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torsdag 28 april 2016

Why I try to be a Fairtrader.


In this glorious morning, we have heard about thunder and snow, but this country is kind of longish so weather is highly difficult to foresee. Even within a few miles there can be snow here and green lawns there. Still, the sun is now shining and I have just finished the meatballs that are tonights dinner. In an hour I'm off to my physiotherapist to see if my hip is now as fully recovered as it possibly can be, all things accounted for.

This morning we hear that the truce in Syriah is endangered, that is really sad to learn, we are still hoping for deliberation and wisdom.
The state of the world pushed me into writing somewhat about the other end of human relations.
I call myself Fairtrader but into this you can also add the support for Unicef, Ecpat and other important , independent organizations working silently to make a difference. Along with the churches aid.

Fairtrade was discussed already in the sixties by the WCC( world church council) and of course in the UN.  Today it's spread in at least 19 member countries and have several independant organizations in Asia, Africa and South America f.i.
I am fully aware of the criticism against the concept as a whole, any organization must be prepared to be thoroughly examined and questioned. The same goes for ecolabbeling and ecologic farming, also constantly in question.

The main thought in all this is to give farmers all over the world a fair chance to actually survive .
They are given a deal, an agreement as individuals or cooperatives, that their crops, whatever they may be, will be payed for exceeding the cost for production. It also encludes a bonus to be used among the farmers for whatever is needed in the village f.i. Some use it for welling, some use it for education, healthcare, schooling for children, decent housing and environmental care.
This creates an oportunity for the farmer to make changes big enough for a better life and more secure future. It creates means for indepent and proud human beings, that can support their families and give their children  a future worth mentioning.

Through the churches initiative locally and so called World shops, I became aware of how my food and my clothes actually were being developped. It was a horrifying awakening. I learned about childlabour, I learned about bananaplantations being sprayed on regular basis with pesticides, the farmer AND his family living in small houses among the plants......
Banana harvesting is also dangerous because it means using machete and facing venomous serpents.
In the beginning, getting sick or hurt working, would mean no more work, no more money, no more house. The same terms and worse was the everyday life of the cocoafarmer. This is still a very hot potatoe indeed, coffee and cocoa are highly profitable and therefor very few dare use the Fairtradelabel but use other, not very effecient terms for their farmers. The cost for us, that are to mae our choices in front of the shelves in our local grocerystore, is actually bigger. How much are we prepared to give to ensure fair conditions? And can we trust the organization fully?

The hardest issue concerns clothes. Fairtrade cotton is expensive and hard to come by. Cottonfarmers and clothingmanufacturers often hide the truth of the conditions, in order to sell more. We see it all the time in media. Most difficult are jeans. Yes, I use them too, I'm afraid. Getting them eccolabelled and fairtrade is almost impossible so I should actually not wear them knowing the procedures they go through and the high cost they emphazice on environment and workers, standing barelegged in the deep pools of colour and bleeching, the village watersupplies being constantly flooded with debree.

But you have to make up your own mind about this, read reports and books, look in to the matter and ask the questions you want answered. We have to put some pressure even on these organizations, there is always a risk with profit and power. But I choose Fairtrade and Eco when I can, but not nearly as often as I should. I really hope that I do the right thing most of the time but I am prepared to be proven wrong!!!  You probably already know how many products you can buy in any ordinary store. And yes, they taste just as good( often get that question...)

If you want some interesting reading i can recommend the following book:
"Fighting the banana wars and other Fairtrade battles" by Harriet Lamb. We have excellent swedish journalists as well, like Fredrik Gertten, who are engaged in this issue.

And, for the swedish and perhaps younger readers I will add this contribution from one of my highly beloved Youtubers, Daniel Norberg, sharp, funny and always updated, it's in swedish but I think you will get the picture!!

söndag 24 april 2016

Memory lane - the Djunglebook

Good sunday!!

On this glorious sunday , with snow, hail and sunshine in a fine mix, I find myself by the computer. It's not even mine, mind you, it's the oldest ones, she's got two....
The message in todays scripture is to grow in faith. I do try. Some days it's a bit hard knowing what the best option for growing really is and if I am on the right path. GPS malfunctioning somewhat?

Anyway, yesterday evening we made a run for it, husband and I. He got back shortly after 6, dinner  was on the table and the movie started at 7. We have the most lovely cinema in our small town, I think I have told you about it before. Run by an elderly couple, their son and several of friends and enthusiasts. House is old, the lobby is filled with old velvetcovered sofas and mahagonytables from God knows where and inside they have invested in good chairs and a good surroundsystem, not Imax or anything but good enough. We have worldopenings....

When I was a child, a visit to the cinema was a real treat. I think my first film was Bambi. And then there was the Djungle book...I can remember to this very day the exitement and thrill when the music started.. I had never seen anything like it, and through the years it has reamined my favourite. I bought the album as well, I doubt it can be played anylonger...
That same autumn there was a commercialevent in the city, Baloo and King Louie came to visit and I was absolutely terryfied, being what, 5 years?
Never got close enough to say hello...

