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27 May 2015 @ 05:48 pm
Yesterday and today was a meeting for our division at the university. This time, rather than having it on campus we did an excursion.

24 of us boarded a bus yesterday morning at 08:00 and we drove out to the site of the old Laver mine--a mine that was built in 1936 and was in operation till 1946. They built a small town there to house the workers, and even a school for the children. Apparently it was an ultra modern town, with electricity, central heating, modern stoves, etc. The children who grew up there were surprised when the mine closed and their families moved away to discover that the rest of Sweden didn't have those conveniences yet.

After the mine closed the houses were all moved to other locations (and, indeed, and been built to be movable, since the only expected the mine to operate for 10-15 years), and all that remains today are the foundations and dirt roads between them, and, of course, the old tailings pile from the mine.

After that stop we went a short distance up the road to where they are hoping to open a new, larger mine. The part of the deposit they mined in those days turns out to have been the richest part of a larger alteration system. These days it is possible to do mining in areas of lower concentrations of ore than used to be required. It will be interesting to see if they get the permits approved to open the new mine. No matter where a natural resource is located there will always be someone who loves the spot and hopes that no one comes in with heavy equipment.

After that stop we went to Hotel Storforsen, which has one of the prettiest views I have seen since moving to Sweden. Storforsen is Europe's largest undeveloped rapids, and a location I try to visit at least a couple of times a year.

We had a couple of hours between arriving at the hotel and the scheduled dinner, so I took the bridge from the hotel across one of the two rivers that meet there and went up to the pretty area by the rapids. I didn't dawdle, just walked there, did a quick loop around the area admiring the rocks, water, and spring growth of vegetation. While it had rained earlier in the day that had stopped, and the rocks were dry and I was able to do the adventure in my birkenstock sandals.

I didn't, of course, eat dinner that evening, since we didn't sit down till 19:00, and I am never hungry that late--instead I had brought my own food, which I ate at a time my tummy wanted food (16:00 for half of it, and 17:00 for the rest), and when food was served at dinner I tucked the things that looked like they would be good the next day for lunch into a plastic box and chatted with people. I had never spoken to the PhD student who was sitting across from me, and he was quite interested to hear about the SCA any my hammer dulcimer. He plays piano and is interested in the dulcimer, which he had never heard of before.

This morning we had the actual formal meeting, at the end of which I gave a short talk about the new laser ablation ICP-MS lab, briefly explaining what the machines do and what they might want to use the lab for. Then we had lunch at the hotel and we all went up to the rapids as a group. Today it was raining, lightly, so I opted to wear my hiking boots, and even so was very cautious wandering over the rocks, which can be quite slippery when wet. I was very surprised to find out that no one has ever studied the geology there, despite all of the beautiful outcrop. Several of us talked about it, and we agreed that it would be good to turn some students loose there to do some projects that would also result in some information signs for the tourists--the part has lots of signs about the birds, wildlife, and the history of the river as a way to float logs from the timber industry to the saw mills--they need some geology signs, too.

Then we returned to town just early enough for me to have the energy to tidy up a bit and to cook up a yummy soup (to which I added more nettles from where I am hoping to evict them from behind the strawberry patch) and a delicious cornbread.
23 May 2015 @ 10:28 pm
This morning I sat on my porch and enjoyed the view. Spring is far enough along to show the difference between the various trees that grow leaves. The rowan are furthest along, with enough leaves that they are already looking rather green. The birch are next, with a gentle yellowish green hint of colour showing. The third type, which has a greyer trunk than the birch, but I don't know what they are, hasn't really got any leaves to speak of yet.

But the day was rainy, so I devoted myself to indoor tasks. I have now started a pair of pattens, did lots of laundry, including the Pillows! I am so grateful to P&P (the local count and countess), who gifted us with a dryer their house came with that they never use--I haven't been able to wash pillows since before we moved, since one really needs a dryer if one wants to do so, a bit of tablet weaving, and even some reading.

