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zird is the word [userpic]
COOLING DOWN A BIT
It was cloudy today, an even gray cover, misting us in rain but not enough to actually WATER the thirsty earth. I went out with the hose after dinner and gave the potatoes and the tomatoes a good soaking, stopping to pluck another little red cherry tomato. The plants are so heavy they are pulling away from the house and leaning the slatted sticks that were supposed to support them over so far that I'm pretty sure it's just a matter of time before they hit the ground. There are tons of tiny green tomato balls growing and still the little yellow flowers keep coming. Tomato bonanza!

The potatoes that Anders planted are nearly a foot high (though the ones in the far back corner are smaller). We have no idea when there will, or IF there will, actually be potatoes underneath those leaves. We've never done this before and since we planted them SUPER late (mid-June), it might be mid-September before we have new potatoes. Better late than never, though, I guess. Anders thinks the plants should flower before we'll actually get potatoes but I don't know...they're the ROOTS, aren't they? Do potato plant flowers matter when you've planted potatoes from pieces of potatoes? Maybe flowers don't matter? Guess I should get Googling.

It's funny how no one wants to complain about the heat, because this is probably the best Swedish summer in history, sun-wise. We had the hottest May on record, and it's only gotten hotter. We haven't gone over the highest temperatures recorded here, according to Wikipedia, but we're pretty darn close. Today was a return to the USUAL Swedish summer weather, and there were a lot of surreptitious sighs of relief going on.

There's not much to write about right now, or at least not a lot going on that needs to be recorded for posterity. Anders is on vacation. Karin stayed home sick with a sore throat today. I worked. Work is only slightly less busy than usual, but I'm keeping things caught up, so that's a good feeling. It's weird to sit down and just write like this when I haven't been so good at doing it for so long.

We have weekend plans to go see "Bruksspelet" which is the original musical playing at Klippans old paper mill. This year's play is set in the 1970s and further back, "In grandfather's time". They've been putting on musicals at the former paper mill since 2013 but we've never managed to get in gear and get tickets before now, despite having friends who have worked with it nearly since the beginning. The paper mill in Klippan opened in 1573 so it has a long history in the town. It's pretty cool that they have made such a success of it year after year with the musical filling seats for an entire month each summer.

I just turned and looked out the window and it's raining much more steadily now. I could hear the steady patter for several minutes before I registered what it was; it's been so long since we've had rain! I hope it's doing it up north where all the fires have been, and not just here. It's probably just raining because I watered. I didn't wash the car so that must be it.
 calm
mood: calm
music: Cajsa Stina Äkerström—Långt härifrån


zird is the word [userpic]
I'M MELTING, I'M MELTING
It's official: I'm overheating. The house is hot, I'm hot. Every fan we own is on, and it's NOT HELPING.

GAH.

It was 32C when I got home today. That's 96F. In SWEDEN. Even in mid-July, that's damn hot. Add hot flashes to that, and I am one unhappy camper. If it doesn't cool down soon, I'm going to melt like the Wicked Witch of the West in a pool of my own sweat, swearing all the way. Yeah, yeah, there's no humidity and it will cool down overnight, but OMG I'm hot today. I was so hot and tired and headachy after work that I had to lie down (under our bedroom ceiling fan). I set the alarm for half an hour and when I woke up again, I was literally shaking.

The weather forecast calls for these high temps into the next two weeks. It's been hot and getting progressively hotter since mid-May. It's rained ONCE. Tomorrow we're supposed to have "heavy thunderstorms" but the temperatures are staying close to 90. GAH!!! I'm going to go get a popsicle. Maybe that will help.
 hot
mood: hot
music: sizzling skin


zird is the word [userpic]
REAPING THE WHORLWIND
Last week at work, while making the corrections to a case study layout, one of the markups was to change a section headline about fingerprint scanners which are used for security at a school, from "Making a whorl of difference" to "Making a world of difference". Now, I had thought that headline was quite clever when I was first copying in the content, and it made me smile. But the request to change it set me off. What?! I fired off an email to the colleague in the US office who is responsible for the case studies to ask if he really meant for it to be changed since it was directly punning on the use of the fingerprint scanner and the requested change wouldn't make any sense at all in context.

