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Feb 5

An update

Posted on Friday, February 5, 2016 in My life

Some of you may have noticed that I have been missing for a while. The reason is that I’ve been in hospital. My blood pressure was up and my legs were swelling and I ended up staying until after the C-section. I really hate being in the hospital. :/ At least so far things seem to be going well. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the future. My blood pressure is still a bit too high and my ankles and feet are still swollen (yuck). Other than that I feel fine, but tired. I’m a bit low on iron too, so maybe that’s why.

The twins are doing ok, but not eating enough to grow as much as they should, so we have to feed them through a tube (?). It’s a thin plastic thing that has been inserted into their stomachs (?). I’m really no expert on these medical things, but it’s creepy but quite easy to handle things once they had been set up. It’s usually quite nice to feed the kids from a bottle, but this – well, at least it’s easy and convenient. The twins were born almost a month too early (because twins usually are) and apparently that’s pretty good for twins. They’re so tiny. They’re also quite a lot alike (in looks) and quite different (in personality). Maybe this is too much info for most of my followers so I’ll keep all that to a minimum. I’m not sure how much anyone will want to know. I can tell you that having a planned C section worked out exactly as I hoped it would – no pain, not even afterwards. There were uncomfortable moments with injections, blood tests etc, but no actual pain, not before, during or after the surgery. So that was good.

We’re back at the house now and are supposed to handle things ourselves from now on. Again, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

In other news, I failed at finishing my three YA books :(. Now I have no idea when I’ll be able to do any writing at all. I don’t even have time to read (and hardly to eat and sleep…).

Even though I can’t write at the moment, I have come up with a new fanfic idea for Call the Midwife, which was totally unexpected. I never thought I’d write anything in that fandom. So maybe some day – next year? – I’ll do some more writing.

Jan 16

Oh, no :( Bad luck.

Posted on Saturday, January 16, 2016 in My life, Whining

Today I lost or bit through a fixed broken tooth. In any case, I think it’s my remaining piece of tooth that has gone missing, not the stuff the dentist put in. So now I’m going to have a gap, fortunately not where it shows, but still.

Unfortunately, I just can’t go back to the dentist yet. Until the middle of February I’m all booked up with doctor’s and midwife’s appointments and similar stuff. I don’t feel up to going to any other place too.

:(

Also, my sister’s run into a problem with getting my unfinished books out of my crashed old computer. She will need to order some new stuff because what she has doesn’t match my old computer. :( This means I’m going to have to wait for at least a week, probably more before I can start finishing my works in progress.

Jan 14

My writing again…

Posted on Thursday, January 14, 2016 in My life, Writing

Now that I’m finished with almost all my writing (but the most important books are still left unfinished), I’m getting restless again. I really miss having something to do with my stories. At this time, I’ve edited and proofread them all and all that’s left is a story that I might not even finish at all. In the time since I had the idea for it, I have lost my interest in it and feel it’s rather boring. In a way, it’s a shame, because I can still remember how enthusiastic I once was over it, but not now.

I’m really looking forward to getting my two other works in progress saved from the crashed computer, because I’ve grown used to being busy writing every day. Now I feel lazy and bored.

You may wonder why I’m so bored and the truth is, at this time I’m constantly tired. Any physical activity at all, such as walking down the stairs and up again or just going into the kitchen for a while leaves me exhausted. All I can do is sit, which probably isn’t very good for me. What I can do is read and write so I try to do that. Unfortunately, I can’t read nearly as much as I want to so it’s going to have to be writing. If I can find something to write, that is.

Jan 3

Me and Stockholm

Posted on Sunday, January 3, 2016 in My life

As my readers know, just before Christmas I traveled to first Stockholm and then Riga in Latvia. It’s not the trip in itself that I’m going to discuss in this post. It’s just my visit to Stockholm.

Funnily enough I feel a little bit at home there, even though I’ve never lived there myself. My dad was from there. He was born and grew up there and didn’t leave until he was grownup and got a job somewhere else and later on married my mom.

