Saturday, October 31, 2009

three seasonal chocolates


~: This post will consist of only treats not a trick in sight :~

The Swedish (or at least it used to be) Marabou chocolate brand - with the lovely and award-winning sculpture park - is probably my favourite brand when it comes to the mass produced kind of chocolate.

When I was a child and my bestest friend and I had a treat it was most always a large bar of plain (nothing plain about it really) Marabou milk chocolate and big glasses of milk (which I for various reasons don't drink anymore, apart from in my tea).

The chocolate has a rather distinct taste, the smooth milk chocolate feels genuine and fresh and the flavour obviously contains a lot of happy memories too.

Apart from the 'plain' classic milk chocolate, Marabou's bars come in many different flavours. My overall favourite is the 'Schweizernöt' (Swiss nut), it's just a perfect mix of smooth milk choc and crunchy hazelnuts. And even if past summer's limited edition of strawberry chocolate was quite lovely, summery and came pretty close to the Swiss nut it didn't completely win me over, or rather it didn't beat the nutty delight.


For this winter season there are three new flavours, one being a limited edition called Vinter (yes, 'Winter' that is), a crunchy crocant version with spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, clove, pepper, ginger and vanilla. It's really nice, flavourful and very Christmassy.

The other two are different chocolate cream bars - usually not my favourite, but as I take my Swedish blogger writing in English about Sweden duty seriously I of course had to have a little sample - called Sensation (don't know about that...). Toffee-walnut sounds rather nice, but I found the walnut didn't work too well with the toffee, bit too sweet for me and overall just uninteresting.

The Yoghurt raspberry version was quite lovely though, very raspberry - my definite favourite fruit-berry thing -, rather fresh and not too sweet. This one I can see myself enjoy in the future without feeling the seriousness, weight and duty of blog above.

Friday, October 30, 2009

happy halloweening ~


So much to write and share and show, but unfortunately I've managed to get another cold/flu/whatever thingy and this weekend (at least) will be spent in resting position for me. I had plans for a lot of pumpkin carving, cooking and baking, but alas that will have to wait and the only Halloweening for undersigned will be this rather wonderfully creepy, sad and beautiful Spanish ghost story called El Orfanato (the orphanage) on DVD.

Stay well, safe and have a lovely halloweening weekend ~

Thursday, October 29, 2009

the spelling squad strikes again

In this world of too many careless or ignorant users of words with less skillful insights in spelling there is no such thing as a rest for the language - word - spelling squad, behold the latest find that would make any stickler for a proper spell check sigh in despair ~


Or maybe this is just a case of one vegetarian member of the spelling squad not knowing her burgers.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

on coming home


Back home again I have to say the get away to a new neat place has been brilliant, I am totally smitten by the complete and surprising awesomeness of the city in question and its surroundings. Yes there's room for improvement in details, but I am all too willing to overlook those flaws because I had such a picture perfect, enthralling wee trip. Loved every bit of it. And hereby add a new favourite destination to my list of already favourite such places.


Before I share more details - and more photos - I thought it would be fun to see if anyone would like to take a wild (or not so wild) guess as to where this place of almost surreal picturesqueness, fairytailish architecture and understated gemness can be found.


Three clues to the city;
it has a historic Swedish connection,
say hey to the Hansa and
a fondness of cherries.
Now where can that be...?


This splendid place really showed the prettiest of autumn faces no matter weather - we had pouring rain, wind, clouds and blue skies - and time of day or night , the light was dash misty, soft and stunning - which sadly the multitude of photos taken don't quite do justice - and it just took my breath away. Cobblestones, intricately detailed architecture in almost every colour of the rainbow, it felt like an unlikely step in to a romantic movie set. And I'm not easily impressed like that.


Lest not forget all
the sweet happy birthday wishes
thank you ever so much,
truly well chuffed am I ~

Sunday, October 25, 2009

happy birthday to me ~

Yes even if it was a long time since I relished the idea of getting another year older - still, the alternative does seem rather grim and unpleasant - this year I am not beating about the blog bush or hinting but fully admitting in blog that today of all October days is my birthday.

It will be celebrated with a nice little get away, to a for me completely new place of destination and I'm hoping it'll be as much fun as I have my heart set on it to be. I kind of think I totally deserve it.


