This day ten years ago I noted that people were starting to pay attention to global warming.

Ten years later we’ve gone from attention to climate anxiety. Tens of thousands of fruit bats dropped dead from a single heat wave, literally dropping from the trees by the dozens. Another heat wave going on right now is so bad that fruit is cooking on the trees.

And what are we doing? Still mining and burning coal. Still driving gasoline powered cars, and buying more of them. Still flying to Thailand to “treat yourself”. Still waiting for someone else to do something.

Our garden is still covered by a good 15 cm of snow with no signs of spring, but the first snowdrops are out at Spånga Torg.

It’s fascinating that they can feel spring in the earth, despite the snow covering them.

I am a sweet snob. I find most candy – and biscuits and cakes – not worth eating. Good quality dark chocolate is one notable exception – in the shape of both bars and truffles/pralines (the Belgian kind, with a soft flavoured filling inside a chocolate shell).

My favourite maker of pralines is Chokladfabriken, a Swedish firm. In part because they make really good ones, and in part because they have a shop at St. Eriksplan, which was very close to my previous office. I could easily pick up pralines on my way home from work.

Then I changed jobs and lost my easy access to Chokladfabriken, and there was a serious chocolate drought at home. Even the children – who have learned to appreciate the pralines, especially Adrian – started telling me they missed the pralines, even though they are quite happy to eat the standard cheap sugary stuff as well.

And now I found out that the new office is right around the corner from another Chokladfabriken shop. They have three shops in Stockholm, and I’ve had the luck to move from near one to even nearer another. I’m happy again.

The day has come (and passed) when the sun actually reaches our kitchen window over the neighbours’ house in the afternoon. It still went behind the roof last weekend but above it today so the turning point was some time this week.

In Swedish I think of it as vårtakjämning. The vernal equitectum doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. In Estonian perhaps katuseharjapäev, to go with taliharjapäev?

Life changes:

  • Changed jobs. Left ReQtest, which had changed beyond recognition during the past year, and joined tretton37 as a consultant.
  • Started playing Pokemon Go. Which is definitely not in the same category as a new job, but it’s something that is a part of my life now that I used to think I’d never do. But Adrian and Ingrid started, I sort of joined half-heartedly and passively, then Eric wanted to see it was all about, which made me start playing “for real” – and here we all are. I have mixed feelings about the game. I like it because it’s something that gets us all out of the house on those gray days. But I also dislike it because it’s such an attention magnet.


  • Learned F#. I undertook this as a mini-project during my first few weeks at tretton37 while I had no client project to work on. It was quite a struggle at first, since I was determined to write “proper”, functional F# rather than following the imperative patterns I am used to. But it got easier with time. I can’t think of a situation where I would choose to use it “for real” but it was interesting to learn.
  • Planted two sections of hedge.

Memorable events: mostly travels.

And two more distant events:

  • The terror attack in central Stockholm in April. Not an event I particularly want to remember, and not one that touched me personally – but a sign of the times.
  • The new commuter train stations in Stockholm. A mundane change that I am nevertheless reminded of daily.

Trying to fit all the gifts under the tree. (Which is already shedding needles like crazy.)

Two new stations were built this summer for the commuter train system, one at Stockholm City and one at Odenplan.

The one at Odenplan replaces Karlberg which is the station I used to commute to, so I pass it on my way to and from work (whenever I’m not cycling). It’s got fancy barriers along the platforms, with doors that open to match the train doors.

The other new station, Stockholm City, I haven’t passed through more than once or twice. I rarely have business in central Stockholm. But today I went shopping. (A shop selling outdoor clothing and equipment had a massive sale.)

My overwhelming impression is of spaciousness and light. And escalators. Many, many, many long escalators.

During my summer vacation, I picked up crosswords as a new pastime. After all the pressure at work in June, I needed/wanted something that occupied my brain but at the same time wasn’t useful or productive in any way. It mustn’t feel like work.

I quite like the crosswords that Dagens Nyheter publish during the weekend.

They grade their puzzles on a four-step scale. By now, after weeks of practice, I can mostly finish level three crosswords on my own, only using a thesaurus or a crossword helper site for the last few weird words. The level four puzzles are super hard, and I wouldn’t get anywhere with those using just my own brain – I use every tool I can find, short of asking someone else to solve the clues for me. (Which you can actually do – I discovered there are forums on the Internet where you can ask for help with specific crossword clues.) And still it takes me several days to finish one, off and on, if I succeed at all.

Now I’m back at work. This week, two of the remaining 5 developers joined me in quitting (and two more are clearly heading towards the exit door as well). So the work we are now focusing on is transferring our knowledge about everything to the team in India who will be taking over after us, which means lots of meetings and lots of documentation. This is incredibly boring and I’m finding it hard to remain motivated. In the afternoon, having already spent hours on writing documents, I’m just sitting there, yawning.

To keep awake, I have actually started doing crosswords during work hours. Five minutes here and there, when I feel that I just cannot concentrate on yet another bullet list, makes a difference.