Where Streets have no Name


No, this is not about the U2 song. This is a street sign in my hometown of Härnösand, Sweden.


I honestly have no idea about the history behind this choice of name but at least it’s kind of … original.

Namnlösa Gränd is in an area that actually was saved from the tearing-down mania that seemed to rage  through Sweden, and probably other countries in Europe during the 60’s.

One little part of our beautiful town was saved. Many other parts, that I do remember, were torn down to make place for rather dull, stereotyped buildings. Even the old hotel, which was really beautiful.

I left Härnösand a little more than six years ago, and before I left I didn’t own a digital camera. Besides, I didn’t have any great interest in photography. We did get a digital camera at work, which I borrowed a few times and shot pictures of my cat.

Now … with my newly won interest for photography, and also because I’m not there anymore … I often think of all the buildings and streets I would have loved to shoot.

The other day, I heard that U2 song, which led me to think about Namnlösa Gränd. I googled it but didn’t get any good hits – I’m not really sure if it is an official street name that is approved by the city council but that doesn’t really matter. It has been there for as long as I can remember.

Got this bright idea, that I could ask my friend, Elisabeth, who now is on my Facebook list, to go there and shoot a picture of the sign and the little alley itself. Elisabeth is a friend, with whom I’ve sort of renewed contact with … her being on Facebook has made my whole FB experience much more positive. I wasn’t much into it before.

She didn’t even know about Namnlösa Gränd, so this was a win-win situation LOL. Now she knows and I got the pictures!




This whole area where this alley is located, is called Östanbäcken. It’s a small area, with a few, likewise small, streets in it. As I google it right now, I’m surprised that not more is written online about it because it’s of great, historic interest.

These old, wooden houses, date back to  after 1727. That was the year when a big fire devastated the city. One of the streets … Telegraph Alley can actually be found in an old map from 1699.

This area is in the very center of town, and it’s a quite amazing feeling to just walk around a corner from the busy street life in town, and enter Östanbäcken … you feel like you’re taken aback to a different world … a different life.

The name … Östanbäcken would translate to Easterbrook. There’s a subterranean brook in Härnösand, hence the name … it’s located east of this brook.




If I could have any Job…

I know what job I would like, but to know what I’m talking about you almost need to have seen the show Criminal Minds.

The [sometimes] red-head there, Penelope Garcia … who does all the computer stuff — that’s the job I want! Especially, had I been born later and hence been more knowledgeable about computers and networks.

This doesn’t mean that I would like to be like Penelope’s persona … it’s her job I’m after! 🙂

It appeals to me for many reasons. It’s fast paced — I used to be a bit of an adrenaline junkie — and I would get to work in a ‘digital environment’, so to speak.

Sometimes, I think a certain amount of stress can be good when you work — not too much, though.

This crime show always has exceptionally gruesome crimes/murders and it’s nothing for the faint of heart. Normally, it wouldn’t be my type of show but somehow I like it … I guess it’s the team, the human interactions that make it interesting to me. The first, main, character they had there … Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) even quit the show, partly due to the gruesomeness of it all. There are times when I wonder what it’s like inside the heads of the people who write all this stuff up?! Did they dream it all up, or is it based somehow on reality?! I don’t know…  Some of the episodes are so far out so it seems impossible that someone could fantasize them.

Another time, I’ll write about my most dreaded job. There are many that I dread, but there’s one that stands out like a beacon. This was a topic suggestion by WP long time ago. I had saved it for a rainy day and today IS a rainy day.

If you haven’t seen the show I hope you’ll follow the two links … otherwise it makes no sense at all.

the return of the poppy

Some time ago, I downloaded GIMP. It’s an open-source photo editor, and it’s free.

Have had it before, but it’s been a long time and I found it too confusing back then. Thought I’d give it a try again since it’s constantly being updated and I like to see what’s going on.

It was like a whole different world opened up and most of it I didn’t understand. Thought I’d make an attempt at creating my usual, blue orb at least…. just to see what I could do with it.

There would be a lot to learn to take full advantage of it, and I don’t know that I’ll even start, but I’ve seen amazing work being created with it.

made from scratch in PSP, by meI have another photo editor, for whatever little editing I do. While Gerry was in France, I tried once again, to get back into creating graphics, but it just didn’t work. It can’t be forced.