So happy birthday to me -
and any other October 25th birthday fellow,
relish the fact that you're an autumnal being,
and treat yourself to a celebration
in style and splendid colours ~

Saturday, October 24, 2009

happy united nations day ~

Growing up my dream occupation, goal in life was to become the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

It was only after I realised that my dream occupations as a 7 year old, engineer or ice-skating princess, was hilariously out of touch with any of my talents or reality, that I began nurturing this dream of playing an highly important role in international affairs and working hard making this one world of ours a better place. I faintly recall even writing a letter to the then Secretary-General Pérez de Cuéllar expressing my admiration for his work and telling him about my future goals. As far as I can remember I never did get a reply.

My goals and dreams of a diplomatic career ended in my late teens when I saw the rather, to say the least, ridiculous application form for a internship at the Swedish Foreign Offices. Instead I became a lawyer. A second place decision and change of objective in life I'm far from certain was a wise one in hindsight.

Even if sadly the United Nations organization has turned into a rather over sized, bureaucratic, edentulous apparatus - there is such a thing as too many, far too many vetoes - I still believe in the, at least, once aim of the United Nations, to do just what the name states, unite the world.

I am a firm believer in international cooperation - although sadly there seem to be too many, far too many, brainless as well as heartless (a discouraging combination) adversaries with whom neither rhyme nor diplomatic reason works - and the ultimate power of the word. Spoken as well as written.

Side note, being a firm believer in international cooperation and diplomacy far from equals being a friend of the in myriads of ways monstrosity called the European Union.

The brilliant, with their brain as well as heart in the right place diplomats that endlessly fight for rhyme and reason to prevail, the ones that balance the thin line of diplomacy yet at the same time not afraid of speaking their well-articulated mind, they are my heroes. Hail to them.

Therefor on this day, October 24th, I wish every well-deserving soul a

Happy United Nations Day, may this world of ours one day be a better place for all species to live in, peacefully co-exist, respect each other and thrive ~


Thursday, October 22, 2009

the tartan, tweed and hat crush


I'm a person with special fondness and soft spot for many things, luckily many of them is of the free of charge nature's splendour kind. The fondness I have for tartan I suppose is a blend of possibly cost - as it's such a darn irresistible wonderful pattern that come in endless, amazing colour combinations and it works well with everything. Always -

and free - as in just seeing them I get all giddy reminded of the special place in my heart played by Scotland and England.

Tweed is another fabric, pattern, quality I have a serious crush on. Not only oozing britishness, it's also stylish and cosily autumnal. Works well, as far as I'm concerned, with everything, always, during the chillier season.

Then there's hats. Granted these days I am more of a cap than a hat person, but I still get all mushy aw-ey when I see something tartan-tweedy-hat-ey. But since I'm prudent (there is a time for everything) I rarely act on that tartan-tweed-hat urge. Hence the aweness seldom ends in something coming home with me. My latest going-all-the-way tweed hat crush was the Skye one - yes, it's an ongoing affair, I can safely say I still, for always will, love that quirky, lovingly handmade, moodlifting beauty -

Well, the last until the other day. Found it, was mesmerized, tried it on, developed a crush, decided to think 'if it's still there a later day, it was meant to be'. When I went back to shop some days later a woman was tampering with the hat and hesitantly put it back on shelf. Instinct made me run and leap for it, because life just can't be so cruel that the crush hat would end up on someone else's head and right in front of my eyes at that.

This sweetie is now gilding my Autumn. I love the 1920ies smallish scoop shape, the details - it has a fine paisley lining too - the quality, the tartan, the tweediness and the wonderful, cheerful orangey-violet colour combination.


Do you have any favourite patterns and fabrics?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

on writer's stage - jeanette winterson

Someone once said that one should never expect a writer in person and in talk to be like what and how they write. That I can comprehend, I myself, if not a writer as such, am far from always the person in talk as I am in writing.

Because as much as I may like, love, a decent discussion, a good talk through, a neat chat, it isn't as deep an affection as my true passion for the written word. I am writing, talking comes second.

That said, to separate the sheep from the goats, finding truly great literature in all the, I dare say, rubbish that seem to get published these days may be a tricky task, but it can (have to!) certainly be done. But getting that world turned over in some way reading experience doesn't necessarily mean you'd have an intellectual ball meeting, talking to the writer behind the masterpiece. Explanation, see paragraph one above.

Actually very few of my favourite writers have really tickled my fancy when I've seen-heard interviews with them, their written word way surpass their talking. And even if those beautifully written words naturally have to hide somewhere inside that person, that writer, they only seem to want to come out and play on paper, not in air.

