Wednesday, September 20, 2023

when august meets september 2023


On August 1st 2023 I finally cut my hair at a professional salon for the first time since 2017/18. As a welcome to new beginnings. (If you do it they will come.)

As easy as it is to cut your own hair with a hair type like mine it’s close to impossible, unless you do have eyes in the back of your head, the neck as crisp as you get it at a salon.

And I wanted a French bob looking as it should all around. I deliberated if I should go with really really short bangs, but decided to play it safe in that department for now. I may change it when I get the bangs touched up later.

I think the result looks quite pleasing, even if I 1,5 months later still haven’t mastered the perfect styling (no matter how many Insta reels I watch)… And I just can’t be bothered with lots of styling products and heat tools, plus my hair furiously acts like it wants depending on the weather.

Today I decided to do the Pink Pop colour refresher again. Looking forward to try it out with short-ish hair for the first time.

Post-haircut vegan fika, locally just as the hair salon. 

It’s just such a relief to not have to bother going into the city these days. The public transport (ie the Stockholm commuter trains, which is the only way for most of us who live in the outer suburbs to get to-from the city. We are dependant on them.) are a complete shambles these days. With the hired Chinese company MTR responsible for them working having acted like complete a-holes for this past year. Their contract has been denounced as they clearly haven’t lived up to their part of the deal, so it’s not a far fetched guess to believe they are now doing an even worse job for the rest of the duration.

Can’t help but remember how awful it felt to be isolated out here in the suburbs during the pandemic. Now I actually feel that every time I do need to travel within my own city and with the transports available, not to mention having to deal with a lot of people irl (ugh!) is a struggle and nuiscance. A change of scenery now and then is great, but remote work is bliss as far as I’m concerned, in combination with short commuting now and then.

It has been more than 1,5 months since I last wrote something in blog. And I can safely say that both good and bad things have happened, both a lot and  at the same time not very much. Life.

It’s really dispiriting, as usual, to see, read, hear about the very frequent natural disasters all over the globe, yet the effort from our politicians (and not least the appallingly incompetent Swedish right wing government…) to tackle the climate emergency remain practically zero. 

My natural mood has become anger. And I have VERY little patience with ignorant, stupid people. Which there are far to many of imho. Otherwise we obviously we wouldn’t have the embarrassing government we have in Sweden (and in countless of other countries all over the world of course. Everything is falling apart.)

I need to start meditating again. And begin with yoga. But for now I stick to reading a lot to rest my brain and stop dwelling on the hopelessness of the world. 

So grateful this very less than perfect summer of 2023 has at least brought my reading mojo back, which I first lost 20 (!) years ago with my long burnt out sick leave. It will probably not ever get back to those pre-years but at least I’m consuming books at a much higher rate than I have done for well, decades. Gratitude is a fine fine thing.

Other things that have brought me those precious little pockets of joy during the last summer month/first autumn month so far are illustrated with the random photos that follow:

For long term readers my loathing of trousers/jeans is well known. I have not been able to find any that fits my body shape and my needs for eons. A very good thing that it’s so much easier to find fabulous dresses and skirts that meet those needs though!

But during these months I have actually found a pair of trousers that do fit quite well, a kind of trousers I have never ever even thought to contemplate, as I’m not a sporty animal. And I do like a bit of classy style with a twist, in my own way.

Enter Marimekko. If these track pants weren’t a Marimekko/Adidas collab the thought of even looking at them would never have entered my mind. I just don’t do these type of clothes. Period. (Not counting those times in my life when I actually did work out in gyms. In another life.)

Or so I thought. I decided to order a pair, turned out to be way larger than expected. (Which I suppose is nice for a change, not the other way round.) So I had to go down a size. The fit is lovely, and so is the style. Plus those zipper pockets, fab. So far I’ve only worn them to run errands on rainy days and for picking mushrooms in the woods. And I need to figure out how to style them (in a non-sporty way) in a way they (and I) deserve.

I’m actually contemplating getting another pair in a classic colour with no patterns. I love the flaired legs. They have always been ’my thing’ when it comes to pants.

At the end of summer I always try and ’use up’ all my summery dresses one last time before I put them in the washing machine and then hibernation in the wardrobe until spring. It’s still unseasonably warm on these latitudes, but I think this day will be concidered my last day of summer dresses 2023.

Photo taken at the new local lakeside beach cafe, which has been a nice spot to take a walk to now and then during the summer. I hope it’ll remain open during weekends all through autumn too.

