Posted in Other

Warning: grumpy post

Apparently, The Eurovision Song Contest is over. I say apparently, since I don’t keep up with these things. Usually, my mom does, for some weird reason, but this time she only watched some of it and mercifully spared my sister and me the whole house shaking ear drum breaking noise attack. Do I sound negative? Sorry. I’m having a bad day.

When my sister and I got curious, after the fact, as it were, about why many people were unhappy about the song that won, we decided to listen to a minute or so of each of the top ten songs. So we did, and I quickly realized that while the winning song definitely wasn’t my thing, I could tell that it actually was a good quality song. The others were meh at best. To me, that is. I’m not judging the people who liked the others.

All this is just a prelude to what I really wanted to say.

I feel out of touch with the world. And considering the way the world is going, that’s fine with me. But it does make me feel like some weird freak. I hate the music most people like. I hate most tv series and movies released these days. I hate the aggressive marketing strategies that most people seem to take in their stride. It makes me sound like some grumpy old 100-year-old and I hate that too. LOL.

So – what did I want to say? I’m not sure. Maybe that I want to take my family and find some out of the way place and at least be safe, if not happy. And dive into books and (probably old) movies and tv series and forget about the rest of the world.

Posted in Other

Our ancestry!

The genealogical DNA test results have come! I had no idea they sent these things on a Sunday, but apparently they do.

Unfortunately, most of our relatives don’t seem to be doing any research so today we’ve only found a few people that we’re related to.

What we did learn was our genetic origin.

Just like we already knew, we’re mostly Scandinavian (Swedish and Norwegian – 82 %). Surprisingly, we are also 9 % Irish, 3 % Finnish/Karelian, 3 % Western Europe (most likely France or Wallonia), 2 % Iberian (Spanish/Portuguese – I’m keeping my fingers crossed it’s the latter, since I have a really good friend who’s Brazilian, with mainly Portuguese ancestry) and 1 % Britain (most likely Scotland). This is so fascinating. We’ll probably never find any relatives from Ireland etc, living today, but just knowing about this part of our ancestry is so thought provoking. Apart from our Scandinavian ancestry, the Irish ancestry has the highest probability, but clearly there’s something else as well.

I really hope we’ll be able to find out more. When more people join the genealogy site (and possibly some others that use the same DNA tests), we might actually get to know people who are related to us. Maybe we’ll even solve the great mystery of our family tree – ‘who is my dad’s real mother’?

Posted in Other

In shock

I’m sitting in front of the tv, following the news about the terror attack in Stockholm. It’s hard to describe how I’m feeling right now. Stockholm was my dad’s city, so in a way it’s also mine, even though I’ve never lived there. I see images of places I’ve walked and where I might, in theory have been walking at the time of the attack, if I’d been out traveling. It’s completely unreal. At least my whole family is safe and sound, right here, next to me. Today, it’s never been more clear to me that nowhere is safe, no one is completely protected from this sort of thing. At the moment, I don’t have anything more to say, except take care, hold on to your loved ones.

LittleLion

The image is of a little copy of one of the ‘big’ lions that briefly appeared in the footage from the news segment, one that my sister bought the last time she was in Stockholm, since we have passed it more than once while in Stockholm. I’m going to let it symbolize my Stockholm.

Posted in Other

OT: My reality

Lately, there’s been a lot of negative attention to Sweden in the media. Apparently, we live in a country where things have gone badly wrong and people aren’t safe in their beds at night. To quote one of our politicians, ‘what have these people been smoking?’

Since I live in Sweden, I thought I’d give you my impressions.

I live in the countryside and it’s true that the urban areas don’t spend a lot of money on us out here. When I go into town, by bus, to do the shopping or whatever, I see abandoned buildings. It’s getting a bit like what I’ve seen in photos from America – empty plains where a few major agricultural producers own all the land and grow crops there. People don’t feel it’s worth paying to renovate their buildings. Unfortunately, that also means that there are fewer buses going and it’s getting harder to get by without a car. As for criminality, there are burglaries sometimes, about as many as I remember from before the refugee situation. Nothing more. I feel perfectly safe living out here with my children.

I’ve also been to the capital (Stockholm) and the two largest cities after Stockholm (namely Gothenburg and Malmö). Whenever I’ve been there it’s felt safe and ordinary. That is, I’ve been to the city centers during the day. I have read in the newspapers that certain suburbs are less safe, during the evening and night, but to be honest, I’ve read that for a very long time, long before the refugees started coming.

There’s a shopping mall in Gothenburg that we tend to pass through on your way from the railway station to any shops or other places you need to go, or at least we used to. My sister went there hoping to get us something to eat when we’d arrived very early after trip abroad and beat a hasty retreat. That place doesn’t look safe, but really, it’s never been safe, as far as I can remember. When I was a kid, you feared Swedish gangs, not foreigners. Nothing has changed. It’s still creepy and we avoid it now, even during the day.

