Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Bit Of Gardening


One day they're just tender buds, the next they have both bloomed and nearly faded...

Let me now introduce the wonderful, splendido, gorgeous smallish peony bush. Every year bursting with new buds, and every year it's been the target of a viscious ant attack. My animal/environmental friendly-live-and-let-live-but-just-not-on-the-peony-or-other-flowers-approach with cinnamon hasn't worked very well. Anyone got a helpful suggestion as to get those darn ants moving somewhere else, preferably a very long way away from my garden?


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Grumpy Tuesday Face

Instead of screaming one can always rely on the expression of a cat caught on photo to summerize the mood for today just perfect...
Or what the heck, why don't do both -
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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Whine & Books

About time I write something more comprehensive, and since the course thing hasn't improve, not a bit, I'll do a bit of whining about that to begin with. For some odd reason I find myself to be in this completely mindblowingly bizarre Catch 22 situation regarding this, sigh, course. Just thinking about last week's first class of the so called Business English... I, silly me, thought it was all going to be about learning how to seriously negotiate in English, getting a decent set of specialist languange vocabulary and work on pronunciation (which, to be honest, most of us more or less have to do, Swenglish no more).

Well, to be polite about it - with a teacher that was really lovely, a wellbehaved, sweet, kind British lady with the accent I adore, but quite obviously not in the right element - it turned out that the lesson was kept on quite a different level; for people that actually don't know that you pronounce "W" and "V" differently, that don't know how to write a decent e-mail or my oh my, can't write a correct address on an envelope... S.I.G.H.

I suppose one shouldn't be at all surprised about the non-professionalism of this course/the organizer by now, but still it is somewhat difficult to grasp the truth of this course being anything but what it was said to be. That it's most probably the very essence of all those preconceptions one might have of the (Swedish) money-, people- and resourcewasting Employment Agency. Jaded, been there, done that, am not very interested in ending up there again.

I'll just hold on to the fact that I've done what I can in this Catch 22 situation - including writing and emailing an exhaustingly long but also mind cleansing list of critizism to the one responsible for this course at that above mentioned money-, people- resourcewasting authority, whatever good that might do... Well, call me Ms Whine - that I'm not alone, that there are several really, very nice coursemates and perhaps that all our different backgrounds and competences can be made into something great. In the end.

That I can still think for myself, that I can read, write and that I have an overall pleasant and fulfilling life apart from this bleeping course. That it's spring, pink blossoms, cats and a loaf doggie in the garden and soon a whole lot of gorgeous lilacs and tulips will be in bloom there too... But of course it's difficult to hold on to all the positive things when most of us know that the very far from positive thingies has this darn tendency to twist its energy absorbing tentacles most everywhere, all the time...

So now, back to what I've been meaning to write about for a long time, the latest read heap of books. Yes, of course reading is one of the things I often, when possible, take comfort in when other life issues leave me exhausted and worn. Since three of these books are written by Swedish authors I'm feeling generous and will let those three have one blog post each. Or in this case, half a blog post...

This first book is "Svampkungens son" /The Mushroom King's Son by Marie Hermanson. About a man who's constantly overridden by his charismatic womanizing mushroom-expert father. Hermanson is one of my favourite writers, however this book didn't really appeal to me. Can't put my finger as to exactly why, I only liked it partly, I felt it needed more elaboration. But yes, in general I do very much like her written language which is prosaic, yet lurid.

Her stories are very easy to be drawn in to and they all, in one way or other, take place somewhere between reality and fantasy. Often with an unexpected twist in the end. She's so far published nine books, of which I've read seven. Of these seven my favourite one is "Värddjuret" / The Host Animal. About a woman in her mid thirties who after travelling to Borneo finds herself being the host animal of an endangered species of butterfly.

I also very much enjoyed, although it left me with more than a sad feeling after having finished reading it, is "Mannen under trappan" / The Man Under The Stairs. About a husband and father that discovers a nasty, dirty, violent little man staying under the stairs in his family's house. A man who refuses to move.

It seems like none of her books are translated into English, yet, but to 11 other languages. However you can find an excerpt from the her book "The Mussel Shore" / Musselstranden here.

The Sunday Morning Don't-Want-To-Get-Out-Of-Bed


Friday, April 25, 2008

The Friday Night Yawn


Nine Days Later


Nine days later the lilacs have begun showing some wee purple buds, hopefully it won't be too long before they start spreading some sweet, irresistible scent through the air...

