|Hammarby Sound at 4.45 am|
Yesterday morning brought another "Early Birds"-event. This time it was not the sea gulls' shrieking that got me out of bed. "No!", it was something more subdued, but still annoying: an almost infrasonic, but at the same time persisting rumbling from a diesel engine, combined with diesel fumes mixing with the clean and healthy draft from the sea beneath my apartment.
When I got up to investigate, a marvelous golden view welcomed me outside. The sun was about to rise, but still too lazy to appear above the horizon; backlighting instead a sky full of clouds, with an unearthly, almost Martian timbre. Forgetting about the noise and the fumes, I just closed my bedroom window and got back to sleep.
As the morning went on, I thought nought more about this incident, since all kinds of noise from the seaway beneath me are reaching me throughout the day. But suddenly, around 10 am, a super loud radio channel opened up, surpassing all the usual sounds I have been getting used to. When I rushed out to the balcony to see what was going on, I discovered the view you can look at below.
|Transport Authority Barge|
The barge squatting smack below my balcony was of course known to me. I had seen it cruising off and on for two months now, but never before found it nestling at my place. We are looking at exploration activities connected with a planned new subway line. The barge is housing huge drilling machines, which sample the ground under the sea. But why just below my balcony?
The answer is obvious. Look at the map showing the planned lay-out. A new subway station will be hollowed out from the rocks just below my apartment and the trains will arrive through a tunnel under the canal!
|The planned new subway line|
Now back to the intrusive radio music: Looking closer at the people moving around the barge, I could discern a nice young lady, sitting in the white cabin yonder. Apparently a girlfriend, visiting one of the young muscular laborers on board. To keep her occupied and content, whilst having to concentrate on their drilling, the youngsters probably thought some entertainment was in order. No harm in that, if it weren't necessary to put the loudspeaker on full blast, in order to outperform the drilling noise!
I had had enough and rushed down to the quay to admonish the youngsters. It took me some screaming and waving to get their attention, since they had their hearing protectors on! Eventually they took notice of me and, to my satisfaction, had the good manners to shut down the radio. Thereafter, relative calm was again reigning over the canal, at least if you count shrill drilling noise as calm. But we have to accept this type of noise, in the name of progress! ;–)
Day after, on saturday, no barge noise to report about; working week was over. But that didn't mean all systems clear for this sedentary old man. After an eventless day, suddenly, Hammarby Sjöstad started to get agitated again. Just about the time when I took this romantic picture of the last sun rays caressing the roof tops in the distance (imagining myself as a latter day Caspar David Friedrich – our great Swedish painter – at his most pictorial), an enormous bass tone suddenly erupted over the calm waters, soon followed by a host of shrill overtones, coming from an oversized and maladjusted loudspeaker.
|Sunset over Hammarby Sound à la Caspar David Friedrich|
|The Midnight Run has begun!|
|Wilhelm Tell, painting by Ferdinand Hodler|