This blog goes on under a different name and new web address from January 2011. Please follow me...

Beyond the Lone Islands

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Lighting A Candle

Besides putting our clocks back to winter time this weekend, we’re also entering a time of year that I always find heavy – and confusing.

I think I pretty much explained the why’s of my heavy feeling last year in a post entitled The Dreary Misery of Halloween.

The confusion, to do with dates, did not really come into it last year because then the dates kind of fell into place by themselves. This year they don’t.

We have two All Saints days in our calendar, and on top of that an All Souls day. The original All Saints was 1 November. Nowadays Swedish All Saints Day falls on the Saturday immediately preceding All Souls Day, which is the first Sunday in November. However, 1st November is still also marked All Saints Day in the calendar, whatever day of the week that may happen to be.

I’m telling you this because it means that while in most countries Halloween has just been celebrated, in Sweden Halloween/All Saints is not until next weekend.

Since the American kind of scary parties and trick-and-treating etc do not really belong in our old traditions – even if picked up by some people in later years though the influence of TV etc – that just adds to the confusion. Internationally tuned people might have celebrated Halloween during the weekend past, while others wait until next weekend.

I have no idea so far what I’ll be doing next weekend. But today at twilight I did what I wrote last year that I might do if I was on my own: I went to an old family grave in the cemetery closest to where I live, and lit a “symbolic” candle there. Turned out that someone else had already also done so, and that felt kind of nice.


Saturday, 30 October 2010

The Times They Are A’Changin’


I’m going back through my pictures from the past year and it’s getting harder and harder to remember what I have already shared or not. Or on which blog. Or in a collage or as single picture.

Same thing with post titles. I suspect I may well have used this one before. Especially since it’s not mine to begin with.

But if I can’t remember, I guess there’s a good chance that perhaps you can’t either…?

This photo is one that I took on the first frosty morning 2½ weeks ago. Since then we’ve been going back and forth between frosty and mild weather. Less colour left in nature with every turn…

Tonight we turn our clocks back to winter time. I’ll be glad of it in the morning but less glad in the afternoon.

Here are some words I probably also quoted before:

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9

Thursday, 28 October 2010

What’s On Your Mind?


As soon as I get used to something it seems to change! The most recent example being the latest Windows Live Writer update… I don’t like it when instructions and controls on the screen get so small that I can hardly see them without using the magnifier tool, and won’t answer to ctrl+ … (grumble, mutter, grumble)…

I also don’t like it when changes in software get in the way of and delay my actual writing!

What was really on my mind before this happened was some more pondering about Facebook. (Two weeks of experience now.)

Facebook in English asks: “What’s on your mind?” Facebook in Swedish asks: “What are you doing right now?” I turned language into Swedish because most of the friends I’ve added to FB so far are Swedish. But the Swedish question annoys me every time it turns up on my screen. It seems to be presuming constant activity. It’s a question made for people on the run, using their mobiles. For me, the only truthful answer each time would be: “sitting at the computer”. Or possibly “lying”. In one sense or the other. (I.e. I might be half-lying on the bed instead of sitting. Or I might be making up another answer because always writing the same thing would be boring.)

Another question I never know how to answer is “How are you?” Especially when asked by people one hasn’t seen or talked to in years. I can’t even begin to come up with a good Facebook-sized answer to that one. (Someone just wrote it on my Wall. Again.)

In my opinion “What’s on your mind” really is a much better question to have as a starting point. What’s on my mind may or may not be the same as what I’m doing, or feeling (state of health etc). The mind is free to wander even if the body isn’t.

Right now for example it’s circling around how much the Facebook question really expresses the national spirit. Or language spirit, if there is such a thing? I got curious and changed my FB language a couple of more times. The Germans seem to take the same attitude as we do in Sweden. They also wants to know what people are “doing”. The French, on the other hand, just say “Exprimez-vous”. Express yourself. (I can almost see the hand gestures to go with that!)

In Sweden we really are very focused on what people are “doing”. Health and Work are major topics of conversation in almost any social context, as soon as you get past the more neutral topic of Weather.

When one has no job and does not want to get into details of health, that really only leaves the weather.

What do people talk about where you live? And if you have experience of more than one culture or language, can you see differences?

Booking Through Thursday: Skeletons

In honor of Halloween this weekend:
What reading skeletons do you have in your closet? Books you’d be ashamed to let people know you love? Addiction to the worst kind of (fill in cheesy genre here)? Your old collection of Bobbsey Twin Mysteries lovingly stored behind your “grown-up” books? You get the picture … come on, confess!