I love the idea of GIMP, though … the fact that it’s free for everyone to download. You don’t have to be «filthy rich» to create graphics, when you’re so inclined! There are others too … paint.net, aviary, pixlr just to mention a few…

made from scratch in PSP9I’ve never picked up a paintbrush in my whole life … I’ve done some pencil drawing … but I did do some «virtual» painting for a while. It was a lot of fun, but also difficult, using just the mouse. Sometimes rewarding. This poppy, and the lilies too, I made totally from scratch. If I’d been into painting in ‘real life’, so to speak, Georgia O’Keefe would have been my inspiration. Now, when I’ve been searching for my own images for this post, I can still remember how much fun I had making these… I didn’t know about Georgia O’Keefe when I made these. Found out about her in some graphics challenge we had back in Yahoo 360. What a revelation that was to me! A person who had already painted what I wanted to do.


In all the posts I’ve read about ‘better blogging’ they tell you that you must ask yourself what the goal with your blog is, and that it must have content. I’ve talked about the goal part before … deep down I think I want to re-create what we had in Yahoo 360 … a sense of community, and bunch of online buddies communicating. Now, in hindsight, that seems to be really unique, what happened there, and Yahoo will never know what they missed by shutting it down.

I understand that people seem to be obsessing over blog traffic and statistics, but I don’t get it … what fun is traffic if they don’t say anything? In the other place, while I had the self-hosted wordpress, I had this gadget where you could see where the visitors came from — I don’t have that now, I have the flag counter instead… but I kept looking at that thing and found it very intriguing. They came from all corners of the world, never said a word, and I kept wondering what they thought and how they ended up at my page.

This isn’t just about goals for blogging. A friend of mine … here in Saint John, has a great blog and there she has posted a 101 list … 101 things she wants to do in 1001 days. I don’t have anything like that … I have one thing though: I want to see NYC before I die. That’s not totally out of reach. In a future post, I’ll explain the URL for this blog … i95ride.wordpress, that’s also something that I could have put on my list.

If I’d had a list like that earlier in life, I would have put in something that had to do with self-esteem. Used to have some issues with that and twelve years ago, or so, I doubt I would have had a blog like this online. It took a long time, and a lot of pondering and self-doubt before I even showed my newly won, online buddies a picture of myself. I used to feel that everyone was so much better/smarter than I. There were times when I was really down in the drains …when I could walk in to, for example, a convenience store … some young girl working there, and I would think: ‘I could never be able do a job like that!’ This was until I came to some kind of insight that I’m not better than anyone else, but I’m not any worse either, and I can do anything if I really want to. And more importantly: «You can’t please them all!» It’s still very fragile, though … and there are still times when I have to remind myself of those statements.

Now I sense that I’m getting closer to that thin, red line for how personal I want this to be. I could easily write two thousand words about this and bore people to death, but McDuff is sitting here with a demanding look on his face … wanting me to get off the couch. This is where I found him yesterday and he didn’t even look up at me 🙂


After typing up the previous post, I had breakfast and was going to have a shower. In the bathroom, I realized it could do with a little vacuuming as some cat sand had splashed out on the floor. Thought it would be a good idea to take care of that before the shower.

Brought out the vacuum. Cat went into hiding as soon as he laid eyes on it. Vacuumed the bathroom floor, that took just a minute, so I thought since the vacuum was already out, I might as well take a little under the kitchen table and the kitchen itself.

I vacuumed the whole apartment. While I was at it, I cleaned the ceiling fan, saw some dust on the long curtain rod in the drawing room that sure needed to be taken care of. Brought out the little step ladder and held the vacuum as I cleaned off that rod. Noticed that the blinds were full of dust too. Phew!

The vacuum bag was full and had to be replaced. Where were the new ones?! That is one thing I’m never really sure of … where I put the vacuum bags. Weird, but I found them eventually.

Finished off all the vacuuming, went back into the bathroom, noticed that the sink wasn’t exactly sparkling, so I cleaned that off with some scrubbing bubbles. Thought that while I was at it, why not clean off the whole tub?! More scrubbing bubbles.

Filled up a pail with water and Lysol, washed the bathroom- and kitchen floor and now I’m back on the couch … panting!

I still haven’t gotten into the shower.

Reading blogs and going grocery shopping

The other day, I came across this post [one of many, entertaining posts in that blog] — if you can find the time; read it, you won’t regret it 🙂

image from Wikimedia

Then, a while later, I went down to the local grocery store to pick up a few items that I needed. The store was really crowded — the quest for food was going on, big time! A number of children –I didn’t count them — were screaming and crying but as I had just read that blog post, I was totally cool with that. Isn’t blogging a wonderful thing?! 🙂

Arrived at the check-out, waved my card a little to see if she wanted to scan it, if I should insert the chip or slide it through the reader … it seems to be different nowadays in each store, and sometimes different from time to time in the same store! If nothing else, I put the magnetic strip the wrong way…

Everything went so smooth and annoyance free … smiled at the guard as I walked out and he smiled too.

