Operationen har gått bra

Chris opererades på förmiddagen idag och operationen har gått bra. Chris mår utifrån omständigheterna bra och är vid gott mod. Han ligger på NIMA (neurokirurgens intermediärvårdsavdelning) och kollas regelbundet. Han kommer sedan att flyttas till en vanlig vårdavdelning, troligen imorgon. Besöksförbud råder i dessa tider.

Jag har pratat med honom och han hälsar till alla och tackar för allt stöd!

Jag passar också på att skriva, vilket Chris också bad mig om, att vi har startat en insamling på Hjärnfonden, riktad mot hjärntumörer. Insamlingen heter You’ll never walk alone. Om någon skulle vilja stödja den så uppskattas det mycket! Länk till insamlingen finns på startsidan på bloggen (“support research about brain tumours”).

Vid tangentbordet: Bitte

Goals for the future

Tomorrow at 5 am I will be woken up to prepare for my operation. I have mixed emotions about this. Firstly nervous, but mostly glad to get it done.

My attitude is to look beyond tomorrow and to plan for new challenges. I have decided to start with a “kort klassiker” comprising 10 km running, 30 km skiing, 100 km cycling and 1 km swimming. To get things moving along I started today with a 10 km run.

10 km in 63 minutes

The skiing will be in February. Let’s prepare for it.

Watch this space.

Pumpkin soup in the Autumn darkness

We were able ti harvest a single pumpkin from the four plants that we planted this Spring. It weighed in at just over 5 kg so we decided to have a family gathering with pumpkin soup and home made bread.

The soup is really easy: 1 pumpkin, 1 leek some carrots, spice with nutmeg, cayenne pepper, thyme and seasoned with salt. Add some cream just before serving.

Serve the soup with crisped cabbage, add company and you will have a great evening.

Musical evening in Gamla Uppsala

The Covid-19 pandemic put a stop even for small gatherings of people. This was definitely the case for myself and my very talented friends. Every second Tuesday I played in a brass sextet called Norbyturken (roughly translated as the Turks from Norby) and on the Tuesdays in between I played with another brass sextet called Sixten Lake (even more roughly translated as Sixten the burbot, or perhaps Lota lota Sixten). The advent of Covid-19 meant that we went into an indefinite hiatus. We did have online drinks every Tuesday just to keep in touch.

Spring and Summer came and went but the pandemic remained. Then we decided to at least have an open-air practice as Autumn approached. We gathered in the chaos of major maintenance work on our house for a couple of hours of light-hearted music.

Here is a short extract from Vaughan Williams’ “Folk Songs from Somerset” as arranged by yours truly.

As the evening progressed the sounds of baroque and renaissance recorder music came from one of our neighbours’ gardens. This was a completely unplanned coincidence which made for a wonderful evening.

The weather and evening darkness have been less conducive to repeat performances, but we are looking forwards to new possibilities in the Spring.

Christmas pudding – make it early

Chistmas pudding baked 8 October. Plate from Portmeirion Potteries, slate table mat from Llechwedd Quarries.

With only 78 days left until Christmas it is high time to make this years’ Christmas pudding. In view of the guidelines given out by the Swedish authorities, directing us to cancel all family gatherings over the festive season and beyond I feel that preparing a Christmas pudding is an act of defiance akin to Anthony Hopkins in Legends of the fall (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THP1wlGT2fA).

The recipe I use is my own combination from a number of sources and has been used by me for the paast decade or so:

100 g Flour

150 g Bread crumbs

150 g margarine (or butter)

650 g Mixed dried fruit (raisins, plums, figs and currants)

½ dl Orange juice

Zest and juice from 1 lemon

1 Apple chopped

2 eggs

½ teaspoon mixed spice

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg (fresh finely grated is so much better than standard ground nutmeg)

200 g dark (really dark) sugar

Salt – not too much

2 cl cognac

4 cl cognac for the cook!

Mix all the dry ingredients with the margarine to a crumbly consistency. Add all the rest and mix well. Transfer to a suitable bowl and cook in a pressure cooker for an hour or more. Store until Christmas ansd feed with rum or cognac a few times.

On Christmas day, at about the same time as you take the turkey out of the oven, put the pudding back in the pressure cooker and steam until it is time for desert. Decorate with a sprig of holly and serve with whipped cream (possibly with some cognac or rum mixed in). If you flambé your creation you will get an extra round of applause.

CHRIS PR-cas-9

Awarding the 2020 Nobel prize in chemistry to Emanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudner is absolutely brilliant. If ever there was a complete no-brainer it was this one.

There are several aspects that make this award amongst the best decisions the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has ever made:

The original set of articles concerning the technique were published in 2009, so the award has come fairly quickly (In my opinion the award could have been justified at least five years ago).

Both recipients are relatively young (defined as younger than me!) and therefore have time to make a greater impact on the scientific community and even on society.

Finally, and this ought not to be an issue, the award makes a small step towards addressing the inequality that has been prevalent over the past century of Nobel awards.

I take my hat off to Emanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudner for their magnificent achievement.

Getting ready for Vättern 2021

Vätternrundan is a 315 km bike event due to take place on June 18-19, 2021.

I have completed the event thirteen times in the past with varying degrees of pain, joy and satisfaction. The event in 2021 will be an extra challenge and will, for me at least, mark a major milestone in overcoming adversity. By registering for Vättern 2021 I am challenging myself and at the same time inviting friends to join me, either on the road around Lake Vättern, or just by following my progress.

Bike ready to go!