Saturday, 30 September 2017

Cinderella goes comfortable

Right now, I am of the political-philosophical-fashion view that shoes should simultaneously fulfill the impossible requirements to fit climbing tree activities directly after a visit to the opera. I am heading there, shoelace by shoelace.
Summertime, these are fine for visiting friend, climb a tree and visit a castle. They have a spongy sole! So you take care of your backbone, thank you dear Spanish producer. On the downside, they last one season only.
Friendly sheep, soft and warm, multi-purpose. We have a "gang" around where I live (which is a super safe place - they just don't how how to be cool) that crashes the glass which encapsulates the bus stops, causing the scattered pieces look like eternal ice (I was about to say "frozen ice", which would be more correct as frozen-frozen ice?). So since it's just laying there waiting to be mended, I made art of it. The other guy present at the bus stop nodded and was impressed.
Waiting for friend to come-shoes. I mastered the art of making these uncomfortable pieces walkable by wearing thick socks first. If you want to stretch leather, wear wet socks with your shoes on for sometime, don't wet the entire shoe.
My newest recruitment, winter-but-autumn or autumn-but-not-frost shoes. Leather like this needs care with creams that doesn't dry it out - then they can last for years. They say. Lady in shop showed me her leather sandals that had undergone this cream treatment and they looked solid. So it's like a plant? I will start the treatment today or tomorrow. 

Thursday, 28 September 2017

To whom it might concern: Tinder

Friend said: there are three questions that are good markers for where the conversation/date is heading.

I am gladly sharing it with you. Sharing is caring.

Question 1: what is the age range you have on Tinder?

Question 2: what was your worst Tinder date like?

Question 3: are you a feminist?

And the way they are answered matters.

Update: another friend had a much more "jovial" list. It goes like this:
iPhone? Car? McDonald's? Feminism?

I especially like the McDonald's criterion :))

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

What would replace coffee?

I once was responsible for the coffee bread and cookies at work - a tradition passed on to every member of the working team weekly. I baked and bought a cheese and some toppings. We were on the top floor and the coffee machine four floors down, so I did something extra as well - filled big coffee thermoses with coffee so that we could: save time, refill quickly again when it got cold and just feel the extra care.

It was not appreciated. I got one positive comment and of maybe 11 mugs waiting to be filled, about three were used. Not a coffee drinker myself, I had missed what turned out to be an important social part - meeting people during the walk down and the chatting in the queue. The walk surely also served as a small, intentional break.

But coffee has not always been this social key. So a thought arose: what could replace this almost ritual beverage and the path to it? Not counting smoking and drinks at the local pub. Any suggestions? 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Future scenarios: Who will become American Presidents?

...are hard to predict, of course they are. Nonetheless, some universities make their students write motivated diagnosis on the development of some true events - the Department of Crisis and Conflict at Uppsala University, for example.

The case of Mark Zuckerberg becoming the next president candidate is one of the interesting cases that maybe wasn't difficult to predict, but what is more interesting is the cultural heritage that follows. By culture, I mean everything social connected to a person: customs, firm beliefs, the social environment - everything that the person has experience from, everything he or she has experienced and that we know will affect that person's decisions.

And speaking of social. Do you see the conflict of interest in that the candidate in theory has access to private information about roughly one billion people, information that these people have given voluntarily? Not counting the enterprises, but they are important contributors, too. This is not a scenario you want to have. In theory, this opens up for surveillance and unethical rule backwards - because it started well before the candidate was openly interested in a candidature.

This being utterly serious, though not limited by law, brings us to the next thought. What other types of background or connections are not desirable for presidents to have? 

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Happy G-forces (four+two, where G equals "glad")

 Seeing this, it's not hard to guess where I was today: Gröna lund :)
 I took a sneaky photo on the way out. I wear a cap because it blows on a merry-go-round on water.
...because it's so beautiful. With shoelaces hanging down from the ceiling, or even better, with tentacles, to lure children into spinning heads and tickly bellies, on the inside. 
 The whole place was VIP+friends only, and the VIPs would know other VIPs and stop to greet from time to time. 
 My favourite attraction of them all is Kvasten, "The Broomstick". Harry Potter, or technically, a witch (I sense a witch theme here given yesterday's post) meets... real physics.
 Then classics like the Jetline I know so well, I told my VIP where to hold on tight before which curve and break in.
But one question. Is it really true? Did people ever laugh at funny mirrors? I find it so hard to believe. 

