Let's talk blogs.

So I MAY be jacked up on cold brew with condensed milk (Unngh) but bear with me here.

 I have had blogs in one form or another since 2005, and I have enjoyed reading other people’s blogs for as long. Sometimes people speak of the great blog death, and having been in the game during the years between ´06 and´12, a part of me agrees. Because dang, I had so much fun! Writing myself (resulting in real life friends, that win?!) and reading so many great ones. Men and women told stories of their lives, embroidered tales with twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat for a week waiting for the next chapter. There was a true sense of getting to know someone, through their words and speech, without having any idea of who they were IRL. People with messages they wanted to throw out into the world and see who responds. Communities made. Link love and silly awards. Less polished surfaces and more creative joy.

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 This morning I tried finding a bunch of my old favourites again that I know have thrown in the towel, but most of them have gone into the obscurity of the internet. The few I could reach being dead end pages echoing words written in 2010, 2011, 2012.

 I don’t want to be a reactionary person, but I think I am in this case. I look back at the past blogging times with rosy, glittery glasses and reminisce about how it was before everything got so heavily saturated by consumerism and affiliate links, and the sense that every blog should be a business.

 I don’t mind affiliate links, as long as their context is part of some kind of storytelling. There’s obviously a market for short paragraphed statements, flashy pictures of happy people brunching and ”You can find my dress here!”, but I just don’t get it.

 I understand that time moves on, that people find other things to do with their time when life gets more complicated, and that social media is just so much easier to access and make a little time for, here and there. The waning engagement and lessening of traffic may discourage bloggers from putting in time and effort into something that just isn’t gaining the traction that it did initially, and I get that. It doesn’t make me miss the old times any less, though.

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 Stubborn as I am, I’ve always been a teensy meensy blogger. People who are like ”In the beginning, I ONLY had 100 visitors a day on my blog!”. That’s my high point, man. In 2015. I don’t appeal to the general public, my wording makes my posts unsearchable and my topics only affect the few. And that’s fine with me. Writing and reading blogs is the next best thing of the internet, a close second to information searching and you know, life stuff like paying bills and communicating with friends. Without blogs, socially, there would only be the regular social media. Fast media, made to capture you for pin pricks of endorphin rushes as you scroll through endless feeds of wordless images or statements pressed into short sentences because no one cares to read text anymore*.

It’s just not for me. I’m not a perfect blog-wizard with a super regular posting schedule nor do I always perform my absolute best, but I still have the joy of blogging with me.

 I don’t really know what I’m trying to say with this post, but I’m gonna let it out there anyway. Maybe my point is just that I won’t give up, because I love it. The dorkiness of it all. Writing for writing’s sake, storytelling because storytelling is awesome. Reading because taking part of other people’s stories is great. I shout into the fancy winds that I want more of the regular people’s lives, and if you know someone who has a great blog, or if you do yourself, tell me. I want it all, to sift through and find new favourites apart from the few I have today.

 Because blogging is great, and I want more people to do it.

 

*The worst of all the blogging tips that pop up now and then.

Winter's back, dangit

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Residing in the freshly sorted dining room, I stare out the window. The grey blanket of clouds outside bathes the room in cold, stingy light. Beyond the window glass, in the flattened, sad looking greyish brown garden about a 1000 chaffinches are wandering about, looking for food by promenading over the lawn and turning leaves. Some get the luxury of catching the few bugs that have regrettably managed to crawl their way up into the surprising cold that this mid-April Sweden has to offer.

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The weather reports are alluring, tempting, with the ample temperature of ”Just around freezing” the coming six days, without as much as a hint of that long wished for warm, soothing sunlight. One of my gently cared for cucumber plants have already frozen on the patio. I can admit that my attempts of keeping the patio at about +15C with the help of a heating fan has failed because the icy gale celebrates the coming of “spring” by refusing to relinquish any of its powers. I haven’t totally failed because even when it was a bit below freezing out, the patio kept a temperature of +10C. But this is, of course, way too cold for cucumber plants, dangit...

I feel like wandering out on the lawn, getting on my knees and, with fists turned to the dark sky, beg it to forsake it’s cold grasp and let us gently into the spring season. I mean, the lawn had JUST gotten rid of the last remnants of the thigh-deep snow and now snow is flaking down from the skies in true guy-in-the-grocerystore-queue-that-scrathes-his-scalp-that-tad-too-much-manner.

