Wednesday, January 10, 2018

...2018...Forgive yourself for being blind to those who would break your heart...

Hej, Hello, 2018

I never thought I'd get to see you in person, and I surely did not for all my sci-fi book reading anticipate technology or its applications.  Thanks for bringing us 'Black Mirror', I needed a good adult version of 'The Twilight Zone' to keep me wary.

Summer continues and I am happy in the sun, in the yard or on the beach.  I am adjusting to the growth that is happening all around us...and growth feels inevitable, and at least here, a bit slower than in Stockholm.
I am continuing to educate myself on local (and national) politics.
I listen to AM news radio in the morning on my vintage tube radio.
 I try not to scream out loud when party members (aka politicians) say CONSTANTLY "Well the opposition won't make this or that better-" there is this constant rhetoric of "It's not me! It's them!" like children.

I am also trying to get over what I dislike about Twitter, because here, I do find that it is useful for quick updates- 'Why is the Southern Outlet (one of the two ways into town from our home) backed up?' or There is smoke! Is that a legal burn off or is there a fire that might spread?  or better still - the list of which sellers will be at our local farmers market.

One of us gets to stay home and one of us is going on tour.
Both of us will catch up on books and movies/TV that the other doesn't like.

Hopefully between the two of us the conversion of the garage will be finished and I will have that to post about.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Just a girl out of her element

I am typing to you all...from a HOT, windy day- less than a week from Xmas, only I have no feeling for Xmas at all this year.  I am listening to the new Curtis Harding via Spotify on my noise canceling headphones because there is loud construction noise emanating from below.  The office in the garage is almost least the main parts.  Not the windows, or the stairwell into the house seem to me, quite large undertakings.

Meanwhile, I do not know where the time goes...although I am at the gym 4-5 (sometimes 6!) - I would say I have been going 5 days a week but sometimes I think that the sessions just make me too tired to do much else.  I will do a bit of yoga - maybe a 20 minute 're-set', but I rarely go for a hike, swim, or bike ride like I would do when I was going to the gym closer to 3 days a week.

I have also tried going up in weight to the point of 'failure' aka leg giving out- weights dropping to the floor. Basically the gym shapes an otherwise free-form day while my better half is busy in his own world.
Here, at the bottom of the planet...hours ahead of most people I know...I find that I can untether from social media- which in turn- makes it easy for months to slip by.  I am still phoning people which is fun when I can actually get someone to pick up a call.   

 But I do feel strange when I think of the gym as being my 'constant'.  I feel my natural state is in a park reading a book.  I know that people at the gym find me odd, and I find them the same...I admire all the instructors that they have put the work in that they have to be "Fit"- but I do not really understand it.  I look at myself and all I think is maybe this is as good as it this I mean I am motivated by fear really...that IF I did not go to the gym so often, I would blow up like Violet Beauregarde in 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'.  I don't expect to suddenly cast a glance over my shoulder and see a toned arm- let alone muscles in my legs so then the futile nature of my actions seem -absurd and my thoughts go a bit tangled.  Where are my people? 


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Half-right - Violets in November, and a post before the end of that same month

I have just returned from the mainland.  A perk was that there was forced television and radio watching/listening so that I did get to see the voting results from the Australian "Marriage-Equality" postal survey come in.  This also meant I got a short lesson in why 61.6% was an "overwhelming" majority. Eighty percent of the population sent back the survey even though it was not mandatory as voting here, is.   Obviously, I am heartened that the vote was viewed this way- and that Tasmania was not dead last in percentages, our state had 63.6%, or fourth-highest of seven.  However, legislation still has to be written, and passed through Parliament, and so far that body does not seem to be echoing the will of the people.

Even though I have tried to center all my attention on learning about Australian politics, the U.S. still spills over and soaks up some of my attention.  After a particularly funny 'Broad City' episode, I can see that much of this year has been sadly dominated by Chump and all the darkness that seems to stem from that event.  When I sit down to write I can't find anything that I want to talk about.  The day-to-day seems too unfeeling in a world so full of well...strong emotions.  

