Monday, December 31, 2007

* * * Happy New 2008 * * *


Looks like it won't be time for a wrap up book review *darn*, but at least I did manage to sweep up a bit of old dust and fluff in the dustpan, to share with you.

And with a sip of powerjuice, I'm now just going to wish you a Happy, Prosperous, Caring, Compassionate, Loving, Wonderful & Amazing New Year!!!

Btw, if you - and you know exactly who you are - finally want to delurk yourself and leave a comment here, now and then, please feel free, I'd be so very pleased!

And to all of you who actually already do write a lovely comment here and there, thanks ever so much! Cheers!

070804 110

Wrap Up - Beauty Products

I have this irresistable urge of wrapping *everything* up and begin the new year - only a few shivering hours left! - with a (semi)clean plate. Which won't happen. Of course. But I can give it a go. And since I did it yesterday with the movies, time has now come to make the beauty products wrap up - and if I have the time, possible the three latest read books. I wish I could say it was a review of the whole Currently reading-list to the right here ---> but alas it isn't. I have to have something to write about next year too, right?


Soap - Rose soap, Lisen Organics. Some might remember the rose scrub from the same brand I raved about over a year ago. I didn't found it again, or really looked for that matter, this last summer. But I did get this beautiful, handmade soap. It is kind of oily in texture, which I suppose might be a good thing since it's anything but drying. But it was also something that made me a bit hesitant to start with, since the feeling of squeaky clean from the shower is quite lovely. But it is a fine soap, although I'm not too keen on the scent - and as all Lisen's products it's organic of course, and very appealing to the eye too.

The woman behind the brand is a Swedish herbalist and homeopath, she has worked many years at lovely Rosendal's Gardens at Djurgården. Her products isn't to be found everywhere, and what's in stock depends on the season, like with the rose products, but her list of retailers you find under "Återförsäljare" at her website, only in Swedish.

Shower gel - Snow Fairy, Lush. This is a seasonal product, and I never got my hands on it last season, alas. This year I'm happy to announce I did - and I love it, the bubblegum pink, the sugary sweet toffee scent, it sure makes the showering a giggling experience. And since I bought ½ L I'll giggle well into the new year. Remember, only for external use though.

Facial cleanser - Milky soap, Kanebo. A product I used years ago, it's nice, lovely scent, easy to use, leaves skin feeling clean but not overly dry.

Conditioner - Intense Moisture, Dove. The only reason for me having this bottle, and even contemplating buying a supermarket brand for the hair..., is that I got a 2 for 1 thing when on holiday in desperate need for a conditioner. It actually worked pretty fine when on holiday (the water, weather, shampoo did their part I guess), now it just leaves hair all brittle, flat and unruly. Won't continue using.

Then it's a good thing that I finally invested in a regular bottle of the Kiehl's nourishing olive fruit oil conditioner the other week. Since it proves to work just as well in the South African sun as in the bleak, cold days of wintry Sweden. My hair was a mess after dealing with the strains of Christmas, but a little dollop of this conditioner worked simple wonders with the *natural* haybale that had appeared on top of my head. It even gave me back some of my curls. New conditioner favourite!

Deodorant - pro-age, Dove. I got this from my mother, I'd never even contemplating buying anything pro-ageing myself, so I consider this being an insult to the delicate, young me that's just bursting of youthfulness and energy, not looking a day over...

Having said that, I think it has a wonderful scent, the deodorant/anti-perspirant effect being average. And yes, perhaps it actually makes my armpits looking slightly younger.

Hand soap - Savon de Marseille extra pur Pamplemousse, La Compagnie de Provence Marseille. I love the smell of grapefruit in products, it's fresh, sweet, crisp and clean. I'm not overly impressed by this soap though, the scent using it isn't as great as it was promising when just sniffing the bottle, and it's uneconomical plus makes the hands dry. So no, I won't buy a refill of this rather overpriced range.

Hand cream - Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, Kiehl's. Have only used it a couple of times, but so far, so good. Leaves hands feeling soft and clean, absorbs quickly, slight minus for the medical scent of the cream.

Concealer - Flawless Fix Pencil, Laura Mercier. This is an ingenious little pencil that with a little touch here and there makes you look slightly more perky. Which is useful most any day. The detail with the self sharpening cap is brilliant. I'm hooked!

