Carpe Diem with a ”cat walk”

oktober 20, 2010

Fall has a certain element of melancholy, doesn’t it? You know that soon enough the fall storms will sweep off all the leaves and leave everything grey and beige.

A cougar on the hunt

I had some errands to do and put on  my jacket, which Silver always interprets as an invitation to go for a walk. He started purring an meowing happily, so I didn’t have the heart to just leave him. Instead we went for a little stroll and took the opportunity to take a closer look at what’s still growing in the garden. Some of the roses are still doing very well.

The grapes in the green-house are actually quite tasty, but nobody bothers to harvest them.

But the apples… They are supposed to be some very rare kind. But that doesn’t help. They don’t taste good so nobody eats them. But they look delicious. Weird.

Actually, there are still a lot of pretty colors out there. Thanks for reminding me of that, Silver!

 

Barbershop rocks!

oktober 18, 2010

Choir retreat this week-end. Just singing, singing, singing. And partying. Since we’re having a big Christmas concert in a month and a half, it was mostly Christmas music.

 

The whole body needs warm-ups, not just the vocal cords.

 

 

Learning a new song

 

 

Small group making a new interpretation of Mary's Lullaby, featuring our youngest member

 

The weather is always great when we have choir week-end retreats. It never fails. Except for that one time when there was a snow-storm…

Lunch in the sunshine. (Something suspect on the plate?)

 

And of course good food and partying in the evening are important parts of the package. You might think that after a whole day of singing, people would be tired of that. But that’s not the case. Our parties mean singing songs that have been skipped from the repertoir long ago (and maybe ought to be buried and forgotten by now). And several constellations making more or less rehearsed performances. Here’s the music committee (section leaders and directors) making a very new interpretation with new lyrics to an old song.

 

Surprise performance by some "rock stars"

 

Several chorus members suggested that we have a rock’n roll theme for our next competition package. Well, I don’t know if barbershop-rock’n roll is a winning concept. But we sure had fun :-).

Thanks Julia for the pictures!

Lunch date

oktober 14, 2010

It’s a gorgeous day today! Sunshine and sparkling fall colors. Today is just too nice to sit inside all day.

My lunch dates

So me and my lunch dates, Ann-Britt and Tamtam decided to sit outside for lunch today.

Tamtam

”It smells so delicious outside the restaurant – why can’t a dog have a little lunch here too? (Even though I just had one.)”

Ann-Britt

We also met this little puppy:

Papillon baby

Some days life just seems better than ever :-). A little sunshine and some nice company sure does the trick.

Style jumping

oktober 11, 2010

What a fun week-end! Me and Louise participated in a style jumping course on Saturday. And then on Sunday there was a style jumping competition. Here’s my fantastic little competition partner:

 

Grandessa

 

This is what you learn if you google the word ”style jumping competition”:

This competition rewards competitors who can ride a course of show jumps in good rhythm and correct jumping position. The successful competitor must ride effectively with sufficient impulsion and maintain balance and a rhythmical pace, adjusting the length of the stride in such a way as to be able to jump the whole course without sudden lengthening or shortening in front of the fence. This is a very positive competition the judges give helpful comments about the horse and rider combination, positive score sheets akin to those used in dressage are conducive to constructive criticism and improvement.

Little Grandessa was very excited and jumpy because of all the people, applause, photo flashes etc so it was quite a challenge to try to stay calm and focused. But look at this:

All clear rounds (no knock-downs or refusals) were rewarded with a white ribbon. I still haven’t gotten my score sheets, so I don’t know how many points I scored. But it doesn’t really matter. I definitely feel like a winner already! We made it, me and Grandessa :-).

And then, to make a perfect week-end even better, I finished it off with quartet practise with my buddies in BeFour. Life is good.

Fall is here

oktober 4, 2010

I’m so excited about my new camera, that I even read the manual. So I brought for a couple of walks in the beautiful Delsjö forest.

Unfortunately, my back and shoulders hurt so bad, so I could not work with my computer for several days. But it’s a good thing that I actually took the opportunity to take some nice walks. Soon enough there will be horisontal rain and slushy snow…

rose hips

Lake Delsjön

Old couple enjoying the afternoon sun

Lilla Torps Trädgård (plant shop) is closing down in two days. The owners are retiring after 40 years and nobody is taking over. A little bit sad.

Crowds, celebrities and sore feet

september 27, 2010

The annual book fair is a great event every fall here in Göteborg. This year is no exception. And every year I tell myself that NEXT year, I will plan much better ahead, decide who to meet, what to see and what to do.

It’s not just about books. Of course there are publishing firms and writers presenting their latest books. But there are also international charity organizations,  IT companies presenting programs for libraries, magazines, TV-stations, and much more.

My journalist friend Florence has started a publishing firm. Very impressive! Here she is discussing a new book with the author and some interested people:

And there are always a lot of celebrities – and even more semi-celebrities. The latter are more visible, simply because they are more interested in being noticed.

