Thursday, September 30, 2010

two vegan soups

vegan soup

I would like to eat more vegan. But even if I find the dairy industry in general quite appalling I'm still selfishly struggling with the idea of how to survive without regular milk in my tea, a bit of whipped cream, a dash of creme fraiche now and then, halloumi, quorn, feta and other vegetarian cheeses and eggs (though always free range of course), thus for now the other kinds of milk will be used in cooking and baking only.

And soups are such easy way to go vegan with. Along with the trusty hand mixer it's truly a miracle what one can accomplish with a bunch of veggies, sunflower oil, water, herbs and a dash of oats grain milk and some cooking time. No recipes needed.

I've had the uttermost pleasure of enjoying two excellent such soups this last week. The above one is with squash, carrots and basil. Very satisfying and perky.


And the one I made such a big pot of so we've had it 2,5 days in a row now is a take of "the world's best potato and leek soup" which I use to make (but which has creme fraiche as ingredient too). Now without creme fraiche but a generous amount of black pepper and basil instead. Very nourishing and perfect autumnal/wintry.

Both very quick to make. Which always is a plus in my book of food. Since I do have a strong tendency to not begin cooking before I'm famished (in every I-country sense of the word).

I think this upcoming weekend (the first of October already!) will be a good one to try out some more vegan recipes from that fine "Vegan Paradiso" book, not to mention finally break in "Vegan Feasts" by Rose Elliott I got back in June...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

first sock day

shoe per diem, sept 29, 2010
shoe per diem, sept 29, 2010 - ms stripey

One day soon I hope I will be able to write a long post again - the terrible back-log and all that, because I really want to write, show and tell. And no, I don't see it as a must and a burden to blog, but sometimes a good film, a decent knit, a bucket of paint or a bed with fresh, crispy sheets seem so much more... appealing somehow - but for now; today was the first day of sock wearing this season.

The morning was awfully cold actually - and the weather forecasts have threatened with frost any day now - so socks it was. And even if I am the proud owner of a mighty fine sock stock it was rather sad to be forced to cover up so completely after all these glorious months of bare-legged life.

But I made sure the socks were perky.

And I had a later lunch that was rather perky too - it totally hit the right hungry Pia spot, the way I felt inclined to sing a wee diddly (like I always did when a kid, when something tasted lovely, I sang a little song while eating) - at one favourite place to unpretentious eat.

lunch and shoe per diem sept 29, 2010

And the skies were bluer than blue, so despite there being one of those dreadful days of constant train delays - again, already, on constant repeat - it was a reasonably upbeat day. Which I credit to the stripey socks of course.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010



Pythagoras, not as in the ancient Greek philosopher (the one with the theorem) but Pythagoras as in a nifty little industrial museum - if you're into such things, which I'm not, but never mind, I'll blog a wee post about it anyway. And if you want to read/know more the Pythagoras website is THE thing - situated in small town Norrtälje.

This hot bulb engine factory was founded in 1898 and came to an end in 1979. During the 1980ies a group of enthusiasts worked hard with making Pythagoras into what it is today, a working museum. Situated rather lovely with fine views over town. Apparently the place has been listed as one very important "remaining intact industrial site for the foundation and development of Sweden as an industrial nation"
. *As if I care*


In an adjacent building there's a nice little café and shop - well, that's certainly more interesting than a yawn inducing industrial museum... - where I found this cool pair of earrings ~


behold, triple steel nut earrings, made in the factory's turret lathe. That's pretty darn cool and unique, I believe. Don't think there're a lot of people sporting these quirky cuties.


If you happen to be more into industrial museums than earrings (weirdo), then the museum is most probably worth a visit, and if you're more into earrings and cafés (good people), then you can wait in café and make a very reasonable investment in a pair of industrial earrings. Yes, the place obviously cater for all.


Pythagoras Industrimuseum
Verkstadsgatan 6, Norrtälje
+46 (0)176 - 100 50
open Sat-Sun 12 - 15 (noon - 3pm)

Monday, September 27, 2010

scottish meet british


Certainly an irresistible tin for a Scotlandophile (like me). And castle buff. Found in that wonderful antique-bric-a-brac-thrift store in quaint Nora. Once upon a summer time.


