H.E.A.T at Rockbåten, photo by Pär Altan

torsdag 20 juni 2013

Death and funeral

 My mother's coffin
I am so sorry but I haven't been able to write the last weeks.
Since I returned from Prague I went to Sundsvall for the annual meeting with the Rheumatic association but since Mom hadn't been feeling well I first tried to call her ward at the home for elderly but no-one answered despite trying 3 times. I then thought since they hadn't called us and said anything that she was worse, in fact they had said she was better, I assumed it was allright so I decided to go.
 Sundsvall, the view from the hotel
 Me and the chairman (woman) of our board
I flow up on Friday morning and we started our meeting after dinner. I woke up at 5AM and saw that I had a message on my phone. It was my sister H that texted me that Mom had died during the night. It was quite a chock although she had been ill in Alzheimers for several years. You are never ready for your loved ones to pass are you?
The family gathered at the grave before the funeral
Anyway I at once started calling my family to let them know. I called the undertaker and set up a meeting for Monday morning. Mom died the 7th or the 8th. We are not sure and the personal at the home weren't sure either. She died in her sleep, peacefully but with no-one beside her :-(

We wanted to have the funeral before Midsummer and this is quite a short time, just 12 days after passing. But we managed so today the 20th we said good bye to Mom in a beautiful ceremony with much dignity, warmth and in her spirit with wonderful singing.
 After we took the flowers to the grave

Last weekend all of my three boys, me and my sis emptied mothers room and my sister and I also met the priest at church and talked about mother and who she was and her life. He was wonderful, good hearted and really listened to us which showed today when he spoke about mother. He even got us to smile.
A wonderful vocalist who sang mother's favorite songs. The first one has a lyric that goes like this- Who can sail without a wind, who can row without oars, who can part from your friend without shreading tears. 
The second song was Je ne regrette rien by Edith Piaf and oh so true for mother. She never regretted anything.
The last of the secular songs was Bridge over troubled water.
And of course we also had psalms and since it's time of the year we sang about summer and about the love of God.
Parts of the family and also a couple of friends followed us to the grave before the memorial
After the ceremony we went to the grave with all the flowers before going to the memorial.

All in all it was a wonderful day of rememberance and thankfulness to a loved mother and despite us being so sad we also celebrated her life.

 Me and mother many years ago at Gotland. I think it was 1980

I have now been packing and tomorrow me, Hasse and Emil are going to Gotland to the summer house for 10 days vacation. I hope we will have some nice weather and I will try to report here.
Our beach at Gotland

Take care everyone and I wish you all a Happy Midsummer's Eve!

måndag 3 juni 2013

Prague part 2

Where did I left off? Oh yes, at Amade restaurant.

Well what did we do more? We went, of course, to the Charles bridge from the 14th century. It's just beautiful, full with statues and majestic gates in each ends. On the bridge I got to think of all of those who has gone there before us. Think 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th century. What that bridge must have seen. Women in long dresses, maybe horsedriven coaches, maybe lovers. The fantasty really got going there.

 Hasse with views on town and close to our hotel
 Jazzband playing on the bridge
 A newly wed couple by river Moldau and a lot of swans
The organ-grinder

There were a jazzband playing, an organ-grinder, dressed in clothes from old days, with a monkey (not real). A man playing glasses. Lots of painters and paintings for sale as well as crafts. Everywhere you went there were something to look at. And then I haven't even spoke about the views!
Stunning views of the Prague castle. Did you know the palace area is 70 000 square meters which makes it the biggest ancient castle in the world?(according to Guiness book of records)

Of course you pass over river Moldau when crossing. A big river where there are a lot of cruising boats taking tourists around while eating or digging music on board.

On the castleside of the bridge it's very beautiful and it even has canals between the houses there. And of course there are a padlock bridge. I saw the same in Riga when we were there last year. It is newlyweds that comes here and they close a padlock on the bridge to make the marriage last and not unlock.

We ate lunch on this side at a Mc Donalds. I know - that is horrible while in this beautiful city but we had walked a lot and were hungry and this was the easiest way. But Jo, you wouldn't have wanted to go there. It cost 10 Coronas to go to the bathroom!!! Even here, I thought it was just Sweden.
 We don't know what this was but everyone touched it and so did we. See how golden it is after all strokes :-)
 Hasse with the bridge
Me with one of the tourist boats in the background

Then we celebrated our 28th anniversary which is June 8 but since I'm on the Rheumatic union meeting in Sundsvall then we decided to celebrate here.

