Popular posts

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!!!

8 kommentarer:

  1. I am very fearful of nuclear power plants, even though I did work in one for four months.

  2. I agree from the bottom of my heart!! We had Harrisburg, we had Tjernobyl, we had Fukushima, we've had loud voices calling it clean power but no voices calling to tell where to store the waste....safely and for good. What was that place in UK, Sellafield?? In Sweden we have closed one and four running , not constantly. There is no solid political agreement. Yes, Melvyn, we have good cause to be fearful!!

  3. Good luck to Victoria! A country under a queen won't go far wrong I think. Probably the best form of governance.

    Marine Le Pen predicts a woman will win the French election. Herself or Mrs. Merkel.

    A bargain basement 1970's nuclear plant is being built not far me.

    I can't believe they gave the 2020 Olympics to Japan. But they did.

    1. Yes, she will be great! I'm not sure women are more peaceful or reasonable, but it really seem that way, if you look at history as a whole. Better Japan than NorthKorea or Belarus, I gather.

    2. Le Pen was right. Merkel won the French election.

      Congratulations to the man from Sweden who won the Wings for Life World Run in a wheelchair in Dubai.

  4. Sometimes I wonder at those who make decisions. I, for one, am very afraid the the nuclear power plant industry. And like said...that nasty waste. Shudder.

  5. Yes Linda, the decisions, we live in democrasies they say, but those huge decisions....I think people in general, like me, find it hard to grasp what a simple political option really means.
    So many decisions that in the long run have determined life and death and that wasn't on the topic list when they were issued!!!
    Nuclear plants are held as the cleanest and safest energy source, with hardly any heavy pressure on waters or air. Only one little problem: if it blows thousands will die immediately and hundreds of thousands in the long run, waters will be contamined, fish, wildlife and berries will be un eatible for decades but otherwise it's clean. Well, oh, yes, the waste....well if we burry it some 2 kilometres down in hard rock and cover it with led, it will probably be alright. Mankind is smart and thinking, but we still find it hard to cover the consequenses of our decisions and inventions. God is much better at that.

    1. You can't do anything with Fukushima. The core has melted into the water table. A lot of it is going into the Pacific. It should be on the news more often. A disturbing thing is that the WHO is not allowed to release information about anything to do with the IAEA. It's a UN deal. Who reports this stuff? Hardly anybody.