Deciding How to Dig in Sweden

In Sweden, the County Archaeologist’s office decides where contract-archaeological fieldwork is needed, how much it can be allowed to cost the land developer, and which excavation unit should do the work. Åsa at Ting & Tankar reports (in Swedish) about a recent case where the County Archaeologist’s representative went quite a bit farther than that in overseeing some contract fieldwork.


Adjustable Wrench Dilemma


On my way to work in the mornings, I pass the hibernation grounds of the Saltsjöbaden Boat Club. Boat owners are currently busy getting their craft out of the water and onto scaffolding on dry land, as the Baltic winter ice is not friendly to boats.

The other day I found an adjustable spanner on the bike track right by the boats. It was sitting beside a newly landed boat, one of many whose cover scaffolding was in place but whose tarp wasn’t on yet. This threw me into a brief ethical dilemma. What should I do with the wrench?

I already own an adjustable wrench. Another one would be somewhat useful to me. But the person who lost the wrench would certainly be unhappy about losing theirs. Now, there were no identifying marks on the wrench, and I didn’t know whose it was. Simply keeping it would, I felt, be justifiable. So would leaving it on the ground. But finally I tossed it into the nearest boat. Regardless of whether I thereby returned the wrench to its owner or gave it as a surprise gift to somebody else, I made that person happy. And the name of the boat was Hilda Trast, “Hilda Thrush”, which I felt deserved a reward.

Satisfied with my decision I continued on my way.

Found Some Photo Negatives


On an ammunition delivery run to Kai‘s place in RÃ¥gsved last Saturday, I found a grimy strip of photo negatives beside a lamp post at Stövargatan’s southernmost point. Rain had obliterated two of the pictures, but two remained. So, as an installation in my irregular series of modern objets trouvés (lighter, PC, polaroid pic, gynaecologist’s chair, soon an adjustable wrench) I present pictures of a nameless kid hiking in the mountains.


(To get the pics into my computer without specialist equipment, I taped them onto a sheet of white paper, taped the sheet to a window facing the sun, shot each frame with my digital camera, and reversed the colours in Photoshop).

Amalie Takes A Rubber Man Swimming

With thanks to Moomin, here’s a fine clip with Max Raabe und das Palast Orchester performing “Amalie geht mit ‘nem Gummikavalier ins Bad” from 1927. How low haven’t the lyrics of the popular song sunk since that golden age of wit and erudition!

Update 22 October:My translation of the song’s title doesn’t bring across just how naughty it sounds in German. In Bad gehen does mean “to go swimming”, and the lyrics make it clear that Amalie and her rubber gentleman are indeed on the beach. But it also means “to take a bath”, so to someone who only reads the title of the song, it appears to mean “Amalie Brings A Rubber Man When She Takes A Bath”. Got batteries, Amalie?