Tuesday, 27 December 2016

I've read: the seed collectors

By Scarlett Thomas



Yeah, so this was a weird one. The first half of the book I really liked, the weirdness was all good, but then it escalated and became a bit too much even for my taste. And then I'm a person that usually enjoys weirdness. 



Anyway. This is the story of a family, or at least people who are more or less connected with each other. Like, husbands and wives, childhood friends, cousins, children, grandparent. The story changes perspective quickly, being told from by the eleven year old, food obsessed tennis playing daughter in one part of a chapter, the next it's the 40-something, hunky, bachelor uncle, and so on. The back story is that the mothers of three of the female character disappeared while on a research trip looking for some unusual plant when the girls where only children. The whole story revolves vaguely around botany, but mostly it's about the more or less intricate relationships between the characters.



Anyway. This book was ok, not awesome. I didn't really like any of the characters. I mean, they were real and well written enough, I just didn't care for them much. They constantly annoyed me with their choices and behaviors. And again, it just turned weird in the end, without saying too much. The language is really good though, and I could actually relate to some parts, so that was a plus.


Saturday, 24 December 2016

merry christmas, darlings!

back home for Christmas

We're in Sweden, and even though it's been windy, pretty rainy and no snow at all it still feels a lot more like Christmas than in Brunei! It's really good to be here and to spend time with friends and family. And I'm reminded of how much I like Gothenburg.




Wednesday, 21 December 2016

bathroom art

I while ago I told you that I was looking into buying some new prints because I thought our walls were a bit empty. Well, here are three of the ones I ended up buying! They all ended up hanging in the bathroom, a room where I think people should definitely hang more art, we do spend quite a lot of time in there. I didn't find a good way to display them other than just sticking them to the walls with adhesive.



This bathing lady (Hydra by Sofia Bonati) is totally gorgeous. Reminds me of that time in Bali when I had a spa treatment that included a bath stuffed full with citrus fruit and mint-levaes. 



I suddenly have an urge to buy flamingo-everything. This (Flamingo by Daniel Taylor) doesn't really have a bathroom theme, but the bright colors worked so nicely in here against the pale blue walls. And, randomly, matches my cute robe hanging on the door! 



This one (Men's Room by Scott Listfield) is just so perfect. An austronaut visiting a urinal, placed just above the toilet. The theme is obviously spot on, but the color shceme is also just right for the rest of the bathroom. I love the idea of having this pretty thing in the perfect location for some people to gaze upon while doing their business. Made by Xxx

Monday, 19 December 2016

Bonus wishlist - edibles I miss

I don't think this wishlist needs a lot of explanation... This is what I'm going to stuff my luggage full of before going back here again this Christmas.


Proper candy, Karl Fazer milk chocolate and Holiday dip. I miss you. 

Sunday, 18 December 2016

tack som fan, kent


Some times sitting here on the other side of the world, following how the lives of my friends continue and pass me by, hurts. I miss them, obviously, but there are also things I just wish so hard I could have been a part of too. 

In my life there has been one band that has had a bigger impact than any other. I started listening to Kent when I was fourteen, because my friend Alex did. It didn't take long for me to become a fan. I bought all of their albums on CD and learned all the lyrics. I don't usually go to concerts, but I've been to four of theirs, usually with my old friends Hanna and Minna, and all of them have been magical experiences. 

I played OWC loud in my bedroom when I had broken up with my first boyfriend. When I was fifteen, the song Livräddaren was on repeat the whole night when me and a group of friends had a sleepover after a party. The album Isola was constantly played on my Sony walkman on long buss-rides to school when I was sixteen and seventeen, and should have studied French grammar or Spanish verbs instead. I used to force my family to listen to the latest album in the car home on Christmas Day, after I had revived it as a gift.

On the 6th of February this year a friend of my mothers sang Kents Utan dina andetag during Andreas and mine wedding ceremony. 

Kent - Slottskogsvallen 2007
I haven't really been listening to them for the past years. So many of their songs are melancholic and I guess I haven't needed that kind of music in my life as much. I still love those albums I used to listen to as a teenager and in my early twenties but I actually haven't even heard the latest two albums. Since I moved away from Sweden seven years ago they just haven't been on my radar. But they are the only band I ever really have been a fan of (well, them and Metallica I guess). Yesterday Kent played their last ever concert. And it breaks my heart a bit that I didn't get to see it.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

selfie

I'm starting to look like a grown up. 



I've had a few days when I've felt pretty disconnected from the rest of the world. Which isn't strange really, I've hardly talked to anyone for a weeks since Andreas went on a diving trip. Anyway, I'm not usually bad at beeing alone, I use to get a lot done and enjoy just hanging out with the cats in front of a tv-series I like. The difference this time I guess is that I've felt a bit lost. I have some plans for next year, but it is still pretty hard to imagine how the future will be. I knew this feeling would come at some point and I'm not worried exactly, mostly anxious to get started. The past six months since I got here has been so fragmented with various trips, admin that had to get done and just by settling in, in my head this life here starts for real in 2017. This "fall" has just been a warm up.

