Monthly Archives: July 2014

Past four o’clock

I have long been an admirer of the cool disregard Swedes have for business. I think it’s fine not to stoop too low, killing yourself by working hard all the time.

We went to Sigtuna today. It’s July, the big holiday month. The weather was (far too) warm and sunny. Sigtuna* is a pretty little town, and it was heaving with tourists.

At a quarter to four we decided to pop into one of the cute cafés for coffee and cake, even though it was a little early. We were thirsty and needed to sit down. Cake was lovely. Tea and coffee were good. Then they switched the lights off. And then they discovered we were still in there.

We left. It was obvious they close at four, although why they couldn’t have mentioned that when we ordered, I don’t know. As we exited into the garden, which was full of customers enjoying their afternoon, a member of staff went round chasing everyone out. Someone else held the garden gate open to make sure we all left.

Here you can see the large group of Indian tourists milling about, wondering what to do now.

Café in Sigtuna

It’s not every business that feels secure enough to evict customers quite so promptly, with not a single apology. The rhubarb cake was nice, but somehow it lost some of its wonderfulness as we filed out.

On the other hand, the park bench we found to sit on was pleasant enough, and no one told us to leave. The ducks chatted to us and the ants made me itch. A small child stuffed his toy down the drain and the girls from the council had to come and fish it out. There was a boat on the lake. It was all very nice.

*It’s where the King went to school.

Elementary, dear

We’re slowly working our way through the first season of Elementary. Quite often the Resident IT Consultant chooses something else if I ask what he wants to see. But the other night, to accompany our delayed lunch sandwiches, I decided it would be Elementary, with no choice offered.

After watching one episode, I mentioned that Daughter had already gone through all of the first season, and he suddenly decided he could watch another episode immediately.

So we did.

If that lunch hadn’t been so close to midnight, we could probably have managed a third.

Elementary is surprisingly good, for a US Sherlock. New York isn’t a bad substitute for London, either, and Dr Watson is very good. Last time I watched, I was struck by how Sheldon Cooper-ish this Sherlock Holmes is. I’d say it’s partly the actors looking similar (sort of) and partly that both characters must be somewhere on the autistic spectrum.

Cheesecake and the Big Bang

We finally returned to watching the Big Bang Theory a couple of days ago. We’ve been so busy that the end of season seven has been sitting there and sitting there and then sitting some more. But it did us a world of good to watch again.

Meanwhile Daughter has been busy looking for exoplanets (ask Raj), which is more exciting than imploding holes in space. More positive, I feel.

The Cheesecake Factory, Pasadena

And she has dined at The Cheesecake Factory. Apparently Penny wasn’t there (but we saw on BBT that she has quit waitressing to concentrate on her acting, so that must be right). In all other respects it was as she had expected. Personally I’d not thought about it much, but if I had, I might have realised it’s a big chain of restaurants. I suppose I just imagined the good folk of Pasadena to be very fond of cheesecake.

Criminals, and their other work

I can still recall my shock and surprise at the Post Office – where I had once worked – finding the member of staff at the counter was an old colleague of mine. Fresh out of jail, she must have been. I had heard she had been found guilty of helping herself to money from people’s savings accounts. It was all the more ironic to me, as this colleague had been the union representative and she had railed at us younger members of staff for not taking things seriously enough.

But there she was, back with her hands in the till, so to speak. Obviously no one else would want to employ her, and Swedish state employees had pretty secure job rights back then. I’m guessing they couldn’t sack her. You know; court, jail, back to work.

There is a Swedish singer I quite like. I’m not an active fan, but enjoyed his music as a child, and in recent years there are some albums I have and listen to. He was – I believe – jailed for drug crimes in the intermediate period. I don’t read gossip magazines, and living in exile it’s hard to keep up with all the news.

It didn’t worry me, nor did it surprise me. I don’t go around thinking his singing is connected with his private life or whether he is a nice person. The songs are the same, with or without the drugs/jail connection. Equally, I don’t feel my childhood enjoyment of his music has been tainted by the drugs news.

But perhaps you can tell where I’m going with this? Rolf Harris; a man I have admired and whose work I have enjoyed for so long.

When the news first appeared about the accusations of sex crimes, I hoped they were wrong, and worried about what would happen. Now, though, I couldn’t care less about him. Not only have I made the journey from fan to non-fan, but it all seems very plausible and far easier to ‘accept’ than I ever thought it would.

You see films where the other convicts spit in the food served to child abusers. I’m guessing this is what I’m feeling. There are crimes that you can see as merely crimes, and then there are other crimes that are something else entirely. I have to admit that I never worried too much about what to think of Gary Glitter. As a teenager I liked his singing well enough, but that ended and his criminal career has not caused me to dwell on what I think of him.

In both cases there are young people who have been abused. That’s very important to remember. But then there are the fans, who possibly never saw their star perform live, or at least never spoke to them.

We have a past, that now has changed. We liked someone we would never have liked, had we known. When the news first appeared, I didn’t know how I would feel about my Rolf Harris CDs.

I do now.

They will have to go, just like all everything else this man created in his life, and which people all over the world are ditching. Either because they want no connection with him, or because you can’t continue enjoying what you once liked.

So many children – and adults – have had their memories tainted. I have decided to let my earlier blog posts remain for the time being. I somehow feel I don’t want to be forced to erase my own past, even though my feelings and opinions have changed. And now I understand why Rolf Harris looked so stiff and was in such a foul mood at the last concert at the Lowry. I was just too polite, and too much of a fan, to draw attention to it.

I shouldn’t have been.

My big fear is finding out who will be next. I very much doubt this is all there is. We will find more heroes with feet of clay. The question is who.


Weatherly and Carroll are 97

Vance and DiNozzo

That’s together. Separately the ‘real’ DiNozzo is 46 while ‘Director’ Vance is 51. Happy Birthday, boys!

I’m hoping filming of NCIS season 12 has just started, or is about to, very soon. The more popular something gets, the harder it is to find information. I’m not exactly counting the days until September, but I’d like to know things are back to normal.

Meanwhile, let’s blow those candles out.