Tuesday, 31 July 2018

The heat chronicles.

6.09 a.m. I have left the balcony door open, so the thunder wakes me up with full force. For 30 minutes or more, non-stop, it rumbles unceasingly; while one rumble barely had the time to be absorbed into a silent echo, comes the next, and then another. As an electric sprinkle, come the lightnings, as were they in a (diagonal(!)) hurry. I contemplate the possibility of a ball lightning to fly in. (On Wikipedia, it says they are not fully scientifically acknowledged; I know one person who experienced it.) It rains heavily, but every trace of water is gone in a couple of hours. It is as hot as it was before; I can sit completely relaxed and unbusy in my apartment and feel pearls of sweat softly follow the curvature of my body. I decide to go for an evening swim the same night. Maybe swim to the island in the middle of the stream.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Lovespoons, welshcakes and more of Cardiff (evening)

 Let's resume the Cardiff trip and how 
much I love my mafia joke. 

We entered the bed and breakfast place - awarded for it's Italian dishes - owned by a young Italian couple, and the first thing I said was: 
"Paula sent us."
Paula had indeed sent us; she herself owned the b&b nextdoors which, to our huge disappointment, was booked online seconds before we spontaneosly got there in person.
"So you want a room?"
The Italian lady with lovely
 fluffy curly hair understood us perfectly.
We got to stay in a small cute house behind the restaurant, made us ready the evening and entered the park with Stonehengian lookalikes. 
The animals guarding/just on the verge of getting over the mure are all distinct and look very credible (you know, some artists in the past made animal looks up if they hadn't seen one).
A super nice stranger had offered us to join in at the pub where she was going. We really appreciated the invitation, but strolled in another direction.
In central Cardiff, a restaurant with cozy lamps attracted our attention. It was a jackpot.
 What is your first reaction when you get meat served on lancets that are hung right at the ceiling?
We went "ooh" and "aah" and watched the installation hover above our table.
Then we passed a few young drugdealers (aged what, 13? 12 maybe?) basically throwing drugs at each other in small plastic bags (ok, it was only one kid on a bike with one zip-sealing bag but he had many potential friends there) on what I now classify as the scariest street of Cardiff when looking for the port. But Cardiff is super safe, two ladies in a hurry assured us. "Drug dealing happens everywhere." So you say. I am not an expert, but has it always been this... overt?

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Balcony flower parade

This is how it started, a hot day in April. In July, this rose surely could win some kind of competition. Poff poff it said in flower language (very silently) and within hours, there was blossom everywhere.
(In sunset)
I decided I needed something blue among all the pink and orange and so got this pink rose.
(At sunset)
The sahara effect of the Swedish summer has been hard on some, I am afraid. The strawberries are gone. But they DID see some daylight before they stopped the riping process.
Some mint for the dolma. I am afraid to eat it after the blooming started though.
Another newcomer.
And carnation! Smells like childhood - but only at a very close distance.
Stjärnflocka - a super beautiful name, "starsgettingtogetherer". 

Astrantia in English, so quite similar.
The nemesia has a sturdy character. Deprive it of water and it cries; give it water and it rises as if nothing has happened. I also just learned the exact same name is used in Latin for a big spider family. I guess it's a cool coincidence.

Do you see the bumblebee? Do you see the bumblebee???!!! OMG a bumblebee interested in my plants!!!

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Bus 583 goes from Märsta to Arlanda - good to know

Many people seem to not know this. You don't have to take the
Uppsala train and then make a costly exit at the airport, but can use your SL-card aaaaall the way to Märsta and then make a what, three minutes long transfer to a bus that takes you to every gate within 10 minutes. 

Good to know!