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I guess that images of wonderful, messy times (aka, last week) on the patio will have to do, while we hold our breath for spring.

Needless to say, I am not pleased. Last year we went from winter to summer in a week, it was all very confusing and very much Monty Pythonesque. And while I do love Monty Python, I prefer my seasons a little more… balanced and predictable. But now I’m being silly, what’s more predictable than a fucking freezing April in Sweden? Nothing really. Do you know who the original April fools are? Lemme tell you. Swedes believing that they can go outside in thin jean jackets and those fancy new vans they’ve excitedly bought in anticipation of warmer weather, just because it’s hot and sunny a random April Tuesday. They’re the fools. Year after year they do it. And year after year, they get caught in the literal ice cold realization, as the sun is starting to set, that it was all an illusion, a prank made by nature and the sun in a devious, probably very entertaining, scheme.

Now, the reason for my moaning is of course the fact that I filled all my windows with little plants that then needed bigger pots and then all of a sudden, I had too much plants and too few windows, so out on the patio they had to go, especially since I need to start planting the next generation of seeds that demand their space in said windows. You could say I should have foreseen this event, but sometimes I like just living in denial, okay? I’ll solve it till next year (okay so I probably won’t, but just let me live a little!).

Because, even if I’m not one to wear a jean jacket until the end of May, I am too a forever hopeful April’s fool.

 

Third time is the charm even for gardening?

Honestly, things kind of just got out of hand. In more ways than one.

I was supposed to cheerily submit a post last week about this topic, but when I sat down by the kitchen table to take some photos of the seed packets I looked around the kitchen and saw things that didn’t belong and you know that itch to instantly do something totally different than the thing you actually set out to do sets in and you find yourself five hours later, having turned the entire kitchen upside down, rebuilt shelves, cleared out the fridge, washed stuff up, sorted, decluttered and gotten annoyed by exactly how many bags of cinnamon you have? No? Come on, I know you do. Oh, and there were four of them. Four. Yeah, I don’t know either.

Anyways, that’s what happened last week. No pictures of seed packets were taken and no plan was made nor any seeds planted. The kitchen looks great, though.

So, today I tried again. I sauntered into the kitchen around 11 AM and made myself three large cups of coffee to kick start up this sack of potatoes of a body and figured I’d just clear the dining room table and sort my packets in there instead seeing as the kitchen table is full of spice jars because what I ACTUALLY WERE SUPPOSED TO DO today was to assemble a spice rack so we can use the kitchen table again, but let’s not derail us any further.

I sat down, spread the packets out on the dining table and gleefully started planning my attack on the beloved activity of putting small pieces of green into small portions of soil and just hoping for the best. I managed to take some photos, go me!

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But then I thought, “We’re supposed to plant all these dang seeds, and gosh jolly there’s a lot of them, but where?” The patio is a fucking disaster and the little plastic pots I’m supposed to plant in are somewhere in the middle of it. I grabbed my witchy cup of coffee and ventured out onto the patio.

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“Dang, there’s a lot of stuff here.” I stared for a long time at the patio, breaking a sweat because even in Sweden, in February, glazed patios hold the lovely temperature of 35C/95F in the sun. I lifted a bag of fire wood, had nowhere to put it, dropped it again and thought; “We should keep these in the garage, but there’s a disaster in there too.”

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“Yeah, plant those veggies, do it. See if you get to keep’em for yourselves. Hint; you wont.”

The garage. I stared at the garage. Dangit. Before I even had time to register the decision, I knew what tree I was barking up. Cue me seven hours later, sitting down for the first time since that faithful second on the patio, having gone through and sorted the entire garage, sorted and cleaned the patio, AND shoveled my way through 50 meters of icy, knee deep snow to reach the outhouse where the dang missing plastic planting pots could be. They weren’t there, nor in the garage or on the patio.

So naturally I haven’t managed to plant any seeds yet. The garage and patio looks great, though.  

A little advent update

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Well fuck me. We have survived!

After being three people working full time emptying the house for two weeks, yes, two weeks, we moved in. And we have waded through our own stuff since then. And by “waded”, I mean actually waded, tipped over, rummaged through, slowly sorted and repeatedly lost everything we needed and then found it again, and eventually just found homes for the stuff we have.

