There is mostly text for this month, because I didn’t take a lot of photographs at home in Katrineholm.
1st Dec 2021
The window cleaners have been here, but even my friend Irene told me, that they make a very good work, they only did take the window screens and not the frames as all the others. Unfortunately it also was minus degrees this day, though the water did freeze on almost two of the windows. I decided, not to ask for window cleaning for the month of December again.
Now it was time to decorate my apartment for the weeks of advent. I already made the most for Christmas, just didn’t fetch the Christmas tree from the store room in the basement.
I had ordered food from the supermarket again and tried to add an item, but the check out was not working. The only thing I achieved was, the that date of delivery was postponed one day. I was disappointed about it and emailed the supermarket. The answer was, that there is a digital problem with the check out and some minutes later, it was also a reference about it on the order site.
Furthermore I ordered skin care products from the pharmacy. I can’t get the make I like at one of the around five pharmacies in Katrineholm. I have very special wishes creams for my face and my hands as well. It is the feeling on the skin, which is important for me.
2nd Dec 2021
This was one of the days I had problems to get alert. Though it took a little longer to get ready for the day. Fortunately, I was around 10am, when an employee of my housing company – or maybe he was from a sub company, ringed my door bell. He visited me, because of the broken washing machine. I don’t remember if I wrote about it before, but the washing machine did some days ago stop to work. I couldn’t see on the display, which program I had chosen as well as, that the washing machine did not start. I already have had contact with the service department of my housing company and told them, that I would like to have a washing machine with a dryer. I know, they need more space as the top-loading washing machine, which came with the apartment, but I thought I had checked, that there was enough with space. He told me, that I have to order one by the service of my housing company.
Later I control measured the space for the washing machine and found, that it would fit, but would need exactly the space there is between the wall and the toilet seat. Though I was discussing that with my sons Daniel and Samuel by a Signal chat. At the end I decided to ask for a top-loading washing machine again.
I had planned to bake bread, but by the delayed delivery of the supermarket, I had to postpone it. I was updating my blog (BikingForFuture) instead.
3rd Dec 2021
My oldest brother turned 75 years this day and I sent him an email with congratulations. We do not email a lot during the year, but this year we had a little more contact. Nonetheless, I always send emails at my brothers birthdays and for Christmas.
The deliveryman from the supermarket apologized, when he arrived. One of the paper bags he should have delivered me, broke in the car. There was a jar with lingonberry jam in it, which broke as well and destroyed all the other items in the bag. The man asked me for sending an email about the missing items of my order. That was a lot of job and after I had sent the email, I also called – by two reasons. On the first hand, I had found one more item, I thought was missing and was eager to tell them. I only found it, when I took care about the poinsettia, I had bought. The lip balm had fallen into one of the pots. When I called, the deliveryman was already back at the supermarket and I was promised a fast delivery of those remaining items. I told the female employee, I was talking with, almost twice about the found lip balm, but when I have got the rest delivery, there was a new lip balm as well.
Finally I could bake the bread. Later I also found time to update my blog somewhat.
4th Dec 2021
Birthdays of family and friends in December are close. This day it was time to send congratulations to a German girlfriend. I also had contact with my Mexican 84-year-old girlfriend and my other German girlfriend, but by Whats App. The rest of the day I was updating my blog.
5th Dec 2021
I updated my blog during the entire day.
6th Dec 2021
I used hours for baking cakes and biscuits. They didn’t become as perfect as I wished, but for the next time I know, how to do better. I also prepared for baking German Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars – cinnamon-spiced star-shaped biscuit [baked especially for Christmas])
Furthermore I wrote a note, inviting my neighbors on the same floor for Saint Lucy’s Day and put it on the door of the elevator. My neighbor next to the right of me, did get an own invitation in her post box – in English, because she is not good in Swedish yet.
I also had time to update my blog. I was working with my computer until midnight.
7th Dec 2021
It was time to get the cinnamon stars done. I did not have a plain star cookie cutter, though I had to take mine with a tail. That made it a little more complicated, but it was working. Unfortunately the cinnamon stars did not become as brittle as they should have been but were close to it.
It was time again for making some new oat drink. Since I am back from my bicycle trip to Glasgow I always make three liters at the same time, which means: I have to use the blender three times after each other, but I save a couple of dishes. I also started to flavor one of these three liters with cacao, because I like chocolate drinks and hot chocolate a lot.
