Wednesday, August 31, 2011

goodbye summer




Goodbye summer, I will miss you very much.
Goodbye August, I'm glad you're over, this year you have certainly been a spectacularly bad month.

Hallo autumn, I hope you will show a kind side of yourself.
Can we decide that September will be an overall moodlifting, good month?
And, if possibly, October even better?
That would be lovely and much appreciated, life. Thank you in advance.




Tuesday, August 30, 2011

climbing siegessäule

july 15, 2011 I - siegessäule

One of the highlights of my 2011 will be the climbing of Siegessäulle. In having finally done that I can actually check off one little life dream. Which holds a certain melancholy satisfaction in its little own.

The experience was briefly mention in my "the berlin-to-do-list". Now some more photos and words, because a golden (angel) moment certainly deserves a post of its own.


:: The monument was raised, only as a column initially, in 1864 as a war victory monument. Which is just a sad and horrific reason to erect a monument of course, but obviously this is how people like to boast about killing eachother and not much has happened since where human madness is concerned.


:: In 1873 there were apparently more war victories to boast about and the column was re-inaugurated now with the golden Victory angel on top. She's 8,3 metres high and is said to weigh an astonishing 35 tonnes. To get that big girl up there must have been a lot of work...

:: The golden victory angel's nickname is Goldelse, which translates Gold Elsa, and it's a rather sweet name I think. Kind of takes the edge of the monument's bellicose, violent origin.


:: The monument was moved from its original place (in front of the parliament) in 1939 and it escaped WWII without being harmed. After the war ended the French wanted to destroy the monument, as it was seen as a nazi symbol, but the British-Americans vetoed that. Which I'm grateful for, without it where would angels congregate? And what little dream could I then have checked off my to-do-list in 2011?


:: If you haven't seen Der Himmel über Berlinyou really should. Besides it being a fantastic movie (one of my favourites) in its own, you get to see some titillating scenes featuring Goldelse. And the sequel "Faraway, so close!" is wonderful too.



:: The 67 metres high monument is situated in a heavily trafficed street circle - parking the car in what can be described as nothing less than a busy highway, getting out of the car with other cars in high speed swooshing by, then try and scutter over the same 'highway' to get to a pavement can possibly be the ultimate big city experience. I'm glad Germans in general are excellent drivers... - and it's reached via pedestrian tunnels under the 'highway'.

can you spot a swedish car?

:: In july 2011 I finally climbed the 277+ spiral stairs to reach the trellis balcony. It was very very windy and pretty crowded given the very limited space. The views were spectacular - even on such a cloudy day - and really, Berlin is quite a green city amongst all its concrete, exhaust gas galore sinful citiness. And looking up the golden angel's dress - even with my non-fondness for being close up and personal with statues - that was magical.


:: Climbing up and down, and spiral staircases are so not my favourite stairs, those narrow steps plus the excitement (even if you're not a bobbaloo) left me strangely both tired (lactic acid legs plethora) and uplifted the rest of the day. Pure magic.

:: The dream day was rounded of in a perfect way, also golden, with one of the, if not THE, best meals I've ever had. Vegan food, raw food, gourmet food. Pure bliss. And more of that in a post of its own.


Monday, August 29, 2011

mostly weary monday musings


:: It has been a summer without yarn activity, I have rested the sore thumb and apparently it was way worse than last time, I can only knit or crochet in very small portions in order to avoid pain. Sigh. I hope I will be able to slowly work my way back to the old capacity - otherwise it will be a sad winter indeed.

I have now begun crocheting a little perky pot holder. Not a lot of work for the end result. And with its colours summer lingers on.

I have many unfinished yarn projects, with not so much left before one can exclaim "finished!", so I should be able to at least potter with those and get the satisfaction from perhaps not a lot of continous work, but with another few projects finally finished.

:: Last Friday I simply asked the crazy job officer woman to let me switch to another administrator. If she had been in any way sensible she wouldn't have made a big deal about it, since it's very obvious not a healthy "relationship" we're having. But, of course, today she sent me a pathetic email stating everything I - yes I - have done wrong. It is full of hearsay, gossipmongering without grasping the issues and the possibility that there might, just might, be many sides to a coin. Yes I am angry, who wouldn't be, but I can't help but laugh (really) at the stupidity.

