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måndag 14 augusti 2017

Walking the streets of London

This modest little mansion is found in the Old Marylebone area, we could imagine a flat here!
Goodmorning friends out there!

I get new visitors from time to time, and that is very nice!  I do wish you would comment more often, I like comments and I trust in my old friends who always brings me a thought or two, but there is space enough for more....
The author on Millenium Bridge
Lovely neighbourhood, Camden


So, what did we do in London?  We walked.....oh and we used the DLR AND Tube and bus!!!
But, sing Halleluya, every day, I'm walking with the King!! Yes, every day wherever I go!
Last time we had one tiresome and frustrating busexperience, this time we got on the wrong train, had a furious set of platform staff on our hands and now my husbands backpack is statuated in Brighton. Not all were furious though, we had some good help but Brighton was too far off , it's complicated...I hope they find good use for it....

So, the "No elevator hotel" was rather cozy , staff lovely, breakfast good, room steaming but we went out walking. Even taking the tube means walking walking and climbing endless stairs...but I love the system, it really is swift. 
Archades on our way to Picadilly, we saw some more along Bond Street. Nice, but expensive.........
So, yes, there was shopping....on our part as well, and enduring the girl's running from makeup disk to clothe rack to make up to clothes, to stuff and stuff....or soap.....
Remember the tv-series Soap? Here it is - Soap!!

Us?  We perchased dvd's.....HMV is our second home, almost.  I bought a new phone last week and wanted a cover for it, but oh, Iphone this and that and Samsung hi and ho, but mine?? No... It's still in oldest daughters too large old cover, stuck with sticky pads...




Found some nice films!!
Otherwise, you know buildings , architecture, is my cup of tea. The heart of a city, as long as it's there. In our parts, all over Sweden, the malls are spreading like funghi, slowly suffocating the central parts of every town.  Ok for small Malls and arcades, but these huge , hangar like temples of Mammon....no thank you!!
Splendour in it's best, even an odd pub can be beautiful!!!
New architecture by the Banks, we have similar in my hometown but these look better!!
We ventured a continued crossing of the Thames by several bridges, quite a nice way to spend a sunny evening, we thought!!


The Globe, the Globe!!!!!1
On our way to the Globe we pass this small alley
Walking down Regent Street on your way to Picadilly you will find that wonderful row of theatres, bringing you oldies and goldies and brand new performances. I do envy that possibility that you have, but I suppose there are theatres all over the country!!!

Last time we were here there was a large number of street musicians and this time we hardly noticed anyone.
I can wonder why.
We also noticed an increasing number of tourists from Asia, we see that a lot in Sweden too.
Asia, all parts but North Korea, is very interesting to young travellers today, they go to Vietnam, Japan, Kambodja , South Korea. 
Next time we go to GB if mrs May let us in, we will spend but a couple of days in London and then onward,  so many places to see....
This is the very important City, I expect this is the dwelling place of bankers, investors, managing directors and stockbrokers. I would firstly get lost and secondly create a minor turmoil if I even tried to enter one of these houses.....oh woe and agony!!
Bridge after bridge after bridge...lovely sight, isn't it?

Still, we rushed past all the stores in Bond Street and peeked in at F&M feeling very plain and awkvard, but enjoyed the streets, the houses, people, noices, a mere visit, we wouldn't want to live in the middle of it but found plenty of wonderful little towns when we got on the trains....Like Bromley on Bow... just the taste of the name!!!!!

And plenty to eat.....
Pie at Mabels, Spitfire gravy....

Roast duck from China In
Pizza at Zophias


Roast chicken with several sides

This is not the chicken, this is Buckbeak, the Hippogriff.

And, and this is very important, so many pleasant and helpful people....we ...know what it's like to endure tourists so the patience, the patience.....
Yes, we went back to Watford and Harry Potter, it is really an amazing place with several new things to discover. The museum is an old aircraft hangar from WW2, plenty of..... Spitfires perhaps, were manufactured here.   Watford is a very pleasant little town actually. 


The girls really longed for this months on end- Summer in the city 2017, a Youtube event out at Excel London. We took the tube out to Plaistow and then the bus to the exhibition centre, Plaistow looked very nice, a bit torn perhaps. The actual event swirmed with young people, quite a lot of them walking around with a camera or mobil in front of their faces, talking to themselves..weird world!! Open stage was most fun, all kinds of acts. Apart from that, we really didn't fit in....it was for safety and the care of our youngest that we tagged along.

