Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Walk the walk

A brief shoe history with a happy end: the newest, the red, do not hurt anywhere! The blue and the brown are not part of my collection anymore. The white will go through trial. The black are good but getting too loose. The art of SHOE is tricky but Portuguese and Italian production usually help the case.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Me at the library counter, casually:

"Books on voting in Swiss elections, please."
Librarian: "In what language?"
Me: "Nah, doesn't matter that much."
Librarian (very calm): "In Chinese?"
Me: "Maybe not Chinese." (Not that there are many books on Swiss votes, in Chinese, in a Swedish library.)
Librarian (continues, still tranquil but amused): "In Romanian?"
Me: "Not in Romanian..."
Librarian: *tries not to smile*
Me: "Ok, fine, foremost Russian, English, French and Swedish."

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Am I a creative mind?

Or do many people think of the same thing at the same time? Or is there a trend in actions and societies that lead to certain ideas?

This happened.

In what must have been 2003 or 2004, I came up with the idea of a website that would collect all knowledge in the world. I called it "Multi interest", the "multi" coming from the brand "Multi Copy" that providedo our school with A4-paper. It was one of the few times I sat in front of a computer with internet, to give you a sense of the environment I was in.

Shortly after that, Wikipedia became known to the public.

In 2010, I emailed two of the major pharmacies in Sweden to set up a meeting with this idea: delivery of medications to the front door. One declined more kindly than the other, before finding out the idea, as I of course had not written it in detail, or almost at all (pitches come with practice).

This week (6 years later), the ads started coming up: if you order the drugs online, it will be delivered before 6 a.m. to your front door.

Summer 2015, I wanted to create a camera with wifi. Nikon launched this feature at this period (at least on the Swedish market, I had not done research yet, besides that shops did not have these cameras to my knowledge).

Next: I want to scan brains as part of the medical examination just like when you check your weight, length at the school nurse's. Nothing strange, it will just show how healthy you are and help doctors to prevent potential diseases BEFORE you get the symptoms and help pedagogs to get a picture of what kinds of learning methods will suit your personality the best. 

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Easter. Happy.

Easter last year. 
Easter this year. Roses are called Miss Piggy :)

Friday, 25 March 2016

Last year's student gives feedback

I met the nithgraders at a school reunion, and one of my former students said that her knowledge in French peaked that spring when I was teaching. I could judge that there was something in particular she meant, but I could not remember what: I have had so much variety in all of my classes, from talking like The Hulk, writing relays, memory exercises, assignments with a dictionary and the same exercise the next day without, guided grammar tour, so...

"It would be great with feedback!" I cheered.

"You gave us homework every day! I learned a lot."

:) :) :) :) How could I forget that?

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Monday, 21 March 2016

Time for Flower Power

I love having colourful flowers at home. My previous apartment was so warm though, that no bouquet was longlasting. I was thinking of putting bits of ice in the vases - till I discovered temperature can reach 60 degrees Celsius when sun shines on the windowsill. In other words: pointless.
My favourite flower depends on the context. As a rule of thumb, I try to vary the species and colours as much as possible when choosing the next arrangement of flowers.
Freshly shopped new member to the windowsill. Lyckliga lotta, or balsaminer, are great. They might look like they are on the verge of dying in a shop, but then you take it home, strip it bare of old petals, water it regularly, it will show you its gratitude for at least a year ahead.
A rosey-cheeked rosebush on one single stick. A favourite that lived for one day.
Like fruit salad, but flower salad. I chose every single one myself, which included almost every flower I liked in that shop. The orange-pinkish rose is called Pink Floyd.
Light and placements are as important as the choice of flowers. I try to put the vases on places where I tend to look the most, for example the most visible spots when entering a room.
M.T. gave me these tulips during Christmas - perfect when the nature is so empty of colours.
I met one of the headmasters from work at a flower shop, where this posy was being styled to surprise a colleague of hers. We chatted a bit with the flower stylist and I learned that that the Pink floyd rose opens up so that it becomes FLAT when blooming fully.
Inspired by the thistles above, I created my own nosegay with his unusually coloured rose called Harlequin.
As a good bye and a thank you at the end of the semester (it was timed like in a film, the moment I entered the staff room; it was my turn to go to the stage) I got an amaryllis. It really does not look like much in the start, but then explodes into four red, shining trumpets.
These look like flames, N. said.
A friend's mother gave me the idea to combine low-cut flowers with short ones to give a sensation of a bigger volume.
This rainbow on a stick N. got before he left for Japan (tomorrow!), from what I think is my favourite flower shop from now on. This is just one flower (that has been dyed with a special solution) + additional leaves.

