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torsdag 27 april 2017

Schooldays - pondering on how my world looked 1979

Part four of schooldays will be right here with links to the others. I will add pictures, just wanted to get started!!

Before I start this I will do some digging and see what I can find about those days and the places that are now long gone.  In Sweden we mostly graduate from high school at 19, but some programmes went on for four years and in those days, just as now, people came and went, took time off, went to the states to study or work or just plain dropped school altogether and started working at 16.  It was much easier then, today every line of work demands many years of studies, if you have no head for books, you have to be very strongheaded, determined and naturally skilled to get a job. It helps if you have connections too. If not you will be set aside, perhaps even have to retire at 25 because your health grows bad when life comes to a halt.  Money is scarce, you have to depend on savings, parents, social wellfare aso.  I see it from time to time, but also some young people are quite good at getting odd jobs and constantly have a positive outlook on things.  Some are not. 

1979 there was still lots of work to find, second generation of immigrants from Hungary, Yugoslavia and Italy were firmly established. We also had a large amount of people from Finland, some arrived here during the war, as children, some established themselves in the decades to come. That is why we have whole communities where the finnish language is spoken by 50% of the population. We have sisu-radio and sisu-tv and many congregations advertice for bilingual ministers and deacons, swedish-finnish.

We now got used to Chinese restaurants and pizza-bars, panpizza as well.  Hamburger bars could be found all over and downtown was a proper paradise for teenagers with no money, at least I never had any, unemployment and failing health made the following years tough for my mother, the block where we lived had started to decay, people were moving, mums best friend Eva moved to Stockholm with her husband and her children, leaving us in a vaccuum.
My hometown had begun it's change, old blocks torn down, new, modern , anonymous buildings took their place, the areas with 8-16 storey buildings with small apartments, started to pop up every where in the outskirts. It started already in the 1960's.

I applied for the most popular schools, the one with most prestige was Latin School, but there was also St Peter High School.  My oldest cousin, wanting to become a physician, finished at Latin School and went on to the University in Lund.  But I was accepted at Pildamms skolan. If you remember the great park where I spent much time, partly because of the outdoor theatre, you may also recall the ponds once dug out by prisoners .  Those ponds gave name to my school, but first it was called St Johns.  The more modern school was built close by in the 1960's, very close to the church where I started to sing in choir.  It housed about 2000 students, a huge establishment . I knew absolutely no one and was terrified!

onsdag 19 april 2017

Happy Eastmas or Merry Christer??

Here is spring for you!!
We are celebrating Easter and the victory and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ!!!
You see the flowerpot and the garden chairs!! Used just a couple of days ago in the warm sun....
Usually we do that in the amazing and hot springtime with flowers abloom all over, and the grass growing. That was the case until this saturday when the snow came....almost 3 inches at the most, we in the southern parts of the county had about 1,6 inches but that was quite sufficient.

A solitary fishingboat lies in the shallow water when we walk by monday evening

Painted eggshells anyone?
The girls creations assorted!
 Temperature dropped and this morning there was a thick layer of ice on the windscreen. Yesterday me and my colleague payed the neighbouring parish a visit with a bundle of songs for one of their gatherings. Snow absolutely filled the air for hours but this time just airborne. It was a bit strange to sing about springtime and easter with that view outside the windows.
Easter services have been very serene and nice, churchchoir on some, violin on some, solo on some and then Sunday with 12 of the children from our younger choirs, entering the church with the cross and hands filled with daffodils . Afterwards everyone got a flower to take home. We celebrated in both our churches and also in the chapel on the island in our parish.

The songs of Easter are so beautiful, church choir only sang on Good Friday so Ave Verum by Edward Elgar was one. Here sung by a brittish choir, St James's perhaps?

Here is one for Easter Sunday, and the lead singer here, Lena-Maria, is one of our most devoted Footpainters, she is a great inspiration for the Foot and Mouth painters in Sweden and the rest of us for that matter. The lyrics is: Your hands are full of flowers, whom were they meant for? They were meant for the tomb of Christ, but the tomb was empty and he wasn't there!!! Hallelujah!!

My husband made this flower arrangement for Easter this year. What say you about this, John?

Easter is the Lords answer to mans eternal questions and fears concerning death and evil. So much happening, like the poisin gas attack that Assad actually denies and the acid attacks on young women in India and Pakistan. We are hoping for mercy and understanding, we are hoping for the dehumanizing thinking to stop, we are praying for an awakening among those with the power to take lives and keep people in fear.  Still the darkness is heavy , still hope is hard to keep strong,  still we have tough days ahead, we are going to need all the faith, all the courage and be convinced that as long as we keep the truth in the dark we won't get anywhere . Truth hurts but will be healed as soon as it's revealed willingly.
Change always starts within and it has to start somewhere, like Michael Jackson sung: "I'm starting with me" .
But our real hope doesn't lie in our own ability to better ourselves, it lies in the mercy and grace of the Saviour.  Easter brings the message, the Gospel  of Gods open arms towards his bewildered and lost children.  We are not lost and forgotten, we are saved and forgiven. We can start changing without fear .
So Happy Easter, everyone, whether you are strong in faith or not a believer at all. I hope that when we meet, the light of Easter will shine through in everything we say and do. No cold hearts. We are all part of one and the same human race and can't afford to argue about details.  The world is hurting and there is much to do.
It's springtime, growingtime, plantingtime, prayingtime and singingtime!!