In any case, Stockholm is one of the places I can trace my ancestry to. My dad, my aunt and my grandfather lived there (though my grandfather was really from a peninsula nearby).

Each time I go to Stockholm and particularly when we’re traveling through her part of the city, I think about her and when we visited her but also all those years she lived there before I was born. Sometimes we get close to where dad grew up and then I think of him, obviously. Everything was different then, of course and I know I wouldn’t be able to live there myself. But it’s still so much fun and exciting to remember what dad and my aunt told me about their respective childhoods and youth growing up in these areas. I’ve also visited the peninsula where my grandfather grew up but I realize that things have changed even more there (it’s a very upper class place now, or at least nouveau riche). Besides, I’ve never met my grandfather, because he passed away when my dad was seventeen, so I have no memories of hearing him tell me stories about his life. My grandfather wasn’t part of the upper classes, he came from a shoemaker’s cottage.

It also makes me quite happy that people are relatively polite and nice to me in central Stockholm, even though visitors are always talking about how rude the people of Stockholm can be. Somehow, maybe they can tell that even if I’m not actually from there myself, I do have ancestors from the city. Particularly since I’m always treated so badly here in the west of Sweden where I was born and grew up. Ok, that’s not quite true. I’ve recently moved to the inland and people are usually very nice here too.

Dec 11

Back from Riga, Latvia

Posted on Friday, December 11, 2015 in My life

I just got back from Riga (in Latvia). In a way, the trip was a success or at least seems to be so far, but in a way, it was not as much fun as the last time.

The weather was as good as could be expected for December, that is completely calm, which made sure I didn’t get seasick and that’s always good.

Mum came along on this trip which, to be honest wasn’t all that much fun for us. In her defense I have to say that she was in pain (she’s twisted her ankle) and had a bad cough (which she still does). But she kept complaining about everything, including the food, which my sister and I quite liked. We are quite thrilled that there was so much that happened to be vegan.

Something was wrong with the subway in Stockholm, but that didn’t affect us very much, because we were on a bus (once we found a way of buying tickets), but so many people chose to go by bus instead of by subway which made it a bit crowded. Plus for some reason, some of the bus stops were just canceled (if that’s the word – a decision was made to just ignore them and people had to walk a lot further).

On the train, on the way back, we saw a cute little boy. He showed me how to open a door (which was very nice of him). That door had almost squeezed me moments earlier and a moment later, it almost crushed my hand. Fortunately, there was a much older guy (thirties maybe) who knew of a switch that could keep the door open for much longer):

We also ran into two nice older ladies who talked to us on the bus from the ferry terminal to the Central Station and two quite nice younger women who also talked to us while we were waiting or on the train.

To end the evening, we also had a bit of adult entertainment at the railway station while waiting for the bus back to the house. I had no trouble ignoring those high school kids, but it was quite embarrassing to sit next to my mum while they were up to their antics.

Dec 7

About my writing – un update

Posted on Monday, December 7, 2015 in My life, Writing

When I realized that I probably wouldn’t be writing any more fan fiction for a while, I was a bit disappointed and even more, nervous about how my original fiction would come along.

Fortunately, at the moment I’m right in the middle of a novella that seems to be working out great. I couldn’t be more thrilled, because while writing the fan fiction was a lot of fun, this is even more fun.

I was able to get one other novella sent to the printers the other day. Yesterday I also discovered that one of what I thought of as my ‘long short stories’ was actually novella-length so I will have that published as well. And of course, this original novella when I’m finished with it. I’m already about two-thirds finished with it. There’s a lot of work still to be done, but I’m really enjoying myself so far.

What I’m referring to as novellas can also be described as YA books, but either way, I’m getting more books published sooner than I expected. Which is good, because I have so much more writing to do before January. I want to at least finish with the writing. Proof-reading, editing and so on could possibly wait, but the writing and translation will have to be done before the end of January, or I’m not sure when I’ll ever get it finished.

Nov 30

Just translated the last story

Posted on Monday, November 30, 2015 in My life, Writing

I have now finished translating and posting the last story from my Swedish website. So now they’re all here.

