1st May 2022
It is the International Worker’s Day and a brass band was playing close to my home. I could here it by the open door of my balcony. I was so surprised, that they still do it, but it was nice.
Even the day is dedicated to the working class I went to the market place for showing solidarity with the Ukraine, but nobody was there. Only a small group of people with red flags for celebrating the Worker’s Day had gathered. I took contact by Facebook with the woman usually organizing it. She was coming soon and apologized for being late. Some other people, actually men, had attended too. There was no speech today, no music, nothing but a short, quiet time for Ukraine. At the end of it, the organizer told me, that she will not have time during the summer month to continue with this demonstrations. I was disappointed, because the Russian war against Ukraine does not take vacation. When I write this lines, I am ashamed, that I wasn’t standing at the market place every Sunday until now, when I am going by bicycle to COP27 for future and peace.
Back at home I made vegan chocolate balls, because our climate group was ask for the café and “snack” time (we call it fika) during this week at the House of Music. This chocolate balls are both free from gluten, lactose and suitable for people with diabetes. I had to leave them at the House of Music for the first group of us, selling cinnamon buns, cakes and biscuits. I also baked a rhubarb pie before I was working with the Komoot app again.
2nd May 2022
This year we have political elections again. General elections will be held on 11 September 2022 to elect the 349 members of the Swedish Riksdag (our parliament). Regional and municipal elections will also be held on the this day. I am eager to vote, though I was looking for, where I can do it during my trip – the time must be right. I am leaving too early for being allowed to make it in Sweden. Therefore I have to go to one of the Swedish embassies in Europe and I found out, that it would be possible in Vienna.
The Bike Life Podcast, that means my interview is available now. I also spent time with the Komoot app again, but this time for my ride to Mora, Sweden. See my post “Mora next“.
I made 75 more chocolate balls before I was going to the House of Music, helping during the fika. I was a little surprised, that none was asking for special diet cookies. There were more vegan cookies as well, but they were not fitting diets. It fell on my fortune to handle the cash. I did get a wallet and had to try my best to return the change. Afterwards some of my group told me, that I was slow and should have handled it better. If I had known before, I would have handled it much better. I had to take the wallet home as well as some cinnamon bun cakes, because I will be at the House of Music the upcoming day again.
3rd May 2022
I was going by bicycle to my bike shop for getting my new battery connected with my computer on the bicycle, but the employee, who is specialized in it, was occupied. Anyway, I did get it done the next morning.
Another evening at the House of Music. This time I was prepared for giving change and I was much faster, of course. It was also me, who informed the audience about the Association for Nature Conversation in Katrineholm and our climate group. I did get praise for it of the other members of our group. Anyway, I was wondering, why another member of the group had arrived. I think, she didn’t trust me, that I can manage the information. Before we left this evening, I gave the wallet to another member of the group, because he will help the upcoming evening, but I will not. I also had to explain the special dishwasher for him. We had to take up cinnamon buns from the freezer here, what I was close to forget. I already had put the battery on my bicycle and had to run into the house again. One of the members was so kind to wait for me being back, that my bicycle and my battery was safe.
When I was checking my “Bicycle group for people who aren’t working daytime” I had some questionable comments. It was all about that me trips are for too many kilometers and that it is not the meaning of the group if someone, who can’t ride all the kilometers will go back by bus (with the bicycle) as well that I have to get a map and then to suggest shorter tours.
4th May 2022
I wrote in the bicycle group, that I am surprised, because nobody came to the meeting for planning trips as well as nobody came, when I proposed a short trip. I also asked them to suggest something by themselves.
I was going by bicycle to Julita manor – solo as usual, of course. It was already so beautiful in the garden and I was happy, that the museum was taking care about the place again. It was an easy ride – two times 25km and the weather was nice as well.
