Weekend&how you should lobster-ify your life..

Lobsters are the hottest crustaceans around right now. Not since Schiapperalli collaborated with Dali on a dress have they been this hip.

Probably it’s mostly Dolce&Gabbana are driving this trend, those lobster earrings are everywhere. And where they go, people will follow(apparently).

1.Wear it;H&M has this t-shirt. That’s an option if you want in on this trend. A better way is to just read either Consider the lobster by David Foster Wallace(I’ve ordered a copy but it hasn’t arrived yet) or Husmoderns död och andra texter by Sara Danius if you are fluent in Swedish. Again; books are not something I think of as an accessory but I often have one in my hand so I might as well look trendy while I’m at it. The former I have not read yet but it comes highly recommended, the latter is absolutely brilliant. Danius is the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy for a reason. The notorious eighteen knew what they did when the asked her to join(if the members of the academy were available like movie star cards in the 60’s (or Pokémon cards)  I’d probably be willing to trade quite a few of the others to have her and historian Peter Englund).

2. Eat lobster rolls; This is one of the things that Gwyneth Paltrow and I agree on, this and the usefulness of grey cardigans.  I’ve learned the hard way that I eat like a neanderthal and thus have grease stains on several delicate items of clothing, as lobster rolls always are served with a dollop of mayonnaise on top. I need a bib, and more lobster rolls. I lament my silk blouses but I really think it was totally worth it. Mayonnaise!! Always make sure to put some finely chopped chives in the Hellman’s mayonnaise you serve them with. Or make your own mayo and use elderflower vinegar(I’m sure Gwyneth would approve; I made the vinegar myself )

3.Watch Last week tonight with John Oliver; they have a mock supreme court with dogs. But when President Trump got to elect a member to the court they chose a lobster as a symbolic representative in their mock-court. Because lobsters are trendy. The could just have chosen a cat, a parrot or a pig. They didn’t. They chose a lobster. Just sayin’.

-Suss

Weekend & wrap-up

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April is coming to an end, although winter still has us in a tight grip. As I’ve started A place of greater safety by Hilary Mantel which will take me well into May I decided to do my wrap-up now. These are my monthly stats;

Books read; 10. All of which were good or great. I loved Augustus by John Williams and look forward to reading Butcher’s crossing soon. Six of crows and Stet were both books that I very much enjoyed, as was the book by Gessen. I do enjoy reading different things and this month was a nice mix, also in terms of language. The only reading goal I had this year was to read more in Swedish and that I have done. I also managed to finish the Ferrant book and will read the second when I have time to really get in to it.

Re-reads; 0, all new to me this time, despite being a notorious re-reader.

Most worn perfume; L’ombre dans L’eau by Diptyque followed by Flagrant délices by Terry de Ginzburg on cold days(then I need that sweetness).

Accessory watch; It’s been all about the cameos this month. Have not found a third pin sadly but after posting about Jewels-a secret history I dug out my aquamarine pendant and have been using that with my brown intaglio/cameo pendant. Necklaces often look good in twos.

Complaints about the weather; all day, every day. April weather is notoriously unstable but it’s been worse then usual(which swedes say every year to be honest. We never learn).

Happy moment; Lent is over, I’m back on sugar.

-Suss

 

The art part of my moniker

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I’ve been thinking about my feed on Instagram lately,  because I was asked about my philosophy behind it. The answer to that is; there really isn’t one. It kind of grew organically out of the realisation that the light is best on my living room table and it’s one of the few areas where I can be consistent, and  I know that doing the same thing repeatedly just works. Not just on IG, in having a coherent feed, but rather in life. Routine takes away a part of the work you have to put in thinking about it.

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That said I do on some level think that my love of the works by swedish artist Einar Jolin plays into it. I’m not saying my feed is anything like his paintings (and I do “flatly”)but that they are works I admire and continue to be inspired by, especially his still lives.

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The colour scheme is very much of the era he worked in but ,those greens  that I love, and so are the items that figure in them although at this point asian items turns up here and there. But there is something happening in this pictures, these little vignettes as learned that they are called, that I can look at all day. And I do try to have nice things around me to look at. Sometimes they paint a bigger picture, sometime it’s just random items.

