Oh well; I’m running around like a ninny today. Loads of things to do, very important all of them, but mostly I manage to be a headless chicken doing a little bit of everything and accomplishing nothing. At least I have Winter by Ali Smith in my bag, and I’ve managed to read a few pages here and there. It’s brilliant I think.
Leaving you with a few links for lighthearted reading and viewing, to pass the time.
–This round-up of books with suggested lipstick contain both some really good books (and a few I hope to read) and some lovely lipsticks. Reads&Reds one might say.
–I stumbled across Safiya’s YouTube channel by mistake and I’ve watched a few videos and had a proper laugh. This is important journalism!
So in all this holiday festivities lets talk about something completely different, possibly the palate cleanser you need; modern art.
Modern art as we all know is the silly stuff made by people who don’t know how to paint. Kidding!! Some of those people can paint really well, they just chose to be creative outside of the box, and in artists I appreciate that (in cats? Not so much). So when the days are dark and there is kitsch as far as the eyes can see, even this Christmas lover thought it a good idea to visit a building that is essentially a big box with loads of light and Francis Bacon on the walls. Sure there is Matisse, Lee Bontecue and a bunch of other (but a tiny tiny Twombly only).
The Museum of Modern Art is the museum in Stockholm that I have visited the most; there is art I like, a very good place to have coffee/buy gifts, a nice walk from the city etc. It is also very manageable in size. But mostly it’s the art that draws me, some of it more than other.
I love the colors in Bacon’s painting, the richness of them, the nuances and that they always feel so luxurious. There is a darkness to his painting in the motifs he chose but very glamorous in execution, which I guess was the point.
Going to a museum where I know the art well, I indulge in just browsing the walls, looking for inspiration and seeing what speaks to me. Very often Bacon, and Matisse too. Regarding the latter it is very much the colors that draw my eyes there.
So I wandered around in these big rooms with white walls for a bit, looking. It was a nice breather and also the last museum on the list of Stockholm museums with free admission that I decided in the beginning of the year to visit. Always nice to complete a project.
Some of the museums on that list I have visited many times, and will continue to do so. Others were more or less new to me so this has been a good exercise in that I’ve expanded my horizon.
I did sleep in this morning, on a Suss scale that is, and having breakfasted in a leisurely pace I headed out to GET THINGS DONE. Saturday morning in the center of the City is insufferable as it is so crowded, because for natural reasons it is the time of week where the shops are open and people have a chance to go.
So how to deal? I put my headphones in and listened to the latest episode of In our time and it was a good one, about Aphra Behn the restoration playwright and proto-feminist. I’ve been meaning to read her, and more importantly make her famous milk punch of which I have a recipe. Now that I know more about her I’m sure I will make a point of it.
I tried to listen to the podcast Lit up as so many of their episodes feature guests that I’m interested in, like Knausgaard and Ariel Levy, but I couldn’t stand the voice of the host. I’m very sorry but I’m particular about voices especially when they go straight into my ears. If you are not sensitive to that sort of thing and like contemporary fiction you might want to check it out.
Voices that I have no problem handling, even though they are talking about things that sometime fly over my head, are Lindsey Kelk and Harriet “difficult eyes” Hadfield and their beauty podcast Full coverage. I’m not that much into make-up (I think I’m more interested in skin care) but the banter of these ladies is very entertaining and there is enough talk about skin and popular culture to keep me happy. You can find both podcast where you usually find that sort of thing.
Running around I noticed that a new issue of The gentlewoman is here. It is one of my favorite magazines and I usually know it is coming and look forward to it like it’s a little Christmas. Completely passed me by this season ( I blame September).
Coming home I tried to bake which was a disaster, found an email from the library telling my I need to return Exist West by Mohsin Hamid very soon (so getting on that) and realized that I forgot to buy a frame (which was on the top of the list but still I managed to miss it).
So now I will try to recover my dignity by taking a nap on the sofa.
In my search for serenity one of the biggest distraction and time-thieves needed to be addressed; my phone and all that is in it. These are the seven steps I took in order to organize all the digital clutter.
- Make sure that pics from phone are on my computer. Then deleted a lot of them. I take photos of everything and the person how showed me how to screen grab back in the day did me a disservice. Not really obviously, but it adds up quickly. So there was a purge, a creation of specific albums for certain things (pic of the hoover, the coffee filter packaging etc. so I know what to buy as I cannot remember all the specifics and I need it on hand) or pics that I want to show certain friends. Things that I want to keep has been downloaded to a USB-stick and I will have them developed. I actually do this from time to time and enjoy putting them into my photo album on a rainy night.
- Un-subscribe. I went through my mail and un-subscribed to a lot of things, mostly companies and such. Less mail means less to manage. I wasn’t sure why I was on all those lists to begin with.
- Un-followed. I went through the accounts I follow on Instagram and removed a few. Mostly they are accounts that are not related to books, and a few rude people, so that when I go on there it’s a joy to see what people are reading and partaking in that discussion. I might seem harsh but most things I un-followed are big corporations or big accounts that I don’t interact with anyways. I won’t be missed is what I’m saying.
- Created folders for apps and made sure the desktop in my phone is functional and rather clean. I’ve hidden apps that I don’t use that often, I’ve deleted a few (must not have Tetris on my phone if I want to get anything done). Should have done this ages ago. I’ve also put the Mindfulness-app front and center.
- Made a choice regarding podcasts. I have subscribed to a lot of podcasts over the year but I realized that there are only a handful that I really listen to. The rest mostly give me a guilty conscience (because everything does). So I sorted that out.
- Changed the background picture on my phone. New season, new me. I want my mind-palace to look like the cosy library on photo*, not like an episode from “Hoarders”, and it’s on my phone now as a gentle reminder. That pic puts me in a good mood really.
- Bought a new case for it. My old one was knackered and so I decided my phone needed new clothes for the season. I does make it easier to find in my bag. I could also do with a new protective screen as the current one is getting frayed at the edges. Considering how I treat my phone (dropped on stone floors, being thrown in my bag, used with greasy fingers) those extra glasses that you put on really are a necessity. Best 200 SEK I’ve spent probably. It’s saved me from having to, at a very high price, change the screen on my Iphone several times (again, dropped it on stone floors more then once because clumsy AF).
* I don’t know who to credit with this photo, found it in my phone. Probably a screen grab that I’ve edited. Lovely library.
Slowly but surely I’m making my way through the list of museums in Stockholm that have free admission. And so the time has come to the one most out of the beaten path, The museum of Natural history.
I must have visited once at least with school, that is highly probable, but I have no memories of it. Maybe I was sick that day? It’s not exactly the kind of thing I would go for, or so I thought, so it has remained unvisited.
However, now that I know of it I might just go again because I’m enthralled by the collections of minerals. I came in through the big entrance and sort of made my way through the exhibitions. A lot of taxidermy going on and a few skeletons. Some very pedagogical displays of how neanderthals lived, about life in the oceans and a space devoted to the effects of environmental degradation. I saw school classes going through them, taking notes and their professors pointing out important things.
Meanwhile I sort of wandered off unto the far most corner and there they were; the collections of minerals. Some of them come from the time of the museums foundation and were displayed in old-fashioned cabinets. Many others had been placed in a more modern contraption that you could pull out so see the chunks of rock and get a little info about from where they came and so forth. And it was one of the most amazing things, I wanted to smash and grab many of them; they would make excellent jewelry. The combinations of colours that mother nature has produced, and the shapes and textures is truly amazing. The collection is vast and I looked at all of them I think. Some are even fluorescent! None of them could easily be photographed as they are encased in glass. Still tried though.
I get inspiration from the most unusual places, there is no getting around that. These pieces were like sculptures of modern art. In fact I think I’ve seen something like it that was art. Furthermore the combination of colors and textures makes me think in terms of clothes. Most things do in the end to be honest, although I haven’t figured out how I will go from this to something I can dress in.
A straighter line can be drawn between this collection of shells on a pale jade green background. I want it as a print by the yard that I can make into a summer dress.
All in all I had an excellent time at the museum, and the shop is good too. Maybe not the first stop if you’re a tourist and have no interest in this sort of thing but If you are in the neighbourhood maybe? (You should visit the botanical gardens first, they are on the other side of the road).
More information about the museum can be found here.