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måndag 31 juli 2017

Thunder, lightning and vacation!!

Not Heavens door and S.t Peter, but Hogwarts door to the Great Hall, it will have to do for now! Soon we will walk through it...Hogwarts, I mean! Oh yes, again! I'll be back to tell about it in a week.  As Ray pointed out, we seemed to have been running through London last time, so we'll take it much softer now...
Well, it is indeed a very remarkable day.
This weekend we celebrated the Lord on the mountain, we did it with the loudest thunderstorm we've had for ages, no wonder the disciples fell down...
This is my first day of vacation, four weeks ahead of me and the husband. He went down to his hometown today, to meet up with some bankpeople, not the very best day, we leave by air tomorrow morning, but you know officials, they have their own time and space.

It started great, the train was cancelled, this happends all the time so yes, Heron, I believe the Irish Rail is better.
We expected this so he aimed for an earlier train, otherwise he would have to run for it. We live almost 2 miles outside town and he had to go back and take the car instead, a long drive for the poor thing, 150 kilometres , tired as he was from the long working hours this weekend. Still, is been quite a lot to tend to, youngest girl wondered why you just couldn't be sad and take it easy when someone dies. Good comment.
Up ,up and away!!
While we are gone, my mother is coming here to guard the house...or rather, we believe she needs a change of environment, living in the city the way she does. Her own opinion however, is that there are so many dangers in the countryside: too much sun, too many insects, too much wildlife and well, too much. She likes to visit however, and sit in the garden for a while. 
Her eyes are failing her enormously nowadays, so in this house there are some adventures.
Last summer f.i, she called us in agony, the rabbit had been stolen during the night, he just wasn't there!!! Neighbours girl called in and announced him safe and sound as always. The jumping little rascal is pitchblack you see.....  That same summer she called again, this time to tell us that the plastic lines we use for outdoor laundry drying, also were gone. Poor thing, she just couldn't find them among the branches. She loves the smell of sun dried laundry.
So it's adventurous for her, even if she lives in a town where someone get's shot every day.

Black current, this year we don't have much of them, since we had no mind and no strenght for it last autumn, this year has been bad indeed. But the Lord is good and offers me some at least, and some left for mother. If she can find them..I'd better go pick them for her.
And bake a blueberry pie, we have people growing them here, big ones. I like the small ones better but that means hours in the woods and ticks, frogs and wasps... Yes, the country side is a dangerous place.
So, please stay safe in the sunny days of summer and the light of the Good Saviour.

söndag 23 juli 2017

Life returns

For a long time, one of the safe spots for this countries weather and coastal reports, was this light house on the island that is within the realms of our parish! An elderly couple and their son tended to the light house and called in the figures for the reports. They no longer do that but the light house is going!!
Good evening!

The week that now is almost gone have for certain been a busy one. And it had all the ingredients of a lifetime actually. My husband have been travelling to his hometown to take care of practical matters.
We have both been working as well and then trying to prepare mentally for the funeral.
It was held in his fathers native church,  almost every important event have taken place in that particular church. Last time we gathered there was for my mother in law.
It was a quiet and seren service, held by a female minister that I don't know personally. We were but a few people there. The day was quiet and sunny. 
So we could say goodbye, sing and pray. Only memories left. He was a man with great interest in everything moving, books all over, maps, records, theaterprograms, photos etc. 

This week have also been busy because I work alone and summertime is filled to the brim with things to do. Children to baptize, parents to talk to, couples to meet and hold weddings for, funerals to plan and other services to plan and hold. Friday also contained a visit at Walters place, he turned 95 you see and I was there a couple of years ago when his wife Ella turned 90. They built their house in 1945, close to the church, with a gigantic garden with fruittrees, berries and vegetables.
So we talked and she had been baking and her daughter in law hade made a strawberry layercake with cream.
This is a film from the dioces, here you can learn about our second church, actually our oldest and smallest!!! I posted the other one some time ago. Next week will be busy in this church, we have something called Road Church. It means the church is open , guiding every day, service every day, music and singing every day, coffee and home baked every day. Plenty of ladies keeping this tradition going. And people comes back year after year. All over the country you can find this!

The real treat this week was actually that my sister, halfsister that is, came to visit. She lives up north east in the US with her husband, an american, really very nice man,  that she met ages ago. They have lived both in Sweden and in the US but as for now, she has stayed more years abroad than in Sweden.  She is an adventurous type and has travelled a lot and worked abroad as well. They have two girls, a few years older than ours. She visits Sweden every second year but lately it has been more often.
We never grew up together and had no idea about one another until some years ago, but now we are best friends and I enjoy her visits very much!! She is beautiful, wise and great fun!

