Ett Bättre År – A better – Une meilleure – Ein besseres – Un año mejor 2021

Gott nytt år – Bonne Année – Happy New Year – Feliz año nuevo

In the beginning of the Christmas days we had heavy snow, that melted within 24 hours. Arriving by boat to the island we had to dig for our bikes. At the house, a streak of light on the horizon.

For everyone this has been a very different year.
As for us, we spent most of our time at home on Södermalm, and also on our island Runmarö. Working from home, with occasional meetings in the office or at school.
We did not go to Copenhagen like we use to do. Neither to my home province Värmland and home town Säffle. But below there are some links to events and music related to ’Dear Old  Värmland’. Enjoy!
I hope your year 2020 was fruitful in one way or another and that you are all healthy and will stay so.  And we will meet again!
Warmest regards,  Åke & Co

Ways to learn and keep in touch with Värmland. The province of poets.

Spotify – Värmlandsvisan, or as the jazz community  calls it ’Dear old Stockholm’ Listen and enjoy Stan Getz, Miles Davis, Scot Hamilton …

Advent calendar by the young ones in Säffle’s Cultural and music  school. In 24 short videos they show what they leart – wonderful!

Kompisarna (The Friends) is a band from Värmland and Säffle, several of them are my friends. December 19 there was a live streamed concert from the church in Säffle, while money was collected for those in need. As of today 135 000 SEK have been collected.  Start listening 30 minutes into the video.

Bengt Berg, old  friend, and poet from northern Värmland, was reading poems all along the month of December, here his December 24 poetry reading and reflections, and even song! There are 23 more videos on Bengt’s facebook  (in Swedish)

Back in Stockholm, on youtube a live streamed New Years Eve concert from the Royal Academy of Music (Musikaliska).  … And by the way, our co-housing unit here, our living community Tullstugan has a new facebook page. Come visit, and like our page. And post-corona perhaps also in real life.

Approaching New Years eve Klara thought I needed a haircut. There was storm,20 meters/second, the wind was blowing and so was my hair both uncut on my head and blowing in the wind. The result was excellent I think. With the new haircut we welcome the new year hoping for the best for all of us.

         

’Zetterlunden’ in Stockholm inaugurated, in memory of jazz vocalist Monica Zetterlund – and meeting someone from forty years ago

What’s on my mind Facebook asks as soon as you open your account? Monica is on my mind. The great, fabolous Monica Zetterlund, musician, jazz vocalist with a broad repertoire. One of those great cultural personalities from the province of Värmland – my province 😉 Others: Selma Lagerlöf, Gustaf Fröding, Göran Tunström…

Monica died five years ago A couple of weeks ago, a park in her memory, Zetterlunden in Stockholm city, was inaugurated with music and speeches, and with a beautiful wooden ’singing sofa’ with her songs playing as soon as someone sits in the sofa.- If you do not know her music, go to youtube or to www.spotify.se to listen free of charge. For example ‘Walz for Monica’ with Bill Evans, who changed the song title from ‘Walz for Debbie

The inauguration ceremony was complete, with music and a main speech by our beloved Hans Alfredsson, author, film director and ’stand up comedian’ (before we knew that is what he also is). Afterwards,in the bar of 18th century restaurant ’Claes på hörnet’ I had an extremely interesting conversation with someone I did not meet for several decades. In Göteborg (Gothenborg).

I studied at the School of Economics and he was part of a generation of young, progressive and brilliant actors. We, some students belonging to Värmland-Dals Nation (a social organization for students coming from those two provinces) located in a nice, old cellar on Lorensbergsgatan close to Götaplatsen and Stadsteatern/ the City Theater, now and then went to Stadsteatern together to see a play. We had invited some of the young actors for a dinner we had prepared in our cellar, we went there to lay the table and the young actors, our age, came, accompanied by Harry Ahlin, a distinguished actor/gentleman in his late 60’s. — In the bar now we talked about life and ambitions then, and life today. We talked about critical theatre and research then, and now. A reference point was August Strindberg’s ‘Mäster Olof’ about the young revolutionary priest Olaus Petri, and his being forced to compromise with the king …

We had food and wine or beer and aquavit and discussed theater and culture and academia – and politics! This was during the ’student revolution’! I had been as an exchange student in Paris i June-July 1968 – in May I was not allowed to enter France. The months in an internship in an EDF power plant and in a regional main office south of Paris were fascinating and I learned a lot about life, work and politics – But that is another story…