"Oh," he replied, "I didn't get it." And neither did the other people who proofread and reviewed it in layout. He told me to keep it, but today I got the final changes back and his comment was that after further review and discussion, in which 50% of the people involved THOUGHT IT WAS A TYPO for "world" and didn't get the reference/pun at all, he was requesting to change it completely to "A one-touch approach".

Sigh.

I have a visceral reaction to dumbing down for the lowest common denominator. I get that things should be easy to understand, and that you want people to actually READ your content, and not just skim it, but gah. I don't know if I'm more offended that people thought it was a typo...meaning that they didn't realize it was a WORD or annoyed that they didn't get the joke. Wouldn't you hope that if someone saw that, and didn't know that word, they would look it up? Seems like too often that's too much work for most people. And frankly, much of the time, the people it is too much work for are much younger than me. Kids these days. Get off my lawn, etc.

Although, not MY kids*...since they've been drilled since childhood to look things up or ask someone if they don't know what a word means and often beat me to Google. *pats self on back and whispers "Good job, mom"*

I know that in order, as Jim Jeffries says in his viral Gun Control comedy sketch, to keep society moving, we have to play to the slowest 1%. But that seems so BACKWARDS. Why shouldn't they keep up? Why should progress slow or regress because some people can't get up to speed? Especially when it comes to vocabulary...definitions are a click away. It's just not that hard.

And another thing. Strangely, or maybe not so strangely, it's also something that peeved me from my American colleagues. In our monthly partner newsletters, we provide links to all of our latest case studies from around the world that were published during the previous month. Some of our countries/regions, but most reliably the US, request to have all the case studies removed that aren't "valid", by which they mean, aren't from their own country/region.

To me, this means that people who get that newsletter, from that particular region, live in a bubble. They miss out on great success stories and relevant, interesting projects around the world, if they only see the 1 or 2 that happened to be from end customers in their own country. All of our case studies are published in English, plus the native language of the country they are from, so there's not even the excuse that they aren't valid because they're in a foreign language. And it's not just case studies. It's everywhere. Everything is tailored to YOU. You only see the things that are already related to something about you. Talk about helping to promote insularity. Who cares what happens or what's going on elsewhere in the world...we only want to see content that is from OUR PEOPLE. *rolls eyes*

And this is from the perspective of someone who doesn't daily swim in the flood of political bullshit, infighting, fake news and alternate facts that seems to make up most of America's broadcasting. It upsets me and makes me sad, when I see this kind of insidious small stuff that caters to the trend of ignorance and isolationism that has led to so much of what I think is wrong with this world.

GAH. Wow, this post went south quickly.

In other extremely boring to anyone except me news, I finally ordered replacement door shelves and a vegetable drawer for the ones in our refrigerator that have been broken for years. So, that's one thing off my long-term to-do list, yay me!

Reading recommendation (thanks to John Swinburn and Chuck Sigars)...if you haven't already read it, pick up or download a copy of The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. Engrossing, engaging, thought-provoking, horrifying, and heart-rending. It's at the top of my Books You Must Read List along with Anthony Doerr's All The Light We Cannot See and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (there are others).

NOTE: while writing this post, I stopped to check spelling on several words and one surname, and find two sources and relevant links. Granted, I'm sitting at a computer, but nowadays we carry computers in our hands, constantly. There's no excuse for willful ignorance.

*I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.** Dammit.
**Whitney Houston
 annoyed
mood: annoyed
music: Lena—Neon (Lonely People)


zird is the word [userpic]
DISTANCE MEANS SO LITTLE WHEN SOMEONE MEANS SO MUCH*
There's a special feeling to being alone after weeks of being social. I feel like I've been on a whirlwind the past two and a half months. A good whirlwind, but a whirlwind nonetheless, what with Karin's graduation, family visiting, friends visiting, and a seemingly unending round of parties and get-togethers. Now, the house is quiet and empty, and clean, and I am rather enjoying it. It's funny how you don't want things to change, and yet they do, and when they do, you can either rail against it or just enjoy the moment. I've had so many moments to enjoy this spring and summer so far. I'm glad I know how to enjoy this one, too.

