Friday, July 25, 2014

"...Imse vimse spindel klättra' upp för trå'n. Ner faller regnet spolar spindeln bort..."

Can you tell from the title that I have been learning the Swedish version of 'itsie bitsie spider'?
Well I have.
I have also learned that I can converse with a four year old (who speaks by the way, English, Spanish, and Swedish)- as long as we keep to simple tasks such as water activities.  Of course the look of disappointment when I could not translate her Swedish book about a brave girl, who goes to the ghost castle into Spanish...was pretty devastating.

Other events have been staying in a small summer house.
This is not to be confused with a family's summer cabin- by example out on the archipeligo.
But one of the small shed-like houses that are on small garden plots.
They are in almost every neighborhood, and in the center of the city as well. They were allotted to the people when food was scarce so people could try to grow food and feed themselves.
Now they are normally dominated by beautiful flowers and only small amounts of food.
The one we stayed in was larger than I had seen before, and modern- a loft bedroom, small kitchen, open plan.
With a large garden and many places to sit.
It was absolutely lovely.
I did of course feel pangs of homesickness for our own garden in Tasmania.
But Stockholm is ruled by the apartments, surrounded by green spaces and waterways.  Having this much garden space, to oneself, well- that is typified by the fact that the waiting list can be on average 25 years.

Monday, July 21, 2014

"...I read the news today, oh boy..."

I have been avoiding the news, or well Zok would say I am obsessing on the details of the news, but I would defend myself by saying I went out all day yesterday, on a very long walk, visiting with friends and doing my best to listen- as opposed to talking too much.

 Green spaces quiet my mind.
Also, I got to see a crafty squirrel, outwit a small boy- the boy was clapping his hands to deter the squirrel, but the squirrel just cut left, ducked, cut right, and went around the boy to get whatever treat he was after.
The boy never stood a chance.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Kungsträdgården T-bana Konst

I had a some what unexpected date, and she kindly came along with me to brave the SL Stockholm Train Station art tour (in English).
I did learn a couple of things, I also learned that my impressions of the stations were pretty spot on.  The tour is an hour, so we only looked at four stations, T-centralen at the juncture of the blue line, Rådhuset (which I just put up, and will now add too), Stadion and Kungsträdgården.
The tour went too quickly for much in-depth discussion. Artists can now submit their ideas for the new line that is opening- a light blue line and I hope I get to see that before we stop living here part-time.
Kungsträdgården is an end station to both the blue lines- they call the station a 'grotto' station, because the builders found they could spray the rock with rendering concrete, lightly keeping the true shape of the blasted rock, these stations are deep underground, I think the guide said 30-40 metres underground.  This rendering also allowed the rocks natural water deposits to flow out via hidden drain pipes, and this is lovely. This method is touted as 'natural art' and I agree.

 It is obvious this station was designed as a whole project, although the different spaces are decorated differently- these are the platform areas to catch the train.

These sculptures placed around the natural rock is under a walkway to exit the station hall.

There were old maple trees that had to be torn down to make way for the station, and people chained themselves to the trees but to no avail.  This trunk of a petrified maple is a testimony to that struggle, and next to it the lovely coloring the constant dripping water makes.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

"...and the simple act of an oar's stroke put diamonds in the sea..."

Sometimes in life it is best to keep busy.
The sun has come out, upwards of 25 degrees c.
Swimming in lakes which I think have murky water, unsettles me a bit, but the heat drove me to swim.
Lunch on rock in the sunshine with friends is a cure for many types of ill.

Monday, July 7, 2014

"...But there were planes to catch and bills to pay He learned to walk while I was away..."