I don't think I have any reading skeletons hidden in the closet. Most of them are sitting quite proudly on my bookshelves and I'm not ashamed to display them. There might be people who think I should have outgrown them but that's really their problem, not mine!

Referring to my love of certain children's books, still, at age 55... and having no children or grandchildren to blame it on. :)

But that's no secret to anyone who knows me well, nor to followers of this blog.

I do have one shelf of childhood favourites behind a curtain, but that's for practical reasons, not because I'm ashamed of them.

Since that's the closest I get to books kept in the closet, though, I'll have a peek behind that curtain. Most of them are real classics, like some beloved books by Swedish children's author Astrid Lindgren; and a couple of other Swedish authors probably less well known to readers from other countries. Also my childhood Swedish copies of Winnie-the-Pooh, The Borrowers (Mary Norton), Little Women by Louise Alcott and Anne of Green Gables. And some girly books that once belonged to my mother and my aunt; and one that was even my grandmother's.

Here are three less well known, which I also decided to keep, when going through my bookshelves in my childhood home in my late thirties (before my parents moved away from that house):

Poo-Poo and the Dragons by C.S. Forester. Quotion from a web page I just found : "It was published in 1942, before the war impacted book production. Forester came up with the premise for the book while he was at home in the Berkeley hills, minding his two boys while his wife Kathleen was away. The younger of the two, 8 year old George, went on a hunger strike; he refused to eat. Forester made up the stories to tell during dinnertime, but would only tell them if George would eat. If George stopped eating, Forester stopped talking mid-sentence. By the time Kathleeen returned home and everything returned to normal, there were a number of Poo-Poo stories, and 3 dragons. Forester collected the stories in manuscript form and Little Brown published it." - My copy is a well-worn one in Swedish from 1952. Possibly it might have laid a foundation for a continued love of dragons...

Freddy by Miriam Mason. My Swedish translation is from 1958. I can't find any info about this book on the internet. Freddy is a rainbow rabbit. He runs away on adventures and keeps shifting colours, that's just about all I remember...

William the Superman by Richmal Crompton. Oh, I read lots of William stories as a kid. In Swedish he was called Bill. Most of them I probably borrowed from the library. There might also have been a few old ones that belonged to my father. Wikipedia enlightens me that the first book was written in 1922. The one I have kept is from 1968, and in English. I think I probably bought it in London on our family holiday there in 1969. (First time we went to Britain.) I reread this one a few years ago because there was something in one of the Harry Potter books that made me think of it.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

For All Language Lovers...

I got this sent to me on Facebook, and thought I must share it here as well. Two of my blogging friends came especially to mind... Rae and Scriptor Senex.

Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography - Language

Water and Wood



My camera dragged me out for a walk on Monday afternoon because we had such a dramatic sky going. (See more of that in the Picture Book blog.)

Approaching the river, I noticed that some trees had recently been cut down, which offered a new view of the waterfall.

Then I had a closer look at the tree stumps…
Isn’t this one just wonderful? Like a piece of art.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Quotation of the Week (43/2010)


“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth,
so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind.
To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again.
To make a deep mental path,
we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, 24 October 2010

The Big Mystery


What do you suppose this is? I bet you can’t guess.

While you think about it for a while, I’ll just take the opportunity to be grumpy about something which has nothing whatsoever to do with the picture.

At the supermarket where I sometimes do my grocery shopping they have been moving things around lately. Why do they DO that? (Don’t answer that. I know why they do that. Every shop does that. I just don’t like it.) It took me twice as long as usual to get together the few things I wanted today (few, because I walk, and cannot carry much). One thing I had to just give up on. Maybe next time. Or I should really buy it somewhere else, just to punish them. (As if they’d notice.)

Now, after that extra mile… Back to the picture. Sorry, but even I don’t know what it is. What I was trying to do (a week or so ago) was to catch the moon. Obviously I failed. What it was that caused that orange striped line, or the green dotted line, or the white curved flash… I haven’t got the faintest idea. There was nothing there, between me and the moon, except a very, very, very long distance.

If I was a famous artist, it would have been fun to exhibit the picture as a Work of Art and set critics wondering about my new Style.



Saturday, 23 October 2010

Last Night A Full Moon

DSCN9751-3         DSCN9753-3

Last night a full moon
shining on snow covered ground.
Today all is gray.

© DawnTreader

Friday, 22 October 2010

It Just Doesn’t Look Right




It is not uncommon. We often do get a first snowfall in Mid October. It still doesn’t look right, though!


Doesn’t feel right either… Brrrr!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Oh No. First Snow…!


