episode...! AAUGH! I found out later it was out all over the village. Anders had recently redone the router and cabling in the front-hall closet and I couldn't even figure out where to try to reboot it to see if the wifi would come back on, and I couldn't reach anything to boot. Even standing on a chair! Short is not good, when you are desperate to find out who lives and dies. Thankfully, I realized about 15 minutes later that I could make a personal hotspot with my phone and was able to finish watching. Whew! Only three episodes left until the end. I really wish the books had already been written up to this point. I wonder if the author will ever bother to finish them now that the show has gone so far beyond where he left off.

All that's left on the agenda for today is to get our Swedish taxes done. Anders always seems to wait until the very last minute. I plan to sit with him to learn how to do it, as he has taken care of them for the entire time we've lived in Sweden, and I wouldn't have the first clue what to do if I had to deal with them myself.

I'm glad it's been a short week, two more work days should whizz by and then the weekend again. Woot!
 relaxed
mood: relaxed
music: Marshall Crenshaw—There She Goes Again


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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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Findus the cat as used in my user icon and header is the creation of Sven Nordqvist.