It is my strict belief that school work is for school days and that weekends are for all the other kinds of learning that I don’t have time for during the week. Sometimes I have to break this rule if finals are coming up or if there’s a big project that has to be turned in. Thankfully, this isn’t one of those weekends!
Every Saturday, I volunteer at a local farm called Hågagård, where I feed the resident sheep, change their water, clean up around the barn and more recently, practice my sheep shearing skills (so far I haven’t actually sheared any sheep, just made them sit down). As random as this activity might sound, it’s probably one of the main things that keeps me sane. It’s a welcome break to do a little physical work when the majority of my time is spent sitting in a classroom or at my desk, calculating and trying to solve equations. Besides that, there’s something truly awe-inspiring about caring for other animals. It brings you closer to the life and death cycle in a way that is impossible to experience from a classroom.
This week, after fika at the farm, I went with Martin (my boyfriend) and a mutual friend who’s just moved here from the U.S. to a metal workshop that Martin and some friends have organized a little outside of Uppsala. There I am learning the art of bicycle-making. A while ago, I decided that I would make a three-wheeled recumbent bike so that when the snow comes, I won’t have to worry about falling on my butt all the time. It’s going to be made of recycled bicycle parts, mostly collected at Atejlen Veloisternas Kabyss (a community bike workshop in Uppsala), so the first step in this project is to salvage the individual parts that I want for my bike, mostly by cutting and grinding away mass amounts of metal. I haven’t started welding yet, but I hope that that will be the next lesson!
After sheep-care and working on the bike, we arrived home tired but happy. Making dinner seemed like an unnecessary hassle so I threw together a little müsli and we sat down to watch a documentary about the history of the Celts.
Today’s big adventure was learning to make saurkraut (surkål). A friend of mine, who also happens to be a saurkraut making expert, came over with a large saurkraut pot and the next few hours were spent dicing cabbage (I’d bought 4) and mashing them with my fists (much like back in the good ol’ days when the romans used to mash grapes with their feet to make wine). At one point my friend took over because I was apparently not aggressive enough in my mashing.
But the weekend is not all fun and games. There’s four of us living in my apartment and we all take turns with the cleaning chores and making food for dinner/lunch boxes the next day. Today it was my turn to clean the bathroom and make dinner, which took a good couple of hours. This week we were all extra responsible and everything got cleaned. So now I can relax for a couple hours in a sparkling clean house, with a large pot of delicious veggie curry on the stove and a good book before the start of the new week.