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

 

 

Cherry blossoms&Chinese books

IMG_1636One of the clearest signs that spring is coming to Stockholm is the age old debate of which will be more popular on social media this year; The blossoming cherry trees or people taking photos of the blossoming cherry trees? All of Stockholm turns into “basic bitches” this time of year ; the cherry trees in Kungsträdgården is the equivalent of taking pics of the florist at Liberty in London; blantatly obvious but also pretty damn beautiful. Basic is the new black I guess. I point this out as I myself to more then one pic of them as I passed them on my way to The Museum of far eastern antiquities (or Östasiatisk museet as we say in swedish).

The museum is located on Skeppsholmen so just a short walk from Kungsträdgården, it’s worth walking that way to get a feeling for spring, preferably reciting some Bashō on the way.

So I will admit I visit this museum fairly often, primarily because they have a great gift shop. I’ve bought so many presents there it’s silly. I also have my eye on some jade accessories for myself because after a cold spring like this I feel my M.O is “treat yo’self”. But I digress.

IMG_1646

The museum also have some really nice collections; I usually focus on the Chinese porcelain which despite being hundreds of years old feels very modern( which is obviously because many ceramists look to those for inspiration) and they are very pretty. There is also a small section with Japanese clothes and objects that I recommend. The problem here is that I think the Ethnographic museum got the best stuff(they have the Japanese tea house amongst other things). I’m currently semi-obsessed with the hallway that is lined with Chinese books. I haven’t seen it before but it inspires me. I have no idea what kind of books they are but seriously I don’t care at this point.

IMG_1640I will also say that they have a lovely restaurant and I noticed they have rehung their lamps(but I’m a sucker for a red lantern). There is something about having a multitude of lanterns that just works. I saw something similar at the central station earlier this year and the vegan restaurant Lao wai has long had their ceiling filled with rice lamps. In addition to the jade jewelry I will take this into consideration.

 

 

Things mentioned in this post:

Bashō

Lao Wai

The museum of Far eastern antiquities 

-Suss

 

 

 

 

 

Frankly speaking

There is a Josef Frank exhibit at Arkdes, and I should go. But I’m reluctant.

Josef Frank, for those who are not familiar with the name, was an Austrian architect and designer who in 1933 fled the rise of Nazism and ended up in Sweden, which led to a hugely successful collaboration with the Swedish design company Svenskt Tenn and it’s founder Estrid Ericsson. Svenskt Tenn is synonymous with good taste here(without being bland and boring), and the vivid textiles patterns created by Frank are indeed a continuous delight.

IMG_1667

 

So it’s no surprise that the museum for architecture and design are having an exhibit further exploring Frank’s works. The reason why I’m probably not going is that another museum had an exhibit about svenskt Tenn and Estrid Ericsson (so not exactly the same) but it did feel like I had paid to just visit the store. I fear the same thing would happen again. Especially as Svenskt Tenn itself are the holders of the archive and keep reissuing prints or using their showroom to highlight certain patterns and tell their story; like they are currently doing with Baranquilla; a pattern created between 1943-45 and named after a port in the Caribbean. They are having actual guided tours in the showroom. Really Arkdes? You want me to cross the stream to get to water?

Svenskt Tenn doesn’t only have stuff of their own design, they also have a selection of fabrics,design and ceramics by others that go well with their style but it must be said that it is very much a look of it’s own. You cannot open a shelter mag without seeing at least one home that has mis-matched Svenskt Tenn- cushion in a white sofa; patterns Josef Frank ultimately goes best with other patterns by Josef Frank.

However it is a nice shop to browse and be inspired; they pay attention to detail and always make sure that everything is lush and inviting, and not necessarily something you have to sell your soul to be able to afford. Somethings come with a hefty price tag absolutely but there are plenty of reasonably priced items also.

But it is THE shopping destination for a certain class of people and that, in combination with it’s rather posh adress, can be intimidating at first. Their tea salon upstairs is very nice although afternoon tea can get crowded, and I haven’t tried their tea cocktails yet sadly. So there is every reason to visit and make a thing out of it when you do.

Basically I’m telling you to treat the place like a museum with free admission ,albeit one that has the best gift shop ever.

Things mentioned in this post;

Svenskt Tenn

-Suss

Weekend&Watches

It was about time the weekend started, it’s been a long week( but then again I say that every week).

IMG_1526

At least I have been pleasantly entertained, by both books and things coming through the “buds” in my ears; I finally got around to listening to S-town, the latest audio adventure behind the people who created This american life and Serial.

I’ve listen to This American life on and off for a few years and I was obsessed with the first season of Serial; it was such a game changer and just about had me in a conniption fit of excitement every episode. The second season was alright I thought, but no more than that. And now this; S-town, as in Shit-town,Alabama; the home of John B. Macklemore. It’s seven chapters(episodes) and they all went up at the same time. I’ve held off listening to it because of time constraints and I wanted a few reviews before diving in. When I did start listening though? Barely stopped. Almost 7 hours all in all and I gobbled it up in three days. It’s safe to say I got nothing else done.