This 1967 adventure has followed us since and our girls has enjoyed it, especially the oldest one. We read the book, she has devoured every book I own!!! I can still feel the thrill when the music starts...we have to dig in to filmmusic in some post!
So last wednesday, she and her friend went to see the new one, anticipation very high set. And she wasn't disappointed!! This was quite another film, not for the youngest ones.
And so we skipped off to see it last night, and yes, it's quite another film. The story partly follows the book more closely, the tone is darker and more, modern? We enjoyed the animations, it's absolutely astounding. The child Mowgli is however, a real living boy - Neel Seti. The way he is acting towards things and animals he can't see is almost scary. Perhaps they have used the animationtechnic also used in the Hobbitfilms and Lord of the rings, with a real person doing the moves and then covered with paint....OH, too technical!

Everything is bigger, perhaps it's in the childs perspective, King Louie is enormous, with the voicetalent of Christopher Walken.
There are laughs, oh yes, Kaa has a female voice, Scarlett Johansson and Baloo is laidback, goodhearted and plump with the voice of Bill Murray. Shere Kahn is malvolent and icy. The original music is heard here and there, nice for us oldfolks.
There is a danger in all these remakes, people take sides. But it does show that the story is a good one and stories needs to be told, over and over. The treasure of storytelling , in moving pictures as well as in books( real ones, with actual paper...) can't be underestimated.
We need both fairytales and real stories, the greatest real story have been filmed over and over again but in that case, there is nothing better than reading, meeting and being overwhelmed. Nothing but the liveexperience can do justice to that evertrue story.

Still, I will continue visiting the cinema or parking myself in the sofa, enjoying the skill and bravery is modern moviemaking as well as old goodies. Can't be any harm in that, can it?

torsdag 21 april 2016

Travelling memories- part four- London!


As you already are aware of,  I am not the slightest bit technical so reading my posts can be something of a challenge. However, I'll start off with some fun and games to get in the mood of things and present to you one of the Youtubers on my list - Thatcher Joe or Joe Sugg.

So, time to get serious, or as the Potterheads say, Sirius. I was pleased to see guests from both Ireland and England on my humble little blog. I have recently discovered several bloggers my own age in GB and taken a liking to their writing. Hope you will join me again , please feel welcome, where ever you are from!
Anyway, we went to London, first time in our lives ( yes, imagine ). I had it ALL worked out with properly loaded Oystercards, walkingmaps (not Marauder), tickets and vouchers, pocketmoney, you name it. I knew exactly what tube to take and where....only...they had added an extra twodaystrike on the tube... so first the train, then the bus and didn't everybody else??? Nobody seemed to know what bus to take, I think we dragged our suitcases on and off about a dousin buses, leading us hither and thither. Four hours behind schedule we fell into the lobby of our hotel, staff starting to pour icewater into us.

First night I ordered steakandkidneypie and a pint of the house lager. Nice. Then the days passed with touristing by bus and foot, girls getting the hang of tubemaps and streetsigns, dad getting more and more confused. Oldest one wanted nothing but clothes and makeup so we dragged ourselves through those horrid places pumping music and acres of fashion spreading out. Ouch, my feet, my head, my senses!!
Getting in to the Lushdepartment broke the smallest one in tears, great place but smelly and noicy. Birthdaypresent for greatest neighbours 50th birthday! 

A nice little heron in Regents park, the only bird that wasn't aiming for our heads, like the smaller ones.

We found videofilms not to be found in Sweden, food we never heard of. We listened to streetmusicians of ALL kinds, amazing really, the talents! The courage.The best of it all was actually just being there, it was a certain homelike feeling. Friendly people, noicy streets, people and languages from all over the world,  the bustle of the streets, overwhelming but then again not. All these familiar scenes blended with thousands of people, cars and buses. How can they even drive in those narrow alleys?  We decided we had to get back as soon as possible, you can't just rush through!!

And so there was the nice swedish church, we managed to find it, nice service, nice little ladies, coffee and cinnamonbuns after the service, one lady still writes to me. From the land of the living we went on to the land of the dead - Tussauds! Great!!! First wiew - Benedict Cumberbatch!  There was a Star Wars exhibit too so everyone was happy. So the days passed, only rainy day we took the train to Watford and the marvellous Harry Potter tour. We could have stayed a week in that place!

Only too soon our stay was over and we had that absolut most scary experience of an enormous airport were we got lost all the time and all the gates were 3 kilometers in any direction and always closing in ten minutes!!
We left England with a promise to be back soon and the most empty wallets I have set my eyes on.
So there you go - glimpses of a Londontrip!