I also thought that we really had talked things through earlier, let's move on for goodness' sake, but she keeps insisting on blaming me - for putting the torch on obvious wrongs in the system - for all things stupid. Instead of looking into the issues themselves.

Her behaviour is much like the other crazy labour office woman I stumbled over once upon a time earlier.

And I can't help but feeling sad about how little I did know when I wrote this after my first week working being used as free labour (at the labour office, no less, now how about that as a joke) with them in February. So much hope squashed over those next few months, so much promises of new beginnings shattered. 'One of the best meetings I've ever had', bah humbug!

She is clearly damaged herself, by the system, working in it for some 20+ years, this is now a matter of prestige for her. The lawyer in me relish a good fight for a just cause, whilst the I who just want to leave all this ridiculous nonsense galore behind me and move on in life, the I who simply want to get a decent income source again, be the me I am, that one, she is really most tired about it all.

I have never ever, during those years of working (for a salary) within the public sector - which I've sworn I will never return too, it seems like its within its very essence is all about grinding people down to bitter pulp, the more petty king/queen attitude you have, the more valued a worker you are - felt any need to email answers back in any other tone than a matter of fact decent one. I can admit mistakes - we all make them now and then - and when I'm right I just am. Then I explain why, and my experience is that most people actually listen to such calm arguments, even from representatives of administrative authorities.

This woman evidently doesn't listen to arguments, she's now simply out to prove a point. The point being that I'm not reliable, I do not know my own good - because how could somone who is looking for a new income source know her own good? There's clearly something wrong with her, it can never be a faulty system uphold in absurdum, never, never -, I'm snobbish as I haven't accepted the appaling *jobs*, situations and places she has seen fit to order me to go see.

She has no idea whatsoever what strange and contradictory things I've been told over, especially these past six, months. The amount of weird, and not at all wonderful, people, abusers of both our current labour market system as well as the unlucky people in the job searching end of the system askew, I have met. Despite the fact that I've told her about a fair share of them.

She is not in contact with the real world, one would think she would be working with the things she does, but she really isn't. She's probably 10-15 years my senior and for everything silly, utterly clueless, downright childish she has uttered over these past months, I've mostly smiled indulgently and thought those magic words 'this too shall pass'. Because I will be out of there, moving on any day now.

Sadly it's still an inconceivable struggle, instead I have to fight this - this time it's not even that workplace from hell I left all those years ago (and from then on life would only get better...) - this time it's just a senseless insane petty queen within an equally insane political system out to prove a point.

Yes, I'm afraid I will keep blogging about this madness until it has been settled. This is how I keep reasonable sane in this current crazy vortex of my world.

:: The other day I wrote about picking flowers and how the picking leaves a thorn of regret, the undeniable feeling of 'who am I, who am any to deny them their continued life in the flower beds?'. The comment from Felis was such a lovely one regarding that; when her sister picked flowers she said that if she was a flower she would want to travel. The roots stay, but the flowers travel on. Perhaps the flowers want to travel more than the grass?

I think that was such a beautiful thought. And when one prunes flowers and shrubs it makes room for more life, more flowers, so the thought does make sense as well as beauty. Heart. When you think about it.

: With autumn sadly upon us in a few days - at least the calendar says so - I'm trying to see something positive about it. Two very obvious things are: fab shoes in company with ditto socks.


Things will be alright.
Just because they have to.
They really, really do.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

the winners of the tea giveaway


Well overdue, time to announce the winners of the tea giveaway! The drawing took place in the cutest of hedgehog tins (from Blafre). Many bobbaloos were willing to 'help', few were chosen.


'This is how we do it' explains Kismet and jumps into the tin, while the rest more newly arrivals watch in amazement.


Kismet didn't have to explain or convince them much though, he was shortly followed by the rest of the chosen bobs.


Wilco - the horned ursabob - and Zanna were the ones who were quickest to snatch a piece of paper each. with the winners. The others weren't too happy, but at least they got to have a fun in a tin, swimming in paper for a while.