Through my kitchen window, a few minutes ago…


Earlier today, a perfectly fine autumn day:


I was at my health care centre this afternoon and got the flu shot for the season. I’m suspecting it must have contained some real knockout stuff, because when I got home (sun still shining outside, and no hint of snow), I felt so tired I headed straight for the bed…

I’m sitting up just now, though. Got a bit of a shock looking out that window…! 

Oh well. If need be, I’m prepared to go into hibernation for the weekend. Picked up a few groceries before I took the bus home…

Booking Through Thursday: Foreign

Name a book (or books) from a country other than your own that you love. Or aren’t there any?

Now that is so obviously a question from someone who has English as their first language...! I'm Swedish, and I've been reading books by English and American authors as long as I've been reading my own language; and books in the English language since my early teens.

So I'm going to make it more difficult than that for myself and come up with some that are neither Swedish, nor English, nor American, nor Canadian.

The Diary of Anne Frank - originally published in Dutch. (Have it in Swedish, read it the first time in my early teens, and have reread it many times since then. )

Momo by Michael Ende (German). I have it in Swedish, read it several times. I think I also read it in German once. The Never-Ending Story by the same author. Read it in German, I think at least three times. I have the lovely original edition printed in green and red, with illustrations.

The Moomin series by Tove Jansson (Swedish-Finn author; Swedish-speaking Finns constitute a lingustic minority in Finland. The books were originally published in the Swedish language, but in Finland.) I've read them all several times. As a child I read Moomin in the form of comic strips. The novels I came to love as an adult.

French author Jules Verne - read several of his books in my youth, and have reread some later. In my own bookshelves are still found  From the Earth to the Moon, and Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (in Swedish translations).

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Russia). I read many other Russian authors as well, especially in my youth - like Solzhenitsyn, and Chekov, and Tolstoy - but this particular book I know I read at least twice and liked. I still have it, in a Swedish paperback edition.

One book from different part of the world than Europe which I read perhaps ten years or so ago and that left an impression was The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (Indian author). I can't find it now, I'm not sure whether I read it in English or in Swedish. I might have borrowed it from the library.

Moomin and some other little creature from the Moomin world.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

“Hang On To Your Hopes, My Friend”

2010 autumn tree collage

“Autumn is a season immediately followed by looking forward to spring.”

2½ weeks ago, this maple tree was in its full glory of autumn colour. (Click on the link to see the first picture in the collage bigger.) Now, after yesterday’s rain, the tree is bare. Taking off my gloves to get the camera out of its bag for today’s photo, and fumbling with ice cold fingers to get hold of the zipper… I realized it’s probably time to dig out the Photography Friendly Mittens I bought last winter… Brrrr!


Listen to A Hazy Shade of Winter (at YouTube)

♫ … Carry your cup in your hand.
And look around.
Leaves are brown now.
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter.
Hang on to your hopes, my friend.
That's an easy thing to say,
But if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend that you can build them again.
Look around,
The grass is high,
The fields are ripe,
It's the springtime of my life.
Seasons change with the scenery;
Weaving time in a tapestry.
Won't you stop and remember me
At any convenient time?… ♫

Paul Simon, A Hazy Shade Of Winter

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Face To Face

It’s raining again!

Are you on Facebook? If no, why not? If yes – how do you feel about it? Is it like mini-blogging, or just an extended 21st century version of the telephone book?

Put your answer in a comment, or if you prefer to expand on the topic in a blog post of your own, give me a link. (I’m not going to bother about introducing Mr Linky, considering the rather limited number of people who usually do comment!) I’d really appreciate your input, even though it might come a bit late… I already took the plunge! Although considering the whole sea of people out there, I guess what I have so far is really just a puddle. (Ha. I managed to connect to the picture, after all.)


It started with one or two friends inviting me to join. (I wanted to write ‘nagging’ me to join, but to be fair, I suppose that would be an exaggeration. I think one of them asked me twice!) Anyway, some time back in the summer I hesitatingly started an account. I got as far as finding my way to the inviting friend, but then I didn’t really have the time to check out the details. Wall? Profile? Messages? “Like this”? Who can see what?? Do I want to be seen at all??? Phew…

So two or three months passed before I even logged in again. Oops… Unread messages, and friend requests! (Because of my hesitations, I had created a separate email account just for Facebook. And I had not entered that account again either since the start.)

Getting a bit of a guilty conscience about the two people I had left “dangling”, I tried to make amends this weekend, with a more serious effort to get the hang of it all. Well. The basics, anyway.


It’s kind of hard getting the hang of it from just two friends, though. - Or is it…? Four days later, I’m up to  nine; and through those, a considerable number of mutual acquaintances and strangers (friends of friends, in Facebook terminology) have also made their mysterious appearances on my screen.

