Monday, August 31, 2020

goodbye summer, hello autumn 2020

#slowfashion #ootd #shoeperdiem august 25, 2020 - marimekko and adidas #vegan

Or bye August, hello September.

I can't say August filled me with joy and gratitude of the happy things I wished and hoped and worked for. I may have planted some seeds, who knows. But all and all, another disappointing month from my viewpoint alas.

I can only hope I planted some important seeds that will grow into a fantastic bloom asap.

The lovely thing was that I did get a phone call regarding the job I had most wished for, for a so-call-pre-interview-meeting. Scheduled for Thursday. It felt like the digital meeting went reasonably well (as it is darn difficult to tell from poor connections with basically zero visibility of facial expressions and body languages). As it is now 1,5 weeks since, I admittedly don't have any hopes of another interview. Which is unfortunate, since I was a great match and it was a very interesting position with great potentials for positive impacts and growth.

When it was a job I was very keen on (as this one) I used to follow up myself after the meeting/interview, but I don't do that anymore. It's simply a waste of my time, and I haven't been able to convince them of my awesomeness via my application, our conversation, the meeting and every other little detail you can find out via googling, there's nothing more I can do. They've decided to go another way. And my time is too precious to spend thinking and hassling with things and situations I can't change.

If you can't change it, let it go.

Somewhere out there there MUST be a company and organisation that click with me. However truly dispiriting things feel currently. And as far as I'm concerned have felt for much too long now. This is just ridiculous. What do you want from me Universe??

So far I haven't really been able to keep to my fake it 'til you make it plan...

drive/walk in cinema, august 2020

But as for the things I do have enjoyed and felt energized by in my small world in the latter half of August, these are as follows.

The drive in/walk in cinema evenings were really nice. But for another heatwave that week, it would have been better if the movies had begun an hour later since the sun on the screen wasn't the best combo. But of course that's nothing you can really plan for.

Also, it's common sense really, that you don't bring toddlers to a movie and let then run around screaming while you as parents couldn't care less and you yourselves continue with a loud conversations while you all disturb the rest of the audience. There are idiots everywhere.

And even more so post- and during corona I'd say. Why isn't corona-madness a concept wildly discussed yet? Every day there's more and more proofs that it is a real thing.

The movies, Jumanji: The Next Level and Peanut Butter Falcon were both unpretentiously entertaining, however not something I'd been happy to pay for. If I'm honest. The older you get, the more movies you have in your luggage, the more discerning you get.

the hoods, sweden, august 2020

And somehow, the best thing about those outdoor movie evenings, were the walks home on warm summer evenings with crickets singing everywhere.

As far as the Know Thyself-philosophy course, that honestly annoyed me more than it delighted me. Well I finished that course, got my certificate. And decided, after all, to continue with the second one I'd already paid for. I felt it was interesting enough, concentrating on the Unconscious. I'm now in week 4 and I hope to get another certificate by the end of the week.

Slightly better, and yes interesting in some ways of course, than the initial course, but not really something I'd recommend. It's such a deep and wide subject, it deserves more time and work, and a professor that doesn't mumble rush through the classes. Also some proof-reading wouldn't go amiss.

Tomorrow my Sustainability Science class will begin - which will last until the end of December, at 25% part time. It'll be interesting to see how that'll be! Only digital this year.

the vegan baking book 2010-2020 ūüíó❤️ and pelle

This, my friends, is a magnificent piece. A vegan bake book, almost 450 pages of recipes and information on how to make, bake, create the perfect vegan cakes, cookies and pastries without harming animals or our planet.

The writer/baker, Karolina Tegelaar, has written several cook/bake books before this one (I haven't got any of them), but the most amazing thing with this one is that she's written it during 10 (!) years of trial and error baking herself through the pastries so we don't have to. With the motto "You should never settle for less that a perfect vegan cake".

As there's a lot of aquafaba involved in the recipes, I guess you must be terribly keen on making hummus (or any other chickpea dish) regularly if you plan to bake often and lost from Vegansk bakning. Myself I'm planning to start with something small.

And as I haven't had a food processor since 2017, I haven't baked any buns and breads since, and I can only bake cakes and cookies as things are now.

The pictures are lovely too. And the cover design obviously appeal to me, big time.

books and cats (mostly), august 2020 -

And on the subject of vegan pastries. This chocolate cake at the newly opened enjoyable cafe is vegan. And surprisingly lovely at that.

