Thursday, September 15, 2011


When Jonathan Franzen, the popular American author visits the Gothenburg Book Fair  this year, he could devote some time to his hobby of bird watching. I recently discovered a couple of eagles nesting outside this magnificent doorway at the Old Telegraph Building in Gothenburg, built 1912. Earlier this year some lovely swallows were spotted on this fine building.

Image from Gothenburg Book Fair

I first got interested in Jonathan Franzen, lauded as a great contemporary American author, while watching this video that he very reluctantly participated in. I felt sorry for poor Franzen sitting there all forlorn in front of the camera -- like a bedraggled wet dog  forced to take a bath against his will -- protesting against recording this particular video which his publishing contract, no doubt, forced him to make. After registering his protest he chatted on about his book, not cracking a smile. This got me interested and I read and very much enjoyed two of his novels (THE CORRECTIONS and FREEDOM -- only recently translated into Swedish).

The Gothenburg Book Fair's theme is German literature this year. When Jonathan Franzen (who incidentally also speaks German)  comes to Gothenburg, the home of the car maker VOLVO and the publisher LEMONGULCHBOOKS, he will enjoy a charming city and is almost guaranteed anonymity as he is hardly known here yet. Plus there is plenty of Nature around. Maybe there will be some time for bird watching too?

Sunday, September 11, 2011


People who take many medicines can sometimes miss taking their medicines or take more than they should. Nurses can also make mistakes. In order to make dispensing medicine easier and safer, Swedish doctors can, if they wish, use the service, APODOS, that eliminates these mistakes. All medicine is packed in a long roll of small tear-off pouches for each time of day the medicine is to be taken. It is fantastic!
Here is the tear-off roll with the various medicines in small pouches.

Each pouch has the patients name and social security number and the name of the medicine as well as the day and time of day the medicine is supposed to be taken.

This pouch has seven different pills. Imagine how easy it is to forget one of them.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


The free IKEA FAMILY LIVE magazine arrived today. The issue deals with the challenge of living in a small place, but people today by no means face the same housing shortage as Britain did after the First World War. The 1920 Yearbook of THE STUDIO deals with "The Decoration & Furnishing of Small Rooms" and building economical concrete homes. 

The text above, and the illustrations, show he influence of the Arts and Crafts movement.


How many of these houses remain today?