And the lucky tea winners are....


Shaheen and Dahn

Congratulations! If you email me your adress/es (my email can be found at "my profile page") I will get you your tea asap. I hope it doesn't matter which one of the two teas you will get, they will both be sent from Sweden with many kind thoughts.

I'm planning another tea giveaway when the autumn wind whines around the corners of our houses, so if you didn't win this time - were chosen by the fastest bobbaloos - I think it would be lovely if you want to enter the next time.

Happy tea-drinking!


Saturday, August 27, 2011

picking flowers


For obvious reasons I love flowers, but picking them does leave a thorn of regret, the undeniable feeling of 'who am I, who am any to deny them their continued life in the flower beds'? Yes, I feel sorry for flowers that are picked too. Nothing is uncomplicated if you really think about it. The two-edged blessing of an intellect.



That said, it is indeed soothing for the mind and soul to be able to saunter a garden for a couple of hours, in the sun, picking the sweetest of flowers, enjoying the idea (and the only thought in mind) of how lovely it will be to feast one's eyes on their delicate prettiness at home.


Just like last year's last summer weekend - oh sadness - we picked flowers at Växplats Nybyn today. For a few hours there was no stress, no worries, no fights to fight. Just flowers, sun, natural beauty, harmony, colours  and kindness. Life was simple. Bliss.


Friday, August 26, 2011

the mushroom boys


:: I'm going to try some of the delicious zucchini (courgette) recipes, you've so kindly left the other day, this weekend. Go green!

:: I heart a good quote, so thank you for leaving a few awesome comments with quotes recently.

:: When you thought things couldn't get worse, they did. These past few weeks of crap have these past couple of days become even worse, the spiral of being demeaned, belittled and taken advantage of is seemingly a neverending one. Yesterday I was suddenly forced to take a decision that was an obvious case of chosing between plague or cholera. After a sleepless night I didn't have to make that decision after all, because the company that I once thought would be a good place to work in made it for me.

Since they didn't think I'd be inspired enough to work 8-17 chained to an office chair daily for a salary that's at least only half of what's appropriate for the position. And during the weeks I've spent there working for free - well, working I would have done if they'd given me proper tasks... - I've apparently also gone down in value since they had the audacity to lower the already appalingly low salary even more. With, I might add, the crazy job office woman's eager help, she had thought it appropriate to mention "I don't think Pia cares much about her salary, she's more interested in working at a place with people she likes, so let's say x amount of money instead"... Yes, really.

She was of course in no position whatsoever to negotiate my salary in any way. I was horrified when I heard that and the fact that the company - a small web company that I now just feel sick thinking about - was more than eager to lower the salary and take complete advantage of my competence without having to pay for it *because she should be happy we so kindly offer someone in her job seeking position a chance*.  It was sickening.

And that they even wonder, and constantly deplore to me, about why the young (cheap labour) salesmen who have left the company recently, one after one - which was the reason the project manager job that was mine for a day then wasn't, simply because there wasn't enough job/projects to lead -, left... If you're not valued enough to get a reasonable salary, for your skills, then there's no reason to be loyal, to stay. In case there aren't any other irrestistible perks and pros. In this case there was not.

In hindsight, they have given me contrarious information and strange answers, there's a distinct lack of focus and ill thought through business plan in constant change (since people left), well, all sorts of (not so minor) stuff that get my warning bells chiming. But initially I prefer to give benefit of the doubt, without ever being naive.

My stupefaction record is on constant repeat. It's such a crazy world, inhabited by crazy, greedy people. Which of course isn't exactly breaking news, but I keep stumbling over too many of them. And especially this past year. Remember, 2011 was to be a good good year. Now I sit here in a puddle of doubt and despair. Thank you life.

:: Now would of course, that is if I could breath and sleep properly again, be a perfect time to get That Book, Those Books written. But for that I would need a sponsor, since bills, strangely enough, don't pay themselves. So, Dream put on hold still.

:: I do not look forward to next week. I've asked to get a new employment officer, because I can't bear having anything more to do with the crazy one. Even if her craziness might have saved me, after having put me there in the first place though, from having to chose between plague or cholera.

