Wednesday&What’s going on?


Let me make an effort to round up a few things that have been on my mind lately…

  • I’m halfway (or there abouts) with Tale of Genji and I’m still enthusiastic. I haven’t liked all chapters as much but I will say that the writing is even. I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it and hopefully I won’t hurt my hand again (it’s happened twice, which is a danger when reading big books.)
  • Speaking of reading goals; @oosterbook wrote this piece about not having a reading goal anymore. I agree with the viewpoint that quantitative goals can be counterproductive but I’m totally in favor of reading goals like “reading more diverse” or “a book from every country” because that can make you a better reader.
  • And on the subject of better, let’s talk about worse; the pump on the Tata Harper serum malfunctioned for lack of a better word. Or it wasn’t very good to begin with maybe. Anyhow I couldn’t get the last 25% out of the bottle with the pump and had to open it and do some strange moves with a cotton bud to use it all up. Another point is deducted from that serum. Seriously.
  • Someone did remind me of the company Lush for the that are interested in sustainable and vegan skincare. Their products don’t work for me and a I get a headache just walking into the stores they have. But it’s an option for others.
  • Also headache related; Brandvakten by Sven Olov Karlsson. I so wanted to like this book but I would have wanted either a play-by-play of all the political decisions (or lack thereof) or some really in-depth viewpoints. This is a little of both and thus completely unsatisfying for me. But I know others have very much enjoyed it. And the topic is relevant, especially put into the larger context of climate change.
  • There is an Augustpod i.e. a podcast about the Auguestprize and the books nominated; new episodes are coming every week, find it where you find podcasts (NB; it’s in Swedish). I’m gonna try to tune in but right now I’m more into actually reading the nominees, especially in non-fiction.
  • I did some editing amongst my photos, and I sure have a lot of pictures of my cat.
  • She is cute though so totally understandable. Anyone with a cat this cute would max out the memory card on their phone.





I had this great idea, and a little project going on. In my efforts to live more sustainably I had bought a little tester kit of products from the company Neal’s yard; I found it at a shop here in Sweden and the kit was for combination skin i.e. suited to my needs. As all their products it was certified by The soil association meaning it was at least 90% organic content. I was excited, I had heard great things about this brand and was looking forward to try them as I’m ambivalent of spending loads of money on product with the risk of my skin reacting adversely and having to throw it away (it’s happened). Starter kits are great like that (but not as awesome as when brands give you samples to try).

On Monday when I was getting ready to try the cleanser and put on their face mask I realized that the clay mask was crumbling because it was too dry, in fact all of the products had expired. I returned it the next day and got my money back, and an apology for my troubles, but all the other kits on the shelves had expired too. And there I was; running out of my Vichy cleanser and without a sustainable option.

However, the same place that sold the Neal’s yard sells Swedish skin care label Maria Åkerberg. They had travel sizes of a few products (and a few kits but nothing that felt it filled my needs) so I bought The olive cleanser for dry&mature skin as my skin in fairly dry in the colder months (it’s the windiness and the constant change in temperature from indoors to outdoors and back again). It smells really nice of petitgrain and is a nice and mild cleanser. I’ve used it as a first cleanse on dry skin and it removes makeup wonderfully but it should be noted that I haven’t worn mascara in months. I don’t know why, I just ran out of it and haven’t repurchased. I don’t miss it all that much actually and I think I look alright without it. Blush I need not to look dead but the eyes are fairly good without any make-up. But I digress, my point is I don’t know how well this would remove mascara. I like the creamy texture and it leaves my skin feeling soft and clean, but go in with a toner afterwards (Pixi glow tonic preferably). I might buy this, and there is an enzyme peel in the line that I’m curious about.

Having bought that I went to Aesop to see if they had something for me. I have a somewhat checkered history with Aesop. I really want to like their stuff, which feels very natural and if nothing else uses natural ingredients and is made in Australia so i assume they are not jerks in production. That might be naive but whatever. I’ve tried a thirteen Aesop products ’til Wednesday but the Parsley cleanser is the only one I ever really got on with. It’s the scents, they always bothering me. One of the dangers of using natural ingredients I guess. I cannot bear with it. Staff is always super nice however, and they sell The Paris Review there so I’ll keep going there but rarely buying something (and when I do its gifts because I know people who adore their products).