We've spent the past several days hanging out and entertaining with good friends that we met at the beginning of our time in Sweden, when they lived here. They moved away 17 years ago, and yet it felt, after a few short minutes, as if things hadn't changed a bit. Even though they have, in a million different ways, for all of us. We've seen each other several times over the years, and have even managed to get together in various places 4 times in the last 5 years. Pretty amazing considering they live in Texas, and we still live in Sweden. and neither of those, until this week, was where we met up.

I feel blessed in my friendships, both the ones with people that live nearby and people who live far away. It's nice to know that distance doesn't have to matter when it comes to the ones you love.

Now all my vacation is done and I have the rest of the summer to work...it's stretching out in front of me like one of those scenes in a movie where the hallway suddenly expands in length and you know you'll never reach the end of it. Haha! Today was spent pounding out tasks and trying to keep the lid on a boiling pot of things to do. There are a few people left in the office, but next week, I think we'll be down to the bare minimum...deep in the heart of the hottest, sunniest summer I've experienced in Sweden since the year we moved here: 1997. That summer, we lived in an apartment in Malmö, and it was gorgeous out every day. Then, in September, it started raining and it rained every day for 18 months solid, I shit you not. I told Anders that if I hadn't had that first summer, it would have broken me, and we would have had to move.

I've come to love the cool Swedish summers, with a few weeks of heated up brightness...but it's been sunny and hitting temps near 90F for nearly 8 weeks. The fields of wheat and grass are bleached all around our little village. Our lawn is a crispy tundra spotted with bright green opportunistic weeds. There's been water restrictions in southern Skåne since mid-June. Bad year for the farmers, good one for the beach bunnies. But the nights are cool and breezy and that makes it bearable since the house doesn't overheat and mostly, neither do I.

Martin is back in Detroit; he started his summer job on Friday and the kids for the summer program he is mentoring arrived last night. One of them is the son of one of my college roommates: it's a small world, for sure. I'm glad it's made smaller by friends and family dotted all over it, tightening a bright net of love and connections that keeps me sustained. It's heartening to know that moving abroad doesn't mean losing people. I've moved my whole life. And I've made friends and left friends and found them again everywhere I go.

*Tom McNeal—Far, Far Away
 tired
mood: tired
music: RAC (feat. Alex Ebert)—Tear You Down


zird is the word [userpic]
SCHOOL'S OUT!
Two down! At least, two high school graduations down. Karin had a fantastic day, starting with a champagne breakfast at the school and day full of activities until their "run-out" at nearly 4. I had thought Martin's school yard was big and crowded, but I wasn't at ALL prepared for how many people were crowded into the open areas of Karin's school. Nearly 1000 students graduated and ALL their families and friends seemed to be there, with signs and balloons and plush necklaces and champagne bottles and big smiles.



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We parked at Karin's girlfriend's house and walked over to the school, only to be foiled by the crowds in trying to get anywhere near the steps where they were coming out. And for someone short like me, it was even worse...Swedes are TALL. We managed to worm ourselves most of the way to the front, but we still didn't see her come out. She found us in the crowd on her way down!

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Crazy crowds at Polhemsskolan. You can see the sign in the distance where the kids came out





After milling about for awhile, and admiring her sign and greeting some of her friends who had also graduated, it was time to head over to the trucks. The day before graduation, Karin told us that they might not be able to go because the truck company required a chaperone over 25 and the kids were having trouble finding someone. I mentioned a friend of mine, who is in the PhD program at Lund University...just a week before she had been lamenting on Facebook that she'd never get to ride a graduation party "flak" because it only happens at high school graduations (she's British, married to a Swede, and the mother of an adorable little boy). Karin sent her a message immediately and I was SO glad I'd thought of her because she said YES! YES! YES! and was overjoyed at the chance! Haha! Considering most adults, including Anders and me, would rather shoot ourselves than get on that truck, it was a huge relief that she was not only willing but thrilled at the idea. :D


All aboard the party truck!




