Monthly Archives: June 2014

An NCIS for every year

Well, almost. For some reason I skipped season one. I felt we knew all the episodes by heart, and more. But once I’d started picking from NCIS season two, Daughter and I worked our way through one episode for every season during our second holiday week.

It was meant to soothe us and keep us happy. And it did. I think I might have chosen one that Daughter Really Did Not Want To Watch, but who cares? Not me, obviously.

Abby and Jethro

The odd thing was that I picked at random, sort of. Episodes which I felt we’d watched less often. But there was a pattern to them. One day Daughter asked if I was in a Fornell mood. Well, one is always in a Fornell mood, but I hadn’t noticed he kept popping up.

Then there was the stupid, unhelpful police officer they clashed with one year. I didn’t realise he’d turn up a couple of seasons later, in the exact episode I chose. I have less eye for detail than I thought I did. But I have Daughter, and that’s what matters.

If anyone wants to know what we watched, it was Vanished, Deception, Escaped, Dog Tags, Nine Lives, The Inside Man, Ships in the Night, Enemy on the Hill, Phoenix, and Under the Radar.

Now I’m too busy to relax with more of the same, or I would.

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Chez Braveheart

I’m wondering whether I need to watch Braveheart again. There was this programme on the radio a few days ago. It was about Bannockburn. Again. We are being inundated with Bannockburny items here in Scotland. The big 700th celebrations start today. (Some of us are doing more important things, like getting the keys to the new house and all that. Although we are not as crazy as the person we are buying from, who is actually moving out, and in, on this weird day when nothing in Stirling will be normal.)

Anyway, people were reminiscing about the film premiere and meeting Mel Gibson, that kind of thing. I saw the film when it was new, but can’t remember when that was. Recall thinking it was a crap film. But these people said kind things about it, so I’m wondering if I could actually be wrong? Unlikely, but you never know.

The Wallace Monument has been – genuinely – called the Braveheart Monument. And I was reliably informed by the Grandmother yesterday that until recently there used to be a statue of Mel Gibson at the foot of it. How crazy can you get?

On the other hand, one should be pleased people have heard of something, even if it is the film, and not the real battle. Of Bannockburn. 700 years ago. Mel Gibson is looking good for his age.

Do I really want to watch the film again?

Cayenne with everything

This business of cooking meals in someone else’s kitchen isn’t always straightforward. But with me and the Resident IT Consultant having invaded the Grandmother’s privacy and making much of her hospitality for over two months, means the least I can do is cook dinner for everyone.

But then you stand there, having planned something reasonably simple, and you realise that the staples you have in your own kitchen are simply not available. Pasta and rice are easy enough to buy, as long as you discover the lack of them before getting too hungry.

I normally use quite a bit of seasoning, and have far too many spice jars in my own food factory. But here I am looking at salt and pepper. That’s fine, but not exclusively. On the other hand, you don’t want to go out and buy a dozen flavours for a limited period.

So, in this case I sent out for cayenne. It was initially for one dish only, but I’ve found myself adding cayenne to almost every meal. It does spice things up! 😉

Bye, Wallander!

In the end the end wasn’t as upsetting as I’d made the Resident IT Consultant expect. He almost complained. And I was relieved. I wasn’t feeling up to too much sadness, and Wallander made for pretty sad viewing the week before.

I’m glad they wrote it so that they can’t revive Wallander. In my opinion it went on for too long as it was, but the last season did have some redeeming points. But I’m surprised no one could tell – I mean really tell – that he was getting bad.

Krister Henriksson as Wallander

The notes and the notebook and mixing tawny owls in with evidence and feeding the dog too many times made for a certain amount of comedy, but when you stop and think about it, it’s fairly awful. Wallander looked awful, and they should have sacked him for being unshaven and wearing clothes only half done up.

But the last plot worked out well, and the ending was as satisfying as you could make an Alzheimers ending. The bad guy had it coming.

If you can’t take the heat…

‘Too bloody hot below the Firth of Forth…’ Quite.

I’ve lost count of the number of people who have offered their condolences on my move to Scotland. You know, it’s cold. It’s dark. Basically, it’s not England (which as we know is the best place on Earth).

Now, I don’t need it to be warm all the time. I remind them the choice was mine and that I originate from a darker and colder place.

Right now it is very hot. Today is hotter than yesterday, which was very hot. I sweat a bit, but my joints like the heat.

Anyway, I was reminded of this climate misunderstanding when listening to Fascinating Aïda, and their song Lerwick Town. That’s the quote on the first line. I am actually below the Forth, if only just. So if their idea of global warming catches on, I expect it will get even hotter. Just as well we’re planning nice spots to sit in the garden, and that it faces north…

Meanwhile, I’m a little tickled by my temporary address. I live in the West Wing. And we have just gained a patio with outdoor furniture, on which it is too ‘bloody hot’ to sit. But it was generous of the gentleman upstairs to arrange it, not to mention pay for it, and I will be down there when it cools down.

Ascension art

I remembered the rock. It was enormous, and just by artist Rosa Ekelund’s front door. That’s how I knew we’d gone to the ‘wrong’ artist’s house. We had followed the other cars up the hill, and ended up at Kätie Nilsson’s instead. She had the most marvellous view from her windows, which isn’t surprising considering we’d gone some way up from the coast. And she was an interesting artist too. Main problem was too many people and me too close to the paintings (I’m old, so don’t see too well if the distance is wrong). I liked the way she’d displayed some of her smaller pictures. I’ll copy that at home.

Ascension weekend is just coming to a close, and in my part of Sweden Ascension means art for four days. Artists open their studios and people come and look. And buy, if they feel inclined. We don’t often manage to be here at the right time, so it was a bonus to discover we’d picked the right week.

After Kätie we did find Rosa Ekelund, and her enormous rock. I’d like a rock like that, even if it is inconvenient to have one in the middle of your drive. Rosa does colourful women, mostly, and also paints on slate and driftwood. We could easily have bought a slate with thrift on. Or the Madonna and child, on Rosa’s garage wall. Or the large oyster-catchers. If we had enough money and walls, which we don’t.

On to Eva Norrgren at the apple farm, where I had a narrow escape. She had a lovely – and small and not too expensive – picture I liked. Luckily it had already been sold. Nice looking farm building, which was at least as much fun to see as the art.

We finished the day at Helmut Witt’s ceramics workshop. Daughter and I both eyed up the large mugs. We have the ‘smaller’ ones already, but clearly felt thirsty enough to want a larger version.

So we went to Göstas for afternoon tea with a sea view, in the sunshine. It’s not always nice, but this time it was perfect. Good tea and nice cake, and everyone got what they wanted. We wouldn’t have minded taking the furniture home with us, but resisted the urge.

The next day we looked at the art at Särdals Kvarn, even though it wasn’t part of the weekend event. We had more tea, in more nice surroundings. And then we went to see Thomas and Ulla Frisk and their art, which is always a highlight for me. Thomas paints large oils, and we don’t have room for more, even though I’d happily build a wall down the middle of a room just to hang one of his grey, industrial oil paintings. Or maybe a wash basin. I already have the toilet.

Thomas Frisk

Once we’d got this far we found we’d overdosed on the art and the teas. There were plenty more places to go, but we had no energy left for anything. Not even for Mjellby Konstmuseum. Even though it was free entry, and it had a great looking exhibition on.

Another year, another Ascension.