And nearby you might find a fine specimen of a loaf shaped wag, that completely agree on the excellence of lilacs.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

There Is No Such Thing As Too Much Pink

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Perhaps these pink cherry blossoms aren't as impressive as the ones found at Kungsträdgården, but still oh so lovely, situated in a lively part of the city, with a vegetarian restaurant nearby (which I've never tried) plus some bookstores and, well, really a whole range of interesting shops, cafés, cultural institutions not to mention a breathtaking view over a major part of Stockholm nearby. So, if it's not only the size and amount of those pink blossoms that matters, this place is well worth a visit too!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

World Book Day

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April 23, this is the official international day of the book (and copyright), an indeed very likable initiative of UNESCO in order to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property. Can't say it's a big hullabaloo concerning this notable day here in Sweden in general, alas. How is it where you live?

Myself I have celebrated with begun reading a much new (as in paperback edition) anticipated book today - Kleopatra's kam / Cleopatra's comb by one of my favourite writers, Swedish Maria Ernestam who wrote the brilliant book Caipirinha med döden / Caipirinha with Death (yes, an amazing book I still simply implore you to read!).

And I've also been fondling my latest batch of new books that arrived by mail this week.

And yesterday evening I attended this pleasant little event at the concert hall Berwaldhallen that was called Med hjärtat för boken / With the heart for the book hosted by Dorotea Bromberg. Owner of the small but well-renowned publishing company Brombergs, with different literary discussions and readings by people like Horace Engdahl - who by the way apparently also rave about the John Ajvide Lindqvist books - the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy (the institution which award the literature Nobel Prize), poet/writer Kristina Lugn, actor/director Philip Zandén and a bit of music that wasn't too bad. A nice and quietly thought-provoking and badly needed mind-clearing evening.

~ Happy world book day! ~

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sister Blue

Remember the white sisters?
And don't forget tomorrow is World Book and Copyright Day - how will you celebrate that, maybe with inaugurating a brand new, much anticipated book? Mm, I know I will...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Five Days Later


Five days later the lilacs have come a bit further on their way to garden domination. And under the lilacs one might find a bit of sweet white fluff with red ears, named Wilbur.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Weekend Ends


If you try and look pass that grossly misleading promise on the colour cream package that stated 100% perfect covering of grey hairs - as I mentioned before, all thanks to the course of course, I've been *enjoying* more than my fair share of grey hairs as lately. And I frankly don't care if it looks utterly stylish and cool on some others, it doesn't on me. Since I've been forced to cancel and postpone my regular occurring appointment at the hairdresser's for a while now (guess why, see above) I couldn't get an appointment for both colouring and a cut in a foreseeable future. I was simply compelled to take matters into my own plastic gloved hands... The only covering I got was of my dear, lighter strands, not the grey ones. Gnarl. Reclamation is the word, but it sure won't give me my lighter strands back. Snarl -

and the fact that my body is trying to match those grey hairs by suffering from a bit of strange muscle soreness after digging through the garden shack yesterday looking for some very important things. The search was sadly in vain - which is both embarrassing and annoying beyond words - and just seeing all that piled up stuff I've been postponing the cleaning away of (as in sell, give or throw) was quite exhausting. Sigh.

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Yes, if you're able to look pass those things, the weekend round off was quite agreeable indeed. Like the fact that it was the warmest day so far - up to + 15 degrees C - which lead to the much anticipated inauguration of the red shoes - well, even if they weren't the most comfortable first-time-wearing-shoes I've had on, I think they'll be very nice indeed when I've gotten use to them. And they're pretty. As well as red.

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We enjoyed this year's first time outdoor meal at lovely as always Måns Ols Inn. Where we were accompanied by this wonderful - and scrounging - swan couple. If you look very close you might also see the little head of one of them lurking in the background of the food pic above. They really made an entertaining show of being completely starved, though looking well-fed and simply gorgeous.


And even if one should never ever take things for granted, I think - better touch wood just to be on the safe side of wishful climate thinking - one can express the notion of spring with summer as companion being well on its way at these latitudes.



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Yes, there's dandelions everywhere now - and even if I'd really prefer that they didn't do a semi-hostile overtake of most of my flowerbeds, they are the ultimate sign of the seemingly endless capacity to survive and overcome any hardship. They're quite beautiful in their very own way - though I admittedly can go *slightly* overboard when I try and weed them out of my lawn and the flowerbeds. The non-toxic way of course. And without any longterm success. In this case my feelings regarding the lack of success are ambiguous.

The dandelions are also already accompanied by the furry, fluffy, adorable miniature beings called bumblebees. Busy buzzing around, not wasting any time doing their deeds, collecting the pollen and whatever other interesting tasks they might have on their bee-list of things.

Spring with summer on its way. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Weekend Begins

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... and no, this doesn't resemble me and my mood today. Well, except for the hair perhaps, which somehow these days have a tendency to have a life of its own - which the much blogged about course has added more than its usual fair share of gray hairs to, compared to the ones that life and age gives.

