Shavuot

May. 30th, 2009 09:20 pm
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
[personal profile] liv
Last few days have been fun but hectic.

I intended to go to the Tikkun Leyl, the all night study session on Thursday night, but ended up caught up in experiments. My bugs grew very slowly, so that I had to deal with them late on Thursday evening, and I'm suspicious of the experiment because if something takes 20 hours when it should take 12 it probably hasn't worked properly, but it didn't fail badly enough that I could just abandon it. And then it was too late to get public transport to shul (I had been intending to leave the Tikkun Leyl before the last train home, rather than staying until dawn as you're supposed to). The main reason for this was that the bugs being annoying meant that I had to work on Friday, when I'd hoped not to need to so I could celebrate Shavuot instead.

So I felt a bit naughty, both breaking Jewish rules by working on the festival, and breaking lab safety rules by using the big scary centrifuge late at night when nobody else was around. But it's one of those things, sometimes you just can't plan experiments neatly round other life requirements. Also, when I caught the very late train home Thursday night, there was a troll in the seat opposite me. Seeing him feels like a completion of the Swedish experience; I didn't try to interact, though, because I wasn't quite enough convinced that he was a troll rather than a really weird guy who might be dangerous when I was on the train late on my own.

Today I had planned a fairly informal Shavuot party for the Progressive people. We don't technically celebrate a second day of festivals, but obviously it's easier to organize things at weekends if possible. We'd been a little worried if the weather would be safe enough for an outdoor party, but in fact it was the loveliest day we've had this year, with clear blue skies and temperatures pushing 30. Stockholm was the most crowded I'd ever seen it, with the marathon taking place, and the sunshine, and a minor zombie infestation.

Someone from the community called me and asked if we could travel to EBH's allotment together as she didn't know the way. And we were able to advise eachother about how to work round the fact that public transport was disrupted by the marathon. And the event was really fun, about 15 of us sitting in this lovely, lilac-filled garden and scoffing cheesecake. I'd suggested a cheesecake contest, in a light-hearted way, and it turned out that people took it really seriously. We had 8 different cheesecakes, some the American-Jewish baked kind, some creamy with berries (or flowers, in one case), and some the sweet Swedish kind. But people made a real effort to try all 8 and carefully select the best, and were really appalled when I started making casual chat about how I would vote, because I might influence the outcome!

And then we read a script based on Ruth, which was a great success; when I was writing it I discovered that really almost all of Ruth is dialogue, so it worked very well. I think people were a bit shocked by the scene on the threshing floor, and I had to assure them I hadn't embellished it all, in fact if anything I toned it down compared to what's actually in the Bible! I walked back to the station across Tanto / Zinken park, to make sure I enjoyed the sunshine to the fullest.

I have a million things to do in the next three weeks to be ready to leave Sweden, but I seem to be spending most of my time relearning how to play go ([personal profile] jack is at a pleasingly similar level to me, generally competent at abstract board games but not very experienced at go), or writing patches for Dreamwidth. I am just at the stage of learning programming where I find it very satisfying, I keep discovering I can do things that a few days ago I had no clue how to start. [personal profile] jack's explanations of what's going on under the hood are very helpful with this (actually knowing what a class is is very useful for working with S2!)
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Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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