Which on the one hand is a good thing I suppose, because what a tiresome life having constant crushes on ALL your favourite writers. On the other hand it is something of a disappointment, as one (that'd be 'me' at least) likes to think that someone that writes so mindblowingly well have to be a superbly well-versed being in person. The kind of being I would give just about anything to be able to have a conversation about life, death and everything in between with. They are few, but they are out there.

This evening I had the pleasure of listening to a writer on stage, Jeanette Winterson, and she was just such a person. Such an amazing person in talk, so very much like her ingenious and marvelously written pieces. Entertaining, deep thinking, analyzing, thoughtful, humouros, intelligent, quirky, passionate, multi-layered, intellectual, sharing anecdotes and wisdom - just about everything she said was quote-worthy - that made us laugh, cry and think. A lot.

When the one and a half hours of listening to her brilliant way with words had come to an end, the presenter said 'I think just about everyone in the audience wants to marry you now, including me'. The roaring applause said it all.

I'm so glad I've far from read all her books yet. I still have so much to look forward to of her writing. Jeanette Winterson, heart you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the life of innocence


Whenever I see the very young, the very happy, sweetness personified, obliviant to the harshness of life and all the sadness that come for too many beings, too many species, all over the world, I silently and adamantly hope and wish for them to have a good, fulfilling specie-ific life.

That they'll never ever have to deal with the pains and horrors too many humans so carelessly and without an ounce of compassion put other beings through.

I wish I could only feel happiness and in aweness when seeing the innocent and the sweet, but I just can't anymore. It really breaks my heart. Little by little. Little sweetheart.


the one that was not

Seven years ago MaryMarie's husband was pushed out of a window in an eastern European town after visiting a prostitute. No one knows what really happened, but her husband ends up paralysed from the neck down. After long nights beside her husband's hospital bed the reality shifts and turn into parallel lives, one that is Mary's and one that is Marie's.

Is she Mary, the dutiful wife that stays with her husband, the successful journalist that moves on becoming the Minister for Development Assistance, making the fight against trafficking and prostitution her main political issue.

Or is she Marie, the successful journalist who can't stand what her husband has done, who unplugs his respirator and ends up in jail for six long years.

'Den jag aldrig var' (which literary translates"The one I never was") by Majgull Axelsson is a book that shifts from one possible life to another, it's a thought provoking piece, well-written, all absorbing from the first page - and when you don't read it you still think it.

The novel asks important and interesting questions about life choices, about the life we chose to live or perhaps the life we let others chose for us. Needless to say, there are more than a few aha-moments in the book.

Axelsson's writing reminds me of Maria Ernestam, well thought through yet seemingly effortless, unpretentious and intelligent, carnal and elegant at the same time.

"The one that was not" is one of four books by Majgull Axelsson that's translated into English. Not as stunning as the amazing "Aprilhäxan" / "April witch" - and I really did not like the ending, which I found to be rather a botchery easy way out solution to such an intriguing story - but still a book more than well worth reading.

Monday, October 19, 2009

another creamy lentil stew

'Tis the season of heartwarming vegetarian soups and stews. Hence this recipe for a tweaked creamy lentil stew - since I didn't happen to have everything the original version needed in the fridge - which turned out to be really savoury and satisfying.


c r e a m y . l e n t i l . s t e w, ~ 6 servings

2,5 - 3 dl green lentils
7 dl boiling water
1 vegetable stock cube

mix in a largeish casserole, let to boil, slow boil for about 15 minutes.

1 large leek
1 large yellow onion
4 medium potatoes
1-2 large carrots
sunflower oil

rinse, peel and chop, fry lightly in pan for a few minutes.

3-5 large fresh tomatoes, chopped
5 dl boiling water
salt, black pepper, dried thyme

when the lentils have cooked for the above 15 minutes add the vegetables, the boiling water, the chopped tomatoes to the lentils. season with salt, black pepper, dried thyme.

slow boil for about 15-25 minutes, depending on how long it takes for the lentils to cook.

~ 300 g light quorn bits or
~ 200 g halloumi
sunflower oil

While the stew is cooking gently fry either quorn bits or diced halloumi.

~125 g organic creme fraiche

When stew is ready add the fried quorn/halloumi to the stew and also stir in the creme fraiche.


If lentil soup is more your thing, here's a recipe for a rather brilliant one.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

the gift of lilies

On a not so regular occasion (just the way I want it) a kind M brings me pink lilies. I've never said they're my favourites, but lilies it is and well, I'd be insane if I didn't love these gorgeously scented long lasting beauties, wouldn't I?