Sunday morning, people on their way to the service in the Swedish church on Harcourt Street
I actually wanted to bring the video in here but couldn't for the life of me figure out how. Anyway, the streets are crowded with skilled and inventive musicians. This boy had emptied the cupboards of a smaller neighbourhood!
Kings Cross. Right next door!
Amazing inventions they have, these muggels.
Themes, and the city and a photographer scared stiff by the wuthering heights. I actually paid to get scared.
Some claim it's actually the interior of St Pancras you can see in the Pottermovies. 
Hop on hop off. Someone close to me fell asleep!!
This you already know, see the Hogwarts post!!
Youngest one kept a close lookout for this !!!!
Towerbridge. Next time we'll be here at nightfall, it's a treat.
Londoners are a bit stiff, we had heard, but everything is relative by comparison, eh?
A bit larger than the local parishchurch, but I would probably get lost inside!
It was a foggy and sticky day this, we took all the proper pictures....

måndag 18 april 2016

A mere 1000 years - and we can be rid of it!


So we took a walk into the woods again, though the springweather actually have gone off somewhere else. England is my guess, judging from some pictures I've seen recently...
The forrest is absolutely covered with woodanemones, white mostly and still some blue ones.
The bad hip behaved very good, better than yesterday in church I'd say where I moved around like some android. Various birds are singing highpitched and shrilly, the smell of awakening is very strong indeed. Mind you, I am NOT speaking of the Force...

Pasqueflowers reaching for the sunlight that never emerged today!

Still I can't help thinking about forces able to destroy all this in an instant. This year there is one of the many commemorations that goes on in the human world;
it's thirty years since the reactor in Tjernobyl blew and we again became aware that nuclearpower may be clean but certainly not safe. Up north in our country people were talking about bequerel in the trout and in the berries and the livestock. What things were like in Ukraine no one dared to speak of. 
Earlier.when Harrisburg was on the news it felt ever so distant, and for that matter, everybody said it couldn't blow but it did.

Tjernobyl, however, was Europe and therefore a threat to civilized world! By that time we had several plants in Sweden, something that I deeply feared and opposed myself to. It was about this time of year, april 26, spring was bright and warm.  In a few days, warnings were ushered upon us, about water, food, berries and meat from northern parts of the country. The farmacies sold iodinepills in large quantities and people were scared. I studied at the university and the discussions about nuclearplants were fierce and plenty amongst students. Some young christians saw in this the divine vengeance, the environmentalists celebrated victories commenting: we told you so! Ordinary people spoke of it for quite a while, but soon it faded in favour of other catastrophies. You can't go around worrying all the time. As the years have passed we haven't given it so much thought until suddenly the plant in Fukushima was endangered and the japanese countryside restricted and infected.

And so tonight there was the first of probably many documentaries on the issue. All was brought to life again, the pictures, the panic, Moscow hoping to hide the truth, politicians addressing the population with facts that actually altered everyday because nobody really knew how dangerous the blueberries and trout would be for summers to come. Yes, the fear is quite naturally concerning your own wellbeing firstly. What will happend to us, here?
 I look forward to the documentary about Ukraine and the surrounding countries. My memory is just as blank as anyone elses, Ukraine was quite closed at the time. Russia obviously looked after the people there, mending the wounds after such a catastrophy, but I actually have no idea how it was like for them!

So, why the caption: 1000 years?   Sadly enough, there is still no final and solid solution to the waste-problem. It's contained deep in the rock. 100000 years. Now there is talk about closing plants. The scientists  are working on an attempt to reuse the waste in order to reduce the time needed for safe storage. It's down from 100000 years to a mere 1000. That is indeed good news. But it would have been easier if we needn't think about it at all. I have no solutions up my sleeve. We need energy, heating, electricity. We need it to be clean, safe and solid. And at the same time we want to protect the planet and find sustainable solutions to how we are going to keep this planet green, peaceful and safe for everyone. Food enough, clean water, clean air, I know, these are political issues as well and I am no politician but I am human and I do live here. I believe there are great thinkers and inventors that can work this out together with us common folks. I just hope and pray that will take place now, not in a 1000 years.
The remains of the Tjernobylplant and surroundings, picture from

torsdag 14 april 2016

Empty rooms


Yesterday was a nice day, I had quite a few extra visitors here on the blog, not because I had suddenly grown immensely popular but because I published this address on FB. Today it's back to normal and I'm glad to welcome you to share what sprung into my mind .
This has been a very cold springday. We went for an outing , a busload with people all ages.
Well, perhaps not ALL ages, let's say from 43 and upwards. I don't know how it is where you live, but recent years things have began to change very drasticly. When you go by bus you have plenty of time to study the countryside and the small villages rushing past.
In the early days, people moved along waters to find a place with fresh water and good land. There they would start building, houses, barns and ofcourse the church. Either that or start their lives in the woods where they could start working with timber. All over this country, as in all other country , societies has appeared and grown in this fashion.

When industrialism started to change the way people lived and thought, the familiar picture of small villages and livestock on every field, began to change. People wanted to take part of everything new,
many got rich and wealthy and the differences between rich and poor became obvious. Factories emerged, villages became towns and larger cities, you could travel far, talk by the phone, buy everything in stores and work together with hundreds of others. You didn't own your living quarters anymore. Some decided to bring the new thinking back home, to the village.