But it's weekend, I survived, and even excelled, in the beer game - which has little to do with the imho foul beverage called beer and more to do with simulating a logistics chain - it's soMeone's birthday today and it just might turn out to be a very pleasant day without any new gray hairs added...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Odd Phoney On A Clowny Mission

Actually, today hasn't been half bad, judging from yesterday and the double-day before that I might have spent it under the duvet, sobbing and cursing. But I really didn't - see, writing, talking and blog venting is good for you! - I actually had a good night's sleep, woke up to a sunny had a course-free day.

A day that offered no very obvious progress in my work in finding The Company for my traineeship - yeah, I know I've chosen small to medium companies that deals in something I'm seriously interested in, that has visions and values (at least on paper) that coincide with my own, companies which policies I can endorse. Very obviously most of them doesn't seem to have an organized section of the company which I'm looking for a traineeship in.

Either it's tiny (bad enough) or non-existing (really bad). They also very obviously need a more organized view of this section, but since I'm not in a position - yet - to explain or sell that notion, but looking for a decent place to have a glimpse of this profession irl I can only say "that was unfortunate, thanks for this conversation" and move on. Not ideal. At all.

Almost everyone I've talked with thinks this is also a really unprofessional way of dealing with this important part of the course, the organizer not having ready apprentice collaboration with well-functioning companies. Instead we having to do this job too ourselves, and being forced to report to the Organizer Guy which really very much lack the skills of a half-decent project manager. The word haphazard somehow seems appropriate here.

But despite me being an odd phoney I've so far called 10 companies offering myself as a free resource for five weeks, gotten a plain no from seven, a maybe from two and not being able to get a hold of the right person to talk to in the last. As I don't consider myself being of a smoothtalking saleperson character all this calling around offering myself as a fine gift is very not-me-at-all. And a lot of good it has done me, not.

M however is very much a salesperson, in many ways, obviously I can approve of him on a personal level, and fine, his professional skills can be nifty at times (like this) but needless to say I rarely find his colleagues very appealing or interesting... But that's a whole other issue of course.

Now perhaps I can find a company through connections, but by no means is that a certain thing and well, I somewhat dread the possible companies and the trade sector they're in. But on the other hand, they might be surprisingly interesting, or at least have a decent place for a free source of competence. It just might even be fun, imagine that!

This sunny day also had me doing a whole lot of thinking and writing in different shapes and forms and as the cherry on the sundae a gift in the shape of a lovely blouse. I know, I'm far from a fan of highstreet fashion and massproduced cheap stuff, but this lurid tribute to Finnish design company Marimekko sort of got me yearning for a blouse or a dress or... Tomorrow I'll be strutting the streets of Stockholm wearing large-patterned hot pink and orange - and no, I most certainly won't look, or feel, like a clown.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Days of Sighs

I'll just continue on the written path of too-good-to-be-true-stupid-costly-as-in-money-time-energy-life-employment-market-arrangements-in-order-to-keep-us-measly-workless- troublesome-academics-out-of-the-way, shall I? *Everybody goes yes, please do*

And yes, this mismanaged part of life too shall pass, and of course turn into a bestselling dyspeptic literary observation of a part of the (Swedish) public sector and its far too common grossly misuse of money and other resources. Ah, I wish. For now I'll just settle with ventilating the blogging way.

But since I very much need a bit of beauty sleep I'll just mention that yesterday and today were another couple of days that offered even more mindblowing and jawdropping high/lowlights of this flipping maddening excuse of a course. Astounding, fascinating and yes, actually completely sad and pathetic really. What is it with people that just simply refuse to acknowledge their own shortcomings and quite obvious flaws, take responsability for the problems they cause others, apologize, mend if possible, learn from those mistakes and do better from then on.

Instead they keep coming up with the most childish excuses and whitewashes imaginable. And things just keep getting worse for every day. Sigh. Tremendous sigh. Tomorrow I might share some details, for now I'll just say -


The War Of The Worlds


And hey presto, suddenly I discover there are absolutely humongous lilac shrub buds fighting for domination in my garden - I humbly yield and even utter a silent within thank you, thinking of the garden's appearance six days ago...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Carrot Cap

For some odd reason or other soMeone saw it fit to get me what might seem like the ultimate cap, carrot shaped. I have absolutely no idea when it would look and feel appropriate to wear for someone reasonably normal and over the age of five.


What I do know though, is that someone smaller and adorable - and not yet five years old - looks just smashingly carroty delicious in it -


Monday, April 14, 2008

Murphy's Lawish

Right now I'm so angry, and still it's just a fraction of how mad I was yesterday, when I felt *this* close to an apoplectic fit. Yesterday I was "alone" with my anger, today I've at least had the time to ventilate the whole ridiculous, unacceptable issue with some of the other course participants in the same situation.

