I thought I'd start out with those swedish traditions of Valborg and May the 1st, but you'll be better off reading last years post about it. 1 May is Labourday in Sweden, in UK there will be Bank Holiday May 2nd, so one could rush from one holiday to another. I never attend the festivities of Labourday, starting early with marching bands and later with marching people, red banners and politicians holding speaches. This is a socialdemocratic country. Actually, the whole idea of a labourers union was born in my hometown of Malmo, late 1880's with a man called August Palm.
Read last years post if you like, there is singing too!!
The year I started High school, I had turned 16 and didn't get my first choice of school but it was good enough. Sweden had a political change and these three gentlemen ruled together in a center-rightwing fashion. The man in the middle was a farmer and smoke a pipe.
The most important political issue was probably nuclearplants. We had opened two and then there was Harrisburg and people called for a Referendum. The outcome of that was that we would keep our plants 25 years and then get rid of them. Well, they are not gone yet.
Since Malmo is a city of harbours we had visits from the English fleet and there would be special dances for the lads to attend and we were all invited to be friendly and make them feel welcome but OH, what rotten eggs! They were abusive, drunk and NOT CHARMING. "Gentlemen" is no appropriate title. Enough said. The UK for me was only the home of my beloved band Queen.
|You can't imagine the winter we had 1979, houses were absolutely covered out in the country, especially in the southern parts, my parts!|
Anyway, in september 1980 we had a visit during music class and that was the choirleader in the church next door; St Johns. Students would attend church at the end of every semester, singing hymns, solosongs, listening to speaches and prayers. Today that tradition is severly questioned.
She, Barbro Daun, wanted new voices for the choir and some of us joined. That year we had an exchangestudent - Heather, and she tagged along. First year I spent watching the spectacle below, singing when choir was called on, playing cards otherwise. That was to change however, when I met a man one dark evening, asking me why I was in church and then holding a sermon about the dangers involved being a nonbeliever, mocking the people attending service and singing songs I didn't have faith in.
I always say he must have been an angel because he turned my heart around and I began to love the songs in church. And long to take part.
I followed one of my classmates to the scouting movement, plenty of nice boys there. And I followed another friend to her local church and started to get engaged in life there. Well, there was the boys also...
And so three years went fast, several visits to Copenhagen, the centre of free and fun life, where you could buy beer and wine being under age, go shopping, enjoy Tivoli and just look at people. Four different ferries took us to Denmark from Malmo, today there is not a single one - they built a bridge!! No more schrimp sandwiches on a rocking boat!
But these days I could get seasick every weekend if I could afford the ride that is. I do get very seasick....but I still don't like that bridge!!
Those years gave me friends I still keep contact with, but some I haven't seen in years. When we all graduated in june 1982, my life had changed quite a lot. Among other things my beloved grandfather died. My world was bigger, I had lots of friends, the church choir in St Johns,was almost the centre of my life and we had so much fun, singing everywhere, from Mozarts Missa Brevis with soloparts from the Operahouse and full orchestra, to small concerts with folksongs. We toured to Germany even!! The local church ,St Michaels, where I learned to pray, make myself useful and go to concerts and events for christian youngsters, was my second home. Did she fall in love, you may wonder. Oh yes I did, but that gave me nothing but heartbreakes.
In Sweden, graduation day means "singing" this song by Prins Gustaf, on every High School staircase. Often it sounds really horrible because of the large amount of beer and champaigne involved in the days and hours before.... Here, however, is the really nice version sung by the studentchoir of Lund and they are standing on the staircase of the main university building. After a year of working and studying the german language, Lund was my goal.
Behold the white cap!! We had them tailormade, but the old lady that was married to the hatmaker, told me my head was too large for a lady so my cap is one size too small......
|I wish I could say this was a part of my teenage life but unfortunately they abandoned the prams 1973. Today they are seriously thinking of laying down new tracks and start again!!|