Another aspect is that I have been talking to friends on the phone.  The phone not unlike cassettes seem to be making a come back.
 So if you find the current posts lacking - why not give me a ring?

Friday, October 27, 2017

...where October went...

Despite my resolution another month has passed without my doing even short updates on this blog.  My birthday is soon and I thought to myself "What did I do last year?", and as is my habit I would come here to look.  This is the main function now that people have moved on from Blogger and/or can no longer comment.  

I think the only significant thing I did was that Saff and I drove up to sleep over in Corinna, and Stanley with the idea of getting an impression of the Tarkine forests.  We essentially drove the gold route seen on this map.  A fair amount of time has been taken up with Croquet and the sharing of our car.  

 October always has the quality of my constantly comparing and contrasting - in a way to blame my new upcoming age marker for any troubles I might be having.  
Switching back and forth between countries, and missing out on the down time of winter - takes up a lot of mental space.  On my way to the gym, I got all the way to town and the closed parking lot, before I came to the conclusion that it was a public holiday.  But then I couldn't remember the rules for parking on a public holiday.  
Here is my list that goes along with the passing of October.
Made lemon curd successfully once out of three tries,
Gardening- which involved trying to preserve many lemons, mostly I made lemonade concentrate
Volunteering time to Friends of Peter Murrell Reserve
People dropping by, phone conversations (right?! new trend), and having a house guest
Never finding the time to read, but getting a library loan, and trading in books for three new ones I want to read
The gym
Letter writing
Listing items on Etsy and Ebay...and navigating the new policy changes and wondering if this is a worthwhile use of my time

The important aspects-
Spending time with people I haven't seen in months
Enjoying the garden
Stressing over, and yet happy to have it to stress over - our home
Enjoying new music (new QOTSA)
Exploring and appreciating Hobart-town
Getting to a part of the state I hadn't been to before
Trying to understand Australian politics and trying to understand what matters to me- and where to expend my mental energy.

Stanley- The Nut- and the N.W. are definitely worth another visit- although I would camp if I had my choice.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

...where September went...

I went on two trips right before leaving Sweden to return to Australia.
I have been back in Tasmania for two weeks.
Suddenly, the calendar says October.

I had a really good time in Chester / Saltney as I do each time.
This year I kept local, going back to some areas I didn't visit the last couple of times I went.  
Right after I returned to Stockholm, I went on a 5 a.m.(!) train to Malmö, to watch a long weekend of Derby. The WFTDA Division 1 finals.

I wish I more time to update my diary here, but the Internet is going down off and on with some rainy springtime weather. I will have to try again soon.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Ex-nuclear reactor research facility and the pull of Atlas Obscura

A friend recommended to me this website; Atlas Obscura
There are some interesting stories that they run.  There are not many sites marked for either Tasmania or Stockholm. Well, actually a lot has been added recently for Tasmania, but they are the same places you can find in any tourist guide.  Stockholm has two that took a bit of searching.  A nuclear reactor in the middle of the city, and a monument to a plane crash (also in a central area) that had no casualties.

I have a friend that lost a family member and our summer has been coloured by her grief.  She helped me a lot the week I found out via Facebook that my Dad had died. I was happy that she felt spending time with us could help her through the process, and I am grateful for all the time we have spent together.  We are also not over the violation that was the house robbery. While it is true that Stockholm is going through a large population increase, and building of infrastructure and housing, improvements and extensions of local train lines.  We have new buildings going up on our block, and a school just feet away from the other side of our apartment building.  The trains are crowded, the streets are crowded.  All this has impacted us in ways that we are not in the same mood for exploring or loving where we live.  We had never planned on staying here forever- yet I think we were open to the possibility that work might keep us here until we could retire.  I say, we but...
Perhaps we are both emotionally distancing ourselves and we prepare to try and live on the island full time.  

Meanwhile, not each day has been grey.  We have had nice dinners and excellent company.  Because of one of these dinners I found out I knew a guy that knew a girl that could get us into the Nuclear Reactor, which via Atlas Obscura I had found the building, but not even the actual entrance.
The whole event was satisfyingly cloak and dagger.
Although, I do realize I could have gone to see a performance there, but I couldn't find a date, and I probably would have just gotten lost.
Besides, we had a tour guide with insider information.