Ordered tea from one of my favourite tea shops in Stockholm, Sibyllans Kaffe- & Tehandel, for the first time in August. It was such a lovely surprise to open the (free home delivery) box as it contained delightful freebies. Like the package of British shortbread that happened to (accidently) be vegan. And very tasty at that. 

The teas, some old, some new, some gifts, some for me/us were all reliably lovely too.

This year my darling summer hedgehogs amounted to 5 at the most (as far as I could spy), and for a few weeks there was mum with three little ones. Then the first tiny baby appeared by him/herself and then followed by two siblings. Some unknown person had marked them a bit with paint 💜💙❤️ on their back so they were easy to distinguish. After a while the red one disappeared and later also the blue one. Purple left a couple of weeks ago. I hope they all moved to new hoods, gardens with better (is that even possible though, hmf) food or gone into hibernation.

I’m ever so grateful they found their way to the Hedgehog DropInn for yet another summer. Such amazing, adorable creatures they are.

I’m leaving this post for now, and will return to finish it tomorrow. So to be continued… 

In August I took a train trip to visit one of my oldest friends (we studied law together, she went on to work as a lawyer ever since our studies, whilst my life developed in another way. She was such a gem when I fought to keep my kitties from the evil of Swedish authorities last year. Absolutely invaluable. ❤️

As she has her life and work in smaller town Eskilstuna we haven’t seen a lot of eachother these days. This summer we thought it was about high time we did, and when I booked my train ticket I was absolutely certain the last time we met was in August 2019, pre-pandemic. Interesting enough the #tbt photos said it was the exact same day, August 16, we met back then as this year. It also turned out it was in 2017 not 2019. Absolutely crazy… 

As I rarely travel by long distance train these days it was quite an adventure and treat for me to do so. From the booking, to the different types of trains, how effective everything was when I travelled there in the morning, but quite the delays on my way home in the evening. 

I changed train once, which gave me the opportunity to pick up a soylatte in my keep cup and enjoy for the 30 minutes left on a train. Simple little things like that brings me a lot of joy. 

I’m also in love with this pleated skirt I got from Marimekko this summer. It’s so effortless and stylish. And not to mention it has a magnificent swishing whenever there’s a breeze. đŸ©”đŸ’™

I most certainly picked the perfect late summer day for the trip. The weather was absolutely amazing. And it was such a treat to meet up again after all this time, hadn’t met her adorable papillon trio before and we went for long walks both with and without these tykes. Clocked well over 20000 steps that day, I usually don’t count steps, but I most certainly don’t do +20000 very often. And it felt surprisingly effortless.

It was definitely one of my best days so far this year, good talks, good walks, good vegan food, cute animals and train travelling in a summery Sweden. She had even baked a fantastic vegan red currant pie, with her own garden berries, I would love to make it myself but it’s ridiculously difficult to find red currants, when you don’t have your own.

Once upon a time we used to attend cat shows together, with vastly different shorthair cat breeds. She was also a breeder. Now she only has one Cornish Rex girl left, sweet and fun with people but apparently scary for the dogs.

Aren’t these little amigurumi copies of her papillons adorable? I’m seriously contemplating ordering a couple of Ztina and Ågot copies myself. Even if I used to amigurumi crochet myself, they weren’t nearly as creative and detail oriented as this. And I’m not really interested in learning that kind of art myself.

A rare capture of Z and Å washing eachother. I used to have cats that loved sleeping, cuddling and keeping eachother clean. These two aren’t really interested in that. At least not anymore. I’m thinking that they, just like me, are so used to have a group of friends/family to share home with, when that situation drastically changed when the rest of the lovely gang passed away with old age and/or illness these past few years their respective habits and needs changed too. Like mine have.

There are definitely pros of having only two kitties, but I was so used to have a little gang of quirky individuals and different personalities plus kittens for so many years it also feels weird that life isn’t like that anymore. I miss them a lot.

Ztina, August 2023, 11,5 years young. Little blue eyed heart of mine.

Ågot, August 2023, 11 years young. Littlest one, still just a baby.

Amongst all the little joyous things I try to focus at, this dental emergency suddenly happened. To cut a much longer story short - I think I mentioned it when I visit my new dentist in August 2021, but I’m not sure it’s very important in the here and now đŸ€·đŸ»‍♀️

What happened these past few months was that one of my tooth, which was already in bad shape due to a faulty semi-root canal started to crumble. The tooth was pretty loose but it wasn’t really aching. I got an emergency appointment and wanted to have an annual check up at the same time. The day before the whole rest of the tooth (or so I thought) came out by itself. So it felt pretty okay prior to the appointment. Turned out it wasn’t nearly as easy a fix that I had thought. 

