Monday, March 23, 2020

everything is connected and figureoutable

luddkolt’s british shorthair, march 2020 -

We're living in strange times. And it's difficult to know where to start. What can one write that doesn't seem trivial or selfish. What I do know though, is that this certainly is the epitome of "It was the worst of times, it was the best of time".

Can you imagine, when we have gotten through all this - with a lot of heartache, sorrow and stupid mistakes along the way, I'm sure. But how hard it is to grasp amidst darkness, the hardest lessons brings the greatest growth. Always have, always will - how many positive changes we can bring to this world, to our obsolete systems??

The Covid-19 situation clearly stems from the majority of the world being completely disconnected to the natural world and other sentient beings. Nature (thank you, Karma) has probably never been so crystal clear with a vengeance in how unsustainable and disgustingly void of compassion our lifestyles are.

Stop eating, using and abusing animals. Enough now.

Our economic system is broken. And has been so for too long. When we've gotten through this we need to switch to a Universal Basic Income. That would improve so much in our lives and in this world.

Everything is connected. This is a violent wake up call from Mother Nature. Will people listen and connect the dots, finally?

luddkolt’s british shorthair, march 2020 -

I did have a lot of this and that updates for this post, but then corona happened. And I don't know what to think about people, about the situation, about the world anymore. If things seemed incomprehensible in many ways before, they're even more muddled now. Or, these times clearly show the true nature of both people and companies. Those who are stupid, selfish, ignorant and plain evil. Vs those who are thinking, progressive, kind and open to change that needs to happen.

I think I'll save the this-and-that-post to another time. For a lighter post. It's after all been pretty much four weeks since the last one, who knew that March 2020 would turn out to be such an epically world-turning month. I said that kindness is infectious, clearly less welcome (but perhaps desperately needed from nature's point of view) things are too.

Today it's also 4 (!) years since M passed away. I'm wiser, I'm stronger, I'm better. But also, another year of feeling that so much has happened yet so little. I'm still feeling so far away from where I want to be in life, from my true purpose. I feel I'm meeting enough people - but is it the right people? And if not, where on earth do I find the right people, my kind of people?

I feel I have a clear message of where I want to be, need to be, to contribute in the best way. But apparently I still haven't been able to connect with the right crowd, at the right time, as far as I know. It is a waiting game of, for me, epic proportions. And it is exhausting.

These days, in the here and now though, I'm ever so grateful for being an introvert (ambivert). And the cats. Always the cats. And then the rest, everything, is figureoutable.

My current music crush is a sad one. But oh so beautiful. Like life. And it fits my mood.

Hope you're in a good, safe place in life.
Everything will be fine in the end, because it has to.
It really does. Kindness and compassion are the powers that will heal us all.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

thank you february, welcome march 2020

So happy to hear Agnes amazing voice again. One of the two truly brilliant voices that have won Swedish Idol winners since it started in 2004. And this song lift my spirits.

Onwards and upwards, on the very first day of spring (according to the calendar, with climate change it's difficult to know when and where things happen weatherwise anymore alas) a little recap of my February.

two black cat peas in a pod, waldemar vs sigge at liljevalchs spring art salon, stockholm, february 2020

  • Visited the Spring art salon at Liljevalchs. Like last year it was quite disappointing, compared to the brilliance of 2018. Low quality a la kindergarten art reflected poorly on the few pieces that were truly wonderful and talented. Haven't uploaded all the pictures yet - but for the painting of the black cat Sigge who happens to be the spitting image of my Waldemar. Loved it! - so may edit later or make a photos only post of it later. But you know, I've become bad at keeping my blog word these past years (still no posts of the Freiburg trip. Ages since I posted about the vegan food box adventures, despite promises promises), so who knows...
  • Continued to put in volunteer time for Vegoforum, but as it is a practically no budget project it is hart near impossible make an impression om social media and with marketing. It was actually easier to make things happen on shoe string-budgets BEFORE social media. Or well, at least before everything had a price and the algoritms were set in the dispiriting way they are now.
  • I've been able to get a few sponsors, which I'm ever so grateful for, but despite looking for decent vegan food sponsors I've come up empty so far. And it's less than a month left. I'm truly surprised and disappointed, since I thought it was a collaborative and supportive community. But there you are.
  • On the brighter side I spent some hours at the vegan fair Linköping Vego yesterday, with the Vegoforum-guys. It was such a good day, the train rides, lots of visitors, lots of meeting old and new friends and acquaintances, sampling great vegan food, being inspired and impressed by all the good stuff, and the engaged, good people. Bought some great food items, didn't have time to eat properly during the day, mean to get some at the station before boarding the train instead. But then I was so short of time that I had to jog trot to the train, with heavy heavy bags of food with no time to spare. I felt pretty shitty during those two hours on the train, without food and drink. So when I landed at the central station I had to rush to the cafe, get a wrap and coffee and just stuff myself with that before I had some energy to get myself on the commuter train. In hindsight it was all worth it though, even if my food plans - I always have food plans, since I easily get quite angry when I'm hungry, so plans are good. It doesn't have to be a lot of food, but it needs to be regular - didn't go accordingly.
  • I've been to a Rotary-meeting - finally went. after a LinkedIn-contact had suggested it for years - no vegan food at the lunch restaurant where the meeting was held, so I had to have lunch somewhere else afterwards, the average age of the attendees was, as expected, very high. But the talk by Slöseriombudsmannen (The Wasting ombudsman) was very good. Waste as in municipalities, politicians and authorities wasting and incredible amount of tax money every year. We all know it's happening, we are just not very aware of just a devastating problem it is, and noone is accountable for it. Obviously.

#vegan award-winning #semla #donut aka #semmelmunk 🌱💚✌, söderbergs bageri, telefonplan, stockholm, sweden, february 18, 2020

  • Have immensely enjoyed various versions of plantbased semla (or semlor in plural) during the past month. This is a new style, and award winning at that - semmelmunk aka semla donut. It was lovely. I even filmed myself eating it. But as I don't know how to embed it in a blog post, unless I upload it to YouTube, and that will never ever happen, there won't be any sharing of that. But this is my happy face after a mouth full. Bought at Söderbergs bageri, vegan donuts two days of the week, great bread and some other lovely vegan pastries too.

#vegan awaed-winning #semla #donut aka #semmelmunk 🌱💚✌, söderbergs bageri, telefonplan, stockholm, sweden, february 18, 2020

  • Have had three extra special, inspiring, empowering lunch and fika meetings with three great women/LinkedIn contacts - one I simply met on a bus last summer, when we just started talking about global warming and climate change (as one does. Even us introverts start talking to strangers on public transports. It is that serious.) Exchanged business cards and now finally had lunch. The other one I met at one of last years recruitment processes. And the third one I've worked with, but never met irl until now.
  • The finding my dream job, true purpose, my kind of people process continue to baffle, annoy and honestly infuriate. But after spending so much time figuring out what I want, where I could best serve, find meaning and happiness, I will not settle for less. Anymore. Been there done that, not again. 2020 is the year of Goodlife.
  • I have an interview booked for Wednesday. Sounds like a great job, great company. Fingers crossed we'll click. I am however pretty jaded by now, so cautiously optimistic is my middle name.
  • Went to a seminar on 'Circular business models for entrepreneurs' with speakers/researchers  from RISE institute. Very interesting. And inspiring. The challenges are daunting. The possibilities endless. 
  • Had a pedicure. Much needed. Blissful.
  • Bought a sweater in hemp and organic cotton. Or bought isn't the right word since I didn't pay a thing, but exchanged it for the voucher checks I got at the two second hand sales at Bric-a-brac last year. Most expensive sweater I've ever "bought", and I would never pay that much in cash for it. But now it felt like the right thing to treat myself to. 5-7 pre-loved garments out, a percentage of the sales to charity and one garment in. Slow shopping at its finest.
  • Went to a seance again. It was a good one. Got a message, it was simple, but so very very  accurate for the place I am in life currently. Comforting, empowering and uplifting in all its simplicity. Sometimes that's everything, when you start to question yourself and your choices, your path. Happens to all of us, at one stage or another in life. 
  • Currently reading Marie Forleo's 'Everything is figureoutable' (which, as you know, has been my mantra for, especially these past four years). It's a good read, not a quick one or offering a quick fix, but it makes a lot of sense. As one of those lovely synchronicity things I'm actually going to the release party for the book translated into Swedish in a couple of weeks. So I'm trying to finish the book before that.

So, how did February treat you? Kindly I hope.

Let's hope for an even better March, more positive, kind and healthy news for us all. Remember that kindness is infectious, and spreading a little joy on a daily basis is a good good thing. For all. Going vegan is of course the best way to spread both kindness, healthy vibes and positivity, so while nature is going green for spring, why not go green yourself? You can do it!

vegan valentine’s, february 14, 2020

Sunday, February 16, 2020

thank you, joaquin phoenix, for being a beautiful human being

I rarely watch the Oscars. I'm just not very interested in occasions that can be considered a club of intermutual admiration. And to quote someone wise "... difficult to watch is the palpable self-importance and smugness. Most of them seem barely capable of stringing together a sentence of any substance."

That said, I'm not sure what made me stay up until 5.10 am to watch it live this year. Only saw the last couple of hours, after finishing watching a movie and discovering it was already pretty late so why not round the weekend off watching the Oscars...

When the Best Male Actor was finally announced I was so very happy to see it went to Joaquin Phoenix. Not only a great actor but a humble and dedicated animal rights activist. Not sure what I expected from his acceptance speech, but nothing quite as amazing, eloquent, powerful, compassionate and beautiful as this. I bawled my eyes out. Then I cried myself to sleep because what else could one do.

The message has by now probably been heard by everyone not living under a rock, but it's so undeniably important if we want to create a better world for everyone. Violence breeds violence, and peace begins on our plates. If we even want a future, then it is vegan. So can we now begin to save this burning, suffering world in desperate need of kindness and compassion, please?

"Run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow."

His full speech in writing here.

Sunday, February 09, 2020

hello february twenty twenty

There are quite a few songs I've enjoyed so far this month, It's a beautiful life by the amazing voice of Billy Raffoul is one. A song beautiful, sad and wistful at the same time, and his voice is pure magic still.

enköping, sweden, january 16, 2020 - #vegan

In January I had a little outing to Enköping - for you who've followed me for years, you might remember how much we enjoyed visiting the cute Cafe Tant Gredelin and the cab rides there over the years - with little mum. First time on public transport, train there, bus ride home on dark country roads. It was really enjoyable in all its simplicity. The health food cafe with plenty of vegan options was as lovely as usual, but alas the old favourite Tant Gredelin had exactly zero options for vegans. It's mindboggling that this is the case in 2020, but well, that's (to be honest) ignorant Swedish small-towns for you.

sonny angel valentine, february 2020

January also held a purchase of a beautiful red raincoat - you who know the movie Don't look now, know how off-putting a red coat with a hood can be..., but I decided to go for red because it is still a beautiful colour - from Swedish Stutterheim. Alas it was a complete failure. First UPS made a mess of the delivery. Then the coat itself was way smaller than the online size chart. A 7 centimetres diff is a lot...

Plus that's most certainly not a proper A-line model. I rarely return things I order, it's simply not a sustainable habit, but obviously this had to go. So, no matter how beautiful and well-made the Stutterheim raincoats are, they are truly ridiculously small in sizes. Waste of time if you're not short, skinny and flatchested.

I'm so tired of the weird, windy rains we've experienced this past year. Umbrellas don't work when the rains go horisontal, and no matter great coats you always end up soaked. I really want a hooded raincoat, but as I'm particular with quality, model and colour that seems to be as difficult to find as a unicorn. Marimekko have lovely ones now and then, but they're always patterned and this time I want a solid, bright colour.

stockholm, sweden, january 2020

January also held some seminars, meetings, networking, business lunches. And the lessons I learnt from those are;

  • Plenty of confirmations that people are weirdly anti-social and frankly rude when it comes to occasions where networking opportunities are unpretentiously simple, even for introverts. And despite being an intro/ambivert I would never be as rude as so many, too many Swedes are. And oh, how they like to hear themselves talk, while asking questions and truly listening to others is a rare rare quality. (At least as rare as a perfect raincoat.)

    I would be a very rich gal if I had gotten a dollar for every time someone effusively turn their back when I present myself and what I work with. Or for every occasion someone just ignores me and start talking with someone they already know, although we're sitting or standing at the same table having our breakfast or lunch. Sometimes I'm too tired (not a morning person) or otherwise not interested in networking at seminars, then I go sit by myself or work on the phone. I really don't get why this blatantly rude, egocentric attitude is such a usual thing at mingles. And it most certainly aren't the introverts acting like this.
  • I still prefer one-one-one meetings and networking. It's most always the most meaningful way to meet and interact with people, as far as I'm concerned. 
  • At one potential job-meeting I had, that rude attitude also reared its ugly head. It was the female equivalent to that not-speaking-the-same-language-interview some years ago. First of all I don't think it's very pleasant to meet up for a professional meeting in a busy and very loud lobby, surely there must be a quiet room or corner available? And it was soon painfully clear that we really didn't share the views on communication, sustainability, greenwashing and values. I have no idea why she even wanted to meet me.
  • At a sustainability lunch with local businesses, arranged by my municipality, I met a various bunch of people, from a rather passive aggressive middle aged white man who questioned both communication as well as the whole idea of sustainability (and yes, he questioned the speakers too) - he obviously ticked all the prejudicial boxes - to a very lovely mother-son couple who run an urban-farming startup whom I really clicked with.

    Unfortunately their urban farming business also holds a fish farm, before I realized that I felt it would be a grand business to work with communication for. They gave me a ride home in their Tesla though, that was pretty awesome. The talks were very interesting too, and the fact that Sweden is so impressive in knowledge, innovation and management when it comes to waste is brilliant. Compared to countries like Spain and Greece where 57% resp an appalling 82% of waste go to landfill. Infuriating. Heartbreaking.

    I wish the vegan option for the lunch itself had been decent too. But it was half - like the avocado business in 2012... - a wrap filled with some green leaves, chopped red onion and a couple of olives (olives are one of few vegetables I can't stand). It's mad that caterers in the year 2020 don't understand that vegans want to get full after a meal, and enjoy protein and seasoning. I have given feedback and offered my knowledge for future occasions.

vivid violet vegan hair colour refresh maria nila stockholm, february 2020

For February I decided to go Vivid Violet, a colour refresh I hadn't tried before. It had a pretty decent effect, but it won't be a favourite (enough colour left in the jar for one more rinse). I always enjoy the deep conditioner feature of every vegan Maria Nila colour refresh-product though.

two black cat peas in a pod, waldemar vs sigge at liljevalchs spring art salon, stockholm, february 2020

Remember the amazing spring art salon at Liljevalch's museum in 2018? Last year's exhibition was a disappointment. And so was this year's. But one of the few pieces I enjoyed was this painting of black cat Sigge, who clearly is the spitting image of my Waldemar.

The longest time spent at Liljevalch's wasn't looking at the art, but in their museum shop, scouting for the perfect words for a diy bracelet. More of that in another post.

#vegan semla, bageri passion, sweden, february 2020

I've enjoyed last year's brilliant find of vegan semla a few times already. And so have the felines obviously.

#vegan semla, bageri passion, sweden, february 2020

Read a couple of enjoyable books so far this month. (While January was a poor reading month, only managed to finish one.)

My January held a lot of good, and some bad. First it felt like I was finally close to finding what I'm looking for. But alas, I was not. Truly inspiring meetups, and some ugh really poor ones. But all in all, oh so many lessons learnt.

Now I wish wish wish and work work work for February to finally swoosh me right into the arms and company of my kind of people. Life is short and for all the energy, oomph and strength I might exude, I would lie if I didn't admit it's also draining and exhausting to have been searching for the right place, the right people in vain for so long now. Staying true to yourself, your values, your path must pay off and that's that. The Universe. Has. My. Back.

when you ARE your #memoji february 2020

Says the woman who looks just like her memoji. February, pretty pretty please, bring the joy and awesomeness on!!!

Monday, January 20, 2020

walk into 2020 like it's a rainbow paradise on fire

First of all, I adore you, my January 2020 music crush - Harry Styles has never been on my radar, 'he's in one of those countless generic boybands, right...?', but I saw him on The Graham Norton Show (which I love) and was completely smittened by the song and his totally snazzy dressing. Look. At. That. Suit. Fabulous.

Secondly. The year, the roaring 20ies have sadly started with one soul-crushing event after the other. And so, to my fellow climate angstees, I recommend this piece on How To Stop Freaking Out and Tackle Climate Change with a pretty great and constructive 5 point plan to do it.

However I do not agree on ditching the shame as such. I still firmly we all need to strive to be better in our own lives, make better choices, as we too as individuals are responsible, not only a broken, sick system and despicable political structures. We can't blame Big Brother for everything. We too must change. As well as keep demanding structural changes of course.

a pile of soft toy koalas at ikea, a disgusting marketing ploy or? sweden, january 2020

And on that subject - my first post on LinkedIn for 2020 was about this pile of soft toys koalas at IKEA. A company that has and continues to cause a lot of environmental damage all over the world with its production, and a seemingly pretty disgusting marketing ploy. I'd say that no amount of solar panels, recycled furniture or vegan sausages can cover up that fact.

stockholm, sweden, january 2020 - three months too early

And don't get me started about the fact that our beautiful cherry blossom trees have already begun its blooming season... Three months early...

kicking off 2020 with #vegan pink hair #marianila

But the year has not only begun with the continued climate angst and Weltschmerz. The first thing I did to kick it off was to colour it in Pink Pop again. The vegan hair colour rinse from Maria Nila worked its magic again - there's not much left after 5-6 hair washes now, just as expected - and I've decided 2020 will and must be a year with many green insights and a lot of the magic that is pink.

christmas lights, sweden 2019

Just before the Christmas holidays I got a free test subscription to a film and TV-series channel blissfully void of ads. The four weeks were subsequently prolonged to eight weeks, so I have enjoyed quite a few good (and bad) movies and streaming of great TV-series. Binge watching has been lovely. And have you ever felt that when you binge watch a great series it feels like losing friends and a context when its over?

Here are my favourites, series and movies, highly recommend them! -

  • The First
  • The Capture
  • Mary kills people
  • Five bedrooms
  • A million little things
  • War of the Worlds
  • Wild Bill
  • The Rook
  • Gold Digger
  • Howard's End - I've always loved the original movie from 1992 with Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham-Carter and Anthony Hopkins. But this new TV-series adaption is so very beautiful (the attention to details...) and moving. And those adorable terrier puppies in episode 3, look just like Little Loaf Malte when we brought home at 9 weeks old. 
  • The Wife - Gleen Close, amazing,
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Paddington 2
books, january 2020 -

And just like 2019, I let Isabel Dalhousie, philosopher and Edinburgh sleuth extraordinaire, set the tone for 2020, with this year's first read.

I finished 51 books in 2019, first time I wrote them down and added them to Goodreads. I might never get back to reading as much books as I once did (and audio books are not my cup of literary tea), but I'm happy with almost one book per week (with everything else you have to explore and fit in in your life). Some were spectacular, some lovely little bagatelles, and a few pretty bad. Easy reads but badly written.

I finished the 6 weeks course in "May cause miracles" by Gabby Bernstein, just before New Year's. And while some of the chapters were zero relatable, I just skimmed through them, others were so.very. relatable. It was a good read, I'm still not calm and focused enough for meditation, but it was still a really eye-opening experience in switching one's perspective in thinking and acting.

books, january 2020 -

I think these two first bought books of 2020 also will be two of by greatest reads of the year, one is a Swedish book by climate psychologist focusing on our climate angst, and how to turn what seems like a hopeless grey blanket covering us (this winter it literally has been, the tiredness quite overwhelming) into positive action. Have read 30 pages so far, and it's a yes yes yes, me too-kind of book. I'm so happy to attending a breakfast seminar with them this week, one the Behaviour Impact Gap.

And I think Marie Forleo's "Everything is figureoutable" will be a very good read too. I've always clinged to that notion, especially these past four years of course, looking forward to reading new thoughts and actions on it.

#vegan clay mask from dermalogica, january 2020

I know I sort of promised to write a recap of last year, but really, let's start with a clean slate, shall we? Like wiping off a really scary, but also nourishing, cleansing and liberating, clay mask from your face. Let's start fresh! (The memories and lessons will always be there, tucked safely away, anyway.)

So, so far this year for me - quite a few interesting and surprising calls, talks, meetings. Some great, some not really what I'm looking for, but still interesting lessons.

I don't think I mention that the friend who volunteered at the great Vegoforum day last year, dragged me with her to the first planning meeting for Vegoforum 2020 in the beginning of December? Wasn't sure it was for me, but somehow I said yes to voluntering, and it has been really interesting and fun so far. This year it will be four theme-days followed by four democracy workshops, the first one in late March.

vegan food stockholm, january 2020 - #veganuary

This Veganuary - I hope you've signed up for it?! - has also been the hat trick for my position on the Top 20 Swedish Lifestyle Blogs to Follow, third year in a row. I may not blog nearly as much as I used to, but still now and then I apparently offer something pretty readable.

Hopefully it won't be 20 days until next post, but for now, I hope your year has begun in a wonderful, hopeful and inspiring way. Continue to act, be and create the change you want to see in the world, in desperate need of that, and remember that...

you got this, #vegan scented candle, january 2020

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

happy new 2020, happy new decade

the future is vegan - happy new 2020, happy new decade! december 2019

I have so many wishes and hoped for this shiny, brand new year. But most of all, may it be infinitely kinder, more compassionate, loving, caring, colourful and joyous than this past year (and decades before that). That is, until the human-induced climate emergency devours us all naturally. But before that, let's be kind. Go vegan. Spread love.

I mentioned a recap of 2019 last week. Well that ain't happening today. But I enjoy recaps of another year of growth, so someday soon it will.

My plans for New Year's Eve - binge watching my new favourite TV-series "a million little things" until I'm going to bed with a good book well before midnight. Bliss.

And for my personal hopes-and-wish-top-list for 2020 (apart from good health and happiness for myself and the people and furries I love as always) are still

1. Finding my true purpose.
2. (Which also holds) finding my meaningful new dream job (clock is ticking, time is too short to settle for less).

3. Finding my tribe, my kind of people.
4. Have more faith, worry less.
5. Have more energy, get more meaningful things done.
6. Feel more joy, less sadness.

handmade, vegan, plastic-free soaps from dragon’s egg soaps, december 2019 🌈💚

Also, let 2020 be a year of more vegans rainbow-soaps for all! (More of these amazing handmade soaps in another post.)

May your new year treat you with kindness and joy, and may you treat the world with more of that too. Welcome 2020, let's be so very kind together!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

have yourselves a green and kind little christmas

advent 4, 2019 - vegan candles and snoopervisor Ågot (aka li’l miss feline arsonist II)

I hope your Christmas will be kind, plantbased, green and loving.

advent 4, 2019 - vegan candles and snoopervisor Ågot (aka li’l miss feline arsonist II)

Next up, a little recap of 2019 and a lot of hopes and wishes for 2020, for a brand new decade. On top of my wishlist is that mankind finally wake up and start treating its fellow earthlings and poor mother Earth with all the love, compassion and deep respect they deserve.

advent 4, 2019 - vegan candles and snoopervisor Ågot (aka li’l miss feline arsonist II)

For now, be kind and be light.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

the universe has your back and other november snippets

luddkolt’s british shorthair, november 2019 -

November has been an incredibly dreary month, with only a few hours of sunlight. A long, dark, listless month leaving me exhausted and lacking in energy, no matter healthy eating, supplements and movement. I can't understand how anyone can be anything else than exhausted and uninspired during these circumstances. Our month of November ended with a lot of snow yesterday and a generous amount of sun today. Alas those hours of much needed natural vitamin D can't make up for a complete lack there of for one month. No matter how lovely it was.

This lack of energy obviously also means I've had and have very little inclination and inspiration to blog. It hasn't been an uneventful month, but at the same time, I can't say I've gotten any closer to my main goal of the year yet, as far as I know.

I have however read, and am reading, two books of Gabby Bernstein, not the latest one on being a super attractor, but "The Universe has Your Back" - which I found rather interesting, despite its icky praying all the time-ness - and now doing the "May Cause Miracles" 6 weeks kickstart to happiness. I can understand and embrace the importance of a shift in thinking, from fear based to love based, to move forward and attract your goals. But I can't relate to every chapter and I still find all that praying unpleasant and uncomfortable. That said, the book has really made me think a lot and its teachings can of course be adapted to both challenge and suit its reader's circumstances and needs. Week 3, here I come.

#vegankalas at bageri passion, sundbyberg, sweden, november 23, 2019

A short summary of my month of November (sans photos) -

  • A lovely vegan afternoon tea at Sigtuna Stadshotell
  • The second of Bric-a-Brac's annual second hand-clothes-selling for a good cause.
  • A great breakfast seminar on the environmental and health benefits of remote work.
  • A lovely facial at Dermalogica. And apparently my skin isn't nearly in as bad condition as I think. Let's see what the dermatologist says in a couple of weeks...
  • Getting tickets for the Pet Shop Boys tour, in June next year, huzzah.
  • A little afternoon tea at my local library (I got vegan treats) and sharing of our favourite British books.
  • A proper vegan feast at one of my favourite bakeries, Bageri Passion, last Saturday. It was an absolutely fantastic initiative. It's such a rare thing that us vegans get such a display of high quality bread and pastries to chose from, I enjoyed everything I bought but my number one favourite was the Budapest roll which was totally magical. (photo from the event above)
  • Another inspiring breakfast seminar on keeping and mending the things we already have, and not contribute to the vicious consumerism cycle (of which the awful Black Friday gimmick makes me sick, it's absolutely disgusting that it's not banned yet.) as it's one of the major reasons our planet is doomed. Talks and panels with people from NGOs, academia, authorities, companies and also politicians.
  • Watching "Last Christmas" at the cinema, which turned out to be a nice bagatelle imho. But then nothing will ever be able to compete with "Love Actually"'s perfectness.
  • Getting addicted to the Elf yourself-app. It's hilarious, and I can't stop watching or creating new ones.
  • A writer's talk at the library with prominent feminist Ebba Witt-Brattström. She was brilliant.

sonny angel and smiski, november 2019

Thank you November, you've been dark, glum, depressing, but also full of important lessons and inspiring moments and people.

Welcome December, can you please be lighter, brighter and kinder. than your predecessor? And remember that all I want for Christmas - except for politicians that finally rise to the occasion, take our devastating climate crisis seriously and a peaceful all vegan world of course - is finding my dream job and my kind of people. I'll be doing everything I can on my side, while I trust you to work the magic in your special way, m'kay? Many grateful, loving thank yous in advance.

Friday, October 25, 2019

the prettiest 55 year old

vintage marimekko puketti shirtdress 💙🌼, october 21, 2019

The reasons I rarely buy second hand clothes are that I'm rather particular when it comes to quality, design and fit. If the brand isn't well-known and already loved, the quality, design and attention to detail have to be outstanding. Also, if you're not a tiny size the supply tend to be considerably smaller. Plus really, it should be easy to wear and wash.

Something that ticked ALL these boxes appeared in a Facebook-group for buying-selling Marimekko the other month. (Clearly one of the rare positive things from Facebook.)

This dress. A shirt dress. With pockets. In a reasonable size. The most amazing thing though, is that it's made in 1964 in Helsinki and the only tiny visible wear and tear under one arm, after 55 years of wear and countless of washes. Obviously it screamed my name loud and clear. It moved in with me a couple of days ago, as a birthday gift for myself (today, hooray!).

A dress older than myself, in almost mint condition, with my name written all over it. A dress and a gift which obviously hasn't added to my carbon footprint. I absolutely adore it. And if it was possible to ONLY get fantastic vintage dresses like this one I would immediately go all in second hand. And what an amazing testament to the quality of the brand as well as the cotton back then. It's truly a gem of a dress, in every aspect. Another 55 stepping boldly into my life.

vintage marimekko puketti shirtdress 💙🌼, october 21, 2019

maria nila bright red selfies, october 2019 -

So what has this one year older, one year wiser, currently very redhead birthday gal been up to these past few weeks then? Well, alas nothing quite as spectacular as the hair colour.

A couple of art exhibitions that were both lovely; Edward Burne-Jones and the Pre-Raphaelites, the other Hilma af Klint & co, painting and spirituality.

A couple of events on sustainability; the work and projects done on the path of what MUST happen - a ban on single use plastic. And a sharing & circular economy meetup, this time on consumer goods (remember the super interesting one on sustainable fashion in August?). Both great in their own ways.

Had a very wonky video interview for a very interesting job (head of marketing in a foodwaste startup), but as there were 150 applicants I'm not counting on being one of the last few they call for the next step in the process. Have applied for a few other interesting positions. Currently doing some gigs in the meantime, while I'm STILL figuring out what my next step leading to the dream job shall be...

Currently reading "The Universe has your back" too. As I loved the talk between Marie Forleo and Gabby Bernstein on being a super attractor (which arrived in my inbox JUST when I needed it...).

But even if I firmly believe that what's meant to be will be etc, I find the book somewhat... very... American? I may concider myself spiritual, but obviously in an Atheist way, and all this praying is just... icky to me. But there are also things in the book I can relate to, so read on I will. And then on to "May cause miracles". And syncronicity, serendipity and not least The Flow ftw. Meditation, finally, is also on my immediate agenda.

Finally I did go through all that is needed to get an appointment at a skin specialist doctor in Sweden. Even if there has been a dramatic difference since I a) went fully vegan, and b) began using Dermalogica, and even more so after finding the exact products that work for my skin, I'm still not quite where I want to be. Plus I also want to get a medical opinion, which hopefully will be another crucial piece of the skin puzzle.

Unfortunately a little snag appeared, it turned out the doctor couldn't examine my skin with me wearing makeup though. So I had to get a new appointment in December. You might think I was stupid to not realising that myself, but well, I thought the examination would be more high-tech than that and I would have appreciated that information beforehand. Ah well, live and learn, at least I'm finally within reach of getting an answer to something that has been such a big part of my life for too many years now, and even more so these past few years since M's passing.

Apart from welcoming the prettiest 55 year old to my home, I had a super-nice pedicure yesterday, today I'll have a cosy day in the city running errands, having a special fika, buying vegan pastry to take home and enjoy during the weekend. And next Saturday I've booked a vegan afternoon tea which I'm looking forward to so very much. As November 1 also is the anniversary of when I removed the cast last year, I suppose you can see that occasion as a celebration of that too, rather than a birthday thing.

Thank you so far, October, for the good, the bad and the in between, I'm grateful for the lessons, but now I'm truly ready (again, still) for the truly great stuff. Oh how I would appreciate that. Truly.

shoe per diem & #ootd october 2019 -

Monday, September 30, 2019

goodbye september, hello october 2019

lego wall in västerås, sweden, september 2019

I wish my one month silence in blog was due to fantastic and dreamy news, but alas September turned out to be a pretty sh*tty month.

The fun and inspiring things I've also done were overshadowed by the fact that The Job that was truly dreamy on paper, with a great interview and some anxious yet rare I-know-this-is-mine-feeling waiting turned out to be a really disappointing process. Simply a short "we chose someone else" without any explanation to the whys (which is standard procedure in Sweden, at least when you're one of the few they chose from, in these case three persons). So I asked, with no reply. Which says a lot about the company culture.

As I mentioned, the ad was basically a carbon copy to what I'm looking for and what I'm offering. The position was as head of communication in a company working with sustainable innovation. It screamed my name. Didn't get it. Was truly disappointed, since every job I've applied for since I decided this is what I must focus on now have been good enough, but not great. This was great, on paper. The reality was another story.

And even if I had good advance information which gave some warning signals, I also know different personalities react to different things and I prefer to talk to people and experience things myself. Turned out the information I got was spot on, alas. And the ad most certainly didn't convey the truth of the company.