tisdag 11 april 2017

Flower power and the power of Love

Yesterday we went for a walk on our mountain. To tell you the truth it wasn't one of our most pleasant walks, partly because it was rather chilly and very windy, and partly because life is rather heavy on us right now so the conversation was more dull than the cloudy sky. However, the Lord is generous and it's difficult to stay gloomy for long. The anemones are plenty, the blue hepatica is almost gone but the white is everywhere, like snowflakes.
So we took the path right up from our small chapel and started walking.  The weekend has been filled with the most various events, personally and nationally.

They are warmly antecipated and many people stay alert to be the first to publish a picture. It starts already with the snowdrop and the winter aconites. Recent years it has become warmer and so they arrive earlier, The warmer climate makes life difficult for the reindeers, this winter the temperature has changed more than 35 degrees celcius, over night, freezing the smell from the pasture below and creating ice where there usually is snow, easy to dig up with the hoofs.
Take a good look, in a couple of days they will be gone!!!
I come to think about the trees you can find in Shire, reading Tolkiens books as a teenager I could imagine what the surroundings looked like. Today all I see is the scenery from the films but that is alright. 
My google translate tells me that these are called Pasqueflowers. In Swedish they are known as Hill anemone.  They are protected just like the blue beauties above.
As you can see I am much more movable than this time last year and can go down on my knee to take pictures ( but I'm not suppposed to.....)

From a distance we heard the cows, but couldn't tell where they were gracing. As we came walking in to the part of the forest with most flowers, we saw them lying along the path and slowed down. They have calfes right now.  All of a sudden we heard a sound from behind us and there she was - the very angry mother with two youngsters.  She lowered her head, bellowed loudly and- sat off towards us in gallop!! Mooooo!!
Well, we decided to slightly alter our route....for a while!
More of those beauties!!!
A very convenient little house when nature calls ( nature calls in nature...?)

No, this is not a common and official roadsign in Sweden. It's Emelie who has a very childish heart , that put the sign up and filled that little part of the forest with trolls and ogres in all sizes. As you know they are afraid of the light and impossible to thousands  catch on film so I have no proof to bring.  Children find this very amusing!!!
Well, after an hours walk we returned home and put the kettle on for a nice cup of tea.
The news this evening, like every news report since 14.53 this friday has been all about the same thing:
Sweden has experienced it's first really bad terrorattack. Many of you that read this know what it's like to have these attacks, but we don't.  It was an uzbeki born man who stole a tradetruck on it's way to deliver beer and other beverages in central Stockholm. He drove the truck towards the largest shopping site, hit several people on the way and crashed into one of the largest stores. Somehow he got out and escaped but they took him quickly. The police acted in a very swift and professional way so now people have been covering their cars with flowers and hugging them.
The man has killed four people and severly injured 10-12 people, children too.
The chock and horror was huge, I was on the train home when I heard.
If his goal was to frighten people to stay indoors and not dare live like normal, he was badly mistaken. People has gathered, all weekend, in thousands, crying, hugging, praying, singing and putting flowers.  There have been several speakers, several artistic contributions, not only in Stockholm but all over. It was the same in Paris and in Nice and everywhere these attacks have been made in Europe. It's important to us to show sympathy and care.
It is also important to sorter out what happend and why. How can we prevent more attacks, how can we best support the victims.  A minute of silence was announced yesterday, everything went quiet, people, busses, cars, factories, schools.

And I say that the death of innocent people is horrible where ever it takes place, but when it's next door, we tend to make it bigger and more important. My thoughts goes to the unhappy ones, here and all over the world. I mean, think about the poor people in that koptic church in Egypt, the horrible attack with chemicals in Syriah, so much to pray for, around the world!! How can people do this, why is this happening?  Why did Jesus have to die?  Because this is the world we live in, and in this world people do horrible things and if they want to repent and be forgiven, God makes it possible.  Perhaps I find it difficult to forgive and understand, but God doesn't. "They who comes to me I will not turn away"

And those who need hope and comfort when the most terrible happend, can come to Him that carry our burdens.  He knows the pain but he also knows the way out of death!!!I couldn't stand what happends in the world if I didn't put my faith in this promise but I am also proud to see how people reach out and support total strangers when a thing like this happends.  

Flowers, notes, lights, people. The king was there, the princess Victoria came to pay her respect, and it goes on.  Love is strong.  Easter is within reach!!
These are my feelings and thoughts around this very different and strange weekend. For a while, our own heavy burdens seem unimportant and small.   Blessings!!

söndag 2 april 2017

New schoolday stories


I have finished part three of my schoolday collage, please join me!!