They usually begin their last days of life (which is the saddest thing about cut flowers and one reason for me not having them around much) in a vase on the bedroom window sill. I love watching the sun glistening behind them turning their pink delicateness almost see through. And I love their wonderful scent that slowly rocks me to sleep and just as gently wakes me.

As time goes, the scent does unfortunately grows a bit to strong for bedroom life. Then they will have to move to studio where they can serve as inspiration and beauty when I feel the creativity bug begging.


Does your kind someone bring you flowers?
If so, what kind of flowers might that be?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

magic yarn


Truly it is. Magic as it turns into fantastic little patterns along the knitting way making the end result looking intricate and very artsy. I've been drooling over this yarn (wool, bamboo, acrylic blend) for some time now, one can safely say that the colours covered are that of all the rainbow and then some and it's such a challenge to just chose one, chose right.

The only thing that kept me from investing is the (no, no, no) fact that I probably don't need more yarn (imagine that). Plus I'm not keen on synthetic yarn or using iddy biddy needles. When shop keeper showed little (totally irresistable, ya' know) knit samples it was just impossible to leave without a couple of new projects.

Not keen at all on knitting socks, but socks it will be. And hopefully it will be so much more fun that I recall it. The power of yarn shouldn't be underestimated, clearly it can make all the difference, the bundle of wool blend joy ~


Friday, October 16, 2009

the curious incident of the dog in the night-time

Of all the books one reads it's not that often one experiences the truly great, mind-evolving, inspirational, all absorbing well-written piece. It definitely happens, but not that often.

It's even rarer to find truly (or so it seems) original stories told. Written from the perspective of an autistic teenage boy I do find 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time' by Mark Haddon to be one of those. The book is an easy read, very funny at times when Asperger clashes with what most of us regards as reality. Other times sad, for the same reasons, but most of all thought-provoking and enlightening in a way that is easy to grasp.

I picked up the book (better late than never) in the hopes of getting a really different crime fiction. Only a very small portion revolved around the actual drama of the dog in the night-time though, on the other hand one gets a refreshing take on what it can be to live and co-live with one version of autism.

Highly recommended read. For those, like me, a bit tardy getting around reading this very worthwhile little book.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

clever cat thursday - greetings friend or foe


On the not so odd occasion I do ponder the fact that cats (and dogs) in general take such great interest in the sniffing of... behinds.

Yes, I do know that cats (and even more so dogs) have a whole other olfactory world to handle than us measly humans can even imagine. But still, what's wrong with a little eye contact, meowing, paw shaking, tail wagging or possible lick on cheek, rubbing against eachother when meeting old friends? Especially those friends you share home with, the ones that just passed you on their way to the kitchen and back. But no, no other than a good showing of and sniffing the hind regions will do.

Or perhaps that behaviour is the perfect way to distinguish friend from foe? Perhaps that's just another example of model behaviour us slow catching humans can learn from the animal kingdom? Stop playing mind games, interpreting body language, reading between the lines, start the sniffing of bottoms.

Now, who wants to go first?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

eating out - thé à la menthe, copenhagen


I was so, so pleased when past summer discovering that one of my once upon a time favourite places for food in Copenhagen, Thé à la menthe, had reappeared (at least to us out-of-towners) in a slightly new shape (but definitely non the less pleasing in looks). Excellent, spicy, vegetarian Moroccan food, reasonably priced generous servings (too generous for the non starving eater) and really, the sweetest ambiance possible.

M frankly really doesn't know how to relax and enjoy perfect places like this to the fullest (is that a guy thing?) and finds the food a bit *suspicious* and too odd in flavours (poor thing), but if he wants to enjoy a meal AND the company of undersigned his only choice is to tag along (and my sneaky suspicion is that he doesn't think it's as bad as he lets on, really, he just *needs* to keep his guy-behaviour intact).

The medium priced food on offer at this charming, relaxed Morrocan tearoom restaurant/café is basically vegetarian but for those who have the urges to eat pieces of dead animals one can always add that to the dish...


I opted for this lovely looking mixed plate with vegetarian samosa and lots and lots of spicy flavours. Too much food to finish, but it was really scrumptous, every little bit of it.


I would have liked my coffee with delightful, chewy big pieces of cardamom, like they used to serve it, but it was still a smooth, nice roundoff to the spicy main course.