Friday, 22 September 2017

A witch's hat and other good things about Reimersholme

 Friend and I were deciding: let's do something we haven't done before. Last minute, we agreed walking to Reimersholme, which none of us had visited! Ever. (But I met someone I know.) Named after Anders Reimers who bought a big part of it in the late 1800's, it was the base for the production of vodka for sometime (prisoners from the adjacent island, Långholmen, would do most of the work). Today, there is art scattered everywhere on the island. 
 This runic stone, for example. Which is an egg. We can call it "Modern Viking".
Some bureaucratic confusion. Barrels that once contained cognac were donated as a landmark, you see, but then had to be repaired and it would take time to find someone with the right skill to mend them. Now they are fresh like a rose, but behind them is a sign apologising for the barrels maybe coming up autumn 2016...

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Outfit details - two years ago

This cool pant. Like leather but polar fleece on the inside. Mmm. Also note the sweater. Mmm too. Served well as a winter jacket.
Gold and diamonds in my hair cannot be a fraction of how uncomfortable Nefertiti's golden outfit was.
German colours and friend practicing her (growing) hair skills on me.
With quite a nice result. Which brings us to the next step: what cool should the hairdresser do with my hair next time?

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Maybe it's because of me, maybe not at all

Research in economics shows it shouldn't be me, but if I keep asking questions, explain why I boycott products manufactured in P.R.C. and even after the staff underlines it will take time to find out where a product is from I insist on mailing the company anyway, it must stir something. At least I have noted an increase in products made in Portugal, India, Turkey, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Lithuania and less from China.

Don't be fooled by the brand being German or Swedish. Look for where it is made. Rörstrand, a famous Swedish traditional porcelain brand, is manufactured in Indonesia these days.

The most fun sales pitch happened yesterday. I had laid eyes on a hot air balloon for decoration, a cute thing that reminds vaguely of Jules Vernes I wanted hanging at my window. The crucial question remained.

"Where is it made?"

"It's an authentic brand..."

(Oh, cool, here it comes, hand made in some Boho Paris premises!)

"...found in China."

Where does the "authentic" come in, exactly? 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Don't cry for me, Colombia - and gold

 Pimped letters I have not shown before! Tend to create envelopes that need extra care in Spain, so I had to pay extra for the 3D statement - as is would be dealt with manually. The fruits are also my work. That's one of my best tricks: get a plain envelope and then stick tasteful stickers everywhere. 
 Black and white could be trendy again. This is meant to be coloured, but I let it be for more drama. 
 I have a gel pen that writes with gold - but it behaves as if it is charcoal: it wears off, layer by layer. I am, on one hand, hoping the addressees will be able to read it all. On the other, I slyly think this is like a version of invisible ink: it will disappear over time. Also note the stamps - painted by Lars Lerin, who is a master with watercolours. 
This postcard is with the coolest stamp I have ever received (the coolest postcard is the one written inside the Vatican, the only country where no new citizens can be born) -
 it is only valid when sent from the UN building. 
As for Colombia. It took six months to send something to Brazil, so I am very curious how fast it will reach another part of South America. 

Monday, 18 September 2017

Harvest, oh harvest!

Let's harvest ahead! Five harvest occasions at five very different places. First out:

