This meme is for my Swedish speaking followers (unfortunately, it wouldn’t work for international followers).
It’s so hot right now. I thought it would be getting cooler. It felt as if autumn was coming. Clearly I was wrong. We try to spend time outside every day (except the weekends, when we try to get things done in the apartment.) I really hope it’s going to get cooler soon.
Maybe I haven’t mentioned it, but my phone is broken (the glass). The repair guy has been on vacation in July and now I’m looking forward to getting my phone fixed. I might even share some photos then, but I can’t make any promises. My phone is so old and doesn’t take any really good photos.
Just a few days ago we all started feeling sick. It was an ordinary cold, really, not too bad at all, but we immediately began to feel scared it would be Covid-19. For two to three days we felt really awful (but had no obvious Covid-19 symptoms), but right after that, we began to feel a lot better and now most of us are almost completely well again.
There are so many tourists here and it worries me that sometimes it’s hard to keep the distance. So we were really happy to discover a ’new’ (to us) huge protected area, that is a park. There are paths, benches, trashcans – and of course trees and open spaces kept up open by young people working for the town. It’s a really good place, even though the locals walk their dogs there and some, even tourists, it seems, take their kids there. We have no trouble keeping the distance and it’s calm and quiet. Very nice. Now it really feels as if the center of the city is too crowded for us. At certain times of the day, hordes of tourists pass through the park (the one in the center, not the big one we just discovered). Most people are polite though, but there’s just too many of them, even if I understand that they feel the need to get away from their lockdowns.
Today we went on a little outing (by bus). Because it was about 30 ° hot and I hadn’t slept for very long, I’m now completely exhausted. If I hadn’t been, I would probably have enjoyed it more. We might go back another day, we’ll see.
I’ve decided to temporarily use a few other blogs I have here on wordpress.com while my sister is working on getting our personal wordpress (wp.org) homepages up and running. There’s Bookish Lynx where I will mainly post book reviews and that’s the only other blog in English. I also have two Swedish blogs, one with reviews and the other about veganism etc.
I haven’t always liked tea. Maybe five years ago, I would have said that I really didn’t like it. Then for some reason I decided to try flavored tea (and some herbal tea) and found that I could drink it. I didn’t love it, but it was ok and it fel really cool to finally feel like a grownup (LOL). That was lemon or lemon/lime and peppermint, respectively. Then last year or so, I first discovered one flavour (strawberry) and then another (apple) that absolutely love. Unfortunately, it’s a bit difficult for me to get these. Fortunately, I have a few other flavors that I can drink when I don’t have my favorites, i e raspberry and blackcurrant. I had high hopes for raspberry tea, but it’s not really a favorite, unfortunately, though still quite ok.
Since the Corona/Covid 19 crisis began, I’ve read a lot about what you might call ’Corona Chic’, which I assume is ironic. I’m not usually very chic, but I do try my best (according to my own taste, not the latest fashions). Since this started I have mainly been wearing a tank top and either sweatpants or leggings (the apartment is far too hot). Normally, I try to get a haircut maybe twice or three times a year, since I have quite long hair. Usually, I fail and sometimes i only get a real haircut at an actual hairdresser’s maybe once a year or even once every two years. The stress of being a busy mom. 🙂 Now with the risk of getting infected, I’ve decided that from now on, I’ll try to do without professional haircuts. I try to cut it myself, but the ’styling’ must be done by my sister – who can see what’s she’s doing. It’s not that big a deal anyway. A scrunchie helps me keep my hair away from my face.
I do hope I won’t need to go to the dentist. That would be really complicated. Fortunately, no one in my family has needed any medical help, medication or dental work (although I do have half a tooth after I bit into a really hard snack when I was out traveling). After my children broke my glasses, I have even ordered a pair without trying them on, using my old prescription (though sadly, because of the so called postal services in Scandinavia, I haven’t received them and I’m still not sure if I’ll get them at all. 50 euros wasted.
What are you guys doing about your personal style these days? Do you risk getting a professional haircut? Do you go to the dentist? I assume I would try to find a way of going if I was in severe pain, but fortunately, I haven’t been. Do you choose a more relaxed clothing style? Or don’t you ever bother about fashion? My mom has an idea that being into fashion, haircuts, make up or even enjoying elaborate meals is being vane and self centered. She thinks you should ignore the body as much as you can, but she does enjoy her tea and sandwiches and occasionally a bit of chocolate. My sister and I have tried to discreetly buy her new clothes but she tends to put those away and then use her old clothes, thirty years old or more. Hopefully people won’t think we’re mistreating her. She says that people should mind their own business, but that’s something Scandinavians have a hard time doing.
Today, I read the morning paper online. There were primarily two things that struck me.
One: one man wrote in his column about the ’hug greeting’. It will have to go, so like my daughter does to all kinds of things, he says bye, bye to the hug. Great. I’ve never liked being hugged by all and sundry. Cute guys, sure, my adorable kids, of course, but that’s about it, really.