The tin has dancing and piping men in kilts, castles and glorious bits of that magic Scottish landscape - some cows and sheep and it would be even more perfect - and once held Scotch toffee. It's new life will possibly be as the holder of tea bags.


A Scottish tin perhaps not irresistible for one brit (as in British Shorthair), but certainly tolerated by inspector Siri. Because no matter what, the inspecting paw session must be dutifully held.


Before the possible tea-tin will be a holder of tea, it's even more possibly that it will be the very holder of the blogoversary giveaway drawing. Which I'm planning to get to come weekend.

I can tell you that the men on tin wearing tartan skirts are just beside themselves for that most distinguished task, their wee feet swirling and twirling with joy. Which eager little helper that will help with the drawing, that remains to be seen. Though with quite the certainty it can be said, that it will be a Brit of some sort, a Shorthair kitty or a Norfolker loaf.

red shoes, red boots


Shh, don't tell anyone, but I have, ahem, made a serious red winter (pre-birthday gift to self) investment - I seem to fancy a lot of red items as lately, even if I have always loved red it hasn't been an as obvious choice as pink is, but now red, red, red, red it is. And shall be. All autumn, winter long -

spelling; r-e-d b-o-o-t-s. And
name of brand is of course simply superfluous. Let's just call it the colourful-cute-good-to-feet-brand, right? Right.

These ones are much redder than
last year's boots - and taller, which makes me wonder, what do you call tall/er shaft boots ("stövlar" in Swedish) compared to (short shaft) boots (which we refer to as boots or "kängor" in Sweden)? Sometimes I do miss distinctions like that in English... - and quite the hue I adore. Just the perk me up hue I seem to need a lot of on these blue days...

Even if the hue is different and the shaft a taller one the model and sole is the same, and my favourite, the kind that has been so good to my feet, Iggdrasil.

Ah, in the dreamy best of worlds I would have a pair of each colour and style (clogs, Oxfords, Mary-Janes, boots, tall boots)... And in the bestest of best worlds they would of course not be made in leather but in pleather and the likes...

Since I don't plan to wear them until the weather completely invites me to, the proper introduction to and user's review of one pair of very snazzy winter boots will have to wait. So for now, enjoy the glimpse of their very well shaped toes and their kindred red warmer weather shoes -
that I hope to enjoy wearing for some seasonal time still -

and let us agree that red shoes, in any shape and form must give the goodest of vibes and mean the bestest of luck...!

Hopes of a Happy Monday and an even Happier Week ~ ~


Sunday, September 26, 2010

a letter writing swap


Whether or not you participated in the lovely letter writing swap of a year ago, the idea of reconnecting with that wonderful lost art of letter writing might tickle you fancy this year. If so, pop over to xo.sorch.ox and tell her how much you want to come along for the letter writing ride. Last day to enter is September 29.

I had so much fun writing and receiving letter, meeting an amazing new blog friend last year, so signed up this year too. Maybe I'll see you there?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

aussie take the heat


The kind Aussie fairies left a surprise goodie bag of products in my letterbox the other week. Admittedly I less than rarely use a blow dryer these days, years even. Wash and air dry is pretty my hair melody regardless of weather and temperature so this new Aussie haircare series that's being launched in Sweden now may not be up my useful hair alley - because it's about protecting the hair against heat damage from dryers and hair-curlers, -irons and the likes.

As I've
mentioned before, I am sceptical of the usefulness of many bottles to keep hair in good condition, but apart from the shampoo and conditioner, and the 3 minute miracle (which is one exception to my Aussie fandom, me and my hair are not fans), the Take the Heat range also include a leave-in styling spray as well as a leave-in cream. Which may or may not be useful for some hair/users.

As with most Aussie products these smell divine (Australian jojoba-seed oil being a caring ingredient in this series) and I'm quite certain that for those that do use heat and drying to style hair the Take the Heat-series from Aussie is well-worth trying.

Myself I'm going to try this
Aussie series not for its heat-damage-protection features, just for the love of the brand. And the gorgeous scent. And that's good enough for me. And my wisps.


Friday, September 24, 2010

random thoughts on berlin


It's been almost two months already since summer holidays ended, I know. About time to put some random thoughts to blog with my Berlin impressions. For odd and unknown reasons some incredible 10 years since I was there last and quite a lot had changed, that was my very first impression (and from what my German friend told be quite a lot have not...).

