Olle's pictures

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Our garden

Finally responding to repeated requests - by my daughter - I am going to describe the garden. When we came here in October 2006 it was a complete ruin (but for the lawn and the front garden which had been well kept. But the former owner had not had the strength to keep the back garden running during a decade or so and most of the borders had disappeared under nettles, brambles and rubbish. It had been covered by some plastic to control weeds but that had rotted to pieces and the weeds just went straight through. During the past one and half year my dear gardener (=Eve) has cleared all the mess, dug all the borders, put in tonnes of new soil, grit, manure and bark.

A garden shed, a summer house and my workshop have since been erected so there are three new buildings at the back. A part of the fence on the west side has been repaired, but there is more to fix. A lot of bushes and a couple of small trees have come out (not least holly which I am not very fond of). And other trees have been trimmed and branches have come out.

Last year the planting could proceed and this is the first spring we see the results. A lot is to come but the bulbs have come and the new plants are with few exceptions doing well.

Our land is about 10 m wide (hedges included) and quite long, about 50 m or so. The house is semidetached so we can get pass the house on the west side. Actually we use normally the kitchen entrance at the back as our main entrance. The front garden is about 12 m deep (from the border to the house door) and the back 26 m (from the kitchen wall to the border). About half of the surface is occupied by borders, the rest is lawn and paths.

More about the garden in the next blog.

Friday, 25 April 2008

My blog and and its future

Dear readers,

Time for a bit of assessment. I have kept up this picture blog for a good while now but I have good statistics only for a year (since 1 May 2007). However, that goes long way.

The pattern of visitors has been constant over the year - between zero and five visitors a day (average visits about 2/day). The total number of visits during the year is 536 shared between 154 unique visitors (unique computers to be precise). The great majority of visits are Swedish (86 %), followed by visitors from United Kingdom and USA (6 %). A couple of visits from France, plus some odd ones from other European countries. Most of the visitors know where to look for me, and some are referred from the blog of my US relatives who are running an extremely popular blog with a link to mine. To my mind these figures are surprising high and that makes me motivated to continue.

The sad thing is of course that most of my faithful visitors (and there are 26 visitors who have looked up my blog more than 100 times during the year!) see the same picture day in and day out. I have in average 6 new blogs per month and they are not evenly spread.

The reason for the blogs being scarce are of course several, but the main one is that I don't take so many pictures and most of the ones I take I am not happy with. No pictures, no blog. And if it is only pictures my visitors look for that is pretty much what can be expected in the future, at least as long as I am working full time. One picture a week in average. Another reason is that it actually takes a lot of time to publish a good picture. First adapting it so it looks good (on my screen - sorry if it is not so good on yours), second size it and then upload it, third to adjust it so that it looks good and the text wraps around the way I want and then to upload a full-size picture for those who want to have a careful look at it (and most visitors seem to do that). Half an hour is a minimum and that is enough to stop me from do it just before I go to bed for example. It takes a chunk of precious evening time.

However, I suspect that my faithful visitors also check my blog for other reasons. There are strong reasons to suspect that most of them know me very well and that the wish to stay in touch is the main motivation, not the pleasure of seeing a picture. That is at least what drives me to regularly visit the three blogs I follow (well, not quite true, I also check a professional one: the blog of the Stockholm vice-chancellor Kåre Bremer which is just very informative and useful for my job). The private blogs I read use a mix of text and pictures.

I can imagine to change my picture blog into another type of blog, one where I mix text and pictures, sometimes perhaps only text. More of a diary type (well, not a daily log but reflections on things which happen to interest or concern me at the time of writing). As this spans quite a broad field it might be of some interest for some, while perhaps boring for others. Yes, photos as it is now. But also what I am doing in the workshop (the boat model I am building and the vicissitudes - ups and downs - of that work), church (probably becoming an important item as Eve has been elected a churchwarden which clearly will involve me also), the garden now when everything is flowering, art, and of course books - books in a multitudes of subject (history, science, literature, religion, woodwork etc.). And then complaints, thoughts, impressions, ideas perhaps?