Remember the discontentment list of course, well, as of yesterday it grew. With what can definitely be considered to be the last straw. I really very much need to let off steam in writing too. This is going to be dull. A whole lot of dull. But here goes. Tomorrow I just might be a nicer me again. First a bit of background;

This course consists of 30 weeks in total, out of which we have five weeks - well initially it was said to be four... - of traineeship beginning in May, and then the last seven weeks - which was said to be six... - of the course.

Week 8: Before we were interviewed for the course it was clearly said that we should make a list of the companies we would like to do that traineeship in. Not a single question about it came up during the interview.

Week 10: At the introduction we were very adamantly told that noone should contact any would be traineeship company, because if the whole thing wasn't collectively organized it would reflect badly on the course and the organizers. It would all seem very unprofessional *ahem*. We would get more information the following week.

Week 11: After nearly two weeks we hadn't gotten any information - time flies and it seems, to say the least, very unprofessional not to contact the presumptive companies well ahead of the first period of traineeship...

The last but one day of that two week course-section we got information that the traineeship information would be handed out to all of us after this section was finished.

Week 12-13: ... went by. Week 21 - 25 is steadily approaching - or is it week 22-25? - then we got the information that next week, when the class is divided into two groups the Organizer Guy will have a one-to-one talk with each and everyone of us about the traineeship. Oh, and information sheets too.

Week 14: Nothing happens until Thursday, when we get a couple of lame sheets of information. These information sheets incidentally made us look like half-wits. *Horay, this is just how I want to be perceived by presumptive intern companies* Not a word about those one-to-one-talks. But please hand in your interesting-companies-list to the Organizer Guy on April 8 at the latest.

Week 15: I email my long beforehand made list to the Organizer Guy on the 7th. On the 11th - at the latest - we'll get feedback and hopefully green light on the companies we have on our list. If there are any selections that collide, the Organizer Guy will dispense them fairly - and by fairly we thought someone's first choice comes before another one's fifth choice and so on.

On the 9th there's information at the organizer-site that those of us who haven't turned in our lists should immediately do so. Annoying that people can't respect deadlines, gnarl.

Around lunch on the 11th I email the Organizer Guy and wonder what has happened with the list. I get a speedy reply that he won't be able to finish the task that day, but he'll work with it during the weekend so we'll have the list by Monday. At the latest. Sigh.

Late yesterday afternoon there's a group email stating that the Organizer Guy, due to a server crash hasn't received any company-lists from me (!) and another woman and that he in vain has tried to contact us all weekend about this. The last statement is a blatant lie, my mobile works and so does my regular phone. No message has been left on neither answering machine and the number presenter is blank. My email obviously works fine.

He must have known very well which ones hadn't handed in the lists during the week. He could have contacted us earlier. But the thing that really really REALLY bugs me - besides the blatant lying part - is that he didn't say a single word about not having received my list when we emailed on the 11th.

He urged us to get in touch and at the same time he thought it was a brilliant idea to publish the lists with the companies chosen by the others, if something collided with our requests he *might* modify them. At first glance I thought ok, I've obviously chosen wisely, that my seventh placed company collided with someone else's wish wasn't a big deal. But when I looked a little closer my first choice was on the fifth place of someone else's list. That's simply not all right. At all.

In vain I've tried to contact the Organizer Guy about this. And so have the other course participants - yes plural, turned out there were five of us and not "only" two... - with the same problem. It's just not acceptable that my first hand choice most likely will be excluded from my list only because of him not doing his job. If I'm going to do this internship I'm also going to at least have the opportunity to contact companies I'm interested in, companies where I think me being a trainee will be of mutual benefit for both me and company.

If I don't get an acceptable answer from the Organizer Guy I will just go ahead and contact them tomorrow anyway. It doesn't necessarily means I'm lucky enough to get a positive answer - fingers crossed and touch wood! - but at least I have a chance to present myself.

And if I'm not the first one to call and it gives a poorly impression of the education and organizer, so be it. Since it alas very much reflects reality. And just having to call these companies and praise this very non-amazing and equally non-professional course gives me the big blah... But the teachers so far has been good to very good at least. Will have to make it revolve around that. And my own skills and qualities. Will have to try and make it short and sweet, somehow.

Of course writing this long, and most probably dull for anyone but myself - and I just don't care, today I write solely for therapeutically reasons - , post has calmed me down. But the principle of it and the behaviour still very much galls me. Growl big time.

And the Murphy's Lawish in this? Well, yesterday was just a day of almost every little detail going wrong - right up until the lovely concert we attended in the evening. But that event deserves a post of its own. No sharing with this crappy coursey thing.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

WCB - Little Black Panther...

