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måndag 22 maj 2017

Anniversary - from harbour to harbour in 25 years!!!!!


As I thought I would share another anniversary with you, I find it best to link you to the story of the event 25 years ago:

If you travel along that link you will find a story about our first trip to Greece and the xchange of golden rings!!

This post, however is the story of a small anniversary trip, to celebrate the 25 years that has passed since then, this time heading for our own south borders and a small fishing harbour.

After a busy week and actually rather dark and gloomy, moody, if you like, my husband bought me flowers and I had booked a B&B on a farm down south.

Saturday morning we left the girls and grandma in the house and headed for a place called Forsakar,  a forest with a ravine with waterfalls, smaller but rather beautiful. It's also a somewhat dangerous place since the ravine have no fences. Along the riverside you can see that several of the very tall trees have lost their grip in the thin soil, falling dramatically across the stream.  The trail leads up and down along the riverside, the forest is thick and filled with birdsong and flowers, insects and ....sand. We found a small rock with a cross shaped pattern in it, and sat down for a nice cup of coffee and a sandwich. 

 I wonder who made this pattern?
And I wonder what flower this is?

Deep river... nah!

SMALL waterfall!!!
These funghi are usually found on pinetrees but from time to time they grow on beech and birch. They are beautiful, like small canopies.
 After a rather hot but pleasant walk/climb, we climbed in to the car again. You see, we skipped spring this year, I know some of you agree, from icy mornings last week to 25 degrees celcius hot this day!!  Ah well,  we were on our way to the sea, to walk on the windy cliffs of Dover, well at least our version of it, Hovs hallar and the plateau where  the stones of Ale are situated, no no, not ale, Ale is a name!!! High above the waterline , with a walkingtrail among the hills and sometimes in the company of cows and sheep. Did I mention the wind?  Here below you can see some scenery from our walk. We left our bags in the B&B, took the picnic bag and started the trail right through one of the farmers inner yard!

As I said, trail began in the farmyard. She had seen lots of hikers and didn't bother much.

A sea of rape seed, nice waters!
Here you see the sea!!

And here you see the sea, a bit too high up for my taste actually!! Me, not the sea! The undersea stream here is rather strong and there have been dramatic drownings among , mostly middleaged, men.

This was the lowest hindrance for the cattle, the highest caused a climb of 2 metres, I mean, for a frail little woman with a metal hip, that is a challenge. And more of it, WHAT ARE THEY STOPPING WITH A HINDRANCE OF TWO METRES?? Giraffes???

The stones of Ale are said to be a cultic place, with traces back to 700 BC. It is build to cover the winter and summer solstice and also several more parts of the calender. Inside the boatstructure there have been found traces of a burialplace. Some stones have been raised long before the boatstructure was completed. For us, however, it is a beautiful spot with a striking view. 
6 hours later, after our dinner, we climbed
back up again and took some more pictures!!!
 Well, since our engagement took place in a greek little harbour, it seemed right to take our picnic at the ridge of Kåseberga, a small fishing harbour with a equally small village attached to it. When we were children, this place was very simple and you could buy smoked herring or salmon and eat it on a bench. Today there are tourist shopping, bakery and at least 3 restaurants and a grill in the harbour area and two more in the village. Mostly open at summertime, like most villages by the sea everything closes in september.
I had prepared a chickensalad and added a rosé wine, small bottle off course!  Very tasty actually. You see the harbour below as well, a very sweet sight!! In Greece, we changed rings right after the thunderstorm and before dinner. Crickets had begun chanting, this time we had no crickets and no thunder.                                                                                                        

 Some hours later we returned to the harbour and had dinner, this time we dared the pizza , very special , thin, baked in a stone oven with logfire. The heat had expired a bit, but we chose to sit by the sea anyway and after dinner we went back up to the hill to get a last look at the rocks, the sea and the sun.  
 Nothing like a good sunset, this was around 21.00 and very soon after that the setting was completed.