Around mid-day I noticed that the rain had turned to snow! So, of course, I went for a short walk to celebrate. Yes, it is late May, and no, the snow had no chance of surviving in the warm weather (+5 C), and it melted as soon as it touched the ground, yet the sight of large white flakes falling from the sky always makes me happy.

Then, in the early evening the rain stopped and the sun came out, so I decided to try for another walk. This time, rather than going out and back I decided to try a short loop, and turned onto the mostly cleared area under the power lines. This worked just fine for the first part of the way--not much new growth yet, so the walking was easy enough. Then I reached an area where a wide ditch was busy draining the forest to the right. The ditch was much to wide to jump, and the water in it much too deep to consider crossing--when wearing rubber boots one doesn't usually wish to enter water that much deeper than the boots.

Therefore I decided to turn and walk along the ditch to see if there was a place I could cross upstream. Not only wasn't there an opportunity any time soon, the ground quickly got wetter and wetter, so instead I angled back towards the left, got onto a very wet road that crossed an even wetter field, and looped back home again. A fun adventure, but not the loop I had intended.

When I got back from that I decided I hadn't had enough time outside, so I harvested the nettles which are starting to come in behind the strawberry patch. I got just enough to fill the food dehydrator. We ran out of the stash of dried and frozen nettles early in the winter, so this summer I will try to dry and freeze much more of it, in hopes that I can harvest enough to last the winter. considering that I am likely to start using the dried and frozen nettles pretty much right away, they being more convenient when one wants to add just a handful to what one is cooking, this is a challenging goal.

Tomorrow lord_kjar gets back from his trip to Göteberg, where he had a short course, and then stayed for the weekend to spend time with C, since he was in town. after he returns we can start working on the earth cellar again. I am really looking forward to that.
22 May 2015 @ 06:38 pm
Those of you who actually read my posts may remember that lord_kjar and I participated in the choir performances at the Masque the evening of the Grand Ball at the Known World Dance event in Germany in April. It turns out that someone got video of the Masque performances, which consisted of first a spoken introduction telling the audience something of a legend from Greek Mythology, then the choir singing about that tale, then the dancers enacting the tale via dance. Hopefully the links work for everyone--they work for me, but then I am part of the FB group to which they were posted, so of course I can see them:

Masque - Entrance of Gaita and Singers

Masque Part 1 - Pizochara - The Argonauts and the Lemnosians

Masque Part 2 - Mercantia - Paris, the Golden Apple, and the Three Goddesses

Masque Part 3 - Anello - Achilles and Penthisileas

Masque - Part 4 - Tesara (Penelope weaving and unweaving the tapestry)
21 May 2015 @ 02:54 pm
While I was too busy to check blogs due to travel to Known World Dance and Double Wars, they have published the call for papers for the European Textile Forum. While I haven't made it to one of these since moving to Sweden (darn finances getting in the way of fun stuff, anyway), the ones I attended while living in Italy were, without a doubt, the best conferences I have ever attended. An entire week of focusing on medieval textiles with delightful people who share the passion for the topic! I strongly encourage everyone I know who likes this sort of thing to attend.
They have finally published the article summarizing the research I did for the first few years I was at LTU. Such a relief to finally have that well and truly done... (if anyone actually wants to read it and doesn't have access to the journal give me an email address and I can send you a copy, but I don't know that it will be interesting to anyone who isn't working on a related geologic research project...)
18 May 2015 @ 10:43 pm
We made it home around 21:00 or so last night, around 25 hours after dropping C off at the Hässleholm train station, or seven hours faster than we did the drive south. Even so we still made time to visit his big brother in Uppsala and his parent's new house in Kinnbäck and, of course, we did a short hike up the hill at Skulleberget.

His parent's new home is beautiful! Cute old fashioned red farm house with plenty of out buildings. We arrived just on time to help them take down the ceiling light fixtures in prep for the painting that will soon happen. I look forward to seeing it after they finish fixing it up and moving in.