Now let the randomness begin;

:: yes, I do think Berlin is a fantastic, awe inspiring, strange, impressive, gorgeous, ugly, quirky, dynamic, creative city. But it's also, like any other huge city, a constant reminder of what a devastating impact the human race has on this planet. The concrete, the traffic, the dirt, pollutants, the massive amount of people, as much as I love it as a holiday destination I can't see myself living in such a city. Because it also breaks my heart, that environmental impact. The amount of concrete. The littleness every life has in such a vast, overwhelming place...

:: Everywhere these huge, anonymous, grey building blocks with broken windows and graffiti, I so wish they could be demolished and some green areas could take their place. Somehow I get the feeling that it's tragically more expensive to demolish old buildings than just leave them there to dilapidated. Constant reminders of what once was...

:: At the same time there's still such a constant building buzz and craze in Berlin. I can't help but feel that this is just such a waste of money, land, resources, the idea of people and companies work together instead of competing in an seemingly endless game of building-the-highest-most-impressive-building-wins is so very appealing...

:: Despite all this building buzz the unemployment statistics in Berlin is apparently frighteningly high and the city is indebted. A city very much a part of the German "Generation Praktikum" - which I know oh too much about in Sweden. The feeling of being used and abused by the system, companies and employers despite being highly qualified and eager to find a decent job with a decent pay apparently knows no borders. I'm not sure if one should regard that as comforting or just utterly depressing... - which makes me sad.

:: As fantastic, and horrific, a city of this size it also makes it quite impossible to completely know every little nook and cranny of your hometown, no matter how long you've been living there. The different parts of the city are just so completely self-sufficient, some so lovable and fascinating, others quite the unfortunate opposite.

Sure Sweden, Stockholm has its very different parts and suburbs, towns and villages, from the über-posh to the ghetto-ish, still I feel there's some sort of line running through it all here that I personally don't find in Berlin. The overwhelming city of Berlin. My jury of one is still out on whether it's an all bad or possibly a somewhat 'good' thing, the contrasts, the enclaves of worlds so apart...

:: I had some old favourites and new tips on vegetarian restaurants with me and in this yet another city of many meat eaters I found the VegOut iPhone app really useful - powered by happycow so you can use it with or without an iPhone - and there are loads of more vegetarian/vegan places I'd love to check out there...

:: I will never again complain about the scruffiness (compared to Athens for example) that's (in parts) the Stockholm subway system, because I found the Berlin u-bahn to be horrid, sure it may be hot in the subway and buses during heatwaves in Stockholm, but not in the "I need air, please help!" way as it was in Berlin trains. The lack of fresh air which had been replaced by something dusty, mouldy underground which made me cough and feeling, I would imagine, slightly astmathic. If that wasn't enough to stay out of there it also took for ever and ever to get anywhere, for me the public transportation should be quick and convenient, not involve a silly amount of changes to get from A to B. I would imagine buses and those nice looking S-bahns were THE way to public transport yourself around the city.

:: I was surprised and delighted about the amount of bikers in Berlin. Thumbs up! And I somehow felt that those bikers did obey traffic rules and were much more considerate towards pedestrians compared to Stockholm and Copenhagen for example.

:: I very much enjoyed the fact that at Starbuck's - whose coffee I'm no real fan of, but the very teaish ice-tea was quite refreshing on those hot summer days walking the selected streets of Berlin - there was free wi-fi, more of that in Stockholm (since McD really isn't my kind of thing), please.

:: I'm pretty sure you could go completely bankrupt with all the fantastic shopping and thrifting, for all wallets, there is in Berlin. A-mazing. I put my money on shoes, all
El Naturalista (apart from the heart slippers), I still can't really fathom how fortunate I was with this shoe-bit of the vacation... German shoe-sales totally play in another competitive league. Berlin summer of 2010 will also be remembered as the Summer of Shoes.

:: The architecture overall - although I do very much prefer the romantic, old embellished architectural style whatever it may be called before modern glass, steel and concrete - is completely swoonworthy. And with that the good and bad of German and Berlin's history, so much to see and experience, there will never be enough time...