In less than I week I'll be back home for Christmas and I have many things to look forward to. Here are a few things I'm going to focus on whenever I feel a bit low this weekend:
  • I will get to eat tasty Swedish Christmas-food
  • I'll soon get to spend a lot of time with friends and family. Overdose on conversations I'm sure!
  • I'm going for one night of dancing at a fancy hotel in Stockholm. I have missed dancing so much
  • I can finally buy a license to and download some software I need to start working on a few architect-related projects I have in mind
  • I have an appointment at the hairdresser and will do something about the boring mess that is my hair right now
  • I'll get to wear some of my cozy winter clothes!

Friday, 16 December 2016

four Netflix series you might not have seen yet...

...and that all ended up having some connection to Doctor Who...

I'm sure you haven't missed that Netflix is like a fourth family member to me. We hang out every day. (I am considering to also adopt HBO but haven't so far.) Netflix is primarily good for tv-series, in my opinion. I don't like the search function really, it's too hard finding new movies, but for some reason (probably because that's what I've been watching a lot) Netflix is really good at suggesting new tv-series it thinks that I should see. Lately I've been looking in to a few of those tips and here's what I think if them:

Broadchurch
I just finished watching season 2 of this criminal drama after going through the first one earlier this year. I usually don't watch this kind of series much, but being a Doctor Who fan, I started watching because David Tennant plays one of the main characters. This isn't one of those American crime series (like CSI or Criminal Minds) where a big gang of detective geniuses solves one case per episode, this reminds me more of darker, slower paced Scandinavian police series. The characters feel more human (although - hopefully - exaggeratedly flawed) and you grow to care for most of them. The first series revolved around the murder of a young boy, and part of that carries on into this season, but there's also other mysteries going on. It's a well made, captivating series. Not uplifting in any way, but good. I like the relationship between the two main characters, the detectives Alec (David Tennant) and Ellie (Olivia Coleman). And, as a bonus, there are at least two other actors from the Doctor Who universe in this season: Arthur Darvil (Rory) and Eve Myles (Gwen in Torchwood).



Penny Dreadful
I'm going to be honest here and admit that the only reason I got my eye up for this series was, again, that a Doctor Who actor is in it. This time it's Tennants co-star Billie Piper (Rose) who here plays a lady of the night, Brona, with a broad accent as well as vocabulary. But, her role isn't huge and there are certainly other actors in it that make an impression. You might recognize Josh Harnett and Eva Green, and there's even an old James Bond, Timothy Dalton! This series is described as a horror series, and I agree. It's quite bloody and gory every now and then. Excessively so, even, sometimes. You will recognize several of the characters that show up in the show, the whole series is like a mash up of Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula and other scary stories of Victorian England. It's supernatural, which I like, and quite dark. The costumes are beautiful and some of the locations pretty amazing.







The Crown
This one is a little bit outside of my usual type of series. But I do enjoy a costume drama every now and then. And, of course Doctor number eleven is staring as one of the major roles. Matt Smith plays the husband of princess Elizabeth later to become queen Elizabeth the II. This first season (it's to be a second season soon, and as far as I understand six seasons in total) covers mostly the first year of the queens reign. This is an extremely well made series with beautiful costumes and wonderful scenery. And drama! Of course it's hard to tell how historically accurate the script is, but I'm fairly sure at least the major points are and as such interesting more than just entertaining. I like Claire Foys' Elizabeth but my favorite (except Matt of course) is John Lithgows touching interpretation of Winston Churchill. I haven't seen him in anything but comic roles before so this was a pleasant surprise. 







Dirk Gently's holistic detective agency
When I first saw the name of this show I was like...  hang on... I recognize this. And I'm pretty sure I downloaded the novel this series is based on at some point, but never got around to reading it. The story behind the show is written by Douglas Adams (Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, you know) and it's equally absurd, confusing and fast paced. There's a pretty dark humor at some points, and it's kind of violent, but also funny. The plot is really hard to explain, but basically Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett) is this weird dude that shows up out of nowhere in loser boy Todd's (Elijah Wood) apartment after he has had a really strange day where he witnessed a murder scene at the hotel where he works, gets fired, sees himself - from the future? - and has his home vandalized by strangers. It's good, believe me. OK, so the one thing I do have against this series is actually related to... you guessed it... Doctor Who. I just think that the character Dirk Gently is a little bit to similar to Matt Smiths Doctor. Quirky, making up new words, tall and skinny and innocent looking, British...





Thursday, 15 December 2016

winter styles

I must admit a small part of me is envious of the cold weather in Europe. For the one and only reason that fall and winter outfits usually works better with my style. Or the style I used to have anyway. I miss wearing skirts with thick tights, cardigans and scarves. I do not miss having wet feet,cold hands and a red nose so it's not all bad living here, but the aesthetics of winter clothing is just so... cozy!

I was going though some old photos the other day and found a few outfit-pics from Stavanger.So, because clothes are fun let's have a look at a few looks of winters past. What's the point of only being able to enjoy a good outfit for one day, right?

in 2014 I had long brown hair and bangs and was wearing a lot of prints!


This was one of my go to "architect outfits" that I'd typically wear 
if I was attending to a client meeting or something.

