timmerlada and choir party
Therefore we revised the plan: I started the bread rising, and he started housecleaning. While the bread did the first rising I helped with house cleaning, and then I shaped the loaves (one large loaf with chunks of garlic in it, which would roast to tender goodness while the bread baked, one medium cardamom bread, braided, and one filled loaf using the rest of the cardamom bread dough and a filling of almonds and pistachios in a thickened milk sauce) and put them in the fridge. That took the whole morning, and by noon we were on the road south.
We had a delightful visit with his family (he got to discuss the things with his mom that prompted the call--she is a self-employed accountant/tax prep. person, and we wanted an explanation of the paperwork that had been posted to us by the tax office about our property) and, and while we were chatting she pointed out an ad in her local paper for someone selling a timmerlada (wooden barn/shed originally intended for storing hay) who was asking only 10,000 SEK for it (this is the cost of a nyckleharpa, and about 1/4 of what other people have been adverting used timmerlador for). We have been wanting another shed, so he gave them a call, and we agreed to go look at it the next day.
After having cake and cookies with the family soon after we arrived, and then an early dinner with them a bit later we were back on the road to head home around 16:00. This got us home before 17:00, which gave us a bit more than an hour to get the bread baked and create a table out of saw horses and a door and a bench out of a solid plank and some large bricks so that the kids would have somewhere to sit (the choir is a "student choir", so it is mostly undergrads, but since it is open to all and has only one entrance requirement (must love to sing) there are a few of us who are not undergrads) during dinner.
The guests arrived just as the last loaf of bread was coming out of the oven, and most of them opted to taste the bread before we sat down for the main meal (which was pot-luck). We then had two distinct parties, one after the other, with no change of guests. Party the first was a dinner party. The 15 of us sat around the dinner table chatting, eating (them--we didn't sit down till 18:30, by which time I was no longer interested in food) and sewing (me) for a couple of hours. At that point I was feeling sleepy, so I put aside my stitching and started doing yoga, while the conversation at the table happily continued (in several languages, though mostly English, since we have a fair few exchange students again this year). While doing yoga I was seriously considering sneaking off and going to bed and leaving the party to continue without me, I was that sleepy. However, about the time I finished doing yoga people started to stand up, and someone decided that we needed more air in the room, so a window was opened.
The fresh air and movement woke me up, and then one of the kids said "we should sing", and thus begun party the second for the evening. First we sang some songs that the choir does, but, with all the exchange students, we as a group don't have that large of a repertoire yet, so we soon ran out of those. Then we consulted Google and found the lyrics and chords for The Lion Sleeps Tonight, and had fun singing that before our choir president suggested we play the name games he is so fond of.
First we played the hard one: He walks up to someone in the room, introduces himself (first name only), shakes hands, and hears the name of the other person. Then those two swap names and each go to find a new person to whom to introduce themselves and swap names. This continues for everyone until one gets one's own name back, at which point one sits down and watches. The goal is, of course, for everyone to get their name back, but it rarely works that way. We managed to get down to four people, but those four all had names of someone who was sitting down (and so therefore a few people probably forgot what their newest name was and said an older one at some point in the introductions. I was one of the luck ones who got my own name back pretty quick both times we played this one that evening.
Then we played the one that actually helps one learn which name goes with which face: Everyone stands in a circle, then the first person (once again our president started the game, since it was his idea) looked across the circle, said the name of a person standing there and started walking towards them. That person had only until he reached them to say the name of someone else in the circle and start walking towards them, and so on. Especially at first there is a moment of panic when someone says your name and you have to come up with a name, any name, to say so that you have a new place in the circle you can walk to. However, after enough repeats we all figured out what names went with which faces, and, eventually, I fell into a habit of looking straight across the circle to see who was there, and when someone called my name I would quickly state the name of that person and start walking. The routine totally eliminated my feeling of panic and made the game just a fun exercise.