Basically spent two long hours in the dentist chair, the very thorough check up was surprisingly painful and so was the fact that I had to get a lot of anesthetic shots prior to the removal of what was still left of the tooth.

And in the end the dentist wasn’t able to remove the final bit of the tooth root as it crumbled during her work, so she wanted to give me a referral to a dental surgery to have that done. All the caries was removed and cleaned, but there was still an infection left behind the root so she thought it was best  to have it all properly removed. Felt reasonable to me at the time. I also got a very strong penicillin prescription to beat the infection.

Finally got a time this week for that surgery (which I am really scared to have done, I won’t lie) to be done on the last day of October. Then I got the information about how much that would cost - the equivalent to 700 GBP. Which isn’t something I neither willing nor able to pay. 

It’s absolutely crazy that your teeth and dental work isn’t something that is part of the general Swedish healthcare. And that’s why dental care has become a pressing rich - poor issue in Sweden, even more so in these generally stressful financial times most of us experience one way or other. Societal wellfare structures in Sweden, we have taken for granted for as long as I can remember, are crumbling faster than ever.

Obviously it doesn’t really matter if you’re taking good care of your teeth and have a healthy dental routine, sh*t happens anyway.

So now I need to go back to the drawing board with this. Ie talk it through with my dentist, is that surgery really super important to do when the infection is gone (I actually feel rather different after that antibiotics prescription, maybe that infection in my gum/mouth I didn’t know I had, had caused me issues for a much longer time than imagined?). 

That thorough checkup showed a couple of small cavities, which I also like to get done. Much more so than a surgery I don’t know is absolutely necessary.

Fingers firmly crossed for a positive solution regarding this, please, internetz!

I recently rediscovered my lucky tooth from blackapple (Etsy) so I’m hoping for its quote to be true ’Whenever a lucky tooth you find, good luck won’t be far behind”.

I’ve also had great fun bidding on great second hand things (some used but in good condition some with tags still attached) signed Marimekko. All useful and at the same time such a nice way to collect different little classic design pieces in lovable patterns and colours.

Three perky pillow covers, a Helsinki Pride scarf, a black-white tea towel plus four cushion covers for my sofa cushions - had my eyes set on five but I totally forget the time for the last auction so I missed out. Wasn’t meant to be, I’m sure something else fun will turn up and make its way to me in a not to far future…

Plantbased cooking obviously brings lot of joy and very satisfied tummies. I promised more recipes to come, but I haven’t been able to really focus on that for a long time now, sorry about that. Hopefully that will change again.

But here are some favourite dishes I keep returning to regularly. Above is the taco pie with vegan mince, paprika, tomato, corn, onion, garlic, dairyfree cooking fraiche with chili-paprika flavour. It. is. so. very. good.

I may be a team tofu member for the Swedish brand Yipin, but it sadly isn’t a paid position just a fun thing with a few perks now and then. It’s a great tofu brand though and it has allowed me to try out new ways to prepare tofu and try out recipes. Tofu is such a fantastic, natural, additive free protein source, so I try to use it in my cooking as much as possible. And try to buy as many packages as I can when they are on special price. As they freeze very well (not silken tofu though) it’s easy to save and use them during a longer period too.

Moo shu tofu is such a simple, delicious, and slightly addictive dish.

And when I finally found the sichauan pepper the Mapo tofu was totally elevated!

Trust me, you will never regret having tofu carbonara-ish for dinner.

Below is a sweet gesture which I got from my neighbours that recently painted their house, and doing so they needed access to part of my plot to paint a wall. Our atrium houses are constructed in a rather trucky and inconvenient way as every house is in one way or other attached to the six closest houses.

So when they had painters and carpenters here during two weeks I had to open and lock my security gate early every morning-late afternoon. It wasn’t really a huge deal, but I missed sleeping a bit longer in the mornings.

I deeply appreciate this gesture though, apart from pretty flowers and a colourful kitty card, garden inspired napkins the bag also contained vegan goodies, lemon curd and two chocolate bars I hadn’t tried before. The Karl Fazer oat choco turned out to be truly amazing.

The fun thing is that we are not friend-friend neighbours we only exchange a few friendly words when we meet, but they told be they enjoy my Instagram feed a lot and obviously they totally nailed what I enjoy and my values through that. It’s very heart warming as far as I’m concerned.

A couple of weeks ago it was finally time for the twice a year all vegan day at my favourite bakery/cafe Bageri Passion. I usually opt for a breakfast/fika on site as well as but breads and pastries to take home. This time I only bought delicious stuff home. And less than I used to because a) prices have increased conciderably and b) even if the stuff is delicious the cream pastries etc can’t be put in the freezer thus you need to consume everything during that weekend. 