At home? Jazzfestival began thursday , the parade on friday and ended yesterday with the traditional Jazz service in the chapel with minister Yours truelly holding sermon and singing  Swing Low and In the sweet by and by....The Lord be blessed for these moments of joy and gospel to be shared with busy jazzlovers. 

In our village life is slowly quieting down, boats are drawn up, caravans are moving away, school starts tomorrow, end of most markets and fairs. 
I like this - the pace goes down and things are back to normal. Did I write this last year too?? Probably.

God bless you!

tisdag 8 augusti 2017

Come back home!

So we are back home!

We had a busy week in London, leaving space for recovery, since our youngest can't keep up otherwise. We stayed at a typical english hotel, located in a row of exactly similar houses with "Upstairs Downstairs" feeling, the tv-series from the 1970's. It was a new experience, even if we are used to hostels and camper cabins. Our room was on third floor, no elevator, very good for your legs and physical condition, and no aircondition, pew.  It was immensely hot even with windows open. Our view was a park with tennis courts and a newbuilt block on the other side. This is Camden, we like it here, Euston road is close but our site is quiet. Well, apart from the constant sound of sirens. Poor londoners, things happend all the time! 

The tenniscourts , some players interested our girls more than some....

The STAIRS!!!

The quiet, lovely neighbourhood in Camden
We have noticed that London is not one large city, it's several smaller ones put together!!
That is why it feels smaller and less overwhelming than expected.  What strikes you is the constant smell of garbage and exhaust from the non stop moving vehicles.  How on earth can anyone dare to ride a bike in the middle of this chaos??? But they do....sometimes with facemask. 
Along the pavements and outside tubestations and malls you find the beggers, some are probably illegal immigrants, we saw young boys in a state of heartbreaking decay, we spoke to older woman from Eastern Europe, we passed young, dirty men sleeping on cardboard with a sleepingbag and some plastic bags around them. Some had notes and signs speaking of truth, care and a place to sleep.  What kind of social welfare system can allow people to live like this?
We are fighting this in Sweden, churches and social organisations together. But politically.....
Still, we also saw people stopping, taking their time to give a coin, ask some questions. 

All of these people are not immigrants or illegal aliens, some are locals that had bad luck, can happend to anyone. But all of them are people, humans, sisters and brothers, someones child, someones parent, our neighbours. Our youngest had us leave every spare coin and the remains of our supper. We bought bread, cheese, juice , fruit and yoghurt with us to the room every night.  
Well, this particular post will show you some of the sanctuaries we noticed this time, in a city like this people need the Even Song and the daily Mass.  Next post will focus on activities.
 

Well, St Pancras was a boy in the 5th century, giving his life for Jesus. This is the parish church in St Pancras...they rebuilt it in greek style, the old church was medieval, I believe. Not so inviting but they had a proper bellringer!!
 
Around the church of St James's there was a market going on and we visited both the market and the church. The sign speaks for itself, here is a heart for the homeless. Many of the other smaller churches had similar projects going.
You never see these in Sweden, the street sanctuaries. In the middle of everything, for a second of prayer and peace.

And next door you'll find the amazing dome of St Pauls.  We were told that the swedish congregation in London have been invited to sing Lucia here this year. 

Normally, this is a rather tall man....

As it should be in a swedish church there is a statue of Luther, this one is....blue! 
Church of Sweden, Harcourt Street. Been here for more than 100 years now, some 100.000 swedes live in the UK,  many of them, in London.
The final picture is from St Marks at Old Marylebone road.
We visited more churches but didn't take pictures of them all. Most of them were open, not always the case in Sweden actually, especially not in the countryside.

What am I doing up this late? No idea, not easy to settle down again when you have been away. This evening we spent with our oldest daughter, watching a Japanese film:
"Howls moving castle."  It's about love against the odds, wartime,  good and evil, sacrifices and lot's of that very special japanese anime drawings and sense of humour.

Good night now, and God bless you!



måndag 31 juli 2017

Thunder, lightning and vacation!!



Not Heavens door and S.t Peter, but Hogwarts door to the Great Hall, it will have to do for now! Soon we will walk through it...Hogwarts, I mean! Oh yes, again! I'll be back to tell about it in a week.  As Ray pointed out, we seemed to have been running through London last time, so we'll take it much softer now...
Well, it is indeed a very remarkable day.
This weekend we celebrated the Lord on the mountain, we did it with the loudest thunderstorm we've had for ages, no wonder the disciples fell down...
This is my first day of vacation, four weeks ahead of me and the husband. He went down to his hometown today, to meet up with some bankpeople, not the very best day, we leave by air tomorrow morning, but you know officials, they have their own time and space.