Eventually we decided we had had enough and switch to the song letter game. First we broke into two teams (chose at random by drawing either a blue or white poker chip from a bag (I wound up on the blue team, as did lord_kjar) then our President would say a letter and we would try to think of song which have either a verse or a chorus which begins with that letter. As soon as someone thinks of one they must clap their hands (to get attention and announce that they have one) and then start singing. If they manage to sing all of the words to that song or chorus before anyone else thinks of a song for that letter the round is over and we move on to the next letter. Usually, however, someone on the other team thinks of another song for that letter and claps before the first person is done singing, at which point the first person must stop and listen to the next song until someone else claps to announce they have a song. We agreed that all languages are acceptable, and that everyone was on the honour system for choosing songs that really start with that letter.
For the most part we were able to come up with quite a few songs for every letter, so very few songs (well, 25 of them (I think no one could think of one for X)) were sung right to the end of the verse or chorus in question. We did a point tally of one point per song thought of, so those rounds where one side came up with both the first and last song of the round were the ones that really made it possible to get in the lead. However, we were fairly evenly matched--first we stayed within a couple of points of one another, then white got ahead for a while, then blue caught up, and then they nearly caught up, and we ran out of letters when blue was in the lead by only one point. Counting up the tally marks later revealed that we thought of (and sang fragments of) over 200 songs that evening!
I am pleased to report that I contributed a fair few songs. For the most part I got to sing only fragments of a song before getting interrupted, but the one time I really wanted to be interrupted (when I was singing the Moose song, it being the only thing starting with M I could think of just then), no one else could think of anything (or perhaps they were too shocked by the lyrics to be able to think?), so I wound up singing the whole first verse. There are times that having a very good memory for song lyrics can be slightly embarrassing. I am also pleased to report that lord_kjar contributed several songs as well--he has not put many points into memorizing lyrics for songs, but instead has put all of his effort into being able to improvise and make up songs on the spot. If we had been permitted to make up songs instead of singing only pre-existing songs I think that the game would still be on the first letter, as he wouldn't be done making up new songs starting with that letter every time someone interrupted him with another song.
The party broke up around 01:00, and we were in bed by 2:30, which gave almost enough sleep before heading out in the morning to go look at that timmerlada for sale. The one he had advertised turned out to be not so interesting--the timber was thinner than we were hoping for, and from the photos the gaps between the timber when assembled were wider than we wanted to deal with (the seller had already taken it apart, and the logs were stacked neatly ready to be hauled away, with the roof pieces placed on top of the pile to keep the rain off). We decided that we didn't want it as a shed in its current design, but the timber might be useful to build that roof we want to do over the archery targets. However, for that purpose we didn't want to spend 10,000, and the seller wasn't interested in dropping the price. However, after discussing with him why we weren't interested in that one he suggested that he also had another that we could look at, which was in better shape and made from sturdier timber, but he would want 15,000 for that one. We decided it was worth a look, so we drove over to the other location and, indeed, the timber was much more like what we had in mind, and the photos he had of it before it had been taken apart made it clear that the gaps between the boards are only normal, reasonable sized gaps that can actually be filled with insulation or other techniques.
So we decided to buy it, and we pulled out a computer, portable internet connection, and bank card reader so that we could do a bank transfer to his account to pay for it. I love Sweden. There are no personal checks in this country, instead it is normal for people to pay for things by bank transfer. This includes SCA events, personal transactions, conference fees, internet purchases, whatever. I have never lived anywhere where this was so common before. Then again, I have never lived in the 20-teens before, either. Perhaps it has become common everywhere?
Then we went home, had some lunch, and did a short term trailer rental to go back and get the the first load of timber. We only had time for one trip (it was located a half an hour drive from our place) before it was time to have dinner and get ready for Folk Dance. So we went back again on Monday after work for a second load, and we will head back for the third, and final load as soon as I finish typing this sentence...