Many (most?) of the things on display in this combined restaurant/café and shop is for sale. Overall rather pricey though, so for me the place acts more as an inspiration for home decor rather than getting my purchasing instincts going. I really adore the place's colourful mix of Eastern meets Scandinavian interior.

Food - 4/5
Service - 3/5
Ambiance - 5/5

Value for money - 4/5


Thé à la menthe, Moroccan tearoom
(with a website address that doesn't work)
Rådhusstraede 56,
Copenhagen, Denmark
open mon-thur 10-21 (10 am-9 pm),

fri-sat 10-22 (10 am-10 pm),
sun closed
tel +45 3333 0038

october beauty

No surprise by now, that one of my favourite pleasures and simple relaxing, everyday luxuary things to do is taking a long hot shower (not a bath person me), dabble with hair paks, foot baths, lotions, potions, scrubs and scents. An especially enjoyable thing this chilly time of the year.

These are my companions pre-, in and post- shower since last ;

:: showergel - chocolate showel & bath gel, bettina barty. german brand, old bottle waiting on the bathroom shelf for a couple of years. still smells divinely chocolatey.

honey spice, honey cookies & roasted pecans, another lovely product from greek aromatherapy brand korres. it's said to have all sorts of beneficial features like collagen stimulating and anti-ageing. as i'm always sceptical about such promises i couldn't say. but what i do know is that it has a gorgeous spirit lifting spicy, autumnal scent and a lovely foamy creaminess.

as korres now is available (yeah!) in sweden too (alas at a whole other price level than the one in athens, still...) i'm pleased to know that the possibility of a refill isn't that far away. hopefully.

:: shampoo - sun kissed raspberry, alberto balsam. i got this (not available in sweden) really cheap herbal shampoo moisture splash with juniper and chamomile at boots last year. i got it on smell alone, it smells divine. as for shampoo features, well it's just pretty basic. for a nice price.

colour save, sachajuan. my first try of this swedish stockholm-brand of haircare products. and this will also most probably also be my last. because the scent that developes when the shampoo gets in contact with water can't be described like anything else than really strong and cheap after shave. it smells horrific. and i can't say i'm impressed my it's overall shampoo features either. major disappointment.

:: body scrub - grapefruit tangerine, sephora. sephora isn't a brand, or shop, available in sweden, but a place i do enjoy browsing when abroad. this bottle of great scented - being a fan of pamplemousse (grapefruit is even more appealing in french somehow) as well as wanting more than a whiff of athens (orange blossoms) - scrub i picked up in athens. reasonably priced, but quite disappointing in quality, it's coarse, drying and anything but long lasting. i would not buy it again.

:: facial scrub - oatmeal face scrub, thann. first product from spa brand thann i've tried. it smells really lovely and scrubs both gently and decisively. since i unfortunately saw too late that it contains palm derived oils - which i for animal wellfare as well as ecological reasons aim to never use products containing. unless they stand in line already on bathroom shelves of course. and if they aren't from a sustainable source. which one could probably find out, if one isn't the lazy type of person who instead just try and shy away from palm derivates alltogether - i will not buy again.

:: facial mask - detoxifying clay mask, thann. the second prdouct from thann i've tried and i love it. it smells heavenly of roses and cucumber, it cleanses, refreshes and doesn't dry the skin. will definitely buy again.

:: facial cleanser - energizing pomegranate, murad. my very first (better late than never) experience of murad. i adore this product (and i'm glad that the overzealous sales person didn't talk me into getting another of their cleansing products instead), apart from it's enthralling fresh pomegranate scent it's a lightweight, very long lasting mousse that cleanses and refreshes well without giving that irritating dry feeling afterwards. i'm hooked. new favourite. pricey but long lasting.

:: soap - lime feeling, himla. when i bought this soap from swedish brand himla it smelled really nice. it has been waiting in line for usage and now it doesn't smell a thing. as it also contains a whole lot of palm derivates it will certainly not be bought again.

:: face cream - ultra rich shea butter face cream, l'occitane. like most things l'occitane it smells lovely and it feels very creamy and moisurising for dry, dull winterskin. hopefully it will work wonders with my not so happy this time of the year facial skin.

:: moisturizing spray - rice extract body moisturizing spray, thann. third product from thann for me. this milky fluid smells really fresh and lovely from cucumber, aloe vera and other natural and herbal ingredients. it's soothing and great to use after spending time in the sun. unfortunately, like the above facial scrub it contains palm derived oils so i will not but again.

