Friday, 31 January 2020

Thinking About Things

'House of Knowledge' (2008)
by Jaume Plensa, Spain
Textile Fashion Center
Borås, Sweden

It's been one of those weeks when I've been thinking a lot, but haven't got round to much writing. 

Instead (while thinking), I have been sorting through my kitchen cabinets and drawers, and putting in some new lining paper where needed.

I think what got me started was GB's post last weekend about One Hundred Things. So far, all that I've actually weeded out is three odd spoons, one cheese slicer with a weird handle, and one cream jug. (I still have two more drawers to sort through, though.)

The room I should really be getting on with is probably my study. It just felt easier to start with the kitchen!

On the whole, I think I regard decluttering as a continually ongoing process rather than a "once and for all" kind of job, though.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Gianni Versace Exhibition

Giovanni Versace, 1946-1997, was an Italian fashion designer and founder of Versace, an international fashion house. Last weekend I went to see an exhibition of clothes and textiles he designed, at the Textile Museum here (Borås, Sweden).


Of all the items displayed in the exhibition, I think this suit was my favourite - as in something I might actually have been tempted to try on (i.e. if it had been my size, for sale and affordable...)

There happened to be a guided tour starting 15 minutes after I arrived, so I joined that. One of the things I learned from that was the fact that they had had a lot of trouble dressing the mannequins for this exhibition (even though they had got the smallest ones available). Evidently, Versace preferred his models small and thin, and most of the materials used back then weren't elastic - and unlike real humans, display dummies are not very flexible!

Do you like wearing colour, and clothes that stick out a bit?
I like colour, but not really so much that it automatically makes me the centre of attention... ;)

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Weekend Reflections in the Fog

Today I woke up to find the world hidden in fog. I kept waiting for the fog to lift - hoping to be able to catch a little sunlight. However, the fog did not lift... So finally (around noon) I decided to just go out and have a go at catching some fog instead.



The really odd thing is that in between the first eight photos and the last two, the fog actually did lift for a while. I decided to go and see an exhibition at a museum (not the same one as last weekend!), and when I got back out from there, the sun was shining, and the sky was blue. So I decided to walk all the way back home as well. But weirdly, as I got closer to home, I found myself walking right back into the fog again!

Going through my photos now, I decided to keep the foggy atmosphere throughout this post - and save the rest for later! :)

Weekend Reflections

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Something Has To Go

In Sweden, it's customary to throw out the Christmas tree on January 13th; also known as St Knut's Day. I'm not sure the roots of the tradition really goes any deeper than Knut rhyming with ut in Swedish - which is the Swedish word for "out"...

Anyway, after my brother left on Sunday, and before doing anything about "throwing out" my own little Christmas tree (or rather, in my case, packing it up and putting it back in storage again for the next 11 months), I went out for a walk. It was another grey day and I wasn't expecting to see anything exciting, so didn't bother to bring my separate camera. But as it turned out, I was glad that I had at least brought my mobile! :)


From my unexpected finds, I could only draw the conclusion that if you have no Christmas tree to throw out, some people seem to think you have to throw out something else instead...

Inspired, for St Knut's Day I decided to finally do something about my Giant Geranium - which had been doing its very best to stop me from trying to throw it out before Christmas...

21 December 2019

13th January 2020
... but by January 13th seemed to have finally resigned to the idea that perhaps a little trim might be a good idea after all...

Remains to be seen whether it will recover from the rather radical tree surgery I ended up giving it.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Keeping the Celebrations Going

The past week somehow swept by very quickly... Monday was a holiday, followed by three weekdays involving various errands and things to do at home; and then this weekend I've had my brother visiting - with Saturday also being his birthday. The weather was grey, wet and and windy (again), so not encouraging much outdoor activity. But we drove across town to the same art museum that I visited last weekend. My brother had never been there before. For my own part (as I mentioned last week) I got an annual pass there as a Christmas present... So might just as well grab another opportunity to make use of that! So we spent a while there, looking at both temporary and permanent exhibitions; and afterwards we had lunch at a nearby café/restaurant. (It wouldn't exactly go on my top ten list of culinary experiences - but it was convenient, and a break from having every meal at home.) 

Most of the art shown at this museum are photographs and prints in limited editions; but they also have some award-winning original large works of textile art - which are my favourites.

With the rainy weather, we also ended up watching three films this weekend (on DVD)... Two "oldies" (comedies from the early 1990s) starring Bill Murray - Groundhog Day, and What About Bob. And then Paddington 2 (2017), which (for a change) my brother hadn't seen. (Generally, he's the superior cineast - not just comparing the two of us, but probably among all my friends...)

