Myself I went for a few more tests to figure out the answer to my health conundrum of 2012. They were rather uncomfortable but fortunately showed no signs of abnormalities. Since doctors and their science couldn't seem to offer anything else than pills without answers I began reading about deficiancies and supplements to see what I could possibly do to change my status. Slowly I was beginning to feel better, not so tired to the bone anymore. Despite hating the texture of bananas I began eating a lot of them, they're a good source for potassium (one of my then deficiencies).
As I recall it wasn't a very eventful month. I got a cold, but it was very different from the ones I'd had these last years, it actually only lasted a week (which used to be normal to me too, but alas five weeks colds have become all too familiar for a long time). I do believe it was then I realised I was not only getting perkier, more energetic and inspired by the linseed oil supplement, it also helped my health when it came to fighting colds and infections.
I continued to surround myself with things of beauty and inspiration. Including good friends, good talks and good fika. I got a peace scarf, Easter came (and it is still my all time favourite holiday of the year) and went. Winter still lingered on.
I spotted a gorgeous yellow handbag in a window, I later bought it and it was such a grand companion the rest of the spring and all summer long. (Washable in machine too, so even if it was pretty dirty after all that wear it looked great after the wash.)
I became a little more grown up and got me a book-keeper to handle parts of my Prosit finances. And attended a lovely Yelp event at a Day Spa, where I also won the photo contest.
Exciting things began to happen, meetings, collaborations and nudging at dreams. I felt more alive and back on track than I had in a long time.
The month held the wonderful annual cherry blossom trees in bloom, a great Walk & Talk followed by an uplifting, fun and inspirational talk by one of Sweden's most popular lecturers, Mia Törnblom. I invented the word cafe crawl (where we had long business meetings over coffee/cake/lunch walking from cafe to cafe. Highly recommended!).
Oh, the sadness and wisfulness of having to finally say goodbye to such an amazing summer...
Was a hectic month of meetings, networking, working, thoughts, ideas, life. Another treasured month. Blog turned eight. Launched Two Happy Muses. Spent some fantastic days in Gothenburg, met great people, enjoyed fab vegetarian and vegan food.
I've always enjoyed that phrase "You had me at hello", because really, sometimes life is as simple as that. As a lover of words, long sentences and circumscribing I admittedly have trouble practising it. But it's a definitely a work in progress, I'm getting better and better at it. Promise.
And by that I don't mean I only see it as a phrase working when it comes to romance. It's actually quite applicable to whatever nice people that come your way. You know that special feeling of instant likeability, "wow, this seems like a very sympathique person I'd like to get to know more about".
Yes I believe in the soul mate concept, but I also think that a soul mate can come in many shapes and forms. The feelings you have for a really good friend or a great colleague can be compared to the ones you have for a lover. When it (almost) feels you can read eachothers minds, a simple glance and you're on the same page. The silent communication that actually works, oh how I adore when that happens! And since it doesn't happen all that often it's even more treasured when it does.
I have to say though, that this past year (yes my love for 2013 is deep) it has happened quite afew a lot of times. A likely part in my shift of thinking.
2013 has really brought such a plethora of different, amazing people to cross my life path, some briefly some for the long-stay. I am deeply grateful for every such meeting and what that has taught me, what they might lead to, don't know where, don't know when, but some day.
I also firmly believe that the handshake tells a lot about a person, something 2013 definitely has confirmed to me.
On the last shivering days of this fantastic year I am also so very grateful for the fact that it has been a wonderful year of learning, soul-searching and insightfulness. I have learnt so many things about myself (the really good stuff I'm proud of, the stuff that needs working on to be improved and all the things in between) and about others. Why they act like they do is far from always found in an simple answer, the parameters are likely to contain many unknowns and personal details.
I've learnt about the importance of being open, to listen, learn and trust. The very real thing that is serendipity and magic, if we just allow ourselves to be open-minded, go with the gut feeling and dare to be at least a little bit brave now and then. To be kind and compassionate, to never ever stop being curious and creative. That is how we grow as human beings, earthlings.