What’s it about then? A supposed murder. A man that is larger then life or at least larger than his small southern hometown. A friendship. A mystery, or in fact several. In short its a story of a life and of life, all centered around John B. Macklemore. I thought of Stoner more than once but that could also be because I’ve been reading Augustus, also by John Williams.

One thing about John B. Macklemore startled me a bunch of times; he’s a horologist. On some level I know that it’s an actual term for someone who is a master in the art of measuring time. But I’ve been ruined by the works of David Mitchell and always think that horologists are reborn souls( although there is something of Marinus over John B. Macklemore I think. Or maybe I’m just  craving another book from Mitchell that I’m imagining things). The point is that S-town is really good and worth your time.

IMG_1523

And my next book just had to be The watchmaker of Filigree street;  I had been thinking about reading for a while despite different opinions about it, because there are elements there that interest me. So far I’m enjoying it, and it’s at least giving me loads of inspiration in terms of bringing out my old watch necklace(and I have a Margiela for H&M watch necklace somewhere) and drinking green tea. And there could well be a cocktail created in the end as Lent is almost over and I will be allowed sugar again.

Things mentioned in this post;

This american life

Serial

S-town

Augustus by John Williams

Books by David Mitchell

Margiela for H&M

-Suss

All is fair in love&wargames?

IMG_1512Well, the Army museum is not one that I have visited many times, there was that time when they put on a show of old school Russian uniforms( it was all very War&Peace I must say) but nothing else they’ve done has really gotten my attention. Have they done exhibits on Mata Hari and other sexy spies? They should. Everyone loves a good spy story, evidenced by the continued sales of John Le Carré books,

Their latest exhibit does however focus on one of the way that war occurs in our live; games. Everything from Go to Chess is in essence a battle, of the minds more then the body but a battle nonetheless. And it is to be encouraged. I would love to live in a world where the political leaders stuck to boardgames instead of using real people as their pawns. Instead we take delight in reenacting the bloody battles of yore. Huh.

IMG_1520I’s not necessarily bad though. One can learn a lot about strategy when playing a game like Risk which I did when I was younger; not a lovely colorful version like this but essentially the same game. And it’s interesting to hear about the long history that games have had and how they interact with reality.

Two examples of the latter is when the American forces used a deck of cards to spread the images of Iraqi leaders and their place in the hierarchy and before then, during the Gulf-war, when allied forces actually used an existing boardgames to plan their strategy.

All in all; a very illuminating exhibit that manages to entertain and create a feeling of recognition while at the same time putting the finger on something important.

Things mentioned in this post;

Mata Hari

John Le Carré

The Army museum

Risk

-Suss

Sunday&Snickarbacken

IMG_1344On Instagram people on occasion announce their travel plans and ask for tips; if they write that they plan to visit Stockholm I do offer up my two cents on my hometown. One place that often gets a shout out is Snickarbacken 7.

Nowadays Snickarbacken 7 is mostly a café. What started out as a coffee counter has grown to take over most of the cave due to it’s popularity, one that is well-earned I might add.

I don’t know what it says about me, or Snickarbacken, that I made a little noise of pleasure and clapped my hands when they, as probably the first café in Stockholm, put “flat white” on their menu. And they do it well, in fact they are very good with coffee; that’s their main love. Cakes and food has been added over time and its been the same nice “a few things well executed” philosophy that has remained. But honestly a part of the allure is the venue.

Located a bit off the city center it’s still an easy place to visit and it’s in an old cave-like structure. Stockholm is built on hills and at some point they took dynamite to the rock to create what became a garage to service cars(I’ve also heard that it used to be a stable before that). Those days are long gone but it’s still pretty cool to walk into. The walls are painted white and loads of candle everywhere so the lack of sunlight isn’t a bother. The entrance has a very high ceiling and then it get’s more narrow. But tables are spread out all over so there is room for everyone. And they always have the nicest fresh flowers on the tables,and a stack of magazines for browsing.

Things mentioned in this post;

Snickarbacken 7

-Suss

 

 

Sunday&Saturnus

IMG_1198 (1)I’m really trying to stop drinking coffee in paper cups; take-away style is bad for the environment and really; if I don’t have time to sit down and drink coffee I probably shouldn’t drink coffee at all. That whole thing with stress levels.

So where to go for good coffee? Obviously it depends on where in Stockholm, you’ll get very few recommendations about Södermalm on this blog (#sorrynotsorry).

Just of out of the city center there is a classic cafe called Saturnus. When I was younger it said something else on the sign although everyone called it Saturnus. Apparently that was for legal reasons; the current owners got that bit sorted and it says Saturnus on the sign and also on the cups and saucers. The biggest, and some of the best, cinnamon buns in town has remained over the years. They are big enough to share for two,three or maybe four people. Well the price matches that nowadays but still worth it.

The coffee is excellent and the surroundings very cosy in a “somewhere on the french riviera” kind of way. That’s what they are going for and I do appreciate that they have several international magazines and newspapers to read.

But it is really a great place to meet a friend for a refreshment and some coffee, and making big plans.

Things mentioned in this post;

Café Saturnus

-Suss