A cup of tea and pannacotta with berries completed the day!
Next day we went to a place called Backåkra where the swedish FN boss Dag Hammarsköld used to stay. There is a museum and a monument, more like a place for prayers and solitude, the word PAX is chopped in to the center stone. Around in the field there are hundreds and hundreds of small orchids and anemones, those blue furry ones, impressive in height at this place. Many people makes pilgrimages to this place and church have outdoor services here.

Larks singing, otherwise this was the most silent place, and believe me, silence is not what we usually have around us. The world today is such a noisy place, and hasty too. We move around like in a race but inside we move at beetle speed.  

Before returning home we stopped at the turkey farm to have a bite to eat and buy some goodies home, sausages, pies, smoked turkey and other tasty things.  Back home we hurried to have a cup of coffee with the rest of the family and then off to afternoon service where the childrens choirs had prepared a musical about the Creation and the six-year olds in the parish came to get their bibles. It was a splendid anniversary, God be praised!
A quiet sacred place for worried and restless souls and tired feet. Dag Hammarskölds Backåkra.


söndag 14 maj 2017

Signs of summer


However cold the weather have been , spring is marching on and summer is approaching.
Signs of that?  Well, the lark is singing over the fields that turns yellow by the minute. Rapeseed is very common in Sweden and when it's in it's richest, the colour is overwhelming!! Above those fields you often hear the lark, hard to spot, however! The picture below was taken yesterday, but we have far more impressing fields than this, I'll catch one!

This afternoon ,  after service in our smaller church, we went out to the small chapel, the one I have been telling about in advent, for the Spring gathering, sermon by one of our retired vicars, lottery, coffee and homebaked in the benches, smalltalk and plans for the future. We are about 20 active members, hoping to become more.  Below is Siretorp in advent, with a link that post.


More hopeful signs of spring are the lambs and calfs running about in the fields, we don't have all that many pastures for them , the farmers keep them mostly indoors, but some are out.

Another sign are the annual running festivals. We have one called Spring Rush. It's for woman only so we gather a bunch of parishoners and colleagues in a bus, and drive up to the neighbouring dioces - Vaxjo. It's redpainted Dome is being repaired so I couldn't get a good picture from the bus window.  So I snatched one from their Facebook sajt. 

 And another one from the inside, Vaxjo is a part of the Glass Kingdoom, in this county there is by tradition and history several glassfactories and an impressive bunch of glass artist, like 

Bertil Wallien who made the altarpiece in this Dome, among many other things. The tree to the right here is for candles used for personal prayers. It's leeves are made of glass just like the Christ figure. There are also apples. The teenagers in white are a confirmation group on their way to the confirmationservice.  To the left you see the organ.
In Sweden the Dome cathedrals have twintowers.
Normally the bus leaves us in the centre of town, to do some shopping and having a bite to eat, but since it has been temperatures close to freezing, they chose the big Mall......need I say more of my feelings here?  This was a very cold day, about 5 degrees celcius but no rain!!  The race itself took place by the lake where St Sigfrid was told by an angel, to build the church. It's a 5 kilometer race, so it's no big deal. Since the race takes place in several cities, it's surrounded by sponsors and events. We were about 4200 women running, the money you pay supports The Fund for Childcancer. It runs on charity and supports research on cancer. The blue chair ( see below)is their symbol, in the commersials you can see many chairs being filled with children and the blue chair being empty, a symbol for the child lost in cancer. The fight against cancer goes on.

Once you have passed this inflatable chair, you have finished the race!
Here are some pictures from that evening, I for my part was walking, since my metal hip doesn't allow running, hence the walkers in my picture!!

Walking walking!

The fastest runner made it on 17 minutes, that is a shame really, the running trail is rather beautiful with the lake and the trees. Fastest in our team took 25 minutes. Me? About an hour, walking with some newfound friends!! After the run you collect a picnic bag, this year all vegetarian. From the stage there is music and all sorts of things you can win on music quizzes and other challenges.

We came back home by 22.30, rather tired!!!

