I saw a deer during lunch a couple of days ago. It strolled casually over the path I was walking on, and disappeared into the brush on the other side. I'm not sure it saw me, but considering deer have eyes on both sides of their heads and it was facing straight ahead I think it should have. It moved so casually though! Seems like they might be getting kind of tame.
That was a nice surprise anyway, though we have yet to see any of the usual Spring-signifying snakes. Spring is the time they wake from their winter slumber and drowsily slither into the warmth - and thus the time you can actually stumble upon one just soaking in the sunshine on a gravel path. But we might have missed them.
We might have missed Spring! The birch sprouts are already drying up and there's not much to eat on the other trees either. Everything's green. The heat came with the wave and spring seemed to bounce right by. It usually does, but this year it seemed faster than usual. Up North the snow is all gone already, and the water a meter higher than usual.
I took a trip to Östersund last weekend, and they had some floods there too (though it's not all that far). It was a great time though.
The main events were probably my brother's car breaking down right after we'd fixed an oil leak (the alternator belt shredded), and a 320 km road trip to buy a chair, during which we saw a dead waterfall (known as The Dead Fall), dams with open floodgates bursting with water - which is rare, a Thai pavilion the emperor there (King? Prime Minister?) decided to gift the people one time when he randomly visited a little town somewhere out there (he gave them two elephants too but they're housed at an animal park now), and walked around a bit in Sollefteå for the first time ever. It was a nice trip, a warm day, and regarding the car that was a different day.
It was also my first time sort of working with a car so it was a real learning experience, and otherwise fun, and the belt was already in bad shape apparently so that wasn't me... or my brother. Shit happens. At the time of writing it's fixed again.
We also fixed a floor for his balcony, played some billiard, took a tour of both my brother's and nephew's offices (the latter skipped a year of school and is now making movies - in a pretty luxurious office to boot), helped him with site-related stuff, took a tour of the city and ganged up with some of their friends for a session of Eurovision Song Contest Lisbon 2018.
I've never watched the full show before, much less any of the local contests leading up to it. It took 4 hours (excluding the introductory chat). I still had that infernal cold (the flight went alright though - air-pressurizing ear plugs work), was getting a headache, hadn't slept too well the night before and was avoiding sugar to get better faster so I couldn't eat any of the good stuff they'd piled up... but it was actually pretty exciting. Great company (sorry I wasn't more social) and great music too - most of it. I think I'll post a dose of videos of my favorites later on.
When it was over we drove home in fog so thick you couldn't see the edges of the road - which went slower than it might have otherwise since my brother's fog lights are currently busted, and I kept falling asleep in the car, but that night I slept so good! I didn't even check NG before bed, just stumbled to the kitchen for water, to the bathroom for the bathroom and then... blissful sleep. Can't remember the last time I slept so deep.
We ate food too. Socialized. Cleaned the apartment a bit whenever we did not. I brought those rapidly packed presents for my nephew's now long-passed birthday that he finally had time to open on the third day, we cheered in the refurbished balcony and spent some time sitting there too, and by the end of the four-day trip my cold seemed to be subsiding!
Five days later it's still here, but it's a minor grievance now. Sniffles.
Did I mention I timed in the trip so well (that's sarcasm) that the train tracks were closed off for maintenance on the day I left? I met up with a buddy at the station to take a bus instead - but the bus stopped at the wrong station and the next one was half an hour away, so we took the commuter train as far as it went (Jakobsberg), took bus 178 to Akalla, took the subway to Solna Centrum, took a bus there to Voltavägen, and then another bus there to the airport! All of these stops with minutes to spare since they were all delayed - except for the final one. I arrived at the airport with just enough time left to check in, go through security and board a few minutes later.
Since my brother's car broke down the day before my leave I had to take the bus to the airport there too. It was a real adventure from start to finish.
Coming home that night I was made aware I'd won third place in this contest, had received an unexpectedly high bid for an auction I'd put out, and had a package stuck in customs that I had to pay to get out (and another a few days later - they just started with this crap).
Apart from the customs thing that was pretty awesome news! Contest win in particular. At that moment I felt like things somehow fell into place and the future is now shining brightly. It starts with the little things, no?
This is where the post unofficially ends, but I was also going to mention that I know I've been using a superfluous smileys in my comments - I'm cutting down on those now, and for a few days in a row I remembered all my dreams, which was cool, so I wrote them down three days in a row. I've had a couple more since then but no time to write upon waking, and alas they were then lost in the memory fog... maybe they'll come again.
Also: for some reason all the programs on my phone are listed as taking up 518MB. Why 518? What is up with my phone?
I'm still not taking this too seriously though, which might show in the policy. Hopefully that won't be to our disadvantage in the future. I plan to add some privacy info by the comment form (already did with the contact form), and maybe revise them a bit later on, but I don't want to put too much time into this, and I don't want to clutter the site. In difference from a lot of other places CDB really does care about user integrity - those who know me know I really am a huge advocate of free speech, rights, and all that shizzle, but I feel like elaborating on every possible aspect of how we handle data won't really make things better for the visitor. And does everything have to be justified? Is this how freedom works now?
GDPR was devised to make things better for the individual - to enforce their rights, but I feel like it's also going to make all of us get bombarded with cookie notices and privacy-related information on all pages that potentially deal with anything that has anything to do with you that we might not really be interested in knowing. I'll probably be putting up one of those cookie notices too. At least on the pages that save cookies. Plenty of sites I trusted have had simple and streamlined policies before, with only the essentials, but that's all about to change now...
I'm dealing with this stuff at work too. So much GDPR, and so much of it a gray area too. I like the idea, but really... this is annoying.
Maybe more importantly: I'm taking my first Northerly trip this year next weekend! I'm heading up myself this time since my parents unfortunately didn't feel like going as early as they usually do. It'll be interesting to have the land to myself for a few days, but there's also a lot of work to do and only one me. Plantation season's starting and: nobody's done anything yet.
How to get from the airport to our place (which is in the middle of nowhere) was a bit of a pickle too, but thankfully a good buddy stepped in and saved the day! Really appreciate it. The trip back is easier, but the day I arrive it was after the last bus (I had assumed I'd get picked up), and hotels are expensive, as is renting a car. Would've been fun to do the latter but I'd rather save that money for two additional trips. Flights. Back and fourth. And that's the rental price without insurance.
Now's the time to sigh a sigh of deep relief though, and deep breath (cause it's good for you), and I'm excited about the trip. Busy times ahead, but good times too! I'll see you in a few.