And honestly it is (surprisingly) hard to enjoy stuffing yourself with a lot of sugar and cream (even if it’s cruelty free and not nearly as unhealthy as pastries with cow’s milk, butter and eggs.)

I prefer to be there when the bakery opens at 8 am on the Saturday in question, because the event is increasingly popular and the queue starts early. I arrived at 7.50 and there were already 10-15 before me in line.

When I got up that early (and I am SO not a morning person) and arrived at my bus stop the fog was very heavy. A strange mix of beautiful and eerie, a a nice unusual experience.

The best things from my haul this time?

The rolls were all great (missed my favourite beetroot though), the three buns absolutely amazing. As was the classic Swedish princess cream cake. Unfortunately they gave me the wrong version of the Budapest cream cake, not the classic with meringue, hazelnuts and raspberries that I asked for. But the not so good coconut/passion fruit version. Which I didn’t discovered until I got home (sad face).

A while back I went on my first ever mushroom picking walk with a neighbourhood woman (possible future business partner) whose vastly more knowledgeable om foraging than I.

We were highly unsuccessful as far as mushrooms are concerned, the mosquitos were nasty, and I was really ancious about ticks. But it was a lovely sunny day in the forrest and we had a really inspiring chat, so I still concider it a very good outing.

This autumn/winter I am also taking a course in UX-writing/design at 25% pace. It’s quite good and a real eye-opener in unexpected ways. 

Last Sunday we went to the cinema at our ’community hall’ located in the same building as the municipality/library, which showed ’Book Club: The Next Chapter’. I hadn’t even heard of the first chapter, but I thought we’d enjoy this feelgood with reliably great senior female actors. 

It was a pleasant movie but I can’t help but feeling rather horrified by Jane Fonda’s obvious addiction to plastic surgery. It was impossible to look past. And that affluent lifestyle, jetting off to Europe at a whim, expensive fashion shopping and posh food establishment, basically highlighting everything that have caused the climate emergency. It is difficult to look past that in this time and age. I can’t just enjoy things like I did, without delving deeper into what I see, hear, experience. Life is just way past that point.

And here I am, not nearly as light gray irl, the top photo from behind is more correct in colour, but the iPhone portrait mode isn’t perfect as far as colours are concerned so… I took this straight away after I got home from the hairdresser, I didn’t expect the cut to look this fluffy but I suppose I’m  used to ’scrunch’ my hair and isn’t really the sleek looking type, neither in hair quality nor in personality. No matter what I feel inspired by, the result always end up fluffy Pia, hair short, hair longer.

(This was also the last photo of me without a gap where the fourth tooth to the fronit in upper right jaw…)

Hey Universe, hey September I’m ever so open to positive change and new adventures now, I really hope you are ready with that too?! Grateful, thanks, bye for now. đŸ©·

Monday, July 31, 2023

farewell july, welcome august 2023


My July has been an overall slow and rather restful month - opposite to what’s happening around the globel as well as in Sweden in general I suppose - in my parts of the country I think June was the exhaustingly hot and global boiling month, July has offered relief in the shape of much welcomed rain.

So keeping this post very short, for me, I’ve spent it reading, walking, cooking - for the gazilionth year (ie at least 15) we’ve been cut off from easy commuting to the city and other parts of the county since the replacement buses have replaced the commuter trains until August 14. So instead of being angry about that I’ve accepted and decided to make this a slow slow summer. There is beauty in that too.

With only a few shivering minutes left of July, I’m just posting a few photos of thing that made me happy and grateful from the month that was. And leave it at that, okay?

This book by John Ajvide Lindqvist was fabulous, he’s gone from sublime Swedish horror to thrillers. This one is not (yet) translated into English, but do make a mental note you should read ’The writing in the water’ (or whatever it will be called) when it’s translated. You will not be disappointed. 

Hedgehogs and baby hedgehogs. The fabulastic sister duo, Ztina and Ågot. A wonderful sunny skirt. A lovely little bus outing to Sigtuna - it’s great you can actually take a bus ride from where I live, change to another bus in the middle of nowhere, arrived at Sigtuna bus station 1,5 hours later. A very poor town if you’re vegan alas, but nevertheless it was a nice change from the regular hoods. 

Managed to clear the garden quite a bit with little mum, so that’s just great!

