Dark outside. Raining. After midnight, so Sunday has begun.
In the archipelago outside Stockholm the Swedish Navy is chasing what they claim to be a foreign submarine of some sort.
The tabloids and news headlines are talking about a new cold war situation. I prefer to stay calm until I see more proof with regards to this ongoing incident.
I’m old enough to remember how it was during the ending decades of the Cold War. The Navy used to chase suspected foreign subs then too, but they never found any and could not present much proof of anything. Don’t get me wrong: I take this new situation seriously and I trust the Swedish Navy to know what they’re doing but I don’t like the big headlines and the feeling of hysteria in the media.
The media is painting a picture of a new “Cold War” when no one knows for sure what results the current chase will end up with or even if it will give us any conclusive proof of this still only suspected foreign military submarine activity inside the archipelago.
On a more personal note, I have started “work” at the new office. I’m learning how to use some photo editing software in order to be able to work with making digital copies of old photos, maps and other documents from various institutions, museums and such.
I like the new place.
This past week I have had a cold. It started already on last Sunday but I managed to be at the office for three days before I had to call in sick. Headache, light fever, runny nose,sneezing and a cough was too much for me. Not until Saturday have I started to feel mostly ok again even if some of the cough remains and my nose is congested.
On job hunting front much remains the same. Nothing much happens. However, this Wednesday I had a job interview over the phone with one employer. I didn’t get the job but at least they wanted to talk to me. A good sign. The first interview I’ve had in a really long time. It made me feel a bit more motivated.
On the more personal front. I still enjoy seeing friends and taking part in the social media networks. That’s about all there is to say.
Regardless of politics both domestic and foreign, I’m happy to be alive in this historic moment. Swedes are not used to visits by US Presidents. So I believe most Swedes are thrilled no matter what their views are regarding the United States and/or its politics.
I understand that this visit does not matter much in the USA or elsewhere but here it is a rather big deal.
Yet, I’ll be watching it on television. I could have been out in the streets of Stockholm to perhaps catch a glimpse of it all but since the traffic situation will be somewhat difficult I have decided to stay in my suburban part of town.
I got greetings from friends on the internet, they really made me happy. Every time it happens, I’m always surprised to see that so many actually care about me. I know I shouldn’t be so surprised but sometimes I tend to forget there are people who care about me. I tend to want to dwell in misery all on my own and think that the world has forgotten about me. Don’t ask me why I’m still so stupid, I really wish I could stop thinking that way.
My family and relatives greeted me on Facebook. My aunt and uncle and one of cousins visited me. My brother the chef called me on the phone. My other uncle sent a greeting card.
All in all it was a fine day.
The rest of the week was kind of average. On Monday I went to a small town outside of Stockholm to apply for a job. On Tuesday I was at the office doing some writing and discussing. In the evening I helped my mother bake some for my birthday. On Wednesday – my birthday – I went to the small town again to apply for another job. On the way home I stopped by the grocery store to pick up some things for my birthday party. Got home, rested a bit, then started to set the table and get things ready before the guests arrived.
On Thursday, I worked at home. Did some writing, and other things. On Friday I was back at the office and continued to work on my blog project. I also applied for some work.
In the evening I watched TV and a movie and looked around on the internet. Went to sleep late.
Today I woke up early thinking I had to get up and go to work before I remembered I had nowhere to go and that it is Saturday anyway. Fell asleep again and finally got up around 11 am. Read the newspaper, then got some work clothes on and went out to work in the yard until the afternoon.
Had some pain in my stomach so went inside to rest before dinner.
After dinner, I’ve spent the rest of the evening reading, listening to music and looking around the internet. Maybe I’ll find a movie to watch later on.
Yes, I know. this isn’t the funny update I promised yesterday. I’m so sorry to disappoint you. It won’t happen again.
Earlier this week, police fired more than 10 shots through the window of a gym in Stockholm while trying to arrest three armed robbers who had recently held up a goldsmith’s store. Luckily nobody in the gym was injured by the shots but it proved to me that going to the gym can sometimes be hazardous to one’s health.
The Swedish Prime Minister and his wife are separating. Being in politics and in charge of a whole nation can obviously put a strain on a marriage. The interesting aspect of this news item is that every media commentator seems to feel a need to comment on this, if only to state that they hope everyone else will not comment or discuss it.
MoonieZ is trying to stop worrying and learn to love the bomb. As this is a very difficult task MoonieZ can’t promise any fast results.