Nov 26

A trip to Malmö in the south of Sweden

Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2015 in My life

A few days ago, my friend from Brazil, got in touch, out of the blue, and told me he was coming to Copenhagen and would be going to Malmö in the south of Sweden, over the day. Naturally, he was hoping I’d be able to come and see him, and I told him I wouldn’t want to miss that.

We agreed that I would come on Thursday this week. I was able to work out a trip that could work. That is, if I paid a fortune for a cab at the end of the day, after nine in the evening.

The day started typically for me, with the bus being so late I almost missed my first train and might have had to rebook on the way, that is if that would be enough. If the bus had been any later nothing would have helped.

Getting to Malmö was quite easy after that, but the train, that had left on time, was late on arrival and I have no idea why. And they seems to have changed everything in that central station since I was last there, so it was hard for me to find my way. Eventually, I was able to find my friend and we started walking around in Malmö. Our first stop was a really great Chinese Vegan restaurant that is quite famous for being so good. The food was still great but a little different from the last time I was there four years ago.

A funny thing happened in that restaurant. The Chinese lady who I think owns it, came up to welcome us and indicate a table for us. She also asked what I wanted to drink and I said water (in Swedish). Then she looked at my friend and I told her he’s Brazilian but speaks English too. She immediately asked him if he spoke Mandarin, which he does. He asked me if I’d told her but I hadn’t, so how on Earth could she guess? They said something, presumably very polite to each other, which was fun to hear.

Then, actually like the last time with my friend from Scotland (who is not Scottish, just lives there) we did some sightseeing.

For a while that worked fine, but in the end, I realized I’d been overdoing it a bit. Lazing about for at least two months has clearly ruined my stamina a bit. During the hour or so before my train left, we sat in the railway station, just talking, which was really nice.

The weather was, after a few days of snow and rain and cold, actually quite nice for this time of year. Sunny and not at all cold.

By the time I got back, to my horror, I noticed that my legs had swollen up so maybe it is quite good for me to just sit around, being lazy.

I hate that we’re always going have to take a taxi to get back to the house in the evenings. This taxi service is about three times as expensive as the one we last used and the driver was such a snob, telling me all about how long he’d lived in Russia and how he’d studied national economics and Russian and generally about how great he was. He wasn’t good looking either, like that guy working for the other service. While he was going on about how educated he was, I kept thinking – what? you only know two foreign languages? I thought of telling him about my English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Latin… Not that I’m anywhere near fluent in most of them, but still…

So that was my day. I’m really glad my Brazilian friend I had a chance to meet. It’s a sort of once in a lifetime thing and despite some difficulties, we were able to make it work.

Nov 25

Ghostly encounters 2

Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 in My life

In my last post I didn’t get round to telling about family members’ and relatives’ ghostly experiences. I think I might have mentioned some of these before, but maybe not here.

My aunt (my father’s older half sister – one of them anyway – long story) seems to have been a little psychic. She told dad a story about how she’d seen some ghosts or at least unexplainable phenomena.

When she was about ten years old, her grandfather lay dying in the little cottage where they all lived (or used to). By then, I think only my aunt, her youngest aunt and her grandfather were still around. Anyway, I imagine that since the cottage was so small, they couldn’t have my aunt lying in the same room with her dying grandfather, so they’d moved her bed out into the hallway outside.

Someone very tall and odd-looking came into the hallway, bent over my aunt and laughed weirdly in her face.

To be honest, I’m not one hundred percent sure if this was an actual haunting, though I suppose it could be. I’m more inclined to believe that it was my aunt’s youngest aunt (who by all accounts was a very mean, unpleasant woman, that my dad used to call ‘seven blocks’ and also named a very wind tortured pine the same thing, after his aunt). She might have been quite young at the time, being the very youngest of several children and I imagine she would have been shaken up by her father just dying. Since she didn’t draw the line at slapping my aunt’s face even when she was about thirty years old, until my aunt had enough and moved away from her aunt, she might easily have wanted to scare her little niece.