So - dear reader - what do you think? I have very, very few comments to my blogs (but I do get positive feedback when I meet some of my friends and relatives!). This time I would be grateful for a feedback via the net.

My questions to you are:

Shall I continue as it is the whole emphasis on pictures? Or should I expand it to more text along the lines above? Or something else perhaps?

Please send a short comment this time (anonymous answers are fine).

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Rudston, East Yorkshire

We spent a day with a friend visiting some of our favourite places in East Yorkshire. It was a calm and beautiful day.

(click for full size picture 2 MB)

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Christ is risen!

Easter Sunday morning ("when it was still dark"):

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.

Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.

(John, 20:1-8)

(The picture above is by Eugène Burnand)

Saturday, 22 March 2008

A walk in Hessle on Easter eve

Spring is coming, even if it has been a windy and cold day. But the willows are shifting into light green and some bushes have got leaves. The pigeons are courting (see one of them on top of the gable).

There is an old lime quarry nearby and there you could see that we have had a wet spring. The blue tube is actually a piece of galvanized iron rail along a steep slope which has been polished by many hands.

(It pays to click on the pictures for full size - you can even enlarge some of them one step further with benefit)

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Mussel shells

We had mussels for dinner yesterday.


Saturday, 15 March 2008

A misty day

A misty day when spring is about to come but is not quite there yet. But the daffodils are now in full bloom. Today we have been in a neighbouring plant nursery and bought a rose ('Just Joey') and a bush with blue flowers (Ceanothus). Plus some locally grown vegetables.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Spring flowers

The daffodils and the forsythia are now flowering properly and the garden is lit up of yellow colours. In a shadowy corner we have Pulmonaria (lungört) with small blue flowers.


Sunday, 9 March 2008

Sven-David Sandström and Tomas Tranströmer

En ängel utan ansikte omfamnade mig
och viskade genom hela kroppen:
"Skäms inte för att du är människa, var stolt!
Inne i dig öppnar sig valv bakom valv oändligt.
du blir aldrig färdig, och det är som det skall.

(Tranströmer from "Romanska bågar" - I am not able to translate this)

Dona nobis pacem.

This is the Agnus Dei of "Frihetsmässa" by Sven-David Sandström which was performed today at Storkyrkan during the feast of Annunciation - an absolutely outstanding music sung with a great choir, with the support of an amazing soprano and a small wind orchestra. The whole service and the sermon by Kristina Ljunggren was inspired and lifted by the music. A rare occasion.

A detail from a Stockholm door. Click at the picture for the original picture 4,7 MB and click once more for full resolution.)


Saturday, 23 February 2008

More than a month since I last put up a picture - sorry all patient visitors. It has been a lot of work lately and my camera has been lying next to unused.

We have had some nice weather with high pressure and clear sky. The drawback has been very cold nights and often a morning fog which has been unwilling to lift. This is a picture from our bedroom one clear morning over the garden of our neighbour.

There has been some progress on the boat model but I will be back with a picture of that a little later.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

The workshop in operation

I am having great fun in the workshop. It was a long time since I did some proper woodwork but I have not forgotten all. In the picture above I am checking one of my plane with good result.

But the main thing now is to prepare a nice base for the shipmodel. I got an old sideboard from some friends. As a table it was next to useless as legs were weak and badly fixed but the tabletop was made of a nice piece of hardwood. I slaughtered the table and have now cut the tabletop to the right size, planed it flat and got it into a nice shape. Here I am setting up the router table to mould the edges (=give it a nice profiled shape).

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Happy Christmas

We have not a Christmas tree but a lot of flowers, nicely arranged by Eve. The big picture is from the living room with its mantelpiece, over which there is a photo from a church at Mistras in Greece.

It has been a beautiful day today and we made a walk to the Hessle foreshow. When dusk was coming the mist returned and the place became quite magic. The picture below is from the bridge head of the Humber bridge. The bridge is actually 2 km long but it looks as if it stops short at the shore tower.

