Sorry about yesterday!

The weather is very mixed and has been for several days now. One minute the sun shines the next thunder arrives but always the strong wind.

The weather is very mixed and has been for several days now. One minute the sun shines the next thunder arrives but always the strong wind.

 

Firstly I want to apologize for forgetting to tell You that I wouldn’t write anything yesterday, we had the annual road association meeting in the old village school down by the lake. Normally this is a quick thing since most people doesn’t care about it, but every now and again the wrong person/persons comes and then it can go on for hours. The wrong person came yesterday🙂 The wrong person is one that never can stick to problems and caring about the road but always start talking about things that has nothing to do with the road.

 

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Usually they are complaining about a neighbor or many doing the wrong thing and when explained that the wrong person does just the same always answers that it isn’t the same at all. Thankfully they managed to turn the conversation to the road after some shouting and arguing so the meeting only lasted for an hour and fifteen minutes. I fled the field when another wrong person turned up after the meeting🙂🙂🙂

 

Not many birds by the lake now, most cranes and geese have continued north by now.

Not many birds by the lake now, most cranes and geese have continued north by now.

 

The Lapwing is almost always one of the first birds to arrive every year and many freeze to death because they are too early.

The Lapwing is almost always one of the first birds to arrive every year and many freeze to death because they are too early.

Dagsnäs Castle.

Dagsnäs Castle.

 

Tonight we’re celebrating Walpurgis night. It’s a combination between German traditions and Swedish ones. In Germany they thought that witches had a sabbath this night so they started bonfires to scare them away but here (especially in the part of Sweden called Svealand) they started bonfires to keep both predators (like wolves) and supernatural beings away from the animals before May first when they traditionally let the animals out on the fields for the first time in the spring. The tradition varies some from place to place but generally choirs sings songs to welcome spring this evening.

 

Bjurum Castle.

Bjurum Castle.

The old village school. Itä's so small that the children had to go in shifts. Half of them went in the morning and the rest in the afternoon. There was one room and kitchen for the teacher and one class room for the children.

The old village school. It’s so small that the children had to go in shifts. Half of them went in the morning and the rest in the afternoon. There was one room and kitchen for the teacher and one class room for the children.

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I’ve done that and it’s usually nasty cold since this day seems to be windy and cold. The bonfire makes one boil on one side of the body and the wind make one freeze on the other side🙂🙂🙂 I can’t remember ever celebrating Walpurgis night (or Valborgsmässoafton in Swedish) when I was a kid, here in the south-western parts of Sweden we scare witches during easter instead🙂

 

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In one part of Sweden called Dala-Floda they have saved an old tradition, something called valborrar. People then dress up to look uglier than the trolls and these valborrar is then going around by the fire and makes as much noise as possible to scare away trolls and witches. Tomorrow is a holiday here, May first is the workers day and when I was a kid they always had huge demonstrations in even the smallest town. There was always a couple of people from the unions or the left parties held speeches about how the workers should fight for better conditions in life.

 

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They still have this in the bigger cities but most people rather stay at home now days, perhaps they’re having a picnic or just relax and if May first comes on a Thursday or Friday we usually take a long weekend. I’ll just take it easy and if this strong wind we’re having (which most likely will stop most of the bonfires from being lit) calms down I might do some things in the garden. The fire is burning in the stove and I’m just about to make myself a sandwich or two🙂

 

The Osage orange is always amongst the first to show leafs.

The Osage orange is always amongst the first to show leafs.

So is the Turkish rhubarb (Rheum palmatum), not a rhubarb to eat though.

So is the Turkish rhubarb (Rheum palmatum), not a rhubarb to eat though.

And the redberried elderberrybush from Ussuria is always early and usually freeze bad every spring.

And the redberried elderberrybush from Ussuria is always early and usually freeze bad every spring.

Have a great day!

14 thoughts on “Sorry about yesterday!

    • Hi Joyce!

      I doubt there were many bonfires today, the wind blows hard. So the witches could walk safely amongst us🙂

      Have a great day!
      Christer.

