The TV Serie "Our Time is Now" – the aunt in the attic

Did you known that Haverdal resident Johan Rosenlind (Swe)external link, opens in new window is the man behind the original idea for the TV series Our Time Is Now (Vår tid är nu)?external link, opens in new window Johan started working at First Hotel Mårtenson in central Halmstad in the 1990s. It was here that he found inspiration for parts of the series. But Our Time is Nowexternal link, opens in new window is about another time, another place and another family.

Helga Löwander, played by Suzanne Reuter, is referred to as “The aunt in the attic” in the Swedish TV series Our Time is Nowexternal link, opens in new window . This nickname is based on a true story. In the series she lives on top floor of Djurgårdskällaren in Stockholm, although “The aunt in the attic” actually lived in First Hotel Mårtenson in Halmstad. Her name was Greta Gruber, and she was the widow of the man who started Hotell Mårtenson. He died in 1969. In his will, he wrote that Greta should be allowed to live on the top floor for as long as she lived and that she should receive her meals free from the hotel.

Painting on the woman Greta Gruber in dress

Works from 1945 by Greta Gruber. The painting hangs at Hotell Mårtensson and was donated to the hotel by the Gruber family.

Greta Gruber – The aunt in the attic

The 5th floor was built in the early part of the 20th century to serve as a residence for the manager and it was only converted into hotel rooms in 1996. The last person to live on this floor was Greta Gruber. In the past, Greta had worked as an maid at the hotel, and took a fancy to hotel manager Gruber. This feeling was mutual. When the marriage between Mr and Mrs Gruber came to an end, Greta moved into the hotel in the manager’s residence and became a “fine lady”.

From having been a maid, at a time when she wasn’t even allowed to be in the hotel outside of working hours, Greta now sat in the dining room and ate dinner with the portly loner. This was a major scandal, and her old colleagues spoke very badly about her. However, many others describe what a wonderful little lady she was: sweet and pleasant.

On Tuesdays, in particular, Greta used to hurry down to the reception to pick up her copy of Svensk Damtidning, the highlight of the week. Frank Gruber must have been extremely skilled at drawing up contracts because, despite the fact that there had been many different owners since his time, Greta stayed there until her death in 1996. Initially, the agreement also meant that Greta received food every day. In later years, however, it only included a crate of mineral water a week. And in the end it didn’t include anything at all, probably due to tax reasons.

Many of the former workforce have stated that, in its way, it was charming to have Greta living in the hotel. However, it did cause problems from time to time. At Christmas in years gone by, when the hotel was closed, she obviously still wanted to go in and out as usual. However, she was afraid to walk alone in the hotel’s dark corridors, which gave rise to certain problems. Instead of having a member of staff working right through Christmas, the matter was resolved by someone coming to help her in and out when necessary. Keeping the hotel open just for little Greta was not financially justifiable.

When Greta died, Nordens Kvalitetsauktioner came and collected her furniture and the floor was converted into six hotel rooms. It is said that Greta still walks around the hotel and looks in on the guests, and many of the staff claim to have seen her...

Filmklappa

Foto: Mostphotos, Fer Gregor

More about SVT's series Our Time is Now

Our Time is Now has been broadcast for three seasons. A fourth season will be released in 2020. The fourth season will take place between seasons one and two. We look forward to meeting "the aunt in the attic". SVT has also created two documentaries about the popular series.

Berättelsen bakom – Vår tid är nu

I "Berättelsen bakom Vår tid är nu" kliver skådespelarna i serien ur sina roller och vi träffar personer som inspirerat dramat. Däribland Greta Gruber på Hotel Mårtensson. 02.50 in i avsnitt ett får du följa med Suzanne Reuter till Halmstad för att uppleva Greta Grubers Hotel Mårtensson. Vid 11.25 in i dokumentären får vi även se idéer från köket, så som Stickans "kontor".

Silence, camera, action – Our time is now

Here we go behind the scenes on one of Sweden's largest productions ever and meet some of those who worked on the series.

Seasons 1–3 of Our Time Is Now

On SVT play you can watch seasons 1–3 of the popular series "Our Time Is Now".

A family chronicle of love, conflict and hope for the future that stretches from the coming of peace in 1945 and many years forward in time. In some of the main roles: Hedda Stiernstedt, Adam Lundgren, Charlie Gustafsson, Mattias Nordkvist, Ida Engvoll, Josefin Neldén and Rasmus Troedsson.

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