My friend Carys, who later told us it was "the best day of her life" is in the far right back corner




Someone's lovely grandma with her flower umbrella!

We left Lund and made our way through horrible slow traffic back to Flyinge to get the party started. My colleague Anette's daughter and her friend came right after we arrived and were put to work immediately in the kitchen cleaning strawberries and preparing cakes. We had most everything ready, since the tents were already up and we had spent the morning decorating with flags, balloons, streamers, garlands and birch branches. Karin's student sign went out front to greet guests and the party game was up on the wall with the pile of answer sheets ready. The kegs had to be trimmed, claimed my husband, and he set about taking care of that part with a will, haha!

Karin arrived just after the majority of the guests, driven home in a convertible BMW.





We had about 75 people, plus lots of Karin's friends who came and went during the course of the evening. I said hello to everyone and then ran back and forth between the kitchen and the tent, dealing with food and drinks and felt like I never had a chance to sit down or talk with anyone. I did manage to eat something, and was happy that the food we had ordered was really good, and the cakes the girls put together were delicious. You can't go wrong with strawberries and meringue!




The trivia game about Karin was really fun; everyone participated and there was some real competition over who the winner would be!

A big highlight of the evening was Anders' speech to the graduate. I gave the speech at Martin's graduation, so I told Anders it was his turn, and boy did he ever show me up! He did a FANTASTIC job; it was hilarious! You can see the whole thing here, though I apologize to my English-only readers: it's all in Swedish.

Another highlight was Karin's girlfriend Sandra's present to her: a long video with clips from many of her friends and family, telling her what she meant to them. We all gathered in the living room (all 75 of us!!) to watch it, and there were not very many dry eyes by the end :)

Because it was a Tuesday evening and most people had to work the next day, the party ended rather earlier than we had hoped...most people were gone by 10. I had the week off, though Anders had to work, and my mom and I spent the next day returning things and cleaning up, finally collapsing just about the time Karin finally got home...for a well-deserved nap!

She's taking a gap year, but has already started work at my company this week, with a summer job to see her through August at least, and possibly longer. She wants to save money, get her driver's license, travel and then figure out what to do next. I'm sure whatever it is will be typically Karin: social, fun, open and exciting!
 impressed
mood: impressed
music: World Cup soccer on TV


zird is the word [userpic]
TOGETHER TIME
How do you live so far away from family? It's not a question I get that often, because I've been here for so long and I'm part of an expat community who have ALL moved far away from home and family. Most of the time, you just don't think about it. You live your life, you go to work, you clean your house, and make dinner, but you don't think about the fact that you only see your mom once a year and your brother maybe that, and your sister less than that, and your uncles and cousins and grandmother even less. You can't think about it too much, or you probably wouldn't be able to do it, and in this day and age, having everyone you love close by and easily available in the body, isn't reality for most of us. Thank goodness for email and phone calls and Skype and Messenger and social media...at least those connections keep a tenuous grip on the ones we care about and want to hear from.

But sometimes things work out and people come to visit. Last year and the year before, it was us that flew over and stayed for a month...this year, it was my mom's turn. She hadn't been to Sweden in 4.5 years...unreal. She stayed for nearly a month and it wasn't long enough. It's never long enough. And my brother and his family came for a week and it wasn't long enough either. John and Simone and the boys arrived in Sweden at lunchtime and we met them at Ales Stenar. Then we took them home to drop off luggage and unpack and whisked them off to a friend's 50th birthday party.