Another thing about this week was the annual service at the island in our parish, they have some annual festivities since 1996 and at the island you can find an english graveyard, small one, because of the visits made by the british fleet in the 18th century. They return every now and then to visit the graveyard and pay respect. There are also some graves left that tells the story of the plague in this area. Up on our small mountain more of that can be found.
Anyway, this means going by boat.....BBBBBOOAT!!!!! Boat means waves means seasick!

We've had much worse trips!!
It may look calm at first but soon the waves are rolling

Here is the place were the service is held, out in the open. Often with birds hovering and deers andering about. I think there was about 30-35 people there. It was a very nice moment, praying and singing with the total view of the sea and the sun shining. First we raise the islands own flag.  After the service everybody go down to the small canons making a grand salutation, executed by some honored guest. I did it once!  There are two more of these small canons, they are placed in a South African harbour, for reasons unknown to me.

You must now that many other activities are taking place at the same time, flea sale, waffels, chocolate wheel, throw balls and win a price,  exhibits from local artists and so on. In the county house they serve a delicious lunch with homemade pickled herring, salmon, pies and sallads. The island holds about 8 people all year round, but in the summertime the hostel opens and the restaurant opens and the grocery store opens. There where people everywhere!!

We have a great bunch of sea rescuers and to their help they have the boys flying the coast guards helicopter. They stopped by for a visit, with two boats and this!  
The chapel, one of the two left in our parish. 
We watched the firing from a distance.
"God is our safe haven", we use the chapel at least twice a year. I've had a couple of christenings here and sometimes there are weddings, every Advent and Easter we have a service here.
Going back to the mainland and solid ground.  Shortly after that I headed for another of our villages to attend a christeningservice. Lovely scenery and nice people. The day closed with a meeting with a couple that will be married in september.  After that, the bells were ringing in the sunday rest and the saturday evening was spent with the family. The sunday service went well, and so did the christening . Two girls this weekend, two more angels for our tree, two more disciples and siblings in the worldwide church of Christ our Lord!!! Joyful!

And this weeks happy news was about the retired nurse that decided she had more to give so she joined an organization called Operation Smile.  A simple form of surgery that gives children a future, being able to eat, speak and smile normally!! Together with other organisations that works with volonteers for poor peoples health all over the world, they bring so much hope and strenght to people. Blessed are they!!!
I bid you goodnight and God bless!!

torsdag 13 juli 2017

Royal birthdays and other things!

I do believe that summer has reached this region, at least for a while. No bath for me as yet, but some daredevils in the village started already in april...
Our village is invaded by camper vans and boats, there is an icecream shed every 50 metres, and the cafés and restaurants go almost around the clock. That is good for the rest of the year, many survive on the income this period, so I shouldn't complain about traffic and late night hollowers in the schoolyard and a multitude of children on kickbikes and airboards all over.

Today, is her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victorias 40th birthday!!
We were there when she celebrated 30 and 35, but lately we haven't been to Öland where they have a summerhouse. Castle. Öland was grandfathers gift to us, our time with him.

They started early today in the chapel, celebrating a service called Te Deum, to God.
Later on there will be trumpets and gifts and flags and official waving.
After that they go from Stockholm to Öland, and greet people there, very closely actually, she is a modern princess who exercise and runs in the park close to the castle in Stockholm. It was actually when she got a new gym instructor that we got our prince, Daniel!!We are rather proud of her, she has studied a lot and take interest in children with disabilities and a sustainable society. There are funds in her name to support children.
So Happy Birthday, princess Victoria - long may you live!
Here is a film I found on You tube, no copyright intended it says, so I guess it's okej! 

Otherwise, life is running on, this weekend I hold three weddings and the sunday service together with a local community close by. My husband spends much time in his hometown, sorting out things around the death of his father. His sister is there too, they need this time together. 
On monday, my sister is coming up for a visit. She lives in the states normally, and comes home every second year to visit family and friends. We share but one parent and haven't grown up together, so it's recent years contacts that has brought us together.  I really love her! It's a blessing in many ways and we are more best friends than siblings perhaps. 

I will soon bring you a post about this village and life here but for now on you can have a picture of our own little princess, one of the two beauties!!
One of our late evening walks, she wanted to catch the sunset and the water for Snapchat followers..

