Friday, August 31, 2018

goodbye summer, hello autumn

jaume plensa art, djurgården, stockholm, sweden, august 2018

It's with sadness one has to admit that summer is over. It was an awful, frightening summer where you couldn't breath and think at the same time, with climate angst and sleep deprivation galore. But since it was like a reality version of an episode of the Twilight Zone it's like you never really got to experience the beauty and relaxation that is called Scandinavian summer.

And then all the rain we could have used during summer seem to have arrived a plenty these past couple of weeks. Everything is very green now, at last, but even if the temperatures are around +20C it's still distinctly autumn in the air. As is melancholy.

So, time for a few highs as well as lows of these past weeks -

jaume plensa art, djurgården, stockholm, sweden, august 2018

:: The above amazing sculptures are made by the Barcelonian artist Jaume Plensa, who currently have some pieces shown at Djurgården, nearby and even in the channel. The big heads are just magical, like an optic illusion. And the life sized men hugging cherry trees are delightful - the world needs more men hugging (cherry) trees! The exhibition is on until September 23. Shouldn't be missed if you're in Stockholm.

jaume plensa art, djurgården, stockholm, sweden, august 2018

:: That this 15 year old amazing girl, Greta Thunberg, is on climate strike outside the Swedish parliament, since two weeks, until our election next Sunday, is both heartbreaking and hopeful. That politicians and grown ups have failed is very obvious. As she herself put it the first day of her strike, when she was alone there - others have since joined - "Children most often don't do as grown ups tell them to, they do what grown ups do. And since you don't give a sh*t about my future, I don't either."

Not one (Swedish) politician has really taken the climate change catastrophy serious in the election campaigns. They still do not get that the climate is the one and only thing we should all be talking about. Even if "we're doomed and very few are prepared to say so." we should address it, take some responsability and serious actions to make the most of what I seriously fear are reasonably few years left of the beautiful, livable planet humans have destroyed for shortsighted, selfish reasons.

Politicians in general seem to be incapable of long-sightedness, unwilling to tell uncomfortable truths in fear of losing votes. And oh woe if another politician or party will "get credit" for that uncomfortable truth somewhere down the line instead.

If we didn't have career politicians, which is a concept that is just bizarre imho but not many seem to question, this would not be an issue in quite the same way. A limited term of office would be a very healthy thing.

I guess anything can happen on September 9. The day before there's the international People's Climate March here too. I hope we are many many who turn up. If we are enough introverts that turn up maybe we can make a change?

I said I will be voting with my heart only this election. But reading, listening and thinking I think it's a time to vote strategically. Just vote for the environment and forget everything else. Everything else is insignificant if we don't have a planet to live on. I still haven't fully decided which party to vote for, but there are 7 parties I most certainly won't vote for, they are just more bad business as usual news for the environment.

matologi fair - food and the future, stockholm, sweden, august 25, 2018

:: Last weekend I attended the Matologi-fair arranged by SLU - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences - about sustainability and the future food. Despite good intentions it was an overall disappointing experience, of which some of the reasons were;
- All the non-recycable disposible cups everywhere. It's not hard to get a KeepCup and bring it whenever you buy coffee/tea. Promise. - How few plantbased exhibitors there were. - Politicians and debaters need to talk more about how essential the shift to plantbased food is. Stop sidesliping and continue talking about eating animals at any cost. It's much harder to replace the planet in the future than it is to change your diet and lifestyle (which has an immense impact on the environment) today.

If we want a future it is plantbased. Period. Compared to the great sustainability forum arranged by Stockholm University (my Alma Mater) in March (which also partly talked about the future food) it lacked innovative talks, knowledge and discussions. (I don't think I ever wrote about that forum, bad me. There were many really interesting talks about our dependency on fossil fuel, and how that ties to wars, instable regions, migration and of course global warming. And also sustainable food, health and science.)

It's quite disturbing when universities don't communicate with eachother and learn from previous experiences, especially research institutes in such close proximity. Plus obviously show so little interest in talking about/with farmer's that have shifted into plantbased farming, large scale urban farming like Plantagon, food scientists etc.

matologi fair - food and the future, stockholm, sweden, august 25, 2018

:: On the day of Matologi, the police had given permission to a nazi rally - alongside 134 other events and rallies in Stockholm that day... - I know, it's deeply worrying that they still allow anti-democratic movements like that to march on the streets here. I also think it's very upsetting that the police still use horses in their work at rallies. It's such an outdated and cruel concept.
matologi fair - food and the future, stockholm, sweden, august 25, 2018

:: I've written briefly about the bizarre concept of personality tests as a lazy way of recruting. Last week I had the questionable non-pleasure of doing another one, for a job that sounded reasonably cool and interesting, after having a long chat with the CEO of said company. He promised to call with feedback the next day. He never did. And given the honestly rather creepy tests and my refusal to adapt my answers to what they obviously wanted to hear, I'm not surprised. I didn't even get a general summary of the result or a thank you email for taking the two hours to complete the test. Not a good way to deal with employer branding *insert rolling eyes*.

In fact I think the questions were so creepily weird I'm preparing another blog post about the test alone. I can't remember every question, there were 200-300 of them (yes really), but I have some noteworthy ones I'd like to write some more about.

Did I mention that the personality test I did before summer showed I was basically a selfish psychopath? It was obviously quite offensive, and at the same time a pretty hilariously proof on just how off these tests really are.

I'm all for work samples, reputation resumes, referees and "how would you solve this fictive work scenario?" tests. Those are relevant parts of a recruitment process. Ridiculous personality and "logic" tests are not. For goodness sake, MEET the candidate first, before you assess they're worth or non-worthy candidates. Recruiter, do your job, don't be lazy, be professional.

I will never again accept to do a personality test. I also think it's quite questionable to not be up front with that in the job ad, but instead sneak it in at a later stage in the process. It's a waste of everyone's time. Well, everyone but the unprofessional recruiter.

post-pedicure (bliss!), august 2018

:: Had a well-deserved pedicure with my little mom. It was over a year since last. It was bliss. I hope I'll be able to do it more regularly soon. Good for the soul as well as those poor feet that literally stand for a lot.

vegan food stockholm, august 2018 -

:: Today, on the last shivering day of summer, I met up for a quiet first anniversary celebration of last year's brilliant brunch and brainstorming fika. It's a nice little tradition to end the summer with. We have alas not getting any further with our brilliant B-project - life has a way of coming in between plans... - but one day we will work something magic together.

I remember I was in a much better mood a year ago, calm after the intense grief recovery process, excited about a cool work autumn - little did I know then that I was going to be deeply hurt by it all six months later... - than I am now. I wish I felt less weary. But it is what it is, last summer was a much better, energizing and significantly less worrisome one.

The vegan food today wasn't as spectacular as last year, but the sandwich with beetroot hummus and grilled veggies was really nice and that little unassuming chocolate cake delicious.

vegan food stockholm, august 2018 -

Then we clinked in organic kombucha. Much better than champagne as far as I'm concerned.

Bye summer, farewell August, you have been disappointing, but I know it's not your fault. And I've learnt a lot, even if it was more than I needed.

Hello autumn, hi September, oh pretty pretty please, can you be nice, kind and lovely with sugar and sprinkles on top, please? Much needed. Promise an abundance of gratitude. Thank you ever so much in advance.

vegan food stockholm, august 2018 -

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