Weekend Fun

  • Played the new German board game Finca that my friend Eddie the heathen goldsmith brought along. It’s an abstract system lightly dressed up in a story about harvesting and distributing fruit and greens on Mallorca of all things. Good fun though! Then we played Blokus, always fun too.
  • Took a sunny six-hour bike trip with my 11-y-o son, had kebab & fries, found three geocaches, failed to find two. It’s great when your kid is big enough that he can keep up for hours like that! Quality time.
  • Went to Circus Brazil Jack with my 6-y-o daughter. As usual a mix of the semi-desperately cheezy and the sublimely stupendous. The two acrobat acts were great! And they had a super-professional five-piece live band. It’s such a great analog form of entertainment when you can smell the horses and share the acrobats’ tension before a difficult trick. But circuses work differently these days: they need to sell a lot of knick-knacks and pony rides to make ends meet, and they can’t afford many stage hands. During the intermission even the top performers donned crew uniforms. I bought cotton candy from a gruff greying guy who later balanced two people on a seven-metre pole on his shoulder.

And you, Dear Reader? Any fun over the weekend?

Stockholm Blogmeet 2 September


The 6th Aardvarchaeology blogmeet was a friendly three-hour affair with good food, good drink and good company. ‘Twas me, Kai, MÃ¥rten, Per G, Sigmund, Thinker and Tor, and an excellent time was had at Akkurat.

Here’s the historical record of blogmeets past. The archaeological record is, due to modern waste-disposal habits, sadly lost.

  1. Wirström’s, March ’07.
  2. Wirström’s, September ’07.
  3. Wirström’s, January ’08.
  4. Akkurat, September ’08.
  5. Akkurat, March ’09.
  6. Akkurat, September ’09.

In the interest of consistency — three blogmeets at each tavern — we must find a new venue for the seventh blogmeet come spring. Suggestions?

Weekend Fun

  • Logged four geocaches. One helped me discover a huge vestigial highway overpass. Highway 222 was built in the early ’70s, and at one spot west of Nacka high school the road engineers thought that they might one day want to build a four-lane highway crossing the new one. They haven’t so far. I rode my bike up this little dead-end road, Birkavägen, and onto the unpaved ground under the great airy concrete vault. On the other side there were just woods with a seldom-used path.
  • Went to the movies, watched Brüno. Found it equally embarassing and almost as funny as Borat. Been thinking about it quite a bit afterwards.
  • Went to a party given by friends of a friend of my wife. Folkie trio BrittakÃ¥ren performed live in the living room and were great.
  • Lost one game of Tigris & Euphrates and two games of Race for the Galaxy to Paddy K and Swedepat.

What did you do for fun this past weekend, Dear Reader?

Tern Island

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Tärnskär (“Tern Island”) is a low seal-like grey cliff on the outer margin of the Stockholm archipelago. My buddy Dendro-Åke only goes there when an eastern wind is blowing, because if your engine dies and there’s any other wind, you end up on the other side of the Baltic.
Continue reading “Tern Island”

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?

Weekend Fun

It’s been one of the warmest and sunniest weeks in a long time. Saturday I invited friends old and new over: we played a game of Tigris & Euphrates, two games of kubb (no, it is not an old Viking game), made a lovely barbecue dinner and took an evening walk to Lake Lundsjön. Our kubb court was laid out meticulously with the aid of two tape measures and Pythagoras’ Theorem, just like when you lay out an excavation trench or grid. Later that night I watched a 2006 concert by Max Raabe & Palast-Orchester on TV.

Sunday me & Juniorette visited some old friends of mine: we had lunch in their garden and walked to Lake Järlasjön where the kids went swimming. I type these lines sitting in our yard, hoping that Junior will show up soon. Though I think I’ll have a nap first.

And your weekend, Dear Reader?

Weekend Fun

The Rundkvist family right before we went in and apprehended the extraterrestrial. Photo F. Gilljam.

  • Friday was Mid-summer’s Eve. Cycled with the kids to the local maypole celebration. Back home, I assembled the first barbecue I’ve ever owned and made some really nice souvlaki for our guests.
  • Saturday we visited Felicia‘s charming parents in rural Grödinge, not far from where my grandparents used to have a summer house. Learned a lot about beekeeping the hands-on way, saw interesting plants & poultry.
  • Sunday I took a long bike ride with the kids and logged three geocaches.

And your weekend, Dear Reader?

Dr. Gilljam and his honey extractor.