In the afternoon I had booked the laundry. I had lots of dirty clothes as well as bed-linen, curtains and tablecloths in different sizes. There was a new drying cabinet, but it was not bigger as the old one. First I dried the bed-linen and before my laundry time ran out (it was the last of the day) I put curtains in the drying cabinet and let them hang there overnight. I also used the dryer more than once – usually I only use it for my towels. At the end, I still had a lot of wet clothes, which I then dried on a dry rack in my living room.
Once when I was coming from the laundry room, I met my neighbor to the left in front of her door. She had a suitcase with her, therefore I thought she was leaving, but she has told me, that she has been on a short trip to Visby, Gotland (Sweden). I was happy about that, because of the invitation for the Saint Lucy’s Day.
8th Dec 2021
Some days ago I had ordered a cartridge for my printer, which arrived this day. Unfortunately after I had installed that one I had to clean my printer automatically and another cartridge ran out of color. It is stated, that I can print black/white documents, when there is color missing, but I did not get it to work.
Among the emails I have got this day, was one of the warmshowers.org podcast. I was asked, if I would like to participate in one of their podcasts – about my trip to Glasgow, of course. I agreed.
Even I had a lot of ironing to do this day, I still had time enough to update my blog.
9th Dec 2021
I was invited for the 15th of December of the local Green Party (miljöpartiet) to talk about my bicycle trip to Glasgow. The chairman had been walking from Amsterdam to Glasgow (I think, I already wrote about it) and would also tell about it that evening. I started preparing this day. I made a PowerPoint document as well as an extra map with photos on Google Photos, because I had to email my documents. We were not allowed to use USB-sticks. By this, I neither had time nor was I able to update my blog further.
10th Dec 2021
It was snowing! We haven’t had snow so early for many years. However, it was not a lot of snow, though Irene and I carried out our FridaysForFuture demonstration in front of the town hall.
At home again I had a warm tea, picked up a parcel from the grocery nearby and was then updating my blog again.
11th Dec 2021
I read a lot this day – mostly interesting stuff on the Internet. In addition to that I was preparing me for the meeting at the Green Party, talking about my “BikingForFuture”. It works well for me to check my documents some days after I have produced them. They are always getting better by that.
12th Dec 2021
You may understand, that I cleaned my apartment more thoroughly as usual this day, because I was awaiting guests for the next day.
Anyway, I still had time to decorated two layer cakes, read (mostly on the Internet) and to proofread my documents, which I had worked with the day before.
13th Dec 2021
It was Saint Lucy’s Day! I had invited for a drop in between 11am and 1pm, because of the pandemic. Even there was no need to totally avoid people anymore, I tried to spread the as the most seven neighbors, who were invited. Actually, there were no problem at all. It did not get crowded at anytime, because only one of my neighbors came. I was happy, it was Britt, who came. The neighbor, who had been in Visby. I was also very interested to get to know her better in the hope, we will become friends. She was open and told me about her life, e.g. that she has been a nurse and most of her life had been working in Norway. Unfortunately, we didn’t come as close as I had hoped for. It might be a chance to develop a friendship after a while.
Later I wrote another invitation. Similar to the one for this day, but for the forth Sunday in advent and for the neighbors living on the second floor. I had not invited them before, because I won’t have to many people at the same time in my apartment – because of the pandemic.
In the late afternoon I left my bicycle to the repair shop for service and continued from there by walking to the office of the tenants association. We was told, that the association had agreed with my housing company to increase the rent for 2022 with 18,5% respectively 20 SEK/squaremeter. I cannot understand, how this percent can be the same amount for all the different apartments, because all of the apartments of this housing company do not have the same rent/squaremeter now. The guy, who was at the office could not explain either.
At home again I signed up for an information day at the nearby “ETC sun-park”, because I am interested in the subject and part of the electricity delivered to my apartment is coming from there, I think.
14th Dec 2021
I did get my bill for the January rent as well as a letter from a company, which administer a very small part of my pension. Both were increased, though I logged into my account at the Swedish pension authority and informed about the changes. With the increased rent, I will get a higher amount of housing benefit, but with the increased pension – even it is a very small amount, this benefit will decrease a little. Anyway, for the moment, they change the pension system a little. Some will get a little more, some the same and there are even people, who will get a little less. On the top of it, the housing benefit will change. Nobody understand the new rules, but the politicians and, hopefully, the administrators at the Swedish pension authority.
The bill from the window cleaner company arrived. The last day for payment was in the middle of January 2022. It surprised me.