Therefor some villages vanished and others found a new way to prosper, mills were built, small businesses started to grow, where we went today there have been glassindustries, fruitfarms and lumbering. Every village had church, school, grocerystores, bakery, butcher, doctor and library. The farmers would provide what the fancy people in town needed. Today we passed one deserted house after the other, one deserted factory or shop after the other, restaurants with faded signs and broken windows. Schools were empty or filled with refugees. Many of these houses, or mansions actually, in some cases, were so beautifully built.
Every little detail on these houses were lovingly and skillfully made. And now, empty rooms, blind windows without curtains and flowers, paint falling off everywhere and rooftiles sliding.

So sad. You can use your own vivid imagination and picture the life once flourishing within those walls, laughter, discussions, pain and agony, anger and happiness, banging doors and playing children.
You can imagine the lake filled with boats and the meddows filled with cows or sheep.
People harvesting or coming home from a long day at the mill or making glass.
It's not so long ago. People are strong, they try again and again, new ideas, new markets, new opportunities and families moving back in, calling for schools, dentalcare and mercantile. Calling for a place to christen their children.

The wonderful church we visited, guided by an old, retired priest, had been built for the needs of greater times, holding over thousand worshippers. Today, there was room for 750 but as the pastor said, an average sunday there would perhaps be 30. Only recent event that actually filled was when a famous artist came visiting with his show soldout. Many countryside-churches has also been reduced to empty rooms, sad to think about. But still, when the church is deserted, people move on and find new places to pray, when houses are deserted, life goes on somewhere else. Any one of these days we'll grow tired of progress and magnificent development, we'll grow tired of working by the thousands, living with thousands and knowing 4-5 by name and face. We will eventually start dreaming of silence, simplicity and hard work and sharing on equal terms and we will fill the houses and churches again.
Until then, I'll keep on pondering and meditating on these deserted, empty rooms.

tisdag 12 april 2016

Hogwarts, not so farfetched!!!

My next pet - Buckbeak!!!! He was actually moving...
I decided to dedicate this day to Harry Potter. Or, J K Rowling, his mother. You see, some years ago, when our girls were too small and one of our friends boy was ju st the age, we gave him a book for his, hm, 11th birtday I think. I for one, thought it was pure rubbish, but he opened the parcel and then we couldn't get a word out of him for the rest of their stay!
So, what is it with Potter, what makes people become Potterheads and visit this place over and over again, the Warner Brothers studio in Watford, England. Why do young people, and their parents, dive into these thick fairytalebooks?? One after the other, and then perhaps engulf the films as well, as we have done? To increase the fun of it, I'll add Paints glorious music again:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y57sYHIDP_Y

I'd say you mustn't put more into a story than the author ment to, but this is different and I think she really HAS put in more than meets the eye. Her referenses are equal to mine, I guess, we are about the same age. Let's go inside through these doors and think for a while!
The portal to the main hall - we were all in such a state!!
Harry is born a wizard, both parents wizards, that makes him a "pureblood". As an infant, he lives through the most dramatic events when the most evil wizard of them all; Voldemort, kills his parents but fails to kill Harry, his mother Lily takes the blow. The only visible mark on the baby is a lightningshaped scar on his forehead. The house here below is the one used in the film.
He is secretely moved by people from Hogwarts school of magic and wizardry, to his only living relatives: his aunt and her frightful family. The day he turns eleven, school calls him and his "family" find themselves in an akward position, they never told him the truth.
The actual school is a universe in miniature, what makes it so charming, besides the wellwritten story, are the people inside. The goodhearted and brave headmaster , Dumbledore, that takes care of the less fortunate, like the caretaker Filch, born by wizards but without powers, a squib , very shameful to him but headmaster never tells. There is also the giant gamekeeper Hagrid, once falsely accused of a horrible crime and sent to the infamous Azkaban, only one believing in him is .. yes.. the headmaster.
There are teachers with tragic secrets, teachers that actually transform into monsters and teachers that are actually dead but never noticed so they keep teaching. There are teachers that appear bad but carries the truth like a burden, professor Snape would be one of them. Dumbledore tries to keep calm among all these.

The school itself was founded by four wizards of whom one had another opinion of who is worthy and who is not, or in other words, pureblood or mudblood, i.e born by nonwizardparents or just one.
Here is something important to note: In the world of ours there have been opinions of that kind, who is pure and who is not, savage or civilized, black or white, worthy or unworthy, arian or not. The more you read the more you understand that the battle is not just between good and evil, there are hidden messages to the next generations; never, ever divide people like this!
Dumbledore and his beloved teachers fight for all children who wants to be in the school, whatever their origin.

Voldemort, who grows stronger by the minute through his followers and "disciples", is a brilliant picture of the evil that can only be defetead with love and bravery. His followers are bad to the bone, rotten to the core, but there are those who are mostly afraid. Harry, the boy who lived, is the hope for the future. The only one that Voldemort fears and the one he must eliminate, in order to become Lord of utter darkness. Harry is no savior, no Jesus, but the fact remains - the battle can only be won with unselfish love and great sacrifice. The books dig deeper and deeper into these issues and there is a scary tone that also is strong in the films, the border between good and bad isn't all that obvious, you have to make the right choices. You need help. And you can't be sure that the enemy actually is the one you thought, and that friends are not always friends by appearance only.