The local community built this stage close to the chapel in the woods, there we will celebrate our sunday service and there we will enjoy concerts and meetings all summer long. We live some 100 metres away....
I hope this weekend will be a weekend of light, grace and hope for you all and that at least one thing in the world could change for the better.  God bless you!

måndag 10 juli 2017

Going South Korean - a post for my girls latest passion.

This is Min Yoongi, called Suga. He is in the Rap line, looks sweet but is rather fierce. I think he is one of the most popular boys in BTS. He is a thinker. Sometimes called Grandpa. The others have great respect for him, both his temper and his mind.
Dear friends and blogreaders!

I am planning a row of posts about experiences you have when you share the life and interest of your children, and they get to share some of ours from childhood and teens. These posts will come into life every now and then, when I have gathered enough material, pictures, lyrics and translations perhaps.

In the middle of the chaos we are having and the sad farewell we had to say to grandfather, I have to create something positive. The funeral will be next week and we are all rather tense. The girls are very sad and a bit lost and keep together in their common interests, mostly on internet.  Those of you who have followed my blog knows that we went to Stockholm in december to see a show with two british You tubers; Dan and Phil

Park Jimin, called Jimin, is a dancer and singer. He can do ugly faces, he is shy and very kind but on stage he moves like a cheetah and his voice is very good. Girls love him.

 These two pictures are the same boy, Kim Namjoon, called Rap Monster....or Rapmon. He was in the band from the beginning, he is the leader and speaks english. He taught himself by watching tv-shows and You tube. He is clever, easily embaressed, he is in the rap-line but sings too and dance. He has the sweetest personality and is my personal favourite. Here you can see the change of hairstyles. They come in all colours, Namjoon mostly white or silver, the others blue, purple, pink, orange.....My oldest girl loves his dimples, they are rather cute!

Jeon Jungkook, Kookie, is the youngest in BTS,
he is in the vocal line but he dances also. He likes to tease and do imitations of his hyungs.
He loves his camera, takes good pictures and lives in his Timberlake boots.
Kim Taehyung, called V, is a dreaming boy with the softest
voice you have ever heard. He dances too and his personality
is full of surprises and sunshine. 

Here is the girls favourite boyband ;
BTS or the Bangtan boys. These beautiful boys are right now the centre of their lives so I will share them with you  and some thoughts about being young in South Korea, especially if you are talented.
Now, if I have understood the situation in Japan, working overtime is expected, hard pressure on students to get highest grades possible. In South Korea it seems to be the same thinking. Good education is vital, so the pressure is high.  I heard some young women interviewed about the reform the government have, they need more children to be born. But she said South Korea was no place for children,  their experience was that they hardly ever had any time with their fathers and since the girls now are eager to get well educated there is no room for children.

If you are talented in other ways, there are plenty of artschools, but they also have a very strong impact on the students. You must work very hard to become someone in showbusiness, K pop especially. Competition is tough. So you work, practise, study, work, practise, study and finally get to be backup for the established groups, in the videos, on stage. Once you are chosen, there is hardly any space for normal teenage life. If you are good enough, some producer will choose you and maybe you will become member of a band. The boys in BTS didn't go as a group from start, only one of them is left from start, but eventually all seven were solid. This means leaving home and living together in a dorm. They have lived that way for more than five years now, their whole life focused on practise, touring, tv-interviews and concerts. The company cares for them and they hardly do anything normal,  just visits family once in a while. 

This is Kim Seok Jin, called Jin. Vocal liner, dancer and oldest. They call him mother because he watches over them but his jokes are bad Dad jokes and he laughs mostly himself. This boys laughter can heal any dark mood.
Everything they do, almost, is taped and made public. Internet is packed to the brim with all sorts of filmclips, cute moments , jokes, interviews, hairstyles and smalltalk with the fans from a webcam on the hotelroom after a show. You can't believe how they love seeing one of the boys eating noodles and talking nonsense to them, in korean...mostly.
I've seen some liveperformances as well, from You tube. 
BTS fans are called armys. 

I have set up a small guideline to this passion that our girls are having. Think how different it was when you had to wait for ever to hear something new or perhaps get a poster from the pop- magazines.  Today these young artists share almost everything, but Koreans are formal, so there are no personal things, nothing showing bodies or anything controversial. They reveal as much as they think is proper but on internet people are on them like hyenas, smelling blood.

