Thursday, April 30, 2020

the waiting game

cherry blossom trees, stockholm suburbs, sweden, april 2020

”Step outside, take a breath, listen to the calm and gentle sounds of nature. It is the sound of recovery.”

I know, it's been a long month since I last blogged. It's probably been a month of many ups and downs for us all. A bewildering month of many adjustments, a lost month but also full of insights and learnings.

Myself I also managed to catch a nasty cold - I'm pretty sure it wasn't Covid-19, as it was acting like my colds act, only it was prolonged into 2,5 weeks before I felt really well again. So during those weeks I only ventured out a few times to the garbage bin at dusk, to avoid people.

I haven't been in to inner city Stockholm since March 16, thus obviously haven't travelled by bus or train since then. Just walked around the neighbourhood and to the grocery store (it's great to get there at 7 am when they open up, perfect for social distancing). It feels surreal, life's taken a time out somehow.

I'm still proud to be a swede and our strategy of course, but I'm appalled at the selfish flippancy too many people seem to show as of lately, filling up restaurants, restaurateurs not taking responsibility despite clear restrictions, not taking the social distancing seriously as if spring and warmer weather is some magical overnight cure. The stupidity and ignorance, mindboggling.

#vegan shoes el naturalista, march  2020 - and loving snoopervisors 💚

Before corona struck I bought two vegan shoes from El Naturalista. I've been eyeing them for a year, but resisting since I (obviously) don't desperately need new shoes. But now there was a decent sale on, and I would (also obviously) love to have a few more non-leather shoes. I'm also thinking I'll finally sell some of my El Naturalista leather sandals, that I have only used a couple of times (not really my style or fit, but once I thought they were a must...), so less in more out.

#vegan shoes el naturalista, march  2020 - and loving snoopervisors 💚

Unexpected feline bonus of the purchase, Ågot absolutely adored the mesh bags that came with the shoes. You might think they were drenched in catnip.

Before corona I also had my discerning eye on a gorgeous skirt and dress from Marimekko. But I have to say that, nowhere to go, noone to see, working from home and only going for walks and picking up groceries has been a most effective way of curing shopping urges. And given the gazillion emails about sales, new collections at reduced prices I get every single day, I'm not the only one. I also think that with incomes and future job situations being really worrisome for many of us now, shopping for things that aren't a must seems pretty crazy. I mean, I already struggle to use my existing beautiful wardrobe right now.

cherry blossom trees, stockholm suburbs, sweden, april 2020

Talking about shopping and consumerism, one of the two online classes I've been taking this past month is about Consumption, environment and climate. I can't say it's been an eyeopener as such, since I've spent so many years already reading and learning about the topic of sustainability. Obviously. And the obligatory test I took about my ecological footprint clearly shows that if people lived like me, the planet would be healthy, thriving place for us all. Yes, the combination of vegan living, chosing organic, slow fashion, not owning a car or flying a lot, choosing energy from renewable sources and more, can truly make a huge difference. It both infuriates and saddens me that people still don't get that. When politicians and big businesses fail us, we could make such a big difference ourselves just with our daily choices.

sheep o’hoy, suburban, sweden, april 2020 💙

My other class is a Yale-course on the Science of Well-being. It's great! I'm also proud of the insight it has given me, that my main signature strength is Perspective, followed by Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence, Humour, Creativity and Love of Learning. I do love my perspective strength, but I have to say that given how the world looks and people still behave, it has also always been a struggle with this blessing. I so wish people would finally learn how to connect the dots, our current situation is such an obvious, heartbreaking lesson from Mother Nature we MUST. I will now embrace and acknowledge my strength more, use it even more for a greater good.

I'm now on the shivering last weeks of the course and rewiring my brain, which in my case is meditating regularly every day. And you know how long I've been struggling to make that a routine, in vain. I still struggle with focusing. But now I have better tools and insights to make it happen. And the quote from the course "A mind-wandering mind is an unhappy mind" has certainly striked a cord.

I've also applied for a university course at Stockholm Uni - Resilience Center on Sustainability Science. They've changed it into a digital class, still in Swedish, but available from anywhere in the world this time. I hope I'll be accepted, it's pretty much exactly what I've been looking for in vain until now. It'll start in late August, part-time for 6 months. I'll know if I got in in June. Fingers crossed.

cherry blossom trees, stockholm suburbs, sweden, april 2020

As an intro/ambivert I don't miss interacting with people that much - I still go for social distancing walks with my mum and the neighbourhood's dog ladies - but I do miss the freedom of just taking the bus-train to the city, museums, walks, seminars, meetings, fika, lunches, you know, all those simple things we take for granted. Most of all though, I missed not being able to experience the blissful cherry blossom trees in KungstrÀdgÄrden this year. Last year seems like another world... Which, crazy enough, it truly is.