We had my minion along for the drive home, which was nice; he is a great kid--he spent the first couple of days at the event helping people set up their camps. I was also very proud when he won the Young Blood Tournament (authorised less than three years).

Today I went out to the hospital to get a new bluetooth adapter so that I can hear my phone through my hearing aids. The rest of the day was spent unloading the trailer, putting stuff away, cooking yummy food (featuring the season's frist spring nettles from the yard!), and reading a book in Swedish.

After lord_kjar got home we took the cover off of the trailer (easier said than done) and drove out to the home of the local count and countess, to pick up tje dryer they wanted to be rid of and return her armour bag, that we had taken to the event for her. Looking forward to trying the dryer tomorrow, and to having soft towels again.
17 May 2015 @ 02:33 pm
Today Spring is somewhere between Sundsvall and Umeå--at Double Wars all the trees had leaves, but here, somewhere south of Umeå, only the early waking trees have anything resembling leaves yet. It will be interesting to see if the last of the snow is gone from our yard...
17 May 2015 @ 10:59 am
I slept through much of the southern part of the drive (except for the time I was driving), and woke about 76 km before Sundsvall. The rain has stopped, there are hills with rock outcrops, pretty red farm houses, and it is all really lovely.
16 May 2015 @ 11:10 pm
We are now on the first part of our journey home--we left site after dinner and dropped C off at the Hässleholm train station at 20:00. I took the first shift mapping, lord_kjar drove, and my minion is in the passenger seat keeping him company. After two hours of rest I needed to pee, so we stopped, but he was good to keep driving, so I will take the opportunity to see how much of the event I can remember.

I think I will work backwards...

Today was the SCA visit to Hovdala castle, where our fighters did a combat demo, our archers did archery stuff, costumers did a fashion show, and the rest of us picniced in a pretty setting. I wore my new bliuat, as the only 12th Century entry for the fashion show. The only one with earlier period garb was Duchess Siobhan in her Finnish Iron Age loveliness.

We also did some shopping at the market, and now have: a short lenght of very thin wool to make a new veil (to replace the even nicer very thin wool veil I lost in Australia--sadly they don't make that stuff anymore), some hooks for my Viking leg wraps, a small bone needle suitable for nålbinding with fine yarn, a tiny wooden box suitable for holding lotion, a bronze ring with knotwork on it to replace the thimble-ring I have been using for years--that one is pewter, and getting rather chewed up, and C bought a ring, a hair pon, and a wooden plate from the same wood turner who made the bowls he and I bought two years ago.

Yesterday (Friday) I spent much of the day playing dulcimer or letting others play with it or the moraharpa. There was a grand court in the evening, the highlight of which was a Pelican ceremony, for a much loved Countess who has run Double Wars for multiple years.

In the evening was the banquet, which I didn't bother getting tickets for, since I am never hungry in the evenings, but if the yummy custard that was served leftover for breakfast is representative then it must have been a good feast. After the feast wad the auction of last year's lost and found, which I did attend, but we didn't buy anything. Then I went to bed around 23:00, since I was tired. I am not certain how much later it was that C and lord_kjar came in.

Thursday was the day I managed to get the tablet weaving project I had selected yarn for two years ago onto tablets. I also played dulcimer and relaxed. We attended court, where the Crown had fun pulling the "the rest of you who just did a presentation may leave, but the Countess needs to kneel before us" trick before sending her on vigil for her Pelican. I would have loved to have attended the vigil, especially since I don't really know her, and such moments are good for getting a glimpse of who someone is, but I was sleepy, and went to bed at 22:00.

It is possible that I have the days as to which day was which court wrong above, but the phone doesn't lend itself well to editing posts; so I'll leave it stand for now.

Wednesday was the Laurel's Prize Arts and Sciences display, and all six or eight entrants did a great job, but the one that impressed me the most was the Baron of Stiringheim, who, with the help of many, was forging iron in a clay kiln they built on site, from limonite he had collected himself.

Now it is my turn to drive...