Mascara - Virtuôse, Lancôme. Yes, my search for the ultimate mascara continues... This one promises "Divine Lasting Curves & Length". I don't know about that, but I'll give it a go. I actually haven't open the bottle just yet. But it somehow seems appropriate to perhaps do tonight...? Anyway, it'll be on top of my to-review-list for next year's first beauty product's list!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Movies again

A selection of movies watched by undersigned since the last time -

* Michael Clayton - I very much like many of George Clooney's films, and oh yes, I admit he is a serious piece of eyecandy (and with a brain!), this one however basically left me with a yawn. And not only because the film would have seriously improved by being about 45 minutes shortened. I know many rave about this movie, at least critics here in Sweden, about it being absolutely brilliant, but I fail to see why. And I have a sneaking suspicion that saying you really like this movie is just a way to say you rise above the ignorant plebs, that is the common rest of us...

Yes, great cast, but the story of corruption, good vs bad a k a the little man against a nasty, unscrupulous multinational corporation has been seen soo many times before. And in a far better suit. So instead of seeing this sleeping pill, watch and get mesmerized and upset by for example The Insider, Syriana or the The Constant Gardener instead. -3/5

* The Man From Elysian Fields - beautifully filmed, lovely actors incl a really great performance by Mick Jagger, about what we do for love, life and yes, writing... It somehow reminds me of the French The Escort, but I'm fairly sure it isn't a remake. -4/5

* The Clearing - with actors such as Helen Mirren, Robert Redford and Willem Dafoe I somehow wanted a bit more than this. It is beautifully made, with a wistful feeling to it, but even if the suspense in this kidnapping drama is held together until nearly the very end the end is still more than an anticlimax one. Unfortunately. -3/5

* Elizabeth I - Helen Mirren again, in a brilliant interpretation of queen Elizabeth I, magnificently supported by especially Jeremy Irons. I was completely spellbound the whole film through. So very interesting, the way they actually managed to capture and keep the interest of this historic drama and making it both vivid and plausible, exquisitely made down into every detail. 5/5

* Rabbit-Proof Fence - a true story about Australia's dark past and the way the country has treated the original inhabitants, the aboriginals. Absolutely heartbreaking. 4/5

* Aberdeen - quite a gloomy, bare movie about a troubled father-daughter relationship which we get to follow on a road trip from Oslo, Norway to Aberdeen, Scotland. The social realism genre which can sometimes be a bit too much, but it works quite well here. +3/5

* Spanglish - this one I simply liked. A lot. The cast. The plot. It isn't a masterpiece of anykind, but just so very likable. And just seeing Adam Sandler actually act in a decent way is quite remarkable. 4/5

* Dogville - I'm no fan of overrated Danish director Lars von Trier in general - except for the TV-series Riget- and it has taken me ages to get down to actually watching Dogville. And admittedly at first I had my finger rather firmly placed on the ff-button on the remote-control. But the story soon grabbed me, it's just so intense, so completely tragic, so horrific, so intrusive. This is a superb drama, and very disturbing. 4/5

* Collateral - another movie I had a firm preconception about. And then it turned out to be one of the best action movies I've seen so far. It isn't very foreseeable, and it has an extra dimension of thinking to it. Wasn't very impressed by the very ending though. -4/5

* Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events - Stunningly made, gorgeous and amazing and funny, but the story itself I found to be rather thin. It never touched me. And I had expected so much more of it. +2/5

* Anchorman - The Legend of Ron Burgundy - I like Will Ferrell, he's a brilliant comedian. And yes this movie offered its fair share of good laughs, all wrapped up in the fashion of the 70ies, but all and all, not a comedy I'll remember for very long. 3/5

* Closer - nicely done, good actors, somewhat fascinating but since I can't relate to this kind of lifestyle it left me... well, just sad and somewhat slightly disgusted I guess. 3/5

* Kinsey - another movie that was just so much better than I had expected. About the "father of human se*uality" Alfred Kinsey and his groundbreaking research in 1940ies. Truly fascinating, so very well played, a movie that makes you think. A lot. 4/5

* Manchurian candidate - the remake of the movie from 1962. Since it was such a long time since I saw that one I have no idea how well this remake stands up to that one, but it is a very good political thriller. About a deranged, vicious powerhungry bitch of a mother and a high political conspiracy - what's not to like about such a plot teamed up with Denzel Washington? 4/5