However, we were shocked to learn at our visit last week, that the almond hook they said were vegan is not. They contain egg white and has never been vegan. As I know that two staff people (of which one is one of the owners) have said it was vegan, and I've obviously asked very clearly, I'm really very annoyed by this. Had either of us been allergic to eggs it could have had devastating consequences.

Needless to say it's very unprofessional to run a food business where the staff doesn't know the ingredients of what they're selling.

And yes I have offered my services when it comes to the poor vegan selection and now obviously their ignorance. They have not bothered to get in contact.

So beware if you visit Petjo's cafe, if you're vegan, or allergic to any ingredients, you can't be really sure about what the staff claims. Disappointing but true.

They're also opening a bakery shortly, and you know how I miss my favourite city bakeries and their sourdough breads. However my giddy anticipation has faded somewhat after this incident.

The book in the picture, is a very interesting one on the right-wing racist part Sweden democrats (Sverigedemokraterna) and  social media campaigns with links to the Trump-strategy, Sverigev√§nner (Friends of Sweden, like those cohorts like to call themselves) by Swedish journalist Jonathan Lundberg. It's not exactly a book that fills you with inspiration and joy over the human kind and its intelligence. But alas, not every important read is.

These are indeed dark times, on so many levels and more than ever, we should keep ourselves informed. As well as be the change working against these dark forces in whatever little way we are able to.

books and cats (mostly), august 2020 -

On the brighter side of books, I highly recommend this one on Shinrin-yoku aka forest bathing, by Dr Qing Li. Did you know that 2/3 of Japan is covered by forest at the same time that the country is one of the most densely populated in the world?

It's an easy read, full of interesting facts on nature, health, well-being and research. Plus tips on how to incorporate forest-bathing as a routine in your daily life. Even if I think it's very difficult for most of us to do that 3 hours per day... But 30 minutes - 1 hour is better than nothing.

vegan breakfast and monster in therapy book, august 2020

I'm trying my best to get back on track with my 55 books goal for 2020, but I'm still 7 books behind and I have 25 left to finish in order to reach the goal. I'm very good at starting new books, not equally good at finishing them all. As I like to stretch my brain with an eclectic mix, some of them get to be a bit heavy and uninteresting after a while, and the reading gets slowed down.

And to be honest, there are very few books that draw you in from page one and you just can't stop reading. They might still be good, just not enthrallingly good.

I've just started reading this one, and it's truly unique. Monster i terapi (Monster in therapy), by Jenny Jägerfeld and Mats Strandberg, is about four famous monsters in literature being subjected to modern therapy in current society. A fascinating read indeed. before corona hit I was about to attend a writer's talk with Mats Strandberg, and had looked forward to getting some of his books signed (he's an excellent horror writer), but alas it was cancelled. Hopefully there will be a day when real life gatherings of many is possible again...

the hoods, august 2020 -

One of my favourite shops in Stockholm, Krabat 53, was one of the victims of corona, and they had to close down last month. It was such a lovely, quirky, colourful gift shop and most of all it was the place where I got my regular Sonny Angel-fix. Aka the building blocks for my small Japanese nude boy angel dolls-collection.

As I'm not keen at all on paying for them in blind boxes - at the risk of getting a gazillion duplicates - I'll not continue to be the reasonably avid collector I've been for some years now. It'll be a rare treat to get one now and then, as my favourite provider is no more.

But there you are, and obviously there're better things to put your money on.

the hoods, sweden, august 2020

After the second heatwave of this weird summer 2020, we've experienced much welcomed rains. And rather distinctly cooler weather, too cool for late August, but as nothing is what normal used to be before climate change, one can only accept and deal with it. Even if I'd loved to wear happy summer dresses for some more weeks still.

#slowfashion #ootd #shoeperdiem august 25, 2020 - marimekko and adidas #vegan

Slowfashion, OOTD of the week and shoe per diem:

Dress and calf tote, Marimekko
Vegan sneakers, Adidas
Re-Kånken, Fjällräven

(what do you call a selfie in a library elevator?)

Farewell, August, I had so much more hope for you, I won't lie, you've left me sad and disappointed despite some glimmers of beauty and sprinkles of joy.

Welcome, September, will you be my sweetheart, pretty please? I desperately need sparks of progress and positive momentum galore.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

organic vegan food inspiration, part 12

årstiderna organic vegan food box, oct - nov 2019 -

Same procedure as last time and every time before that, the recipes (in Swedish, but easily translated) on √Örstiderna's website, scroll to find Veganska matkassen's recipes (as they're organized per year/week, it might be tricky to find, if you want any help, let me know!).

