Corona Diary – Day 47

Friday, 1 May

Miserable weather and I don’t go out but it was a reasonably productive day.

I spend the morning mostly working on my files of translated laws. A great deal of Swedish legislation has been translated into English, which is extremely useful for a legal translator. The translations are of varying quality, some are excellent, some not. I have collected over 15 files of translated laws but have never had time to index them properly, which I plan to do now so that I can quickly see whether I have a translation or not and easily locate it. The order in the files is not great – sometimes I’ve wrongly filed translated laws in haste after wrestling with a legal text with a tight deadline. I’m doing three files a day and should finish this project in a week or two. Satisfying to get around to as I know that I will get this time back (with interest) when it’s much quicker to find what I want.

As part of my exploration of my neighbourhood during the pandemic, I have walked down a nearby street for the first time, found a bus stop I didn’t know existed and a service centre for pensioners with library and cafeteria. I can actually see the back of the service centre from my flat but didn’t know what it was before. I had to check the name of the street, Leopoldsgatan, just to make sure it wasn’t named after a Belgian king of ill repute. It was in fact named after Carl Gustaf af Leopold, a poet and a member of the Swedish academy (1756-1829), who studied in Uppsala and was active in Greifswald and Stralsund among other places. I’d never heard of him before. The streets around my area are named after literary figures, the closest to me being Topeliusgatan, whom I hadn’t heard of either before (I now own a couple of his books rescued from the shipwreck of Alfa second-hand bookshop). I believe Topelius and Leopold didn’t get on too well and now they’re stuck with each other in a T-junction. It is very pleasing (and perhaps very Uppsala) that the streets have such names and not some stifling Blåbärsvägen (Blueberry Rd) or even worse Bandyvägen (Bandy Rd), which would cool my enthusiasm for the survival of humanity.

It’s 1st May today. Yesterday I received a broadsheet from the Left Party explaining that there wouldn’t be a conventional 1 May demonstration this year but encouraging folk to hang something red out of the window. I have to report that the level of class consciousness of the toilers of Gamla Uppsalagatan is low as there was nothing red to be seen in our block or the ones around me.

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