It started great, the train was cancelled, this happends all the time so yes, Heron, I believe the Irish Rail is better.
We expected this so he aimed for an earlier train, otherwise he would have to run for it. We live almost 2 miles outside town and he had to go back and take the car instead, a long drive for the poor thing, 150 kilometres , tired as he was from the long working hours this weekend. Still, is been quite a lot to tend to, youngest girl wondered why you just couldn't be sad and take it easy when someone dies. Good comment.
Up ,up and away!!
While we are gone, my mother is coming here to guard the house...or rather, we believe she needs a change of environment, living in the city the way she does. Her own opinion however, is that there are so many dangers in the countryside: too much sun, too many insects, too much wildlife and well, too much. She likes to visit however, and sit in the garden for a while. 
Her eyes are failing her enormously nowadays, so in this house there are some adventures.
Last summer f.i, she called us in agony, the rabbit had been stolen during the night, he just wasn't there!!! Neighbours girl called in and announced him safe and sound as always. The jumping little rascal is pitchblack you see.....  That same summer she called again, this time to tell us that the plastic lines we use for outdoor laundry drying, also were gone. Poor thing, she just couldn't find them among the branches. She loves the smell of sun dried laundry.
So it's adventurous for her, even if she lives in a town where someone get's shot every day.

Black current, this year we don't have much of them, since we had no mind and no strenght for it last autumn, this year has been bad indeed. But the Lord is good and offers me some at least, and some left for mother. If she can find them..I'd better go pick them for her.
And bake a blueberry pie, we have people growing them here, big ones. I like the small ones better but that means hours in the woods and ticks, frogs and wasps... Yes, the country side is a dangerous place.
So, please stay safe in the sunny days of summer and the light of the Good Saviour.

söndag 23 juli 2017

Life returns

For a long time, one of the safe spots for this countries weather and coastal reports, was this light house on the island that is within the realms of our parish! An elderly couple and their son tended to the light house and called in the figures for the reports. They no longer do that but the light house is going!!
Good evening!

The week that now is almost gone have for certain been a busy one. And it had all the ingredients of a lifetime actually. My husband have been travelling to his hometown to take care of practical matters.
We have both been working as well and then trying to prepare mentally for the funeral.
It was held in his fathers native church,  almost every important event have taken place in that particular church. Last time we gathered there was for my mother in law.
It was a quiet and seren service, held by a female minister that I don't know personally. We were but a few people there. The day was quiet and sunny. 
So we could say goodbye, sing and pray. Only memories left. He was a man with great interest in everything moving, books all over, maps, records, theaterprograms, photos etc. 

This week have also been busy because I work alone and summertime is filled to the brim with things to do. Children to baptize, parents to talk to, couples to meet and hold weddings for, funerals to plan and other services to plan and hold. Friday also contained a visit at Walters place, he turned 95 you see and I was there a couple of years ago when his wife Ella turned 90. They built their house in 1945, close to the church, with a gigantic garden with fruittrees, berries and vegetables.
So we talked and she had been baking and her daughter in law hade made a strawberry layercake with cream.
This is a film from the dioces, here you can learn about our second church, actually our oldest and smallest!!! I posted the other one some time ago. Next week will be busy in this church, we have something called Road Church. It means the church is open , guiding every day, service every day, music and singing every day, coffee and home baked every day. Plenty of ladies keeping this tradition going. And people comes back year after year. All over the country you can find this!

The real treat this week was actually that my sister, halfsister that is, came to visit. She lives up north east in the US with her husband, an american, really very nice man,  that she met ages ago. They have lived both in Sweden and in the US but as for now, she has stayed more years abroad than in Sweden.  She is an adventurous type and has travelled a lot and worked abroad as well. They have two girls, a few years older than ours. She visits Sweden every second year but lately it has been more often.
We never grew up together and had no idea about one another until some years ago, but now we are best friends and I enjoy her visits very much!! She is beautiful, wise and great fun!