  1. Hi Christer,
    I wondered where you were. I hate it when earnest people show up at a meeting having no clue what it’s about but insisting on participating anyway. When I worked, there was one guy named Bernie who was our “wrong” person. We hated having a general meeting when Bernie was working because he would ask innumerable, endless and unnecessary questions about the topic and anything else that came to his mind. Then he would argue about the answers. The rest of us just wanted to go back to our desks and get on with it.
    May 1, or May Day, was the Feast of the Virgin or something like that. I’m not Catholic but all my relatives are. I remember my female cousins dressing up in white with flowers in their hair and having a procession at the church. The statue of the Virgin Mary outside the church was decorated with flowers. Someone got to be Queen but I don’t remember what that was all about.
    I think I prefer the tradition I read about where people go out in the early morning and hang baskets of flowers on their neighbors’ doorknobs. Of course, nowadays I’d probably be arrested for trespassing.🙂
    It’s spring warm with a light breeze and partly sunny skies today. My jeep is in the shop again trying to pass inspection. Let’s hope. I chopped a bunch of vicious roses to pass the time.
    Enjoy the evening.

    • Hi Caryn!

      I totally forgot to write about the meeting🙂

      We all knew that the meeting would continue for much longer than necessary when we understood this “wrong” person meant to come🙂🙂 But I made an early escape and have no idea for how long they had to stay🙂

      May first does like so many other holidays come from our pagan past. I doubt anyone really knows what we are celebrating today, Walpurgis or Valborg as we call her isn’t especially well known, I had no idea what we were celebrating until I started writing about it in my blogs🙂🙂🙂

      I’m a bit fascinated about the catholic custom of dressing statues and sometimes carry around it through tows, I have no idea why they do it or the meaning behind it but it is fascinating🙂🙂 I’m not sure if I would be arrested for trespassing but I think my neighbors would see me as the village idiot🙂🙂🙂

      I’m holding my thumbs and crossing my fingers (try that, it’s really hard🙂🙂🙂 ) for good luck with Your car!

      Have a great day!
      Christer.

      • Holding your thumbs and crossing your fingers sounds painful but your efforts paid off. Thank-you! Jeepeta has passed his inspection and is good for another year. And he has a new set of tires, too.🙂

  2. Hi Christer, my friend!! Had to drop by and wish you a good Walpurgis! You shoulda lit a bonfire, because you have two Witches visiting today (me and jaz!!) lol! Also it is Beltane, so a celebration for pagans to welcome the warmth!! I have been trying to read some blogs lately and slowly slowly catching up! I have missed your photos and news of your little corner of the world.
    Love to your 5 boys and the Queen of the Universe!! Take care! Robin

    • HI Robin!

      I’m glad to see You here again🙂 I know how tough it has been lately!

      I prefer having witches around me, having a bonfire here today would probably be the end of this village🙂 The wind is strong and the grass is dry, not a good combination🙂🙂🙂

      The queen is grateful that someone actually understand that she is the ruler of the universe and thank You for that🙂

      Have a nice Walpurgis!
      Christer.