This is Jung Hoseok, he is in the rap-line and is one of the best dancers. He is called a ray of sunshine and his artistname is J-hope. He is a sweet, a little mad boy.

So why do I even write this post?
Well, young people interest me, especially when they have to fight their way through. I also love dancers, classic , jazz, street. I loved and adored Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Our daughters danced for some years and Oh, what shows they had!! But boys rarely dance and I like when they do. And I love music, classic, folklore, jazz, choirs.....
Last year the youngest started to listen to these boys, strange, enervating music, hip-hop, rap, all the same to me. They looked the same, sounded the same, videos where strange, music unbearable and the clips on Youtube showed 7 childish and noisy boys with pink hair and makeup.
However, being a mother that never had boys, my heart went soft when I realized how they are treated by the company, living together, pampered and bossed, watched and superviced.
Korean young have the greatest respect for older people, especially important people. These boys adore their manager and the staff. But they don't live normal lives, I think even more so than other idols in music and theatre. Kpop is demanding, you have to look good, sound good, be in good shape, so diets, exercise, healthy food and endless procedures around face and hair is their daily life.  On internet, the fans - armys - follow their every move and give comments, not always so nice, about looks and personality.  BTS have won several awards, they write their own music and can both act and sing, sometimes they do parodical theatre out of their own biggest hits and make fun of eachothers soft spots, or their own.
Now I can tell them apart, even their voices and I have some favourite songs, but again, being a mother makes me want to adopt them because they seem so lost and vunerable, but also I have taken interest in their work and in the South Korean ways. We try to learn some of the language, it's like nothing else.
And we try to enjoy films where the boys are natural, without makeup and with t-shirts and jeans, doing normal things, working, playing, cooking. The best was when the company invited them for a ten day vacation in Norway, Sweden and Finland, giving them, for the first time, a chance to have a budget, buy tickets, find their way, asking around, living in hostels and trailers, doing what other people in their twenties do. Very surprised Yoongi and Jimin comments on this, being 24 year old children, not able to do anything on their own before and now having to manage everything. We get to know them closely, they try to forget the camera, they take pictures, buy souvenirs and are amazed by the beautiful scenery, the people, the food, the fact that they are walking freely around, sharing a leisure
day with nothing but taking ferries , shop food and enjoy being together without having to do much. Like normal people .   These boys, young men, will stay in the dorm until something changes, a relation perhaps or solo project. They are all between 20 and 26, family should be an interest.  Their company cares for them and I hope it will continue with respect and a change to grow and change.
Here is a musicvideo, not very typical Kpop or even BTS, I wouldn't dare, but to show how they work. It's a song about friendship and support. They considder the band as their family.  We have followed our girls on theatres, concerts and shows, me mostly. If these boys shows up close by, I will be there, with our girls, being embarassing, but happy.

tisdag 4 juli 2017

When everything else is alive

This evening my father-in-law passed away, at the age of 87-
it was one of the things that has troubled us lately, his failing health and diminishing life span.
Once an intelligent and active man, both physically and with  his mind, his world became smaller and the light started to fade. My husband and sister in law have taken turns to make his life interesting with books, lectures and excursions. I have tried to brighten things up by bringing dinner, cakes and helping out . There have been all kinds of days but lately there have been only one kind. 
We were all there, we made it!  And so it began

                           We gathered by his quiet bed
                           we spoke to him and held his hand
                           we hoped that he could  understand
                           and slowly cross the line we dread,
                           a final gasp - and he was dead

                          We all shed tears, his hand went cold
                          his arms and face so thin and old
                           the eyes, so fixed on us before
                          was glancing thru an unseen door
                           in heaven opened, so we're told

                           And there we are, with all words lost
                           as long before the Pentecost
                           What now? we asked, both worried and calm
                            we'll close his eyes and loosen his palm
                            in a circle we stood in pray and read hymn 23
                            and thought about how the future without him might be

                           In the sky rose a colourful rainbow,
                           " is he safe up in heaven now?"
                           The blackbird sang praise from the rooftop
                           and we gathered our strenghts somehow
                           Come practical issues, phonecalls, decisisons,
                           pack all his things, give the doctor admission

                           One more goodbye, hugs and tears and words
                           of comfort flew round
                           So tired and hungry we now were homebound
                           There ended a life in our midst, here on earth
                            plain to see
                            The story of him will live on , he is safe,
                            and so are we

I am no poet,  but there it is!    At home , most is normal again, the youngest just fell asleep in the coach,  she gave her very best last night and needs the rest.  Little darling.