Friday, 5 August 2011

Things I don't do anymore

I frequently refect upon the fact that things that were indispensible once aren't any longer. I don't mean that few of us use typewriters because we have a better technology, but something that you used to do a lot and then stopped for some reason or other, although it is still easily available.

I used to cross-country ski - not that I particularly liked it, but that's what we did in my time in my country, perhaps because it was the cheapest and easiest winter sport.I haven't done it since I moved to Sweden. I also used to skate a lot, even when I was quite grown up; I had a good skating partner. I brought my skates to Sweden, and we went skating a couple of times when the kids were small, but it never became a must like it used to be.

Fishing was the most important summer pastime; I just couldn't imagine my life without fishing. Interestingly enough, Staffan was also a passionate fisher, but we both stopped since we got married. He claims that nothing can compare with his former wife's fishing waters (thus emphasising what a sacrifice he made for my sake). There is enough fishing space in the archipelago or in the inland lakes and rivers, but for some reason it never became a habit. Sergej used to bring home pike from local lakes, and we even cooked and ate them. But he soon found other pleasures.

I don't knit. Knitting was obsessive when I was young. For one thing, this was the only way to make an original piece of clothing, but it was also highly social: we would sit and knit and talk, or listen to music. We exchanged patterns and ideas. My daughters both knit a lot, but I quit when they were still small. I cannot really explain it because it is still nice to have an original piece of clothing, and it is still relaxing. Probably it's the social bit that is lacking.

I don't make clothes because nobody wants homemade clothes these days.

I don't play cards, or any other games. In my youth, we played cards, Scrabble and mahjong. For poker, a friend used to have a five-liter jar of pennies we used as chips. Our first Scrabble sets were made of school erasers cut in four bits with letters written in ink. Our first mahjong set was made from dominoes. Games were bridges between young and old, children and adults.

We played simple card games with our children, as well as Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit, but it felt much more playing for their sake. I never found good mahjong partners in Sweden.Staffan promtly refuses to play Scrabble or Mastermind with me - I wonder why?

Of course I do other things these days, although most of them solitary rather tahn social. Yet it is strange how all these things just fade away.

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