2012 with Gustav Adolf

We’ve had a quiet sort of year here on the blog for Gustav Adolf. The most popular post was Lucia, followed by the visit from Ulla-Inger Eriksson in September.

Unsurprisingly, our readers are mainly in the UK, but the US and Sweden come close. The other Nordic countries and France, Canada and India follow. Nice to meet you all!

Wordpress 2012 blogging report

See you back here in 2013!

The 2012 Christmas Card

Snow Christmas card

Happy Christmas!

Lucia, the video

A little late, here are two videos from Lucia at Gustav Adolf last weekend.

Image

13th December 2012

Lucia

Lucia 2012

Lucia 2012 at Gustav Adolf

Lucia 2012 at Gustav Adolf

Our church still has what it takes. We had a lovely Lucia this evening, with many participants, and a more than full house audience-wise.

Lucia 2012 at Gustav Adolf

The always hardworking Stan and Mette, and Roger and Helen had everything ready and beautiful early, and the only thing the rest of us could do was to sit down and enjoy their efforts.

Lucia 2012 at Gustav Adolf

Lots of old friends turned up, from near and far. It’s always good to see so many, and especially great that quite a few former children who are now parents themselves are bringing their children in turn. Some families still offer several family members to stand up and sing, for which we are grateful.

Lucia 2012 at Gustav Adolf

This year we welcomed back Annabell as Lucia. Taller than last time, she has just about caught up in age, and did a marvellous job again. Her Gläns över sjö och strand yet again brought a tear to my eye, and her left hand tärna was particularly good at disco dancing. That girl will go far.

Lucia 2012 at Gustav Adolf

Lovely Twinkle twinkle from the youngest girls on Annabell’s right side, and the tallest stjärngossar produced another passable Staffan. If my counting is up to scratch, we had as many as six stjärngossar, and around a dozen tiny tärnor and six big ones.

Tärnor at Gustav Adolf

Stjärngossar at Gustav Adolf

Our organist ran back and forth between his two instruments, ably taking off and putting on his shoes as required.

Organist at Gustav Adolf

It was standing room only by the time we made it down to the coffee and lussekatter and pepparkakor. There was glögg as well and a very warm atmosphere. We handed over our money for raffle tickets and Stan made sure all winners could pick what they wanted from the selection on the grand piano.

Stan and the raffle tickets

Christmas lights at Gustav Adolf

Remembering

On this Remembrance Sunday we have been thinking back to old wars and those who fought in them, but for Swedes there is less reminiscing about what parents and grandparents did in the war(s), because we were lucky enough to be spared.

Our Nordic neighbours were less fortunate, and for me it has come to mean ‘borrowing’ someone else as the face for who did their bit in WWII. In Liverpool and at Gustav Adolf we have the gathering at the war memorial at Pier Head every 17 mai.

The face I see is Harry’s, even though he is no longer here. Until the arrival of Lars-Erik and Ulla-Inger Eriksson, I had no idea who anyone at church really was, apart from the few Swedes I spoke to. As far as I was concerned, Harry was an elderly Liverpudlian gent, so imagine my surprise on finding, after a proper introduction had been made, that he was Norwegian.

Harry wasn’t the only one I was introduced to, but he remained the figurehead for my new image of Gustav Adolf and its people. He took an interest in the children, which was nice, and thinking back to what it must have been like in Liverpool all these years has been fascinating.

Brian Gallagher, Secrets and Shadows

(I just read and reviewed a new children’s book, about WWII set in Ireland, but with a Liverpool prologue, showing heavy bombing in the summer of 1941. That made a difference too.)

What I am trying to get to, is that we need more introductions. Those who work in our church obviously know everyone who comes. Some of the more gregarius of our larger community also know quite a few people. The rest of us don’t know nearly as many as we would like to. Lars-Erik and Ulla-Inger were very good at that.

So in case there are more unknown heroes hiding among the coffee and the waffles, I’d like to know. Or anyone else, because we can’t all be soldiers. Not everyone reads this blog, but there is room for introductions here. Perhaps we can all slowly find out who is who at Gustav Adolf.

And wouldn’t it be handy to learn who speaks what language? We can all get by with English, but it can be a waste when we might turn out to share another language. I’m in favour of little badges, perhaps showing the flags of what language(s) we know. (Not everybody does what someone I overheard in a Belgian youth hostel once did. He walked up to his intended conversation partner and asked in English ‘Which language do you speak?’ and when the other one said  ‘French’ he immediately switched, and off they went.)

Art in church

As we come to a close for the Sea Scapes – Land Shapes: An exhibition of contemporary painting by Erica Hamilton, Sylvia Hikins and Jane Hughes, here are a few of the paintings that have adorned Gustav Adolf for the last month.

Sea Scapes – Land Shapes: An exhibition of contemporary painting by Erica Hamilton, Sylvia Hikins and Jane Hughes

Sea Scapes – Land Shapes: An exhibition of contemporary painting by Erica Hamilton, Sylvia Hikins and Jane Hughes

Sea Scapes – Land Shapes: An exhibition of contemporary painting by Erica Hamilton, Sylvia Hikins and Jane Hughes

Sea Scapes – Land Shapes: An exhibition of contemporary painting by Erica Hamilton, Sylvia Hikins and Jane Hughes

Sea Scapes – Land Shapes: An exhibition of contemporary painting by Erica Hamilton, Sylvia Hikins and Jane Hughes

Sea Scapes – Land Shapes: An exhibition of contemporary painting by Erica Hamilton, Sylvia Hikins and Jane Hughes