Mother Earth Day

The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth –  Thich Nhat Hanh

Another Masterpiece – Chernobyl

“We are dealing with something that has never occurred on this planet”

My husband and son just returned from Chernobyl last week – very taken with the 2 day tour and all the haunting sights. We all watched this series together this week. If you have not seen it yet – please do.

Among my friends, I have one of the first men who detected and reported the heightened radiation level in Sweden. He still remembers the chills along his spine in that moment. And I remember well when we all got the information from media. (The reindeer up north were forbidden food for many years after…) In February the same year, Olof Palme was murdered…Was this the beginning of the end of the world?

On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Soviet Union suffered a massive explosion that released radioactive material across Belarus, Russia and Ukraine and as far as Scandinavia and western Europe. Chernobyl dramatizes the story of the 1986 accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and the sacrifices made to save Europe from the unimaginable disaster.

The number of lives lost are estimated to somewhere between 4000 and 93000. The official number from Russia is 31.


It recieved  a total of 10 Emmy Awards. Brilliant acting and as we all know – reality is more chilling than fiction. You cannot stop watching…despite the horrible scenes.

Craig Mazin and Johan Renck have created a masterpiece, in large part on the recollections of Pripyat locals, as told by Belarusian Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich in her book Voices from Chernobyl. Material also from the scientist Valery Legasov (superbly played by Jared Harris), the deputy director of the Kuchatov Institute brought in to aid cleanup efforts.

Watch it.

Contemplate the future, and the cost of lies.



A Masterpiece – Good Omens

Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett wrote Good Omens, released 1990, when my daughter was born. So I missed out on it then. This summer my daughter and son made me read it, and we have watched the 6 piece adventure streamed from Amazon.

I simply LOVE it! The way I loved Narnia and JRR Tolkiens masterpiece about the Ring. But this one is hilariously funny as well. My student’s were more or less forced to read Gaiman’s books, but I was less into Pratchett.  But now – I have to read him as well. This series is a tribute to Pratchett from Gaiman.

I totally fell in love with the series – with a master cast (Cumberbatch, Jacobi, Richardson, etc.) …and Queen’s music. Michael Sheen and David Tennant – they could not have chosen a more suitable pair for the leading parts of Aziraphale the angel and Crowley the demon.

For 6000 years they have known each other, and have come to love us humans…with all our faults and errors…so when Armageddon is nigh, they have an agreement to save the world together.  No matter what their ”bosses” say.  And important roles for the outcome are played by young children – at the age of 11. (When I grew up, they said 11 was a crucial age. You will see how…). A timely novel and movie indeed!

Now, just enjoy this, my favourite fan youtube clip – with Belinda Carlisle’s hit from my younger days: Heaven is A Place on Earth!

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge – Turning Point

Amanda (Something to Ponder About) asks us: ”Have you ever experienced a ‘Sliding Door’ moment? Those moments when you made a choice in life, that led to significant changes for you?”

I have always loved the movie, Sliding Doors, and seen it several times over the years. Gwyneth Paltrow is never wrong either.

But first – in the header – the biggest turning point in my life was the arrival of the children. Nothing in life makes a greater difference.  Then, over to more – and different – turning points.

Highgate Cemetery, and cemeteries in general, have always attracted me. This beauty was hidden for many years, found in 2013, sleeping below the ivy. Things hidden can be things of beauty – and a given turning point. I read about those who found her, and felt instant love. She was made out of one, single piece of marble.

I have always wanted to believe…I was a firm believer as a child, but in the 4th grade my new teacher told me Jesus must have been a healer using natural medicines – no wonders, nothing. Maybe he hadn’t ever existed?

My whole world crumbled, and I felt cheated by everyone – because school, science and the teachers had all the answers…And still today, I cannot believe in God. I am more of a Buddhist, a Pantheist, but that is my firm ground and belief.

Becoming a teacher has given me so much more of life than I had ever expected. And it was a decision I never thought I would make. Only a short week jumping in for another teacher, made me decide. I have never regretted it!

Finally – back to the movies… children we all have a craving for magic. The books about Harry Potter filled that gap for more than one generation. Not to speak of Tolkien and C.S.Lewis… I guess they meant a turning point for many children (and grown-ups…), and for literature in general.

So, Cheers to the Magic in our lives!

CFFC: Letter W

Letter W – Needs to start with W and have two vowels in the word (window, wheel, wagon, working, weather, woodshed, woman)


In the header – Wisteria – a favorite flower in every respect!


Woman. One of my favorites -a collegue of mine, waiting for Heathcliff on the moors!

Window. From a silent, late evening walk in the old part of Riga.

It Is All About… Books!

Books, books…art and culture. One of the reasons to why I love visiting the eastern countries in Europe is just that. I get my share of childhood joy and my faiblesse for books.

Inside, there are more than 8 million books. Just think about all the catalogues there must be…these were only a few. Do you remember the era before the digital boom?


This is the outside of the National Library. Slightly resemblance to…books on shelves?

The outdoor book market was a dream – even though I did not understand much and could not buy that many books. You can always look, and be tempted! As you can see in the header, many other things could be bought here as well.


The ordinary library for grown-ups had a typical touch of the communist era. (Bulgaria was not liberated until the 1980’s.) Colours, shelves, floor and …books. Almost all the books were paperbacks – no hardbacks. And they were all ”well” read.

Even the benches outside were dedicated to books!

The entrance to the childrens library had an unmistakable sign…our Swedish Pippi Longstocking. Did you know she has been translated into 92 different languages? Astrid Lindgren still belongs to the future!

The children’s library was much more modern, and the reading rooms had furniture and curtains from IKEA.

The ladies working here were very helpful and informative. We had an invigorating chat about children and books. No problem in this country with reading – most children love it. And for small children the books are free to borrow. Older children had to pay a very small sum/year.

Beware of book worms – Bulgaria is a dream country!





Cultural Café

We wanted to visit the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, but it was closed and a veritable construction site. I was dying for a nice cup of coffee along with some cultural events…but the building seemed totally abandoned.

Nothing wrong with a construction site…if you can find a place like this when you step down into the underground..

A slight drizzle, and my stomach was making sounds…but when we had totally given up on this place and walked down some steps to get to the street again – suddenly there emerged a big window with BOOKS. From nowhere. Nothing with books can go wrong, so we opened the door and stepped inside…

…a café! A place reminding me of my university years with not too expensive coffee’s, nice company and working in two’s or more. My eyes and spirits went up and I just took it in…..feeling the coziness and the warmth instead of the by now rather chilly, hostile weather outdoors.

We stayed for an hour at least and left with big smiles on our faces ;-D

It went on drizzling – but we felt good all the way home! Keep reading! And…some tea is OK as well…

Seven Day B&W Photo Challenge – Day 4

I was invited by Raj (XDrive)to join the Seven Day B&W Photo Challenge. (Thank you, Raj)
  The Rules are

• Seven days.
• Seven black and white photos of your life.
• No people.
• No explanation.
• Challenge someone new each day
Today I would like to challenge Ninna at Words&Pics
Ninna, participate only if you have time, no compulsion. Men du är bara bäst – och jag såg att du gjorde ”ingenting” just nu!