But seriously, this having to deal with stupid Swedish bureaucracy instead of being out and about doing a good job somewhere, finally running my own business -

which one isn't allowed to do in the Swedish system without losing the measly benefits one has paid taxes for all those years. Obviously the system, the politicians in this lauded country of Sweden aren't really interested in solving this serious issue that crushes too many people. They do not want people to rule their own lives, to actually earn their own money, to contribute to society and a better world instead of being locked into a degrading, outdated, humiliating system that these days has so much more negative aspects than good ones -

finally being mistress over my own life again, it's mindbogglingly energy- and time-consuming. Such a waste of precious time and energy. Welcome to Sweden, the country of soul crushing activities galore.

Of course, any country inhabited by people and politicians - one could argue that they are two different human species, one in touch with reality the other not - have more or less soul crushing systems in progress. But I'm a prisoner in the Swedish system, therefore I rant about it the best I can, until I find a way out of it, a good way onwards and upwards.

:: Now that I have huffed about the latest looniness, I will go ahead and have a weekend. Trying hard to be mindful in the moment, but also keeping fingers, toes, wisps of hair, eyelashes crossed that next week will be surviveable. I will pick flowers and weather permitted we'll have the annual secret cab-outing with friends (I still haven't written about last year's, bad me...)

wilco and wilby are eagerly watching @kitlane 's shop. seriously they have only just arrived and they want more friends already!

:: To round this distressing, depressing post off on a lighter note; one thing that has brought only goodness and a plethora of magic moments to this year is the discovery of bobbaloos. Also called happiness instigators. They have a tendency to multiply all by themselves - I swear I regularly find them in front of the computer stalking Kit's shop to see if some new niftly looking presumtive Swedish settlers have appeared ready to move over the pond - and yes, a few more have moved in here during the summer. They haven't been properly introduced yet, when I feel lighter in mind there will be such an introduction.

For now I'll just say, thank goodness for mushroom boys that make you smile even in the weariest of times. Hope you'll have a lovely weekend, with or without your own mushroom boys ~


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

the arrival of a ginormous courgette


It was a day of many thoughts swirling, delicious tea drunk, the arrival of a ginormous courgette (from my sister's garden) and bobbaloos bickering about who would get to draw the tea giveaway winners - yes, they will be announced any day now.

It wasn't a day of great, good or bad news and somehow, days of neither high nor low points are rather calming.


Any suggestions on what to do with this ginourmous courgette (or zucchini as we call it in Sweden and elsewhere I'm sure)? I could do what I did to the brothers Courgette, or simply grill them after having treated them to oil and garlic is always nice. They can be a part of the fantastic creamy vegetable curry, although to bake a courgette cake or cupcakes is always likeable options.

Do you have a favourite courgette recipe? I know I have saved some before, but hey more vegetarian or vegan suggestions are always welcome. Just like with my reading, I sadly lack the mojo to cook nice and new things regularly these days. So yes, green recipe ideas are indeed welcome.


"I know I don't look exactly like you guys, but really I didn't arrive on this big green tube.
I eat green stuff, I don't ride in them."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

s/he who wants the world...


... to remain as it is, doesn't want it to remain at all". One of many memorable quotes and murals on parts of what once was the Berlin wall, at the East Side Gallery

A quote that strikes a certain cord in me, on this yet another day of more fuming over the insulting stupidity of Swedish administrative authorities. Still in despair over how something that could so easily have been/can be solved instead has been blown out of every reasonable proportion by that utter madness.

Given the way one is treated by the system and its more than willing to be unreasonable petty kings and queens, one could as well be an exotic specie, a skvader, a jackalope,


because we do.not.speak.the.same.language. No matter how well or clearly I, or anyone else involved, articulate myself (ourselves) - in ways that any normal, reasonable person can grasp - they (as in her) do not listen, do not hear. Once again I feel steamrollered. And utterly insulted.