So we went to the no 1 restaurant in Prague, Bellevue, which was very close to our hotel. With a beautiful view of the Moldau river and if you sat at the right table views of the castle.
 The view from our table
Us sitting under the sun :-)

We were greated and seated within minutes. Then came a waiter with wet, warm towels so we could wash our hands. Then the next waiter came and asked if we wanted something to drink and we decided we would have a glass champagne. Very good but it was the most expensive I have ever had. One glas cost 165 SEK which in $ would be something like 25 $.
Then the next waiter came and took our orders. I had the veal fillet with truffle crest, potatoe puré, carrots and caramalised red onion. Everything cooked to perfection.
Hasse took Atlantic cod with safron potatoes and champagne sauce.
I had a Tjeck white wine out of Pinot Gris grapes and Hasse had, of course, beer.
 My veal
 Hasse's Atlantic cod

For dessert Hasse had homemade apple strudel with caramelfoam and walnutsauce and I had their famous fondant with chocolate "tsunami". Oh, my G that was good!! The best fondant I've ever had, including my own ;-)
 Hasse's apple strudel
My fondant with the "tsunami"

Even the toilet was worth a visit. Extremely big toilets, very fresh, terry towel and a fresh soap and handlotion. And it was free!

We had great weather really but on Thursday when it was time to go home it started raining and it has been raining ever since apparantly.

It was nice to be back home again but my Mom hasn't been well so I had to go down and see her which I did during the weekend. When I came to her she had a fever and I called the nurse so she could have some medicine. They have changed almost all personnal and they don't know Mom and because of that they don't know when she's ill. They thought she had given up and she hadn't been fed in two days!! The nurse on call is someone who knows Mom and she saw the same as I. She called me later on Sunday and said Mom had started eating again which makes me happy because that is what she needs.

Today work as usual and we had a fun day with a new employee and BBQ for lunch :-)

söndag 2 juni 2013

Back home after a wonderful week in Prague

Prague part 1.

Yes, we had wonderful days in Prague with gorgeous weather except the last day when it rained heavily.

When we arrived we were met at the airport by our driver who took us to our hotel in a Mercedes limo. On the way in to town you could see how beautiful the surroundings were. There are lots of parks just outside the city center.

The hotel, Pachtuv Palace, the former residence of Earl Karel Pachta, is a cultural and architectural landmark of Prague. It's made of 2 different palaces, one baroque-style built around a superb 18th century courtyard, the other one classical, with apartments overlooking the river and Prague's castle.
 Hasse and one of the cow sculptures :-)
 Hasse in one of the courtyards. Amazing and beautiful
 One part of the hotel. Imposing, don't you think?
 Lion fountin in the other courtyard
 One of all the sculptures in the courtyards
 Hasse on the landing. We actually accessed our room from outside this landing.
Our suite is the balcony below the white cow(!)

Pachtuv Palace was originally built in 1770 by architect Jan Josef Ulrch, for the Pachta family. It replaced a previous Palace that once belonged to the emperor Ferdinand II. It is typical of baroque architecture with its ornamental main gate, sculptured stairs and balconies.

In the middle of the 19th century, a classical Palace, Jiraskuv, was built on the riverside and connected to Pachtuv Palace.

Pachtuv Palace is closely linked with the most famous names of music. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a Prague fan, resided, composed and played there. He first came for a party and found himself “imprisoned” in a music salon for a few hours by Earl Pachta, who wanted his “Six Dances” order composed. In 1832, Wagner also resided in Pacthuv Palace.

The first day out on town we got lost. Yes you read right. It's kind of a small town but there were so many little streets and alleys and besides the language wasn't like anything else so we didn't understand a thing :-)
Anyway, we got to see a lot, more than we should maybe so after over 4 hours walking we were so tired. Hasse could hardly breath and I had so much pain in my feet joints. So we went back to the hotel and almost instantly fell asleep :-)
 A beautiful view
 T-Fords for sightseeing
 The world famous astronomic clock in Old Town
 Crowd waiting for the clock to strike
 Beautiful, beautiful facades

 My feet on the meridian on Prague's Old Town square
 Me and Hasse on the square
 Beautiful theatre which has been seen in quite a few movies
And from the side
At night we tried the hotel restaurant, Amade, which was very good and had a great service. It was also here we ate our breakfasts.

Amade, restaurant
To be continued........