What I learnt though, is that THIS is just the position and kind of company I must pursue. However that might be easier said than done since I've never seen an ad, or heard of a similar company/position, before. So many boxes were ticked, on paper. The reality was something very different.

And after getting the news I honestly felt so low, that only the thought of picking myself up, focus, feeling inspired enough to continue looking, got be exhausted. I don't want to feel this jaded, but right now that's how it is.

But the hilarious, endearing incident that happened before the interview still makes me giggle. I bought a coffee (in my KeepCup to go of course) and the barista was extra chatty. And somehow I ended up telling him I was on my way to an interview and bought coffee for extra oumph. He just stared at me and spontaneously said "But you don't need any extra oumph, you're full of oumph already!". I laughed and thanked him for both compliment and coffee. Even if, despite my built-in oumph, I obviously didn't impress at the interview - or who knows, it might have been too much of a good thing.

The illusive search continues.

On the last day of September I began a new little web project gig, with people I trust and like a lot- This will be fun and hopefully just as enjoyable as work and collaborations should be. And not least, as things currently are, good to focus on nice work matters instead of dwelling over things that weren't meant to be. And seriously, I'm too good at what I do to dwell on what I possibly were deemed to lack at the interview. The company was clearly not worth my time, energy or work. And that's that.

Even if this search process is incredibly draining, and I do wish there would be more positive lessons learnt instead of the opposite.

On the positive September side, in a few words -

Västerås day trip. Turned out that the train ride there from my home took less than one hour, the equivalent of how long it takes to get into Stockholm city. It's nice to live in the outermost suburbs, Sweden seems closer than just Stockholm somehow. Spent the day there, on one of the last few warm and sunny Indian summer days. Walking around the city, which is much nicer than I remembered from the plethora of cat shows I've attended years ago. A lovely museum visit with an exhibition called Age Rich, about old age, all the experiences and wisdom we as a society don't care much about. As youth is celebrated and ageism rules. It was a soul soothing day on so many levels.

Vegan cooking class. Yes, it was finally time and it was lovely, unpretentious and the food turned out great. There were 15 of us and I was definitely the most experienced in vegan cooking. But I still learnt some tricks and tips. Well spent evening.

14th Blogoversary. September 8. Missed it completely. But there you are, happy blogoversary dear blog, thank you for being my little personal public room to share, sort and rant still.

Broken arm anniversary. September 18. A year ago I had a broken arm and life was a new kind of rough. But I got myself through that too. Some days the arm and wrist feels pretty normal. Others it can be a bit sore. But well, even if'll never be 100% as it was before the unfortunate cat related accident, I'm still ever so grateful I said a firm no to an operation, with all the risks that would have entailed and of course no guarantees for a 100% outcome.

Downton Abbey movie premiere. It was a nice couple of hours spent on Friday the 13th. But you might as well wait for the DVD or streaming.

Inspiration lunch on Digital behaviours. Those lunches at a Stockholm book store including a delicious vegan salad are most always a great thing. This time the authors were very entertaining as well.

World Clean-up Day. This was a more infuriating that good event. The organisation Håll Sverige Rent (Keep Sweden Clean) really made an engaging mark during my childhood. Kids and grown-ups alike in general back then, knew how to throw trash in bins and keep the streets and nature clean. Schools and companies were involved in regular campaigns. Now the NGO is doing a really crappy job with visibility and marketing.

My mum and I were out for 3-4 hours, filled 6-8 bags with trash, in an area that wasn't that large. Noone else out and about picked trash and noone we talked to knew that it was World Clean-up Day. Imagine if everyone that attended the Climate Marches also picked up a bag of litter, that would make a huge difference.

In the end we were too tired to pick up more trash, the absolute majority being cigarette butts - idiot smokers are obviously careless, selfish idiots on so many levels - but I felt so ashamed walking past all the littering. I'm not the one littering, but feeling so ashamed of how the human race have polluted our one and only planet and continue doing so by being ignorant and stupid.

Reading. Finished 5 books in September. And begun reading 3 more. So grateful I at least haven't lost my reading mojo amidst the lack of mojo in other areas of my life currently.

Decided to start my October with a new hair colour. This time I went with Bright Red, from Maria Nila. I can see it'll be very visible in daylight. Unfortunately I got a bit too much of the colour on my forehead and on my ears too. That'll be an interesting new look for me.

September, writing things down I realise you held some great stuff too, but the early days disappointment has still been covering you like a big, wet, suffocating blanket. So thank you for the good days, but really, I'm very glad to say bye bye.

Dear, October, darling birthday month, can you pretty pretty please bring 31 days of happiness and at least a few of immense joy!? So much gratitude in advance.
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