5th May 2022
I started my laptop during the day and created some small documents. The first one was a new sign for my bicycle. Instead for “Biking for Peace” I wrote now “Biking for Future and Peace”. In both cases not the word peace, but the well-known sign. I also created some “business cards” to have with me, when I will visit a conference in Mora. Most of the time I needed for organizing my email account. That means moving emails to the right folder and deleting some emails as well. Finally I sent a request to a host of “Be welcome” in Hallstahammar, the town, where I intended to stay for one night. That app works similar to couchsurfing and was opened of people, who were angry at that couchsurfing went commercial – as they call it.
6th May 2022
I had a bad night with too little sleep, therefore I was not demonstrating for future this day. I was happy, that Irene did.
7th May 2022
I did forget that I offered to help with a flea-market for children clothes, toys etc. Matilda called me and fortunately she was not really ready as well. She picked me up soon and also picked up one of her girlfriends. We were a little late for the market, but not much and also it was an open arrangement. Though it didn’t matter. I didn’t have my sewing machine with me, because Anna, the organizer, told me, I could use hers. I was very surprised about her machine. It looked very complicated and she told me, that she had attended a class to know, how to use it. Anyway, I managed to repair clothes with it. They were all children clothes from Anna’s children and I was free to repair after my think tank. There was a long sleeve t-shirt with the sleeves broken at the end. I made a short sleeve t-shirt of it and Anna was very happy in it. Actually my work was thought like good examples how to make something good for the climate and also safe money, but nobody but Anna cared about it.
It was around 6pm when I was chatting by Skype with Marcus. He was asking for my blog – when I will update it. After our chat I tried to install Lubuntu (an operating system (OS) for computers), but it was not possible to download it on my USB-stick, which I had attached to my netbook and my netbook has no space at all for it. I could have tried to download it via my laptop, but it was a long time ago I made a back up and won’t risk anything.
8th May 2022
The the tenants’ association has told me, that I can get problems for being away from home, that means from my apartment for such a long time as a year, though I did write an email to my landlord (the company) asking about it and referring to, that I am happy in my apartment and will use it as soon as I am back from my trip.
Daniel wrote that there are special offers for Interrail tickets, but he couldn’t decide, where to go and at the end, he decided against to buy one.
I updated my blog for February 2022!
I called a warmshowers host for the first time – I usually sent written request. She told me, she has not seen my request, but was not able to host me anyway. I also called another warmshowers host, but he wasn’t answering the phone. Therefore I spoke into the answering machine. He never called me back. I even called Lena Hallström in Västerås twice, but I didn’t get any answer either.
Finally this day I prepared food and clothes for my bicycle trip to Mora.
9th May 2022 – 19th May 2022
I didn’t sleep well this night either, but was still preparing for my tour to Mora. Though I wrote a short message to Lena H. I have got an answer. Unfortunately, she was not at home, but offered me to host me on my way back home. I found a hostel on my route by surfing the Internet and wrote an email, because their operating hours are only before noon. About my tour you can read on “Mora next“.
20th May 2022
I was still tired even I was already awake around 6am. Therefore I started checking my social media accounts and my email. After breakfast I ordered my medicines, was to the grocery close to here where I bought food, hygiene articles and also took out the win of my lotteries. I had saved them, because I don’t like to get too many small amounts in notes. This time they were for 300 SEK all together – only a part of that, what I had spent in the lottery. I bought a flower bouquet as well. I gave it to my neighbor Britt, because she had been so kind and cared about my plants meanwhile I was to Mora and back. When I asked her for help during the days I will be with my son Samuel she answered, that the flower bouquet is for that as well.
In the evening I specified the first 10 days of my route for my bicycle trip to Egypt and hoped to by able to stay with the hosts i found at the different places.