In the evening the climate team of the local group of the The Swedish Nature Conservation Association, which I am a part of, had the monthly meeting. This time we did meet in person, but only a few were attending. We also had prepared for a Zoom meeting, but nobody joined by Zoom. It had been warmer the last two days and a lot of snow was melting. It was very slippery on the roads, cycle lanes and pedestrian ways. On some small gravel was thrown, other were swept and salted, especially the most used cycle lanes. The pedestrian ways, who were on the side of the cycle lanes were not done anything with, because the machine is not wide enough. I was walking carefully and I also have seen that there were very slippery areas on the salted parts – I think it was because of the underground frost. I also was walking like a penguin, as it is recommended for such situations. Anyway, I slipped and was falling. Luckily only on one of my knees. It was easy to come up again. I had a bag with a box of saffron buns in one of my hands and with the other hand I was carrying a box with seven kinds of biscuit, because I agreed to offer the snacks for the coffee break this night. They were clonking on the bicycle lane, but I still hold them with my hands and I was happy, that they did not get damaged.
On my way home, I was even more careful and did not slip anywhere.
15th Dec 2021
The day started with the congratulations for another of my brothers. During the day I prepared one more time for the talk at the Green Party, because it was the day for the talk.
I was able to go by bike to the meeting place. I was the first speaker. Unfortunately, we could not merge the Power Point document with my photos, though we should the photos first, even it was not such an good idea. I felt, that I was talking for a little too long time and shortened my talk at the end as much as possible. I didn’t really feel if the audience was impressed. That wasn’t the meaning with the talk either. Afterwards the chairman was talking about the walk from Amsterdam to Glasgow and mentioned even about the places, they had been staying overnight. By the way, I named my hosts as well. I was surprised, when he told us, that he is not used to sleep over i dorms and he as well as others of the group had problems with it as well as they had problems with the lack of privacy during the entire walk. The break with Christmas’ snacks like rice porridge invited for more talks, but it was not very easy as a non-member get in touch with the others. I was allowed to stay and listen during the “official part” of the meeting. I was surprised, that there were so few active members and now understand more as before, that we “Grandmas for Future” aren’t more”.
16th Dec 2021
I bought a secondhand bedspread, because the one I have is somewhat small. I found that one in the town of Norrköping (the next station by train). There is half an hours walk from my home to the railway station in my town as well as it would have been around an hour from the railway station in Norrköping to the seller. Though I did take my bike with me. I am so happy, that it is so easy going with Mälartåg. I was really happy, that I had taken the bike with me, because it was further away than I expected. The seller had put the bedspread in a bag, but I asked her to show me it, though I can decide if I will take it or not. It was not very bright in the room, because the blinds were closed and I asked for more light. Even they switched on the light, it was not really bright in the room. I decided to take the bedspread, because it was for 100 SEK only and I thought it was OK even it might be a little short at one side. I was going back to the railway station and used the toilet. Fortunately, there was one for disabled people and it was big enough for me and my bike. That done I bought a ticket for my way back. The train should go in a quarter of an hour, but soon there was a message on the billboard that this train is canceled, because they don’t have an engine driver. Though I had to wait for the next train, which was more than an hour later. Meanwhile I was waiting I had a chat with another passenger for the train I first had chosen. The tickets for the train ride were 2 x 70 SEK, therefore I decided it was the first and last time I was going to this place for buying secondhand items.
Later this day a journalist of our local newspaper Katrineholms kuriren called me, telling me, that he had read on Facebook about Tuesday evening, when I did slip. He asked me some questions and finished the call by asking me, if a photographer should come to me and take a picture or if it is OK to take one of the photos of me, they have in the archive. I told them, he should not put in a photo of me at all.
17th Dec 2021
It was Friday again and Irene and me were demonstrating again, but only for one hour because it was minus degrees and, especially I, were freezing. I really have problems with my feet and even more my hands, when it is called. I can’t hold me warm although I use two pairs of gloves and a homemade muff.
My son Marcus and I did meet by Skype this afternoon, because it was his birthday. He is the last one of my relatives and friends for the year.
18th Dec 2021
Luckily it was a little warmer this day, though I was going by bicycle to the ETC Solpark (a photovoltaic facility) – sorry for the links to Swedish sites. Unfortunately those (Mälartåget + ETC Solpark) have not understood, that the site in English would be a good option. Nevertheless I hope, Google translate will help you. The ETC had invited people for information about the photovoltaic systems as well as other sustainable opportunities. They also had a café, where one could buy cakes, soups, books and souvenirs. In addition to that, some small companies had their stalls there, selling their environmentally friendly products. One of them was my vegetable supplier. We did get explained the different parts of the park like the photovoltaic parts, which were working fine and also the few, which weren’t. Last but not least the founder had a presentation about, what we can do for the climate, e.g. by installing solar panels. He also explained, how cheap they had became during the years.
