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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