Monday, October 29, 2007

Herr Nilsson not just a digital friend...


Ten years ago I crossed one of the side roads to Blvd de la Croissette in Cannes, at one of the 60 events I have attended, in the South of France. Having “bumped” into a variety of celebrities during my time there none delighted me more that this particular old lady who was walking on her own without any bodyguards or without any entourage. She was just an old frail lady, whom to the crowds was a nobody. But to me, she was the ultimate superstar...she was the only person I have asked for an autograph she was simply Astrid Lindgren…

Astrid Lindgren wrote some of the classic Swedish children stories of our times from Pippi Longstocking (Pippi Långstrump), Emil of the Maple Hills (Emil i Lönneberga) and Karlsson on the Roof (Karlsson på taket). Astrid took time and had a chat to me, a simple Swedish boy, whose claim to fame was to ride the blow up goose as a child. However it was in one of those stories, the story of Pippi Longstocking that Herr, or Mr Nilsson, came into play. The trustwordy friend, in this case a monkey, to Pippi appeared. After watching these stories as a child and later on, to delight of my daughter, I thought that everyone should have a Mr Nilsson and I am so very pleased to be able to say that I have one…

Of 40 years now I have had, and still have, my own Mr Nilsson, he is just my best friend of all times. We went to school for some 11 years, before that we managed to swim in the sea, burn down the local forest, getting married, not to each other but to separate women. He married Mrs Nilsson and I married Mrs Ericson. Out of all friends I have, Mr Nilsson, who should not be confused with Pippi’s little monkey, as my Mr Nilsson does a very bad job climbing trees and eating nuts. However my Mr Nilsson does provide everything that friendship should do, updating me with the local ice hockey results from the Tigers home games, provide Peugeot and Renault support over the phone, far better than any local dealership and best of all…he listens when I have something to say.

Does he care that I have met the Status Quo…well in fact he does, he wants copies of any freebies that I might have been given, but all in all he is very much like me, he likes that it the winter it snows, and that in the summer it is hot…he likes a good BBQ, no chicken included though as he is allergic, but he loves a SAAB 96, and if you ask him, he will write you an essay on how too increase the engine size and what carburettor to use, plus he would probably drive to Austria to participate in classic rally only to find out that he did not bring the wiper arm to the motorized wipers which eventually made them to pull out of the rally…

Sebastian Loeb might get a bit upset of his Citroen team arrived without wiper arms to his WRC car, but in this case it was Mr Nilsson…he worked everything out even down to the replacement handbrake wire…but left the wiper arm at home…None of the team got upset they just went on with the rally, when the snow was too heavy the SAAB 96 had to pull out and retire, the team enjoyed a couple of days of R&R and talked about how next year they might bring another wiper arm…

This week I have had something new to celebrate, Mr Nilsson my childhood friend has finally arrived into the 21st century, today, by means of digital communication I received my first ever email from him…albeit it being 27 images from a snowy classic car rally in Austria doesn’t matter…the fact is that I did receive an email…so from now on my childhood friend and I will move our friendship into cyberspace…I am the luckiest guy in the world…

This is the fact of life…get yourself a Mr Nilsson, hang on to him and in time your friendship will move from analogue to digital communication…a far cry better than when you start from a digital position…

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

1st of April...time to speak again...


Today is a bit of funny day...it is the 1st of April…now I know, to many of you, it is the day when people get together and play tricks on each other, but for me it is more than that…this when death brought my friend and I back together…

I really don’t know how all of this happened but if you look back on your own life there will always be someone, who you might have lost touch with, and with whom you might still want to talk to, and today was one of those days…

A lovely old woman introduced me to my friend a along time ago, she got us talking and we became friends…now some 20 years later she passed away and again she managed it…she got her grandson and me talking again…

You see, my old friend went off and got married, so did I…he knows nothing about me and I know nothing about him…I know he has kids, a wife and I know in which country he lives…that is about it…no knowledge about which car he drives, music he likes (White Snake and Led Zeppelin might be high on the list though)…no idea where he has been on holiday or even if he has been to the UK…that is just the way things are…

Looking back at time…there are things that you remember and cherish, and I am no different person, I remember the first time my friend showed me how to shoot starlings with a shotgun (as they eat the cherries)... he also showed me that old chicks that do not lay eggs needs their necks chopped off. He was also a master of the old Massey Ferguson and together we picked 100,000 tons of potatoes, cut more cabbage and sorted out more cauliflower that you can see in the supermarket…you got it we came from the countryside…no concrete kids here my friend…

But as time goes by, we lost touch and it was only through death we got together…his grandmother died, and that is how after 20 years we started to talk again…

I'll take it that if we met on the ice hockey rink, we would be as wobbly as each other but give us another water-ski boat, named John-Arvid, and we would be there showing the kids how to waterski like a pro…

Isn't it funny that after a long time, you remember the small things…which make no sense to anyone else, but if you have a friend…make sure you call him or her today…don’t let grandma die before you do…

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