* Narc - dark, intense, personal, tragic, brainy thriller 3/5

* La mala educación - I like Pedro Almodovar's movies in general, the blaring Spanish, the affectivity, the humour, the garishness. This one, said to be semi-autobiographical, is far from his best ones - Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios, Hable con ella, Volver, Todo sobre mi madre - but still rather moving and worth seeing, 3/5

* Bad Santa - it is kind of liberating to see this kind of anything-but-cuddlesome-PC-Santa, played by Billy Bob Thornton, and the supporting actors are a neat bunch. But still, the multitude of laughs it brings also give a tangy aftertaste. Which, I suppose, might be a good thing... -4/5

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Beside the road - Brahehus

071216 031
Three kilometres north of the small town of Gränna you'll find the old castle ruins of Brahehus. It's situated just beside the highway, unfortunately, with a breathtaking view over the landscape and the lake Vättern below.
071216 012
It was built in the mid 17th century by the Lord High Chancellor Per Brahe the Younger (who also founded the town of Gränna). Originally the place was intended to be a folly country retreat, but instead it was built as a dower house for his wife. Who passed away some years later so the castle was in the end used as a guest accommodation. The castle, along with the surrounding area, was ravaged by a fire in 1708. And it then fell into decay.
071216 021
071216 017
If you happen to drive by I think it's an atmospheric place well worth a visit, preferably when there aren't a lot of people wandering around. Early summer mornings in good weather are absolutely stunning for example and yes the place is sort of eery and offers ample opportunities for using the camera.
071216 033
And if you like a decent, no-fuss but with a home-cooked twist meal, I very much recommend the Vida Vättern a few kilometres further north along the highway. Unpretentious and with a lovely view whether indoors wintertime or outdoors in the summer. Also with a motel that frankly reminds me a bit too much of Bates Hotel...
071216 036
070804 205

More in Swedish about Brahehus you find here

Friday, December 28, 2007

Going Down the Purple Path

I thought I'd keep it a bit light to begin with, tread carefully on the word path, slightly back on track, having at least a modest control of things - or rather the frugal content in my tummy - and muse about about the Last Endeavor a k a the Colour Purple (not the movie, which btw is a great one!) taking over my life, little by little, in a craftily way.
I suppose one might say it all began when I was contemplating the good sense or not of having bought a couple of possible-butter-box-like-shoes last summer (admittedly at a very good sale). The spiralling downwards had suddenly begun, the granny path, the unavoidable road to the old people's home of Sunset Bliss... -
Somehow it all happened so quickly, I hadn't seen it coming. The worst thing probably was, that the definite winner of the butter-box-lookalike-shoe contest above I actually felt quite happy wearing. A few times, at first. Then I realised I felt a dreaded waddle going on, I wasn't walking like the usual me, and then I discovered they weren't made and sewn together the exact same way. One of the shoes weren't at all supportive to the would be foot inside, just making it slipsliding back and forth while walking. Which isn't acceptable, probably harmful and I suppose I could have made a complaint about it, but it was on a great sale and I do believe one should choose one's battles... But if I ever consider buying a pair of Hush Puppies again - which I can't say I really do at the moment - I very much have to examine them even more carefully than I usually do before buying shoes... -
Then I got back on track with past summer's best shoe-buy (on sale. Of course) - the red ones
But it seems like there's just no escape from the Destiny Purple - and a pair of purple shoes screamed my name at the end of summer sales. And we mustn't forget the birthday threesome, including a pair of snazzy, ... purple ones.
And even if my latest shoe investment actually is a pair of lovely red ones again -
um, must make a note of the fact that I don't really need to but another pair of shoes for a while now. I probably should stay away from the post-Christmas sales. There are so much more useful and needy ways to spend ones hard earned money, both on a personal level as well as a more global one... See, Dr Sensible is really trying to fight Ms ShoeHyde in a bad way, all is not lost! -
I kind of make up for that when buying / getting other things... And now I'm finally back to what made me begin writing this, the latest steps down the Purple Path. The three ominous things on the purple colour scale I got before Christmas, all of which can be seen in the picture above. The wonderful, wonderful ring was actually a belated birthday present from my sweet mother, but just the fact that I was very much drawn to this particular one with a big, beautiful purple jade stone when there a few other lovely contenders there too, is just... sad.
This ring, well, the design, the company, deserves a whole blog post by itself so I'll get back to it sometime soon.
But I got a very pretty pink bag with it! And I think one might say that it's bag/box is more of pink/mauveish in colour than something purple...?
The little purse from Longchamp I bought as a Christmas gift for... my camera batteries. And no that's not silly. At all. Just sensible. Since they do a lot of hard work and deserve better than having to share room with a whole lot of weird things in the vanity case. Which possible can lead to them lacking stamina and doing a poor job now and then. And this purple shade is very soft and appealing - yes it is! - and goes really well with the little green key bag. But yes, admittedly it is - purple.
Then we have the ink. Which I bought for making personalized Christmas-cards, but never got around to. So now I'm making them into New Year ones. Hopefully. I got a green one, and then, well, the inner me screamed for this... purple one too. Milled lavender. It just sounds so soothing, so lovely, so very... Granny Mildred.
Alas I more than fear, yes, the Last Endeavour has most certainly got me in its grip, I can't seem to escape. There's no denying, I'm well down that Purple Path.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Strains of Christmas

