Monday, March 13, 2006

Sunday, March 12

Late on Sunday morning, Johan and Johanna took me to an auction, north of Lindesberg. Auctions happen once a fortnight, inside a hall during winter and outside in a field during summer. Household items are sold, from random junk that belongs in an op-shop, through to more valuable dinner sets, antiques, collectables, and furniture. Like most people, Johan and Johanna look for bargains to furnish their home and an excuse to leave the house on the weekend. On this day Johan impulsively bid for some office furniture, even though he wasn't completely sure what it was. At 50 krona ($8-9) he wasn't picky. He was actually most keen on a painting of a moose that he had seen in the local paper, thinking that he might stretch to 2000 krona ($350), even though he said it wasn't quite anatomically correct. (A biologist would know.) It sold for 39000 krona (almost $7000).

Other highlights were an old pinball machine and a collection of 1960s Barbies, sold to a phone bidder for $100+ each. Who is so obssessed with retro Barbies that they phone bid at a small-town Swedish auction? I couldn't get the image of Waylon Smithers out of my head.

After lunch, Johan took me on my second skiing attempt around his house. I concentrated on my feet, following the tracks that Johan was making through the 50cm-deep snow. After a while I looked up and realised that I was in the middle of a field, at least 50 metres from the house and from the bordering spruce and pine trees. The sky was clear and the sun was shining. The only markings in the smooth marshmallow-y snow were the tracks created by our skis and Johan's dog, Astrid. It was beautiful.

I wish I had had my camera with me, but it would have been cold, wet and possibly broken by the time we finished if I had packed it. Johan led me through a patch of forest where I took on some mild slopes, got stuck several times and fell over a few more. The snow was sufficiently soft and deep that I emerged bruise-free, although my ankles suffered a few angles that they're not meant for. I would never have believed that my second unco-ordinated attempt at a winter sport would be so enjoyable. By the end of the day I'd seen hare, lynx and moose tracks, and a roe deer. (And now I've just written my first twitch-list. Damn.)


Anonymous Bev said...

What's a twitch-list?

12:09 am  
Blogger Cindy said...

A twitch-list is what separates the maths-nerds from the biology-nerds: a list of all the animal species you've seen (or often just birds). Birdwatchers all keep lifelong twitch-lists, and often daily ones as well. For more information, borrow "The Big Twitch" from Michael.

11:34 am  

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