21st May 2022
I’ve got a warmshowers request from Frans and Yvonne and welcomed them. I didn’t chat with my son Marcus via Skype this day, because he was very tired and had to sleep. Instead I used my time to fill a form for a visa for Egypt. Emailed it to the Egyptian embassy in Stockholm and paid the 155 SEK as stated on their homepage. I paid by Swish, what they were asking for as well. Than I printed both the filled form and the Swish payment document. I continued with printing my “public question” to our town council. I had sent it just when the COVID-19 pandemic began. The council soon didn’t allow public to the meetings as well as they reduced the number of members, who were allowed to attend, drastically. Now all was back to normal and I was asked by the office, if I would like to read my question in the beginning of the next meeting. My question was about a pine bog, which an industry had asked for to get as a place to store their cement elements (they are a manufacture of those elements for houses etc). The bog locks up vast amounts of carbon and is the home for protected insects as well. The politicians think, they can plant a new one not far away from the one they will sell, but what was growing in hundred of years can’t be replanted.
Later I wrote my blog about Mora and also sent an email to my German girlfriend Erika.
22nd May 2022
This day is called International Day for Biological Diversity and the green party (miljöpartiet) in Katrineholm had organized a “sightseeing” of the pine bog. I learned a lot this day. Even the bog doesn’t have a lot of diversity, a mushroom called tallticka has it’s home here. They are red-listed and only growing on pine trees, who are almost 100 years old. Also other rare plants are living here. In addition to that, I learned, that old pines are no longer growing in high, but their crowns are getting wider and wider, which means they are protecting the plants underneath (if I got it right).
23rd May 2022
I am still waiting for the parcel with the GoPro camera from VAUDE. It was some weeks ago, that it was send and I should have had it already on my trip to Mora. Though I asked the VAUDE team one more time about it and got a tracking number. It was just in time, because this day, the parcel would have been sent back, if I wouldn’t have picked it up at the delivery point. I had not got any advice of the transport company, that the parcel had arrived at my delivery point. I was really angry, but asked nice at that shop, why I didn’t get the announcement and was told, that the transport company should have informed me.
Well at home with my parcel and unpacking it, I was surprised about the many boxes for the camera. Maybe one can buy a lot of more things for it. I did decide to put it in the smallest one, because there was space enough to take the camera with me.
Unfortunately my warmshowers guest had to cancel their stay, because Frans had an accident and is at a hospital. I am feeling with Yvonne and him.
Even I made my laundry in the laundry room in the basement I was updating my blog again. This time I came as far as the 17th March.
24th May 2022
I had just started biking on my way to my son Samuel and also had agreed with Inger in Gnesta that I will stay with her the upcoming night, when my gears stopped working. I only could ride my bicycle in the lowest gear and I understood, that I have to go with it to my bike shop. Well there, they understood immediately, that something was wrong with the gears, but told me, they don’t have time just now to help me. We agreed, that they will help me as soon as possible – I think, because I had my panniers and bags on the bike. Therefore I was going home with the bike to take off all the stuff and turned around, going to the bike shop again.
I walked home and while I was waiting for the short message of the bike shop, that it is done, I called my Internet provider and cancelled my wifi-subscription. I will safe that money and use it for my trip. When I am back at home again, I will subscribe again. Actually I tried it in the morning, but the waiting time for talking with an employee was too long. In the afternoon it was better.
I informed Inger, of course, that I’m not able to come and Samuel, that I hope I can arrive the upcoming day.
I also opened a campaign on Skiftet.se, because of when I was cycling to Glasgow, people told me, I had their voice at well, but I didn’t have any opportunity to let politicians know. This time I thought if I have a list, I can leave it to the politicians, attending COP27. Furthermore I read on the Internet that the Egyptian minister of environment Dr. Yasmine Fouad is the designed organizer for COP27, while the president of COP27 will be the Egyptian Foreign minister Dr. Sameh Shoukry. Though I tried to get in touch with the first, which was impossible even she is on twitter.
As late as 5:40pm I did get the message of my bike shop, that I can fetch my bicycle. It was not possible for me to do that before they were closing down for the day and I had to postpone it to the following morning. I decided to update my blog instead, but was reading at the Internet instead.