Oh I wish I could say that my absence in blogging over Christmas had something to do with me being overwhelmed with the christmassy feeling of warmth and happiness in the loving company of family. Alas I can't. The only thing I've been overwhelmed by is the dreaded wintervomitsickness. Which fell on me in the most awful way on Christmas Eve - and I who thought last year's Christmas season was to be a low-water mark, one should prudently bear in mind that things can always get worse... I'll spare you the nasty details and just say I initially made a very good impersonation of the vomiting lady in Little Britain...

Even if I never have and never will be one who glut in Christmas food - that's just plain stupid for a whole lot of reasons... - this eating of rice crackers and drinking of fluid replacement for days now feels kind of an excessive way of proving that point... I like rice crackers, but I wouldn't mind a bit of cheese and veggies on them. And some fruit. And a piece of chocolate. And a cup of tea, with milk. And... Well, tonight I think I'll indulge in some gruel, that feels like a festive treat indeed.

071222 042

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

WCB # 133 - The Best Christmas Gift


One by one most of the little furry darlings have moved out by now. To be honest it's both empty and quite peaceful. The cat litter consumption has dropped drastically. And the grown-old-older-oldest cats are just as indolent as they usually are, when there's no pitter patter of kitten paws to be heard. You get kind of used to having all these adorable mischievous tykes around, and now everything is suddenly oh so quiet. But I'm sure the little rascals are up to all sorts of tricks and treats in their new homes, I've even heard it through the internetlines.

The latest one to move out was Vilgot - perhaps you remember him at the tender age of six days? - who moved in with his older brother Siegfried. Siegfried - yes he was named after Siegfried Farnon in those lovely books by James Herriot/Alf Wight - is a two year old redtabby boy who goes by the name Sigge, and he also has one of my favourite surnames, Strawberry Hill. A cat with such a name can't be anything but an amazing one - thus he most certainly deserve the best Christmas gift anyone can get, love and friendship!

At first he was *a bit* reluctant to show the appropriate amount of joy over that wonderful gift - whilst the gift itself found the new surroundings very interesting and fun to explore indeed (look at the expression of dismay on Sigge's face in the background).


But it wasn't long before he began showing a bit of playful interest and a friendly paw. The latest report said he has revived those old frolics with his new found best friend Vilgot. They will have such a wonderful Christmas together - and hopefully a long and happy life to come!


The Christmas edition of Weekend Cat Blogging is hosted by Kate and Puddy - Merry WCB everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2007


I like you. I like you too - cousins Waldemar Warwick and Prunella Penshurst being affectionate - and the photographer going *ohhh*...

Frostnipped Heart

071219 011

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Jump & Growl

One day I will perhaps look back at these pictures and wonder what I made a fuss about, but for now I'm sort of excited about the fact that I at least got the new camera to cooperate, a few hairy beings somewhat inclined to look into the camera, and hey presto, pictures were downloaded - although I also discovered some disturbing *details* that this camera lack the capacity to do. Growl. Positive thinking, stay focused on all the good things and endless possibilities, will try.

Here are some pretty furry faces, very bright and clever looking, as usual... -




In Hate We Trust... the name of a pressing photo exhibition about hatecrimes and dangerous narrow-mindedness, by Swedish photographer Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin. Only a few pictures, but they do leave a depressing lump in both throat and stomach. A lump of despair.

There are so many inconceivable, hateful tides in society, in certain groups, sometimes in well-established political alignments, others in more or less shady groupings, often with a religious pretext. I wonder why it is that so many, far too many, people and groupings have such difficulties in accepting and acknowledge differences and nuances in life, in people, in views. There are always room for improvement, change, evolvement.