And, the next day you could sleep late?
No, the next day was the annual spring outing for our seniors, 63 seniors in two buses, going for a ride. If yesterday was bad, this was worse; 5 degrees and RAIN. The busride went well enough, singing and talking, but usually we can sit outside and take walkes and enjoy the scenery, but this wasn¨t one of those days!!! We went down south, first stop - off course, lunch!! We had a dish very special for this county :
The egg cake!!! Eggs, milk, a touch of wheatflour , fried slowly in a pan. It's very thick so you turn it using a plate. Served with crisply fried salted pork and lingonberry jam. Mmm.

Then on to one of our middleage churches, Ravlunda. Oldest parts of it were built around 1220, the rest of it restored and extended over the centuries. Inside you can see, like in many of these churches, a small wooden bench beside the mainseats. Those were for servants. In the early days every larger mansion had their own seats, the bigger ,the closer to the altar.
In some churches the familyname is painted on the small door to the benches.
In the churchyard you find two interesting headstones for two loved swedish celebrities:
Fritiof Nilsson Piraten and Olle Adolphsson. One an author, creating amusing and historical anecdotes about life in the villages and life in town around 1890-1940. The other one a trobadour and storyteller. 
" Here underneath are the ashes of a man whos habit it was to postpone everything to the next day. He finally changed for the better and actually died january 31th 1972". Those were his own words for this headstone, Fritiof Nilsson The Pirate.
The interior of Ravlunda, with the altar and the pulpit, with a door!!
This is a very typical sight in the south of Sweden: the churchyard ends, with some old, forgotten headstones and a hedge and on the side the farmers have prepared the field for some crops. The farm you see down there is very typical for this county, half-timbered I believe you call it, we say cross lumbered.
After a short service and guiding we went on to Kivik to visit were my husband and I had our apple safari:

Coffee, applepie and some shopping and we went home again, tired and singing!!

Now we are heading for Pentecoast and the great celebration !! We celebrate with our neighbouring parish, all choirs and in our large church. We sing a mass created by a priest called Per Harling, he has created several hymns and songs in folktune.  More of that in next post.  Bless you all, please comment if you like!!

måndag 8 maj 2017

The political pastry?? The rhye of faith?


The willowtree knows nothing of standard , it is like us, generous in it's growth and majestic in it's own way.  We let the tree differ in shape, why not humans?

Of the  elections and referendums going on in the world right now, I really don't understand so much. Harry S Truman said this once: "A great leader is one that makes people do what they don't want, and like it". If that is true, anything can happend when a leader becomes great or at least get the most votes. History have deep scares to proove it.

In some countries however, getting the most votes doesn't seem to have anything to do with what the people want. Especially not if "loving the leader" is a written rule.

Where the leader f.i needs to be addressed "Supreme Leader, the great creator of world peace" I at least feel a bit uneasy. Just to invite such a person for a snack must take an eternity if the time has to be discussed, titles used with every new option.
Turkey had an election and they say it went well, for Erdogan at least. What his supreme leadership means to the people and the current political situation is yet to be seen, but I fear we might need to be praying for them. All leaders need prayers.

Political spring is one thing, the brilliant springing of leafs is another.

And so we followed Macron to the office, I was under the impression that macron was a pastry, but I could be wrong, no offence sir!  The other option looked like a pastry but acted like something less sweet.

The french people have suffered greatly, I can understand the frustration.  But would it really be wise to close the borders and stop cooperation between nations?  Especially in such dark times. Is has never been successful as far as I know.

                                   In Sweden we have a saying: "Your best helper is yourself"     That is off course the same kind of jibberish as " Alone stands strong".  Macron look strong enough, but needs friends and know it. And friends can come from surprising directions. We'll pray for that. And for every single person who suffers from the violence.

