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Jun 16

This depressing town is getting me down

Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in My life, Whining

Today I went do some grocery shopping and to go to the chemist’s/pharmacy. Some errands were a success and some weren’t. I even managed to sneak a peak at the magazines at the library, though I really needed to get to the shop so I could get back home again as soon as possible. On the way there, I saw a pretty impressive old ship at the waterfront. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo.

It’s just that this town really gets me down. You’ve heard it before, I know, but I really, really hate this town. Some of it’s probably not so bad, for some people, it’s just not the right fit for me. For instance, I hate living next to a big lake (and would hate living next to the sea). To make matters worse, there’s also a big river nearby. But after all, that’s just details, compared to all the mean, depressing people and the lack of culture. Actually, outside of Stockholm and Scania, this town really works quite hard at offering cultural events (though 99 % of the people going are at least 70, so I always feel a bit out of place). Unfortunately, that’s not enough. There are fewer books in the library. Fewer items for sale. Most things, but fortunately not all, are more expensive than in larger towns. If I’d liked it here, I’d probably be able to overlook many of the minor problems, but I don’t think a population of mean, unreliable, unpleasant people is a minor problem. It’s huge.

Sigh. I don’t like the bigger town that much better, but I always feel better when I get back from there. I think it’s because fewer people there are actually from this area originally. Many people have moved there from all over the country to work in the factories. I wish I could live in the countryside close to a big town. To go into town to do the shopping and to be able to return home in the evening. That way I’d get a break from all the unpleasantness.

Sorry about all the whining. I do try to stay cheerful and I try not to post if I’m feeling down, but sometimes I just need to vent a little.

Nov 22

Five centuries in this town

Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2014 in Humanities, My life

Old town


New town

On Thursday evening, I went to a lecture about this town’s history during five hundred years. As most of my followers know, I hate this town, so in a way, it’s odd that I wanted to go and listen to that. On the other hand, I also love history.

The guy who did the lecture works at the museum and he’s got a bit of a reputation (oddly enough, since he’s such an unimpressive character when you look at him – or listen to him), but it’s not about his personal life, I was going to tell you. Anyway, he performed well enough, as a lecturer.

The first ‘century’ (not quite a century) – the sixteenth – was actually before the town proper was founded, in fact before the earlier town too. From the early sixteenth century, there was a market place at the south end of the big lake.

At the end of one of our wars with our big neighbour in the east, the king wanted to place prisoners of war (officers, not ordinary foot soldiers) in the care of the people responsible for the market place. They, on the other hand did not want to play host to a bunch of foreign officers. They claimed that they were too poor, and that there were only a few old, infirm people living there, and finally, that only towns were required to house prisoners of war. Apparently the king really wanted to place the prisoners there, because his response was giving the market place town privileges.

This was built some distance to the south of the original market place, where there is still a church ruin and an old cemetery. To modern eyes, the town would look very small and cramped, with a number of houses laid out unevenly around a small cobbled square.

The town was in existence for just over a generation but there are some very interesting stories about it. The lecturer did not go into them during this lecture, but I happen to know that he’s written a book about them. I won’t go into the stories in this blog post either, since it’s about this particular lecture.

Then the harbour began to silting up and it was no longer possible to conduct the town’s main business – transport, and the town had to be moved. It was also built on a rocky slope which made it hard to expand. Despite that, the townspeople were reluctant to leave and (again, not included in the lecture) the authorities had to use underhanded methods to get them to move out. The final straw was that the Danes invaded and razed the town.

So after all kinds of trouble and tribulations, a town was built on a peninsula that would be more easily defensible. Originally, it was meant to be built as a fort (hence the name ending in -borg, which means fort/castle), but in the end, the fortifications weren’t all that impressive.

I’m not going to go into all the twists and turns of the town’s history. At times I found my mind wandering. In any case, the Danes returned a couple of times and burned the town again. When the defenders had to burn the few buildings they’d already got in place, to avoid having the enemy barricading themselves there, the wide streets made it easy to put out the fire. Despite that, the town was burned down a couple of times, notably close to its two hundredth anniversary in 1834.


What really caught my interest was the mention of one of our most famous 20th century poets (early 20th century). It amazed me how much he and I had in common.

His parents had a shop in town (so did my grandparents, not my parents). They felt ostracised by the townspeople. He (Birger), had trouble with his education (high school), just like I had trouble with mine (university). It was hard for him to focus, so instead he spent his time during lessons, looking out the window, memorizing what he’d seen then telling people about it, eventually writing it down. I, too, had trouble focusing and started to drift off into a fantasy when I felt unable to keep up (though it was mainly the exams and the papers that I had trouble with, not the lectures).