As an example, I believe that if a twogender parenting was the one and only sole prevailing answer to a loving, caring, responsible way of having and bringing up a child, there wouldn't be all these unwanted, sadly ill-treated children all over the world. I have absolutely no idea why one's se*ual preferences in a grown up relationship would make one a less or more worthy and caring parent.

I don't necessarily consider all of Ohlson Wallin's pictures very good - and frankly, the lingua enforcement believes that her website could do with a fair share of proofreading and editing wordwise... - but they very much make you think, question and react. And that can never ever be a bad thing.

Even if one haven't got any personal experience in these types of hatecrimes I believe these issues concern us all, we're all part of the same planet and is a single-minded, bigot, narrow-minded world something to strive for, or accept?

071218 001

The exhibition, with emotional background music by Eva Dahlgren, is on at the Stockholm County Museum, Sickla, Nacka until January 27. Admission free. Go see.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Shades of Red

When words run dry you can always depend of the colour scale red and chocolate. And yes, shoes. Red. Mine. At last.
071028 268
071216 005071217 007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Recipe: Coconutcake with orange & chocolate

By request, here's the recipe for the coconut cake I wrote about the other day. The recipe is from that favourite vegetarian cookbook of mine - it's only flaw being too much sugar and too much dressing in many recipes, and it's easy to omit ingredients or change the recipes of course, other than that I love it! Oh yes, the name of the book is once again, "Vegetariskt - Mat från Trädgårdscaféet Slottsträdgården Ulriksdal" (Vegetarian - Food from the Castlegarden Café Ulriksdal).

Coconutcake with orange & chocolate

10-12 pieces

150 g butter (I used about 100 g, the liquid kind)
3 eggs
2 dl sugar (1,5 is perfectly fine)
200 g coconut
0,5 dl wheat flour
1 tbs baking powder
50 g dark chocolate (I used milk chocolate, what's available works)
grated orange peel of one orange

Melt the butter and let it cool - or do like me, use the liquid kind and you don't have to bother with the melting/cooling part. Whip the egg and sugar, then add the butter. Mix it with the coconut, flour, baking powder. Finely-chop the chocolate and fold into the mixture along with the grated orange peel.

Pour the mixture into a greased and sprinkled - coconut or breadcrumbs - detachable cake tin. Bake for about 50 minutes at 175C. Enjoy! And it also freezes well.

And now I give you a picture of the Katarina elevator - from the plate with cookies I also wrote about at the same time as this cake - as it looks today. I suppose it has it's charm, but not nearly as much as it once had... Mind you, that was well before my time, I'm sure those *good old days* weren't all that good in other aspects...

071217 002

woolly companions

Looking out the window it looks like it's going to be a crisp and sunny (!) day - a day for wrapping oneself in woolly clothes and accessories.

071208 034
Perhaps a moodlifting bright,
bubbly, limecoloured mohair collar?
071128 013
Or my personal favourite being a
long, snug scarf in heather nuances
071213 005
A pair of moss-greenish mittens -
although this pair is safely wrapped up as a Xmas gift
to a non-blog-reading-friend
071213 010

The much loved, classical Swedish Lovikka mittens. Being the first ones I've made since in i was about 10-12 years old - back in the stone ages... - I'm rather pleased with the end result. I hope the receiver will be too...

071213 013

These grey/brown crocheted mittens I made just for me, myself and I, same model as these but for slingthly longer fingers - and perhaps today is the perfect day for inauguration?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Shape Of My Heart

There are certain shapes, materials, patterns, colours and designs that always draw my attention, sometimes entice me to enter a shop, make me yearn, now and then positively screams buy me ! buy me! Such a shape is the heart's.

Maybe it's the symbolism, maybe it's simply that special versatile form of a heart. Whatever it is, I so heart hearts! I like to incorporate it in my jewellery, in a non-obvious, semi-secret way, I like the heart to be a slight surprise when discovered. I like to create heartshapes. I enjoy just looking at them, and yes when possible I like to hold them in my hand, feel the weight, caress the shape, fondle the surface and reflect on the secrets inside.

This particular heart is made of stone, but it's just so lovely. Can be found in the African design shop I wrote about here - at a very reasonable price, allowing you to buy, get or give many hearts. And as often is the case with hearts, they come in unique shapes, different engravings and colours - a heart shaped for everyone.