Picked up my octagonal glasses 2023 just before the trains closed for the summer. I think they look quite nice. This also happens to be one of the very last photos of me before I get a new haircut at an actual hairdresser on August 1. Haven’t been to one since 2018. So I’m currently a mix of excited and nervous about getting a professional stranger doing the cutting. 
Wish me luck!

Women’s rights are human rights (and so are animal’s rights, we all inhabit this one and only planet. And no other animals than human animals have ravaged and poisoned it.) - I’m really pleased with my little sustainable upcycled necklace with a feminist sign made from an old yard stick, to prove it.

We should all be feminists. Crazy that that should have to be said in the summer of 2023, but there you are. 

We should also be kind and compassionate. Which shouldn’t have to be pointed out either. It’s so very basic.

Thank you July, for your general slowness and peacefulness in my little world. 

Welcome August, oh I have high so high hopes on you, for new, purposeful beginnings and growth and wonderful joyous surprises! Can we agree on that, pretty please? ❤️

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

thank you may, welcome june 2023

June 6 is not just the sixth day of June in Sweden but also our National Day,  our Independence Day since it was this day in 1523 the union of Denmark was no more. And obviously today is even more special since it marks 500 years since.

As I have written before, there are many things, too many, that have gone completely awry with this country (like far too many countries all over the globe obviously). And it has gotten even worse with the current completely incompetent government of asshats we are cursed with. So yes, there is definitely a gazillion facts to be angry, appalled, gobsmacked, worried, sad and infuriated over. The world is crazy, and so are a lot of things in Sweden. However it’s a beautiful country, and it’s a decent democracy (which is more than you can say about far too few countries in 2023), so for that - happy National Day Sweden!

Also any excuse (as if you need one) to bake and make a vegan cream cake is a good thing, right? Right.

Used the same recipe for the sponge I always use, from the Swedish Vegan Baking Bible bake book, filling is raspberry jam and dairyfree custard (Oatly). Topping whipped oat cream, blueberries and white, vegan chocolate. It was good. But it’ll be even better tomorrow once it has had proper time to rest and set.

My original plan was to write another spring has sprung post but as Summer is now upon us - I’m deeply grateful for every day of not extremely hot weather, so far it has been +25C at the max. Even if it was exhausting it wasn’t unbearable. We do desperately need rain though. With this much sun nature is gasping for water and I fear there will be more forest fires to come here too.

So instead of a spring post here are just some random photos with texts from the world according to me from these past few months. Here goes:

You know about my love for pretty, colourful bed sheets by now. And even if I do prefer to buy my Marimekko beddings second hand I have been known to get the odd new duvet and pillow cover. I’m not perfect, despite the rumours of excellence, so yup, it happens. So even if I had planned to treat myself to the 💗❤️ pillow cover only, I couldn’t resist getting the duvet cover too. The design reminds me of fabrics, designs and colours from my childhood. I vaguely remember even having a very similar duvet cover back then. It’s just lovely. Crisp, high quality cotton, that will last forever.

- Oops, realised now I already wrote about the heart one in the last post… - 

The cows and calves bedding in the second photo I actually won in a second hand auction. I was absolutely adamant to win it as it’s one of my top 5 favourite Marimekko designs. I already had the apple green pillow covers and as pink and green is THE best colour combo ever it would be dreamy to get the matching pink bed set too.

It’s just wonderful. Such a perfectly happy piece to have.

Just admiring how pretty and perfect a vegan dough can be when the circumstances are right. It’s been a while since I last baked breads or buns now, despite my lovely lovely kitchen machine. But after the mishap with my mum completely misunderstand the temperature of the warm milk and butter, and be succumbing to getting a baking thermometer again, it has been smooth baking all the way, baby. Yay.

I currently can’t remember if I wrote about the bagels I baked a couple of months ago. But anyway, I did. And they turned out great, for being the first go after not having had the opportunity to bake some since 2017. I really want to make more of them. Soon. 

And the launch of plantbased Philadelphia cream cheese in Sweden happily coincided with my bagel baking. Yay! Not that there is much difference between the vegan Philadelphia cheese and Oatly’s cream cheese PĂ„ Mackan (not sure what it’s called in English) which been around for ages. But I think us Swedish vegans that haven’t been vegans since birth fondly remember how great Philadelphia cream cheese was and have missed it. 

Even if my days/years as Årstiderna organic vegan food box Instagram- ambassador came to an end last autumn, I still order some special fruit and veggies from the company now and then. This was the first time I bought their strawberries from a Spanish organic farm. It’s fascinating that the strawberry season starts so early on those latitudes compared to Sweden (which usually is just now in June, depending on the weather). The texture and flavour were also widely different to ours. They were much harder, and still sweet despite being somewhat green, in Sweden that would been they are far from ripe. They were great to eat as snacks, but I also used them in food, like topping on my favourite vegan silken tofu pancakes - if you haven’t made pancakes with silken tofu yet you must! Absolute perfection. 