All in all, sort of an extra Christmas/New Year kind of weekend...

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Black & Purple

An attempt to take photos of the clothes I bought yesterday. (Grey weather again today, so the indoors light not the best either.)

The top on the left is 100% cotton and combines a black t-shirt with a blouse-collar and details adding bit of colour. It will go with several other items in my wardrobe. What I'm not 100% sure about is the 3/4 length sleeves - I really prefer full length sleeves in winter, as I always get cold. On the other hand, this time of year I'll probably be wearing an extra cardigan over it anyway!

The one in the middle goes with a lot of things in my wardrobe too. (I tend to wear a lot of black, purple, lilac and wine-red in winter.) I wanted something with a pattern, more festive than a plain t-shirt but still kind of casual. And it has the full length sleeves!

The black jacket/cardigan to the right is sparkly and might lift a plain black skirt or black trousers to a more festive look. I don't go out very often to parties and such - but it can still be good to have "something" like that in the wardrobe...

The trousers I bought are made of stretchy fabric in a subtle black-and-grey pattern, and will go with just about anything, I think.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Elephants and Reindeer

Second sunny day in a row today! (I can't recall when that last happened!) Quite windy, though. - Anyway, I decided it was a good day for taking the bus across town for some errands (which would include a bit of walking outdoors as well). 

My Christmas gift from my aunt was an annual entrance pass to this colourful place - which is a privately owned art museum. She has "contacts" there so had arranged it so that I could pick up the pass at the reception desk. Today I primarily had a look at some temporary exhibitions that won't be going on much longer. 

Here are two favourites - one from a textile artist (Inka Kivalo)...

... and one from a collection of b&w photos from everyday life at a farm (photographer Christer Hansson). 

Afterwards, I went over to the shopping mall, where I found Santa's reindeer still reigning - and offering 20% off on already reduced prices.

Just as well I had made no New Year resolutions, like to completely stop shopping! ;) I actually came home with four items from the sale in my favourite clothes shop. In my defense (if defense is needed), they weren't really impulse purchases (except perhaps one). I did know pretty well what I was looking for. I found one pair of trousers which are more comfortable (i.e. more stretchy) than they look, two wintry tops that match other items already in my wardrobe, and one glittery black bolero sort of cardigan that I hope might give new life to other already existing items. (Photos some other time, perhaps - when the light is right.)


Friday, 3 January 2020

Skywatch / Weekend Reflection

Another rare glimpse of winter Sun and blue sky today. A day to be happy that I live within walking distance of the river! :)

Weekend Reflections

SkyWatch Friday

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

New Year, New Decade - 2020

View from my balcony, in the afternoon of New Year's Eve 2019.
Fireworks, around midnight

 “Every new beginning comes from
some other beginning’s end.”

~ Seneca (Roman philosopher, mid 1st century AD) ~

After a generally gloomy, foggy and dark November-December, the very last day of 2019 offered a glimpse of blue sky and sun in the daytime, a sliver of New Moon at sunset, and a perfect clear night sky for New Year fireworks in the evening.

When I woke up this morning, the world outside my windows was once again swept into familiar grey fog, though - with  howling winds to accompany it. I guess 2020 felt a bit like most of us - rather reluctant to get up and get started on the job of clearing up the mess left over from last year!

For the 19th year in a row, I spent New Year's Eve at home, with the same small group of friends as usual. Three of us used to live in the same building, back when it started. One usually has her sister visiting for New Year; and the other now also has her mother staying for Christmas and NY.

 No photo description available.
 'Old ladies' postcard picture by Inge Löök 

I'm borrowing this illustration, because a/ I did not remember to take any photos before midnight, and b/ we're not really the "let's take selfies" kind of crowd anyway... 

Part of our tradition is to watch a film. This time, we watched two.

The first was Watership Down, animated classic from 1978 based on the novel by Richard Adams. She who brought it remembered it as good. I recalled thinking the film was not as good as the book. Someone else had read the book, but had not seen the film... Okay, so we watched it. She who brought it kept saying "I don't remember this". (Somehow she had managed to forget all the sad and cruel parts.) Those who hadn't read the book kept wondering who was who (or where or what or why). Myself, I reread the book only a couple of years ago, but most of the time found myself unable to sort out the story line in the film anyway. - At the end, we agreed that the landscape drawings were pretty and the music good... but...

To cheer us up after the rabbit chase, I suggested also watching a Swedish comedy. (Solsidan/The Sunny Side) Everyone knew the main characters in it from a TV series, and it took us through the rest of the evening and gave us some laughs. But we reached the end before midnight, so did not miss out on the drama of also seeing 2019 turn into 2020...

Happy New Year, everyone! 

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