The previous posts are linked at the bottom of this post.

Above, creamy mashed potatoes with soft, fried onion, fried chickpeas and pickled beetroots. Simple, delicious and lots of textures and flavours.

årstiderna organic vegan food box, oct - nov 2019 -

Seitan-tortellini in tomato sauce with capers and fried kale. Not a favourite because, tomato sauce and kale rarely rocks my boat. Also I think the tortellini (filled with seitan) needs a creamier sauce to shine.

årstiderna organic vegan food box food ambassador, sept - oct 2019

Pumpkin and lentil soup with buckwheat"bread" (pancakes). Always love a pumpkin soup. The so called bread wasn't a hit.

årstiderna organic vegan food box, oct - nov 2019 -

Springrolls with green mung beans and Chinese aubergine. If I wasn't incredibly tired of springrolls I'd say it was a good dish.

årstiderna organic vegan food box, oct - nov 2019 -

Jerusalem artichoke soup with urd beans. Tastes better than it looks. However the process of cleaning and preparing the artichokes wasn't worth the end result. There are so many easier and more satisfying soups.

årstiderna organic vegan food box, oct - nov 2019 -

Samosas with a filling of potatoes, onion, garlic, turmeric, urd beans, lemon and spinach. Again, if I wasn't equally tired of samosas, I'd say it was a decent dish.

årstiderna organic vegan food box, oct - nov 2019 -

Burger bread filled with hummus, lettuce, cucumber, pickled red onion and tomatoes served with french fries. Good.

årstiderna organic vegan food box, oct - nov 2019 -

Another lovely beetroot dish - ovenbaked purple sweet potatoes, beetroots, beluga lentils, pickled red onions and horseradish served with warm rye bread. Delicious. This is food that makes me very happy!

årstiderna organic vegan food box, oct - nov 2019 -

Buckwheat pancakes with broccoli, paprika and wasabina salad with tamari and sesame seeds. Good.

årstiderna organic vegan foodbox, nov - dec 2019 -

Chickpea stew with cumin, carrots, celery and tomatoes, topped with water cress and roasted potatoe wedges. Very good.

årstiderna organic vegan foodbox, nov - dec 2019 -

This dish was pure magic! Nordic pizza with a pureed Jerusalem artichoke spread, topping with sliced artichokes and kale. Before serving it's drizzled with a pesto made with ruccola, spinach, sunflower seeds, rapeseed oil and garlic. Served with a salad with lettuce, red moon apple and roasted hazelnuts.

årstiderna organic vegan foodbox, nov - dec 2019 -

Refried kidney beans with BBQ-spiced polenta cubes, aubergine and chili-cucumber. Much ado about not so much IMHO.

årstiderna organic vegan foodbox, nov - dec 2019 -

Lentil daal with butternut squash, coconut milk and coriander. Lovely comfort food.

årstiderna organic vegan foodbox, nov - dec 2019 -

Pumpkin gnocchi with mushrooms and a beluga lentil salad with oranges. Lovely.

årstiderna organic vegan foodbox, nov - dec 2019 -

Polenta breaded sweet potato fries, red mojo sauce and red lentils with calcot onion and tomatoes. It doesn't look good, it was very disappointing to eat, and a lot of work.

årstiderna organic vegan foodbox, nov - dec 2019 -

Followed by another delicious dish though! Spicy chickpea stew on a bed of baby spinach and purple salad with beetroots and purple carrots. The colours, the textures, the flavours, amazing!

årstiderna organic vegan foodbox, nov - dec 2019 -

Edamame falafel and bulgur salad with pomegranate. Delicious. This salad is bliss. So much flavour and texture. Made it several times since and it's perfect as a dish on the green Christmas table. I'll share the ridiculously simple recipe in a separate post. 

Also, if you haven't tried to make your own falafel from scratch yet, you really should. Immensely satisfying and much easier than you might think.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

know thyself and fake it til' you make it

the hoods, august 2020 -

:: If I had gotten a €$£ for every time over the years I’d thought I would have been a more fulfilled person if I’d studied philosophy/psychology instead of law, then I’d probably be a multi-millionaire.

But IF the grass is greener on the other side, that is one eternal question. The choices we make and the choices we made, and the paths we took and take, were the ones we were suppose to take at the time. So it’s absolutely useless to dwell on that in hindsight obviously. 

Still. So much time to think that these past 6 (!) months without new meetings, insights, inspiration and memories have brought, so much soul searching, introspection, old memories coming to new life, frustration, sadness as well as small moments of joy to savour.