And I'm fairly sure, that if you care for it, whisper your secrets so only the heart hears, it will make all your wishes come true.

071215 022

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cakes, Cookies & Elevators

Lately I've been trying out a bunch of new cakes and cookies - having kitten buyers over is always a good excuse to fill the freezer with coffee bread. If you need an excuse. And at the moment I really do, since frankly I'm *slightly* tired of cakes and cookies myself. They're fun to bake, and I love taking pictures, trying to make them look mouthwatering - but I don't like to eat them. I completely lack the cravings, perhaps the baking itself and the smell of fresh from the oven made cakes is enough. It's sort of therapeutic and soothing in itself, to potter about with food and baking...

Anyhow. Here's the sextet of cakes and cookies that have been created in my kitchen, most of them as usual from my favourite vegetarian cookbook -

071202 012
These crunchy peanut butter cookies turned out really well, and they don't even have to bake in the oven!
071207 018
Coconut, orange & chocolate cake - moist and with a perfect balance of the three ingredients that gave the cake its name.
071209 012
This gingerbread cake turned out to be too spicy and also too dry - I completely blame it on the recipe, and no it wasn't from my favourite cookbook...
071209 008
Exception to the rule of nearly everything being delicious in that fave cookbook of mine - oatmeal toffee biscuits that was just too crisp and without even the slightest hint of toffee consistency. Never again.
071215 003
Pear & ginger cake - you must love ginger to have a slice of this cake, the flavour is distinct. Probably serves well with some whipped cream.
071215 007
Cardamom & almond cuts that turned out really well. Easy peasy to make, bake, create.

And look at that weird and wonderful plate I found in my cupboard, with an old and wellknown Stockholm view of Katarinahissen (the Katarina elevator) at Slussen. This elevator was constructed in 1881, it was demolished in 1933 but a new one was erected in the same place two years later. The plate is from 1956, and I suppose that is how Slussen looked somewhere between 1881-1956. Much prettier then than now...

If you take the elevator up - or walk out on the bridge from the other side or take steep stairs up - you'll have a glorious view over a wide part of Stockholm. And if you feel like splurging, there's really amazing food to be had at restaurant Gondolen (The Gondola) situated on the upper floor of Katarinahissen. The bar is nice too, even if the cocktails served leave quite a bit to be desired...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Random Rantings From a Procrastinating Cackleklatch Host

Today's post is simply going to be a bit of random rantings-like, since I have a whole lot of things that ought to be prepared for this weekend of kittens-moving-out. At least three and a half of them - the half being the one moving next week - and that involves being the perfect cackleklatch (isn't that a lovely word?) hostess, lots of papers and stuff of all kinds to be done, not to mention an impressive amount of logistics.

This is just something very tangible and completely different to the much hyped - and somehow a bit highly-strung Swedish...? - Christmas rush and stress. As far as I'm concerned complaining about all the musts around Christmas and December is just self-imposed martyrhood. As grown ups in a free society we all have a choice... And if we don't feel like living up to some *expectations* and *demands* of this kind, of course we have the free will not to.

I suspect though, that many of the people complaining about how busy they are and all the musts of this time of the year are just desperate for being needed and appreciated. And the realization, which they obviously shy from, that things can actually be done differently, and managed in another way, well that challenges their whole way of living and life, in a way. So live dangerously, challenge and change these kind of *musts*. Not all, far from, traditions are best kept the way they are.

Having gotten that off my chest, I think winter and December in particular, in general is a beautiful part of the year (when we can enjoy a bit of sun in daytime and pretty please, lots of snow!). The lights, the candles, the snug staying inside with tea curled up under a blanket watching a good movie, long walks and afterwards enjoying hot cocoa - the best one is of course the one at Chokladfabriken / The Chocolate Factory, alas without Wonka - the cosy clothes, layers of them, indulging in knitting, the semi-hibernated feeling of relaxation and sweet no-claim being. Sometimes in the company of friends and family, others in company with the one closest to you, yourself. Life's what you make it.

Now I suppose I should, must give myself up to all that boring cleaning and preparing issues for the weekend - but before I do (anything to postpone...) I just have to share my excitement over the fact that finally my new camera Big Brother has arrived, now I just have to discipline myself and read through the instruction manual, the boring but somewhat crucial part, before I can get out there trying to capture new and even more amazing moments than before. Pins and needles! But of course my faithful friend camera Little Brother will still be coming with me all the time - he is kind of indispensible and has an appealing petite size to him. Size does matter.