Back at home I was updating my blog.
19th Dec 2021
I was excited by preparing for the Advent’s coffee for my neighbors, wondering if there will anyone visit me. This time I was more lucky, than at Saint Lucy’s Day. Four neighbors appeared. The first two (Siv and Anita) were befriended women. The one was single and the other one told me, that her husband is hunting. A little bit later a married couple (Ulla and Lars), which had moved into our house a couple of month ago, joined us. We had a good time. They were actually staying for nearly two hours and told me, that it was a very nice idea I have had, but none of them told me, they could invite neighbors another time.
Even this afternoon and evening I was updating my blog.
20th Dec 2021
In the middle of the day I was attending the boules games again. I was happy, we finished in time and there was no need for me to leave early, because I had booked the laundry room between 4pm and 8pm again. I still had curtains to wash.
This evening I took some time off the blog and was watching a documentary about someone traveling the Caucasus instead. It became quite late.
21st Dec 2021
I was a little tired during the morning and slow, but managed to update my blog in the afternoon before I was meeting my vegetable supplier for the homemade beetroot salad I had ordered of them.
Before going to sleep I was watching the rest of the documentaries about the Caucasus.
22nd Dec 2021
When my neighbor Britt had visit me on Saint Lucy’s Day, she had a box of Aladdin chocolates with her and I felt, that is too much for me, because these boxes hold 500grams. I was thinking to take it with me to my son and his family, where I will spend the Christmas holidays, but then I remembered, that I last year got just such a box of Aladdin chocolates of them, because they had got so many boxes of chocolates for Christmas. Reading on Facebook, that one of the restaurants in our town not only will give special Christmas meals to homeless people, they also were collecting just Aladdin chocolate boxes, though the homeless could really feel it is Christmas. I decided to leave the chocolate box at that restaurant.
I should have visited my son and his family, starting this day, but they had called me, telling me, they are all sick – even a cousin, who is visiting them from London. Therefore I was going to the supermarket and bought some food and left the chocolate box at the restaurant, which is nearby the supermarket. At the supermarket I bought me a Christmas gift: A new headphone – without cable. Unfortunately I later discovered, that I only could use it with my phone.
I also invited lonely people by the Couchsurfing, the Warmshowers and my own page on Facebook for spending Christmas with me – if they are around and lonely. By the way, nobody was contacting me.
Finally I finished my blog about “BikingForFuture” this evening while listening to old songs on YouTube.
23rd Dec 2021
The day before at the supermarket I did not buy all the groceries I wished to have for Christmas, because it was too cold for going by bike and I was not willing to carry heavy. Though I was to the grocery nearby and bought the rest. Outside the shop was a beggar sitting, well dressed for the cold. I usually don’t handle cash anymore and didn’t have any. Because of the Christmas holidays – we call this day “little Christmas’ Eve” – I have got the idea to buy some food for this man instead. Though I did. Meanwhile my papers bag was much heavier than the one I left to him, I had decided to give him a “real” Christmas with usual food for these holidays. I chose carefully, but the smallest packages I could get. The amount for the food including a 1,5 l bottle of a special Christmas soft drink, was for around 300 SEK. I hoped, he want sit outside the grocery shop during the entire Christmas holidays.
Later, at home, I was thinking about, that he might be vegetarian or Muslim and not eating pork. I actually should have asked him before I was buying all that food. I hope, he understood, that I meant well by him.
I also find a gift from the housing company in my postbox. It was a tea towel with the logo of the company.
After doing the cleaning, I fetched my plastic Christmas tree from the store room – I know, it is not sustainable, but I can’t have real trees, because I get migraine of them. I put some electric lights and of the decorations I have on it as well as I put the special Christmas lights in the windows.
24th Dec 2021
I had a chat with my son Samuel and family by Signal, chatted with my son Marcus via Skype and also had a chat with my son Daniel. My daughter Maria did not answer me, which made me unhappy and also worried. I was unlucky to get a blockage in the sewage just this day. I tried to clean it with bicarbonate and vinegar, but it was only working for a while.
In the morning I was wearing the new, red dressing-gown I had bought during the year for two reasons: To have a red one respectively to have a change. I only have one and it is very old. Furthermore I sent emails with Christmas greetings to a lot of my friends.
I had to eat my “smörgåsbord” all alone. I did not have any company, but listened to Christmas Carols on YouTube.