And even if I'm not known for my patience I do believe that when people, beings, are meant to meet they do, the same thing goes for when it's time to say goodbye. And no, that doesn't not mean that we can sit and wait for things (magic) to happen, it simply means we have to be open to it.
Dear 2013, as much as I've loved pretty much everything with you (one big exception, but I know it did make some crazy and heartbreaking sense somehow) I'm also ready to bid farewell, with a heartfelt thank you ever so much for being amazing and overall so very eye-opening and kind to me. I know 2014 will be even more wonderful, I actually do. Welcome, new year, I am ready, curious and expectant in the loveliest of ways.
Tomorrow there'll be a 2013 in 12 pictures (or why not 13?) post, after that - bring on 2014!
Today's duckfeeding in Norrtälje was actually one of the loveliest things I've done in 2013. We've passed the flock of ducks there by the river so many times and every time I'm bummed because we have no bread crumbs. Today I actually remembered to get some from the freezer before we left home.
Granted they are likely to be the most spoiled and well fed ducks in Sweden, but still irresistably cute, friendly and chatty.
Felt like the Pied Piper amidst the bird gang.
On one of the last shivering days of 2013 we made some BFFs. Heart to that.
Every autumn/winter for these past eight or so years I've treated myself to a special headgear, a lovely piece to perk up the long dark season to come (yes, despite the plethora of my own knitting it seems like my headgear wardrobe calls for other pieces too...).
This year the gear was a super special thing. This cosy, sweet bobble hat stems from a collaboration between one of my favourite brands in the whole wide world Innocent drinks and fashion brand The North Circular, meet the supersized 'Big Knit' bobble hat!
Just as with all the tiny, adorable knitted hats they put on the Innocent smoothie bottles in England every autumn to raise money for a good cause, the profit from the sales of these human-sized hats goes to the same good cause (care for the elderly during harsh winter months).
Knitted to order, with love by grannies in the UK, you get a wonderful woolly, dip-dyed hat to keep you warm for many winter seasons to come.
Mine was apparently knitted by a Shirley in Devon whose aim in life is to grow old disgracefully (good aim, Shirley!). And yes, the wee bottle sized hat tagged along too. It was such a delight to open this package! Love all the attentions to details in combination with the handmadeness and lovely quality.
The only drawback is the fact that winter weather so far (touch wood) has been a "not called for woolly hats" so I haven't been able to use it as yet. But at the first sign of minus degrees I will. A most happy bobble hat wearer I then will be.
I actually knitted these two pair of Lovikka mittens pretty much exactly a year ago. I just never got around to do the embroidery until now. And since none of us (the blue ones are for me, the orange ones a gift) were in desperate need of another couple of mittens it hasn't been a priority.
And with a long, hot summer and a green winter, really thick mittens hasn't been called for. (Any excuse is good, unless it's a really bad excuse.)
But it seemed awfully... silly not to finish them completely before the end of the year, so here they are. Lovikka mittens 2012/13.
I have to say I really very much enjoy both colours. Love that the Lovikka yarn comes in so many fresh, modern colours these days, even neon-ish ones. I have my eyes set on making a pair of neon-ish green ones some time soon. I do not enjoy neon colours in general (they fall in the category of loathsome animal prints and metallic colours) but the clash between a classic, sensible pattern like Lovikka design and neon-ish wool was quite irresistable really.
These past few years, if one is lucky one might stumble over a saffron semla in December. Just to make the Swedish Fat Tuesday in February tradition a bit Christmassy.
I had one this weekend. And although the lid was a bit burnt and the bun contained raisins (I loath bread with raisins) it was an overall rather pleasant eating experience. Though not something I couldn't do without. Nice but not essential one might say.
I am so happy and relieved that we're now at the peak of darkness and from now on the days will only get lighter and brighter, albeit in baby steps. But I miss the light and a decent amount of sun so very much - and vitamin D hasn't helped in an obvious way, though who knows what life would have felt like without it? - and I'm grateful to finally being able to see that light in the end of a long dark, Scandinavian winter tunnel of sorts.
A year ago it was a winter wonderland here, blizzard and cold. Now we're back to green winter - which granted is disturbing on these latitudes, from an environmental point of view, even if I love the fact that there's no ice! - but during those three days of unwelcomed snow my energy levels rose and I felt much lighter and more inspired than I've felt for months now. So that's what light in shape of snowflakes on the ground can do, apparently.