Remember Waldemar who wasn't really cooperative when prospective buyers were here the other week - my friend U found his behaviour absolutely hilarious and irresistible. And just not very Waldemarish, since he was this delightfully charming junior-host at the teaparty a few months back.
When I later told her about the email I got from the prospective buyers saying they didn't think Waldemar's personality would fit in their little family and that they unfortunately would decline the offer of having him included in their household. Honestly, I felt *a bit* huffed by that choice of word - U found it even more entertaining, that little fellow sure know how to make an impression and work his will! It is kind of endearing, and entertaining, and actually just what I like in a cat - or a dog or a human or any being really - that they have a strong personality and a will of their own. So their loss, my gain!
...on the prowl.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Toss And Turn Can't Sleep At Night

It's a regularly thing, when I'm on the verge of falling asleep, or when I can't seem to go to sleep at all but just toss and turn, or for that matter, when I wake up in the middle of the night and have one of those eureka-moments-of-what-to-write - I know just what to write about, work or blog or otherwise. Since I like to keep it spontaneous - i e I'm not all that organized when it comes to keeping a tidy bedroom environment including a writing pad plus pencil on the night table - I most often think I'll save that thought and wording inside my head until morning comes.

Needless to say, despite my extraordinary memory skills, I rarely manage to hold on to those thoughts. Yes sometimes I do, sometimes I get the very same thoughts swirling around in my head compartments on another toss-and-turn-kind-of-night, so very obviously they want to be put to paper. I again boldly recline the opportunity this offers to write it down. Mental notes are as good as any.

But in the morning the memory deficit is a fact once more. I comfort myself with the notion that if I had remembered all those ideas, stories, whims the world wouldn't be enough, and many of them are probably best left unwritten. I'm sure the best ones will return at a more appropriate time.

Alas, most of my thoughts nowadays revolves around The Course. And for almost every single day there's a new factor added to the already quite substantial list of discontentment. I really very much hate - yes, that's the right word - when one has to in deal with this kind of unprofessional implementation, those times when what's written in paper and said by mouth just isn't corresponding with reality.

Of course, I do know that things, people, situations, now and then really isn't what they seem to be, that's fine, as long as I can chose not to be a part of it, have my saying or when possible make a change. Which I very much, the hard way, realised I couldn't at my former workplace from hell. In the end I crash landed. And when I step by tiny step recovered from that bumpy ride and anything else than smooth landing I also made a firm promise to myself I would never ever find myself in that situation again. At least not for any longer period of time. The bitching and whining and bellyaching and finally finding myself being completely stressed out, since no matter what I said or did made a difference.

Right now I've been bellyaching with my course mates and the lecturers, I've been - nicely, calmly yet firmly - complaining to the organizer, and I've been downright bitching and whining by friends, family and blog. Since so far that hasn't done a lot of good, just calmed me down momentarily, I find myself thinking all those negative thoughts I very much want to stay away from - I want to save them for the really world turning things that matters - and getting those oh-to-wellknown aches and pains in my shoulders and neck, as well as either sleeping a whole lot of nothing or too much.

As one of my course mates put it, after we had our latest piece of bad news concerning this course, when you invest your time and energy into an all consuming project like this (which as an idea and on paper shows so much promise) you also miss out on a lot of other alternatives. We're not 20, we don't have all the time in the world. Well, no one has, things can drop from the sky tomorrow, but you get the drift.

Since starting with this course I've sort of felt I've rekindled with some of my deep-down-kind-of-lost qualities as well as reliving some things and feelings I really want to avoid when it comes to long-term projects. Having all these mixed feelings, ups and downs, stress, aches, concentrations difficulties, doubts and more doubts, I'm not at all sure this is the right course for me.

The very varied subjects we supposedly are to learn and know and make use of in our bright, new profession which will be a piece of cake to get a hold of after finished course theoretically means we could be looking at 24-7 working hours and a ridiculously high salary. It's simply not a bit realistic, any of these parameters. I know I felt silly positive when I began this course, or at least rather optimistic, being a sort of realistic pessimoptimistic. Right now I feel mostly blah. I consider this to be probably just another stupid, costly - money, time, energy, life - employment market arrangement, just to keep us measly, workless, troublesome academics in line and out of the way.

Or perhaps it's just me having a bit of down period, maybe I shouldn't blame the course, maybe I could blame the moody weather, the morning breath rush hour people, the faulty public transportation system, the stupids, the early birds, the anything but me not knowing what I want - but I do, I hope, I think, I'm just to scared to take the plunge. Me not being together enough to just do, say, require, be.

I hope this will be a good week. I promise myself to be more me. And perhaps even surprise myself. That would be nice. Threesome. Be. More. Me.