25th Dec 2021
I tried to get rid of my blues by using a dress. I also took a picture, wearing it, because my plan was to upcycle it. I started to sew together the extras I had planned to add.
Even this day my son Marcus and I were chatting via Skype.
Before going to sleep I was watching the TV-series “julkalendern” (the Christmas calendar) at SVT. The series had been shown between 1st Dec and 24th Dec, but I never follow those series, because I always have problems to follow series. It was getting really late before I had finished to watch the entire series.
26th Dec 2021
I was sleeping during the morning, of course and tired the rest of the day. I know, it was not a good decision to watch that entire series at once, but it actually was both exciting and funny.
I tried to change my train ticket for 2nd of January – the ticket home from my son as it was planned, but it was not possible, because the system had changed by adding another train company. The first ticket I could not change either, because I had booked one, which is not exchangeable. I did not think about, that someone of us will get sick.
In the evening I watched movies again.
27th Dec 2021
The blockage in the sewage was back and it did not help, that I one more time tried to get rid of it by bicarbonate and vinegar. The worst thing was, that the drain pipes from the toilet as well as the sink and the shower all are connected. Though, when I flushed the toilet, the water was bubbling up in the shower. I sent a bug report to my housing company.
I continued with the emails with “Christmas greetings” and was reading about EuroVeloRoutes, which I just had learned about by a Facebook group.
28th Dec 2021
I already was awake around 6am, but was still tired. I had breakfast at 9am and was dressed at high noon.
Finally it was the turn for “Christmas greetings” for my brothers. Surprisingly I soon have got an answer of my middle brother, but I didn’t get good news. He wrote, they have had an accident and are at a hospital and he don’t know if he ever can live together with his wife again. Unfortunately he didn’t answer my questions, what he meant with that. I was shocked, thinking that she might have died or is in a coma. (I haven’t heard from him since this day, even I replied to his email immediately.
29th Dec 2021
A service employee of my housing company visited me in the morning and got the blockage in the sewage dissolved – in only five minutes. I asked, if there was something special with the blockage (I was thinking about long hair from former tenants), but only got the answer, that such things happen from time to time.
Fortunately my son and his family are recovered and he called and asked me, if I will come the following day. I was happy about that and booked a ticket.
I also wrote the last emails for this year.
30th Dec 2021
When I was going by train to my son Samuel and his family I had the Christmas gifts in my shopping stroller – the gifts did take space, but were not heavy. In addition to that I used my 50 l backpack for my clothes including festive attires for New Years Eve.
Samuel picked me up at the railway station of Södertälje – as usual. On the way to his home, we made a detour to a supermarket for special Christmas soft drinks. At their home, he told me, that I should not stay for a long time, because they are still tired after the sickness and they need to rest before starting working again after New Years Day. I was very surprised about this and asked him, why he had offered me to come. I didn’t really get an answer.
In the afternoon I handed out the Christmas’ gifts. They were all happy about it. My son first told me, that they don’t have a Christmas gift for me, but than my daughter in law told me, that they release the money I borrowed of them for my e-bike. Though I have got a very generous Christmas gift. Later my daughter in law told me, that she would appreciate to get the bike, they day I cannot use it anymore. I told her, that I already had notified Samuel about my will to do that.
The evening meal were left overs from Christmas Eve – and there were a lot. I was asked, what to do with them, because they had bought a lot, because they were awaiting guests and know, they are not happy any more about eating the same left overs all the time. I suggested to cook hash and they appreciated it.
31st Dec 2021
I had a smoothie in the morning and shared it as usual. We still were eating of the Christmas’ food, e.g. there were good cheese, they had bought just for the holidays. I was very happy about it. Later I helped to clean the house, but only vacuum cleaned the kitchen, living-room and hallway.
For dinner we ate pasta with left overs from the Christmas’ food. Samuel and I think, even Tharsiny did eat of the salmon.
We stayed awake until after midnight, watching the fireworks of the neighbors, but before midnight we were talking about the changes they had made. The room downstairs they had used before as an office, they had re-done as a second gym. In the lounge/guest room they have had a table tennis board, which they had sold and moved in the office in half of the room. Therefore they also had bought new desks for the boys. They didn’t use the old desk anymore. I asked for it, because I was always wishing to have only white furniture in my bedroom. In addition to that, the desk I have now is not in a good condition. By that, I have got another Christmas gift ;-).
We didn’t have champagne for celebrating the New Year, but what does that matter? When my children were living with me, we never had champagne. As soon as the fireworks had ended, we were going to bed.
If you are keen to follow me during the upcoming year, please have a little patience. It will come soon.