You can still see the hole in the roof where Voldemort made his entry.
So, no, Harry Potter isn't a book just for children, although it's easy enough to read. If you fancy a classical fairytale you will find that inside it, just like in all good fairytales, are hidden AND obvious references to adultknowledge of this world and mankinds inner thoughts and feelings, experiences and fears. I think I'm a Potterhead and as soon as I possibly can, I'll be back in Watford to be amazed and charmed by the filmprops and masterwork presented there. And I still have books to read!!
In Florida they are building an actualsizecopy that you can walk in to! See the amazing craftmanship of this!

måndag 11 april 2016

Bring back the Golden Rule!


The world seem to be holding it's breath. Will there be cease-fire in Syria long enough? Will the treaty in the EU about the refugees hold? Will there be a stop to the terrordeeds all over? Will the constant flow of people taking great risks on stormy waters finally come to a halt? Will Turkey send people back to the war? Is the climatthreat really a threat and should we take serious action before it's too late??
What will happend in North Korea next time they launch something?
Will the people of USA make a sensible choice concerning the presidential post?
And will there be an honest and visible case against those UN-soldiers that behave so disgracefully among people they are set to protect?
Will the people of Fukushima ever be able to eat the fish in their own lakes?
Whatever happend to the Golden Rule?

Who knows?  So many questions and on our own local level we have other worries, not of that significance perhaps, but big enough to keep us occupied. Will there be enough nurses this summer or must they close down a ward or two again?
Is it dignified to replace actual persons watching our elders, with digital monitors?
Is it at all possible to find teachers enough for all the children who wants to go to school next term?
This was Malalas most important issue - schooling for ALL children. And even if this is a rich country with good standards we can't encourage enough young people to become nurses and teachers. We can't promise a dignified and loving care for our elders with personal choices. Are we listening to our own longing when we make those bad decisions for others? Golden rule?

Not even in this small village we are at peace with things. In the countryside, people have decadelong fights over trespassing, waterholds, fences and borders. We have people selling alcohol, cigarettes and worse to the younger teenagers, we have fathers gladly helping their underaged boys to trim up their mopeds into MC-standards. We have a nice gang of wellknown brats smashing and vandalizing whatever comes in their way on holidaynights. But you have to catch them redhanded and proove it, haven't you?

There is no such thing as the perfect solution. You have to start where you stand, with things concerning you most and people you find extremly hard to get along with. If you can mend and bend things right in your own family and neighbourhood, you are ready to take on the world, providing everybode else has done the same that is. Is the Golden rule outruled??

The Golden rule is so simple you could almost call it naive, but why complicate things?
Still, we hold our breath because there is so much in the world we can't grasp, control or even begin to understand. Things are rushing on, war is at stake everywhere, poverty still holds, the issues are far too big for us small people to handle. So let's not even try. Start where you are, nothing can damage the demolitionforces more than the simple, trusting and obvious kindness that makes us human.
Faith and hope makes us strong and evil weak.
The questions have to be asked because the answers need to be heard, otherwise we can't fight for change where it's needed and that fight is much easier if we refuse to be blindfolded by the raising amount of evil.
We ARE holding our breath, we ARE afraid and we ARE asking these worried questions but as long as we do, the Golden rule is still alive in our hearts.

lördag 9 april 2016

There will be no Groundhog-day, but every other kind!!!


As I am approaching the end of my sick leave I realize there are lots of things I never did that I actually wanted to do. Isn't that really really typical for the average life?
Worried thoughts and questions about life will bother us when time is rushing on. Sometimes you actually come to some kind of turning point, making the changes you have always longed for or at least some small changes.
Most of the time you shrug and hope for a good night sleep and better options in the morning.
Or just get even with your worried thoughts and decide to like things the way they are.

Today, this sunny and rather pleasant day, . I took a long walk and felt good about things until I reached the harbour. Some really eager man was actually bombarding the long harbourwalk with a pressurewasher. Boatseason is closing up and people do use our smallboatharbour a great deal. This man was preparing for this. Just as some people clean the beach to make things brighter for the bathingseason.  It did give my peacefull walk a rather noicy surrounding, I couldn't hear the birds. There is this thing with me and birds. I'm no good with birds, can't tell them apart, Well some, like magpies and ducks, some smaller birds but most of them just sing and are identified by me as...birds!  And there is a beauty about this, birds are birds , Gods most lovely creations have different voices, different accents, some travel far and pick up foreign dialects from southern Africa or Egypt.
Like people, we are all beautiful and have different voices, accents and dialects but we are all people.
Just like we enjoy the birds singing because we love birds, we should enjoy other people for what they are, no matter language, origin or looks.
The world is full of people, God find them beautiful even if not everyone sings like nightingales, to him being humans is enough to love them. Good start. Too bad we don't see things His way.

