Saturday, 7 July 2018

Patterns 2018

I did it.

I closed my heart, clicked on my rutheless brain and sorted through my sewing patterns.

I went through all patterns in 2013 when I cleared out of and sold my house. I only kept patterns from my mother or grandmother for clothes that I liked and patterns that I myself has bought that I could imagine wearing again. All eighties jackets and nineties trouser patterns went out ruthlessly.

Now I had another go at what ever what left.
All copied patterns from pattern magazines that are now in the wrong size - paper collection.
All pattern magazines that doesn't contain anything I could imagine wearing again, much less sewing - to the second hand shop.
All original patterns that I could not imagine wearing again or that is for clothes worn at very specific events in my past that I do not care to remember - or want to be reminded of - out the same way.

I was left with five pattern magazines and eight original patterns.

It was a relief.

It was such a relief I immediately started sewing again.
And immediately went out to buy another pattern that I wanted - but really really didn't need.
But I am sewing them too. (I will show the finished results.)

The World Cup takes a month and Tour de France has also started and although I am not a fan of tennis - Wimbledon is also on.
Thank heavens the weather is nice and it is too warm to sit inside and watch telly every day.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

July 2018 - Bags

The task for July is bags.

  Find all bags in the house, include suitcases, rug sacks, reusable shopping bags and all handbags. 
  Don’t forget your exclusive new year’s clutch and your grand mothers handbag. 
  Clean each one of them. Open all compartments, empty the content and brush the lining of each
  pocket. How many bags do you have? Note the number.

This is a very important task for me. I am overflowing with bags. Last year I had 34 bags. I know there are more and not less bags in the house this year. I have been given bags as presents, by the trash gods and found in free donation piles. I have unused bags, new bags, old bags, found bags, replaced bags. There are no broken bags that easily can be thrown out. 

Not only are there too many bags in the total. I also have too many bags that do only one thing or is used only for specific activities. One for weekends, one for week-trips, one to transport oatmeal between countries, one for going to work with a computer, one for going to work without a computer, several for doing large grocery shopping, one for doing small grocery shopping, shoe bags, sports bags, shoulder bags, hand bags, clutches. 
I really want to aim to have few bags that cover a multitude of functions.

At the same time I also need new bags, other bags. 
I need different bicycle bags. The old bags does not fit the new bicycle and can not be altered. I bought cheap temporary bags and they are too small for trips longer than two nights (also not water proof which bicycle bags must be). 

I also constantly carry a complete survival kit with me (shopping bag, medication, passport, knife, keys to my second apartment etc. other essentials). Currently I have no bag that can come with me at all times and I keep shuffling things from one to another. Sometimes I do not know where things are.

What I do know, is that I do not know if I already have a bag that can be the every day bag for every function. 
That is why I will collect and go through all available bags first - before I even start thinking about looking for anything new. 
Except bicycle bags. 
That I would like to have bought before next bicycling weekend -
which will not be this weekend as Sweden is playing England on Saturday in the quarter-final of the World Cup. Last eight and the dad team is in it with its solid 4-4-2 system. Unbelievable!
I am still in chock.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Winter - June 2018 - not

The task for June was to go through all winter clothes and bedding.

Yes, no, so, I didn't do that.
Bite me.

I will, I promise myself that I will. But with the football world cup, sewing, the new bicycle, fantastic weather, three day weekends every week, four days work and running two days a week, there was just no energy left over for projects like that.
Diving into the deep wardrobe when it is 27 degrees C outside is exactly what I had planned to do -
but no, didn't. Didn't want to.

Some of it I did do. I did take out some of the winter and rain coats and cleaned the inside of the pockets with a brush to get any crumbs out. I felt very proud of myself.

I also did make a list of clothes that need to be impregnated and/or waxed before the rainy season starts again. That list includes shoes that need to be sprayed with water proofing.

Plans are wonderful. Life is better.

Remind me to complete this task again later.

Monday, 2 July 2018



It is time to show restraint and focus on the long term goals.
The markets are in full summer fluctuation, my investments are dropping in value with every move that shakes the financial markets (solid investments, there is no such thing) and my monthly savings doesn't seem to make a difference. It feels as if there is a black hole I put my poor savings into.

I need to be cool. Tell me to be cool. Cool, hunny-bunny, just be cool. It's going to be all right, hunny-bunny. We are all going to get out of here alive, hunny-bunny.
But yeah, I need to pee too.

Enough with the film references (Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer and if you don't know which film it is, your life is excellent without that knowledge.)
I calculate the total value of my assets on the first of each month. Adding up everything I own and have access to (so excluding value of any pension assets that I don't have access to yet). I also exclude the value of my small apartment as I always will have to live somewhere.
Then I deduct any debt I have, currently it is only taxes but still. It must be deducted.

The remaining assets are divided with my current annual budget, the one I live within since years.

Currently, the financial independence number stands at 37,03 year. It means that with my assets, I could live within the current budget for thirty-seven years as long as the interests, dividends or value increases covers the price increases.

Currently the assets are not growing as they should and the budget is tight with the price increases for food and energy.
Continuing to invest into what I believe to be future companies on future markets at times like this takes cool. So I will try to stay cool.
Cool, hunny-bunny, cool!

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Knife part 2

The new knife has entered my life.
After ten minutes, it was as if it had never been gone.

My last pocket knife was confiscated by customs leaving England earlier this year. It was fair and they treated me very kindly. (It is also about the seventh pocket knife I have lost to customs since 2001).

