May 19th, 2016


Just when I start thinking I’ve got Sweden all figured out, I attend a music-school concert wherein a choir of junior-high girls sings “Drunken Sailor” and I realize all over again what a bizarre little country this can be.

Served up by Beverly at 09:02 pm Comments Off

May 18th, 2016

The most wonderful time of the year

I took this picture of the park next-door last night at eleven o’clock. The light is so fantastic; now just to get some more leaves on the trees.


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May 17th, 2016

Still peaky

I got a call from Lydia’s boyfriend, David, this morning just after eight, and he reported that she was still feeling poorly and wanted me to come over, just to be there with her. Not able to refuse such a plea, I finished getting the other kids off to school and drove out to visit my little sickling. I think she has some sort of stomach flu, which may have made her more susceptible to a seizure, or at least exacerbated the effects, and she’s really not feeling in top shape.

After sitting with her for a couple of hours, I convinced her to come back home with me (to be honest, it was only the thought of the car ride that made her hesitate), and she’s spent most of the day in her own bed trying to recuperate. I hope she’s feeling quite a bit better tomorrow, as the past couple of days have been pretty awful. She hasn’t been able to keep much of anything down, and she’s just all-around miserable. I don’t at all like the thought of her being sick, but I have to admit, I do like having her here at home.

Served up by Beverly at 11:02 pm 2 Comments »

May 16th, 2016

Long day

This was not the day I planned to have. This morning as I was walking home from dropping Yrsa off at pre-school, I thought to myself, Ah, 6 glorious hours to get some work done. Alas, it was not to be.

I should probably preface this by saying that everything is okay, but it was a pretty stressful morning for sure. As soon as I walked in the door, Tage yelled down the stairs that Lydia had just called and needed something. I assumed that it was bus money or the like that she was after, but as soon as she answered the phone when I called her back, she said, “I need you to come out here and take care of me. Something is really wrong with me.” Yikes.

After I asked her a few questions, it seemed as though she’d probably had a seizure (she has epilepsy, remember), and as she was feeling bad and was home alone she was pretty freaked out. I said I’d be there as soon as I could–she lives about twenty minutes away from us–grabbed my purse and hurried out the door. She had told me that she wasn’t feeling strong enough to come open the door for me so that I’d have to go over to the landlady next-door and get her key to get in, so I made that brief stop before going in to check on my girl.

When I walked in, she was conscious and lucid, but lying on the bedroom floor and not really moving. I tried to get more information from her, but wasn’t really sure what had happened. Because she was so still, I asked her to wiggle her toes, at least, so that I’d know that she could move. That went okay, and after a couple of more minutes I told her that she probably ought to go to the hospital. Generally she balks at that, and it’s true that she usually doesn’t need to go in after a seizure, but it was testament to how bad she was feeling that she readily agreed. I didn’t think I could manage getting her to the car myself, and I still wasn’t sure what exactly was going on, so I called for an ambulance.

The EMTs arrived after twenty minutes that felt like twenty hours and, after talking to her for a bit, they got her on a gurney and loaded her into the ambulance. I grabbed some extra clothes and whatnot for her, and followed them to town in the car. Once at the hospital, it was basically a case of hurry-up-and-wait. Throughout the course of the next couple of hours, she had an EKG and a neurological exam, and had blood taken, plus got a bag of IV fluid because she had a bad headache and had been throwing up. All of the tests came back normal, but she was still feeling pretty poorly after a few hours, so the doctor offered to let her stay overnight if she wanted. She considered it briefly, but in the end she mostly just wanted to sleep in her own bed, so I drove her and David back to their place and got her settled on the couch with a blanket before heading back home just before four in the afternoon.

It seems most likely that she had a seizure while she was sleeping and somehow “woke up” in the middle of it, which has never happened. She has never been conscious during a seizure before (something the doctor confirmed is rare), and the whole experience shook her up a lot. Not ever having been an active participant in her seizures, so to speak, she really didn’t know what was going on and she was quite understandably terrified.

All’s well now, however, and she’s home with her absolutely wonderful boyfriend, who not only left work and came to the hospital shortly after we arrived there, but is also staying home from work tomorrow so that she doesn’t have to be home alone. To be completely honest, a big part of my mother’s heart would rather that she were here with me, but I know that she’s in good hands where she is.