  3. Hello Christer –
    It sounds like you managed to escape your road meeting just in time to escape another one of those kind of people. I live in a condo. complex with 75 units and I stopped going to the Home Owner Assoc. meetings because it was filled with people who ,make it their job it spend their lives spying on their neighbors so they could complain about everything & anything at the meetings. As much as I want to know how our money & property is being managed, I thought I was going to lose my mind because the Board had no idea how to run the meetings properly. When I worked for gov’t our meetings limited the persons input to less than 5 minutes and it had to stick to the topic. That is the way the city meetings are held too. Very fair to everyone who has to listen and fair to those want to speak. It never works well when there are no restrictions.
    Your workers day sounds like our Labor Day which is also a 3 day weekend with picnics and union get together for those who are interested. This happens the first week in Sept. so it is the last chance to have outdoor events because school starts later that week. I saw the comments about Catholic celebrations & parades. I was raised Catholic & attended church grade school so I had to go to Mass 6 days a week and I never heard of these kinds of holidays. I think they must be very specific to regions of the country/World. I have seen Italian celebrations where they carry large statues or crosses and toss flowers into the sea. I think these are Feast Day (anniversary) celebrations for particular Saints that a Country may have an association with. Just shows me that even if you have a religion in common with others around the World, the dramas and ceremonies can be very different. When I was a kid we always had the day after Halloween as a school holiday because it was a Holy Day called All Souls Day. The Holiday really had no real meaning for us, but we would go to the bus stop and make fun of all the kids going to Public School. In Mexico All Souls Day is also known as Day of the Dead where masks and costumes are worn to hide from the dead who are supposed to come back from the dead on that one day a year. More zombies! Most Mexicans and South Central Americans spend the day going to the cemeteries to tidy up and place flowers on relatives graves. Americans used to clean up grave areas on Veterans Day in October when little flags are placed on war vetrans graves. While the flags still get placed by volunteer groups, the cleaning doesn’t really happen anymore. Too many people move away and cemeteries do not even allow real flowers or any placing any objects on their property because they say they cannot afford the maintenance people to clean it up. Maybe if your in a small town that is still allowed, but not many left that allow it. Most large cemeteries have not allowed gravestones, only the flat metal plates so they can run the large lawn mowers quickly over all the dead and not have a man with a little lawn mower cutting in around all the different shapes.
    Soon our bodies will be disposed of like in Greece where level ground is at a premium. You get to be buried for one year and then are dug up & your bones crushes and disposed of in an deep hole with everyone else. I decided to be cremated so I do not waste any space once I am gone. I am having my cremains split in two. Half will be placed in a glass windowed vault with my Mother and the other half will be buried on an Eco-Urn next to my Dad’s grave in NY. The Eco urn is made from 100% recycled paper/corn fiber and decomposes in one year once buried So reassuring to no that I will be recycling even after I am gone.
    I have always thought that the Viking tradition of having your corpse wrapped up on a raft with the bonfire started on top & then you are pushed from the shore to drift out at sea all ablaze. A lovely way to dispose of someone who l loved the sea ( and nothing to clean-up either).It is amazing the number of ways different cultures have used to get rid of their dead. Some were really creative and amusing in a dark humor kind of way.
    I loved the photos of the strange, but beautiful, rhubarb as well as the elderberries. I was surprised that any kind of edible berry would even have flowered so early in the Spring. When do they ripen and can you get some for yourself or do the birds get all of them. Oregon grows wonderful berries of all kinds. I usually go up to the Cascade Mountains in July and pick delicious Huckleberries. They are like tiny wild blueberries, sort of look like died currents, and taste is intense, but good. In the valley where I am there are many kinds of blackberry, raspberry, gooseberries and, of course, strawberries. I could live just on fresh fruit all Summer if I had my way. Do you have to augment your soil a lot since there is so much iron content? Here the soil is heavy with clay so you have to add a lot of gardening soil and mulch to allow for proper drainage.
    Thanks for letting me know a bit of details about your job. It sounds like labor and I can see how you would have so much time to think & imagine things. I worked a couple of Summers in a cannery when I was in college. The machinery was so noisy you had to wear ear plugs, so there was no talking the whole 10-12 hr. shift. The old ladies that worked year round had all learned to lip read and they could communicate almost as well as if speaking. They hated the kids that worked Summers and always pretended not to understand your made up sign language, When we would curse them for being such nasty people, we had no idea that they understood every word we said. That was the hardest job I ever worked, but the pay was good. To this day I cannot stand the smell of string beans because that is mostly what we processed during the Summer. So, yes, when you have a job where you cannot converse and it is really hot, keeping your mind busy is the only way to stay awake
    Sorry I rambled on a lot. Never feel you need to read/ respond, but I appreciate it when you can. I always learn something new & interesting.
    Ellen

    • Hi Ellen!

      Since half the village doesn’t speak with the other half these meetings usually pass quickly🙂 I, fortunately, live in a part where we all rather talk to each other and solve problems directly than start fighting amongst each other. Usually it’s just misunderstandings that starts arguments and fights between neighbors. But I know exactly what You mean. I was usually rather popular when holding meetings when I worked at Volvo back in the days because I didn’t allow small talk or drifting away from the subject. My meetings usually never continued for longer than ten minutes while it could go on for hours when someone else held them🙂🙂🙂

      Sweden was more or less only Lutheran protestant when I grew up, even though we had freedom of religion since long. There were a few catholics and a few Jews but that’s it. So catholic traditions are mysterious to me. Protestants has removed all kind of mysticism in their traditions, especially us Lutherans. So seeing these different traditions there are in the catholic world is very interesting to me. Halloween is celebrated by few, every year it grows some but it really isn’t especially popular here yet. They have however moved the day when Halloween is celebrated here because the Church of Sweden asked if they could, for many older people it got confusing to have two sort of holidays at the same day, We celebrate All Saints Day here that day. But it’s always on a Saturday so no day off from school or work for us🙂🙂