And to round off, and procrastinate some more, I want to say a special thanks to sweet Poppy Q, who's a Kiwi thus her realm is found on the other side of the world in New Zealand, since she has introduced me and all my furry ones as her Friday Friend - as if my little part of the blogosphere wasn't enough, I'm honoured indeed!

071208 023

Thursday, December 13, 2007

How to Distinguish an Authentic Lussecat

071213 023

Today is December 13th, the much loved Swedish traditional day of celebrating Lucia. I don't have much to add to what I wrote about Lucia last year - where you also will find some useful and interesting links about the background as to why Lucia is celebrated - I'll just wish you a happy Lucia day!

I hope you get your fair share of Lussekatter (that special saffron bun that goes by the charming name Lussecats) - I'm even bringing some with me to the vet's this evening. After all, they'll have their hands full with vaccinating the five wee ones and giving them a full inspection, so I think they deserve that treat.

071213 050

And remember, genuine Lussebuns/cats have had a more or less close encounter with real life cats - a bit of cat hair always add that extra chewiness and flavour to the buns... - that's how you distinguish the real deal from poor imitations. Fibres are goood for you!

071213 022

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Day After Yesterday

071212 001

Imagine my surprise, and immense delight, when I woke up to a sunny day today! Very cold, really crisp, a day that perhaps makes the heart goes ditty. Although these far from snowy, mild winters we have been "enjoying" here for some years now must have made us sissy spoilt, and very less than rustically stoic enduring Northerners since anything below zero Celsius is absolutely stand-still freezing. Anything below +5 really. And today was thus really darn cold - but in a very refreshing way of course.

071212 002
A day for putting on the wool cap - but be sure to wear the right size, otherwise there's not much sun to be seen and enjoyed. Life can very drastically turn grey and dark. Wouldn't want that on a day like today!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Stockholm in December

071211 007

It might seem like it's evening in these pictures, but it's actually just after three o'clock in the afternoon. I don't much mind if the evenings come early this time of year, but I so wish the sun could show itself *slightly* more often during the "light" hours of day - and yes, I'm aware of the fact that I sound like a nagging, tired, broken record when it comes to the lack of sun matter...

Today has been quite the usual gloomy, dark, depressing day and then add a really keen and nasty wind here in the fair city of the north. However when the night fell, it really was beautiful, and the sky had the most amazing colours...

071211 014

071211 018

And if you detect any kind of fuzziness in these pictures it's of course purely artsy intentional and has nothing whatsoever to do with undersigned being impatient/inexpert/hungry/freezing her fingers off...

Monday, December 10, 2007

December 10th

Today was the day of the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony, always on Dec 10th. For reasons inconceivable I wasn't invited to the festivities - although honestly, believe it or not, I don't much care... - so I'm going to have a celebration of my very own instead.

Whilst the height of the party is going on at the City Hall right now, I'm breaking the rule of not reading more than nine books at a time - ok I know, it was once a limit of eight books, but hey, some rules are simply screaming to be broken! - and will put myself to bed with the latest and last Harry Potter book. It being the 10th book on my Currently Reading-list...

And yes I know, if you read it in English you "should have" read it by now, but I'm sharing the series with family members not conversant to the English lingua so I enjoy them in Swedish. And the Swedish translation has just recently been published, and now I finally own a copy myself. I shan't lie and say I find the HP books astonishingly well-written and immensely high quality literature, with all sorts of noteworthy phrases and passages. Since they aren't and have not. However, the lovely inventiveness and fancifulness make up for the lack of well-writteness. So I'm looking forward to some easy and entertaining reading, even though admittedly I already familiar with The End... Strange how non-avoidable that is.

So if you can't party with the nobility on this Nobel day, then beginning to read a 10th book is quite a noble substitute in my world. Actually, I'd go as far as to say it well surpass that kind of partying... Happy Nobel Day!

070821 031

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Love Actually

*Of course* I have it on DVD, one of the best romcoms ever made, "Love Actually". But even if it is just so brilliant in every little sweet, funny, sad, dippy detail, I don't want to watch it all too often. To fray the pleasure of this perfect feelgood movie would be a pity. So I mostly watch it when it's on TV - which it is on quite a regular basis - now and then. And it is so lovely. Every. Single. Time. Without being too sugary sloppy gooey. Love isn't picture perfect, life isn't perfect.