Another thing about this week was the annual service at the island in our parish, they have some annual festivities since 1996 and at the island you can find an english graveyard, small one, because of the visits made by the british fleet in the 18th century. They return every now and then to visit the graveyard and pay respect. There are also some graves left that tells the story of the plague in this area. Up on our small mountain more of that can be found.
Anyway, this means going by boat.....BBBBBOOAT!!!!! Boat means waves means seasick!

We've had much worse trips!!
It may look calm at first but soon the waves are rolling



Here is the place were the service is held, out in the open. Often with birds hovering and deers andering about. I think there was about 30-35 people there. It was a very nice moment, praying and singing with the total view of the sea and the sun shining. First we raise the islands own flag.  After the service everybody go down to the small canons making a grand salutation, executed by some honored guest. I did it once!  There are two more of these small canons, they are placed in a South African harbour, for reasons unknown to me.

You must now that many other activities are taking place at the same time, flea sale, waffels, chocolate wheel, throw balls and win a price,  exhibits from local artists and so on. In the county house they serve a delicious lunch with homemade pickled herring, salmon, pies and sallads. The island holds about 8 people all year round, but in the summertime the hostel opens and the restaurant opens and the grocery store opens. There where people everywhere!!


We have a great bunch of sea rescuers and to their help they have the boys flying the coast guards helicopter. They stopped by for a visit, with two boats and this!  
The chapel, one of the two left in our parish. 
We watched the firing from a distance.
"God is our safe haven", we use the chapel at least twice a year. I've had a couple of christenings here and sometimes there are weddings, every Advent and Easter we have a service here.
Going back to the mainland and solid ground.  Shortly after that I headed for another of our villages to attend a christeningservice. Lovely scenery and nice people. The day closed with a meeting with a couple that will be married in september.  After that, the bells were ringing in the sunday rest and the saturday evening was spent with the family. The sunday service went well, and so did the christening . Two girls this weekend, two more angels for our tree, two more disciples and siblings in the worldwide church of Christ our Lord!!! Joyful!

And this weeks happy news was about the retired nurse that decided she had more to give so she joined an organization called Operation Smile.  A simple form of surgery that gives children a future, being able to eat, speak and smile normally!! Together with other organisations that works with volonteers for poor peoples health all over the world, they bring so much hope and strenght to people. Blessed are they!!!
I bid you goodnight and God bless!!


torsdag 13 juli 2017

Royal birthdays and other things!

Goodmorning!!
I do believe that summer has reached this region, at least for a while. No bath for me as yet, but some daredevils in the village started already in april...
Our village is invaded by camper vans and boats, there is an icecream shed every 50 metres, and the cafés and restaurants go almost around the clock. That is good for the rest of the year, many survive on the income this period, so I shouldn't complain about traffic and late night hollowers in the schoolyard and a multitude of children on kickbikes and airboards all over.

Today, is her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victorias 40th birthday!!
We were there when she celebrated 30 and 35, but lately we haven't been to Öland where they have a summerhouse. Castle. Öland was grandfathers gift to us, our time with him.

They started early today in the chapel, celebrating a service called Te Deum, to God.
Later on there will be trumpets and gifts and flags and official waving.
After that they go from Stockholm to Öland, and greet people there, very closely actually, she is a modern princess who exercise and runs in the park close to the castle in Stockholm. It was actually when she got a new gym instructor that we got our prince, Daniel!!We are rather proud of her, she has studied a lot and take interest in children with disabilities and a sustainable society. There are funds in her name to support children.
So Happy Birthday, princess Victoria - long may you live!
Here is a film I found on You tube, no copyright intended it says, so I guess it's okej! 

Otherwise, life is running on, this weekend I hold three weddings and the sunday service together with a local community close by. My husband spends much time in his hometown, sorting out things around the death of his father. His sister is there too, they need this time together. 
On monday, my sister is coming up for a visit. She lives in the states normally, and comes home every second year to visit family and friends. We share but one parent and haven't grown up together, so it's recent years contacts that has brought us together.  I really love her! It's a blessing in many ways and we are more best friends than siblings perhaps. 

I will soon bring you a post about this village and life here but for now on you can have a picture of our own little princess, one of the two beauties!!
One of our late evening walks, she wanted to catch the sunset and the water for Snapchat followers..

The local community built this stage close to the chapel in the woods, there we will celebrate our sunday service and there we will enjoy concerts and meetings all summer long. We live some 100 metres away....
I hope this weekend will be a weekend of light, grace and hope for you all and that at least one thing in the world could change for the better.  God bless you!