So the leader that can make people do what they don't want and like it, who is that person?
Hopefully that person can be prophetical and see the need before everyone else and lead on towards a goal that needs actions most are reluctant to take.  
If that leader really is wise and good, people can actually listen and go ahead and do what they didn't believe in at first and find out it was in the nick of time.  The gospel works that way, since we are all selfish creatures, we don't really want to sacrifice ourselves for others, but he makes us do it and like it,  love is the most forceful and forceless power in the world. We do it because Jesus did and because he makes it possible. That is great leadership. And no strings attached.
No court marshal if you don't obey. The change for the better starts within me.  Slowly.
One of the doorways to S:t Nicholas!!

Politically however, it seem to take an eternity.  We say over and over; never again, now we have learned our lesson"  . No we haven't. War is still going on, small and big. Starvation is still a problem, overconsuming a problem in the other end of the line, the environmental challenge is bigger than ever,  new ways of destroying creation for short term gain, is ever growing.

We still judge people by their value, and value is set differently in every context. We still divide people in to those who belong and those who don't, those who count and those who don't.

 But things can and do change and light can be found, hope is glowing and faith is growing because the force of Love,  makes people do what they don't want and like it. We are created to do good and when we start doing it against our will, we find that we like it and wish to continue.  We are not meassured in terms of useful or useless, we are not valued for what we can achieve, anyone can make a change, everyone counts.  We have to realize life is more in need of rhye than pastry, and it takes more effort than leisure.
Yes, I am preaching and yes, Christians can be coldhearted and turn their backs just as anyone, but Christ can't.
Christians are not the answer to the problems in this world, the evil, the despair, the lack of hope, but I believe that Christ is .  And every day I hope that some of that truth can be visible through us and at least not the opposite...... and welcome every person who finds the strenght to spread hope, light and comfort, and so many do,  and when they do, let no one go questioning if their faith or political colour is correct, we need all human efforts, because being a human is the greatest thing you can be . 
You can even find hope in the fact that they built this hotel for swallows in Torsö ,by the sea.

Another thing that gives me hope are the posts, the pictures, the comments and the sharing of wisdom, happiness, sorrow, daily efforts or just beauty and tranquility that takes place daily among you, my newfound blogfriends. I know very well we don't think or believe alike always, but life has improved a lot since I discovered all of you. Thank you!!

onsdag 3 maj 2017

Schooldays - heading for the future?

I thought I'd start out with those swedish traditions of Valborg and May the 1st, but you'll be better off reading last years post about it.  1 May is Labourday in Sweden, in UK there will be Bank Holiday May 2nd, so one could rush from one holiday to another. I never attend the festivities of Labourday, starting early with marching bands and later with marching people, red banners and politicians holding speaches. This is a socialdemocratic country. Actually, the whole idea of a labourers union was born in my hometown of Malmo, late 1880's with a man called August Palm.
Read last years post if you like, there is singing too!!

The year I started High school, I had turned 16 and didn't get my first choice of school but it was good enough. Sweden had a political change and these three gentlemen ruled together in a center-rightwing fashion. The man in the middle was a farmer and smoke a pipe.
The most important political issue was probably nuclearplants. We had opened two and then there was Harrisburg and people called for a Referendum. The outcome of that was that we would keep our plants 25 years and then get rid of them. Well, they are not gone yet.

Our King Carl Gustaf, married a common girl , Silvia Sommerlath, from Heidelberg, in 1976 and 1977 our princess Victoria was born. The order of succession was changed and when this young man was born 1979, prins Carl Philip, he would no longer inherite the throne. As it turns out, he has lots of other things to do and Victoria will make a splendid regent when that day arrives!

Right next to the church where I started singing was this school that became my house of learning for three years. A much older building , the old school of St John, was located close by but never used. Today it's gone and this building  is not a school anymore.  But then it housed more than 2000 students.  Those were rather good years, no more bullying.   Since the school was rather close to the buzzing citylife, the temptations were plenty but we also had good teaching.  In this school I made friends and we were a group of outsiders creating our own universe, partly connected with our classmates. My good grades fell abruptly and I gave up french and took on italian instead. My math was still a chamber of horrors and again was a kindhearted teacher called Sven that worked overtime to save my neck.