- and in a hearty salad with smoked tofu. Such a fantastic flavour combo, smoked tofu and strawberries!

A house is not a home without cats, and every day I am so grateful my furry darlings are back with me, with us. I still don’t let them into my bedroom, but as little mum let them sleep in her bed in her apartment she has continued to let them do so here too. Especially Ågot loves it lots. So you might say Ågot is more her kitty now and Ztina remains my special sweetheart.

We have been reluctant to let them out in the garden again though, which feels sad, but with the craziness that followed upon the loss of Pelle and his escaping from the garden and getting sick, the 20 years of non-escaping happy cats in the garden have been erased by the past 1,5 year witch-hunt from Swedish authorities. Something which I will never forget or forgive. It is just unacceptable behaviour from an authority.

Ztina has been out in the garden a couple of times, only interesting in eating grass (and throw up indoors) not climbing the tree, so that feels more doable. However there seem to be more ticks this year, I’ve removed two of those nasty ones from her and she even got somewhat sick from one of them, but luckily recovered to herself after a few days of mostly sleeping. It doesn’t feel good to risk things when she also sleeps in my mum’s be though. Even if we’re both vaccinated against TBE there’s still Borrelia to concider…

And it’s not as if they’re very unhappy about not having free access to the garden when I’m home, as they used to, they seem to have adjusted well to slightly different routines. And surely having free access to sleep in a hooman’s bed must be concidered a luxuary upgrade? 

This year two of my photos were chosen for the municipality’s environmental calender every household gets for free. Cherry blossoms for April and the church/cemetery with lilacs for May. The winners don’t get any prizes like we used too, but apart from a couple of years they were such ridiculously ill chosen prizes that I do think it’s wiser with no prizes but the sheer honour of it anyway.

- Ah well, mentioned this in my last post too… -

It’s getting late and it’s now time to read a few pages before I sleep. As I’ve already uploaded a bunch of photos to this post it seems easier to continue to write on this tomorrow instead of starting a new post. Or maybe I’ll change my mind overnight and move the photos below and start a new one.

Let’s sleep on it, m’kay?

The UPDATED during June 7 post continues below:

After having co-habited with little mum for several months now, I can safely say that I was deluded when I thought it was going to be pretty smooth sailing. She’s a lovely human, kind and caring. And this felt like the right and loving way to help a parent that has always been there for me over the years. But neither she nor I fully understood how stressful this move would be, for her in some ways, for me in others. The adjustment period is still very much ongoing. 

And I didn’t grasp just how much her eye sight has deteriorated, how limited she is when it comes to household chores. And how much more work that means for me, and how much energy I must try to muster to get things done, while trying to make her feel at home and comfortable. Yes, it’s nice to have human interaction in the house again, but it has also meant most of my limited energy goes into making this work (including a lot of interactions on her behalf with infuriating square authorities) and my own life and plans have been put on hold. Call me naĂŻve, but I really did not expect this cohabitation with an elderly mum, which I love dearly and have had so much fun with over the years, would be so all-consuming. But there you are.

There are still a lot boxes, bags, rearranging of rooms and wardrobes that needs doing. Stuff that needs to be hauled to the recycling station, left to charity and sold to make room so we can get things done. Which is a problem that urgently needs solving, but with no access to a car (or a driver’s license) or a large helpful friend circle or a ton of money to just pay someone to do it, that is so very much easier said than done.

For now I have settled into acceptance mode, this is how life is currently, it will change for the better and be lighter again. Life has felt heavy and a struggle for so many years now (despite appearance I suppose), surely it is about high time things ease up and less urgent problem solving actions are needed? The Universe has my back and all that.

Having this little (queen of fxxxing everything) one regularly demanding her space and attention is definitely soul soothing. Sharing your home with someone like this is most certainly something I am deeply grateful for amidst all the chaos that is life.

Something I have also enjoyed during these past few months is cooking for two, and exploring new (accidently) vegan recipes. Like this amazing harira soup. Tomato based dishes have never been a favourite of mine, the acidity is just off-putting, but this recipe (from a TV-chef) sounded so good, flavourful and despite a fair amount of ingredients also easy peasy to make. And just wow, how lovely and satisfying it turned out to be. Strong and deep flavours, not spicy but comforting and flavoursome. Highly recommend you try it, I’m guessing it’s easy to find the recipe by googling.