The kind of movie that makes you discover new quirky details every time you watch it. And it always, without exception, gets me in a good mood. Although, one wish, pretty please, let Sarah and Karl get each other in the end...

And, even if I find the whole cast wonderful, Bill Nighy is the best! If you haven't watched the wonderful "The Girl in the Café" where he stars with Kelly Macdonald, I implore you too. Moving, funny, sweet, intelligent, giving food for thought and above all being hopeful, on many levels, despite the world in so many ways appearing to be a somewhat doomed place...

Pale yellow roses

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Documentaries, II

A few of the documentaries I've watched lately -

* Animals who sense danger - about the fact that many animals sense geo-electrical waves ie electromagnetic waves and therefor can "predict" different natural catastrophes, like tsunamis, earth quakes, volcanic eruptions. The lesson to be learnt - most of us should learn to be more openminded and *listen* more to what other animals are trying to tell us...

* 9.11 fund - a sad fact, money or the prospect of getting money seems to bring out all sorts of nastiness in all too many humans... The 9.11 fund is the federal compensation fund for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and this documentary showed how basically unfairly and inefficiently the money was distributed. There weren't any equal payouts, but instead they were based on factors such as the victim's age and potential lost income. A strange way of putting a price and value on a life... Not to mention how greedy some of the *mourners* became, ah the distastefulness and complete lack of respect is just appalling...

* Grand Designs, The Woodsman's Cottage - perhaps not a documentary as such, just something I stumbled over, but still an extremely interesting and fascinating irl TV-show about, in this episode of the series, a man who built an eco-house in the middle of the woods in Suffolk, UK. From scratch, and by hand, grew an amazingly beautiful house, with a very Little-House-On-the-Prairie-feel to it. More of the series can be found here

* Ethical fashion - a documentary about how non-ethical and non-sustainable, in so many ways, the fashion industry is. How, still few, designers are trying to make things better and how hard the resistance from different actors in the fashion business often is. About fair trade - how many know or even care about that when there are silly cheap shirts from Asia to be found in store back home... We should be aware. And we ought to care. More information (in Swedish) can be found at etiskt

* Cajsa Warg & her culinary sisters - a culinary journey from Cajsa Warg, 18th century, to today's Swedish trendsetters in the culinary department. Quite interesting, and in parts plain wimpish, to say the least...

* 21 years in the new South Africa - in 1992 the directors began filming this documentary about what was then 11 children from different walks of life in SA. They were then 7 years old, the next episode was filmed when they were 14 and now they're 21. There are only eight of them still alive, three have died in aids. It should be a generation with a whole lot of new possibilities in life, but have they been able to make the most of that or are all these new possibilities just something that's seen on paper? My impression of most of the youths in the documentary was jadedness, sadness and like one of them put it "Everyone is so pc in South Africa today, but noone seem to actually care. Apartheid was something that defined us." - heartbreaking. On so many levels. And all that waste of resources and lives.

* In search of Gandhi - a documentary road movie about today's India and how Gandhi's visions of equality and democracy, his Satyagraha, have been maintained and managed. The sad fact it seems, is that it has not, with few exceptions. The caste-system, the reverses of SEZ, the forced dislocations, the suicides of about 100000 Indian farmers every year, the religious antagonisms - as Gandhi so well put it; "As soon as we lose the moral basis we cease to be religious, there is no such thing as religion overriding morality".

The conclusion of this particular documentary was that India of today is living with the consequences of not following Gandhi's ideas.

* An extremely interesting documentary about different people's different daily rhythms, about our genetic biological clock and sleeping disorders. About the fact that so many people aren't very well adapted to this rigid society with the-early-bird-catches-the-worm attitude. That it should be an innovation society, and not an industrial society that forces everyone into the same strict 9-17 templates. If we could chose to sleep and work when it suited us the best, and really many of the means of working nowadays allow us to, it would lead to both an economic value addition as well as an increased personal life quality.

And *of course* a country that is actually in parts open to this way of thinking being Denmark. Where the so called B-Society has been founded, with a mission to change the labour markets and society's rigid structures. My two words for this is - at last.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Bye, Bye Creamy Delight

071207 007
Today was the day when Viktor moved out and into the world - good luck, little fluffy creamy delight, live well and have the bestest best of lives. We'll miss you, but I'm sure you will bring and get lots of joy to and from your new family and circle of friends.

071206 005
071206 018
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...