Weekend Fun


Saturday me and the kids went on an unusual package tour. First we took the 1903 steam ship Mariefred from Stockholm to Mariefred, and got to visit the engine room while the machine was working. Mariefred is a small town on Lake Mälaren whose name preserves that of Pax Mariae, one of the last monasteries founded in Sweden before the Reformation. It is home to one of Sweden’s liveliest steam railroad societies which runs a narrow-gauge railroad with a plethora of lovely locomotives and wagons. We saw an amateur musical played at the old railway station, with the actors making entrances and exits by steam train! Afterwards my old buddy Jonas showed us the workshops and “hangars”. Then we had dinner within sight of Gripsholm Castle and went home, first by narrow-gauge steam train, then most of the way by one of Swedish Rail’s new-fangled double-decker passenger trains.


Sunday we went by boat in the opposite direction: out to friends on Nämdö in the Stockholm archipelago. We’ve spent two days walking the island’s paths, enjoying the cultural landscape, the flora and fauna (snakes!), and checking out a lot of interesting archaeological sites.

And you, Dear Reader? Did you have fun over the weekend?


14 thoughts on “Weekend Fun

  1. I did, actually, have a good deal of fun this weekend past, even though it was sort of work-related. I woke up too early on Saturday, with a vision of a detail of a watch case in my brain, and simply had to jump out of bed and get drawing before I lose it. Started with pen & paper, and when I got the general idea down, I switched to qCAD for a proper drawing of the thing. Also got to work on some of the text content for my website-to-be, and later had a nice chat on facebook with my first girlfriend, which was very nice, as we haven’t really spoken for a long while. Somewhere in there, I also managed to read the first third of Alastair Reynolds’s Pushing Ice, having finished Galactic North on Friday night.

    On Sunday, I continued work on the case design, working out some tricky bits in the side projection, and then started fine tuning my logo design, and trying to work on the website texts on the side… Not much came of that, tbh. Also, got to talk with the wife, which is always nice. And to crown the night, watched Notes on a Scandal and We Own the Night, both of which were quite ok. WOtN was actually rather good.

    Overall a very good weekend, with plenty of creative fun, although all of this was slightly overshadowed by a nagging apprehension about the wife’s health. She said she’s fine when we spoke on Sunday, but on Friday the nurses had been quite concerned about the swelling in her legs/feet and her blood pressure. Today they referred her to the regional hospital’s maternity clinic for further tests, and now I’m even more alarmed – her appointment probably won’t be until sometime next week. She says she’s fine, and the baby’s as lively as ever, but I just can’t help worrying…


  2. We were going out to eat at an izakaya (pub, basically), but on the way we ran into one of my wife’s late father’s old business associates, who promptly took us along to eat at his sideline business, a high-level Japanese restaurant. The kind of place with just a counter for about eight people total on one side; and the chef and a waitress on the other. The cook prepares and serves you a series of dishes to fit your taste and the season while you while away the time chatting and tasting the selection of high-grade sake’s on offer.

    I’d had been way too nervous and self-conscious to ever dare go to such a place on my own (and I doubt I’d want to spend that kind of money even if I did), but with the owner treating us it was an amazingly fun, relaxed experience. And yes, the food was excellent.


  3. In contrast with Janne, we had no refined elegance. Instead, a group of us Swedes with american connections followed what has now become a tradition: we get together on (or close to) the 4th of July, drink bourbon-based cocktails and american beer (good microbrews, not the crap from the big breweries), barbecue hamburgers, eat cole slaw and pig out on watermelon and rocky road ice cream. In short, we mimic as best we can the good times we’ve had with American friends while living there.


  4. Was invited to two barbecues on the Fourth, one with friends and one with family. As dusk arrived, and accompanied by a constant rolling thunder as the entire suburb celebrated, we gathered outside on the deck to drink and smoke while watching my teenaged cousin and his friends improvise a firework display — improvised in the sense that few of them were lit according to the directions on the package. Only a small bush caught on fire. A pall of sulfurous haze hung low over the neighborhood, and the moon glowed a dull red through the trees. It was beautiful. Happy Independence Day!


  5. Fun? I guess so, I decided that the weekend that was was the best EVER starting point for the final push towards completing a novel and have been keeping to roughly a thousand words per day, since. Of course I have a day job that I can’t neglect and I expect to feel fairly worn out, comes mid-August.


  6. Inky, I’m sure everything’s gonna be fine with your wife and kid. It usually turns out all right!

    Ingvar, a novel, howcool! What is the setting of the story?


  7. Martin: Bleak future, boringly enough. But it is a bleak future with interplanetary space ships and at least one major satellite in L4. All inspired by the setting for one of the RPG campaigns I ran back in the early 1990s (a short story in the same setting should be appearing in Bewildering Stories this autumn).


  8. Indeed that L4, it being all nicely stable. No Zero-G sex written so far (actually, no explicit sex written at all, so far; there’s some weoghtless drinking of orange juice, though). There’s, however, been gourmetrullar mentioned.


  9. I’m curious what did you make of the cairns/mounds on Nämdö then? I was invited once to look at some grave-mounds on Nämdö but I never managed to determine whether they were old or not. I’m schooled in archaeology, but with little practical experience from surveying. The would-be graves were placed correctly geographically, clearly visible when entering towards a good point for a settlement, and high above the current sealevel.


  10. I didn’t visit the potential cemetery near the island’s western shore. But I did see three solitary round stone settings near the middle of the southern shore. All were on bedrock far from the nearest field edge, and so are unlikely to be clearance cairns. I’ve seen way uglier structures in undoubted 1st Millennium cemeteries. The only way to be sure is to excavate them, which given their small size is a matter of a few day’s work each if you document them with vertical photography. I predict that all or some of them will yield burnt human bone and that the bone will give 10th century radiocarbon dates.


  11. The only fun that got fitted in the weekend just gone was my son’s music group’s end-of-year concert. He played in two pieces, and they were both OK, the latter good, but there were some talented children there. I wouldn’t normally reckon a children’s concert fun but this was. Especially as everything was mad panic admin and e-mail between two conferences.

    The weekend before, however, involved 428 headlice and a miniature steam road engine relay egg-and-spoon race. You had us beat on the steam stuff this week though!


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