Been a fan of Sonny Landreth since the first time I heard him playing on a record by Cajun band Beausoleil back in the late 1980’s. Then I bought some of his solo albums and also had the good fortune to catch him live in concert in 1992 or 1993 when he opened for Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes at a small club venue in Stockholm.
Some songs performed by Swedish band Mando Diao when they were guests on a Swedish TV show – Allsång på Skansen – in the summer of 2010. I watched that show and very much liked this band and the way they played their songs. Otherwise not a big fan of the “new” bands coming forward or of the “new” music, I must confess some of the “new” stuff sounds pretty good even to a guy as behind the times as I am.
Gloria (live, 2010)
If I Don’t Live Today Then I Might Be Here Tomorrow (live, 2010)
Ok, I promised to return to the topic of why I wish this year to end quickly. Well, here I am and its New Years Eve. All ready to type away. I have made a previous post about how my life turned out this year for those who might be interested to read it or perhaps read it again… But, there are other reasons for wanting this year 2010 to end. Reasons that have more to do with the world outside than my small and insignificant life.
Let’s start off easy with the place where I live. This little community located not far from the big capital city of Stockholm have this year seen the rise of a political party with only one goal: to break this small community away from the municipality and form a new one. All this has to do with money and taxes. The people living in this little community are for the most part ordinary people with decent income who seem to think that the taxes they pay should only benefit this little community and not also the rest of the municipality to which it belongs. I do not support this egocentric way of thinking and hope that this new party will not succeed in their mission.
Next reason for why this year should end quickly is located at the national level. Our government. This years general election did not end well for the party I support but what’s worse is that a small right-wing party which is considered to be racist in its political views gained enough votes to win seats in the parliament. I am sad to see this happen in my country.
The ruling alliance of parties who were elected to govern Sweden four years ago remains in power after this years election but with a loss of the majority in the parliament. This has had very little effect so far and the alliance has continued its policy of increasing the differences between rich and poor, employed and unemployed and last but not least healthy and sick. This is done through tax cuts and other measures for the wealthy, healthy and employed and through decreasing aid to the poor, unemployed and ill. This policy has affected me a lot during the past four years and will continue through the coming years if I don’t get lucky and manage to find someone who will want to employ me. I had high hopes for a change of policy in Sweden if a new government had been elected but this failed. There were not enough people who wanted a change to take place. Solidarity has more or less fallen by the roadside during the last decade or so. Egoism seems to be rule from the top to the bottom of society. Maybe this will start to change by next year but I seriously doubt it will.
Last but not least: the world. No end here to finding reasons why this year 2010 sucked and needs to end quickly. Wars, escalating conflicts, terrorism (even in Stockholm), social tensions, religious conflicts, fanaticism, global financial crisis, banks going bankrupt, increasing unemployment, volcanoes erupting, floods, famine, snowstorms, ice storms, heavy rain, strong winds, freezing cold, heatwaves, Wikileaks controversy, several nations economies collapsing, global warming, climate change…
The list goes on and on. Of course the end of 2010 will not mean the end to or solution of any of the above and the start of 2011 will not affect any of these things right away but perhaps the new year can bring with it the notion that everything eventually has an end and that change is and always will be not only possible but will also be coming and happening whether we like it or not.
Is it foolish and naive to wish for peace at Christmas time ? I don’t think so. The latest events around my hometown makes me think that need for peace has never been more urgent. Yesterday somebody apparently detonated a bomb in central Stockholm, killing himself in the process. This seems to have been an act of terrorism but there are too few facts of the matter available at this time for me to have any certain opinions about the event. To me it means that Stockholm and Sweden is now no longer any more safe than any other place on Earth. Terrorism can reach us here too. Until recently it seemed like the rest of the world could worry about acts of terrorism but that we here in this far corner of the Earth didn’t have to bother about it in our daily lives. Not so anymore. I don’t think it was true then either but that’s another matter. Many times while going to Stockholm and travelling by public transportation I’ve worried about things that might happen but not about bombs going off. Now I’m not sure I’ll be doing much traveling by public transportation for a while. Luckily I don’t have any Christmas shopping to do downtown so I will have no reason at all to visit Stockholm’s city center. However this does not concern me only. I worry about my family, friends and relatives and hope that everyone will be safe and that this incident will not be repeated. And I wish for peace all over the world.