 This day ended with the entire family in the tv-sofa, watching a favouritefilm - Groundhog day!    My american readers ( both of you) will probably know exactly what I mean.  We love this film for a number of reasons. Bill Murray is one. But the most important reason is that eternal question; what if we really did get fresh chances every day to correct our mistakes and learn to be better persons! If the gravest and worse events and deepest regrets would be wiped out during the night and we could start afresh, wouldn't life then finally be grand????

The great ego and actually unbearable person Phil uses God knows how many february the second to correct mistakes and become the person he wants to be and so get the girl of his dreams and everybodys devotion. Finally it's february the third and he can go on with his life. (If you never heard of this film, you can have a quick glance on the clip further down.)
Be your own saviour-doctor-whatever.  But humanlife doesnt work that way and we actually do get new chances every day, but we don't learn, do we? We share past, present and future, we have loads of opportunities to be wiser and better but it takes more than that.

On my own, I can't mend the cracks in my personality, I can't become perfect, loveable and unselfish,
I am no saint and will not ever be by my own efforts. My darker sides will not disappear if I meditate and reach enlightment and free my spirit from the world, because that is not what humans are about.
We have to carry the burdens of imperfection, we have to put up with flaws and bad character. We will eventually meet evil within ourselves and others but also great goodness and compassion and we will learn but never enough to save the world, But the grace of every new day will always be there, new chances, new sunup, birdsong. Always the hope of peace, health, better grades, new friends, the fading of bitterness. It will be worth it, to keep making life here as good as possible. That is what humans are about. And the occasional happy moments will keep us going, they are gifts!
Knowing that, we can really enjoy that hilarious film and recognize our own hopes and failours in it.
And if not a Groundhog day, there will be days when ends meet and we can fall asleep smiling.

torsdag 7 april 2016

I beelieve in the birds and the bees

Leaves in progress
Let there be light!
The waterline is still low.
The willow is in it's absolute prime!
Goodday to you!!

Oh I know the good Lord made a beautiful job on this creation, even in these foul times life is unstoppable all over.
For my daily walk, to make the bad hip a bit stronger, I reached for the sea. As I was walking I noticed the eager activities in the bushes; the bumblebees and ordinary bees are at it again; helping the creator!
When I was a child I was absolutely terrified of bees or anything buzzing wearing stripes. To that effect that I never dressed casual in summer, shorts, t-shirts, dresses. No, long sleeves and trousers, whatever the temperature. I didn't go out much either. It didn't help a lot that my mother set of screaming high pitched every time she heard something buzzing.
I'm still a bit scared but try to stay put when they invade my plate. Second time in Greece, as I've written here, we learned that wasps are carnivores and that the cute and cuddly cheesedoodles looking things hanging around us in the woods,were actually very poisonous wasps, and so I had to make a decision. I really hate screaming and running.

Bees, on the other hand, are equally fierce when feeling threatened, but they produce honey!
And they pollinate flowers, helping them to produce fruit and vegetables. So much that farmers and greenhousefarmers can actually rent bees. Like Hertz but with bees. The truth is that our lifestyle is making it difficult for bees. They loose their huntinggrounds, they get poisoned and farmers of today has began to forget the art of culturing some plants along with the rest of the crop, in order to attract bees. That knowledge has now been made active again and our agriculture Dpt, is encouraging farmers to add a few plants beside the fields in order to attract the bees . In our gardens we can do a lot to attract both bees and butterflies by choosing the right kind of flowers.

Now, I wouldn't dream of becoming a beekeeper with 50 beehives on my property, and sadly, less and less beekeepers in our country is a serious blow to the natural way of cultivating.
BUT, with the newcommers, I heard on the news yesterday, there are actually many beekeepers or people used to handle these little creatures. They interwieved one man from Syria, happily engaged at the hives and he said there were many like him. His goal was a farm of his own, being able to buy his own colonies. 
Birds singing,mating and making the great variety so obvious in our gardens, woods, lakes and fields, and the bees, doing a great job to make this planet flourish, that is my issue for today!!!
Oh, let them live!! 

tisdag 5 april 2016

Travelling memories - part three - Greece!

Good afternoon!!

Even if I do have serious things that upset my mind I think I'll leave it for now. One thing though ;
when I grew up I learned that older men used something called a Panamahat. It was high fashion in some period, not sure of when actually. Even so - the Panamahat was called for when you needed shelter, hide from the sunlight or just look good . Panama - you know!

I earlier promised to tell you about the rest of that disastrous first flyingexperience I had.
We went to Greece. The flight TO Greece was no success but the rest of the trip was.
I had never been further away than Berlin, so Athens was quite a shocking sight.
Cars all over the place, driving on and offroad. Beautiful houses and small churches pressed together with more modern structures or shacks in desperate need of mercy.
Meat and dead chicken hanging in the sunlight at the marketplace, calling on us to take our chances.
We were out walking the streets, not all that unpleasant really. We found a bakery in an alley and went in to see what it had to offer. Fond of smaller cookies we wanted to try a few of each. You know, two of them and two of them. But the baker shook his head in amazement. Those cookies were sold in kilos. We had to take up some serious debate to be able to try any of them, and finally he yielded.
After a week we were back in Athens and got back to the bakery, seeing him hide behind the counters but then giving up and selling us the small amounts we wanted.