Served up by Beverly at 09:43 pm 2 Comments »

May 15th, 2016

More about Eurovision

So I was wrong. The best part about Eurovision wasn’t in fact Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi (as wonderful as they are), it was Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw. Even Buzzfeed agrees. They were pretty spectacular.

Next best was that Ukraine won (with a political song!) over Russia, the favorite. The song wasn’t my favorite, but it was okay, and the message was a strong one. I know a lot of people aren’t happy with the results, but I’m not one of them.

Served up by Beverly at 10:06 pm 2 Comments »

May 14th, 2016


Tonight is Eurovision, something the kids usually look forward to. This year was no exception, and at starting time the whole lot of us were gathered around the TV. After the snacks were eaten and the first several songs were sung, however, the kids started peeling off and now that the last act is performing, it’s just Olof and me still tuned in. And even to say that we’re “tuned in” is an exaggeration, as both of us are sitting here with our laptops, barely glancing at the show.

Our perseverance paid off just now, though, and we were treated to a little humor clip with Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi. Definitely the high point of the night; we mighas well just pack in in now, as it can only go downhill from here.

Served up by Beverly at 11:02 pm Comments Off

May 13th, 2016


I have spent essentially all day working on transcribing a single letter written by a noblewoman to the archbishop in Uppsala in 1685, and I’ve just now–at 4:30 in the afternoon–got it finished. One down, 379 (give or take) to go.

Served up by Beverly at 04:23 pm Comments Off

May 12th, 2016


I really ought to have tidied up my apartment this evening, seeing as I was here and had nothing pressing to do, but housework is never high on the list of ways I’d like to spend my time. With the academic year winding down, though, my opportunities to get the place thoroughly cleaned before I close it up for a couple of months are dwindling. It’s not especially messy–given it’s very small size, I wouldn’t be able to move if it were–but I’ve got a lot of clothes and miscellaneous clutter piled around in inconvenient places. The real problem is that I have essentially zero storage space, and considerably more than zero items of clothing. There’s an obvious solution, I’m aware, but I’m afraid that scaling back on the wardrobe is simply out of the question. Perhaps a larger pied--terre is in order.

Served up by Beverly at 10:19 pm Comments Off

May 11th, 2016

Wednesday report

The day kind went by in a blur and felt almost like it was over before it started, but when I look back on it I was actually pretty productive. I got to the office on the early side of normal, made coffee and took care of a few administrative-type things before putting in some solid work on the thesis I’m supervising.

At lunchtime I walked to town with a friend who also happens to be both my boss and my dissertation supervisor (ah, the beauty of the minimal hierarchy that pervades Swedish academia), and we had a reasonably good vegetarian lunch in a very crowded restaurant. As luck would have it, we got there just before the real rush started and we didn’t have to fight (much) for seating or a place at the buffet.

On the way back to work, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful sunny-but-not-too-warm afternoon and walk over to the archives for a few hours instead of going back to the office. While there I got an “official” count on the number of letters I’m using for source material (there are 380 of them, roughly; some of the documents I’m not really sure how to count at the moment, so an approximation will have to do for now). I also took pictures of the letters from the first fourteen years of my study (1685-1699) so that I can transcribe them from the peace of my own deskspace.

Back at the office I worked a bit more on my supervisory tasks then met up with some fellow Ph.D. students at our local pub for food and drink. Some hours later I returned to my apartment, where I half-watched re-runs of The Big Bang Theory and finished up a bit of work I’d left undone.

I do actually have more work that I could or should do, but I’m tired and it’s nearly midnight and, well, there’s more to life than work, right?

Served up by Beverly at 11:32 pm Comments Off

May 10th, 2016


You guys, I’m in the middle of reading and commenting on the bachelor’s thesis I’m supervising and between that and the two-day Ph.D.-student workshop I attended yesterday and today, my writer’s brain is just overtaxed. I’m not sure it really counts as “posting every day” if I just pop in to make excuses for not posting, but there you have it.

Served up by Beverly at 10:51 pm Comments Off