:: body lotion - mandarin and mint moisturising body lotion, arran aromatics. m brought this home from the western isles of scotland last year. (i'm pleased to say that he has more than whisky on his mind when on whisky trips). arran aromatics certainly seems like an interesting company, but i can't say i was that impressed by this lotion. bit to lightweight for me and the scent is more musty than mandarin fresh. wouldn't buy again, if i could.

rich body lotion with extra dark chocolate, by italian brand angelspa. a spur of the chocolate sniffing moment find from the åland ferry boat. it's just delightful, lightweight but creamy and moisturizing.

:: deodorant - double effect 24 h avocado extract, nivea. i really like this one, it smells very nice, it feels kind to skin (even though i seriously doubt its promise of supporting close shaves) and it works well deodorant wise.:

: sun screen - face & body sunscreen lotion, kiehl's. unless on holiday or in toy car on a sunny day i'm not big on using sunscreen in general. since 2007 i've only used this kiehl's lotion during summers/holidays and i think it's a great one, i like it that it's for both face and body. non greasy, water-resistant, lightweight it lets skin breath, prevents sunburn and feels kind to skin. with a pleasant light scent (even if it says fragrance-free).

:: self tanning - self tanning milk, clarins. i admit, i'm vain when it comes to tanned legs in early stockings-leggings-socks off season. i tan easily, but these days i'm not much for tanning so to get legs looking reasonably fresh i take to the bottle. the self tanning bottle. i probably began using clarins after some test in a magazine years ago, and i'vebeen faithful ever since. unlike so many self tanning products it actually smells rather nice and it gives a fine, natural looking 'tan'. as i only use the product on legs i alwasy get a lot of lotion left in bottle end of bare legged season. hence i wish it was avaiable in smaller sized bottles.

:: hair spray - climate control styling spray, tommyguns. this, my first try of tommyguns hair care range, is a rather nice experience. it smells lovely of jojoba oil and witch hazel. i don't know about the climate control bit, but it is a reasonably good styling product, as well as long lasting.

:: scents - i'm not faithful to any particular scent or brand, fragrance families yes, but just one or two scents no way, i like to change scent with my mood du jour. i used to be *kind of* addicted to perfumes, everyday always. i'm not that person now, but still i do enjoy a sweet whiff to start off the day, most days. so these are my fragrant companions right now;

awakening mist, biotherm. still unbeknownst of athens' scent being that of orange blossoms i picked this spray at the airport taxfree shop for my holiday scent. i like a few of biotherm's scents and lotions, they feel lightweight, fresh with moodlifting fragrances. this one smells of mandarine and sweetness and is quite lovely.

grapefruit essence oil, kiehl's. what i think of this one, has already been said here.

light clouds, cheapandchic moschino. i do adore scents that come in pretty bottles and i've always concidered the cheapandchic range to be one of the cutest around (popeye's olive shaped). this light summery version is just fresh, sweet from top to bottom note.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

design: simon & tomas

It's safe to say that there are way too many cooking-TV chefs, design-building and dating shows on TV. To mention the word 'inflation' only begins to explain the inconceivable (at least to me) phenomena.

I'm so not interested in watching other people cook more or less good food, I'm so not interested in seeing homes and houses getting built or redone in more or less pleasing ways, and I'm so not interested in seeing people dating in the most awkward of ways.

I'm constantly amazed about the seemingly endless stream of various degrees of weird people who desperately want to have their 15 minutes of *fame* on television. We certainly live in stranger than strange times.

Having said that - oh it felt good to get that out of my thought system - there are scarce but still exceptions to the rule of no-TV-chefs - an odd episode of Nigella cooking might do - and design/building shows - I am a proud 'Grand Design' junkie.

As for dating shows, so no exceptions, they're just beyond sad and pathetic.

Another very entertaining exception-to-the-rule in design shows is 'Design: Simon & Tomas'. The interior design duo behind the show are two middle aged guys - Simon Davies and Tomas Cederlund, owners of an interior design business in Stockholm, London W8, and gourmet olive oil shop, A l'Olivier - with a fondness for bold colours - always an obvious extra plus in my book, especially when the favourite colours belong to the pink-red colour scale - who more or less constantly acts like two nagging old ladies but in the end often (but not always to my personal liking) manage to transform the ugliest of homes into something striking and magical.