Every so often now Bella (my laptop, remember?) says to me: “Hey, here’s someone else you might know!” And surprisingly often, she’s right in her assumptions. I don’t know how she does it!


I think, though, that the balance between ghosts from the past and random suggestions of complete strangers may have been somewhat evened out now by addition of a couple of people who each have about 500 other friends (of whom I do know some, but far from all 500).

I’m still hovering between fascinated and spooked. I can see how one can get caught up in it. It’s like a never-ending extended version of a family tree. Just keep digging, and somewhere down the line you’re bound to even find Adam and Eve!


The pictures in this post are all from last week.
No photo weather today!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Quotation of the Week (42/2010)


“Time flies over us,
but leaves its shadow behind.”

~ Nathaniel Hawthorne ~

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Entering the Ice Age


I got an email today saying “soon you will be posting snow photos”. Help. Yes, most likely I will. But I don’t want to think about it. Not just yet…

Frosty morning lawn in the park

Not that one is allowed to forget. We’ve had frost at least five nights in a row now. Sunny days in between, but still... It’s getting cold.

Sunrise over frosty football field

I’ve been having an inefficient and indecisive kind of weekend, or at least so it feels. Haven’t really been in the mood for “doing” much, and on top of that, the things that most need “doing” are indoor things, while we’re still having the kind of weather that says: “A day like this should not be wasted indoors! You should be outside!” On the other hand there is only so much one can do outdoors this time of year, except  keep walking; because it’s too cold to sit still. And there is a limit to how long I can keep walking, as well!

Yesterday I thought I’d combine the walking with some potential shopping. So I walked to a shopping mall that I don’t visit all that often. I kind of regretted the idea when I got there, because this is what I found:


Christmas decorations! Please. We still have three weeks to go to Halloween!!!

I did walk around for a while but ended up buying nothing, except a packet of paper tissues which I could just as well have bought anywhere. And a hot dog and diet coke to give me the energy to get myself back home (by bus). I should have known. Big shopping malls usually do that to me.

After deciding yesterday that there was nothing I wanted to buy; today I found myself walking into town and buying a pair of knee high leather boots.


There are persistent rumours lately (last repeated to me by the shop assistant who sold me these) that this is going to be the coldest winter in one thousand years.

How can anyone possibly know that? And how does that fit in with the global warming?

When I got home, I followed instructions and gave the new boots a recommended dose of spray-on waterproofing, out on the balcony. Maybe that will help adjust nature’s balance...

Friday, 15 October 2010

Permission To Move Hell


Looking through my pictures of the inside of the old church at the museum park (see Unexpected Flashbacks), I also spotted this one (above). I have thought of posting about it before, but never got round to it.

In old churches with painted ceilings you often find Heavenly pictures, with clouds and angels. You can see an example of that in one of the photos in yesterday’s post, over the pulpit.

Sometimes, at the back of the church, like here over the organ balcony, they also included illustrations of Judgment Day and/or Hell.

In the village where I lived as a child, we had that kind of church. It was a stone church, not a wooden one. But it had a painted ceiling including both Heaven and Hell. Now my family weren’t churchgoers, so I didn’t get to (or have to) look at those pictures very often. I’m not sure I even ever took any particular notice of Hell (which just like in the photo above was situated over the organ balcony) until in junior high school I got a teacher who came from the same parish, and who loved to tell a story about it. It took place before we kids were even born. I don’t remember all the details now, but in the mid 20th century, the church was to go through a major restoration. I think the building was to be made longer, and the tower added. Anyway, it involved the old painted ceiling in a way which caused headlines in the newspapers: “Will X (=name of the parish) be allowed to move Hell?” And after long – and I presume heated! – discussions in the episcopate council or whereever such things are decided, the answer was presented in new headlines: “X allowed to move Hell”. 

No small achievement for a country village church!

But of course the Church has always believed in the right to stir up both Heaven and Hell:

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.

(Matthew 27:50-52, NIV)


The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

(Common Worship translation, Church of England 2000)

The earliest appearance of the full text we know as the Apostles' Creed is from around 710. Shorter versions go back much further.


PS. Yes, I’m moving this post up from earlier in the week. Since I also had another post that day, I think some of the regular readers perhaps missed this one. (If hell can be moved once, why not twice?)

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Rewrite Or Accept

This week's Booking Through Thursday question was
"If you could rewrite the ending of any book, which book would it be?"

Interesting question, but actually I couldn’t think of any book I’d really like to rewrite the ending of. There may have been books I felt that way about, just after reading them, but none pop into mind just now. Either I’ve forgotten, or the problem went deeper than just changing the ending!

