Saturday, October 31, 2020

goodbye sweet october, hello november


Another small, restricted month in a world where the new normal is abnormal is over. My month. October, that both begun and ended with a blue full moon A month when nature offers a bonanza of sparkling colours, in a very much less sparkling world.  

If I was religious I'd say that Armageddon is upon us. As I am an atheist, I'd say that Armageddon is upon us. Every day something new and scary, nature showing its full force (human induced obviously) or mankind rearing its absolutely ugliest head full of hate and completely void of sanity, intelligence,  kindness and compassion.

It is really really REALLY very hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel now, wouldn't you agree? 

I loved the positive vegan vibes, the innovative ideas, the entrepreneurial force of the Vegoforum last Saturday. It was both exhausting, infuriating and uplifting to plan the event. One day I may write more of what aspects were exhausting, infuriating and uplifting with it. But I'm doing my best to keep this monthly roundup post short-ish. So let's leave it at that for now. I'm already working with the two last forums for the year. Had a Friyay feeling about it last evening, so I worked late and felt very inspired. 

It's been quite consuming of mind and time, and to be honest I haven't been able to study as diligently as I had planned on with the Sustainability Science class alas. The exams will be an home essay (of which we have no details yet) that we have to hand in on December 20th at the latest. The last forum is on December 5th, then I have two weeks to really dig in on that essay. We have four optional quizzes before that, which counts for 20% of the grades. I've done one, and was pretty shocked about the results as it seems I've misconstrued quite a bit. A few of my replies were quite the opposite to the correct ones, which seems weird. But there you are. The focus need to be the essay.

On a personal level, during these extraordinary circumstances times for us all, well at least for us who aren't cavalier and take responsibility for how we behave and act, I think October has been a pretty good month for me.

Despite the ups and downs with the Vegoforum planning and executing it has also been a good thing to keep my wandering mind off worries, unhappiness and sorrows. To just focus in the now and then enjoy the walks, the fikas, running small errands, buying, cooking and eating good food. And of course, having intelligent conversations with the cats. One desperately has to concentrate on what can be done and enjoyed, and not the enormity of all the things one miss. One day at a time. And hey, say buy to another week. Another month. Seven and a half months, people, seven. and. a. half. months. And most likely at least as long before we can possibly, perhaps, maybe can get back to something similar to what used to be normal. See, I'm not very hopeful. 

Accepting and adjusting to how things are, sacrificing and coping, those aren't really mindsets who put you in the best of hopeful or positive moods. Yes, I've learnt a lot these months, of which I'm grateful for, but jeez, living in limbo, some sort of forced half life is rough on both body and mind. 

I did trip and fall at the beginning of the month (as seems to be my new annual tradition that time of the year). My left knee has been pretty sore on and off for the rest of the month, and both my wrists were for the first week or so. The reason for tripping, no obvious one at all. On rare yet regular occasions I'm clumsy and have been so since I was a kid. But the older one gets, the scarier it is, a broken arm due to slipping on a cat vomit isn't all that fun so I'm trying to be extra cautious all the time these days, to avoid situations like that. Yet, they happen anyway.

I haven't had much time to read books during October. But somehow I seem to be on the right track with my 55 books 2020 challenge anyway. I now need to finish 16 books before December 31st to reach that goal. Think I can do it?

Even if I most certainly don't relish the notion of being a year older (but we have already decided that 2020 doesn't count right?), I did enjoy the quiet birthday celebrations a lot. I also got myself a very orange tunic/dress - I though it would look snazzy and stylish, but albeit lovely it does confirm my granny toddler style. Embrace and flaunt it. Or maybe, possibly not wear the tunic with a pair of old cat leggings? (Suitable for a not so crazy cat lady.)

I got some lovely old, never used embroidered by my grandma cotton sheets and two old Maria Lang-books (as I've mentioned earlier I want to collect all of her books, 45ish of them), now I have 15. In times where you can't visit thrift stores or second hand book shops that's tricky. Of course you can get them online, but it's difficult to find a bunch of them from the same seller, and then you end up having to pay a lot of postage from several seller instead. No fun. Loved that she recently happened to get these books from a friend of hers (Malte the pug's old mum, who happened to be a librarian before she retired), read them, then gave them to me.

2020 was also the year I finally unsubscribed to the regular phone line. Most people just use their mobiles these days, but I'm not all that comfortable with just a smartphone and no other means of communicating in an emergency etc. So I've kept the phone subscription as a security measure, even if I still used the smartphone 99% of the time. Which means I've paid a hefty price for something I'm not really using, haven't used for these past couple of years.

First I planned to unsubscribe and get a cheaper provider, but then I couldn't be bothered. It's better to get another cheap and basic mobile phone as a backup instead. Now I'm thinking of upgrading my iPhone, in an ideal world something this expensive and also not very sustainably produced (but oh so good for working and photography), would last for at least 10 years. Which obviously is pure dreaming. My iPhone is 2,5 years, and it's slowing down and acting up a bit lately. A nuisance. But hopefully I can keep it as my backup phone, instead of selling it. 

Though as life isn't what it used to be (duh) the project of getting a new one, but not being able to go into a store and talk with an actual real life person and getting technical help etc, also seems quite overwhelming. I always have a screen shield on my phones, I can't understand people who don't, and they're so tricky to attach it's easier to get the store do it. Dread doing it myself. Ah well, one step at a time. Spending precious energy and time worrying about this is useless.  