And here is more than a glimpse of the yarn project I gave myself some months ago. A fantastic fluffy strawberry sweater. I knew I needed a creative project that challenged me, with a bonus therapeutical aspect and a sense of accomplishment in the end. I was totally smittened by this sweater when I first saw it on Instagram and for obvious reasons it called my name. 

However, as a vegan I have stopped buying not only new produced leather but also wool and silk, so deciding on buying wool yarn wasn’t exactly straight forward. I read up on the yarn design company and their values, them only getting their yarn from small family businesses in South America that treat their animals with care and respect. And decided to go for it. The wool itself is at least more sustainable than any new acrylic yarn, of which there arent’t as far as I know, anything similar to this fluffy wool needed to create this design anyway.

The pattern turned out to be more complicated - definitely not for beginners! And I have knitted a lot over the years, but it was eons ago I knitted a complicated pattern - and honestly not very well written, so I have had to solve and grasp things along the way. I’m still not happy about the ugly, large ’holes’ that get created along the way when you switch between the colours (I see it on other people’s creations with the same pattern too) but steaming the project made it look quite fancy. Kind of magic actually.

Despite the kinks I have learnt a lot knitting this sweater. My goal was to have it fully finished by May last, when I realised I wouldn’t be able to have it done by April last. That alas did not happen. 

First I realised the length of the sweater in the actual pattern was just riduculously short. Clearly not meant for not-flatchested women. So I had to continue knitting it conciderably longer. Which took a lot more of the pink yarn I had. 

Then when I had almost finished one arm (which is knitted attached to the sweater and not knitted separately) I realised I was most likely running out of pink yarn. It isn’t as easy as just ordering a new ball of yarn or going to a shop and buy it. The yarn is from Norway and that means a lengthy mail process (despite being neighbouring countries) and extra customs charges since Norway isn’t an EU-country. Plus the yarn will not be of the same colour bath/lot.

I have plenty of yellow, red and green yarn left though. So I’m think of a decent way of using up that instead. The elastic knitting that finish the arm is not done yet, I stopped and begun with arm two instead and hope hope hope there will be enough pink yarn to at least finish 3 x 3 rows of strawberries at least.

The problem with knitting the arms attached to the sweater this time of the year is also that it gets so hot and sticky to knit. I’m aiming on June last now, but that really depends on the rising summer temperatures.

I’m sure it will feel like a great accomplishment whenever it gets completely finished though.

I tried to make a Bellini from the bottle of bubbly we got from the real estate broker after little mum’s apartment got sold -

that the loans and taxes took so much of the profit plus that the profit was very low anyway due to the Swedish housing market crisis and steep energy prices is just very… disappointing, as we had hoped to restore the savings account after the covid years. Had we been able to sell the apartment a year, even half a year earlier, it would have made a world of difference. It wasn’t meant to be. Which obviously both infuriates and hurts. As there were so many parameters completely out of our control that influenced the process. -

but I couldn’t find any peach puree, so I used apricot juice instead. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really good either. The bubbly itself was surprisingly nice though.

The food in the pan is my first go at Mapo tofu - sans the sichuan peppar as that has been impossible to find here. And that was probably good as I’m not a fan of very spicy hot food anyway. The dish was good, but not super exciting, as far as I’m concerned. I just crave plenty of fresh veggies in my food, and this had none.

I had my annual optician appointment a couple of weeks ago, to check my eyes and see if anything had changed. As I suspected it had not, but it’s good to get it done anyway. One of the glasses I got last year had also developed a strangely scratched surface, definitely not my fault as I’ve always taken great care of my glasses, so I needed that seen to. 

Despite the fact that this is clearly a problem with sub par quality glass I will have to pay for them being fixed. But as I get to keep the faulty scratched pair and get a new pair I suppose it’s somewhat reasonable. EDIT: no I didn’t get to keep the faulty pair… There are a lot of new really nice frames in the shop too, thinking a bit about getting just one new pair, if the price is right. I’ll pick up my new replacement pair on Friday and have a browse around.

The reason for me having my first single use paper cup of iced soy latte (oh the shame and nuisance) was that I desperately needed a pee and the optician doesn’t offer a toilet for customers (rolling my eyes), so I had to pop by the next door cafe, had misplaced my keepcup at home (found now) and thought I’d at least get a plastic cup (easier to recycle at least) and instead I got this. Ah well, the coffee was good at least.

My wonderful lilacs hedge has been extraordinary delightful this year, even if the beautiful season gets shorter and shorter. 

