Just before the worldwide pandemic put all of us in a bubble of isolation and stillstand, I was able to visit your Christinehof slott myself. I guess you’d be very happy if you could see in what a remarkable good condition it still is – or again is. Considering it’s age of now almost 280 years, you could not be more delighted of what became of it since you were no longer able to take care for it yourself. Well, you can be sure it is in good hands.
These days, a bunch of friends, your wänners, as they like to call themselves, looks after your heritage, a cultural association of enthusiasts from the local area.
I wonder what had made you decide to have it built? You already owned far more estates of a grand size such as Krageholms slott or Sturefors Castle. These days they say, it was due to the expansion of your aluminium-business, which made you wanting a residence, where you could overlook it from a closer angle. Probably everyone, who was involved in the process of building Christinehof must have thought that your vision was a bit over the top, since you were already at the respectable age of 68 years when it was finished. I myself find it marvelous to dare such an adventure at such an advanced stage of your life!
I know a very nice couple from Berlin, who had bought a manor house near my hometown Neubrandenburg. Castle Wrodow was a ruin in the early nineties, when they purchased it. Brigitte, who is one half of the couple, was almost 60 years old, when they started to renovate it in a DIY-mode and with the help of their friends. Their aim was to turn it into a living art project, celebrating theatre and operas there and the wonders of a free spirit in the legacy of Joseph Beuys. Boy, they managed to create a respectable achievement and a joyful place for the local people.
They are now in their mid-eighties, and they seem vivid and cheerful like I have never seen anyone likewise – not even in my generation, but that’s a different chapter. I truely admire everyone, who follows his or her ambitions until their very last breath. I guess, there are only two types of people: those who run like a clockwork and never stop and those, who are more of an hourglass. When the sand has fallen from one side the other, that’s it. You, Christina, certainly seemed to have endless energy according to your achievement as Skånes allover business queen.
Have you had ever imagined yourself to become such a powerful entrepreneur? Was it the marriage of your parents, both agil as businessman and businesswoman, who shaped your view of finding happiness in constant activities? As far as historic sources tell, your parents had lived an unusual partnership of equality for their time and it seems highly unusual that your father granted your mother to have something for herself outside of the family matters, which did not involve simple pleasure such as gardening and the bridge club with the girls.
But maybe the secret lies in your grandmother, Sara Nyman, who was born in Dalecarlia. It is known as the province of strong women, since tradition had it, that always the daughters inherited the farm from their parents. It seems strange these days, that there had existed such a matriarchal concept in Sweden at that time.
There is a hint that you might have inherited your grandmother’s strong spirit as she was also a daughter of merchants as well and there seems to a long tradition of merchants, both men and women, on either your mothers’ and your fathers’ side.
Your mother Margareta seems to have been a very strong woman, running her own business affairs.
Historic sources tell that in 1700 she independently bought the manor Nynäs gård, near Nynäshamn, when she already was the owner of two other manors, Djursnäs and Berga. From that point of view it could have meant a tremendous influence on your whole view of partnership between man and woman as a benevolent togetherness filled with inspiring interaction and confidence put into each other.
If I look at my own doing as a self-employed mother, I can relate to you in a way of being eager. I had to adopt the confidence, that as long as I have a sharp eye on what goes on in my life, things will keep evolving for good – although I sometimes struggle to decide, which turn I should take in order to get further. But how did you know when it was okay to be super risky? Did you have a secret adviser? How could you forsee that getting your foot into the Alum business – such an alien economic field? In the end, it would be the allover decision, which would turn you into an even richer woman than you already were.
So I guess it was in your genes and it was probably your parents, who had formed your conviction, that there is more to life than being a mother and a wife. As a woman you probably had to deal with a lot of prejudices and no matter what you did or do today – there are always people full of envy, who simple cannot accept someone else’s achievement, especially not that of a woman.