However, the question did remind me of heated discussions about the last book in the Harry Potter series (Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, 2007). Reading some of the other BTT-comments, I saw that I wasn’t the only one. So I decided to expand a little on that; digging out some comments that I wrote in a HP discussion forum about six months after the publication. If you're interested, pop over to Through My Spectrespecs (= my own, not very frequently updated Harry Potter blog).

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Season Moving Fast



DSCN9431 '



I’m walking slowly
through a season moving fast
the leaves are falling


Scroll down or click here for my previous post today:
Permission To Move Hell

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Unexpected Flashbacks

Yesterday, I had a surprise, since suddenly on my Blogger reading list, a very familiar-looking photo appeared. But I had not posted it! Not recently, anyway… However, I knew that I had posted another photo of the same building only the day before. For a second or two, I was very bewildered indeed!

Then my brain started working again. I realized what blog the picture was on: Write With Pictures. A blog to which I have given permission to use my pictures. I also realized that in my recent Picture Book post (Museum Church), I had linked back to an older post (17th century church) where this photo was included. So the whole thing was not at all as strange as it first seemed!

The Write With PicturesMonday Meme’ means sharing “what memories that come to mind” when looking at the picture. Hm! Since it was my own photo, and I had revisited the place only two days ago, of course it brought back memories!

So I wrote down what went through my head. And after having done that, I decided to go back here and repeat some of it, and add a couple of more photos. And words.


I think it was two years ago one year ago that I last went inside, one day when the door was open. Coming in from the bright light outside, it was so dark in there that I had very little idea what I was taking photos of. But I did take some flash photos. Not until I was back home, getting the photos up on the computer screen, could I see the details.

Now this reminds me of two things:

1. Some doors are not always open.
We have to find them at the right moment.

When I was there last, the door was closed.

When I took this picture, the door was open.

2. Sometimes we do not really see things clearly until in retrospect.

Collection of old keys inside the porch; and a box, in which visitors can leave a contribution to the maintenance of the church. I think it is probably supposed to be St Peter on the pillar. Or maybe that’s just how my mind wanders because of the keys in the background. It was to Peter that Jesus said: “on this rock I will build my church” and “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:18-19)


“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1


“The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world would not recognize him.” (John 1:9-10)

Monday, 11 October 2010

Quotation of the Week (41/2010)


“You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you’re down there.”

~ George Burns (1896 – 1996) ~

Another quote I came across while trying to find out who the man behind last week’s quotation was... American actor, writer and comedian who lived to be no less than 100 years old. I have no idea how old he was when he first uttered these words, though! ;)

Sunday, 10 October 2010

About Haircuts and Years Gone By


Earlier this week, I had an appointment with my hairdresser. Mentioning this to a male friend, he kind of assumed that meant ’an afternoon out’. I replied that if you include the time it took me to get there and back, which means a bus ride one way and quite a long walk back afterwards, it could be called that. The actual “hairdressing”, though, is usually a pretty quick and straightforward thing with me. About half an hour if I go to my usual hairdresser. With my neck-and-shoulder problems, what I need is a hairdo that requires a minimum of daily effort to keep up; and which also does not suddenly turn into complete chaos after six weeks. Hence, I’ve given up pretending that my hair is really gorgeously thick, or naturally curly, or quite the same colour as twenty years ago.

I know I’ve not been too generous with pictures of myself on this blog (or any other blog, for that matter). I’m usually behind the camera, not in front of it. One sharp-eyed reader with good memory recalled in a comment to yesterday’s post (where you did get a glimpse of me) that in my previous blog header I had appeared to be brunette. And now - subtly implied - I was not…? I had to laugh… For one thing, the picture referred to was from the early 1990s. For another, it was taken against the light so really just a silhouette, not revealing details. That’s why I thought I could get away with it… (LOL)

For you who might have forgotten, or joined me since I last changed my header, here is the picture I used:

1992 – south coast of Sweden near Ystad

Some years back, I had a “Memory CD” made from a choice of photos taken with my old Olympus camera (including the one above). Here are a few more:

1984 (age 28), in the flat where I was living then.

1988, on the west coast

1992, I think… (town of Borås in the background)

1995 - 40th birthday, with friends

Monica 50 005 
50th birthday (taken by friend with her camera)

2010 – up to date, in my study.

I’m still trying to persuade myself some days that that’s ash blond, not gray. (Cameras can’t be trusted, right?)

Oh, who am I kidding…

PS. Two posts today. Scroll down or click here for the other one.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin