Tuesday, May 03, 2022

living in a real life kafka novel 2022


I have been living in a state of shock and utter disbelief since the very end of March when the madness of how authorities in Sweden act has turned me into a crying, anxious, sleep deprived mess. 

During the year after my darling Pelle ran away in April and turned ill https://piaks.blogspot.com/2021/04/goodnight-sweet-pelle-2005-2021.html I have been forced to defend myself from the county administrative board’s allegations that according to them he must have been showing signs of illness for quite some time - while I, having lived with and loved him for 16 years, know he didn’t. And I have obviously plenty of photos to prove that. And he would not have had the strength to get out of my fenced in garden had he been in poor condition.

To cut a long, weird, crazy, unbelievable and very worrisome year long story short, everything I’ve said and all evidence I’ve showed have been brushed aside, they’ve deemed me unfit to be a pet owner and ordered me to, I quote ’get rid of the animals you may still have in your home’. 

That one short moment at the unknown vet when Pelle turned poorly (I’m guessing it may have been his kidneys or some other internal organs that failed him during those few hours he was out) is the only basis for the decision, my extensive knowledge of cats (including those 20 years as a small, well-renowned British Shorthair breeder) and my 16 years loving that amazing cat means nothing. 

The decision writing is degrading, nasty and unprofessional, not what you would expect from an authority. They question my mental capacity, my lack of insight and decisiveness to take, what they claim to be, a sick cat to the vet.

As a vegan and animal lover I would never ever intentionally cause harm and ignore suffering in neither my own animals nor any other. That goes against the very core of me, everything I stand for and live by

And no matter all the vet papers and receipts of the other cats I’ve taken to the vet both before and after Pelle’s tragic ending - it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever that I would not have taken Pelle to the vet if he too had shown signs of being poor - according to them nothing still shows I do have lots of mental capacity, insight and decisiveness. It is not a question of neglecting to care for my cats or them living in poor conditions. It’s only a question of my mental capacity. 

The madness, the kafkaesqueness of it all. I feel so violated, dirtied and plague-infected. Diminished, worthless and powerless. Things like this just do not happen. It feels like a witch-hunt.

I appealled to a higher court, I did hope for a final voice of reason. Instead things got even more twisted and bizarre and they too brushed aside everything I said. I’m a bad person. They are right, I am wrong, period.

The two cats left, my precious darlings, Ztina and Ågot, who both mean the world to me and have been such a comfort and joy for 10 years, not least after M passed away and then the pandemic isolation, will now have to move to my mum while I continue to fight this absolute nightmare to the next court.

It’s neither in their best interest to be forced to move home, nor in mine. We are family and this should simply not happen.

If I had a treasure chest full of gold I would be able to hire a lawyer (I haven’t practised law since the early 00ies and this was not my area) who specializes in cases like this (if this can happen to me it can happen to anyone who has pets who run away and get sick), but alas I have not. I have a friend who still practises law but this is not her area of expertise, though she has still been of valuable support and help. But being a private citizen in Sweden up against authorities with no lawyer, that is a rough upphill battle.

Sweden in 2022, you have not impressed so far. I’m heartbroken, energy depleted, anxious 24-7, my joy for life is gone and I honestly do not know how to return back to my usual self.

I’ve always wanted to be able to find solutions myself, trying to figure things out and solve problems on my own. As much as I am up for helping others when they ask I am not one to ask for help myself. But now I do need help, but it isn’t easy to find. 

So internetz, Universe, do you have any help to send my way, I am in deep and desperate need of it. 

Monday, April 04, 2022

happy 10th birthday, littlest ågot


It’s hard to believe, but Ågot is turning 10 year today. So 10 years since my very last British Shorthair litter. She still looks, and in many ways behaves, like a kitten. But yes, on April 4, 2012 she was this tiny.

And back then I thought she was a boy, like her brothers. So for the first few weeks she was called Ågaton Alnwick, instead of Ågot Alnwick (the Å-litter - Å comes after Z in the Swedish alphabet - but there are obviously no British/Scottish Å-castles thus A it was).

Since old age and sickness has sadly diminished the furry gang during these past few years her only friend is sister Ztina. But Ztina prefers to sleep, eat or occupy me, while Ågot is more active, curious and playful still. Which she manages to combine with loud cleaning sessions, yawning and stretching a lot. She is after all a pretty little kitty.

A while back I bought a sourdough loaf. It was love at first sight. But a very short love story that was, as I soon sliced the bread and put it in the freezer.

Brought back memories of her cuddling Little Loaf though. I think she’d love to have a little doggie friend again.

She likes to chase suncats in the mornings. And follows me to the bathroom for extra cuddle sessions when I’m on the loo. She inspects the bathtub (just like her daddy Pelle). As it’s still winter temperatures our garden time is very limited, so we have play time indoors instead. And sometimes even Ztina joins. She’s great at just sitting pretty too. Or cuddle up in a sleepy little fur ball and snore loudly.

She’s Ågot and she’s turning 10 today. And she is much loved. Happy birthday darlin’ and many more to come! 💙🤍❤️

PS Today also happens to be the International Carrot Day. As a proper carnivore Ågot is far from a fan of carrots, but Malte loved carrots just as much as I do. And Ågot loved Malte. So here, Malte in classic carrot style many years ago. You’re welcome. DS


Friday, April 01, 2022

welcome april, bye march 2022


On April 1 2022 this was not what I expected. But there you are. In line with what 2022 has offered so far. 

(I remember we had snow in May when I was a kid, so I’m not saying capricious weather always is linked to the human induced climate change, but it would be nice not to see this backlash now after a couple of weeks with +10C and April arriving…)

So, March. It has been a really really weird month, yes some good things happened but also some really really bad ones, or just one, a very big one, in particular. It has taken me by surprise, shaken me to the core, the absurdity, the violation of the innermost me and my values, the total unprofessionalism, it is nothing short of a real life Twilight Zone situation. It’s nauesating, infuriating, sick and insane. Is it even legal? Yes, I could go on and on, but it is not over yet, so I will leave it at that for now. Needless to say it has overshadowed the whole month.

I have experienced my fair share of absurdities and awful human behaviours before (haven’t we all…?) but this really win first prize in my book. Something quite like this has never happened previously, and just because it is so completely bizarre, and scary, and incredibly stressful, it has been difficult to appreciate the small things and the much much needed pockets of joy in March. 

And of course everything may pale in comparison with the horrific Russian invasion of Ukraine. Two peas in a mad pod, the crazy orange guy in the west and the little pale one in the east. Seriously, what is wrong with men and their inferiority complex and illusions of grandeur? 

It’s 2022 and the world is burning, we literally have a climate emergency, the ice caps have melted, tipping point by tipping point will be reached much much sooner that expected - and then some weird little pathetic dictator think the best thing to do is to start a war commiting countless of atrocities and war crimes within weeks alone. 

Can’t say I’m terribly impressed by the actions from the rest of the world’s democratic politicians either (including Sweden’s). The continuation of fueling the dictator’s war with dirty oil and gas money. And the gobsmacking ignorance of people in general (especially people with cars) expecting nothing to change, that it is always someone else who should pick up the bill and the pieces. 

When we will all have to pay a price, quite possibly a much higher one the longer we wait for a green shift to automagically happen. The spoilt brat syndrome of our western world. It’s sickening and embarrassing.

So apart from the world crisis on the brink of World War III, the climate emergency as well as my own private little hell to deal with, what have been the little pockets of treasured joys this past month then?

Well, enjoying perky Snag tights with shoes for warmer weather, vegan cooking, and baking (there may be a recipe or two appearing soon). Met up with a woman I briefly worked with a few years back and got to see her lovely art in person. It was amazing and inspiring!

Unfortunately I picked the day when the commuter train system collapsed (again) and I ended up stuck waiting on a station for three hours for a train. This was my face when I finally got home after nearly five hours (had everything ran as usual that journey would gave taken 1 hour and 15 minutes door to door).

And yes, that is a middle finger to the usual lack of communication and problem solving skills from SL (the local Stockholm public transport) that day. This is certainly a case of things used to be so much better in the good old days.

Weather slowly turning into spring (until now).

Spending time with my own two little lovable fluffy weirdos, and a couple of fun job projects (but no, still no dream job caught, or my kind of people met).

Books read, but so far none wow of 2022. 

I haven’t found any new wow-series on Netflix (after Dark) but I have almost binge watched all six seasons of Queer Eye. Used to enjoy the original series a lot, and I didn’t like this new one at first but the gang grew on me and now I found them great and in fact much better than the originals. Skipped all the animal eating focused episodes, loved the climate activist and animal sanctuary-episodes the most (obviously). Found the episodes in Japan dispiriting, sad and zero relatable. Watched the German version too, but I find it so theatrical and odd, one would have thought it would be easier to relate to Germans in need of Fab 5’s intervention but apparently not.

Welcome April, I am in desperate need of kindness, reason, less stress and more help from the Universe, new healthy change and purpose, amazing heartfelt beginnings and a lot of relaxation and relief. I’m really really REALLY hoping you will help with that April, please? 

PS Thanks for all the lessons March, it has been rough and bumpy ride. Still not sure why you felt the need to do teach me all that, maybe one day I will… DS

Saturday, March 19, 2022

vegan taco pie (recipe)


In Sweden the classic Friday dinner since a couple of decades (?) is concidered to be tacos. I’m not a great fan of tacos though, so it’s a very rare (practically non-existing really) meal for me. However. This savoury vegan taco flavoured pie I’ve been meaning to make for ages, original recipe in Swedish here - https://planti.se/recept/tacopaj

First I searched in vain for the Planti dairyfree cooking fraiche paprika chili in grocery stores for a long time. When I finally stumbled over them I still didn’t got around to making it because I’ve always found making pie crust is such a time consuming bore. And it felt like a million years since I last made a savoury pie, I’m not a huge fan of those either. Or perhaps I just connect them to non-vegan pies with an unsavoury amount of dairy, eggs and cheese and that notion in itself is just so off-putting. Who knows how the mind works. (Especially after two years of corona isolation…)

When I finally did make it I was practically blown away by how utterly delicious, moreish and fabulous it was. And I have made it regularly ever since. The pie crust thing isn’t as daunting anymore. And besides, it isn’t suppose to be a flawless looking piece of pie, just appetizing, rustic and inviting.

So if you love taco and pie this is the best of both worlds, a hearty plantbased pie and classic taco taste. This vegan taco pie takes Friday coziness (aka Fredagsmys which is a very Swedish concept, like Fika) to new heights.
4-6 servings

The crust
3 dl wheat flour
125 g refrigerator dairyfree butter
3-4 tablespoons ice cold water

The filling
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500 g vegan mince
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
4 dl Planti vegan Cooking Fraiche Paprika Chili (not sure what’s available in your grocery store if outside Sweden, but I’m sure you can find the equivalent)
1 red pepper, finely chopped
2 dl corn kernels
black pepper

1 box of cherry or plum tomatoes

How to make it - 
Pie dough:
Pinch together butter and flour. Add the water and mix quickly to a dough. Roll out and dress a pie tin with it. Dot the bottom with a fork. Myself I just put the ingredients in a mixer and let it do the work. Also I never roll pie doughs, I just dress the pie tin with pieces of dough evenly.
Set the oven to 225 C degrees.
Let the pie dough rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Pre-bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

Taco filling:
Fry the yellow onion and garlic in a little rapeseed oil until it softens. Turn the soy (or whatever vegan mince you have) mince over and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Season with cumin and coriander. Stir in flavoured cooking fraiche, paprika and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the minced meat filling into the pre-baked pie crust and press it down lightly. Decorate with the tomatoes on top of the pie and bake everything at 200 C degrees for about 40-50 minutes.
Serve with a simple salad.

And above all, enjoy!

Tuesday, March 01, 2022

in a world gone crazier than ever, hello march 2022


As if the neverending pandemic was not enough, now there’s a little megalomaniac with inferiority complex and delusions of grandeur deckaring war on a sovereign neighbouring country. And a frightening new  IPPC report on top of that. There are truly so many layers of human induced madness here and now that it’s impossible to grasp it’s actually happening.

Remember how wonderful 2022 was suppose to be, how life would magically begin to make sense again?

With all this craziness, the tensions, the stress in the big scheme of things, the crazy, tense and stressful things in my own life seems… somewhat petty and minor. Even if they certainly do not feel that to me.

But I just don’t have the energy or inclination to let all that flow freely in blog as things are now. 

Let’s acknowledge that it’s once again Fat Tuesday - Shrove Tuesday - Fettisdagen in Sweden, and you’re suppose to overindulged in semla/semlor (sing./plur.). I haven’t had one alas. But I did enjoy a good one yesterday. Vegan of course.

So I’m fine without one on The Day. Really.

And I’m not going to make one of my usual compilation of the month that was. Just settle with the fact that it had both pretty good and promising stuff going on and an overall sense of momentum and new beginnings in the crisp Scandinavian winter air, as well as deeply troubling issues, ridiculous issues that really shouldn’t be at all. But they are. And I have to deal with them too. And once again for the umpteenth time Trust. The. Process. That everything will be alright. 

If not the wicked little mad man in the east goes even crazier of course. But that is something that is truly out of my hands.

But what wasn’t out of my hands yesterday was the scissors. I’ve been contemplating another chop off my hair project for a while now. Also a lesson from the life in the time of corona is the fact that hair grows so fast (as do the nails from all the handwashing and water…) and cutting it shorter always gives a sense of liberation, new beginnings and everything is possible!

And seeing how truly limp, brittle and tired it looked yesterday, well I decisively just put the scissors to work when I got home and off came a rather long bit of my hair, more than planned but there you are. New month, new hair and once again I did it myself. And it looks pretty decent, again. If I may say so. It will reveal its true self and its intentions for the future after the next hair wash and styling products, of that I’m sure.

Apart from working, reading, meditating, bettering myself, battling with stupid matters, enjoying vegan cooking and being very good at not wasting food (one of my intentions and goals for 2022) I’m also obsessed with the German series Dark on Netflix https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5753856/ it’s really extraordinary (as is Babylon Berlin if you want more German top notch TV, but I think I wrote about that one a few years back?). 

Shall we leave things from the world according to me for now then? Okay. And then just firmly cross every finger, toe and paw for a peaceful, enlightened and progressive solution to the current state of the world affairs. Be kind, just be kind, please.

Thank you February, for lessons, syncronicity and new beginnings.

Welcome March, it is about high time to get this lovely party of hopes and dreams, sprinkles of magic and oodles of benevolence started! Can you hear the joyful music playing? Because I can, yes I can.

Monday, January 31, 2022

from veganuary to february 2022


My veganuary has been very much a case of stay calm and have a cup of tea, light som candles, cuddle cats, and trust the process. 

When I would honestly like to scream LET’S GET THIS 2022 ADVENTURE STARTED!!!

The gratitude, calm, impatience, exhaustion, excitement, worry, trust, curiousity, sadness in a messy, entangles heap of emotions. I think that sums up my first month of 2022. A year that bodes change with capital C.

I’ve spent my month continuing to work for the change I want, need, hope for on a personal level. Which hopefully will lead to better things for more beings than myself, needless to say. Simply said, a meaningful job that light my spark again. 

This pandemic world has drained me of so much of myself and my natural sparks are no longer effortless. Those added 10 years during these past two, and the pandemic brain, it feels like I’m not the real me anymore. Like I’ve been haphazardly erased, if you know what I mean?

I feel stressed as this is not where I ever thought or wanted to be at this st/age in my life, existentially, professionally or financially. But I can also acknowledge that this is where I am suppose to be, otherwise I wouldn’t. And as anxious for change and fabulous new adventures I am, the process is what it is. 

Oh thank goodness for meditation. 

So I have read, I’ve vegan cooked and baked, I’ve watched Netflix series and a few movies (might compile those in a list in a later post), and I have taken the Covid19-booster. This time I just walked down to the vaccination bus drop-in. The vaccinations currently takes place indoors at the town hall due to the harsh winter weather. 

It was a pretty seamless procedure, even if the settings weren’t as polished and professional as the precious two ones. But given how stressed and nervous I was about them and the prospect of riding the train to the city, then unvaccinated, for the first time in 1+ year, this was pretty casual and easy going. 

I’m grateful for the opportunity and for the majority of people that actually care about themselves, other people and the exhausted hospital staff. About 85% of the Swedish population have had the two shots, and 45% have had the booster now. Apart from a sore upper arm for a couple of days I didn’t have any side effects this time either.

During these past three years I’ve probably had more shots that I’ve had for the past 10 years, the TBE vaccination (which also needs booster every third year), at the dentist and now this. And I absolutely hate needles, and I usually avoid medicine, antibiotics and simple painkillers as much as possible, but I hate being sick and in needless pain even more, and quite possibly pass something nasty on to my fellow human beings. 

For me it is that simple. 

That life saving vaccinations have become a ridiculous politicial issue in some countries in general and one in particular, that’s just laughable sng ignorant. If it wasn’t so sad, and in the end affected us all.

I accompanied little mum to an eye surgery in mid January, we’re going back for a follow-up appointment later this week. While I waited for the procedure I had a walk and a rekindle with the visiting Jaume Pensa sculpture I stumbled over in November last year. Now adorned with bird poo, but just as lovely and remarkable imho.

I picked up a couple of vegan semlor (sing. semla, plur. semlor) at Espresso House (new seasonal assortment). We had them at home and they were surprisingly good. Not a classic semla, but with a personal twist and I think that was a very good thing.

The gorgeous sunsets we’ve had in Sweden these past few years may have something to do with climate change/pollutions, but with the way life is currently I think it’s more important than ever to enjoy, admire and be in awe of everything possible. 

As I live in a neighbourhood designed in a way that doesn’t really allow me to see sunsets, spectacular or not, from my garden, it’s a rare treat to see them for me.

The irony that I finally experienced them in a car/taxi on the motorway isn’t lost on me. But I fully enjoyed the sight. And stopped myself from dwelling on the possible cause of the sky colours extravaganza. Yes I may have tweaked the colours somewhat in these photos, but they were much more impressive than the iPhone managed to convey in itself. So imagine something slightly less lurid. 

On my way home I was also treated to the Wolf Moon of January, it was another spectacular sight in the sky. 

I had a few more bits and pieces of veganuary I wanted to touch down on, but as it’s getting close to midnight on these latitudes I will just wrap it up and say that I hope your first month of the year has been a decent one, with at least glimmers of hope, dashes of joy and sparkles of magic. And a whole lot of reasons for heartfelt gratitude. 

To be continued.

Thank you January, with your ups and downs and everything in between. You’ve been a mix of weird and wonderful, if I may say so.

Welcome February, may you bring wonderful news and opportunities. I do need you to sparkle brightly, thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity. Now can we please, please, P L E A S E  get this party started?!

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