Archive for September, 2004

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September 29, 2004

This last se’endays has been a week of strong and very different emotions.

Last Wednesday, the birthday of a beloved nephew; he turned 12 and that’s odd for an old aunt to understand. When he was born I studied English. I still do.

Yesterday, the death of a beloved uncle – Torwald – who had been ill for quite some time, although I didn’t know just how bad it was. Maybe I’ll write some more about him later.

On Saturday, two weddings of which we could only attend one for tempo-spatial reasons. It was marvellous.

On Monday, the funeral of my mother-in-law’s husband (ex husband to be precise) whom I’d only met once, but who was a very big personality. It was sad, beautiful and moving.

And three friends of mine have had babies.

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September 12, 2004

The theme for the author relay at this year’s Culture Night was “Sing in the darkness of despair”; a reminder, I assume, of the events of that day last year and three years ago.

But there was not much despair to be seen on Culture Night, and rightly so. It is a long evening filled with cultural events; when walking between the different events we attended, we heard barbershop in a streetcorner, we saw flamenco dancers in the middle of a cordoned-off street, we saw four young women dressed like Xena fighting with staffs and juggling with fire at the edge of a square with the rock concert at the other edge of the square forming an incongruous backdrop. (I was happy to notice that this year, the volume of the rock concert had been turned down – I was really annoyed when it drowned all other activities in all the buildings around the square a few years ago. I don’t mind hearing it, but the point of this night is for different forms of culture to coexist, not for one to kill all the rest.) There was Armenian modern dancing on Fyristorg, and the Salvation Army’s brass band played across the river. The public library had a sale of weeded-out books; we bought one about the wood-carving art of the Indians on the western shores of Canada (the ones with totem poles.)

We went to a concert with medieval pilgrim songs – but missed Joculatores Upsaliensis singing in the university library, as by then we were looking at Irish tap dancing. We saw silent movies accompanied by period music live on the piano in the cinema from 1914 (and preceded by some wonderful commercials from the 1930s or 40s), and we visited the scout tivoli on Castle Hill. Miranda had been working there earlier in the afternoon, but we didnt see her. The main event for both of us was the Balinese dancing in a small room under the castle – hot as a summer’s evening on Bali, the presenter said, packed with people. The performance was short but magical, accompanied by cymbals and bells, slow and graceful and, well, magical.

After Erik Granström’s reading and talk we caught the 22:30 bus home. Johan and I are both slightly unwell – still, or again, or whatever – and felt rather culturally satisfied and not particularly inclined to go anywhere else at that point. We didn’t go to the Greek or Persian dancing, or any art galleries, or any of the performances in the Cathedral, or the free Yoga class, or…. Doesn’t matter though. The evening was proof of how it is possible for a multitude of different cultures to coexist peacefully with a minimum of tolerance needed on everybody’s part. It couldn’t have been held on a better date of the year.

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September 4, 2004

Less is more - say no to fat books

Yes, you can click on the picture and be taken elsewhere.