Tuesday 17/9 – Monday 23/9
Autumn setting in
The next day started out pretty cloudy, and the wind was still present – enough to produce white crests out on the lake. The evening shift was calm, and I met and spoke with my warden colleagues Janne and Anders, who had just ended their stints. After a strange visit by a strange man sometimes claiming to be on a pilgrimage of some sort, and sometimes being from outer space, I left on time. By then the wind had mostly died down, and the (nearly) full moon was visible between the clouds. There was a conglomeration of people up in the kitchen – Rolle's doing, again – and I spent some time there before marching off to bed around midnight.
The next day I noted a sizeable crane over at the shop, which turned out to be replacing the old underground heater. Not much happened during the day, apart from a change for the worse in the weather, but in the evening we had our hands full in the restaurant due to a group of 100 (!) students from Umeå, which of course included a whole range of allergies and other special things. I also bumped into Maria, who had worked in the reception in Kebnekaise when I was there, and now had a little'un. Up in the kitchen Anna and Linn had made scones, and I got one in exchange for some butter. Mmm.
I dreamt of home, and upon suddenly waking realized that no, I was still in Abisko. I slumbered through the rest of the night, thankful that I did not have another one of those early-early shifts that a couple of others had been allotted this time around, to cater to the students. That had worked well, though, even with the large number of people. Later I found Janne and Anders in the library and talked some with them before it was time for the latter to leave by way of bus.
Dinner preparations were a bit more extensive this time, as we had another large group as well, plus more regular guests, and I enlisted some help in retrieving extra tables from the conference section. We used the available space to the max, but it ended up working. It was a rush from the start when they all came, but it was also fun, especially with the silly atmosphere that reigned between us in the staff. Suddenly everyone up and disappeared, and we instead had our hands full clearing everything out and preparing for another hefty breakfast. Back in the personnel kitchen Anna had visitors from the research station, and I had my evening snack (strengthened by a cinnamon bun courtesy of Anna) in their company before turning in at 00:30.
The morning grew fairer by the hour, which was good, but I also died by the hands of Gustav in the ongoing station-wide assassination game, which was bad. There was supposed to be a group shot for a protest thing down at the bridge, but there was no one there at the specified time, so I went for a short walk in the vicinity, returning down when others appeared. The wind was strong, so I literally had to hold on to my hat. After that I had lunch outside with the others, where it was sheltered and nice.
Dinner once again included the students, who also came an hour earlier than before, so we had little in the way of pauses at the start. Maja and Siri stayed behind after hours to serve the thirsty students, so I could leave when I was supposed to.
The next day came with rain, wind and low clouds, and so did not invite further walks. There was a strained air among the staff, since many had died already and no one knew whom to trust, which was fun to observe. It was really a stay-inside kind of day, so I did just that, but in the evening Anna and Linn succeeded in luring me up to ASS, together with the new arrival Kerstin, and Viktoria who was visiting from Kebnekaise. There had been a dinner up there, the guests of which were just coming down, and Robert held another presentation for some foreign visitors. There was playing of cards, then talk, then a return down, and a brisk walk later I was ready for bed around 00:45.
I slept well and awoke to pouring rain, which had a dampening effect on many at the forenoon staff break. It kept on raining for the whole day, and as expected it could be seen from time to time that it fell as snow higher up. Rolle had enlisted the help of Linnea for another communal dinner, which I had no choice but to partake in, so I contented myself with a sandwich and some dry sausages later on. I had a sauna to dispel the weatherly gloom, and then ended up at another dinner thingie on the lower level, together with some of the known Björkliden crew.
The reason for this was that there was to be an end-of-season party down in the station's common room, with a reggae group brought in for the purpose, and everyone soon relocated there. There I met Anna who had been a guide at Fjällfest back in April, and was now attending the cottage warden course that had just started. Good for her! There were lots of things to nibble on strewn about the premises, and especially some small hot sausages were excellent. Quite a bit of dancing – or, more accurately, "shakin' it" – was going on, but not by me. Eventually people started dropping off, and I hit the sack around 01:45.
Again I was lucky to have a day off after, so I didn't get up until after 10. It was cloudy at a low level, but things slowly improved, and when a few others were heading out on a walk I joined them. The wind was cold, but got more tolerable once we were down in the forest. We followed the stream-adjacent path, where some of the cairns were now under water due to the higher levels, and the side course was also running again. We walked along the beach to the sauna, where we sat down on the lee side, and some of the others had a snack, but I hadn't brought any. After a quick and light shower things continued to be in a state of looking-up, and by the time we returned up the sun was shining.
After lunch the clearing process continued, with Abiskoalperna now almost free, and I resolved to do the climb up beside Rihtonjira I had considered for some time, now that the falls in that stream were full of water, leaving at 14:30.
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Back home I had a long shower to restore my warmth, and then made dinner. It was a quiet evening after that, except for the part where the hatch to the oven suddenly decided on its own accord that it liked being on the floor better than in its frame, which no one expected.