My cousin Anna... the arms of our dear grandmother Brita. Tomorrow I will visit Anna. She has her own house in Spånga, which may sound a little strange; perhaps I should add that she is a bit older now.


A photo from 1963

AnnStin, Gösta and Stina Wennberg. My relation to the 60s is a little double; I don't really know if I would have wanted to live by then. As a high school teacher I would have had a much better salary. In some ways I think it was easier being a man, perhaps also more rewarding to be an intellectual.

On the other hand, in the 60s there were much more car accidents, fewer people survived cancer, many of the medicines and ointments that I have used in my life did not excist. And it would have been absolutely impossible to have a blog or a family website.

My non-Lindman grandfather...

...Tore Larsson was a businessman through and through. He was charming, cold, exciting and difficult. It seemed as if he viewed all life as a contest and wasn't really able to see it differently. One year before he died, 1994, he told me that I was the only person in this world that he trusted. And I do believe there was some truth in it.

This is my Canadian relative...

...Barbara Young in Toronto, with her Italian husband Frank DeBartolo.
I would like to have a sip of that wine.

On my grandmother's 70th birthday... July of 1984 my cousin Anna and I played the clarinet and Catrin sang; the birthday dinner was held at Fylleskog ouside Rydaholm. The photo looks like the idyllic childhood (existent only in the world of memories) but there is more to this evening. After dinner, when we were having coffe, I was larking and tried to show how a noble lady holds her cup, i.e. with the little finger pointing out. But unfortunately I dropped the cup and destroyed the seat of an antique chair. My grandmother was very angry with me and I felt so bad.

Usually my grandmother was a very nice woman but when she was under a lot of pressure, things were different. Despite her being very sociable and servile I don't think that she ever liked being a hostess. As she grew older, those responsibilities where taken away from her, which I think helped her becoming a softer and more relaxed person.

This is Elsi Rydsjö...

...signing her last book "Flicka genom sekel" (Girl through centuries) for me when I visited her in her beautiful home in Simrishamn, summer of 2008. Due to her bad sight she doesn't write anymore.

The Author of the Lindman family

Author Gunnar Serner, also known as Frank Heller, was a first cousin of my great grandmother. He lived between 1886 and 1947, mostly abroad, after taking a PhD in Lund 1909. He never had any children but I have met his sister and three of his nieces, among them authoress Elsi Rydsjö (who recently turned 90). 

Serner wrote more than 50 books and was probably Sweden's greatest author of adventure novels during the first part of the 20th century. He still has readers and since 2004 there is a Frank Heller Society in Lund, having about 160 members.

My own relationship to his books is a little double. On the one hand, I find them a little bit too superficial to really be interesting (his characters hardly ever have an inner life), on the other hand they are very well-written, scholarly in a way that I appreciate. More than anything Serner was a linguist and I find it sad that linguistic elegance of his kind is so rare today.  As in so many other areas, when cultural changes occur, the informal wins over the formal.

And today I heard Gunnar Serner's voice for the very first time, in a recording of a radio interview from 1943. I must admit it was fascinating. This interview you can listen to in our voicebank, which will be active on our website from November 1. 


My grandmother and great grandmother in Skeda's garden, 1970's.

This is Dick...

...our grand old man, with the dog Pepe who likes to do fun things such as chewing his master's hearing aid into pieces. Dick is the only remaining eyewittnes of Lydia Lindman and soon we will celebrate his 80th birthday.

Kerstin Lindman Ring (1895-1949)

I don't think that I knew about Kerstin Lindman until our family visited Dick on Vancouver Island in 1999. Preparing for this trip, 26 years old, I started being able to separate my great grandmother's sisters Greta and Kerstin, getting the family picture a bit more clear.

To say that I am fascinated by Kerstin would not be the right description. Rather, I would have been interested in meeting her for a while, letting her sit down by the table, listening to her, being a gentleman to this most sympathetic woman. I would not have interrupted her or tried to discuss with her, but somehow I would have tried to find out what she felt about her situation. 

Kerstin Lindman has both a Swedish and a Canadian family branch descending from her. Until a couple of years ago the Swedish branch was almost unknown to the rest of the family. All those people who are somehow a result of Kerstin's participation in the Lund Carneval in 1913, where she met the young Arvid Annerfeldt. He became the father of little Torsten whom Kerstin had to give away when he was just born. From what I have understood, none of Kerstin's children in Canada (except perhaps Louise) were told that Kerstin had a child in Sweden. 

Since I am not a woman and do not have children myself, I cannot possibly understand what this would be like. But I have sometimes wondered: how often did she think about little Torsten? What did she think? And when she returned to Sweden in 1935 with three of her children, because of her bad financial situation, did she ever consider the possibility of contacting Torsten and - in a way - becoming his mother again?


RSS 2.0