Alexey Moskvin

Baltic Exchange and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘gavle

Gävle to Nyköping

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Olle’s gift is a pyramid. It was left to him by his ex wife and we tread carefully on relationships. Olle has ‘widowed’ as his relationship status on Facebook. But giving it away, it feels like’s getting rid of something for him, just as I felt giving away the first wooden statue that started the project. The pyramid is made out of stone. I put it next to the sleeping bag, in the bag on the saddle, praying it will be ok. If I left it in one of the inner bags, aided by vibrations, it would’ve poked the hell out of everything in there.

I challenge the satnav and take smaller roads towards the coast, eventually I end up in a resort town of sorts. Getting a pizza for lunch plus a couple of coffee refills.

A disheveled guy approaches me at the car park and tries to make a conversation. I had a Harley, he says, very heavy. Is yours heavy? He reaches out and tries to lift it up by a handle, I grab his hand. You better not, mate, you’ll drop it. I ask to take a photograph of him. He smells of wine.

Puffing, I roll out the bike backwards, two older guys on the bench are watching. I smile and nod and set off, trying to look natural.

There is something I marked on the map and I can’t remember what it is. It’s taking me a bit out of the way and onto a forest path. There is some archeological site or something of that sort and I’m driving slowly, trying not to miss it. And I missed it – I can’t see anything there that’s worth looking at. Nevertheless, I drive all the way until it ends at somebody’s house. The fields are marked with electrocution signs, must be to keep horses in? Or out.

Meeting Marika. We walk around town, moving towards the harbour. The castle on the way. We talk about the town and Marika tells me the story about the key that was thrown into the river. It was the key from a cell in which a king’s locked his two brothers. He starved them to death. That’s what Nyköping is famous for.

It’s a quiet town. Amusing demolition works, the silo with bits sticking out. I am mesmerised.

We are dining in one of the places on the promenade. There was something happening earlier but we were a bit too late for that, we arrive just as everyone leaves. I tell Marika about that music event in Gävle. She is quiet and laughs easily, we don’t talk about anything in particular, we just talk about life.
It’s starting to rain and we are catching a cab back.

Oh, hello Tony. The toilet brush looks like Tony Blair. I’m not sure if that was the maker’s intention.

Marika has to leave early next morning, ‘I’d feel bad to kick you out if it was raining’.

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Written by Alexey Moskvin

4 March 2012 at 01:34

Umeå to Gävle

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The next day I spend exploring their house, sacrificing Sundsvall for a day of rest. I have to make up for it tomorrow but I think it will be worth it. The massive boiler dominates the bathroom, toilet paper roll on a stand deserves it’s on space in the middle, entangled cacti on the window cell, two chairs with baby shoes on the wall in between, chickens, cellar for fruit and veg, shed with a bread oven – have they ever used it? That would be a cool thing to do.

The day is spent catching one’s breath – surfing the net, chatting, photographing. It’s a sunny morning and we are outside in the garden but clouds come again in the afternoon and bring some drizzle with them. That’s when we decide to go out for a swim. The first lake isn’t usable, the second looks great, even if it’s getting rather cold and wet. It should feel warmer in the water. And it does.

Anders works in a travel agent, Tore is a gardener. They collect sand from all the beaches they’ve been to. In the evening, over another glass of wine we teach each other rude words in Russian and Swedish. I can’t remember what they taught me – maybe it’s for the best – there’s still a half of the country to go through.

Their gift is a box of seeds, the metal box was given to Tore by his father, it has a few compartments. The seeds are of different sorts of sweet chilli and tomato, as they go well together. Alongside with a note in Swedish and a couple of chocolates. Olle will be able to read it. I hope he likes tomatoes. But even if he doesn’t, it doesn’t matter – it’s a gift.

An early start the next morning – I have about 350 miles to go to get to Gävle, even if cutting some of the route. The guys give me a packed lunch and I roll the bike out of their garage. It’s been a wonderful day and a half.

To do the distance in reasonable time most of the way has to be on a motorway. But it’s ok – even the motorway has gorgeous sweeps as one comes to Sundsvall. I stop for lunch just before Höga Kusten Bridge – the tallest bridge in Sweden to look at the scenery. The temperature is dropping and the wind on the bridge is a bit scary.

In the afternoon I stop by what’s called an antique shop. A bric-a-brac rather. I drive a bit further, all the way to the water, around the warehouse building. The wooden platform that is bobbing up and down, making me produce a bunch of blurred photos with tilted horizons. That’s where I have some more fish paste and bread. The clouds are taking over in the afternoon again. Some museum, the ship, railway bits and the shop. I walk up and down the corridor, it’s stuffed with everything from mildly interesting to a complete junk, a smell of wood and mould. Small things I’m after, in one of the cupboards there are some shot glasses and other cutlery. I pick up one of the metal (tin?) mini mugs – it looks like it’s made out of metal, with a [sheep] embossed on it, some writing alongside. I take it and walk up and down again. And then again. And again, trying to find anyone to ask about it or pay for it.

When I get to Gävle it’s sunny again. Olle Oljud is shouting hello from his window on the N-th floor. Oljud means cacophony. He’s got a balcony and a great view.
Sound designer, artist, composer, however you call it, Olle is a talented creative. What’s your favourite sound? He thinks for a while. Steps on gravel. I’m listening to my steps, the sound never leaves me for the rest of the walk.

Gävle is small and charming, the river runs in the middle, some festival is kicking in, gathering a crowd in the middle. We decided to stay out of it. We agree that it’s way to popular for both of us.

Olle shows me a graffiti underpass, he left his trace there too.

It’s getting darker and I’m sleeping on the futon, in the same room. Funny how light changes, I’m only a couple of days away from the midnight sun. We listen to warped white noise, different frequencies and controlled clicks – all kinds of home made Olle’s sound boards – his neighbours must be amused. I’m thinking of those Tate live sound events with Ova, Scanner and those people as I’m falling to sleep.

Written by Alexey Moskvin

26 January 2012 at 01:00