That said, in awaiting of the  Sustainability Science - described as "examining the interactions between human, environmental, and engineered systems to understand and contribute to solutions for complex challenges that threaten the future of humanity and the integrity of the life support systems of the planet, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and land and water degradation." -

the hoods, august 2020 -

course that starts on the last shivering day of summer  in a couple of weeks, I’m now taking a couple of philosophy courses - Know Thyself, at Edinburgh University/Coursera. Absolutely loved it after week 1 (Socrates, Plato and the likes resonates easily with me). 

But week 2 started to annoy me. Because unlike the great The Science of Well-Being course in spring at Yale/Coursera, which I truly loved and learnt a lot from, the American professor has a forced, mumbling and fast way of talking. With a complicated subject and a lot of philosophical concepts which probably take years to fully grasp, but which the course is trying to cram into 4 weeks (jeez!), that's not a satisfying learning experience.

The only thing I enjoyed with Descartes is that he apparently liked to stay in bed all day and think (one of my favourite things too). Other than that, I have to say I find him to be more than a bit of twit and very full of himself.

I'm now into week 4, and things are picking up somewhat - What is the the concept of Human Nature etc. I'm hoping to take my certificate this week.

flowers, august 11, 2020

Unfortunately I didn't get that the full course is in fact made of three different courses, not depending on each other, so I made the mistake of signing up to part II before I realised it was a part I. And as I had no doubt that it would be another great learning experience, I thought it would be better to read them chronologically. I am now annoyed at myself (though more annoyed at the poor quality of the course, or well, at least lower than I expected from it). 

I'm not exactly looking forward to another class with the same setup and same professor (who seems like a likable and knowledgeable guy irl, just not really inspiring or enjoyable via online learning). I'm not sure one can get the payment transferred to another course, but I'll look into that. Otherwise I'll do it, as not to waste my fees.

flowers, august 11, 2020

One strong conclusion I've come to after these philosophy studying weeks, is that I'm less philosophy inclined than I thought. Law suited me better after all. Or I've just not really come across "my kind of philosophers" yet. Well, apart from Socrates and Plato. Another proof that you always are and do what you're suppose to be and do.

the hoods, august 2020 -

:: Another thing I've realised so far this month - which basically is just a continuation of everything in life coming to a halt since corona, and my last post in June - and despite all the high hopes, faith and trust for August

is that this extremely limited, restricted, trapped small life of the past 6 months, with all its worries and stress constantly building up, is really really getting a bit too much now. 

Some days may be better, when it’s easier to savour the good things, acknowledge gratitude, breath fully and feel reasonably hopeful. The other days are honestly pretty sh*t. 
And *looking forward* to at least another six more months of restrictions in Sweden (work from home and stay off public transport). Not exactly reeling with joy. 

I’m also convinced there are so so many people out there feeling like this. But we don’t talk much about it, do we? 

On the news the other day they talked about suicide prevention-lines and other volunteer organisations have been overwhelmed with calls from people feeling depressed, lonely and having financial worries (lots of them elderly that are feeling isolated). They need to be get more public funds to manage this. As an example one organisation alone used to work with 30 volunteers, now they nee to be at least 300 to cope with all the distress calls.

palaver palava facemasks, august 2020 ‍♀️ūüė∑

It makes me truly sick with all the financial support that go into companies (without any real sustainability demands tied to them) and not people. That there's so much talk about getting back to *normal* and business as usual, hail consumerism. When we are all to aware that is exactly what got us here in the first place. We desperately need to build new and better. Stop eating meat. Stop pleasure flying. Stop depending on fossil fuel. Stop shopping like we used to. Stop being so bl**dy selfish. Slow down. Think. Act. Be brave. And compassionate.

palaver palava facemasks, august 2020 ‍♀️ūüė∑

:: And I finally got the palaver Palava facemasks. The fabric is pretty - and I get that when they're made of fabric scraps you can't expect the patterns to be perfectly matched. One should always chose one colour or a tighter pattern to get that - but I have to say that the design itself is lacking. They're too loose, too large. And if you can only chose from child, women, men with no measurements but a one size fits all-concept I guess this is what's to be expected for many of us.

With a no return-policy for facemasks, I need to tweak them to fit better. And I think I have an inkling on how to do it. The idea of re-entering public transport seems awfully far away, but if there'll be a must, I need these to be useful not just pretty (silly).