Last but not least I ended up buying a set of miniatures from Le Labo when I went to buy a gift and a few other things at their shop. They launched some skin and hair care last month apparently. So for 90 SEK I got four small tubes and I bought the Body cream (nice but nothing special), The shower oil (nice but nothing special), the shower cream with the basil scented (which smelled amazing) and last but not least the charcoal face mask.

First of all I have to point out that some of these products come hinoki-scented by default. It is like the hottest scent right now; I’ve seen more hinoki products in the last three months then I have ever before. It used to be like what? Two perfumes from Comme de Garçons and that was it. But now? Hinoki is the new Oud, just putting it out there. I do not mind, I just don’t see the point. If they made more products that smells like the Basil shower cream did, then I would buy.

And then there is the face mask. If you don’t know how to use it then you are in good company. I got no instructions from staff and neitherdid I find any on the small tube, nor the internet. I went rough the first time (because I have used face masks before) and then sent of an e-mail. The second time it was as intended.

How to use the Le Labo Charcoal mask; apply to clean face, let it sit on the skin for 5-7 minutes and then rinse of. Can be used ever other day or three times a week. 

I will say that it felt nice, my face did feel clean and my pores smaller afterwards but after having used it only twice that’s more an impression than a review. I doubt that I will buy it, there is one more application in the tube (10 ml goes a long way with the mask, but is only one shower when it comes to the bath oil/shower cream). But my bathroom look like a disaster afterwards. There is a certain grit to the mask so when you rinse it off you get a little peel too. Nice but not worth having to clean my bathroom all the time, and I’m nit sure thse flanels will ever be clean again. Too much hassle.  It should also be noted that this product is “unscented” but here it means they haven’t used any perfume. It smells of bitter almond as there is bitter almond extract in it. Just letting you now if that kind of thing gets to you.

I guess I should just bite the apple and buy the Tata Harper kit with minis, but I’ll wait until there is “double points” at NK. At those prices I will make the most of it.



The weekend, the witch and the wardrobe

The last few years I’ve spent New Years day clearing and organizing my closet. This has been done in collaboration with a friend, who does the same thing on her end, and then January is spent trying to figure out “what do I need to buy?” “Why don’t I wear this more?” “Does this need to be taken in?”. There has been an awful lot of pictures sent between us looking for advice and encouragement. But I won’t do it this year.

Partly there is no need; after a few goings through I’m pretty much in order and know what I have. I’ve bought less, and better, as a result of the  routinely purges and ,oh, there is that fact that my closet spontaneously combusted during the last half of 2016. Not counting socks,tights and underwear I “lost” something like 20 pieces of clothing. All loved and well worn should be mentioned. Some of them were in their third incarnation; a dress that had become a skirt that then,after a rupture, became an even shorter skirt. And that dress was was second hand to begin with. I have mostly lived like this because I love clothes and fall madly in love with certain prints and colors; I never want to loose them. But I do. And without wanting to get preachy;more people need to actually live with their clothes for longer. I read this article about the impact of fast fashion on the environment and it is depressing to say the least. The average lifespan of a garment is now 2 years(before it ends up in the thrash most often ) and it needs to have a lifecycle of about 10 years to lower the stress on the climate.

So what can be done? This are few pieces of advice that I’ve gotten, nothing you haven’t heard before, but the first step is to actually think about it.

  • Take care of the clothes you have. Everything doesn’t have to be washed after  you’ve used it. Connoisseurs of denim do in fact advocate washing them as rarely as possible. Sweaters maybe just need to be aired. Don’t use the same shoes and clothes two days in a row if you can, let the fibers rest and resettle if you can and it will last longer. I’m forever making this mistake; I usually only buy one pair of winter shoes and use them every day. At the end of the season they are rubbish.
  • Buy fewer things, and better quality. Short term cost but long term gain. I will say from experience that good quality clothing ages better and is worth repairing. If you get tired of it then you can sell it,swap it or give it to charity.
  • When buying clothes consider shopping in second hand stores, charity shops or consignments stores. Also look into the eco conscious collections that some high street chains have or search for labels that are sustainable.
  • When things fall apart; don’t throw them in the trash. Can it be remade into something else? Maybe someone else can?(This is how I end up with a lot of my materials). At least in Sweden a lot of companies accept bags of used textiles, no matter what label or condition. If you want to know what happens with it you can read that here. They give you a voucher that entitles you to a discount, and when using it, try buy “green”. Other stories are in on this and they sell Swedish Stockings. H&M accept used textiles and have an eco-conscious collection that isn’t bad at all.