I have two other technical issues that annoys the heck out of me, firstly the Swedish television broadcast not being analogue anymore which means that of you don't have a TV younger than born in 2009 you're either forced (if you think you need a TV) to get a new one altogether or buy an additional digital box. I helped my mother with getting a brand new TV in September and managed to install it myself, first time ever, and I'm quite impressed by and proud of myself for doing it. The manual wasn't very good (understatement) but I'm persistent enough to keep at it until I've figured it out. A little victory for September.

Myself I've so far settled for watching TV via the Apple TV, not all regular channels, but the most basic ones can be watched that way. I also have free subscription for a cable channel for a year, which has a lot of movies, TV-series and documentaries. Somehow it's quite liberating to more actively chose what to watch this way. Unfortunately, after watching some great series and movies initially I now have high standards for what I what to spend time watching and most options quickly fall flat. So many rubbish, generic, ridiculous series and movies out there. 

Second nuisance is the fact that for some crazy reason the community association (97 properties in my hoods) voted for installing fiber network in our neighbourhood, despite only about 30 houses had signed up for it. An overwhelming majority had not. Yet they managed to get a go ahead. And begun working two weeks ago, streets, parts of flower beds and shrubs have been mauled and they have yet to restore as promised. The sales tactics from the internet company  (with a very questionable reputation) have been quite aggressive too. They're suppose to finish the extensive work next week. And then we can all enjoy the damage they've caused the whole neighbourhood for the questionable benefit of about 30% of the residents.  

Well, this post wasn't as short and sort of sweet as I planned. I might as well have written more extensive about the exhausting, infuriating and uplifting to planning of the Vegoforum event. But one done, two more to go. There will be a perfect time to write a summary about the ups and downs once those are done.

Thank you October, my friend, you were pretty and you behaved overall benevolently. You were quite enjoyable, despite the circumstances. I'm grateful for that, sweetie.

November, I know your general reputation is dull and dark, uninspiring and overburdening. Shall we not agree on changing that this year of many many burdens already? Okay? Agreed!

And to friends and readers across the pond, VOTE VOTE VOTE. Please put a firm and active stop to this mayhem and madness that has been allowed to pervert and deeply stained the very idea of decency and democracy for these past four years. You need to heal your country. We all need to heal the world. Together.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

happy birthday to me 2020

A year older, a year wiser but definitely not a year happier. But who is after such an epically miserable  year as 2020? 

So either I’ve aged 10 years instead of 1, or I’ve cancelled the aging process altogether and will save getting older to next year.

In this now small and restricted world it’s obviously been a quietly good day only (which isn’t bad) without a vegan proper cake though - no such bakeries around here and I just didn’t have the inclination to bake myself.

Little mum and I did get this feast from the thai foodtruck on Friday though, shared the fries and half a dish (two with tofu, two with Oumph), then saved the rest for today. And still have leftovers for tomorrow.

And on Thursday I had this vegan Snickers pastry (that actually IS vegan, as opposed to that time before...). Got two to go, so we at least could have something sweet and special with the tea.

With the fabulous vegan bake book I should obviously had baked myself, but with organizing the Vegoforum AND trying to study for sustainability science class as well as other stuff going and life itself on I’ve been to busy, too tired for that. I’m hoping I’ll be able to bake something this upcoming week though.

As for the digital Vegoforum on Zoom, it took place yesterday afternoon. For various reasons I had worried (as I am the worrying kind as well as have my moments of imposter syndrome) a lot about it. But I turned out so awesome that I was both touched as well as very happy. And proud of my work. And my passion. From the vegan food companies, entrepreneurs, innovators to the panel of politicians - three hours just said swoosh and we could have filled much more time. I see it as a very good birthday gift, that also were a great gift to so many others. The day was recorded, it’ll go up on YouTube as soon as I have figured out the editing. Though mostly in Swedish of course. I’ll add the link when it’s ready.

If disappointment had a face, Ågot’s would be it though. The kitties were totally miffed over how I treated the sacred Caturday yesterday. Not everyone was pleased about a day well spent. 

Two more forums to go, in November and December.  Vego och djurrätt i journalistiken (Veg and animal rights in journalism) resp Vego i politiken (Veg in politics). But as I now have a structure from setting up yesterday’s forum I expect the project managing to be somewhat smoother. Fingers crossed.

As for special treats for myself there’s this Marimekko oversized anorak. Little mum think it looks great, but ’it’s not really you, it’s too sporty!’ - well, you’ll never see me wearing it with jeans or anything else remotely sporty hence I will not sport a sporty look in it!

I also got a lovely orange tunic/dress. No pretty 55 year old like last year, which would have been a dream, but those are extremely hard to find, so there you are. 

I also did a Maria Nila colour refresh, blended the last dollop of Bright Red (as I did last October too) with Pink Pop. It’s more red than violet IRL though, but I kinda love it! Last year there was still some shimmer left in late December (almost three months later) so I’m thinking it’ll be just in time for another perky colour pop up for New Year’s.

Now I’m going to get a big cuppa, have dairyfree nicecream, watch a movie (What If always lift my spirits) and have a foot bath. 

As for an epically miserable year, it has still been filled with so many important lessons, and online meeting interesting people in a very different way (still find it quite awkward and exhausting though). And I liked my birthday treats, especially the work-related one. It was serendipitiously good actually. 

As I’m writing this on the iPhone and not the computer (because I loath how limiting that is when it comes to photo publishing on Blogger these days), I have now idea how the photos will turn out when I hit publish. Decent I hope. (Or I’ll have to tweak it computerwise later...)

Apart from REAL climate action, a vegan norm and kindness everywhere my wish for MY new (but remaining the same age) year remains the same as it has been for these past few years - a great job, with my kind of people, working for a better world. 

Happy B-day to Me, Myself and I the 2020 version!

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