Our guide was called Dimitri, not very uncommon. He brought his daughter, Philomene, with him some parts of the trip. He was, like many greek men, a strictly patriarcal type. He spoke some mix of greek, english, norwegian and swedish. His job was to keep us informed and happy AND keep everybody out of our way. He was an excellent storyteller and scared all other guides off if they disturbed his group. So we began in Athens and then went out on the countryside by bus, changing hotel once a day. So we visited Pireus, Sparta, Olympia, The cave of the Minotaur, we visited The ancient Epidauros and Delphi. We ran on the courts of Olympia.
We patted dogs filled with ticks and enjoyed Greeknight at Plaka. We visited potteries and giftshops, always greeted with a fair glas of Ouzo. We ate lots and lots of lamb and swordfish!!

WE also got engaged in the harbour of ancient Epidauros, Palea Epidauros. There was a thunderstorm that night but it wore off and the sky cleared. Once Dimitri understood what we had been up to, he ran out in the kitchen, commanding a bottle of champaigne to our table!
Epidauros ancient theatre is worth a chapter of it's own but I can say this: no one, and I do mean no one has ever managed to duplicate or even get close to the builtinacoustic of that place! Incredible!
And Delphi, with its red sand and breathtaking wiew, not to mention the buildings and almost living history wispering around the walls.
And finally, the Parthenontemple with the Aeropag, where Paul stood, adressing the greek about the altar of the unknown God.
Do I have any pictures?? Oh yes, slides....
Once I get technical enough, I might have pictures, but now, they are all in my head. What a trip we had!

Mmm, want some lamb?

The fabulous theatre in ancient Epidauros

The marketplace, agora, in Delphi

Wiew from the akropolis in Athens

måndag 4 april 2016

My wishinglist...and the issue of MONEY


Yesterday I finished the book about Malala. She started a fund, money is needed to secure childrens education, especially girls. On her wishinglist, there are no personal claims. What about mine?
I have no great claims, no expensive wishes. I have what I need,  but diamonds never were my best friends. For my birthday I got lovely tea, a mug, an angel from Willowtree, flowers, a scented candle.
My daughters love a show called swedish Hollywoodwifes. They definitely have a different standard than I have and, I suppose, other expectations . I can't imagine the contents of their wishinglist, but I can imagine you'd need a bigger wallet than the ones we have.

Money really is an issue to be taken seriously. Rich people are getting richer by the minute, poor people are getting poorer. You might think that those people have earned their welth through hard work or wise investing, but more often that doesn't seem to be the case. For if that was so, they would be ever so willing to pay taxes and speak openly about their assets. Some do, bragging about cars, art and yachts. Like the Hollywoodwifes with their pink and bubblingeveryday issues. With very special problems to go with the very special life they lead. Or is that prejudice?? Dear me!

But, again, many are trying ever so hard to hide most of their fortunes abroad. The Panamaaffair that emerged yesterday, doesn't seem to have any limits. Moneywashing and hiding with the able help of banks, with good and solid reputation. Customers of all kinds, mafioso and society, royalties and politicians, celebrities and merchants, have been guided to make good business. And yes, swedish banks are involved as well, this is very embarrassing . Time to hide. Or step out in the light.

Just a couple of weeks ago we had an insidedocumentary about swedish people hiding money in f.i
Switzerland or Jersey. Most of them didn't want to discuss it with the journalist...
No wonder Jesus uses the parabel of the camel and the needleseye. To be rich is also to be afraid, afraid of loosing some or all of it, not getting enough, developing habits you didn't need before, buying and investing far over your needs. You can't have both, Jesus says, God and Mammon. Because with money also comes power. Power is ever so hard to cope with. Wars, for instance, could never be fought without money, we'd be surprised if we knew who is financing who.

Money is necessary for survival, food, housing, school, clothing, welfare, properties, land aso.
Good invested money saves lifes and make progress accessible to everybody and starvation a thing of the past. Some rich people actually uses their welth for the sole benefit of others. And people that are richer in heart than in the bank make sure that the most unfortunate get access to the effects of that generosity. Social workers, missionairies, doctors, volunteers.

It would be wrong of me to say I have no interest in money, I would be happy if I could handle it better, pay off my loans and perhaps live a slightly better life. But then again, where would it end?
Would I settle for a certain level or would it continue to rise?? Would I keep buying camels and force them through the needleseye once a year? I can't say. So I pray : Lord, if I can't handle it, don't make me rich!
Still, my wishinglist , the secret one, does contain a few items that are not for the benefit of the poor and unfortunate, but I'm keeping it a secret, just in case!

söndag 3 april 2016

To celebrate birthdays and the serious thoughts it brings

Good sunday!