Managed to pick three small bouquets of lilies of the valley this season, it was such a joy to have their scent around for a few days at least. Same as with the lilacs though, such a fleeting time before they are gone.

After an hefty delay the cafe at the nearby beach/lakeside opened in April. Owned by the same guys that had that lovely cafe in the old Villa Skoga at our suburb center which opened during the pandemic and soon became a much needed waterhole. And they had pretty decent vegan options, plus that vegan sticky chocolate cake to die for. The best I’ve ever had actually. Anyway, they closed down at the end of last year, and switched location to this beach cafe instead. Unfortunately the cafe is only opened Sat-Sundays, I guess it will change for the summer, so you can’t have a walk in the forest and a fika on a Thursday if you like alas. The vegan options are very very few, in fact I think this chocolate ball was the only thing available when we had our first visit a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully they’ll get better. Next time I’ll asked for a grilled sandwich, which the other place made a great version of, and see what will happen.

As you can see the outdoor seating’s view is wonderful. At least when the beach isn’t filled with people. The building itself is such an unfortunate eye sore though. Horrible lack of any pleasing, inviting architecture and material, just a block of brutal red concrete with zero attachment to the surrounding nature.

Up at one of the cliffs at the lake they built a very nice resting/view spot. It was around when loaf dog extraordinaire was still alive so I guess it must have been built about 15ish years ago. It has been subjected to various forms of vandalism, including the here visible sprayed tags, and restored. It’s a very nice, calming place when void of people. And I suppose great if you want to sunbathe by the lake but not at the beach.

And yup, I’m still enjoying the vegan sustainable Icebugs Eli sneakers I got a year ago. I thought of getting another pair in yellow this year, but instead I opted for another type of sustainable, vegan sneakers, the collaboration between Adidas and Marimekko offered what I wanted. The best running shoes/sneakers I’ve ever had (which I obviously never actually run in, walking is my thing) are the pink Adidas ones visible further below in this post. I think they’re about 10 years old now, still good to walk in but slightly tired. I’ve been meaning to get a new similar pair and when I recently spotted these and thorougly enjoyed the colours I got them. Vegan and partly made from recycled plastic. 

Unfortunately the size 40 2/3 were conciderably smaller than the 40,5 pair I already have. So I had to return them and get the size 41 1/3, which seems crazy as my size usually is 40,5 and 41 leaves extra room which is nice for summer and socks etc. I hate returning orders, it’s so very unsustainable, it’s a rare thing for me as I only order things I’m 99,5% certain will fit. I guess this was a case of the 0,5% left. I’m happy to say the fit is great so they’re a keeper. We will have many great walks together I’m sure. And the name Supernova seems like a perfect sign of fresh new beginnings.

This creative sustainable solution for a garden wall I spotted on a recent walk in the neighbourhood. It’s probably not a new and unique idea, but great looking just the same, don’t you think?

Just a few years ago the late spring/early summer season were longer, and different flowers, plants, shrubs and trees grew in a predictable chronological order. And the blooming was slow and enjoyable. To each its own time. Now the growth is early and pretty much everything at the same time. The blooming period is short and intensive and then it’s over before you even had time to fully grasp and enjoy the beauty.

Even the honeysuckle is over and done with already, and we are only a few days into June… It’s just really saddening.

My latest batch of MOO postcards, this time I went mostly with vegan food, flowers and well, just pretty colourful things. Even if I don’t order or send nearly as much postcards as I once did, it makes me happy to see that the quality of MOO products is just as reliable, or rather better, than it was in 2007 when I first ordered them. And so is their customer service.

The view in the evening from the bedroom window, when the lilacs were still in bloom. It’s like a little Scandinavian jungle of garden bliss. And the scent seeping in through the air vent…

I give you happy lily of the valley picker and the old pink Adidas, that just happen to match the stripey dress. What a coincidence, eh.

And here is the ultimate proof that your cat does love you truly. If the wee in the cat litter forms a heart that’s a proper sign. Surely it must be so.

First really lovely vegan banana-chocolate scones - they go well with either plantbased Philadelphia cheese or a dollop of raspberry jam and whipped oat cream.

Second tempeh and peanut sauce with organic brown rice. Tasted absolutely anazing. I’ve always found it difficult to get tempeh at home tasting as great as it does prepared at a restaurant, but this dish did. Just lovely it was.

With a height difference of ca 20 cm it’s darn hard to get a reasonable selfie, but here we are. Literally little mum and I.

Thank you May, you were overall quite enjoyable and also very pretty.

Hello there June, let’s make you a blooming brilliant month. đŸ©·

Be kind, be safe, be your best self ~

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