During the week they were here, Anders had to work and Karin was in school, but we managed to get some quality time in with all of us. We went to Skånes Djurpark (a huge natural zoo with Scandinavian animals) that has been recently renovated and overstayed our welcome, since we didn't realize the park closed at 2...and we were still hanging out by the splash pool at 3. Oops! We visited Karin's cafe on her last day of work, and Karin and Simone took the boys to the beach one day. We had unprecedented warm weather for weeks and weeks in May: hot and sunny days and cool evenings; a perfect welcome to Swedish summer. Sprinklers in the backyard, picnics. A day at Wanås Sculpture Park. Mountain biking through Häckaberga's nature reserve. Hanging out. Talking. Laughing. Just the things that families do when they do stuff together.

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Ales Stenar: Martin, Liz, Sammy and Jakob

simone_liz_salad.jpg
Simone makes salad while Liz supervises

martin_john.jpg

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Mom and John posing at Wanås Lake

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group_moose_races.jpg

boys_truck.jpg

group_bench_line.jpg

jakob_icecream.jpg

martin_playground.jpg

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kids_mom_1.jpg

kids_mom_2.jpg

kids_goofy.jpg
 cheerful
mood: cheerful
music: quiet summer day noises


zird is the word [userpic]
LIVING IN THE MOMENT
*dusts off blog*

Well, hello there! I'm not sure I remember how to drive this thing. I'm not even sure I can get it in gear...

I haven't posted since a couple of days before my mom arrived and the crazy month of crazy started. My brother and his family were here for a week then we had a week of party preparations and then we had a week of graduation insanity and parties, parties, parties. Then my mom left and now I'm suddenly left with one more day ahead of me before I have to return to my REAL life and work all summer to boot. And lose the bazillion kilos I've gained in 4 weeks. Ugh...every time.

Good thing for me that John took photos and Martin took photos because I took almost NO photos the entire time. I've been seriously living in the moment. I have lots to recount but tonight is not when I'll do it. I just wanted to see if I could get started again, start typing again, heave up something from the depths of my dusty brain and get going.

Time to get going even though I feel like my social media presence, both here, and on Facebook and Instagram, is going to be less frequent than before, even with this hiatus...I don't LIKE social media much nowadays. I don't like the news. Even though I can't look away completely, I have to lessen my own time online in order to be able to process what I do see and read and feel. I hope my audience...all three of you...understand.

More tomorrow, though. I promise.
 anxious
mood: anxious
music: none, just me


zird is the word [userpic]
A NEARLY PERFECT WEEKEND
This weekend delivered all the things that make spring in Sweden unbeatable. Pretty near perfect weather, with high blue skies, warm temps, and cooling, leaf-ruffling breezes scented with lilac. The sun shines until nearly ten, sinking slowly down through a pastel rainbow of lavender, blush and blue. The moon’s a silver sliver; the evening sky speckled with stars.

A fat hedgehog trundled past the trellis yesterday evening, while we were watching ice hockey (which we’re doing again tonight, cheering on Sweden in the gold medal game of the World Championships. If they win it will be twice in a row: the score is tied at the end of the second period and both teams are on fire).

My friend Chuck recently described the place I live as a hamlet, populated by bunnies and ruled over by a benevolent king. He was right. But I should add that this weekend it was ALSO shining in the sun.

We netted the cherry tree after Karin and I got home late from raiding a friend’s garage for party stuff for the graduation bash, plus an extra cot for my nephews. It’s quite the operation and frustrating, since the tree is juuuuust too tall for us, even with the 18-meter long net tied to 2 long poles to lift up and over. It catches on every branch and twig and it takes us nearly an hour before we’ve got it in place, wrapped and knotted, and safely protecting the the bulging green bounty of soon-to-be ruby fruit from thieving birds.

Anders washed all the gazillion house windows and I feel like we’re slowly but surely making dents in the 2-page to-do list. We took the kids to see farmor, who was thrilled that Martin is home. I’m reading a second book by a writer whose style I love: it practically crackles on the page. Martin and I caught up with so-far released episodes of Westworld’s second season. I almost didn’t think about work once.