25th May 2022
Around 9am I did fetch my bicycle. The problem has been, that there were dirt in the box of the gears. The mechanic was wondering how that could happen. I told him, I don’t know. He continued asking, which roads I was using and I told him tarmac and asphalt roads. He couldn’t explain himself, how this problem could arise. I was thinking about, when my nice host did fix my chain, maybe he didn’t close that box good enough, but because there is still warranty for the bicycle, I didn’t tell the mechanic. He than told me, this problem has happened to others as well, but it is very unusual. I had to pay 360 SEK, which I thought is cheap. I know, that such a problem cannot be under warranty.
I booked a train ticket for Södertälje station, arrival time 3:33pm, because Samuel and his wife have to work their 8 office hours, even they still work from home. I didn’t have any problems on my way from the train station in Södertälje to my son’s home, but with Komoot, because he wanted me to take another route as I am used to and he didn’t ajust the route. For this I switched to Google maps. You may be surprised, that I still use a digital map for the route, but there are some junctions I don’t really remember. Next time I could make it without map, I am sure, but for my tour to Egypt. It will pass to long time in between for remembering the route exactly.
I was following Samuel to the supermarket and back at his place I helped Tharsiny with the baking. She had cleaned the kitchen thoroughly during the day, because they were awaiting lots of relatives the upcoming day for the birthday of my grandson Vincent. It was the first time since the high of the pandemic that all the relatives will meet again.
26th May 2022 (Ascension Day = holiday)
Samuel, Tharsiny, Leon and I were singing a Swedish birthday song for Vincent in the morning. He was very happy about the football I had bought for him even the boys already have two. Samuel told me later that Vincent now is a member of a football club and training once a week.
Around 2pm the guests arrived and they were many. They are all related to Tharsiny and her parents. All her siblings were coming as well. Rajiv, who has very good hands with children and married before the pandemic, now has a son with his wife Dominique. The little boy is called Santiago. It is really funny with the names of the children in this family. None of them has a Tamil first name.
Tharsiny and Samuel had bought food by catering and I really understand why. It would be too much work for Tharsiny to cook all those dishes. There were only Tamil dishes, but for the children a pasta salad, which I ate from as well.
By all the people – I didn’t count them, but it must have been between 30 and 40 including the children, I had problems to have a conversation. I just can’t sort all the words by my hearing aids. Later Rajiv came and talked to me a little small talk. Anyway I was happy, that he cared. Even Tharsiny’s little sister Chamilla and her boyfriend as well as her sister Sigge was talking with me. It was a lot about to run an own company, because Samuel does now. When all the guests had left, Tharsiny’s mum and another female relative were talking with me as well.
The whole Hildebrandt family was following the other of Tharsiny’s brothers and his family to the bus stop. It was a nice walk. They just caught the bus. We were happy, they didn’t have to wait. The day has been very intensive and it was good to have some time to calm down.
27th May 2022
I was sleeping longer than usual and was happy about it. I remembered that Samuel had to work and as I had understood, he want to start at 7am, though I was worried, that he wasn’t working already and was going and wake him up. He was a little unsatisfied about it and told me, that he will start between 7am and 8am he had told me.
I had a big breakfast and when I was coming back to the kitchen for the third time, Vincent and Leon were awake as well as Tharsiny’s mum and another female relative – who hadn’t left the day before.
Around 11am I wrote my notices for my blog about the day before. I didn’t do much this day. Tharsiny’s mum and the other relative stayed until the evening. The relative was asking me for recipes and told me, she is a professional cook and also baking and will continue working until she is 67 years old, because that is her life and she doesn’t know what to fill the days with, if she already would retire. – She is a widow. In a way there was a misunderstanding and I translated the first recipe for her from Swedish to English. I had asked her, if she really want it in English and she affirmed. Actually she is better in Swedish as in English.
Samuel is building a wooden footballs goal. First he asked the boys for helping him – because they should feel it is their goal and they helped to build it, but the boys were soon tired of it. Then I helped him instead. I am very happy, that he is handy. It started raining and the goal was not finished. I wrote two signs for the bicycle demonstration in Stockholm the upcoming day.