One day up, the next day down, time to brace myself for another ride on the exhausting roller coaster of my life. And I know there are too many people, bloggers, readers, friends out there who share similar, very similar feelings, who truly, and unfortunately, "get it". It's both a comfort to know "you are not alone" but at the same time this shared pain relentlessly recharge the Weltschmerz.

I really wish I didn't have to repeat myself like this, but seriously, when will it finally end and when will I be able to at last un-trap myself from this hateful system, when will I be able to breath again? This is Sweden and its way of life at one of its uttermost degrading low points. Sometimes, some days the happiness in good shoes, magical music and miniature matters just seems awfully far away... This is life and feelings, on an August Tuesday Anno 2011.


Monday, August 22, 2011

miniature birch bark craft


For some reason miniature things equals cuteness, most always. The combination of impressive craftsmanship and teensy-weensy is just irresistable. Though the absolute must-have is far from always present, just the admiration of what people can achieve with their creativity and talent is enough to make you smile and feel there might be hope for humanity after all... It's not always the grand gestures that matters, it's the small steps and little kind things that makes a lasting difference.

These miniscule birch bark shoe earrings were of course of a must have-kind, you can't but agree?


And there were tiny li'l yarn baskets with needles, of perfect bobbaloo size, seriously  m u s t   h a v e. Knut is very pleased about the choice of yarn colour. He just can't seem to take his eyes of that basket and dreams about the exciting knitting projects come autumn, in fact, he might even tag along to a twitterjunta-session.


Myself I'm just happy to have another pair of perfectly sweet and handmade earrings. (Found at a craft-café last month, a sweet palce that deserves a post of its own. One day.) Miniscule rules. And it isn't just the bobbaloos who say so. It's just a happy matter of fact.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

bryan ferry at dalhalla


The Bryan Ferry concert in Dalhalla was magic. Many of his gorgeous melodies, only a few lowpoints. It rained on and off, but still that couldn't stop the music, nor the magic. My only true wish - apart from the chosen bobbaloos being disappointed they didn't get to meet Bryan backstage, despite tweeting about us coming there and all beforehand. They may be small in size, but their expectations certainly are not - for the evening would have been a stronger camera, a new lens, to be able to capture, remember, keep and share the magic in a more true to life way.


But still, I hope to keep the magic of that dark, late summer evening and dreamy music with me for this week to come. I think I'll need it. Lots.


More pictures from the concert will be uploaded to Flickr soon. Hopefully.

Friday, August 19, 2011

goody two red shoes

july 28, 2011 - red shoes

One of my nice features is that I don't need to keep all the good shoes to myself, I am more than willing to coax encourage others to treat themselves to good walking and kind shoes. Especially when there's a shoe-sale. And even more especially, when there are red shoes on sale ("when in doubt, wear red", but any gorgeous colour will of course do in my world).


So I thought it was a good thing, a very good thing that my mother got that red pair of El Naturalista (naturally) Angkor maryjanes last month. Personally I want my shoe soles of a sturdier kind, but I still think this model is very appealing. And I love how maryjanes look good on and can be worn by any age - overall that is something that has become better over the years, it's not such a big dress-code-for-every-age as it used to be, rather dress in a way that becomes you and make you feel comfortable. As it should be. Me giving many thumbs up to that! -


I later spotted these pair - also in the Angkor model - at online sales. They are truly brimming with quirky gorgeousness, so lovely I did in fact contemplate skipping the prefer-thicker-soles-thing. But as my mother thought they looked wonderful too I did think it would be nice if she'd get them for autumn, and not me.


They arrived some days ago. And they look fabulastic. Four-toned oxfords, red-denimblue-violet-grey and shoe-laces in denim fabric - with an extra pair of regular ones in violet in case you prefer that - they are sighworthy lovely. True happy shoes. And hopefully über-comfortable to walk in too.


Just writing about shoes, my own or others, makes me happy. A small relief and blessing in the emotional rollercoaster that's going on in the rest of my life. Goody two shoes. Red shoes. Good shoes.

PS What's your opinion on shoes, just a boring must or something you can get all giddy about? Do you go for comfort over beauty or the other way around? Or think they should go hand in hand aka foot on foot always (when possible)? Do you have a favourite shoe brand? Or a favourite model? DS
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