Harvest party at M's parents.
 In August, M's parents invited to a knytkalas: a party when everyone brings something to share. The hosting family offered brewed exotics and the garden's harvest. 
 For example these peas, which give sprouts easily. 
 M's friend, M, made a successful and innovative mixture of sweet potatoes, lime and greens.
 M's parents built the house themselves!
As family members kept dropping in, we ate, played the infamous kubb and photographed ourselves using this frame hanging from a tree. I launched two new jokes that night, one of them including a fax.
 We also admired the inviting decoration.
And mistook the scarecrow, who of course was outstanding in its field, for a real being.
Harvest festival in Rosendal.
 Flowers as fireworks, the artist is a genious. 
 Classic: guess the weight of the biggest pumpkin! With the twist that the bottom seemed flat. I used the watermelon method: one watermelon is 4 kg and as big as a fourth of this left side, and...
 I had big doubts though. Last time, Ilo and I guessed the weight of a fish in a shop. We said something like 13 kg and it actually was like 5. 
 Almost like 100 years ago, and a hundred years before that.
 Like in a harvest film. This is also a joke about the best item to wear in these circumstances: har-vest.
 We also photographed the photographer who I think was from Japan or South Korea. 
 I swear this dog was a model. Muffy arranged paws and showed me two of her profiles when I told her I would take some photos.
 It is the first time in my life that I now use the following word combinations: cabbage rainforest and cabbage jungle. This looked like both.
 Here they grilled sausages with 500 grams of vegetables inside (per kilo of recipe), like beetroot (the red) and parsley (the green). It wasn't too crowded, just cozy-busy.
 ...But I lost. My competitor ran amidst the hay for 15:48 seconds, me 16 flat.
 It's not dark, I don't know what you are talking about. But tell you what: this outfit is from the party the previous night, where the theme was "white sensation". I streched it a little with a white bracelet. 
Besides me holding the cool bulb tidlösa, you should know that two people stopped me on the street to compliment the glittery top. A lady had spotted me through the shop's windowindow and left the shop just to ask me where I had gotten it :)

The yearly harvest market at Skillebyholm (family tradition). 
The next September day, my brother and I drove here, as did hundreds of people. 
 When this particular market is held at the end of September, it usually marks the first really cold autumn day and then it never gets warmer, not until spring. People were truly worried, but it was sunny and summery and still is.
Inside some of the green houses, a vegan buffé was served. It used to be more impressive, we missed the spring green pie, for example. 
The tables and the seats were all of hay,
and some customers even turned them into beds...
 for some instants.
A stick! "Exactly what I need", many children thought.
 Oh, how the two ladies laughed at me. Have I never spun before? Haha! It was like saying, I have never watched TV before. Everyone spins yarn from the wool they find! Obviously. The good thing she taught me that wool clothes can shrink on your body while you wear it, because of the sweat. News to me!
Mud everywhere, but it didn't rain.
After some humbug water (but humbug with heart),
we had to rush back to Stockholm for academic arrends.

Harvest in Täby park. 
So un-cozy - bad music and no nature elements really - that I took no photos. The potential lies in that an old hippodrome is being revived, but it is still exactly that - resting potential. I dreamt that night about having forgotten the murder mystery experience, but it was in my dream only...

Harvest day at Nynäs castle. 
Lucky me to have found this castle being open the last weekend this season (except for an event on the 24th of September).
We spent about five happy hours here.
This included a walk on a seemingly dangerous path named "Marthas stig" near one river with vibrantly coloured mushrooms. 
I bought garlic. Always want to buy garlic.
We practiced trust in our friendship which was like walking on a guitar string - shaky and risky.
Conrad, 16, has extra feet near his knees. All horses do! How come I didn't know this?!
So do cows, but near the hoof.
 Remember the previous pumpkins?
 They are useful in many ways: decoration, pillows...
 The houses you see, where the largest part of the market was,
 as well as the stone walls around,
all come from the uneven ground in front of the castle where the fountain is now.
 I made myself at home.
 Gorgeous, I know.
This castle is not in Nynäshamn, which I first thought. Quite wide apart, actually. I got some confusing childhood memories sorted too: this is where I was, 20 years ago, and wondered where the large café had gone when I visited Tullgarns slott. They are quite similar and now I know where the "missing café" had gone. The part which aims for the sea looks very much like one another. 
 This day, I also discovered that strawberry flowers can have PINK flowers - and that white currant exists. It is sweeter than the red currant and the black dito.
 And that artichokes could be massive enough to look like they are going to take over the world. 
Come here! I recommend. The prices are lower than in Stockholm, and people to some extent nicer. 
Soon, I also will show you more of the castle from the inside.