Later, when my aunt was grown up but probably still quite young, she was lying in bed trying to go to sleep, when her wall suddenly opened up and a group of men looking like monks or friars came into her room, carrying a coffin. The coffin lid opened and a friend of my aunt’s was lying in it. She sat up and began to make conversation, then after a while, the monks or friars closed the lid and carried her and the coffin out again, through the wall, that closed behind them. The next day, my aunt found out that her friend had died during the night, quite unexpectedly at a very young age. I’d just like to add, that although it’s perfectly possible that the friend could have been a Catholic, my aunt wasn’t and no one in my family that I’ve heard of has ever been (though naturally all our ancestors must have been at one time, or rather whatever it was called before there was a Protestant church).

My dad and his parents used to live in an old apartment somewhere in Stockholm. His parents had put him quite far away from their bedroom so he wouldn’t bother them. Yes, that was the kind of family he grew up in. One night when he had been staying awake until quite late, reading, he saw a dark shape over the far wall. It scared him, but for a dare, he turned out the light anway, to prove to himself he wasn’t a sissy. Then after a while, he couldn’t resist turning the light back on again, and found that the shape had moved closer to the bed. That happened a couple of times more until the thing bent down over dad and he says he must have passed out for a while from fear.

In this case, I think it’s perfectly possible that dad was reading some kind of scary story and scared himself that night. He definitely loved reading ghost stories and horror so it might have been memories from something else he’d read. In any case, he could easily have fallen asleep and had a bad dream. But that’s how he told the story to me anyway. Who knows?

My adopted brother was a very difficult guy when growing up. He drank from an early age, took illegal substances to grow muscle (anabolic steroids or something like that, helpfully imported by a lady from the local Chinese restaurant). For years, we lived in fear of him, because he used to get physically abusive.

At one time he was in a psych ward for kids under eighteen. That place was, apparently, since I haven’t been there more than once and then only to talk to a psychologist and a counselor (about the problems connected with my adopted brother), spooky. The rest of my family had to go there several times. I couldn’t really bring myself to go, it was too traumatic.

Anyway, once my adopted brother, D, saw two kids going into a closet. They had something over their heads, that I always imagined might have been towels, as if they’d come from or were going to the showers but that’s just a wild guess. D went to check inside that closet afterwards, because I think he knew there were no such kids in the ward at that time. He found what looked like a cupboard with cleaning utensils and detergents etc. No kids anywhere.

Several years ago, my family and I were on an outing and at one time we visited an old battle field in the woods. At the time, I was rather sick, possibly even dying (I’ve posted about this before I think), so though I normally feel something if I’m in a supposedly haunted place, I didn’t feel anything out of the ordinary. My mom and sister though, felt cold and really disturbed. Also – even I noticed this – no birds were singing, even though it was that time of the year when you would have been hearing birds everywhere. I should add that the battle in question was fought about five hundred years ago.

I almost forgot. My maternal grandfather’s family was responsible for the stage coach horses. My grandfather was usually the one who had to ride the horses back home afterwards. On his way back with one of the horses, he would pass a supposedly haunted mill. Almost every single time he passed that way, the horse would shy away. My grandfather always said that there had to be something like a dead animal lying around, because being so Christian, he didn’t want to admit to being superstitious.

Nov 25

Ghostly encounters 1

Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 in My life

Halloween isn’t really a holiday that I celebrate. I’m too old-fashioned. It’s not a holiday we ever really celebrated here in Sweden except in the past ten years or so. That means it doesn’t exist for me. 😉 Even if it had been an old tradition here it wouldn’t really be my thing.

Despite that, and despite the fact that Halloween is over, I thought I’d relate some of my other, earlier ‘spooky’ experiences.

My earliest ghostly encounter was when I was too young to really remember it now, but my mom has told me about it. We lived in a really spooky house up north. I think I’ve mentioned this before but I’ll briefly go into the background anyway.