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Over the last few days the sorting have picked up (aka, gotten down to a small enough amount of stuff to just put in moving boxes under the basement stairs until the party have come and gone, ahem), and yesterday the red sea of stuff just parted like Jebus himself had stepped down from the skies and made the stuff go away. Now, of course, it’s my blood, sweat and tears that lay the solid ground for the order in this house, being a home-all-day-person, so Jebus can’t take the credit for this one, lemmetellyathat.

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The next obstacle before I’m gonna crash on the couch and not move for weeks, is the house warming party this weekend. In October I made the obviously crazy decision to combine the house warming party with my birthday party because... why not, right? Well, you could say that “But that only leaves you guys two weeks to get your shit together, that’s why!” and you would be entirely correct in your assessment of the amount of crazy. But October-Ellie just brushed that off and exclaimed; “But that’s December-Ellie’s problem!” and went ahead and invited 70 people anyways.

Fortunately, December-Ellie can announce that only half of the invitees have accepted. Cough. Gulp.

“Only”.

I’m looking forward to it though! And, most important of all!; We managed to celebrate the first of Advent as well, after the great parting of the stuff-sea. We dressed the tree and lit the first of four candles in the Advent wreath. Of course, the Christmas decorations went up as soon as I got the chance to. You guys know me. Hee hee.

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I'm moving. Again.

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Looking out my window, the rooftops glisten white. Winter threw itself over us with what felt like little to no warning. Autumn was short and intense, after five months of unprecedented summer that stretched on for what seemed like forever.

When I joked around the last time about not being able to stay in one place for more than two years, I didn’t know it would be true this time as well. My little apartment was my fort, my safe zone, MINE. I was to stay here for a long time, not to lay my place to live in the hands of another. I wasn’t supposed to spend my time in a home that I was allowed to dwell in by the good graces of another person, being able to rip it from me at any time just by using a couple of words, like “It’s over”.

But as the first snow crunches underfoot, my apartment is in disorder. I’m packing, and I’m leaving my safe spot. I’m moving to a house, with a man and his two kids. If you told me this in June, I would have old-lady-cackled at you and said “Yeah that’s not happening!”.

Yet here I am. Moving to start a life with a family, with a little yellow house to tend to, a garden to plant things in, space to DO things and kids to hang out with.

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Space and a feeling of home has been my main gripe since I lost my first real home-home (the feeling of really belonging somewhere) three years ago, and ending up in small rooms in crowded apartments. Don’t get me wrong, I’m forever grateful for the open arms I’ve stumbled into these couple of years, but I’ve missed the house. Missed having space. Missed having MY space, large enough to live life as I wanted to. Missed having a garden to whine about weeds in, watch flowers grow, feed birds. Missed having a fireplace to warm my senses when fall comes along. Missed having somewhere to invite people for dinner without getting cramped. Missed the connection to nature that is so much more apparent when living in a house instead of an apartment.

So, having gone through three apartments in three years, I’m now moving to ground level. With a family.

That’s why it’s been all silent here for a month. With parts of my health being shaky, seven exams and a move within a few couple of weeks, it’s going be silent here for a little while longer. Then I’m back, hopefully with returned vigor, because I’m going to have a real kitchen again. A living room. A CRAFT ROOM. Shit. I’ve already got a long list of things I want to do, craft, cook and decorate.

Oh, and I’ve also, in pure anticipating and joy, brought back my inside-outside header. Because soon, I’m gonna have an outside again. Let’s hope it’s for the long run this time.

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I wallpapered all by myself!

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I mitt äktenskap var jag målaren, och han var tapetseraren (OBS, faktiska tapeter alltså). Tapeterna gick på som en smäck när han gjorde det själv istället för att vi både försökte hjälpa till och våra dyrbara finmönstrade tapeter liksom mest degraderade sig själva till något slags kladdigt godispapper med rivränder från för skarpa veck och guldfärg som löstes upp i av olyckan felplacerat tapetlim. Målningen sköttes av mig, eftersom jag inte ens behövde lägga ut papper på golvet och ändå fick ett rent och okladdigt resultat medan det såg ut som att en arg järv hade råkat kliva ner i en hink med färg, klivit ur hinken och sen försökt klösa sig ut ur rummet i fråga när min dåvarande varit framme med roller och pensel. Vi kompletterade varandra, helt enkelt. Så det var inte utan lite tvekan som jag övervägde att tapetsera helt själv i frånvaron av min eviga ex-roomievapendragare J som drabbats av den stora söndagssjukan som förr i tiden kunde definieras som bokstavssjukdomen "ADSL" men som numera går under namnet "Spela Data". Istället för att medelst logik och lockande med mat och socker försöka övertala honom att överge hans kattstinna datamys, så valde jag att helt själv tapetsera de där kvadratmetrarna som behövdes för min fondvägg.