Weekend Fun

  • Attended the Where Is the Action rock festival with my wife, heard a lot of good music, much of it new to me. Details here and here.
  • Shopped for presents and spent an hour having cake and reading, all in the charming company of soon-6-y-o Juniorette. She: Donald Duck; me: SprÃ¥ktidningen.
  • Celebrated the first birthday of another very sweet and promising little Swedish-Chinese girl.
  • Played Agricola and had yummy home-made pizza in good company at the new abode of Paddy K.
  • Mused about the strange fact that soon-11-y-o Junior is at sailing camp. I still feel his baby self in my arms.

And your weekend fun, Dear Reader?

Weekend Fun

The way I like to lead my life is basically Epicurean: “Epicurus believed that the greatest good was to seek modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquility and freedom from fear as well as absence of bodily pain through knowledge of the workings of the world and the limits of our desires.” I live for fun. But I try to emphasise the social side of my modest pleasures: I like to have fun together with people I love, not at the expense of others. Call it the Golden Rule.

Now, my work is largely fun, but still I distinguish between work-fun and non-work-fun, because I am by character pretty dutiful and work-fun is sort of related to my livelihood. And of course I have non-work duties that aren’t always fun, and I have to fight an urge to let duties take over my spare time, because that makes me unhappy.

In an effort to increase my fun (and hopefully yours), I’m going to run a weekly feature here for a while: Weekend Fun. I’ll write about the fun I have during the weekends (so I’ll remember those activities better), and I’ll ask you to tell me about yours (so I can copy you). This is serious business: remember that it’s about the purpose (I won’t call it “meaning”) of my brief life!

I won’t list the obvious reading blogging music-listening nookie evening-walk snuggling podcast-listening, because it would quickly become repetitive and I’m in no danger of forgetting those.

So, during this, the first weekend of June, I have done the following for fun:

  • Went to Fisksätra’s 33rd International Festival. Had some excellent injera and samosas, talked to my erudite and fun(ny) friend Mattias L, watched some capoeira, listened to some Bob Marley tunes. Would all have been more fun if I hadn’t been freezing my balls off.
  • Had a menu dégustation at the one-star Edsbacka krog with my wife to celebrate our first ten years together. I don’t think my stomach has ever before had such a diverse mix of plant and animal parts in it at one time. After our three-hour dinner we realised that neither of us had brought any means of payment. But the charming maitresse de and I sorted things out in a friendly manner.
  • Went to a farewell party for a friend who is leaving to study in Japan for nine months.
  • Went geocaching in the Boo area that is very near my home as the crow flies but which is separated from said home by an arm of the sea.

What about you, Dear Reader? What have you done for fun?

Saturday Amusements

i-4759427260c03ea486a681117031ff0d-kill.jpgYesterday myself & Junior met up with Paddy K. Sr. & Jr. and went to Cybertown, a laser-game place in central Stockholm. Here we paid SEK 60 ($11) per head and donned vests with laser sensors and attached laser guns, forming Team Blue. Teams Red and Yellow each consisted of five ten-year-olds, and Team Green was a dad and his daughter. Then we entered a blacklit dry-ice-smoking dark labyrinth and spent 20 adrenaline-soaked minutes happily sniping at teams Red, Yellow and Green. We won! Not very surprising, given that our team was the only one with two dads. Individually, though, Green Dad was the best player. And Paddy Jr. was the best kid!

We had lunch at a Dovas, an excellent greasy spoon (Sw. sunkhak) full of grizzled heavy dudes drinking daytime lager, and then went to the English Shop, a bona fide immigrant store full of British foodstuffs & books, complete with a notice board advertising English-speaking party clowns and an on-line forum for expat mothers. I bought mince pies, breakfast-inna-can and Ty.phoo tea.


The afternoon was spent in the company of our Rundkvist ladies at Swedish Grandma’s making Xmas ornaments, while I cleaned out the hard drive of her old computer and napped. Kids to Jr’s mom. In the evening, I dressed in imitation of the sleeve of Kraftwerk’s immortal 1978 album The Man-Machine, borrowed some lipstick and went with my stunning wife to the Hootchy Kootchy Club (of which I told you back in February, Dear Reader). Here we enjoyed various musical and burlesque entertainments (including the fabulous Scotty the Blue Bunny, the delectable Paula the Swedish Housewife and the gleefully transgressive Empress Stah), stared in fascination at beautifully (and rather scantily) clad people, received not inconsiderable admiration ourselves, and shook our beauté to good music into the small hours.


Swiftly home, to discover that the ground-floor lock that hasn’t worked for eight years had suddenly begun to do so, and that we were locked out of the house. On to my dad’s place, rousing him & extra mum (who wondered at first if I had been kicked out of my house in a marital spat), and sleeping very soundly in the big guest room.


All in all an excellent Saturday. What did you do, Dear Reader?

i-0265c5af22ba08bfe2c950727d2533d2-empress stah.png

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