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.
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-ŕ-terre is in order.
May 11th, 2016
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?
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.
May 9th, 2016
Brynja has been playing quite a bit lately, both at school and at their respective homes, with a friend named Alvin. The two of them went to pre-school together and have been in the same class at “real” school for the past two years, so they’ve gotten to know each other pretty well. Recently, after he was at our house for a couple of hours, I found a stack of coloring pages that they’d worked on between Nintendo rounds, pages featuring mostly superheroes and computer-game characters. At first I thought all of them had been done by Brynja, but then I saw one that read, “to Brynja, because you’re my best friend. from Alvin”. That made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside but, I confess, that was nothing compared to what this one did to me:
It reads, till hunden som Brynja har, önskar Alvin, or “to the dog that Brynja has, from Alvin”. Is that not the cutest thing you ever saw?! I am very much keeping that. (Also, there’s something especially endearing about the way that he initially had been going to give it to Brynja, but then decided that the dog should have it instead.)
May 8th, 2016
I talked Olof into watching the old ’90s* sitcom, Evening Shade, and two episodes in I have to say that it’s every bit as good as I remembered. Sure beats watching the Braves lose in extra innings, as I was doing a half-hour ago.
The weather today was absolutely glorious, even edging toward being too warm for my liking. Olof and I took the two littlest girls to town and bought some window screens to replace the ones that the cats had torn beyond repair, and once we got some air moving through the house it was perfect. It’s supposed to be hotter still in Uppsala this week, so I’m going to have to brace myself before stepping off the plane tomorrow morning.
*How on earth do the words “old” and “’90s” even go together??
May 7th, 2016
The major league baseball season–something I look forward to all winter long–started a little over a month ago, and I have to say that I’m not especially enjoying it so far. The Braves, my team through thick and thin for more than thirty years, are having a rough start, to put it very mildly. They’re currently boasting the worst record in all of baseball with a 7-21 record, and though they’ve been in a “rebuilding” period for a little while and were not at all expected to do well this year, I wasn’t figuring on them being this bad. It’s not only the consistent losing that’s got me down, but also that the team’s roster has changed so much and so often in the past few years that if it weren’t for the familiar uniforms I wouldn’t recognize most of them. It’s hard work lately being a Braves fan, but I’m the loyal type and will love them forever. I just don’t love watching them play right now.
May 6th, 2016
Ah, here it is … the picture post. This isn’t a particularly good likeness of him, actually, but I can’t resist the look on his face.
May 5th, 2016
I’m itching to post a photo or two, but some technical glitch here is not letting me save files to our server. I’ve asked Olof to fix it but he refuses to work on the holiday, so I guess that leaves me to come up with some words instead.
I got a whole lot of nothing done today, which I suppose is a confession that I’ve also refused to work on the holiday. And I guess that’s a refusal that will continue even here, as I’ve really got nothing.
May 4th, 2016
The kids have a short week this week, with days off tomorrow and Friday, and I am really needing this break from the weekday routine. I’m nearly always home on the weekends, but they rarely feel like real breaks as I’ve either gotten home around midnight on Friday and am using the weekend to recoup from the previous week, or I’m leaving on Monday morning and using the weekend to gear up for a week away. This time I’ve been home for nearly a week and I’m not traveling again for a few days, so I feel like I’ll have some time to relax and also to get some things done in a more leisurely manner.
We’ve got a quite a few things that need to be done around here, including raking up the winter debris from the yard, and as luck would have it the forecast predicts a few days of lovely weather. It shouldn’t be much of a struggle, then, to get everyone out for a few hours to get at least the outside of our place in more presentable shape. The inside is another story, but I’ve all but given up on ever getting that entirely sorted.