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I över två år höll jag på denna tapet. Tur var väl det! Hann flytta tre gånger på den tiden.

Det första jag gjorde var att i bakfylledimman från lördagens tjejkväll blanda ut limpulvret i alldeles för mycket vatten, så jag i ren inredningsilska fick plasta skiten tills måndagsmorgonen kunde rulla runt och jag kunde stolpa ner på Clas Ohlson och köpa mer pulver för att blanda en mer rimlig tjocklek av lim. Sagt och gjort, det var dags.

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Slösade ingen färg i onödan! 

Och alltså. När inte limmet var alldeles för tunt och när jag liksom skarvade tillbaka att jag satt den första våden snett, så var det ju inte svårt alls! Irriterande, ja. Kladdigt, definitivt. Var köket täckt i ett fint damm av cellulosa? Helt klart. Men jag gjorde det! Jag tapetserade helt själv!

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Det tog ytterligare några veckor innan jag orkade måla klart det gråvita hörnet.

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Nöjd! Med tapet och att jag gjorde det helt själv, trots en liten bubbla här och där! 

It's August. You know what that means

För er som hängt med ett tag så är det ju uppenbart vad jag fiskar efter: 

HÖSTEN ÄR PÅ VÄG! 

Åh. Hösten. Som jag längtar varje år. Vissa år blir man besviken för hösten liksom bara pyser bort i ett brunt slabbigt moln av regn som pickar på rutan och evighetens gråa skyar som tynger. och plötsligt är alla träden nakna utan att en annan liksom hann förstå vad som hände. Vissa år brister naturen ut i brand, badandes i hösteftermiddagens guldgula ljus, med friska vindar som uppmanar till promenad på platser man knappt känner igen längre. 

Utan att vara för uppenbar, så är det ju version nummer två som har mitt stora intresse varje år. 

För ynka två år sen var bilden ovan mitt hem. Hösten tog med sig hasselnötter, äpplen, rönnbär, plommon, krusbär, och den sista skörden av tomaterna, chilin, rödbetorna och paprikan som vi odlade. Jag matade årets kull av fåglar som precis flyttat ifrån sitt hem under taksprånget på torpet, såg på när vinden krattade löv åt mig. Kokade rönnbärsgelé medan jag tittade ut över vyerna, med en sprakande brasa tänd i vardagsrumsdelen. Sorterade ut höstkläder och höstfärger.

Och grät. För jag visste att det var över. Jag hade fått allt jag någonsin kunnat vilja ha, och förlorat det igen. Jag kan fortfarande bli illamående av sorg när jag tänker på det, allt det där, även om livet känns bra där jag är nu. 

Tystnaden i huset har bytts ut mot ljudet av grannar som duschar och går med tunga steg i sina lägenheter. Altanen har bytts ut mot en (som tur är) inglasad balkong. Utsikten över vidderna med kyrkan och gravhögar i fonden har bytts ut mot hustak. Men jag tror att hösten, för mig, är läkandets tid. Jag har alltid varit nostalgisk på hösten, även när jag inte visste vad jag hade att vara nostalgisk över. Det är okej att saknaden biter. Jag promenerar genom skogar och läker.

För även om det gjort att det enda mål jag så definitivt formulerat i mitt liv som att jag en dag ska ha ett litet torp på landet att elda brasa i, så är jag tacksam för allt jag har. Min lilla etta, dekorerad i höstfärger som det är, tända ljus, kärleken från vänner och familj, en solros eller två som tittar upp. Jag kommer sitta i soffan i min lägenhet med balkongdörren på glänt, höstregnet trummandes mot plåttaket på min balkong, och mysa. Och surfa hemnet, förstås.