There you see, I can actually vary myself!!
This mornings service was an interesting one. One of our old ladies brought a piece of clay to demonstrate Jeremiahs text about the pottery. Need I say she has tought children all her life?
The birds are singing loudly today and my birthday is one day away. Not that it matters all that much,
but still. It reminds me of one of the actors in The Lord of the rings, Billy Boyd, who plays Peregrin Took. When he was casted he took a plane from Ireland to get to the settings on New Zeeland.
On board the plane was also Orlando Bloom, and that made Billy a bit nervous but since it actually was his 30th birthday he decided to celebrate it and brake the ice.
The nice thing about this was the calender, as he put it: when we got close to New Zeeland it was my 30th birthday again! Time is not constant obviously and therefor you can celebrate your birthday quite well if you travel in the right direction.

Yesterday we decided to watch a film with one of our and the oldest ones big favourites - Harrison Ford in "Blade Runner."  It's nothing like Star Wars or Indiana Jones, she was very quiet when Vangelis music rolled in at the End. We had a very interesting talk about this film and the book that lies in the bottom of it - Philip K Dicks Do androids dream of electric sheep?
The fact is that when I first saw it, none of it seemed very possible ever to take place but today...
The year is 2019, earth is worn out, dirty, dark and overbuilt. There is nothing growing in the cities and people has begun colonising other planets. To make life easy and at everyones leisure droids that are very humanlike are used as servants, slaves and entertainment. Their lifespan is set for four years and some of them hve been given memories of a childhood, to be easier to deal with.

Ofcourse all goes wrong, man is not God and control vanishes, the droids become aware and angry, not willing to die.
It's an actionfilm, yes, but in the bottom lies the question: Who creates life and makes the decisions on what a life is and is not? What will happend when our resources are all gone? What will become of man and mans moral thinking and love when everything is artificial because everything real has gone wasted?  We are running out of natural resources. We are creating manlike androids. We invest all we can och all we have in technical solutions, celebrating the glory of progress.
We talked about this and I said: when I saw this first time I couldn't imagine this being my future. Today I realize that it is actually yours and running fast too.

Just as Orwells 1984 asked the question : What kind of Future is ahead and who is making it? every science fiction film with some sense in it, asks the same .
I know and I believe in a future very far from this, but before that day, we have a responsibility towards the creator and the creation. It's good  to sit down with your wise children and have this discussion.
The future is already here, how are we going to live it ? And who is in charge?

lördag 2 april 2016

Things that are good for your bodily and mental health!!!

Goodafternoon again!!

Well, this machine decided to die and not rise again so we had to change the HD!! Hence the pause in posts.
Easter doesn't rub off very nicely on the household machinery, obviously.
Well, that is, if nothing else, a rather wordly problem. But since I stole/borrowed this from my oldest daughter in order to become a famous blogger(infamous perhaps?) we acted rather swiftly to restore it.

The bad hip has given me some troublesome days but on the whole, life is rather good.
Easter has given us more of spring and I actually went up to the mountain ( well, almost) to look at the flowers.  Birds were singing heartily, especially the red robin. The flowers that accur most right now are the wood anemons. You can take a look further down in this post.
The girls are free from school and spend time in the garden with the rabbit.
Or with us catching up with our mowiestock. When my mother, who can't handle her DVD, was here she wanted to see Star Trek, The voyage home....and later in the week the rest of us chose a film called " Bend it like Beckham".
I am sure you've seen it, it is a very nice and heartwarming film with a very great touch of India.
A young Kiera Knightly fits well in together with the great brittaindish scenery.

Recent years we've seen some films with Indian touch, not Bollywood but with actors and scenery from India. I have to tell you about this since we are all cineasts. The first one we came across was actually "Slumdog millionaire". It's cruel and very dark but at the same time there is a light and hope that can't be broken. I features Dev Patel, that actually doesn't live in India but has his origin there. It is a very good film, but nothing for cheerful days.
Another film with that same actor is ofcourse "Hotel Marigold." That is something entirely different, and it has a sequel equally cheerful. It features the greatest possible english actors such as Maggie Smith,Tom Wilkinson, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy...you name it.
The Filmclub also greeted us with an excellent film called "Lunchbox", that very much shows the everyday life of Indian great cities, or so I gather.
The life of Pi is another of those films containing glimpses of a culture and a way of thinking that is quite foreign to me, although in altered form. Not to mention the shimmering and strange films from China that our Filmclub has presented to us.

This week I actually jumped my way back to the churchchoir. I haven't done any serious singing for ages and it was good to be back. I can actually assure you that choirsinging, just as watching a good movie or reading a good book, is very good to restore a cracking health.
Back in 1980 I started in the churchchoir due to the leader that paid us a visit during musicclass in school. She needed new singers and we signed on, me and a friend of mine. The year after we had an exchangestudent called Heather, and she joined as well. This was my only contact with church those days and it took me at least a year to even ponder on what I was doing there. I loved singing, period.
But one day I met another exchangestudent, from the marineuniversity, a tall, VERY dark man that suddenly appeared outside church in the dark evening. He spent a good hour explaining to me why people sing in churchchoirs and how foolish I was not to even care. From that day on I payed attention to everything taking place in church and started noticing the lyrics. And so......

Well, dear friends, this was some kind of update, I'll be back to pick up more serious issues as well as more travelmemories. Please walk heartily among the everbright paths of spring and easter!