:: A city full of affordable hotels, and cheap, tasty food, I'd imagine one could definitely go there on a tight budget and have a great time just exploring and enjoying the ambiance.

End of random thoughts. Although I think there may be some more random photos appearing here in blog, to light up those dark, autumn days to come thinking about those hot summer days that was in a city of both grandeur and decay.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

autumnal equinox


Now is the time we can no longer ignore the fact that it is Autumn in the Nordic hemisphere, the autumnal equinox has arrived. Which makes me wistful, and I think it does call for some autumnalequinoxal treat... Let's see what the day may bring.

With some Swedish autumn glimpses
I wish every well-deserver
a lovely
equinoxic day,
toodeloo ~



flying south

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

waldemar three


Today is the day one liquorice sweetie named Waldemar turns 3 years old - and that makes it exactly how sadly long it is since I last had a kitten litter... -


I won't write much about this shiny black fella's shenanigans in this post, for that I suggest you take a look and follow the links here or the Luddkolt's label below. I will however in pictures take you from the once tiny 62 gram day to today's all muscles no fat 5 kilograms ~

070926 001
a couple of days old
071007 009
2 weeks old
071020 027
4 weeks old with his four brothers
071118 022
8 weeks old
071213 023
11 weeks old
6 months old
1 year old
2,5 years old (with Eulalia)

Happy 3rd birthday, you quirky cute
and mischievous shiny one, and many more to come!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

woolly gadget covers

So much in life and living is politics, one can't help but think, feel and being involved - and mostly getting quite upset because it somewhat always boils down to mankind being so incredibly stupid, seemingly brain- as well as heartless. Really - but enough of that now. Instead let's blog woolly, lovely yarny stuff.


Because it is that time of the year (however much one would have liked it to be otherwise still...). And if one has to get dressed in layers and woolly, thick clothes again, one might at least do it with colours and cute accessories.


These woolly pouches I crocheted some years back. I thoroughly enjoyed playing with different yarn colours, they were easy enough to make, then finding a quirky button to match. I've used them myself as winter covers for cellphone and iPod (and they could be adjusted to fit an iPhone too) and they are rather useful for all sorts of small items that need some extra protection and such.

Of course you could make some extra embellishment, make them a bit girlier and all that. But I quite like to just let the colours talk. Some have moved to new owners, others I'm planning to get around putting up for sale in Etsy shop. Soon-ish.

In fact, I'm just going through my yarn stash, realising there certainly are quite a lot of sad left over yarn balls that cry out to be made into something useful, or pretty, or preferably both in one piece. So if by chance you think that 'hey, I would like a so-so made', by no means hesitate to ask for a custom order over at the olde Etsy shoppe and I'll see what I might do for you.


Don't forget,
tomorrow Sept 22 midnight CET
is the last day to enter
that blogoversary giveaway

Monday, September 20, 2010

the election outcome


The election votes aren't quite all counted for yet, but most probably there will be a new party playing a part in the government. A nationalist party. For so many years, due to the established parties, and we as a society, unwillingness to have a sound debate regarding the issue of the sadly collapsed integration and immigration politics in Sweden, this time has been coming.

It is heartbreaking and unfortunate that party politics, and we as a reasonably healthy society, could have dealt with this on an earlier stage. But chose not to.

An open debate is what democracy is all about, not the constant throwing of suspicion regarding intent, the obvious conscious 'misconception' of statements and proposals. Most people, politicians or not, really should take a step back and stop being so darn annoyingly single-eyed and narrow-minded.

Right now the politicians are engulfed in casting the blame on 'the other side' (why am I not the least bit surprised, soul-searching and self-criticism are rare politician qualities, self-righteousness though, very much, is). Definitely not looking at the cause, only how to avoid being near the ugly symptom.

When the established parties have miserably failed to do something decent and good with this whole issue for many a decade - and now act like petulant children instead of the constructive grown-ups one might possibly think they are - I have serious doubts the good that should come from this will do. I fear that not even a nationalist party in the government is a real wake-up call for the average (Swedish) politician.