While I was reading the post I linked to in the first paragraph, I was reminded of an episode in a grocery store, long time ago. It was the day before Midsummer, which is a really big holiday in Sweden. My town is really small — most people used to know one another, or at least of one another. I was waiting in line at the check-out and the lady working there wasn’t known for being any bundle of chuckles normally, but today she was worse than ever. She personified the whole concept of being tired and worked out, annoyed. I was watching as she rolled her eyes when a customer didn’t have a pen and was going to write a check [one of my mother’s pet peeves] … and so on.

When it was my turn, I said hi to her, and she answered with an unintelligible growl or something. I paid for my stuff, then I flashed a big smile at her and said «Happy Midsummer!!!» It was pure pleasure to see how she froze for a split second in the midst of handing me the receipt … then she burst out laughing and said happy Midsummer to me.

Busy Lifestyle

The more blogs I read, the more I realize how fortunate I am. Most people seem to be in constant lack of time! Life has its phases, and the «busy phase» is definitely a time of the past for me. Besides, as I [by choice] don’t have children, it was never really all that busy. Now that I don’t work anymore, I can spend hours online if I feel like it, or do anything I want. Not many people are that lucky. Again — life has its phases, and work was good and interesting, even fun at times! There were mornings, while I was walking to work, pondering how few people that could feel that it was actually going to be fun to get to work! So many people suffer through eight hours a day, to put food on the table.

The last eight years of my working life, those walks to work meandered through a residential area. Old homes, with lush, well groomed gardens — no dandelions there — and neat houses … everything looked so fine so one could easily be fooled to believe that everyone must be happy in there. I worked in a small, medical clinic — part of its «catchment area» was this where I walked, so I knew a lot — sometimes it felt like too much — of what was going on in the way of illnesses and abuse. The façades can be so deceiving and I sometimes imagined lifting them off on a Friday night.

Looking back at other phases of my life, I wonder how I survived, but the funny thing is that when you’re in the midst of it you just don’t seem to notice! It’s only in hindsight it seems that way.

It seems, it’s not only while walking my thoughts wander … it’s also while typing. My point with this post was merely to say how thankful I am that I can spend as much time as I want to on this … it’s a lot of fun to do this blog-a-day-challenge and I don’t have to struggle to find time to type up a few lines. This is my morning pleasure, while sipping my coffee.

The little dandelion here above, had managed to get out through a crack in the concrete on the sidewalk … I thought it looked like one of those smilies we see around the web … like it was peeking out through all the grey to brighten up our day and was definitely worthy of a picture and a smile 🙂

Walking in the Rain

Lily Lake in Rockwood Park

Yesterday started out promising, with a glorious sunrise. After having my little breakfast, I decided to take a walk to Rockwood Park … take some photos, get some fresh air.

I’ve never walked there before — always ridden the car. Have you noticed how close most things seem to be when you always go there by car?! With our proximity to the park, I’d figured it would take me ten minutes, at the most, to walk there. The walk took thirty minutes, and I walk at a rather fast pace.

Had almost forgotten how nice it is with a good walk, when you do it for pleasure … not because you have to be somewhere at a given time. You just put one foot in front of the other and let your thoughts wander. I’m a really good multi-tasker so I can walk and think at the same time 😆 Was thinking a little about this type of blogging and various topics popped up in my mind. Decided against most of them, thinking ‘nah … that’s way too personal’. There’s always that fine line … the balance I want to keep, as I don’t know who’s reading. There’s no way I can know how my words are perceived. Over the years, it has felt like I’ve known people online, but it never beats knowing someone ‘in real life’.

I’d only reached Somerset when I felt a raindrop on the tip of my nose. Could have turned around there, but  thought ‘I’ll wait and see how bad this will get’, and walked on. Only a few drops fell, well … quite a few when I reached the actual park, and then I came back home again. Not many pictures taken … hardly any at all. Talked a little with a mother and her three, young sons. They’d walked all the way from downtown.  A taxi was idling outside Lily’s Café and I was almost tempted, but then I thought: ‘what the heck is wrong with me?! I have two, healthy legs, just hoof it!’, and afterwards I was glad I did.

Today isn’t any better … fog and drizzle. A good day to spend on the couch.

Ring the Bells – (via Touch2Touch)

Trying something new [new to me] here … «reblog».

I liked this post so much, I was meaning to link to it, and then I found this reblog function was already in place.

If you can find the time, these few minutes will be well spent, listening to these powerful lyrics by Leonard Cohen.

Ring the Bells - Perfection, if it COULD be achieved, might not be such a blessing. Take it from songwriter/poet Leonard Cohen: Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, There is a crack in everything, That’s how the light gets in. —- Leonard Cohen And then when you’ve got a minute or ten, and are up … Read More

via Touch2Touch