For far too many years my sister and I were stuck in a vile dump of a town. It’s bigger than where we live now, and to be honest, there’s more culture in the old place. But people were really horrible, and by people I mean Swedish people. That area has been known for its ugly, rude, unpleasant and unreliable inhabitants since medieval times. That’s right. In ancient Icelandic documents you can read about the people living in that area and they’ve always been the same. Then in the last year or so before we finally, far too late, moved away from that dump, you began to notice more foreign people. And by notice, I mean in a positive way.

In the past, I’ve had people glaring at me and my family. Laughing rudely. Slandering us. Trying to get rid of us. The only reason for that I can imagine is that we’re different. Anyway, when the newcomers arrived, things started to get a lot nicer. They started talking to me and my family. Helping us with our shopping bags, asking us about buses.

Even a few years before so many people arrived, there was this one incident I won’t forget. We were on our way back from a shopping trip to the next town. In a roundabout, a little animal, maybe a weasel, ran out. Our bus driver was an upper middle aged man looking like maybe he came from the Middle East. I prepared to close my eyes and ignore what was going to happen to that poor little animal. To my astonishment, this older man swerved and avoided it completely. Even a Swedish man would have been unlikely to avoid crushing a small animal, yet this man who didn’t in any way look particularly sensitive did that.

Apart from this incident we’ve been treated very nicely by bus drivers, ticket sellers etc, most of them seemingly born somewhere other than Sweden.

Now that we live in the countryside and need to go by bus every time we go into town, we’ve had some trouble lifting the huge twin baby carriage (and now buggy) onto the bus, even though my sister is very strong. Fortunately, people have been so nice and kind, both the original locals and new arrivals. For instance, a barber from Syria and a friend of his jumped up and helped lift the carriage onto the bus. Afterwards the barber sat chatting amiably with us, even when he realized I was single. Unlike in all the stories about sexual harassment etc, no one’s tried to pick me up or stared or commented rudely about me. To be honest, everyone is a lot nicer here than in the old place.

So, to sum all this up: I’ve never met any new arrivals who have been aggressive or threatening. Most of them are very polite and nice. It’s meant a lot to me to be treated just like anybody else, to have people listen to me and smile at me. That hardly ever happened before we moved and never before those immigrants started arriving.

Reading all this negativity about Sweden both surprises and upsets me. As far as I know, there’s no truth in any of it. Of course, it’s very clear that the people behind all this desinformation have a hidden or not so hidden agenda. They want to undermine our society so they can take over. It may mean that my family and I will have to move abroad, to somewhere safer, if there’s anywhere like that. And that has absolutely nothing to do with all these newcomers.

Posted in Other

Ordinary winter day

Today has been a bit mixed (of course it’s not over yet, so who knows?). Starting with the bad to get that out of the way, I saw something extremely distressing on tv. It was a news segment about the Swedish chef team in some competition or other, I can’t be bothered to keep up with these things. Anyway, there was this guy, calling himself a chef, who was cutting a live lobster to pieces. Is that really legal? I was horrified and so were my mom and sister.

Moving on to more positive stuff, I think the highlight of the day was going for a walk with my children, in the bright sunlight this morning. Actually, my sister helped my son walk (he’s almost a year old). I took the new singleton buggy for a spin with my daughter, who is slightly less sure on her feet (but pretty good too). It rolled very well and all in all seems to live up to my expectations. The reason I bought it was that my twins have been given appointments with the dentist for the very first time. Unlike the child care clinic that always lets twins come at the same time, the dentist wants them to come on different days. It will be the first time they’ve ever been apart since they were born. Naturally, I could have brought both kids on both occasions and asked my mom or sister to sit with the one who wasn’t going inside, but I thought this might be a good opportunity for them to learn to do things apart.

Finally, this afternoon, I got a text message telling me that my medication that has been out of stock for a couple of weeks is finally back and I decided to go into town to get it right away, since I’ve already been without it for too long. I’m going to get a headache every morning for a few days at least. 😦 On the way back, there was this good looking, very polite kid who was waiting at the same bus stop who smiled and told me to go ahead and get on the bus before him. Just a tiny little gesture but naturally I appreciate it after living for far too many years in a vile dump of a town. Here people are mostly great. It make me sad that I wasted so many years.

Posted in Other

Pet Corner: Nene — WWLP.com | Spiritandanimal Blog — spiritandanimal.wordpress.com

Breed: Chihuahua mixAge: 13 years oldGender: MaleColor: Tan/White Background Nene has been at Dakin about 3 weeks and he’s ready to become someone’s sweetheart! Nene is a shy boy, but once he gets to know you, he’s your pal. Nene likes other dogs on a case-by-case basis, so a proper introduction would be best if […]

via Pet Corner: Nene — WWLP.com | Spiritandanimal Blog — spiritandanimal.wordpress.com