Cat plus cat-print and a fake-leather skirt

One of my all time favorite dresses, with squirrels on it. 
And mustard tights, oh!

I miss being able to have that hairstyle! A that thin, knit sweater 
over a denim shirt looks sufficiently preppy, right?

Looking pale and chilled in a vintage skirt and holding smoothie. 
On the terrace. In February...

I started off 2015 being a brunette and wearing pretty coats, big scarves and dresses with flowers.

Mom's old coat from the 70s, vintage scarf and dress.

Dress and burgundy tights from Monki. 
And hair on point

Then, in the fall, I turned blond and only took crappy outfit selfies in the office toilet mirror. 



And once wore this amazing 60s dress to a party. One of my better looks of 2015, I must say.



2016, the year of contrasts... My work outfits got more and more boring, and I never felt like properly documenting them. But on the other hand I was dressing up like crazy in cute vintage-y styles for all of the dance events and parties I went to. I remember one party outfit especially...

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

slow start

Before we moved here and I could begin with my student/non-employed life I had big ideas on how much of my time I would spend being creative. Now, my studies ended up being more creative than I had hoped for, and I guess writing this blog is also a creative outlet, but except for that I haven't really gotten started with the creativeness. I have no-one but myself to blame, to be honest. I have the space and most of the materiel for it, I just haven't prioritized it. But now I feel I'm slowly getting in to it. 


My plan is to start painting with acrylic paint again (it's been several years since the last time) plus have a go at water color and Promarkers, both media where I'm pretty much a novice. The trick to get my motivation is to find inspiration among images I find while browsing the web. My first-in-a-long-time try at acrylic was just that, based on a photo one of the girls I follow on Instagram posted. It had such a nice composition and feeling to it I immediately took a screen dump and saved it. I've started playing around with the color and it's great, because I totally feel the joy for painting again. 


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

sixteen

In Sweden we celebrate Lucia this date every year, but for me the 13th of December is important for different reasons as well. This date sixteen years ago me and Andreas went on our first date. So this is our anniversary! Next year we will have another date to celebrate as well - the 2nd of February, which will be our first wedding day, but I somehow think this day will always be as important, or even more. 16 years ago we went to see Boys don't cry in a tiny cinema and held hands. I remember what skirt I wore, I think is still have it somewhere. Andreas is away this week, diving in Indonesia, so we wont be celebrating, but that's OK. Everyday is special when we are together anyway.


Monday, 12 December 2016

a few fun links to brighten up your monday

One of my fav directors just directed a commercial for a big Swedish clothes brand, but what if he instead had directed one of the major superhero franchises? The it might have looked something like this: 


I don't know anything about comedian Amiri King, but I ran across his suggestions for renaming of animals on Facebook and it is hilarious ans strangely accurate...


I don't often post architecture related stuff here, who knows, I might start doing it more from now one, but this article inArchitizer is just so cool A brutalist ruin, a run down home with so many exciting contrasts in shape and material... I want to create something like this at some point in my life. 

Aaaaand this, just because I laugh every time:




Friday, 9 December 2016

this years wishlist - I just want to look pretty!

Well. Don't we all? Just want to look pretty, I mean? Oooor maybe not. Anyway, the trends from this post is quite apparent in these collages too, which is fun. Even though my wardrobe has definitely seen a bit of change towards the more simple and comfortable since we moved here I still like girly and fun when it come to dressing up. With the additional tropical touch now, it seems. 

1. Banana leaf t-shirt (Society6) / 2. Trind Nail repair (Kicks) / 3. Doctor Who-necklace (Etsy.com)
4. Camera strap (Etsy.com) / 5. Dress (trashydiva.com) / 6. Ring (Etsy.com) / 7. Kate Spade Keds (Keds.com)
8. GK Silver Shampoo  / 9. Seche Vite top coat (Kicks) / 10. Pineapple-ear studs (ModCloth.com) 
11. Fig-case for iPhone 6 Plus (Society6.com) / 12. Marc Jacobs Daisy Parfume

13. Flamingo t-shirt (Etsy.com) / 14. Flamingo skirt ( chicwish.com) / 15. Flamingo bag (KateSpade.com) 
16. Dress (Monki) / 17. Brown mascara  / 18. Olaplex No 3 / 19. Marc Jacobs Daisy parfume 
20. Peral and bow ear-studs (KateSpade.com) / 21 Recruit crossbody bag (MarcJacobs.com)
22. Dress (Oliveclothing.com) / 23. Banana-leaf case for iPhone 6 Plus (Society6)
24. Laptop bag for 17 inch laptop (Bombatabags.com) / 25. Mulberry Medium Lilly bag (Mulberry.com)
26. Cat Keds (Keds.com) / 27. Dress (OrlaKiely.com)

Just a few comments... dresses and bags are all fun and so, but maybe not stuff I really need. Actually, definitely not stuff I need. But fun. On the other hand, I can very much recommend the GK Silver-shampoo, and the Seche vite top coat is the best one I've ever tried. Now, to say I need those is an exaggeration, but the ones I have will soon run out, and I can't find them here soooo....