This spot is dedicated to the world and how I see it.

Monday, December 25, 2006

25 December

It's the best Christmas gift I got this year-it's not a wrapped gift under the Christmas tree but rather fantastic - and highly unexpected - costumer service. Costumer service is one of these things that frequently shines with its rude absence. But not for us last week!

We took one of the last trains of the day from Glasgow Central to Prestwick village in order to stay the night in a Bed & Breakfast and catch an early flight. Just before bedtime we discovered that our backpack was missing. And, as could be expected at 10pm, the helpline for lost luggage was closed. Man, what were we to do?! I had personal stuff plus all my Christmas reading in that black Nike bag.

The best we could do was to get dressed and walk out in the chilly night, back to the deserted train station. I was thinking that we could catch the ticket controller or the conductor of the next train begging them for help. Long wait. No train either.

Until we discovered a Help Point panel with two buttoms, one of which was "For assistance"... I had always thought these existed for calling the police when there is an assault. But how wrong I was. A friendly voice appeared 1 second after I had pressed the rusty buttom. I explained the situation in a voice of despair - what worse sign could there be at the beginning of the holiday than to lose my personal things before even reaching the airport?

The Help Point voice located the bag to Ayr, two stations away. We jumped on the next train, travelled 10 minutes, ran to the lost property shed...and there it was! Untouched. We were so touched by the incredibly professional and helpful service. These things don't happen every day.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

16 December 2006

This little baby owl was doing much better than the baby hedgehogs are doing at the moment.
We say him, sitting on an old piece of wood, in an old mosque in the Atlas mountains in Morocco. When he (or she) turned its head and looked at me I thought it was the cutest creature I've ever seen in my life. It almost made be believe in God/Allah/whoever - how are nature's gorgeous lives created? There must be some bigger plan behind it all.

16 December 2006

Take a look at this cutie baby hedgehog to the left!
These little creatures, and their mothers, are causing some attention in the news at the moment. Hedgehogs are the only European mammals that hibernate. Depending on the weather and temperature they "sleep" between November and early April. Or actually, this state is closer to being dead than asleep - they breath once every five minutes!
Hedgehoge mummies abandon their babies for their necessary sleep. Animal and wildlife centres across the UK are receiving 100s of little abandoned babies (who have been lucky enough to be rescued) who need somewhere warm to stay over the winter. They are too small to survive their first winter alone in the nature. If they survive, next year they may weigh 1.5 kgs and can face the long winter more independently.

15 December 2006

One person usually asks me trivial questions like "what are/were you up to tonight/this weekend", "will you be sad to move away from your flat" or "have you bought all your Christmas presents yet"? When I answer his questions, and look at his body language and I get the impression that he is not in the slightest interested: His eyes are wandering to his computer screen, far away from (attentively) listening to me. So, since I know he is not interested anyway I usually asnwer "yes thanks I had a good weekend" and quickly turn around the question. He then elaborates in great lenghths on his whereabouts.

The proportion of our conversation is 1/10. I am almost convinced that he asks me about my whereabouts because he dies to tell me about his. Is that annoying, normal or am I just cynical?!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

14 December 2006

Yesterday was the 13 December. This day means a lot to us Swedes. In these cold dark December days when the sun hardly rises (or sets for that matter) Sankta Lucia comes with candles in her hair to save us all from this misery. She sings a tune, brings lussekatter (sweet safron-bread) and offers gloegg (mulled wine). She's great. It helps to have a tradition which marks midway, kind of "time out", which symbolises that that eternal darkness can't get worse now: The earth has reached its maximum distance away from the sun now and soon we'll have some light again. It's the right time to be cosy inside, hybernating and drinking gloegg.

The met-office just informed the joyeous citizens of Scotland (I read this the Scottish version of The Times) that we haven't had one rain-free day for 40 days! People do like talking about the weather in the UK, yes, but there is a reason for that: it changes every 5 minutes, literally. And it is extreme. How often do you see people leaning against the wind on street corners?! It's pretty, pretty, pretty miserable, as Larry David would express it.

The article following the met office's uplifting news, reported that the bears in Moscow Zoo are failing to hybernate this year. It's too warm. Moscovites are happy about not having to wear their gloves and hats (especially after that period of cold last winter when it was so cold that even electrical cables froze-and broke) but just think about the bears for a second. Imagine not being able to hybernate... I hope they will be able to sleep a bit at least. At the same timesmany of their friends the polarbears in Canada have to survive the winter wihtout snow.
My thoughs are with these beautiful creatures.