But I'm also grateful for the fact that the sadness over that has been alleviated by the fact that there are actually more cherry blossoms trees in my neighbourhood than I realised. They're obviously not as impressive as rows of 20+ years old trees, but the sight of them still light up my heart and mind.

selfies, april 2020

I didn't get the job I went to an interview for in March. I was over-qualified, I was told that before the interview, but there were other benefits and great things about the job in question so I didn't mind at all. But it wasn't meant to be.

I've applied to two fantastic sounding jobs lately, they both get me salivating really (that is an extremely rare thing), last day of application hasn't been yet. So I'm holding my fingers crossed more firmly than ever before. Please join me in that firmly-fingers-crossing activity.

shoe per diem, april 2020 -

I promise there won't be a month's hiatus until the next post. I want to write about books, the fact that lipstick has become one of my small things in order to keep up some sort of normalcy, about all the lovely vegan food I've eaten, cooked and baked (yes even that, I haven't baked since 2017!) recently, about the thai food truck that has put up doors within walking distance and that they can veganize pretty everything on the menu, tea, feline shenanigans, great TV-series, movies and much more. So for a month lost to us all, April 2020, things still happen, life is slow but still very much there around us, within us. Savouring the little things is more important and obvious than ever before.

Goodbye April, I won't miss you, but you've been a master teacher of what's important and of what must change.

Welcome gorgeous, green May, I hope you will be a kinder teacher and great enabler.

"'ve been wandering in between, the things you have and your longings and your dreams..."

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

proud to be a swede

Ă„rstiderna organic vegan food box, food ambassador, march 2020 - purple potato 💜

This needs to be said. I find it fascinating that so many people have so much time to spend having issues with how Sweden act in the corona crisis when absolutely noone has the right answers. This is new territory for us all. Keep calm and do your best kind thing. Listen to science and act responsibly. Time will tell.

Why not spend much more time condemning the horrific nasty wet markets reopening in China instead? Seriously. Not to mention scrutinizing your own choices when it comes to your plate. Why continue using, abusing, eating other sentient beings and continue being an obvious part of the problem instead of going #vegan and be part of the solution? Consuming animals is why we got here in the first place. Period. It's never the animals fault though, it's always human behaviour causing things like this. Karma is a bitch. Rightly so.

And as far as I can see so far, the virus-development in Sweden is definitely not worse (rather the opposite from recent numbers) than any other country with stricter measures. Things will of course get worse than this, before the peak is reached. We are all aware of that, but this how we carefully navigate unknown waters now, responsibly and fact based. 

I would be generally happier if all borders and flights were closed for the time being, and obviously that Swedes from the more affected areas (namely Stockholm city) didn’t travel to the countryside and their summer cottages so we can flatten the curve. (The sense of entitlement by some selfish pricks are always mindboggling... Though  that’s a universal thing, not a Swedish one. This piece of Party Zero in Westport, Conneticut had me fuming for example...) 

But other than that, as far as I can see, it seems like the majority of Swedes actually do have that much talked about common sense aka folkvett. As a great column (in Swedish only) talked about today, I’m proud to be Swede today just because of the way we’re handling the corona crisis: ”I’m proud to be Swedish right now. And not Danish for example. Or French. We’re allowed to think for ourselves.”

And let me tell you, being Swedish born and bred it’s a very rare thing for me to be proud of Sweden these days - and you long term readers know how critical and disappointed I am, and have been for many many years, about the misuse of resources, competence, taxpayers money, gutless politicians and now greenwashing of costly environmental initiatives in Sweden, to mention a few things. Still, grateful in so many ways for having been born and bred here yes, but proud not so much at all. But when it comes to this current crisis, strangely enough I generally am. 

On a very heartwarming note, the fact that it didn't take many days of lockdown until wild animals were slowly fearlessly taking over cities, that's just amazing in so many ways. If you haven't heard of the posse of goats roaming the streets in Welsh Llandudno yet, you have now!

PS If you've never seen purple potatoes, you have now. DS

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 đŸŒ±đŸ’š✌, 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 đŸŒ±đŸ’š✌, 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
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