I feel the same way about the handshake. I know we’re meant to shake hands to show that we trust the other person. Way back, people had to lay down their hand weapons to shake hands so obviously you needed to be able to trust whoever you greeted like that. We even have an architectural detail in our churches called ’the weapon house’ – the hallway, entrance hall etc. Where, apparently, our ancestors had to lay down their weapons to enter the church. It shows how much our society was dependent on weaponry for defense. The extreme right have made a big deal out of the handshake as a ’Swedish’/Aryan thing. Muslims don’t want to shake women’s hands, apparently. So naturally, the authorities need to force these foreigners to shake hands like ’real people’. 😉 Note the irony here. I do not feel that way. There’s quite a bit of resistance to burkas and things like that too. There’s an old Swedish saying about needing to know your ’Pappenheimers’, meaning know your friends/allies. If someone’s wearing a burka, you know she’s religious. I think it’s far better to know what people are about, than have them forcibly hidden behind a behavior that isn’t natural to them. Same with handshakes. Besides, they’re unhygienic, even when there’s no Corona virus, no flu, nothing in particular.
The other day, I ran into a slightly eccentric man. My sister’s met him too. He asks where you’re from to get you to start to talking to him. He inevitably leads the conversation to football, because that’s his passion. So we talked a while. He asked about my son’s name and took his hand. A few seconds later my son was sucking his fingers. I consoled myself with the fact that there’s basically no corona virus here. It’s an extremely safe place and I really doubt this man had travelled lately. So I guess my son will be ok. But it was disgusting. I wish I’d had some disinfectant with me.
I’m rooting for the Bhuddist greeting. Pressing your hands together and bending your neck. I’ve seen some humorous suggestions about shoving each other with the elbows (mostly suitable for young men, I think) and a sort of ’foot shake’ that looked funny, but any kind of physical contact brings you too close to the other person. So, the Bhuddist thing. Respectful and hygienic.
Another thing I read about is the fact that Sweden hasn’t shut down our schools (except for the high schools). It was a conscious decision that other countries never tire of criticizing Sweden for. And by the way, I get furious when our neighbors criticize us. It gets really personal for me, despite the fact that we moved away from our home country because of the change it has undergone. Sure, Sweden may be wrong, or other countries may be. I’m sure it’s far too soon to tell. Even if it was a mistake, people make mistakes. It’s hard to know what to do when something completely new hits you. Only very few people with experience of the Spanish flu are still around. None from decision making circles. Who could have known what would be best to do? All we have is the advice of the experts.
Anyway, now people are saying that closing down schools and teaching kids online has cost millions. Ok, maybe so, but if that’s true, I say they weren’t doing it right. Sitting at home would have helped me enormously and I’m sure my kids, particularly my son, would benefit from it too. Lower rents and fewer people employed would also save money. I realize that some people are hyper social and thrive on the company. I didn’t and I know my son won’t. He basically doesn’t care much for other kids. Except for cute blonde girls, but that’s another story (did I tell you about his ’date’?). If you can save yourself from the risk of infection, surely it’s better to stay at home than venture outside where people might be infectious?
I’m beginning to prepare for a life without social contacts, maybe for the foreseeable future. As long as we can manage to finish our loooong move. Get all our stuff collected and above all, a good piece of land. I very much doubt there’ll be travel or outings or actual shopping in our future. Whatever money we have we’ll spend on our home. Now I guess I’ll never meet ’Mr Right’.
Today it’s Midsummer. It’s a major holiday around here (in Sweden and Finland, particularly) but since we don’t have access to any cabin/cottage or even a house of our own with a garden, we won’t celebrate much. Midsummer is supposed to be celebrated in the countryside with lots of flowers and green trees. This town is quite green though and relatively small so I guess we’ll get some of that Midsummer feeling anyway, but no seven flowers to put under our pillows to see if we’ll meet Mr Right anytime soon. LOL. No music and no dancing and no little frogs (it’s a song that’s sung at Midsummer). Actually, it was once an English song mocking French soldiers, apparently. Hence the ’frogs’. I had no idea until a Swedish historian blogged about it a few years back.
If we’d hurried up a bit maybe we could have celebrated Midsummer at a campsite. We placed an ad for a piece of land to put a mobile home on (not a camper van), an actual movable house or rather cabin or cottage. A nice man with a small campsite replied and we might move there. It’s a bit ’the back of beyond’ but that actually sounds quite charming. It’s on a small island, and I’m not that keen on the sea and the sky like that, though it’s also isolated but with a shop nearby (how nearby is a bit hard to tell from looking at the map) and there’s a bridge and a ’bicycle ferry’. I’ve never heard of anything like that, but I guess the term is self explanatory. There’s a church and some hills with a famous cave in the area. If the rent is ok, we’ll probably save a bit of money at least, which is very welcome. Of course, it’s having something of our own that’s the main thing. Now we’ll miss Midsummer in the countryside but that’s ok, we’re not really partygoers at the best of times. We’ll just have something nice to eat and drink (flavored mineral water).
We also have some things to see on tv. Right now, we’re watching some old episodes of Lewis and hoping that the second season is new to us and Vera, Poldark, The Durrells and Dublin Murders. When my children leave me time to do it, I read. I have dowloaded a bunch of books, not only from Amazon but also directly from authors whose newsletters I subscribe to. I mostly enjoy reading their newsletters and most of the books have turned out to be at least relatively good.