Do you have a favourite? 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Planted Easter

Easter appears much shorter than Christmas, because decorations come on and go quicker, and there is no stress around GETTING GIFTS. It is also more colourful, one has to love that.

Friday, 18 March 2016

I am going for an Internet walk

Or stroll. Nobody is surfing the web; we either stroll casually (and enter rooms where membership is required, or cry on an unknown person's shoulder, or give comments without seeing each other) or bounce on the surface of pointy waves (those who are fast with their fingers). If I see Internet that way, much of what I do online gets a new sense. In a way it is much more free than on a street: on a personal blog, you can read what it's writer says in a way that you can not walk up next to someone on the street and carefully listen to their conversation.

How interesting. 

Thursday, 17 March 2016

"Alive each second in time"

"I varje ögonblick är vi fortfarande vid liv" is overwhelmed with praise and price(s, probably soon). Even the librarian commented happily on my choice of book, like a sign of good taste (!).

Titles sometimes change completely when translated and have NOTHING to do with the original. So - the topic is what I would call the book if I got to translate it and yet freestyle a teeny tiny bit.

It is a book about death. He loves her, she gives birth to a baby girl the caesarian way: she has acute leukemia and dies within more hours than days; so it feels. Thedialoguebasicallygoeslikethis. No quotation marks, little spacing, adds to the poetic feeling and is demanding on the reader and is very much under the skin of the writer. It is his own, true story. Then dies his father. And life goes on, in a whirlwind of memories.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

My Words as of 2016, part I

Boondoggle - SUCH A USEFUL WORD. Quoting Wikipedia on this one:  "a project that is considered a useless waste of both time and money, yet is often continued due to extraneous policy or political motivations." 

e.g.exempli grati

i.e. - id est

panacea - a remedy for all ills or diseases (would be good to have! Sometimes it is known as "common sense")

Avbräck (in Swedish) - ekonomisk skada

Kontraindicerar (in Swedish) - something that indicates a curative should not be used

Fjälster (in Swedish) - sausage casing

Tribologi (in Swedish) - the study of friction

Varselkläder (in Swedish) - clothes in neon bright colours you wear when at a building site, for example

Systemutvecklare (in Swedish) - a programmer, but that varies between companies anyway. This type of business is so new, that every successful gaming company can still be tracked down to bunches of friends that started a company.

Glencheck - those squares on a textile

Chide - to berate

Apori - a complexity or a contradiction

Jösses anåda - like, "oh my god", but as a very old expression in Swedish

Radondöttrar - decay of radon

Nyttig idiot - a version of a scapegoat

Ofostrig graviditet (in Swedish, have not yet found the term in English) - a pregnancy when the placenta grows and the body behaves as if it is pregnant with swelling breasts etc., but no baby is actually there. Ends with a miscarriage and the placenta still has to be pushed out after many pills and much agony.

Monday, 14 March 2016

What I wore last summer and will wear again

 Amazing how I manage to forget exactly HOW warm the summer is, and HOW cold the winter is. Am pleasantly taken by surprise when spring shows up, and that means a warderobe change. Which means thoughs of summer. So: this is from June 2015. The stream of consciousness is a bonus.
Photos by David Härenstam.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

"A mother takes shape"

Which I guess would be its title in English. The Swedish one is "En mamma blir till - för alla som längtar, väntar och ska föda en bebis". The author is Malin Wollin, and she is the reason to why I chose the book. This is what happens when a blog is not enough. I did the same with Nina Åkestam. When she stopped blogging altogether, I bought her book on reflections about jobs, society and one's relation to all that and used it as a substitute because I missed her texts so much. 