It was the sort of house that comes with a job – in this case one as principal for an institution (a sort of boarding school for children and adults with learning disabilities to put it the way we do now – once upon a time it was an asylum for idiots or imbeciles – I’m not sure about the chronology about those expressions).

The actual main building is spooky enough and actually I do have a memory of seeing something from up there. But first the residential building.

It was built to house the first principal (well, probably not the very first, since it wasn’t that old, but the first time there was going to be a house that went with the job) and his wife and child. While the house was being built, the wife, who was carrying their second child, got sick and died, but the child survived, so the widower moved into the house anyway with the two children. They were, I’m told, the same age as me and my sister at the time we moved in, though they were one of each, not two girls.

According to my mom, I saw a ‘shape’ in the doorway – a funny choice of words maybe for a four-year-old, but I did read a lot. My sister and I were crying and told mom why. Hence the description.

One of mom’s interns saw ‘a woman’ in the passage outside our room, but she didn’t tell mom about that until a couple of years after we’d moved out.

My grandmother saw something and asked if it was my dad – which is weird because it should have been a woman’s ghost, and my dad was very tall and no one would have mistaken him for a woman. When whoever it was didn’t reply, my grandmother yelled for my mom.

The man who succeeded dad at his job when we moved away, clearly didn’t like the house either. When we went up there again two years after our move, for a visit, dad mentioned the ‘weird’ house to him and the man just got up and left an untouched piece of cake on a dish, after agreeing that yes, it was a weird house.

Mom never tires of mentioning how all her plants died on the day we moved in and on the day we moved out, but I blame the careless movers and the extremely cold winters up there. It doesn’t have to be anything supernatural. Nor did the dead birds lying on our doorstep once in a while prove anything. Apart from hunting dogs and cats, there were wild animals running around. Any kind of animal could have left the dead birds. Mom also says that when she was alone in the basement, once a door to an electric installation of some kind just popped open to reveal sheer bedrock, looking slippery with damp. But would electrical installations work when it’s damp? Maybe it was something else. And maybe it was just vibrations from the trucks on the road nearby that made the door pop open.

Anyway, the main building is a bit spooky too. Once when I was playing in the park, I saw a sort of vision. It was of any old man with a big white beard, rolling down the hill towards the church and cemetary in the village, lying on some kind of toboggan or whatever. I couldn’t see clearly. An echo of how they took a dead body down to the cemetary during the winter? But the old man looked as if he was alive and enjoying the ride. So maybe he had taken the toboggan and ridden on it in his nightshirt and got pneumonia and died from it?

That’s the institution.

The hospital in the town we’ve fortunately left now, seems to be haunted as well. When it was a college some years ago (it’s still some kind of college, but a community college, not the other kind), I noticed that in two places upstairs there was a sort of chill in the air that I associate with ghosts. One was in the doorway of what is now the computer room or was then anyway. There were big, beautiful doors in a big hallway somewhere around there and that might have been either the doors to an operating theater or maybe the doctors’ lounge? Maybe even the personal home of the chief surgeon or something. The other place is in the upstairs part of what was then the college library. Maybe it still is. Again, I’m not sure what it used to be.

The weird thing is, I’ve been hospitalized twice (not counting when I was born) and I’ve never felt anything ghostly in either hospital. I think it’s probably too crowded. Too many people coming and going.

That’s not all though. Outside in the yard, there’s also a sense of haunting. Nowadays, there’s a mailbox there. Several times my sister or I have been there to mail something at the latest opportunity. Every time we’ve felt unwelcomed and cold, even in summer.

I’m suspecting an old boarded up cottage that used to be a sort of old-fashioned ‘mental institution’ for men. It looks horrible, small and cramped. I imagine those men received no treatment and it was probably not much different from London’s Bedlam – except I doubt they were displayed to paying visitors. But they were certainly just locked up and tied up in there without treatment. Possibly beaten to keep them in check.

In fact, all the lake shores around this town/island seem to be a bit unwelcoming. There’s not exactly a chill in the air everywhere but it feels hesitant, even stand-offish. Like something doesn’t want you there.

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