Friday, April 11, 2008

This Way Or That Way


A whole lot of catting in the garden - and this is such a typical example of whimsical April, the back and forth of the weather gives me a headache, but the furry herd seems to enjoy it quite a lot. I'll just let the pictures - with the three half siblings/cousins - talk for themselves (and as for the lopsided look of some of them, well, this is the Flickr/Blogger way...) -

Prettiness in sleek, black fur
Bring on the lilac shrubs
Nothing beats the LBC
This is just so very interesting, don't you agree
Add a spot of sun...
... and I'll jump with joy!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hope Springs & The Chocolate Wafers Clause

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So, even if today wasn't nearly as bad as yesterday and the day before that, I still have to remind myself that somewhere there's hope, or Hope capital H, sun, warmth and a southernmost point. Which most certainly isn't situated in my close vicinity.

Incidentally, can you imagine the hordes of tourists we had to fight to get this picture of a Single Orange Elvira by what presumably must be one of the world's most well known as well as most photographed signs...? Really, an achievement I just might colourfully add to my CV...

As far as today's classroom experience went it wasn't all that bad, might have something to do with the fact that we worked on a group project most of the day, contract law, hence didn't have to endure as much of the Annoying Guy as usual. Must say I was quite pleased with the suggestion of a contract we (fine, read "me" here, humble isn't my middle name today) came up with.

I think the imaginary corporate management can sleep easy at night knowing we've negotiated a mighty fine deal with the suppliers. I'm especially satisfied with that sophisticated yet discernible damages clause containing a specified amount of chocolate wafers being provided us wronged. Brand, the one and only, Cloetta, since that's what keeps us good and happy.

Now I'm good and ready to go to bed, enjoying my well-earned rest and not having to rise at an ungoodly hour, tomorrow not having to drag myself into the shower when I'd much rather stay in bed for yet some hours and thank goodness not having to deal with the rush hour people and their bad morning breath. Please, may I refer to the-chocolate-wafers-clause.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Great Grumpy Pretender

Really, even if I know the month of April is considered to be the most capricious of all months in Sweden I thought it would be rather straightforward into summer from here on. Ok call me naive if you feel so inclined, but since last week I honestly thought we could expect every day to be a teeny-weeny bit warmer.

I don't demand sun every day, I can deal with a bit of rain, but what I don't want to deal with anymore this season is snow. Come on, be gone. You might be pretty and perfect during about five months each year - then you see it fit either to not appear at all or appear and disappear just as quickly as... well, a snowball in hell - but you're not perfect now. At all, away with you. Rumble.

Today we had the *pleasure* of *enjoying* a temperature of about +-0 degrees C here in the lower east middle of Sweden, teamed up with nasty, damp, bleak winds the day I was chilled to the marrow and right now I feel like I'll never feel warm again. No matter how much tea I consume or how many blankets I dwell under. Shiver and mope.

And the very dire necessity of me even contemplating sticking my strawberry nose outside my safe, warm home today was the fact that I was in bad need of a day cream. I guess that course's lack of forward planning has kind of rubbed of on me... Something I now very much keep my fingers crossed for won't rub off is my skin, I had to make due with a budget version of a day cream - as opposed to my favourite Kiehl's ultra facial cream one - and even if this one comes in a pink jar and promises an abundance of moisture and skin like silk - yeah right - I have my chichi doubts about that. Grump. What if I wake up tomorrow an it's just face off? In the very non-sporty factual way. That would be a bit of a problem, even more so than - and I quote - the great pretender called spring. Growl.

Edit: The day cream in question has at least a gorgeous scent, something between roses and melon, might have something to do with babassu oil being one of the ingredients.

Monday, April 07, 2008

In Adamant Ways

I've been spending some time trying to scale down and compile the looong list of possible line of business and companies I'd find interesting and fun to make my traineeship in. The list - minimum five companies maximum 10 - has to be emailed to the organizer tomorrow at the latest. Since this particular profession doesn't exist in every company as a department of its own, but being more of a haphazardly subsidiary task, there are some companies I can rule out as an appropriate place of traineeship. Since there's not much point of being a trainee in a company where no one knows exactly what this profession holds, when I barely know that myself after only two months down the course line...

And then we have the size-issue, like we all know many times size matters, and in this case I'm looking for small to medium sized companies. And definitely not. Ever. Again. The public sector. No. Adamantly. Way. A sector which leaves a whole lot of things to be desired, on so many different levels - wincing just thinking about it, won't even go blogging there. This time.

The small to medium size means I can get a more overarching view on the whole chain of the profession, and possibly, hopefully contribute with something meaningful. It must be companies that either deal in something I have a passionate interest in or/and a factual knowledge of. They should also be seriously interested in ethics and environmental sustainability. And it would be just perfect if they also had some special projects revolving around these issues, either inhouse or with other participants/suppliers.

Ideally I think these two periods of traineeship - the first one consists of five weeks in about a month's time, the other one the last seven weeks of this course (which means September/October) - should be spent in different types of companies. So I can get a broaden and diversified insight in the strategy of this department in different companies.