Happy winter solstice, one and all, I hope your winter (or summer on the other side of the globe) is treating you well!
Got an order for a beanie with animal ears. With the usual magic yarn. So I played around with orange and the tiger yarn.
But really, the ears were impossible to get decent given the yarn is thin and not thick and sturdy. Thus I sew them on so she could easily take them off and wear beanie as usual. We laughed a lot when she tried it on the other day. The ears are of a rather ... suggestive shape one might say. More teats than ears perhaps.
But she looked very cute in an odd way in beanie. Although we have now also two opinions on the beanie wearer looking like a Shreck relative.
I think I will embrace failure on this project. A learning experience it was indeed.
My Thursday has been lovely, the loveliness created by green winter, good people, hair sprucing, good talks, laughters, good food and beauty.
It also left me feeling strangely melancholy. And if I have to guess I think the melancholia has a lot everything to do with it being the season of countdown to saying farewell to an overall fantastic year, knowing 2014 really must outshine, in certain areas, 2013. Which is both delightful and laborious. Thus putting a strain and demand on both me as well as others. It will be worth it though, I know it will, there are simply no alternatives to that. But still, a melancholy place I'm in at the moment. Which too shall pass.
Some details of my Thursday.
The winter soy latte got a little sweater to keep warm (and my hands from scorching).
The Little Iron Boy got a bobbaloo visit (the three wise bobbaloos if you will).
Had lunch with a view that offered excellent people watching. And it feels great not being a part of the ungraspable Christmas stress and consumerism. Just enjoying the green winter and all the pretty lights at one's own pace.
- Well, finding THE perfect red winter coat would of course be awesome, but no luck so far. I have though spotted a wonderful salmon pink/coral coat in quite the perfect model. Too expensive for now, but I'm thinking the soon to be sales will remedy that. Why it's only sold in a webshop and not in store is strange indeed, but I just might take a chance on that, because really, the quality, model and colour is such a feast for the eyes and if it fits it will be a delight -
I think the Christmas lights decorations in the city and suburbs this year are especially pretty, unusual and tasteful.
I even enjoy certain aspects of department stores' Christmas window displays. These mechanical lynx cats playing are just adorable.
Had another dinner at Wagamama and it was great this time too. The carrot seaweed starter was followed by this vegan pad thai and a big glass of freshly squeezed carrot and ginger juice. To be honest I felt more than a bit tipsy and flushed after the meal (might have something to do with the company and heartfelt laughters too).
The day was rounded of with some hours of stimulating conversation over a second soy latte at one favourite cafe.
And now I know I will not be able to sleep at all tonight, two coffees and a large uplifting vegetable juice can do that to a sensitive being as I. Thus night will be spent working. And I don't mind really. It's been a great day, why not make it a great work night too.
There was a time when I could rememember the birthdays of every single kitten litter I'd brought up and sold (yes they recieved birthday cards too). That time is not now, because these days I'm not even good at remembering neither humans nor my cats birthdays apparently.
Went to my third TedX Stockholm event last week. This time it was called "Embracing failure" and while, as usual, the quality of the speakers is very mixed it was a, also as usual, very enjoyable evening spent. Ideas worth spreading tend to do that.
The charming presenter Gustaf who always manages to say thought provoking things.
My favourite talk was the one by Mona Sahlin, former party leader of the social democrats and almost became the first female prime minister of Sweden (I know it's a disgrace that Sweden of all countries still 2013 has not had a female prime minister!). She held a very touching talk about life, feminism, politics, Nelson Mandela (who was the one who made her get in to politics in the first place) wasn't bothered about her less than perfect English and came off as very human and caring.
"Why is it so important to ask 'Where are you from?' instead of 'Who are you?'" - Mona Sahlin
The conclusion of sorts of the evening is that if we're always afraid of failing (and what is failure?) we'll never cath our dreams and goals. And that by failing (whatever that means) we learn, grow and become more complete as human beings.
"Almost all truly great people have gone through some sort of suffering" - Desmond Tutu