Jonas Hallberg. Famous for... I don't really know. But you see and hear him often in the radio etc

Alexandra Pascalidou, journalist and author of a cook book

Märta Tikkanen

Even the king was there:

OK. Not REALLY the king. But close enough 🙂

They had an interesting theme this year: African writers. There is a lot of prejudice in that area. African writers are a really diverse group and most of them don’t fit in the traditional stereotypes. I listened to some of them talking about their books. Since these lectures were in French, I really had to sharpen my ears and focus. Luckily they were polite and spoke very slowly and articulated.

Many african writers this year

Many interesting things to check out. But after a couple of hours my feet and ears were sore and pushing my way through the packed sea of human bodies got very exhausting after a while. Next year I’ll be better prepared and draw a map of where to go and what to do 🙂 !

Celebrate our freedom!

september 19, 2010

Now I’ve done my duty as a good citizen – I’ve voted. We have to keep reminding ourselves that there are people who are prepared to die, fighting for rights that we take for granted. Here’s a picture from an old scrapbook:

It’s me and my Dad (he made fantastic scrapbooks for us kids). He’s wearing a nice suit because voting is important business. My father was born in 1925 and had very clear memories from World War II. He taught me that it matters who is running your country.

If you say that all political parties are the same (”in Sweden they’re all in the middle anyway”), and don’t bother to vote, then you’re opening the door for more dubious parties. In the end, maybe we can’t take our fantastic rights for granted anymore.

It feels great to vote. For those who haven’t done it yet: there are still a few hours left to jump up from the couch.

Model for a day?

augusti 23, 2010

It’s spreading like a wild-fire? Have you seen all the new profile pictures on Facebook, where people are looking seductively at you from above a mirror?

I got at least ten phone calls from sales women who wanted to give me an amazing introduction offer: to be ”model for a day”, get make-up by a ”make-up-artiskt” and have my pictures taken by a ”photographer”. But it wasn’t until one of my friends asked me if I wanted to tag along with her and and another friend that I actually said yes.

So we boldy stepped into the fancy Model Lab. And my God, what a business! The place was packed with people hoping to look marvellous. Middle-aged women, an entire family, teen-age girls. OK. I don’t want to be a boring whiner. It WAS fun to do this because I was doing it with two good friends. But then again, with good friends you can do pretty much anything and still have fun. And OK, we did look A BIT glamorous on some pictures.

Woman with make-up sitting backwards on a chair

But the make-up looked pretty much like what we wear on stage with our choir and put on ourselves. Make-up artists??? I don’t know. And the photographer had big problems looking through the camera and actually catching the model-wannabees in the picture:

Woman with no legs standing off center

(Granny is a way more advanced photographer than these young girls – sorry girls!) There were a number of poses we were supposed to strike, with one picture taken of each pose. Some of them were so complicated that our long arms and legs got all tangled up. And knowing right from left is not one of my special talents… We ended up laughing hard at our pathetic efforts to pose like models. This is one of the less complicated ones. But seriously, how often do you stand like this? Check out this weirdly cropped picture:

Left arm over head, no right, no left...HELP!

It took almost six hours. Mostly waiting time. Waiting for make-up, waiting for photo-session, waiting for the pictures, waiting for paying… Pernilla, didn’t have time to wait and left. And that’s when we found out that it’s not at all for free if you don’t but any pictures. Then you have to pay for the make-up instead. Very tricky. So we got some pictures for her anyway.

OK, OK, we do have some pictures that are more glamorous than what we ordinarily take. At least more make-up. So now I have a new profile picture on Facebook. And they cost less than going to a real photographer. At least if you only buy 2-3 pictures. Still. It’s a smart business idea. But ethical?

And it’s not over here: If you give Model Lab 12 names with telephone numbers, you get one of your pictures for free. And before I knew it I had scribbled down 12 names of good friends. I sold my good friends for a free picture! I will burn in hell for that. Maybe. But I’ll be in good company.

Was it just a dream?

augusti 19, 2010

School has started, the boxes from the container are unpacked, much of the mess is cleaned up, back to work – trying to find some inspiration. Telephone interviews, e-mail, papers, papers, papers.

Meeting with the music committee in choir yesterday and planning this upcoming season – fun to see all the friends again. And it struck me again and again: has it really been over a year since last time? Was the year in the US really real? It feels more and more like a dream. But a very good dream.

Crayfish party

augusti 15, 2010

What did I miss from Sweden when I was in the US? That’s easy! Good old friends. And crayfish!

Delicious sea crayfish. YUM!

Yesterday was the first crayfish party this year – a perfect way of combining the two!

Good old friends

Snaps and snaps-songs, fun catching up, and all of a sudden it was very late. Or maybe I should say early… Some were playing golf today. Wonder how they did. I’m glad I didn’t have to do many productive things today.