Samual Combs
I don't have a lot of information about my Dad.
I never did.
It's appropriate, within our storyline that I don't have much information about his death.
So he was born sometime in September in the late 1940s or was it early 1950s?
He died sometime in early July 2014.
All things considered...a surprisingly long life.
I should be able to write one good memory.
Well, actually I do have one,
For a short while he recorded letters, or talking, via tape and he mailed them to me. We would send these tapes back and forth.  I felt special that he would do that.  But of course kids are easy to please.
But I was not sentimental when I was young and I lost those tapes somewhere along the way.
He was poetic. He wrote well.
I do have some short stories he wrote.
I guess all along I had a wish that he'd get sober and be a good man, if not for me, then for the many children he had that are younger than I.
I suppose the fact that I actually have no one to tell about his dying is proof of how little we knew one another.  I guess the most I can say, is that I did want a Dad.  I did.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Rådhuset T-bana Konst

Even with a fluent Swedish speaker I did not quite understand this subway art.
We did not actually go to both exits which means we probably missed part of it.
With the wall relief, and some of what was written, my impression is that the feeling should be about what has gone before.  Because apparently a lot of Stockholm was built on top of what was already there, so if you took apart a building or dug into its foundations you would find remnants of an earlier era.
I could read the sign that tells you the wall had the 'common shopping baskets of the 1700-1800s' påse which sadly for me sounds just like pussar, or I guess when I say it, it sounds like 'kiss' not 'bag' you see how I can go wrong...

 Also a quick addition to the temporary art up around Slussen

The Swedish Summer Flow

There is a word in Swedish that people talk about often- 'lugnt' translated often as 'easy' but I get the impression from people that the idea of 'lugnt' is built into the dna of the Swedish people because people swear you can't 'quite' translate it.  I also think of this concept as contributing to the summer flow.  I have never had friends that are so easy going about plans fluxing.  I mean sure, if you make plans with one person, the two of you will usually stick together for most of the evening, but your group will get larger and smaller as the day goes on (and on).  No one gets very fussed if there is a venue change, or the park is so nice everyone just decides to stay.  People will leave for a few hours if they are working out (I am so not kidding) or have to do some errand, and then they meet up back up at the third or fourth place.  I admire the ease, I think I wasted a lot of time looking for parking in L.A. or dealing with a friends angst at being late, or their inflexibility to change bars to make it easier to add in friends from another part of town.

Also when I go out on the town, I remember that with city life comes perks like pinball!  There are a lot of things I like to do, that when I tried to find them in Hobart, people were so - inte lugnt ! about the idea that I have forgotten what I enjoy doing! Pinball is definitely one of those things. We went to a cool pool hall that had decent pinball machines.
I got to go to a good, small club gig which has always been my favorite type of show.  Also I found an adorable cafe on the water, part garden store, part bar and the cafe has a floating sort of hexagon summer house where you can have a quiet, coffee out of the rain.  Of course I am never very mellow about the train schedule after 1 a.m. so mostly that is the hour in which I turn back into my appropriate age group.

Here is a link to a video, of Snowy Dunes the band I went to see:


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"...Let's go out in the rain...rolling thunder and are the bravest sissy I know..."

 I seem to be having a week of bad news.  People who are sick.  Friends who will be spending more time than I ever want a hospital.
So I am feeling grateful- for my health and my life.
I am trying to shrug off any self-defeatist attitudes.
Turn around whenever I find myself somewhere I don't want to be.  Giving myself permission to not go there at all...
When I think over the years- skirting the hard times, I amaze myself with the amount of places I have been, and all that goes with that.  I could not have ever imagined my life.

Stockholm has had nothing but grey skies for the last ten days.  But the weather app allows me to get out and avoid the worst of the downpour, although I did pack my shoes when I went skating today just in case.
I like to think of myself as having the ability to use 'critical thinking'. Yet,
I have lapsed into pseudo-science many times...
 I don't have answers and I sometimes I do look for signs- all part of my theory of trying to go with the flow of my life, not to make things too hard. 
To that end, I still check my horoscope, but only from Rob Breszny- at free will astrology, and here is this weeks for Scorpio:

You have permission to compose an all-purpose excuse note for yourself. If you'd like, you may also forge my signature on it so you can tell everyone that your astrologer sanctified it. This document will be ironclad and inviolable. It will serve as a poetic license that abolishes your guilt and remorse. It will authorize you to slough off senseless duties, evade deadening requirements, escape small-minded influences, and expunge numbing habits. Even better, your extra-strength excuse note will free you to seek out adventures you have been denying yourself for no good reason.