Sunday, June 30, 2013

"...the view from her room in the Petite Trianon ..."

There are  many places that do not hold up in real life. For me- this is often that in the movies large places are framed from a perfect vantage point.
Experiencing a place should be better, or perhaps richer with the addition of emotions, and tactile experiences.
However if your emotion is discomfort, or perhaps annoyance for large crowds that are riddled with incivility...
I have had both-I have my dear friend Theodore's company, his knowledgable help (he has been living in Paris for years) and wonderful conversation.
I loved exploring the gardens of Versailles, the grounds that were Marie Antoinettes domain. Also the 'temple of love' was refurbished and not surrounded by a gate this time.
However, the Chateau (read massive palace) was so crowded it was unbearable.
The Arc de triomphe was as bad as I imagined. If a person could go when the crowds are gone-the experience might be better. Also the wonder of the structure is a bit diluted by the vast amount of HUGE, structures everywhere. 

"Wham! Bam! Cat goes splat..."

Having traversed what seems like miles, miles, and many more miles, I must say the thing about Paris is that everything is so SMALL. (Caps are intended to represent a tone of sarcasm.)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Allez hop! un matin Une louloute est venue chez-moi Poupee de cellophane, cheveux chinois

The last ten days have slipped away from me.
We had a midsommarafton party- as we wanted to be a bit festive for our house guest.  The day went well, but of course what with preparation, cleaning, and then cleaning up the event was more like three days.
We did have a bit of a "How many glasses of wine did I drink?" efterfest brunch the very next day with our nearest and dearest Sofia and Edith.
Then I had a (surprise!) guest.
Early the next day I went to the central station to meet a friend from Seattle.
We realized that we have see one another (besides both living in Seattle) in Australia, the U.K., three cities in the U.S., and now Sweden.
We squeezed him into our front room for a night.  Then he came with his son the next day for afternoon BBQ.

The central station is usually crammed full of people and this is no exaggeration, and I was surprised that when I went to meet Josh there the place was empty.
My photos of the hallway are not the best- I was a bit over-excited to get to where he was- so they were rushed and therefore shaky.  However, usually you can not see the tile work at all- the hallway is rarely noticed as all concentration goes to not being run over by the rushing humans.
As we walked back through Gamla Stan to Slussen- again the streets were bare and everything closed, with only select places opening from about noon to 4p.m. Ahhhhhhhh Midsommar!

All I have done today is the itinerary, directions, and notes plus packing for our week in Paris.

I will most likely not post for the week I am there as I am only taking my iPad with me.  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

End of the line: Hässelby strand T-bana konst

Here in Stockholm, there is a constant conversation of rain and sunshine, the sunshine soft spoken and the rain violent and stormy.

As always rain is a good excuse for finding subway art and this station did not disappoint.
 I almost made it to this station two years ago, as it is on the same line as my favorite station (so far) Ängbyplan,- 

 but I got a better offer at that time, so I turned around going to a party instead.

Thanks to my house guest and lots of rain and wind I finally made it to Hässelbystrand.

The plaque (as best as I could glean) said the idea behind the work was about transportation- but I think (tadpole to frog) more about transportation as evolution or movement on a greater level as there was mention of photons.

Here is an interesting link I found about the artist if you are interested:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

" this one of your long playing records, Chuck? Play the other side why don'tcha?..."

I have friends that live at what I refer to as 'pac-man station'.  The tiled walls here are newish- the artist Lars Arrhenius completed the art in 2008.
The actual station name Thorildsplan, which apparently is the name of an author.

We had a bit of a 'not raining so hard' BBQ, where the grilling is done in the light rain and we get to eat inside.
But I got to see yet another apartment which always interests me.

Also our host had fancy, tasty beers for me to try.  Only he and I were drinking the beer but I had no envy for the open bottle of wine or the cider our house guest is excited about!
(The best thing is that the cider she likes is much cheaper here, than in Australia so the high price of alcohol seems a mystery to her.)

I love that this station is so modern (yet retro!) the stop I think has only been in use since 1952.

Adorable.  Also adorable is Crack'her and her small charcoal grills.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

"...fell into a sea of grass...and disappeared among the shady blades..."

I spent a few days getting lost among the bike trails.

Our house guest has arrived safely and we are busy already so I can not write more now.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

"...the day breaks...your mind aches...she wakes up...she makes up...and doesn't feel she has to hurry..."

I filled out an online survey about Tasmania the other day, and there was a question about population- "Is 500,000 too much?  A good number? Would 750,000 be better?".
On the same day I read an article about how Stockholm is increasing by 30,000 each year, putting the city in line to be Europe's fastest growing city.  I am not good at large numbers.  So when I think of population increase, my first reaction is thoughts of what people leave behind.   Sometimes, I think more people in Hobart would be good, if you know I could hand pick them.  I mean its all a bit of a risk- people.  But, on a practical level, surely Australia having the space and infrastructure will have to let in more people?  How many people can Hobart accommodate without the ill effects I have seen in other cities?
Was it these facts that sharpened my notice of the increased amount of people who beg for money here around each train station and every crowded corner or shopping area.
The litter, the graffiti or more accurately the tagging that is more and more prevalent.  Each time I am in Stockholm, my mind thinks gratefully about what Tasmania does not have, not what Tasmania is missing. This was all on my mind while taking a long walk through my area today.

The Bad:
This yellow sitting on the lake edge, is pollen- the exact same thing is happening in our apartment.
Each day I think "This is a losing battle". But then I still get out the vacuum and a damp rag to try and clear all surfaces.
The Ugly:

I would like to only post the pretty pictures from my walk, and if I hadn't been so wrapped up in my reflection about world population, I might have done just that.
I am sad? irritated? exasperated?  that even the few summer houses in our area have been tagged.  I also picked up eight pieces of litter before just giving that up as a bad job.

The good:

I went a bit further that I had before along the trails, because the rain is starting to turn the lilacs which means I feel no guilt pruning a few vases full for myself.  There was another summer house community along a more 'off road' trail that were untouched.  I also found a community garden which I of course felt torn about as it was along the large freeway. My brain thought "Yeah, food growing!" and then "Ewwww, car exhaust."   The allotment houses I have blogged about before are rumored to have at least a twenty year waiting list.
  I suppose this causes some feelings of exclusion.  Yet I just like to walk among them.  There is a rise in the normal style of community garden which centers a bit more on food growing whereas a lot of plots do run towards just growing flowers.  There were parts, along the tracks with so many birch trees that smelled beautiful.  The lilacs are of course- glorious.  One item our places have in common is a tin roof, so in both homes the sound of rain, pouring down as it is now, is a lovely loud clatter.