Wednesday, 4 May 2016


Hammarby Canal at 5 am

I think I have mentioned this before: I have the habit of sleeping with a window slightly ajar, which does me a lot of good and provides for firm sleeping. Unless, of course, there is sudden noise in the middle of the night, which will get me wide awake.

This week, I was rather confident in expecting nightly serenity along Hammarby Canal. This was Ascension week after all, and most people had left town for a prolonged weekend. But to my surprise, heavy ruckus forced me out of bed this morning at the ungodly hour of 5 am! It sounded like a fire engine approaching with all alarms going at full blast. Thereafter, there was consistent noise as if a diesel-fired compressor was being put to good use.

Emptying the septic tank early in the morning

When I stumbled out on the balcony, still half-asleep, a beautiful morning scenery welcomed me, looking towards the west. The sun had risen just maybe 15 minutes earlier, but already managed to bath the quays in warm morning glow. But what about the ruckus? The above picture shows the source of it all. Apparently, the owner of the boat berching across the canal from my balcony had engaged a company to empty the vessel's septic tank! They thought nothing of doing the necessary at five in the morning!

Better rush away, lest people complain

The noise went on without relapse for a good 15 minutes. Thereafter, the lorry left in a hurry, as if afraid of being assaulted by angry residents. Well, they should have thought about this earlier. Considering the fact that a body of water, like Hammarby Canal, is bouncing sound waves upwards and around, residents in almost 500 apartments must have been disturbed in their well-deserved morning slumber by this sudden urge of house-cleaning. 

After stamping around in my apartment for a while, mightily enraged by this unthoughtful intrusion, I managed to calm down again and nourish my mind with positive thoughts. Hadn't this noise induced me to get up unusually early, and provided me with a nice morning view, to share with my readers? Furthermore, should I not consider this irresponsible intrusion as a sign that spring had arrived at long last?

Nobody in his right mind would order the emptying of a septic tank during an icy cold winter night at 5 am. It takes the mellow mornings of spring and summer to awaken the usually sedate Swede to untoward excesses. This ruckus was just the first sign of the "Summer Swede", changing into a Mediterranean "Happy-go-lucky" from having been a responsible Northener, whilst exiting his hibernation in glad anticipation of warmer tides ahead.  

Water valve cover on Hammarby Quay

I have to admit that even I, myself, am affected by this climatic influence on personality. Why not give in to the happy mood of spring and celebrate the arrival of warmer tides with a song that captures the fullness of the experience? I am thinking of a song group that could keep your spirits sprightly even in cold winter times, not to speak of welcoming the warmer season ahead. Like spring, these singers arrived with a flourish, but flourished only for a short while. The evil regime of the 'thirties put an abrupt end to it. But they live on for evermore in their songs, to delight generation after generation of listeners! Here we can enjoy a contemporary version of this famous ensemble.


Anonymous said...

So true Emil!

Unknown said...

Die Welt gesehen durchs Küchenfenster. Andere sehen durch eine rosarote Brille, ein Mikroskop oder Fernrohr, ihre Erinnerungen, ihre Ängste, ihren Glauben, staatliche Propaganda. Eine vielfältige Welt wird nich bunter durch unsere verschiedenen Blickwinkel.

Anonymous said...

Weiter so Emil,
wir Menschen dürfen uns nicht zu Ernst nehmen.

Anonymous said...

Hi Emil,
 Not even in Summer mode would Swedes be able to do such work at 5 am. My guess: You documented a criminal gang – better to bring the pics to the next police station. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Dear Emil, I never tire of your Kitchen Window blogs, many thanks! And thanks also for putting a positive spin on such a rude awakening! Heather