      I’m going to be cremated and I would like to be scattered on the bog beside my cottage but I’m not sure that’s allowed. But no grave for me, there’s no use in having a grave that no one wants to keep tidy. We are all living in different parts of the country You see. I like the old tradition they had by burning them on a small boat on the ocean, but I doubt that would be allowed today🙂

      The soil in the village itself is better than the soil closer to the bog. But I have mostly sand in my garden. I just let all leafs stay in the flower beds and I just cut down the old perennials in spring and leave it there too. I rarely have to do anything else. But I know that many have bought lots of soil and put it above the sand in their gardens. Sand is perfect since it helps plants to get hardier but it dries up way to fast when the sun shines.

      This elderberry plant is one of the few edible ones with red berries, the close relative that grows in the forest here is inedible and much later. But the birds take all berries so I guess we’ll soon have this species growing in the forest as well🙂 It origins from southern Siberia and even if it is seven years old it flowers way to early and freeze down every spring when frost comes late🙂 We have more or less the same berries over here, we also have wild black and red currants growing beside wild gooseberries. But those berries are very small compared to the ones we have in the gardens.

      I also work in a neighbor factory to the one where I usually work. They hire me from my job every now and again but then I use dangerous paint. If I should be sloppy wearing the protection clothes and mask I must wear my brain, liver, lungs and heart will get damaged. Naturally I use all protection I have and I’m going to regular check ups to see that I don’t have come in contact with either the paint or the fumes. Oddly enough that can be a bit boring as well after a while🙂🙂🙂

      The best job I’ve ever had was when I owned a garden center/ nursery but there’s no money in that at all🙂🙂 But being a painter is ok too.

      Have a great day!
      Christer.

  4. I always love reading about the old customs from years ago and how many still follow them. I don’t miss a word.
    I will try to visit more often, Christer. Just a bit overwhelmed lately. 🙂
    Take care of yourself and enjoy your warm fires and sandwiches and tea.
    Mona

    • HI Mona!

      I’m learning so much when finding out the facts of all these old traditions! But I have to check on several places so I only get what is true.

      I think You have had a way to tough time for quite some time now!
      Take care and have a great day!
      Christer.

  5. Vi har haft jättefint väder dom senaste dagarna och därför kunnat jobba på i trädgården.🙂
    Men så igår eftermiddag tog vi pickisen för att åka 7 mil norr ut och hämta och lämna två bakdäck till traktorn. Rolle köpte ett par fräscha begagnade och lämnade dom gamla urdåliga. Så vi började med att åka förbi Visby och inhandla ett par grejor på ÖB och då märkte vi att det blåste väldeliga på parkeringen.😦
    Men det var ingenting mot hur det blåste när vi kom till det öppna landskapet runt Hejnum hällar dit vi skulle. Försökte gå en runda med Santos, men bara efter en kort stund var vi tvungna att ga tillbaka till bilen. Fy 17 vad ruggigt det var!😦😦
    Fast Santos hann med att jaga en ekorre en lång stund ända tills den hittade en låg tall att hoppa upp i. Då satt han nedanför och glodde…..Det var faktiskt första gången vi sett hans jaktinstinkt ordentligt “in action”! Han varken hörde eller såg oss och lyda var inte att tänka på – förrän han märkte att han inte kom åt ekorren!!😦 😦 😦
    Vi firar inte valborg (och inte heller 1:a maj), så vi vet inte hur det gick med brasorna här. Men med tanke på blåsten så fick man nog inte elda igår. Det brukar bli eldningsförbud bara det fläktar lite och igår var det tydligen väldigt blåsigt överallt – utom hos oss! Det är skönt att bo i en liten skog…..🙂🙂🙂

    • Hejsan Susie!

      Här har det varit väldigt mixat väder, regn, sol, storm och åska blandat om vartannat. Men nu på morgonen är det riktigt skönt ute🙂

      Nova måste gå kopplad hela tiden, harar verkar dyka upp runt varje hörne numera🙂 Sune kan också börja jaga men stoppar så fort jag säger till honom tack och lov.

      Firar inte någotdera heller men jag tror inte de fick elda här igår heller eftersom det blåste något vansinnigt. Här vid stugan var det också lugnt, här är lä från alla håll och kanter utom nordost🙂

      Ha det gott!
      Christer.

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