Jan's View

By HarlingDarling

woolly mittens

A quick visit to the district nurse this morning meant we had breakfast in a café by the water. Nice. Took ourselves out to the beach at Smitingen and enjoyed a fine time in the sunshine. An absolutely freezing cold wind, which was very determined - and "lazy", trying to go straight through instead of going round us. We met an older guy there who we have spoken to there before. He had a friendly little terrier with him, and we were more interesting than the owner's calling "come on!" It was so lovely to be able to sit in the sun, sheltered from the wind, and converse with a stranger for a while. We all need contact! 

We spent some time walking to the little lake that is both sheltered and beautiful. We walked out on the ice, which was very thick and completely opaque. I'm guessing the recent warmer weather has helped this along in some way. There were people out on the little island, having a fire in the sun. I saw one man set off across the lake walking very quickly, probably getting his morning exercise. The ice was booming deeply and cracking loudly, I love that sound - the ice is a dynamic element! There were lots of visible cracks all over the ice but they were well below the surface. Some of the booms could be felt in our feet. Viking music!

We really made a day of it today, and have eaten lunch in a restaurant as well! Amazing. I honestly can't remember when we ate out last, it is ages ago. The lunch place, Vårsta, was almost empty which is a bit of a shame because the food was absolutely delicious - and it was served in a covid-safe way, of course. I have sanitised my hands so many times today, worn a compulsory face mask in the health  centre and left all the frames I tried on in Specsavers in a special box for deep cleaning. We've both made appointments to have our eyes tested next week, and I noted that all the staff wore visors, and there were perspex screens all over the place. I can't see the screens ever disappearing...It's a different world to being at home in the village alright.

Popped into the second hand shop and ran into an old colleague and current neighbour (who I never bump into anywhere but outside our area) and enjoyed another lively conversation. It's so wonderful to socialise - these simple exchanges have become significant by their rarity. I asked about the gorgeous lost earring in there too, but it wasn't in their box of lost and found items. Plans are afoot to make a matching/non-matching earring, I have a great stash of bits and pieces - gathered since I was about 25 - and feel sure I'll find something suitable.

I heard that two of my older friends who have been almost completely isolated since last March, and very very sick of it, have just had their first vaccine injections. Hooray! In 2 weeks they will feel safer to socialise. The vaccination programme is going very slowly here, with a dearth of vaccine and an abundance of citizens over 75. The internet booking system crashed completely after 2 frustrating days for many, going round in circles. Now we are told to remain calm, do nothing, & we'll be called by letter when it's time to turn up. 

In other news: A young Afghani asylum-seeker who was waiting to hear if he had permission to stay in Sweden, attacked 7 men with a knife yesterday. None of the men are connected to him, or each other, it appears to have been a series of random attacks. It seems that the victims are now out of danger, three of them being very badly wounded. So, at 22 he will be charged with attempted murder and his life will never be the same. Nor will it for the 7 men, their loved ones - and the people of the quiet little town where all this happened. Our lives are so fragile in some ways, so quickly changed - life can turn on a sixpence sometimes... And yet, the human spirit is resilient and we are  often - usually - prepared to persevere, and survive the hard knocks of life. We human beings are remarkable creatures!

Today feels like it's been a day off, a holiday of sorts. (off what exactly?!!) Two meals eaten out, two long conversations had, good news for our vaccinated friends, brilliant sunshine and warm clothes to keep us warm in the chilly wind. I just wish I'd realised the beautiful woolly mittens (knitted by my clever friend Karin) that I was wearing, had not found their way into the photograph as I was carefully holding the phone and making the panorama!! I left the fuzzy border in place, it's all part of the story.

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