Right now my list consists of seven companies, I think I'll leave it at that. And I hope the one/s I'm most interested in will practically jump with joy when I contact them (which of course is an issue of its very own...). And that it isn't with too short a notice - ah the lack of forward planning really very much alas seems to imbue this whole course...

And as great as the lectures have been, nearly as non-great/boring is most of the course literature - basically a whole lot of blah in as much pages as possibly. IMHO, keep it short and sweet, when it comes to specialist literature like this, for us previously non-informed. The superstructure we'll get in class, at least to begin with. Honestly, can't say I'm looking forward to immerse theoretical in the subject, I want an irl problem solving practise instead.

The one thing, so far, that has got me really going is something that supposedly is a side-issue - the English test we were to take in order to be placed in the *right* group for business English. Such a silly test really. Not only did undersigned in her role as distinguished language police find a bunch of mistakes with words, synonyms, sentences and stupid translations, there were also quite a few questions that left a whole lot open to interpretation and discussions, impossible to answer simply "yes" or "no" to. A tid bit annoying.

Another thing that's been at least slightly annoying is the fact that adorable Waldemar wasn't very cooperative when we had what looked like very seriously interested prospective buyers here last week. Sure he showed his curiousness, his acrobatic skills, muscles, energy and playfulness, purred a lot, but wasn't really close-up cuddly as he usually is. I can't very well say anything more than, this isn't his usual self, and its up to them to believe me or not...

Ah, I believe some people have just so completely naive expectations of how a cat should be, they just don't see the multifaceted personality of each cat, they seem to think its just as easy as every cat wants to lie upside down completely relaxed in the arms of complete strangers contently meowing "take me home". Yeah, right, realistic - not.

In my world this is what separates the wheat from the chaff, people, a k a prospective buyers, that have the ability to see a certain personality type, beyond that not-at-their-best-or-usual-behaviour that particular day. Those people will be lovely new kitten owners. I think this couple was very nice, well-meaning and good in handling the other cats, but apparently there was just something that didn't click with this particular liquorice troll. This was his way of adamantly showing he wasn't the least bit interested in moving home. At least not that home. Little daftie.


Sunday, April 06, 2008

WCB & A Bit More - Two Things Blue


Perhaps you remember Vilgot Vyne, the heffalump brother of Viola a k a the liquorice troll? This is how he looks nowadays, oh my has he grown! And isn't it just a lovely picture with this blue mackerel boy in the sun, the amber eyes and those big paws kind of hugging the kitchen chair. Little reminders like these makes a breeder's heart beats extra proudly.

I'm also proud of the sweet tiny scillas in my garden who apparently haven't perished despite the snow, freezing temperatures and cold winds as lately. They insist of calling this time springtime. So be it!

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

The First Wood Anemones

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Some days, some early and very freezing and dark mornings in particular, it's still difficult to grasp the fact that it is officially spring on these latitudes.

Others it's just so very obviously spring, like when you find the year's first wood anemones. Remembering last year, it was this obvious pretty much a month later...

Friday, April 04, 2008

Guys and Dolls

Once again I repeat myself, and I will surely keep on doing it, since it is all in the details I just want to make a regular mention of how different and not very obvious those details can be. Sometimes it's just you yourself who notice them, and by noticing them and your own reactions to them you realise you have changed, grown, possibly become a better person or at least come to terms with your own quirks.

So, the karma vs skirt thing the other day, yet another one of those - remember the giant princess cake as well as the mushroom incident... - clumsy, stupid, embarrassing things I tend to make with a certain irregular regularity. Nowadays I mostly - honestly - look at them as something that spice up the days, or at least I made some people giggle/laugh at least once that day, possibly even make them very grateful for being them and not me, the awkward one.

I feel very smug when I realise I'm so very mature nowadays, how quickly I can cast out those feelings of being completely squelched by those darn embarrassing clumsy moments, those once-upon-a-time-feelings of I-can-never-ever-show-myself-here-again-I'll-be-the-talk-of-Stockholm-town-this-will-be-on-the-national-news-and-my-address-in-the-papers. Family, friends not to mention blogging comes very handy for turning those moments into good stories instead. And for some odd reason, you often find yourself in very good awkward-moments-company... Which is comforting to know.

So. The poor Nice Guy in the seat behind me, he must have had a memory deficit. Since he was even earlier than me in school the next day, didn't seem to suffer from any visible buttshock, and we had a perfectly nice chat and it didn't feel the least bit awkward.

The Annoying Guy was alas even more in his talking element the same day, since the lecturer rather seemed to encourage him instead of run the class there were actually quite an outburst from one of the Good Girls, most of us could probably very much sympathize with her and did so in class or later. But the one causing all this disturbance to begin with - the Annoying Guy who quite obviously thinks this course and these classes are a dialogue between him and the lecturer, held only for his benefit, and not something that involves 25 others - was of course his usual charming self being completely nasty and defensive acting all misunderstood and innocent.

