Corona Diary – Day 45

Wednesday, 29 April

My desire for exercise was rapidly quashed yesterday by cold and rain. I retreated to my burrow and went back to sleep, doing my convincing imitation of an elderly person, which I’m getting good at.

I felt much better when I woke up an hour later and carried on work on Anglia’s finances.

It’s not easy as although the metrics are available through the income statement for the first quarter, these are aggregate amounts and not altogether helpful when deciding where to cut expenses.

To my surprise, the figures were better than for the same period in 2019. No need to do anything urgently but given the low volume of incoming translation work, I have to be careful and think about which darlings I most want to keep and which are marginal darlings. And above all, to get out of the habit of solving problems quickly by throwing money at them, as my time is no longer worth as much.

Tiring of figures, I worked on a glossary of bankruptcy terms, looking at how various terms have been translated in the Swedish Bankruptcy Act and the Company Reorganisation Act. My usual pleasure when working with legal texts was enhanced by the quality of the translation of the Company Reorganisation Act, which I found outstanding.  Working with the legal aspects of bankruptcy is not so cheerful in itself but as a legal translator, I’m going to need to know my way around this area.

After my work day, I carried on looking at what there is to see in the county of Uppsala.

It seems likely that foreign travel may be restricted for a good while and this will be a good time to get to know the local area. I’ve been familiar with central Uppsala for a long time but dismissed the passage from Stockholm to Uppsala as rather boring and had a very hazy grasp of Roslagen and across the border in the county of Uppsala. But now I realise that much of this area is fairly densely populated (by Swedish standards) agricultural countryside with villages and cultural artefacts of a type that appeals to me.

As an exile, I like it when some aspect of my host country’s culture deepens and I feel  enriched by putting down roots. Living abroad, it’s so easy to get stuck at a superficial level when you become familiar with your surroundings, a superficiality that you don’t really think about any more because you’re so used to it. And Sweden, because of its small population, requires a bit of work when exploring the language or the country. You are not spoon fed to the same extent as you are in England. There are fewer works of reference and these are often less easily available so that you often need a more academic approach to understand the many things of interest around you.

I didn’t get very far yesterday in my studies– reading about the village of Storvreta just a few kilometres up the road. Opening Wikipedia’s tab on notable people connected with the village, I’m fascinated by the story of Stefan Michnik, one-time judge in Poland in the early 1950s, who came to Sweden in 1956. He lived in Storvreta and, according to Wiki, worked as a librarian. The Polish authorities have wanted the Swedes to send him back to Poland to stand trial for his activities in the 1950s. To their chagrin, the Swedes have not granted this request as Michnik is now a Swedish citizen and the statute of limitations barred prosecution on the original accusations made (this was followed by a discussion on whether he can be deported for crimes against humanity where there is no statute bar – I’m not sure of the Swedish courts take on that but I believe they still refused to deport him not so long ago). He no longer lives in Storvreta.

I must read more, about what he actually did, the Swedish courts’ legal arguments and about the agenda of the Polish authorities and the veracity of Wiki’s sources. I knew nothing about this before despite it having been covered by the Swedish press – I must try and follow events in Sweden more carefully when I’m abroad, whenever that will be next time.

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