On this day...
5 years ago: Seventy-two months

New gym clothes, new shoes, because Ingrid has outgrown the old ones. Size 35.5 in shoes, which I would never have expected! And everything has to be black and white, and she thinks the three stripes look pretty.

And off she rushes to her dance class.

Adrian rarely builds with the LEGOs he has, but the one thing he really wished for as a birthday present was a LEGO Chima set. The Chima series is my favourite as well. The zoomorphic shapes are interesting and intricately constructed. If they didn’t get all dusty, I’d be happy to have them as room decorations.

Adrian had his birthday party today. Outdoors, in the Ursvik recreation area. Games, an adventure trail, grilled hot dogs, cake, treasure hunt and all that.

We joined forces with the family of Adrian’s friend H, whose birthday is just two days before his, so all in all we had about a dozen six- and seven-year-olds running around, plus a couple of younger siblings. On the other hand, Ingrid helped out as game leader and kid wrangler. Surprisingly we managed to not lose any of them in the forest.

Summer is over and most of the tomatoes in the garden are still green. But the ones that are ripe taste delicious.

About halfway through my three-month notice period, my most important task at work is “knowledge transfer” to the team of developers in India who will be taking over after everybody here leaves. This process is not particularly organized, so meetings crop up at short notice and with no flexibility about timing, and get cancelled with equally little notice.

I used to have a regular gym schedule and now it’s all in shambles; I keep having to cancel my bookings, or vice versa, I don’t book a class because of a meeting in my calendar and then that meeting disappears.

This affects my well-being more than I had expected. I’m no gym nut; I am relaxed about my workouts – but especially this time of the year, and especially with the depressing work situation, not getting the exercise I’m used to is not good for my state of mind.

I did get to go to the gym today. Yay!

The mornings are cold. The porridge season has begun.

I have no energy. Nothing seems like fun. There is nothing in my life that feels like worth taking a photo of.

This tends to happen each autumn, so it’s no surprise. This time, work is particularly unfulfilling and drags me down even further.

It will pass.

My trench-digging project (for the hedge-planting project) is not going too well. All of June was lost to crises and panics at work. I hoped to catch up in September but now I’ve been sick with sinusitis and not doing much digging. Looks like I may have to postpone the planting until spring.

And in the meantime, the weeds are back. I cleared them out in May and promised myself to not underestimate their growing power again. Did I learn from that experience? Apparently not very much. Because now they have invaded again.

Those gloves for Adrian are more effort than I expected. This was my third attempt at knitting the fingers, and for the third time I ended up ripping them up. Too narrow, still too narrow, then too wide… knitting for small fingers with a thickish yarn, there is no margin of error. On the plus side, re-doing the fingers isn’t much work, because they are so small.

School has started and Adrian is in first grade. And seven years old. It strikes me how big he is, how much he’s grown, both physically and mentally.

He’s grown a lot over the summer and outgrown all his trousers. All the new ones we bought had to be soft and “not too tight, not too loose”. He agreed that it was good to have one pair of more durable trousers, for outdoors activities, but those had to have a soft jersey lining.

At school he is way ahead of the curriculum. At that personal development meeting, the questions the teacher asked to ascertain his maths skills were on the level of “how many fingers am I holding up” while he practices adding two-digit numbers in his head. The teacher asked if he could write his name, and at home he is reading chapter books.

In addition to school, swim school has started up again. The group he used to be in has its class way too late on Sunday evening so we switched him to a different one. He doesn’t like the new teachers and he doesn’t like the new pool so he’s not super happy about this.

A new addition this term is scouting. He’s been hearing about all the fun that Ingrid has for years, and has been looking forward to it for a long time. He had to admit he didn’t know exactly what scouts did… but he definitely wanted to do it. Now he is finally old enough to join the beaver scouts himself.

He is still full of restless energy. Unless he is focusing on something he is interested in, he talks all the time and fidgets all the time. At the “personal development meeting” at school, he was talking constantly and climbing around in the chair until he actually fell out of it. At swim school likewise the one voice that can be heard chattering loudly, almost without a pause, is Adrian’s. It is tiring. Sometimes when it gets too much I tell him to stop saying each thought out loud, but he soon starts again. I hadn’t noticed how much I had gotten used this noise until one of Ingrid’s friends spent the weekend with us and had to ask him several times to stop talking because she couldn’t hear herself think.

He talks because he cannot help it; all those thoughts need to come out. But he is also interested in words. He asks us about uncommon words he encounters – such as ish (yes, that word made its way into Swedish, too) and omfamna (“to embrace”) and anamma (which also happens to mean “to embrace” but in the non-physical sense, like you might embrace an idea, and which came up for discussion because it is part of one of Captain Haddock’s curses in Swedish) and genomsk├ąda (“to penetrate, to see through”). And afterwards he tries to actually use them in sentences. Instead of asking me for a hug, he now says he would like to embrace me.

Scars from an active life, and a juice moustache.
  • Favourite birthday present: two Nerf guns.
  • Favourite fruit: after half a year of almost nothing but Pink Lady apples, he now prefers clementines.
  • Favourite book: Beast Quest and Bamse are still best, but he is also really enjoying the book about Nordic myths and legends he got for his birthday.
  • Lessening interest: Pokemons, believe it or not.