Saturday, May 01, 2021

welcome may, farewell april 2021

The last week’s unexpected and devastating loss of Pelle aside (not that that itself will ever be a thing to look aside or past of course), I think April was a rather good month overall.

One year and one month living with a pandemic later. In a terribly restricted small world, without new impressions and real life interaction with old and new people. And with that the feeling of a constantly shrinking, shrivelling brain due to that lack of growth and possibilities. That too aside. April was good.

Little Mum got her second Covid shot. 

Phase 4, of which I and most of us not in risk groups belong to, were suppose to get the opportunity in mid May. Definitely too good to be true I thought, and right I was, it won’t be happening until September as things look now. 

So anticipating another lost summer alas, confined to the limits of these suburbs just like last year. Walking, reading, weekly vegan thai take away, vegan fika once a week, library visits and grocery shopping, waiting ad finitum and repeat. 

The weather has been your typical capricious April weather - rather cold and windy, but quite a lot of sun. Snow occasionally, and hail, a bit of rain but yes mostly sun but crispy air. 

May/June is when nature in Sweden truly wakes up and usually show its green, lush and benevolent face. I’m looking forward to visiting the cherry blossom trees soon, that were planted here last year. Crocuses, scillas, Easter lilies have been and left, now is the time of pussyfoot, wood anemones, hepatica and cowslips.

April 2021 was also the month I discovered the satisfaction of doing great second hand bargains via Tradera (the Swedish ebay of sorts). I’m not sure I wrote about an amazing Marimekko vintage blouse I missed out on there in March? Because I was an amateur bidder and underestimated the competition. But no more. I’m a pretty fab pro bidder now, and I’ve won 90% of the bidding done. Strategy is everything.

Most things have been in great, or brand new even, condition. The only thing I wasn’t impressed by was a buy from the second hand resale site Sellpy (I have no idea why they sell via Tradera since they have their own site, but they’re doing a swell job blocking small, private sellers. The quality, of well-known brands, isn’t very good, often dirty and overpriced. So once bought from them, never again).

I’m only looking at Marimekko stuff and Maria Lang books (building my collection after re-discovering her books in my bookshelf last summer, remember?) basically. Oh, and I got a heap of old/new miniature cake tins the other day, been meaning to have a go of those recipes from Veganska bakboken. But no such tins in this house, until soon now, hooray. 

My selling on Tradera hasn’t gone so well, so far though. I firmly believe you can make a bargain without paying offensively low prices. Thus I’m not setting my starting prices super-low, for high quality clothes and shoes in outstanding condition. My username is piaktw on Tradera, go have a look if you find something. Sizes M-XL and shoes size 39-41.

I have sold several Marimekko pieces in a Facebook-group instead. Because we are all aware of the high second hand standard of the brand and its value, so it’s fairly easy to sell there and there are often queues of eager buyers. Unlike many Facebook-groups it has a good and positive ambiance overall.

I’m absolutely chuffed about my finds, they totally deserve a happy bonanza post of their own, to come.

Amongst all the fiction read I’ve also begun working with this book - The Career Stories Method by Kerri Twigg. I follow her on LinkedIn and I think she’s inspiring and have some great insights on finding your dream job. 

As things haven’t exactly gone smoothly on my quest so far - and I really don’t understand why - I’m thinking I need to look for and package myself and the value I bring in a new and improved way. I think this book is a good start. Chapter 1 was full of hallelujah moments. Loved it. Got stuck in chapter 4. It didn’t flow as easily for me, so I’m taking my time there.

As I’ve mentioned I’ve been working with an old client in April. And the current needs will be ongoing until June, as things look now. 

I’m also involved in other processes, which I keep my fingers firmly crossed for. 

And I’m thinking of taking some new courses, not sure in exactly what yet. But it’s good to find ways to stretch and expand the brain in these limiting times.

Not only Ågot, Prunella and Pelle had their birthdays in April, but little mum too. We went for coffee and cake at the cafe in the morning, then I cooked and baked a vegan raspberry pear cake, and gifted her some nice things. I do believe she enjoyed the extensive Pelle cuddle the most though. 

This is apparently what a cat in very poor condition and badly cared for look (she wrote sarcastically).

I attended the annual sustainability forum at my alma mater, Stockholm university. This year digital of course. It was pretty good, but for the sound disappearing during the afternoon sessions. Though of course nothing like the real deal amidst real life people in Aula Magna at the university. Hopefully next year.

The day after I lost Pelle, I went grocery shopping and picked up a parcel I was pretty excited about, at least prior to the Pelle-ordeal. When I got home I put the delicious leftover chili on the stove and sat down in the sun in the garden with the furries.

Lost in thoughts I forgot about the pot on the stove, so when I decided to go back in I felt a smell that made me think the neighbours had heated up the barbecue... The kitchen was full of sticky smoke. Luckily no fire, and the smoke/fire alarms didn’t go off until I had begun airing out the smoke and smell (it’s still quite distinctly around though, especially in the kitchen).

The cats didn’t care a bit, they basically just yawned and went back to sleep. Myself I had a sore throat from the coughing and sticky smoke the rest of the day. Obviously I totally ruined my only big pot and that big stirring spoon (whatever was I thinking letting a plastic spoon remain in the pot...). But I’m so grateful nothing much much worse happened. 

I have never done anything this stupid. It’s quite embarassing. I blame a rough year, mind shrivelling and not least the unexpected loss of darling Pelle, the day before.

Oh, and I just remembered I wrote about this smoky incident already, in the previous post about the loss. Well, there’s a proof of the mind shrivelling life in the time of corona, for ya’.

Thank you April, you’ve been full of lessons and growth, small miracles and tiny sparkling moments of happiness and hope. Your pink moon, the supermoon, was just amazing. I am so sorry and sad you saw fit to end your time with a devastating loss of a precious furry family member. 

Hello, beautiful May, please bring positive change, true momentum and new sparkling beginnings to treasure. You are very much welcome.

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