This study in human behaviour that leaves a whole lot more to be desired would of course be quite interesting, if it wasn't for the fact that it really is so very and appallingly annoying. I take comfort in the fact that it makes for very good blog ranting.

One thing that actually talks to the Annoying Guy's advantage (imagine that!) is that his *rather* crude manner and complaints in class, about the very obvious lack of forward planning, face to face with the organizer, seemed to make quite an impression. Well, at least it made the Organizer Guy print a whole lot of auditor copies and run back and forth from his office getting us three new books we should have received a week ago. So, slight silverlining on the Annoying Guy.

The Nice Guy came with us for lunch-at-favourite-place - and go figure, no one seemed butt- shocked-from-previous-day there either... - where we had not only that lovely food but a jazzed up conversation. Though we, the Good Girls, were convinced we could blame Nice Guy's presence for Tanned Musclebound Waiter not bringing us that complimentary espresso we've grown accustomed to. A blatant break of custom and practise.

Apparently the food at favourite-place also feeds ex-supermodels, when ordering lunch I happened to be standing next in line behind Emma Sjöberg - the sporty milk-model notoriously known for her lack of acting skills and bad choices of movies to appear in - and I realised that not only am I taller than her (yeah), that day I happen to look quite a bit healthier (see, being sporty really isn't everything) as well as wearing an outfit much nicer (oh no, I wasn't the one looking like a worn huckle-backed middle aged housewife, not me). Oh, a whole lot of immensely interesting and likable details in one lunch-line.

And today's round-off question is; if you happen to have been completely mesmerized by the tremendously wittiness of this post and read it thoroughly, what is the total of world-turning details in the life of undersigned mentioned in it?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A Touch of Spring


If you happen to be living in a castle, in the lower middle of Sweden, this is how your garden look at the moment. All prepared for spring - and look at these lovely ruddy trees just about ready to burst into buds. I wouldn't mind a bit of this colonnade and well-raked paths in my backyard. And of course my own private gardener.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Possible Instant Karma Of Skirt

First day of class this week - in general we *only* have two full days of lectures and the rest of the time we're suppose to know, I suspect from divine intervention, exactly what to read and study at home... - and I found it so darn relaxing since we'd finally reached the first course of law. Namely contract law.

It felt so very comforting somehow, not having to struggle with financial ratios and a new specialist language, instead just being able to sit there and nod wisely. And silently giggling and laughing inside at all those seemingly dorky - but really very sophisticated of course - legal jokes (including the complete naivety of some people that really very much should know better) the lecturer felt it very appropriate to tell. Snugness.

Well, it could have been all snugness, if it hadn't been for the Annoying Guy and His Pretendents. The excessiveness of today's interruptions and stupid comments... Give me strength. Especially since I was a tid bit too quick to be grateful for the fact that the group I ended up in these upcoming legal course weeks was blissfully free of the Annoying Guy and His Pretendants - turned out he jumped at the opportunity to change group. Ah, I can't wait to get even more of all his lovely - irony big time - comments in an even smaller group in a foreseeable future...

But - if you happen to sympathize with the Annoying Guy and His Pretendents - perhaps there is such a thing as instant Karma. All these unkind thoughts and subtle snarls somehow made my silly skirt - a skirt which happens to be spending her evening lying in the proverbial corner - get semi-stuck inside my pantyhose (and I swear I am totally obsessed by checking that whenever I've used the facilities) hence semi-flashing my behind all the way through our lunch at the favourite place and into the afternoon until someone discreetly mentioned it.

The only consolation from that moment on was the fact that no I didn't wear any butt ugly - every pun intended - leopard print g-strings, it was more of a Bridget Jones moment of flash, if you know what I mean... And that poor guy who's sitting in the bench behind me, that very nice guy, he must have had a horrifying moment when me and the lunch gang returned a bit late from lunch and I was trying to slide very discreetly in to my seat but(t) ended up shoving that Bridget-Jones-flash of a behind rather flagrantly into his visual angle.

I can only hope he has an obvious memory deficit. Or that the shock caused a sudden blowout. I promise I will so try and think only good and kind thoughts of the Annoying Guy and His Pretendants from now on. No more venture in to the area of Possible Instant Karma of Skirt.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

No April Fool - Fluff & Waldemar


Just because the formerly-known-as-the-tiniest-in-the-litter-liquorice-troll Waldemar for once made a decent posing - that is, if you don't mind the background and the nasty shadows - he gets his very own blog post. And since it's April Fool's Day today, I thought this little joker would be the perfect thing for blogging.

Besides a guy who teams up this well with a bit of fluff in the colour pink must be extraordinary in many ways, hence deserving a special mentioning.

~ Happy April ~
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