Though I personally would very much prefer if they could recycle, refurbish and transform old stuff a whole lot more instead of this constant buying of new things and furnitures. That would be so much more inspirational, quirky, personal and up-to-date I think.

They are always accompanied by two adorable shaggy Jack Russels named Percy and Pooter, whose behaviour makes Malte look like the poster boy for the well behaved model dog. Since Simon is originally from England, but I presume a long time resident of Sweden, his talking is a silly but charming mix of English and Swedish. Non other than an Englishman could get away with such a manner me thinks. He has a fondness for cakes and bright coloured glasses. Which beyond any doubt must be considered good traits.

Their current show isn't called 'Design: Simon & Tomas' but 'Sveriges fulaste hem' (*'weden's ugliest home') but it's pretty much the same concept as usual; ugly home in dire need of refurbishing and sprucing.

Some bits of the residence of undersigned certainly need sprucing, and perhaps it would be nice to get some serious professional help with parts of that, but I am so beyond not interested in having any TV-crew poking around here. So my home will most probably never be visited by Simon, Tomas, Percy and Pooter. Alas.


But what I do have - or rather M has in the car, but I was the adamant instigator of procurement - is this both cute (pink!) and rather clever little paper tissue holder, design: Simon & Tomas.

a slight case of acorn mania


As mentioned before I have a soft spot for acorns, any shape and form. A soft spot that is naturally even more soft this time of the year.

I have a theory of that fondness stemming from the beyond wonderful children's book about the acorn family with the children "Ocke, Nutta och Pillerill" by Elsa Beskow I immensely enjoyed when of toddler age.

These days I don't read books about acorn families, but I still get all giddy about acorn shapes. As I'm well aware of this acorn spell I keep from browsing Etsy and search 'acorn' nowadays. But before I kept myself from that I found some sweet acorny treasures that begged (yes, begged) to move home to me ~


a darling acorn necklace and hairpins by one of my favourite etsy sellers, the sparrow's nest. i've said it before, but i will say it again, mai really makes the most adorable woodland themed jewellery. the songbird earrings are still my most favourited earrings of the day.


the soft, lightweight jersey raw edges scarf from maryink - in the same style as the lovely crysanthemum scarf - sports acorns galore. i ask, what's not to heart?


And now my question is, from nature's splendour
is there a seasonal shape,
you more than anything else adore?

Monday, October 12, 2009

this and that monday musings

:: The interviews went well, the first one was both fun and jolly, the second one well, we can't all be congenials asking the right questions. I suppose. As the whole employing procedure has been, to put it mildly, muddled I am *dash* sceptical. There's a third interview scheduled later this week and oh, I don't know, it feels like 'on the one hand still rather interesting tasks on the other hand quite not well thought through'. Being involved in such a lengthy process does invite a whole lot of (possibly over)analyzing of the situation...

:: Despite wash bag shawls and scarfs with tassels and fringes always come out of the washing machine looking like this. I can't seem to find any fool proof way to wash tasseled stuff. Any suggestions (other than careful, slow motion handwash)?

:: As much as I loath superfluos silly English phrases in Swedish commercials I can't help but being highly amused by German phrases (spoken by Germans) especially car commercials, 'das auto' has such a comforting quality ring to it somehow.

:: Season one of "True Blood" airing here. I'm completely entertained and enthralled.

:: Once upon a time I shared the odd lecture and odder pen at university with the previous Swedish minister of justice / solicitor / writer / your average politician Thomas Bodström. He probably has his points, but I can't say I was impressed by him in those days, can't say I am now. To me he is a textbook example of the unfortunate fact that connections and nepotism counts for a lot. I'm all for politicians having a real job being in actual contact with real life. I'm all against their too often misappropriate use of public funding.

Again and again we whine and grump about the fact the ethics as well as regulations regarding this, that and then some just don't apply to (or so they think themselves) certain people in certain groups. Again and again they get away with it. As long as there are no severe measures taken and obvious expensive penalties for this blatant disregard of common decency they will continue to get away with it. Again and again. Bafflingly enough.

:: First Kenneth Branagh version of the Wallander-series on TV here. Well, what can one say, such a pity on a good story as well as good actors that they decided to film it in Ystad/Sweden and with the original names. Because it is beyond ridiculous that everyone speaks English in Swedish settings, with Swedish names and newspapers. The English prononciations of Swedish names are hilarious ' Wåll and Ör' 'Istad', 'Cört', 'Hasselholm', 'Sanndinn' to name but a few. Really. How I wish they had decided on changing the names and the setting to some small town in England instead.