Practically perfect, indeed.
 refreshed
mood: refreshed
music: Hockey game music and commentators


zird is the word [userpic]
IF EVERYTHING SEEMS UNDER CONTROL, YOU'RE NOT GOING FAST ENOUGH*
My whole brain, my whole life is being eaten alive by work. We've been working at such a speeded-up pace for so long that even if we wanted to, I'm not sure we could decelerate to a more reasonable level. It's go go go all the time. I've worked most of the last weekends including both the ones that were long weekend holidays. It feels more stressful to NOT work than to try and relax over the days off knowing how much work there is and how much more will be waiting for me when I return on the next workday if I DON'T work. It's not relaxing at all to have my brain spinning endlessly about what I have to do, what hasn't been done yet, and what is coming down the pipeline.

This past weekend, we had 4.5 days off. I worked most of it, trying to make a dent in the huge pile of extra projects I had that weren't even included in the usual stack of ticket/job requests that inundate us daily. I had 3 monster presentations to spiff up and 1 to create for a training I held this morning. I had a 12-page brochure to completely redesign after the agency deliverable came in looking terrible. I had a 32-page magazine to layout. And I had a stack of email blasts to build in 17 languages in both HTML and plain text. And that wasn't even including the pile for layout of 16 case studies, 4 brochures and countless web banners and image resize requests.

Every day there are between 25-50 job requests waiting for us. Of those, approximately a third are for the video team so my team doesn't have to worry about them. A few will be for the illustrators so we don't usually have to worry about those either. There are 4 of us working in the graphic design team, one of whom is earmarked for N. America, though we help her as much as we possibly can because there is no way that one poor person can handle all the requests from the entire US, Canada and Mexico, from 8 offices and multiple dozens of regional salespeople.

We have 40 offices, or thereabouts...I've lost track, all of whom need materials and images and stuff daily, plus we handle requests and questions from all of the corporate departments as well. And the job request tickets that come in can be super simple: send me a logo, to super-complicated: we have an event and we need a theme created and then 40-gazillion deliverables designed around it. All by the end of the week, please! HAHAHAHAHAsob

And I KNOW that no matter how much I work it doesn't mean I will be DONE. The work doesn't end. I don't know why my work ethic is so strong and so forceful that I find it difficult to just say NO. I was pretty good at it before, but it feels like the amount of work has increased so much that we're no longer waving; we're drowning. And yes, my boss is aware of the problem. On the plus side, my pinched nerve hasn't been bothering me for over a week. (knocks on wood)

ANYWAY. It wasn't all work this past weekend and week. Anders had a birthday. Karin went with the entire senior student population of Lund to Prague. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. We, by which I mean Anders, ripped out a garden bed and planted vegetables (which I bought): 1 tomato, 2 cherry tomatoes, 1 red pepper, 1 chili pepper, 1 scallion, and 1 potato. We want to plant some more potatoes but we have come up empty trying to find seed potatoes at the nurseries. Flyinge Plantshop has been out of them for over a month.

I read several books. I cleaned the laundry room, the big bathroom and the porch top to bottom. I went to the AWC Mother's Day brunch. We had fika with Anders' mom one afternoon and grilled a scrumptious birthday dinner one night with his family. I made to-do lists for Karin's graduation party that are longer than I am comfortable with, considering there is only a month left. We watched Eurovision (including both semi-finals because we are hip like that). We bought a new sun parasol for the deck that is HUGE and net to put on the cherry tree as soon as Martin gets home because it takes all 4 of us.

And I made Martin's bed and moved the treadmill out of his room because he comes home TOMORROW! Yay! I'm picking him up just before lunchtime (barring any unforeseen delays), bringing him home, running to Löberöd for a doctor's appointment and then returning home...to work. Heh.

Edited to add: Karin called from Munich, flight delayed. Martin messaged from the car on the way to the airport; first flight delayed an hour meaning he will probably miss his connecting flight. AAARGH.

