Friday, May 05, 2023

spring has sprung 2023, part III

I had planned to head into the city this past week, to watch the magic cherry blossom trees in bloom in Kungsträdgården again. I haven’t seen them since pre-pandemic 2019. But then little mom got a terrible cold, and then a week later it was alas my turn. Still recovering, hopefully I’ll be reasonably alright again this upcoming week. But sadly I think that most of the city cherry blossoms will be gone by then. Here in the suburbs it has been unseasonably chilly (gratitude!) so they haven’t blossomed yet. So I will at least be able to enjoy some darling pink blossoms 2023.

This year two of my photos were chosen for the municipality’s environmental calendar. The cherry blossoms above for April (the in bloom season last year was quite different from this year obviously) and the lilacs at the church/cemetery for May, below.

Have you watched ’The Diplomat’ on Netflix already? If not you really should, especially if you, like me, loved ’The West Wing’. Great actors, snappy dialogue, setting, multilayered and cleverly woven current story. With that explosive season ending it will be difficult to wait for season two…

Prior to Easter I stopped by my ”new” favourite tea shop in Stockholm. Which happens to be Sweden’s oldest tea/coffee merchant so it isn’t very new, but it was just a very long time since I last visited (2017 I think, and of course right before new year’s last year) and I’m very much smittened bu the whole atmosphere and of course all the colourful, stylish packaging and tins. I bought teas for myself and gifts for a couple of friends. Even made a little not too shabby reel that I still haven’t figured out how to post in blog. Ridiculous I know, but there you are. 

I also used that black (and only) Marimekko dress I bought second hand last autumn, for the first time. As the model is much shorter than my usual dresses I just couldn’t figure out to wear it during winter, as I don’t have any long enough winter coat to cover it up properly.

But here you are, me in a black dress for the first time in 20ish years.

The dress is straight, I would have prefered it a-line, but it looks fairly good anyway I think. The tights are from fabulous Snagtights, 80 denier colour Mustard. Boots, my ol’ trustworthy El Naturalista Iggdrasil. 

And yup, it’ll be such a relief when (and how) we’ll be able to finally clear up the hallway again. Living in post-moving chaos isn’t a lot of fun.

That’s why I feel the need to create some pretty, cozy and relaxing corners here and there, so I don’t feel/see the mess existing side by side all the time.


For Easter I changed the sofa covers and added new (bought second hand) cushion covers. The green striped fabric is old, but unused that we brought with us from little mum’s extensive stash. The cushion covers are all Marimekko. It brings me joy to find them second hand and then change them during the year. A small collection I want to grow. 

The candle lights are also the Marimekko/Iittala classics Kivi, and this bowl is from the same collaboration called Mariskooli. That one I actually from fellow British Shorthair breeder in Finland, when she was here with her female to mate her with Knut (I think it was). To be honest I wasn’t really s fan of Marimekko back then (20ish years ago), and it wasn’t really my style I felt. But I am so grateful I kept it, and let it collect dust in a kitchen cupboard, because now I love it. And it was such a nice thing to finally bring forth for vegan Easter candy.

And I even painted my nails for Easter. It happens extremely rarely these days. From being a great fan of polish, addicted even, I just find it icky and well, unhealthy really, these days. But my old speckled eggs are nice to use for Easter at least.

I’ve also recently found that it is possibly to find Bath & Body Works online (second hand, so to say, but unused) in Sweden. Considerably more expensive than in the US/Canada stores, but still. When you miss something bad enough… I got a few bottles of hand soaps earlier, loved them, and bought a few more for Easter. (Not that one would use them all up for one Easter, but there will hopefully be more and the prints are adorable.)

I wrote about the 💗❤️💗 Marimekko pillow cover I treated myself to for Valentine’s day, didn’t I? The print reminded me so much of sheets I had as a kid. And when there was a short special price on all beddings I went back and got the matching duvet cover. Isn’t it marvelous?! Such a happy, colourful design.

The leopard print bedset above was the one I got as a birthday gift in 2022, and also as a memory of darling Zigne. It’s Marimekko (duh) and very cute, but also of concideeably poorer quality than other Marimekko beddings. I should have pointed that out to customer service back then, but I was crushed from the loss of Zigne and all the nastiness I went through from the county administrative board at the time (which then turned into the witch hunt madness), so I didn’t bother. I can still let them now about the sub par quality of course. 

The other pillow cover in the photo I won in a second hand auction pre-Easter, it’s lovely and unusual. Different designs in one print. I suppose it’s rare enough to keep in special storage and not use, but really, when I buy something it’s meant to bring joy AND be useful at the same time.

Currently this crisp bedding brings me joy. The birthday gift I gifted myself last year. I needed it. Feeling old, tired, grey and totally exhausted after a hellish 1,5 years, I really did. Finally a Marimekko bedset with the Unikko print. 

Used with an old sheet my grandma embroidered it gives me a nice, wistful and grateful feeling at night.

The Maria Lang book is the last one I got as a kid, for Christmas in the 80ies. And the book that nudged be into focus on collecting all her books during the pandemic. And I managed to get the ones I didn’t already have, all but one second hand, fairly quickly. It was a fun little self-appointed challenge. When this book is finished I have only nine more to go before I have finally read them all, cronologically.

Little pockets of joy are so very important. Especially in the world we are living in now. Wars looming, dire climate emergency, societal structural collapses, financial worries, and people being ruder and weirder than ever imho, then crisp clean sheets, books, plantbased deliciousness, colourful things, nature, cat purrs and alike are essentials for reasonable well-being and sanity. According to me. 

What are your essential little pockets of joy in these truly troublesome times. What are you grateful for? How do you survive?

Be kind, be safe out there.
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