Wallander personated is of course always brilliant actor Rolf Lassgård, the Krister Henriksson series are overall of a rather poor quality. He's usually a good actor, but he just doesn't work as Wallander. Or maybe it's the overall rather second rate cast makes him look bad.

:: As much as I see Barack Obama as one of the truly good guys capable of and with means to making and influencing great changes all over the world I'm more than slightly dumbfound about him being the latest Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Not so silly me have always regarded that prize as an acknowledgement to someone who has already made a real and positive difference in a very substantial way already, and not as an incentive for positive vibes and something good that hopefully might come one day. Being given such an honourable - granted not all recievers have deserved it - prize for a work in progress seems like an obstruction rather than a prudent decision.


I admit having read (more than) my fair share of creatures of the night and supernatural phenomenas books. I believe my interest regarding this peaked in my teens, possibly early twenties. I still find the subject and lore quite fascinating, but I can't say I jump at anything vampireish in literature and movies these days. Far, far from. Discerning, that's me.

And as I'm not in the (presumable) "Twilight" target group of 15-17 year old girls I can't say I loved this book, far from. My 15th year inner growth ring tells me I would have wholeheartedly loved it at that target group age though, with its intense, impossible love story, the odd outsider finding an improbable soul mate, flirting with danger yet being so very romantic it is rather dreamy for girls that age.

Not a girl that age I find Stephenie Meyer's writing far too childish yet patronizing, the story not satisfyingly implemented, soppy, long winding and repetitive. I also think the main character Bella's low self esteem quite annoying and the constant-oh-Edward-is-so-outlandishly-handsome-how-can-he-want-me mantra ridiculous.

That said I do enjoy a bit of 'impossible' romance in books and first person narrative is the best, but I doubt I'll read the Twilight sequels. I hope to have learnt from the read-all-seven-Potter-books-that-was-at-least-four-books-too-many mistake. For first person narrative, well written romance literature for grown ups I will look somewhere else.

But it was nice to have met you, Twilight novel, reading you late at night rendered some strange, evocative, thought provoking dreams, for which I thank you.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

nifty recycling


Found these inspirational, cute showrooms at lovely Alsta gardens a while back. I think the recycling of old things shown were quite ingenious.

tractor seat table, coffee pot flowerpot, rake candlestick
candlestick shovel
waffle iron candlestick
gramophone flowerpot
Can't decide on a favourite (apart from the gorgeous big rose tea cup of course), but the transformation of the rake is rather fascinating. It sure made me look at the stuff in kitchen cupboards and garden shed in a whole other light. Come summer there may be some nifty iron transformation going on in this residence too.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

the saturday redhead

I like my water, I like my spot of October sunshine.
Not terribly excited about being disturbed in my cosy corner
by the mad photo lady.

Friday, October 09, 2009

on happy bears, castles, blue skies, chocolate and tea towels

Sun, blue skies, castle, a rather splendid display of autumn colours
happy bears
(belonging to foodblog mum),
chocolate creams,
new sweet tea towels
(more of later) paw approved.

Glimpses from a rather lovely October day in the life of one Stockholmer,
who herewith wishes a happy weekend ~

Thursday, October 08, 2009

the vegetarian haggis meal


Quite obviously I'm no fan of the original Haggis version. However, the vegetarian one is rather enjoyable now and then. As it tend to be extremly filling only in small portions - the food on the plate in photo serves two, but a serves-one portion would certainly make a rather silly meal in looks - and always served with mash potatoes (which I pretty much only make for haggis).


And beetroots (these were organic locally produced lightly cooked melt in your mouth especially delicious). And the garlic fried mushrooms made a nice addition to this latest vegetarian haggis meal.


Are you a fan of (the vegetarian version of course) haggis? Any nice serving suggestions (other than swede, the veggie not walking on two legs kind)?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

almost wordless wednesday


Some days I find myself surprisingly
all worded out -
then it's nice to keep quiet,
let summer meet autumn and hope for
wordly inspiration's return
after a good, early night's sleep ~


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

smart dog tuesday - shaved


Even if I do prefer one little loafie in medium scruffy mode, about twice a year it's time for a shave. Hence this autumn look. Un-scarfed he resembles captain Onedin, which, believe it or not, wasn't the purpose. A bit of sprucing is needed. But for now, behold in super smart mode loaf doggie of the tues day ~

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