The reactor was for research, when Sweden decided not have nuclear reactors, and the research showed that having even a research facility in the city, was not in the peoples best interest, they shut it all down.  Removing the waste- although I don't know what they did with that waste, but whatever they did, it can't be as ill advised as the U.S. attempts. This was in the late 1970s, early 80s.

The coolest thing is that the space is used by the media department of the KTH University for art, dance, music performances.  There is a really, really cool Wurlitzer organ that when powered up, a slated wall opens to reveal glimpses of a room full of instruments, drugs, horns, various sound makers.  
Somehow that all ended up on my instagram feed and 'stories' by not saved to my phone.  Such is progress.
While we were there an architect student was setting up her dissertation in visual form.




Tuesday, August 15, 2017

When you are completely incorrect in a belief

This year and last year, there is a lot of English on the signs around Stockholm, the official signs- also tourist pamphlets.  There are apps that allow you to download audio in English to your smart phone.  There is a noticeable difference in the fluency of younger people moving from Swedish to English in the same sentence.  Years ago there was also English on signs, but about fifty words to every two-hundred words of Swedish.  The signs about subway art are all in Swedish, and when I first tried to learn about the art, there were Swedish only tours, and all the available brochures and books were in Swedish, this was the same year that I started listening to Podcasts.  Before iTunes took over the aggregation of them, the shows were found through sites called 'podder'.  Every podcast I listened to was some guy (almost all male) in a small room somewhere, just talking into a microphone, but I was a bit starved to hear English and alone in Stockholm, so I listened to them while I roamed a world that was mostly incomprehensible to me.  
All this new addition of English (and perhaps a bit of my improved Swedish)- I keep realizing that some idea that I had- was completely incorrect.

I am a chatty person and going so many days without conversation was shocking to my system.  But I have always moved around a lot- and often I am a stranger- which is why I think that characters from books occupy such a large part of my brain, from my earliest memories I have merged these characters to a place where I think of them and their adventures as if they were friends who told me what their lives were like first hand.  The same went for D.Js on the radio and later podcasts.  This meant most of my thinking was down silently in my head- without anyone to correct or corroborate my ideas and beliefs. 

Another aspect or product of this is when I find out I was completely wrong in my beliefs about something- even when it is trivial- I did not grow up with an Internet to fact check what I believed, and perhaps I am in the last generation (living with read access to computers) that will grow up with beliefs that do not get challenged until years later.

I just found a pamphlet on the Moderna Museet 'Utomhussamlingen' aka 'The Outdoor Collection'.  Sometime in the 1990s there was a toy called 'Zolo' which is what a group of statues outside the Moderna Museet reminded me of.  They are in part mechanical but they do not run during Winter, and I was only here in Winter the first couple of visits.  Finally I saw them running, but until this year, never all at once.  I think I mentioned them to our roommate who said 'Oh yes the Picasso garden'.  Who was I to think I knew all of Picasso's artwork?  So I also started to call this area the Picasso garden.
Two years ago, I was on another side of the museum where I found a piece that did look like sometime I had seen by Picasso, but this also turned out to be incorrect, the piece is done by a Norwegian artist Carl Nesjar based on Picasso's cardboard models.

 From my new information I now know what I thought of as the Picasso garden, or the Zolo garden (no one I ever mentioned this to remembered the toy I referred too).
is in fact called 'Paradiset' or The Fantastic Paradise by Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguelly, I couldn't find many photos- I think I wrote about this place but maybe ten years ago.  These are not comprehensive but lately I have been uploading to Instagram stories more than anything else.  I do not know why I feel such a strong sense of embarrassment that I misconstrue facts, or perhaps told a guest incorrectly about some place I took them to visit but I really do.
I now know that this was created for the World Fair in Montreal in 1967 (Interesting!) and that in the "warm season, hte figures are set in motion, spurting water that trickles here and there".
I uploaded most of the mechanical ones in motion to the 'stories' for my friend M. and here I will add an apology as when he came to visit I was excited to show him this small park, which at that time was not in motion and whatever I told him about the place was apparently made up information.