Biology classes were held by a legendary teacher named Elsa Kristoffersson. She was the kindest you could imagine but very eccentric. She wore the same clothes always and her hair in a non hairdo fashion. I met her several years later and discovered that she was a very warmhearted volonteer in church.
My new friends wanted to party and go dancing, so we did. Plenty of places to go, plenty of discos were arranged for us. My friends would dress up, one of the girls, Maria, was a stunning looking girl, I was nowhere near her appearance. I have never been any fashionqueen and couldn't relate to the ever changing modes.  I felt very much like in this song from 1980, if you don't like Bowie, don't click!!! "Fashion"
Since Malmo is a city of harbours we had visits from the English fleet and there would be special dances for the lads to attend and we were all invited to be friendly and make them feel welcome but OH, what rotten eggs!  They were abusive, drunk and NOT CHARMING. "Gentlemen" is no appropriate title.  Enough said. The UK for me was only the home of my beloved band Queen.
You can't imagine the winter we had 1979, houses were absolutely covered out in the country, especially in the southern parts, my parts!
Anyway, in september 1980 we had a visit during music class and that was the choirleader in the church next door; St Johns. Students would attend church at the end of every semester, singing hymns, solosongs, listening to speaches and prayers. Today that tradition is severly questioned. 
 She, Barbro Daun,  wanted new voices for the choir and some of us joined. That year we had an exchangestudent - Heather, and she tagged along.  First year I spent watching the spectacle below, singing when choir was called on, playing cards otherwise. That was to change however, when I met a man one dark evening, asking me why I was in church and then holding a sermon about the dangers involved being a nonbeliever, mocking the people attending service and singing songs I didn't have faith in. 
I always say he must have been an angel because he turned my heart around and I began to love the songs in church.  And long to take part.
I followed one of my classmates to the scouting movement, plenty of nice boys there. And I followed another friend to her local church and started to get engaged in life there.  Well, there was the boys also...
And so three years went fast, several visits to Copenhagen, the centre of free and fun life, where you could buy beer and wine being under age, go shopping,  enjoy Tivoli and just look at people. Four different ferries took us to Denmark from Malmo, today there is not a single one - they built a bridge!!  No more schrimp sandwiches on a rocking boat!
But these days I could get seasick every weekend if I could afford the ride that is. I do get very seasick....but I still don't like that bridge!!

Those years gave me friends I still keep contact with, but some I haven't seen in years. When we all graduated in june 1982, my life had changed quite a lot. Among other things my beloved grandfather died. My world was bigger, I had lots of friends, the church choir in St Johns,was almost the centre of my life and we had so much fun, singing everywhere, from Mozarts Missa Brevis with soloparts from the Operahouse and full orchestra, to small concerts with folksongs. We toured to Germany even!! The local church ,St Michaels, where I learned to pray, make myself useful and go to concerts and events for christian youngsters, was my second home.  Did she fall in love, you may wonder. Oh yes I did, but that gave me nothing but heartbreakes.

In Sweden, graduation day means "singing" this song by Prins Gustaf, on every High School staircase. Often it sounds really horrible because of the large amount of beer and champaigne involved in the days and hours before....  Here, however, is the really nice version sung by the studentchoir of Lund and they are standing on the staircase of the main university building. After a year of working and studying the german language, Lund was my goal.
Behold the white cap!! We had them tailormade, but the old lady that was married to the hatmaker, told me my head was too large for a lady so my cap is one size too small......

I wish I could say this was a part of my teenage life but unfortunately they abandoned the prams 1973. Today they are seriously thinking of laying down new tracks and start again!!
So now childhood days where over, no more fun and games like in this fountain in Malmoes largest square - Gustav Adolfs square.  I haven't lived in Malmo for more than 20 years and we are not planning to either.  We have some friends living here and some family, but not much.  Now is now, one day at the time. And my schooldays were far from over!!!