Click at the pictures for better resolution. More pictures of our Christmas flowers and Hessle foreshore can be found at http://picasaweb.google.se/olle.edqvist

Friday, 21 December 2007

Christmas carol singing

Yesterday we heard singing in our street and saw the Hessle choir going from house to house to sing Christmas carols. It is a very good choir, with most of its members from the Methodist church (I am afraid that the Anglican church here has a very weak tradition when it comes to singing, partly due to a strongheaded organist who does not like competition).

When you move abroad you lose some things and I do really miss the Swedish traditional advent and Christmas hymns (Stilla natt, Det är en ros utsprungen, Härlig är jorden etc). The good side is of course that you get to know a new music tradition. And the English one is very good, mostly more lively and varied compared with the somewhat heavy German inheritance we live with in many of the Swedish church hymns.

Among the songs they performed was "Ding dong, merrily on high" which is actually of French origin. And, as I said, it was very good choir so it was wonderful.

(as usual you see the pictures in higher resolution if you click on the picture)

Friday, 7 December 2007

A grandson!

Grief and great joy sometimes come closely together. Now my grandson is born!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Peter died yesterday

Peter, Eve's brother yesterday night. He was 57 years old.

Psalm 139:1-12

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
You hem me in— behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.


Sunday, 14 October 2007


I have spent the Sunday in company with 'Döderhultarn', a sculptor living in a village in southern Sweden, Döderhult 1868-1925. He was in my opinion an outstanding artist, but was not and has not been recognized as such but rather as an amateur who carved nice and funny figures of old, rural people. But at least some of his figures are much more than that. I have only reproductions in a book to consult and I wish that there would be an exhibition so I could see them in real and in full display.

With this in mind I walked across Djurgården in autumn colours and had a lovely day. For some more pictures see my webalbum.

Monday, 8 October 2007

The workshop in place!

Today the new shed arrived. It was up in an hour. I have got a good workshop! One of my secret dreams.

Father had one in the basement of our house where I used to do a lot of interesting things, but that was very long ago. This is better, a bit larger, and will provided with better tools. I have plans...

Have you read "A house for Mr Biswas"?

Sunday, 7 October 2007

"Här rivs för att skapa ljus och luft..."

We decided that it was not possible to repair the workshop but it has to be replaced. Because it had long been neglected and soil had been covering the base of it, the rot was widespread. If it had only been the windows it would had been possible to repair it but it was two rotten walls also. And it was never a good shed anyway.

So last week it was demolished. Quickly and neatly, it took our workmen only two hours (in England you can hire people for such jobs and they are good). However, the floor is a parquet floor of exquisite hardwood, not affected by rot, and that we will keep and put into the new shed - after cleaning it properly, of course.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Newark Park and Newark Farm

We had some lovely days at Newark Park in Gloucestershire (close to Wotton-under-edge) where friends of us live and work. They are running a big sheep farm which works on the land of Newark Park, owned now by the National Trust. The pictures will tell what we saw better than a lot of words.
Click at the pictures for full size. For more pictures see my webalbum http://picasaweb.google.com/olle.edqvist/20070926NewarkFarm


Sunday, 30 September 2007

Books, books and more books!

In southern Wales there is a very small town at the river Wye, called Hay-on-Wye. It is more a big village than a town really and you walk around its centre in 15 minutes or less. In the centre there is a an old castle with a history going back to 1200 AD.

For some odd reasons this place has become the centre of English second-hand bookshops and there are some 30 bookshops and antiquariats there. Some of them are cheap and badly organized, some of them are very big and with an excellent stock. Some are specialised in certain areas and you can find practically everything here, including books that are long out of print.

We spent an evening and a long morning there, browsing and shopping. I came out with a couple of book bags: Fernand Braudels big history of Europe during 15th-18th century in 3 volumes, a book about the mathematics of soap bubbles and soap films (not only good math but also good fun), science policy and a biography of Bruce Chatwin.

More pictures can be found at http://picasaweb.google.com/olle.edqvist/20070924HayOnWye