When the boys were sleeping we had a glass of wine each and some snacks.
By the way, I am staying with Samuel for around a week, because of the activities around Stockholm +50.
28th May 2022
It was raining and it continued the entire day. Though I asked the Cykelfrämjandet, group Greater Stockholm, if the demonstration will take place and the answer was yes. Though I started cycling in good time. Google maps told me, that I need 45 minutes, but I know Google maps and I know me. Therefore I prepared for double the time and in addition to that there was a margin of 30 min. Anyway, I was to late at the meeting point and even I know the route the demonstration was taking I understood, that it was no idea to cycle after them. I never would catch up, because I had to follow Google maps again. Disappointed about me I was cycling back to Samuel’s place. I wouldn’t have been so bad, just a nice cycle tour, but it was raining and even I was using my rain cape I got somewhat vet. I actually made most of the way back without Google maps, following the signposts for cyclists. By not knowing the area very well I did take a longer way than I could have taken. I also made a “lap of honor” in the suburb of Västertorp, because the signposts were not clear there.
Back at Samuel’s home I was very wet, especial my trousers. My shoes were more wet as well, because I by my rain cape I didn’t see where I put my feet when I had to go off the bike at traffic lights. At some of them they were deep pools of water.
Later I followed with Samuel for leaving back the warm box to the catering company. In the evening the whole family were playing board games. We also had snacks.
29th May 2022
I was sleeping longer than usual and enjoyed it. I had my breakfast by myself, because Leon is training Taekwondo and Samuel had to take him there. Tharsiny also is training this sport as well as Vincent as I heard later. It seems, Samuel is not. I didn’t ask him why. Later this day Vincent is training football. It is a busy day for the family, but it wasn’t for me.
30th May 2022
The first thing in the morning was to congratulate Irene for her birthday. She was on her way home from a cruise. Though we didn’t talk a lot.
I was going by bicycle to the closest underground station and locked it there. I did take my battery with me, of course. At the underground station I topped up my Access-card, which was for the public transport in Stockholm. That company changed the system and abandon the cards, but it is still possible to top up for using the rest for one (1) ride. I only had to top up with 2 SEK. I was happy, I remembered to take the card with me. I took the underground to the city center of Stockholm and continued by walking to the Egyptian embassy for my visa.
I arrived in time and also could help a woman with a stroller. The public space at the embassy was really tiny. The officials were in a iron, white cage. I had to leave my papers and my passport and the assistant made the first check. Because the homepage of the embassy was only in Arabic and English, I was speaking English with the officials. When the assistant came back after the first check, he spoke Swedish and I did the same, of course. I told him, that I didn’t know they speak Swedish because of their homepage. He told me, I can pick my passport up on Friday, same time as “now”. I told him, it was perfect, because it was quite fast. I didn’t think about the FridaysForFuture demonstration.
Afterwards I went shopping. I bought special soap and shampoo for my upcoming trip as well as a saddle rain protection, bicycle gloves (where I had to take gloves made for male, because they only had one kind of female gloves, which were not available in my size) as well as charger for the GoPro camera batteries. The charger comes with one battery, but it is made for two. Though I was going to another shop and bought an extra battery as well as a special SD-card for the GoPro camera with a quite big memory. The SD-card, which was coming with the camera has a very little memory, especially compared with videos. I was going back by the underground to the station where I had my bicycle. Before I was going back to my son’s I also bought some bananas and a honeydew melon.
31st May 2022
It was raining again, but worse was, that I had a sore throat. Instead for going into Stockholm again and attending the event of the group “We don’t have time” I was following it online. I was surprised and a little disappointed, because I thought this group was similar to Fridays For Future, but it was commercial. A lot of companies and start ups were talking about their innovations and always they said at the end, that they need to fund money respectively that the parliament has to create new laws or change laws, that the innovations can become real.
Samuel told me, that I was too much on the Internet, though I had to explain for him, why I was. I had planned to attend that event in person, but by my sore throat it would have been irresponsible to do so.