For the Swedish reader, here are three well-written and constructive debate elements -

Sunday, September 19, 2010

election day

shoe per diem sept 14, 2010
pre-voting and having a shoe-per-diem moment earlier this week

Today is the day of the Swedish national elections. Sweden is in desperate need of a change of direction, on so many levels, and I am too. It's a special and good feeling when one can go vote with solidarity and selfishness in mind at the same time.

I am so not loyal to any party or alliances, because I do not believe in party politics -
or the abundance of broiler politicians that completely lack reality anchoring - I vote for good, sensible people or factual issues.

To cut a long story short, and without analyzing any real issues, I voted quite differently at the last election from what I did now. Power corrupts and it's just unfortunate for any society to have the same kind of ruling year after year after decade after... I believe that new ideas, new injections, fresh people, open discussions and a different look at issues are what bring society and the world forward.

Sweden clearly needed a change and a stirring then too. Since then the
right-wing alliance has had a chance to make such good, to make such positive difference over these past four years. Unfortunately the gift of governing has not been cared for and the administration these past four years has been truly heartbreakingly bad for too many people that already had been given a poor deal from life.

I'm under no illusion whatsoever that with a change of ruling from right-wing to left-wing (again) things will be so much better, because obviously if that was true Sweden (with granted all its fantastic benefits compared to other places on this globe) would be an overall better place after all these years of the social democratic party ruling. But I'm reasonably certain it would be better in some areas I care for than things are now.

If people, if politicians, if employers, if employees, if we all as fellow human beings could be more compassionate (towards ALL beings and not only the very self-righteous human being) and ruled by common sense and the noble thought of equality, if we all could take more responsibility for our own doings and non-doings instead of constantly whine and cast the blame on someone else or the presumptive opponent, then we would be on the right track. After centuries. Finally.

For that I wish on this election day. I hope. But I doubt. Since, after all, common sense and compassion rarely go hand in hand with politics.

knit it like the 1970ies

1975 knitting pattern

Looking back at fashion of the 1970ies it's pretty amazing we made it through that decade alive - the risk of having laughed ourselves to death seems quite overwhelming. Myself I was a wee one so I didn't think about the term fashion or style back then obviously. But flipping through the pages of old 197oies craft books makes me wonder about the garment sanity, once again, and ideas of style.

I do love people with their own sense of style, who don't want to belong to the grey mass, but perhaps, possibly, maybe there is such a thing as... trying a bit too much?

1975 knitting pattern

Or showing a tad much? The things nightmare are made of: a male bathing suit made in Bulgarian cotton yarn.

1975 knitting pattern

The family look happy enough, but I can't help but feeling slight discomfort when looking at picture. Granted maybe that has something to do with the very scary beard man rather than the knits though.

1975 knitting pattern

I did find a pattern for a knitted feminist coat, even if I very much understand and sympathize with the why I'm far less sure about the when to wear, personally I do prefer to make less bold statements when it comes to politics. And the danger of collapsing due to heaviness and heat exhaustion seems quite apparent.

However, I am seriously contemplating making a new snazzy skirt for next year's
Brocken broom ride. See, it's totally me and liquorice Waldemar already on that skirt!

1975 knitting pattern

Friday, September 17, 2010

tgif purrs


After a looooong week it's wonderful it's finally a few days of relaxing do-whatever-i-likeing. I plan to sleep. A lot. And knit. And cook. Possibly a bit of cleaning and laundry too. Oh, and did I mention sleep?


And if there's one thing one can be completely and utterly sure of, it is that the furry purries, loafie those general enjoyers of life wholeheartedly support and agree that such a weekend really truly is one of a perfect kind.


So, happy weekending out there! ~


Thursday, September 16, 2010

september thursday

sergels torg evening

This evening we sat on first row seeing a wonderful, quirky one-man-show called Sit Down Tragedy. About the selfish mankind's arrogance, narrow-mindedness and overexploitation of nature and other animals. It brought laughter and tears. Highly recommended for those who happen to be in Stockholm understanding Swedish.

Afterwards when we walked to the train-station it was a rather beautiful autumn evening in the city, don't you think?

stockholm evening

I hope to get some real writing mojo and energy back come weekend, until then, care to read about my week in shoes, hop over to shoe per diem for Sept 14 pre-voting, Sept 15 photographical red and Sept 16 yellow and red.

And there's still time to enter the
blogoversary give-away, you know...
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