Friday, 27 July 2018

The ladies and the 220x230 Duvet

Oh, so comfy. From Primark. It served us well at Three Cliffs Bay and on this weird night ferry from Holyhead in Wales to Dublin. Who schedules a ferry at 2.30 a.m.? We were giggly even without drinks (but then no one knows how giggly we would be WITH drinks).
It is quite a task to carry a duvet around. Especially in heat. It is never comfortable until you start using it. And I assure you, top shelves are not exactly constructed for duvets.
It traveled with us through two countries - Wales and Ireland. Then we had to let it go :(
 Halfway through our journey, I had to run to a Tesco (food store) but didn't know where to run (and almost got through a wall, except this is not 9 3/4 King's Cross). That is when I met a charming man with cleaning equipment on wheels. He smiled and brought me to the right exit, pushing his trolley slowly in front of him.
Me: "It's a nice ride."
He: "environmentally friendly."
Me: "4 by 4."
He: "not noisy, easy to navigate."
We kept joking and he left the station with me so that he could point with his arm like a proud statue:
"It's in that direction, 45 degrees to the left."
Vildana was very happy that I made it back on time, and we got on the train to prepare for the caption of something very rare:
One of the longest city names of the world, 
Yet, not long enough to be captivated when on a train that swishes by. We asked the staff: will it slow down? Nah. So we only have a video of the sign rushing past us and me screaming "Noooooooo" x)

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Surfin' the fresh waters of Halmsjön

Yours truly has been to a cable park!
I thought this would be me. I mean, I have been snowboarding for some time. 
This is a more accurate description of events. (Sorry for cheating on the image where it's not me wearing the wine red helmet.)
Apparently, about 50 takes are needed before the body gets used to the instructions told. I have only 46 more semi-drownings left, then.
Or, as the instructor put it: "paying for jumping in with full equipment". This is Marianna, by the way. This is her 15th attempt.
This guy was super stylish.
"Is he single?"
"Unfortunately not."
Even more stylish: a guy who wore sneakers and stood on a board with zero attachments to his feet. THAT is good.
Once you get it, there are small icebergs around the lake where you can jump and spin and stuff.
 Then somehow these men ended up in my photo gallery. I have NOT taken these photos. 
 You can rent full equipment at this cute house, hourly or for the season. Bring your own towel, soap and lock for valuable items.
And just have fun <3 after 18 on weekends and before 16 on weekdays if you want to avoid the queues. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

New words as of 2018, part V

Spårpixlar (Swedish), also called web beacon, pixel tag, tracking bug - they all track your activities online. I am not delving into the difference between a pixel tag and a cookie, or what is legal, but there are numerous ways of creating information about you as a user online - some even say, to predict which party you will be voting for.

Kutterspån - cutter shavings. Small pieces of wood created when you shave it.

Negative space (makeup) - space inbetween makeup not covered by makeup, which usually creates some kind of effect, maybe enlargement. See some examples here.

Hashtag activism - well, when you are an activist on the internet armored with hashtags to let everybody know.

Ackomodera (Swedish) - when the pupil changes its size to match with the distance being looked at.

Stunting/stunted growth - reduced growth rate in human development.

KYC - know your customer, terminology used by banks (and surely other businesses) when establishing a customer's habits in order to prevent money laundering crimes.

Missiv (Swedish) - följebrev till myndighetsskrivelse

Triple point - 0.01 degrees Celsius, when all three states of water can coexist simultaneously

Regmaglypt - the holes and caves in a meteorite created by friction in the air.

Clopening - when the person who works the latest at a shop closes it, but also is the first to be there the next day to open. A problem unions are negotiating about.

Hangry (English), hungriterad (Swedish) - when you become angry and irritated because you are hungry.

A too early museum visit: Steninge slott in Märsta

In Sweden there is this amazing card called Kulturarvskortet, which basically is a discount card. If you have it, all museums that are part of this museum club give you at least 40% discount on tickets and even in their shops (sometimes). You also get a catalogue of all the member museums with photos, descriptions and a register with several useful maps (county by county and then the entire kingdom). So far so good, until I actually spotted a castle I knew was private (except when its bigger rooms are used for reception of politicians and other important people coming to the municipality) which allegedly had art exhibitions in a hall nearby. So I went. Walking. There were few signs and when I got there, it turns out the place barely has opened. Well, it was open, but three years ago, and now it is under a building-up stage again.
You can walk for free in the castle park 12-17 every day though.