Friday, September 28, 2012

"I'll light the fire...and you put the flowers in the jar..."

I think that Zok and I may have had grand plans- for moving the furniture to rearrange the rooms but in the end we simply filled up empty spaces.

Actually Zok moved his desk- to the other side of his office but he plans to move it back.
The cold seems a bit sharper each day.

We went for dinner and our friends Smashed and Calavera made traditional Swedish food.  I suppose because of me and my vegetarian ways mine was a bit more modern.
I did not get a good photo.  I was really tired from a couple of committee meetings which followed Sunday scrimmage and this is my excuse.  But- I had veggie meatballs, with vegetarian gravy, mashed potatoes that were re-baked with cheese on top and fresh ligon berries.  I felt as if many a sad Thanksgiving meal was erased by my tasty food.  

Tomorrow I go to Finland a city called Tamprere for a Roller Derby match.  Their b-team has played together much longer than ours- however as I always mention- I have so much fun that win or lose I am happy.

Zok and I have been in Stockholm now for six months now, and we are both homesick for Tasmania.
I know it is strange to love a place and the people that live there and still miss another place while being in love with the first- but that is what we feel.  Zok has been so, so busy with work- that Tasmania will be a well deserved rest.

We still can't find a bakery near by that we like, so Zok makes pancakes- all the time.
But I am not complaining.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 hanging in the hallway...and the fragments of a song...

Certain things depress me- I don't know why- or I do know but I do not want to really explore or explain where the sentiment comes from.
Bad hotels are one of these things.  I can take a cheap, David Lynch hotel much better than I can take a fairly high priced hotel with no regard for its inhabitants.  By this I mean thin towels, worn out beds, cheap materials, windows that do not open, windows that look onto alleys, noise, bad carpeting, grout that looks mildewed, no ventilation- well I could go on and on. I believe I have stayed at some of the worst and also some of the best hotels.

Zok and I experienced both the good and the bad on our trip.
We also stayed at a friends summer home.  The house is a converted social hall.  So the space is open and the ceilings high.
There was coffee, good records, and a dvd collection.
I sort of just wanted to stay right there, but this was the beginning of our trip and I also needed to recognize that my wanting to stay stemmed from my feeling that I have not been home enough this year.
Perhaps I only have six months of the busy city living in me at a time.
Sometimes I wish I had friends nearby of the same age so I could check in and see if I am particularly lazy...
Or do I do too much?
Am I allowed to be tired when I am not a breeder?

...keys that jingle in your pocket...words that jangle in your head...

The island of Gotland is pretty small if you are driving.
We decided to just sleep in Visby though.
Zok and I were out of our element though, and I think we could not fully appreciate the island.  There are many ruins.  Visby itself is a walled city (not as pretty to my opinion as Chester).  The wall still has over forty towers, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The wall unlike Chester can not be walked upon.  The whole thing is about 4 kilometers.  The churches have parts that are from the 1200s, our hotel had parts from the 14th century.
The ruins are older than that.  This is not a time in history that I am knowledgeable of- so most of my reading ending in my thinking 'Gee that is old'.
As we were there at the very end of August, even the museums were closed.  We did stop as some Viking areas, stone markers, ring stones ala Stonehenge.  But Zok was really focused on his 'Loppis' quest.
No road sign was too small to go off road for a look.

...why did summer go so quickly? was it something you said?...

I have come to Sweden almost each year since I met Zok in 2000.
Usually I would come here because due to his work schedule, which is less 'touring' per say as working at the various European festival shows that happen each week in Sweden from about March through August.  
This year he was particularly busy though working at over forty festivals.
I now understand that his only chance of a real Summer is to be in Tasmania from January.  He is too busy otherwise, and he does not have good weather luck.  We just took a long, a very long drive from Stockholm down to Malmö, where we dropped off some band backline.
Then we continued up the east coast- over to Öland, then took the ferry to Gotland.  Zok had this idea to go 'loppis' shopping.
Loppis means thrift store, garage sale, and sometimes antique shop.
One never really knows what following loppis signs will bring.
Gotland is supposed to be jam packed with people all summer.
I do know a lot of people who go there around mid-summer.
Apparently come September first, the island is a ghost town.
We had a hard time finding places that were open although we still ended up with a lot of loot.
I didn't really believe that there would be loppis stores all around, I thought maybe the red cross variety in towns that we were passing though, but no- many people have them permanently- somewhere on their property.  In barns, small sheds that look like doll houses, or just on the lawn.
We bought a large bookcase, three chairs, a smaller bookcase.  Zok found the rest of the outdoor furniture he wanted at the 'fynd' room of the IKEA in Malmö.  I found two cute pair of clogs for about $9 each, and a good pair of wellington boots for $7 and a really cute suitcase that still has a lock and key.
We also picked up odds and ends like a horse shoe, a milk glass vase, a uranium green class soap dish, a good light fixture (the last we needed), two owls (I thought the small one would bring us luck and the large one is the type that hangs with a tealight that shines through both sides) and some pottery.
Everything was really inexpensive- compared to what I have researched with my loppis shopping in the Stockholm area.  As far as vacations go though, I feel like a need a few days to recover. a clock whose hands are sweeping...

Öland is an island- 137 km long and 16 km long.
At one point in history the island had over two-thousand windmills.  They were apparently a sign of status.  The island is also a Unesco World Heritage site because the farm land has been in contiuous use from the Stone Age.  Although the Loppis shops here were a let down, and the day was grey with continuous drizzle, I wanted to try and find at least one-hundred of the remaining four-hundred windmills.

Zok did not agree with this plan.

True, many of the windmills were similar in model, as if someone came along with a windmill kit that could be flat-packed and delivered for assembly IKEA style.
We were not staying here but continuing on to catch a ferry from Oskarshamn to Gotland another island.