And when I say pretty, I mean the fabrics. Pretty fabrics that makes us all look like a sligthly kinder Hannibal Lecter, never cool. But cool and fashionable is not really THE thing here obviously. Reasonably proper protection is.

selfie, august 11, 2020 - fake it til’ you make it...

:: I call this one ’fake it til’ you make it’ - these days the things and situations I feel a smile and/or a laughter coming naturally are few and far apart. Duh. (It's a pity having a gap tooth isn't equal to instant happiness when needed...)

And when they do it’s 99 % cat or dog (or other animals) related. Now more than ever I’m not finding humans amusing, the stupidity/not-amusing level has somehow risen to new heights, or sunken to new lows is perhaps a better description. 

the hoods, august 2020 -

(these cutiepies, for example, obviously need a post of their own, I knooow!)

But I’ve heard, that if you force yourself to smile and laugh more, that’s also away to feel happier (even if there are few external factors to feel joyful about these days). So cheers to fake it til’ you make it-smiling! 

:: Haven’t been to a hairdresser for years now. Funny how you get used to diy hair cutting. Guess I wouldn’t get away with it if my hair was straight or I wanted some intricate cut... And I’m not giving up my day job for it anytime soon. But, it works without being totally awful.

Noticed a local hairdresser today who offered suspiciously low prices if it was an hourly rate, but reasonable if it was only a quick cut or a trim. Think I’ll have a little straight cut trim and treat there come autumn. 

vegan eating out, august 2020 - petjo’s

:: Inaugurated the flower power dress last week. And had a good fika, vegan breakfast. And did the same today again. A treat that gives a glimmer of unpretentious normality to life. 

:: The thai food truck within walking distance has opened up again after the holidays. There will be a visit later this week.

the hoods, august 2020 -

:: Walks, nature and forest bathing have continued to sooth a troubled soul.

:: On Friday and Saturday it's time for the outdoor drive/walk in cinemas with social distancing and 50 people max. It will be so interesting to see how that experience will turn out.

:: For next week I'm keeping umpteenth fingers crossed for a belter of great news on the job front.

And to sum things up, obviously there are lovely, heartwarming things happening in this small on hold-life too. But I so very much keep wanting so much more. Don't we all?

Next post up, a new vegan food inspiration-post is what's needed! Can I get a buckjump?

Saturday, August 01, 2020

dear august 2020

happy pride, august 2020

You didn't think I'd let you rest a bit just yet, did you? Even if July has left the summer, and my self-imposed challenge of a daily post is finished (and I did it with gusto!), I thought August should get a proper welcome at least.

And then I'll return to a post once or twice per week. It has been great for structure and my mood, to do this. But the more I write, the less I read. So it's time to get on track with my reading challenge now instead.

Today is not only August 1st, it's caturday and it's pride season - and here is a combination of both. Purrfection. Organic Earl Gay tea from Johan & Nyström and kitty cuddles. I mostly drink rooibos tea these last few years, because black tea is the equivalent to coffee and alcohol; sleep difficulties. (Old age has crept up on little ol' me...)

As well as the very last day of my phasing out of the unpleasant experience that I blamed nuud for but which might have been a heat related thing instead. It haven't felt icky, itchy or uncomfortable for the last week at least, and I've begun using a new tube of nuud (only needs to be applied every 3-5 day, no matter how sweaty you're prone to get or how frequently you shower. So yes, it really is a brilliant little product, I hope it wasn't the cause of this, that it was just caught in the middle of heatwave circumstances). So every finger, toe and paw crossed things will be back to normal, in that respect.

vegan candy, sweden, july 2020 - and zigne

Today was also the eighth caturday in a row with a Harry Potter movie. Haven't watched them chronologically ever since we watched them all in the cinema all those years ago. just the one film here, the half other one there and that obviously doesn't give the right feels or perception. One per week has been perfect. The finale was accompanied by some favourite Swedish vegan jelly candy - Bubs and organic √Ąnglamark. (Though pst, Coop, can you please stop outdatedly refer to vegan as a trend, it's an ethical, sustainable lifestyle, and most of all The Future. Nothing as flimsy and fleeting as a trend.)

I hope annoying Palava palaver will be sorted this week. Finally.

I also hope there will be good walks, a special vegan fika in a very special dress and at least three good books finished. And most of all, promising opportunities and great news on the dream job front. The Swedish summer holiday season isn't over yet, so I'm willing to graciously let the latter continue to rest until mid August.

But just a little nudging reminder, August, I have faith, trust and hope in you to collide with the plans of the Universe. Making happy things happen.

the hoods, sweden, july 30, 2020
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