In the end, he left without sitting the exams, and started writing (in his case poetry). Even though he’d failed his music classes, someone was allowed to set music to his poetry so he became, rather against his will, a songwriter, and was forced to go on tour, though he felt too shy for that. Eventually, he ended up reading his poetry on stage, to the people of his own childhood home town, but despite all his self doubt, instead of being a failure, he was actually hailed as a great success, so I guess a few people really do end up popular, even in their own home towns.

Oct 14

This town…

Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 in My life, Whining

Grr. Today my mom and I went shopping. The thing is, my mom has some trouble with her eyesight (for a number of reasons, among them a stubborn eye inflammation and an old injury from when she was in school – a snowball thrown right into her eye!). While we were passing the cash register and mom was trying to punch in her code for her credit card (and was having a bit of trouble with that) I noticed that the woman sitting behind the cash register was laughing and making faces at the woman standing behind us in line. Obviously, they found my mom’s trouble with the digital display funny. I glared angrily at them, but I don’t think they took any notice. They were older than me, and anyway, this type of trouble can happen to anyone, so it may be in their respective futures too. This town is driving me up the wall. I don’t know what I’ll do if we can’t get away from here very soon.

Oct 18

Doing some shopping – and more

Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2012 in My life

Yesterday I went shopping in the bigger town (“Thn”) that is about ten-fifteen minutes away (by car – a little longer by bus). It’s pathetic really, how different it feels from shopping here. This is probably just me, but I feel more confident there and even thinner (LOL), even though it’s basically the same as this town (“Vbg”), only bigger.

First I want to have my eyes checked up, then looked for new frames. After that I did some grocery shopping. There’s so much more to choose between in this mall, including yummy (soy) ice cream cones.

To finish off I went into the town center to the library to get a library card. Again, there’s so much more to choose from there. A month or so ago, I went to Vbg’s library to look for a couple of books, to maybe sit there and browse through them before I decided if I want to borrow them. It turned out they didn’t have them. The library in Thn did. I wish I’d had time to sit down and look through a few books. Maybe I’ll borrow some next time.

Before I left I checked if they had my two books and they did. They’d even put one of them on the side of one of the bookcases to promote it. I still can’t believe I saw that. It feels completely unreal.

Oct 4

This town…

Posted on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 in My life, Whining

Yesterday when I was on my way to the bank (to get an electronic ID) a couple of people positively glared at me and my sister, who was walking with me. One kid actually laughed at us. What’s wrong with this town and the people in it? That sort of thing never happens anywhere else. Not even in Stockholm, where people are said to be really snarky and rude, especially to visitors and tourists.

On the bright side, someone finally called us on our brand new cool Skype phone. It was a wrong number, but it was kind of fun anyway. (Pathetic? Probably. Sigh.)

Jun 22


Posted on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 in Humanities

The first place is Östersund. The reason I’m so interested in this town is that I used to live there, for a while when I was very young. As far as I can remember now, i was very happy there. It’s a beautiful town, in a beautiful spot. The entire region is beautiful, but I’ll go into that in a later post.

It says on Wikipedia that Östersund is the only town in present day Sweden to have been founded and chartered in the 18 century. I didn’t know that. What I did know was that people from the south colonised it, to tax the free farmers who lived up there and were more or less independent of any king of archbishop.

The town lies on the shore of a lake, and in the lake there’s an island where many of the town’s inhabitants live. One of Sweden’s most famous composers made his home there and the house is open for visitors today. There’s a runestone on the island, the world’s northernmost runestone.

Just like Loch Ness, Storsjön (The big lake) has a monster! In fact, at least one other lake in Sweden supposedly has one, but Storsjöodjuret is the most famous.

There’s a lot more to say about Östersund, but I want to keep this short. I’ll just say that I have many fond childhood memories from Östersund.

Jun 22

More history

Posted on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 in Humanities

As part of my historic blog posts, I’m going to post a little about a town/city or other area here in Sweden. Obviously, I’ll focus on the history of the place, but I might also go into some other facts.

May 21

Two new places

Posted on Friday, May 21, 2010 in Other

The other day when i was out for a walk, I found two streets I’d never been on before. If you live in a big city, that might not seem very strange, but I live in a small town of about 20 000 people. It’s also an island. The streets in question were short and insignificant, but still, I found two new places within a ten minute walk of my home. It almost seems unreal. What’s more, my mom, who’s lived here all her life, hasn’t been on them either. Where were they hiding all this time?


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