*Mario Andretti
 tired
mood: tired
music: Alexander Rybak—Fairytale


zird is the word [userpic]
WHAT'S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT'S HAPPENING
Last week at work was awful. Too many things that were frustrating, rage-inducing or just plain annoying happened. I am VERY glad of this long weekend, though I am going to have to check into work emails and possibly do some work regardless because there is just so much of it. We were all freaking out over the amount of short weeks in the next two months (the first of which is this one). You'd think that we'd be THRILLED about having all this time off after the long holiday drought since the beginning of January, but 1) there are too many of them all at once, which is just adding stress to an already stressful workload and 2) I have 2 weeks of vacation in the midst of it all, which is adding to MY stress about it. Stupid, I know, but there it is.

Here in Sweden we have off May 1st which is both the European Labor Day and the spring holiday of the First of May, and the company I work for gives us the "pinch" or "bridge" days that fall on Mondays or Fridays if a holiday falls on Tuesday or Thursday. So we have Monday off as well as Tuesday next week.

Monday is the last day of April which is Walpurgis Eve; here in Sweden it's called Valborgs afton, and traditionally people light bonfires to scare away witches. That doesn't actually have anything to do with Saint Walpurga. It's named after her because it's the day she was canonized, although she was a healer and evangelist who apparently also repelled witchcraft. I find it a bit strange that Valborg is so celebrated in Sweden, since St. Walpurga was English. She's big in Germany since she brought Christianity there, but why it migrated northward is a little unclear.

We usually spend the evening with our friends Mats and Annelott, grilling hotdogs (often in the rain) and fending off mosquitoes around the bonfire, and that's the plan this year. I haven't seen them in awhile (Anders saw Mats last weekend for an overnight hike) so it will be fun to get together and catch up. It's also the King of Sweden's birthday, so raise a flag to salute the King!

The next holiday in May happens almost immediately: Epiphany, or Pingst as it's known in Swedish. It falls on a Thursday this year (May 10) and so we get the Friday after off as well as a half-day holiday the day before, since my company is super extra awesome. I could wish that some of the spring holidays in Sweden were a bit more spread out throughout the year. There are 2 more in June: June 6 which is Sweden's National Day, and June 22 which is Midsummer. After that, no public holidays until November.

Anders and I went Thursday with his mom, and my two friends Debbie and Camilla, to see Karin performing in her school's annual theatrical production. She was in the acting group last year, and this year she was in the writing group, the acting group, AND a mentor which, according to her, means that she, along with the other 2 mentors, basically ran the show. They certainly put a lot of work into it, and it showed. There were 167 students (!) involved in the play, doing everything from writing the manuscript, playing in the band, doing PR, soliciting sponsorships, working with props, program, costumes, dancing, music, makeup, photos, scenery, lighting, you name it. The film group produced a separate movie that was shown before the show started, and had a celebrity endorsement from a famous Swedish comedian (Henrik Schyffert) which was also played beforehand.

The production takes place in Lunds City Theater and the professional employees there help out with the logistics. There were some 300+ audience members on opening night and the same for last night. Tonight is the third and final performance, and I expect there will be some major partying going on when the curtain falls. This year the theme was the French Revolution. Karin played Marie-Thérèse Charlotte, the daughter of Marie Antoinette, and her mom was played by one of her best friends, Carlo De Rosa. All the kids did a fantastic job. Karin sang a solo number (new words to the tune of Mary J. Blige's Family Affair, which Anders and I have been hearing her sing in the shower for months. Unfortunately, my video skills were not up to the job and I screwed up the recording I tried to take of her full number. She says the whole play was filmed last night though, so as soon as I have a link I'll share it. In the meantime, you can watch the encore here (Facebook link only, sorry!)

Karin as Marie-Therese

Karin and Carlo

I can't believe it's nearly May already. MEGSIE—CHRISTMAS IS COMING. But with May comes the lilacs, Martin, my mom and my brother and his family, so I welcome it regardless of the work stress!
 impressed
mood: impressed
music: Anders getting ready to grill dinner


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October 2018
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lizardek

lizardek's obiter photos
lizardek's obiter photos

shameless
Feeling generous? Be my guest!





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

Abraham Lincoln

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obiter snippets





credits
Layout thanks to dandelion.
Findus the cat as used in my user icon and header is the creation of Sven Nordqvist.