It must be mentioned that I also loves his portraits, the women he waited wears the most amazing outfits. And in a  week with gloomy  weather like we are having flipping through my favorite art books is a way to lift the spirits.

Things mentioned in this post;

Einar Jolin

-Suss

7 Apps I use

IMG_1465To know me is to know that I’m constantly looking at my phone. It’s embarrassing actually, I’m addicted. The photo above is my currant screensaver; with this depressing weather we are having it’s nice to have something cheerful to look at. What else is of interest on my phone?

  1. Instagram; No surprise there. I love Instagram and it is the best place to find me.
  2. Sleep cycle; as a chronic insomniac I have to say that this works for me.I’m not worried about the numbers and I don’t check the stats as it were  gospel; as long as I stick to “sleep-hygien” as it is aptly called I sleep fairly well. It isn’t full proof but the function that monitors your sleep and sounds the alarm, during a window you specify, when you are at your “lightest” sleep cycle does ensure I’m more alert during the day. The path from sleeping to awake is the shortest possible,making it easier.
  3. Mindfulness; tried this last year but it’s only now that I’ve gotten into it. There are several around but I downloaded(and payed for) this swedish version in 2016 and I’m keeping it. Not a cure for everything but a little breather.
  4. Messenger; I have no love for Facebook but the messenger app is brilliant. I’ve basically stopped texting people.
  5. WordPress; As a blogger I try to keep up with comments, with varied success, and for that it works really well.
  6. Goodreads; My least fave of these. I’m sort of starting to regret ever getting it as it is yet another platform to keep up with. If I did it just for me I could just as well have stuck to my reading journal.
  7. Spotify; this is also pretty self explanatory. I like a bit of music sometime but if you subscribe to Spotify to check out spoken content like audiobooks etc. which can be found there.

-Suss

 

 

George&Junkshops; 7 things to look out for

A junk shop is not to be confused with an antique shop. An antique shop is clean,its goods are attractively set out and priced at about double their value and once inside the shop you are usually bullied into buying something. A junk shop has  fine film of dust over the window,its stock may include anything that is not perishable and and its proprietor, who is usually asleep in a small room at the back, displays no eagerness to make a sale.

-George Orwell

I’ve quoted this passage from the essay Just Junk-but who could resist it by George Orwell before and I will again as I happen to think it’s very funny and it’s funny because it’s true. Everyone I know remembers how when I moved into this flat there was the oddest junk shop on the corner and it fit this description perfectly. We have all bought stuff there and some of it was very good, and possibly a bargain. The most memorable thing however were the long essays that the proprietor left in the window for passers by to read, explaining his worldview and what was wrong in society today.  A lovely bit of eccentricity that the neighborhood did gain from I think.

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Had I had this wonderful essay by Orwell then I would have bought more things probably; Orwell is a gem of a writer but also a seasoned shopper. Some of the things he tells us to look out for in the essay(included in The decline of the english murder)

  1. “Victorian brooches and lockets of agate or other semi-precious stones”; Orwell concedes that 5 out of 6 are ugly but the beautiful ones are worth the trouble. I will start looking immediately, this sounds like exactly the thing I like. Why don’t I have lockets of agate already ?(because I love jade that’s why)
  2. Papier-mâche snuffboxes with pictures painted on the lid; If I had a small collection of those my accessories would be well organized. I have those Muji thingies but they are not very sexy. Probably more practical but since I use the same pieces to death in periods (and then they are either on me or in my small Wedgwood dish) it’s not really something I need worry about.
  3. Scrap screens; He points out that the best were made in the 1880’s but these do not come cheaply anymore. I do agree that they are wonderful. An old friend bought one and used as a bed board, simply marvelous in that kind of minimalist Stockholm home that is de rigeur nowadays. And as Orwell points out; it is fun adding your own scraps if needed . I would like a screen in any case and I might just make my own with all the maps and other travel mementos I’ve gathered over the years.
  4. Glass paper weights with pictures at the bottom; Don’t buy the expensive ones from John Derian I implore you. Buy a 70’s one with the words “Bienvenue à Nice” at the bottom instead. You need a bit of kitsch, you really do.
  5. Old French sword-bayonets(to use as a fire poker); Pure genius.
  6. Keys to fit almost any lock; And if you don’t want to find a key to unlock a secret drawer in a chest (also bought in a junk shop), you can always turn them into art or accessories.
  7. “Indeed,I have often found that the cheapest way of buying a frame is to buy a picture and then throw away the picture”; This is very true but it should be added how many pictures that look a lot better when they are out of their frame. It absolutely used to be the case that people got very elaborate gilded frames for pictures and paintings so that other could clearly see that the it was something expensive that had been framed. That it ended up overshadowing the actual artwork seemed less of a problem. You might just get two for one with that.

-Suss

 

Easter prepping…

 

Tomorrow is the day Easter starts up here(as we are rather secular). Are you ready?

  1. Make a visit to the florist; Daffodils are the best buy but the point is to give off that spring vibe so any yellow flowers are wonderful.
  2. Marble eggs with nail polish like I did last year; Every craft blogger worth there salt have made them since and the trend shows no sign of abating.
  3. Stock up on chocs; A basket full of those small Lindt-bunnies is a delight, and you need to be prepped if witches come to your door (kids in Sweden trick-or-treat tomorrow)
  4. Read something in tune with the holiday; either about witches( for example Stacy Schiff has a book out about the witches of Salem or Roald Dahl’s classic Witches) or think along the Fabrège eggs-theme and read something about the Romanovs(Massie’s about Nicholaus and Alexandra is great, I personally have my eye on the one by Sebag-Montefiore).
  5. Consider wearing something yellow, to match the flowers and, worst case scenario, act as ersatz sunshine; I’m hoping for sunshine and long walks but I don’t always get what I ask for. And as people often dress in red for Christmas,why not dress in yellow for Easter?
  6. Have toddies; they are egg-based so very Easter-like, and smokey whiskey is rarely a bad idea.
  7. Promise yourself that next year you will send some stylish Easter cards; I also suggest you forget about this vow immediately. Who can deal with the pressure?

Things mentioned in this post;

Marbling eggs with nail polish

Hot toddies

Witches by Roald Dahl

The Romanovs by Sebag-Montefiore

-Suss

7 things I’ve learned from Lent

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Lent is coming to an end,luckily, so let’s sum up my experience this year.

 

  1. There is sugar in everything; avoiding sugar means I have to look at all the packages and there is sugar or other sweeteners in everything. Not just cake and dessert but pretty much any ready-made food. Which pushes me to cook more, a good thing in general.
  2. I eat more sugar then I think, or I should; don’t we all? I think of myself as someone who prefers the salty stuff,crips etc, and I do, but it’s like a 60-40 divide. And as I’ve pointed out before I often find myself eating sugary stuff out of politeness even though I don’t feel like it. But I treat myself to cardamom buns more often then I should, the really tasty kind, but still.
  3. Life without licorice is “poor,nasty,brutish and short”; Salty licorice is my biggest vice and possibly my one true love. Not being able to snaffle on some salty fish when I have to do something I loath leaves me with no coping mechanisms. I silently sing “I can’t live, if living is without you” when I walk by the shop Lakritsroten that deals exclusively in all manner of licorice.
  4. Those “Raw bite” things may be sugar free but mostly they are overpriced moist Weetabix. And that’s about the nicest thing I can say about them. I’ll have a banana instead.
  5. The Lupin-rule still applies; if you lose a loved relative or there is a terrorattack in your town all bets are off. Professor Lupin insisted on chocolate being good when having fought Dementors and such. First aid classes have thought me that sugar is indeed a good thing for someone in chock.
  6. It’s a good thing the booksale happens so the sum of my vices can be constant; both this year and last I’ve read more then usual during Lent. Correlation is not causation however. The annual book sale happens  around the same time so I get to have some fun. And I’m a sucker for the “latest purchase allure” with books,clothes and beauty products.
  7. I never learn; I did the exact same thing for Lent last year so you think I’d have a clue. Uh-uh,not so. I was tired but that’s also because it was February. I was agitated but again February is one of the worst crimes against humanity if you live in these parts. It was a constant discovery of that there is sugar in everything, that licorice is a vital part of my diet and that sugar is a large culprit in the awfulness afflicted upon mankind that is me when I’m hungry(less sugar,less moodswings. Although I’ll never give up on second breakfast; I really need that).

Now if you excuse me I will go and try to sleep until Thursday when it’s all over.

-Suss