Thursday, July 19, 2018

public transport shambles, forest fires and baby hedgehogs

baby hedgehogs 2018 ❤️, july 19

I was going to write a lengthy post solely on the nothing short than complete shambles that's the public transportation in Stockholm this summer. But I won't, this will be a three piece post from infuriating, to even more infuriating, to cute overload.

Let's start with the closing of the two major commuter train hubs in the city - the Citybanan and it's two new stations are not even a year old and they costed about 17 billions SEK plus 4,5 billions for new trains. I was highly critical and sceptical to the build beforehand, for many reasons. I still am, very much so - Odenplan and Stockholm city (which is the central station) - because of faulty escalators.

The new commuter train stations are built really really deep underground, below the subway system. So it takes quite a long time before you reach the ground coming with commuter trains to the inner city these days. And the escalators are obviously very long and steep. And scary.

Last Monday there was a frightful incident with one of these scary, long escalators, it scampered and changed direction and a lot of people fell. Luckily noone was seriously injured. Up on inspection of the escalators - from the company Otis - it turned out there were serious problems with corrosion. The escalators aren't even a year old.

They had to close down over 70 escalators and since that means there aren't any safe exits from the stations, subsequently the stations were closed too.

Odenplan is opened up again - but I'm seriously not keen on using that station any time soon. Stockholm city is still closed a week later. In the middle of the holiday season. Here's a bit more information about the situation (in Swedish.)

There are currently so so many other construction works in the public transportation system in Stockholm. I thought I'd point out everything, but I won't because it's exhausting and infuriating. The reason for the embarrassing shambles basically being politicians and authorities have mollycuddled car traffic for centuries and just ignored the dire need for maintenance and modernisation of the public transport system and railroads.

Not to mention, corruption is more vastly spread in Sweden than we like to acknowledge, this situation makes one think about that too.

baby hedgehogs 2018 ❤️, july 19

Which brings me to the next infuriating, but also heartbreaking, thing currently happening in Sweden. It started to be unseasonably warm here in late April already. May was really warm, and global warming was a very obvious fact. Early June was slightly cooler, but July has been nothing short than awful with temperatures +30-34C for weeks now. In many parts of the country it hasn't rained for over 10 weeks. And that has naturally led to extensive forest fires. Over 60 of them.

And the reaction, or rather lack of reaction, from the government and many authorities is simply appalling. Even a moderate amount of true leadership shown here in this man-made disaster situation would have sealed the upcoming election in September. But no such thing. I guess the government and its prime minister aren't very interested in keeping their positions come autumn.

The last straw was the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces saying on the news the other night, that they can't use the helicopters on ground for waterbombing because it's holiday season and the collective labour agreement and holiday laws forbids a suspension of the holidays. It's not our responsability. Seriously.

It's a national crisis, the country is literally burning. The brave and amazing fire fighters and volunteers on the ground can't fight this alone. The lack of strategy and planning is just mad. For f*** sake, get this under control and deal with the bureaucracy afterwards. The stupidity and lack of leadership, be it in politics or authorities, is absolutely mindboggling. Yet, again and again, they get to keep their position (and being paid way more than they deserve).

Needless to say I won't be voting for the current government. I most certainly won't vote for the opposition either. Neither stands for a society and future I want to see. This year I will only vote with my heart, mind and good conscience. I would be deeply ashamed if I didn't.

baby hedgehogs 2018 ❤️, july 19

Given this extensive heatwave I haven't had a decent night's sleep for weeks now. The house is heating up during the days and there isn't enough time for it to cool down until bedtime. I refuse to use more energy than needed ie use the heat pump's A/C system. Besides it showed serious signs of giving up for good by the end of winter, and since I'm not able to replace it as things currently are I need to save it's possible last use for winter.

I don't know how people can function in heat like this. I can't. Taking it one day at a time, like wading through syrup. I desperately long for rain and cooler days. A nights. As do nature. And the cats.

Which brings me to the lack of hedgehog visits - this 17th year anniversary of being a blessed hedgehog drop inn owner - since that first, very early, sighting in May. But then last night I suddenly spotted a tiny one in the garden, the smallest ever.

And this late afternoon there were suddenly a whole family here. One big and three tiny, smaller than the palm of my hand. They're curious, active and slightly mischiveous. And too too adorable. So now I'll just have to help them grow strong for winter, with lots of kitty food and water.

The cats, and especially Zigne, thinks it's super interesting and exciting to open the distinguished inn again.

It's tiny, preferably four pawed, things like this that help keeping the ever present Weltschmerz (and anger at the state of the world in general) at bay. They did appear just when I needed it. Blessed and grateful am I.

baby hedgehogs 2018 ❤️, july 19

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