Wollin's language is spinning fast with funny and spot-on references. She is basically your very good friend that shares what she has been through - not only four children, but also the more than double times of miscarriages. She shows the pain, and the immense joy. She screams so loud that she is heard in other countries and shows up at the front door when nobody has texted her any news about her newborn godchild for two days. She conquered her boyfriend as a bulldozer does a cherry tree. On her blog, people keep asking if she is that funny on a daily basis. She is. And the book is practical, too. 

By mistake, I somehow registered on her blog in a comment column and mothers and mothers-to-be praise the book for making them laugh so hard of recognition that their tears could be used as a water sprinkle (if one were to use what potentially would be a Wollin metaphor). I bought this book as a gift for a friend's child's non-christening party, and think that many other readers would enjoy it. 

Saturday, 12 March 2016

inbox vs outbox

Outbox first.
Here you see a 1793 motif called "I want! I want!" that went off to London.
Air mail with massive snowflake sent to Reggensburg, Germany. 
London again. I really fancy the relief.
Local in Stockholm. For the gender aware message inside, the baby's mother quoted me on a site for, well, gender aware mothers.
 I use the sets of these cards as letterpaper. Both found in Denmark, I am very pleased.
Stamps gone worldwide!

And inbox:
Message inside in French with a clue!
In a parcel with plenty of tasty stuff, also came a message with love and attorney (!).
 This birthday card with origins from Uppsala guarantees me a luxury brunch some day.
One of the top favourites: delivered by the sender herself and with a very warming and witty almost-poem.
It rained men all the way from London.
And the next most recent: a brief note from Linköping. 

Friday, 11 March 2016

Museum Mission: Södertälje konsthall

3,000 cut-out triangular pieces and inside - a bathing ring. Artists' clothes found at Södertälje konsthall!
 Each stage a speech balloon.
Creations for The Hives, The knife, Yohio, Roger Pontare and other artists by Bella Rune, Pauline Wallenberg-Olsson and Sarah Mårskog. To mention a few.
Next to a set of costumes, there is a black table with a drawer. When drawer is pulled out, music by the singer/group begins to play. Very nice.

Ongoing till May.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The chandelier story - friends come to surrender

After searching the antiquities shops (and becoming dangerously close to being the owner of a Maria Therese from the 60's), after having made an attempt to maybe perhaps puzzling my own prisms together, after surfing the net and finding inspiration in baroque rooms (premises of IVA), I settled for this rather boring Ikea object (after some advice from M.T. over the phone):
You see, I was going to pimp it with colourful prisms myself.

Well, except that...

...There are no colourful prisms available in Sweden. I found an orange Swarowski version. And a lamp with blue prisms (which makes the project lose the point, I don't want two lamps to style one). That is pretty much all. 

That is how I stumbled upon this gypsy lamp, decided to become its owner and to return the other. 

And then I decided to colour some of the prisms. That required a phone call to Ikea, as the glass dye I found at a hobby shop was for all glasses EXCEPT crystal glass and duralex. (And had to dry for 24 hours! And, upon that, put in an OVEN for 40 minutes.) That is why I had to precise the product specifics. It went as far as that a technician had to get back to me with the details.
 But time went by and I was quite happy with this unstyled Scandinavian cold beauty.
Then L.W. underlined that my ecological thinking was equal to zero, and linked to Auktionshuset Kolonn where antique crystal lamps are auctioned at very low prices (for comparison, a precious chinaware I saw - 55 pices for 400 SEK?! It is cheaper than a flea market!). Her own father had found a crystal chandelier in a container. Me, I dryly draw the line at dumpster diving for chandeliers.
Also K.N. saw the lamp - and liked it - but since it turned out that the prisms were genuine plastic, she also implied that I should get a real one, as it is all abut the glass clinking (and nother having it as source of light, but here I disagree). M.T. said that if I have four of them, then it is almost like living in a castle. Me, I liked the thought of having a summer chandelier and a winter chandelier.

Ikea replied: of what is glass, it is soda glass. So if I want, I can paint the middle part with the colours I have. And so far I have not. So it probably will keep the colour of ice for a long time ahead.