For my birthday, I was treated with a present from my work. I picked a pocket knife (and with some kind negotiation, a substantial gift card for the out door shop of my choice.)

I picked the same pocket knife I bought some time in the mid-1980's and had in my pocket every day until 2001. Swiss Army knife (now Victorinox) with the combination of tools that I personally need.
It fits perfectly into the pocket of my Levi's 501's.

Nothing much else has changed since the 1980's.
Except the waist measurement.
And the belt. That one is from 1991.
Now since the weight reduction, the original strap is again back on.

Add a football jersey for my national team and I am ready to rock as if it was 1994.
(Where did my 1994 World Cup shirt go?)

Monday, 25 June 2018

Brake iron

Oh yes, I did.
I broke the iron.

Watching football while sewing and ironing, I dropped the iron on the floor.
No problem, the floor can handle it. I didn't think much of it.

Next time I tried to iron however - water everywhere.
Standing up, no problem. Using, holding it flat, water pours out from the inside.

I will need a new iron, but not right now.
I think can survive ironing without steam for a good while (I don't iron much these days).
I don't know how the man will feel about that, but he is generally less fussy than I am. He has years and years of experience to iron without steam as he was using a spray bottle or a wet cloth when I met him and introduced him to a steam iron. I don't even know if he uses steam these days (he does his own ironing whenever the occasion a smooth shirt is required).
I am technically a better ironer than he is but he really likes it a lot more. Especially ironing handkerchiefs can put him into an almost trance like meditative mood.
Something with the handiwork and the pride of the finished product, I think.

Sorry for publishing this post half written yesterday.

Colander part 2

There is a new colander in the house.
The colander with the broken handle has been removed from use as a colander.
I see from the date of the above link, that we have lived with a broken handle for year.

The new one is plastic, maybe it is more of a strainer. It doesn't matter. It does the same job.
It also has no handle that can be broken off so it will last us a long time.
The new one is also without cost. Which is important.

Not because we can't afford a new colander. We could buy a new car for cash tomorrow.
Not because we thought we didn't deserve a new colander or any of that sort of self-depreciating thinking. We are not defined by the things we own.
The broken colander worked, almost without annoyance.
We almost bought a new one but since it was not entirely perfect, we refrained.
And serendipity gave us a perfect colander for free.
This is a colander design that is currently not for sale on the markets where we live. 

By not spending money on a new colander, we saved very little.
But we also kept ourselves out of the consumption mode for the last year.

We also did not buy a car, speed boat, or train. We didn't buy take-out coffee or food. We bought no toys or collection items. We didn't use money to satisfy our cravings or to dull pain.

We never buy anything on the spur of the moment. We never go out to buy something without that something being identified, analysed and researched. We often go out to buy a specific item and come home empty handed when that item is not satisfactory or when it is unavailable.

We spend money on activities that create healthy bodies and memories for life.
We spend money to save us from bad situations.
We spend money to replace expensive essentials when they break in our lives.

The rest we repair or try to live without until it becomes necessary or free.

Saturday, 23 June 2018


Midsummer, summer solstice, the pagan party weekend of fertility and vodka.
It has passed.

I went to IKEA, stocked up on sill (picked herring) and Kalles kaviar. I bought knäckebröd, butter, small fresh potatoes and fresh dill. The flags and the decorative may-pole came out. The vodka went into the freezer, the beer into the fridge. The man baked a cake for dessert. I baked a cheese-asparagus pie just to be fancy.

Everybody ate as if they had never seen food. All children loved fishing for their own piece of herring out of the pot (nono, of course not, I served it at the table straight out of the pots). The food gourmet parents loved the potatoes with a piece of butter on top and some salt. Dill. A simple salad. Small pieces of desert cake with a strawberry on top with a stick.
We all enjoyed ourselves and I made everybody sing for their vodka.

If you don't sing for your vodka, you don't deserve it.
If you can't sing for your vodka, you've had enough.
If you flavour or mix your vodka, you can go home. Not drinking is fine but there is no need to be wasteful or disrespectful.

Now the longest night is here, and we are all a part of nature.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

New bicycle

The new bicycle has been delivered.

After two weeks of heart break, I have accepted it and started using it.
It is still a painful experience. 

The company makes a very unusual bike, exactly what I needed and how I wanted my first new bicycle in forty years. I could get it in pink with immediate delivery or wait three months for the same bike in black. I was willing to wait three months to live a life without a pink bicycle.

The bike was delivered on date.

The wrong bike.
The new updated version changed it into a different bike.
Different design. Different weight and most importantly; a completely different break system.
Several of the things that was on the "must be" list.

The company answers my bike shop who placed the order: "we change and upgrade without giving notice" and "we will have no further contact with the customer, and refer to customer service". The customer service answers without investigation that "you must have ordered the wrong bicycle".
They will not deliver the bike with the brakes I want, or in the version I ordered.

I could have refuse the bike.
I should have refuse the bike.
I need a bike.
I want a bike now and there are no alternatives on the market.

I had to swallow my pride, my respect, my everything I have ever learnt about honesty, trust and quality in how to make deals, contracts and agreements and take the fffing bike.
I am not happy. The company won, and I will be riding around on a bicycle forever reminding me how they royally screwed me.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

WC with culottes

World Cup!

All day, every day for weeks and weeks.
I am so happy!

If you do not know football, it is the international sport played with feet and a ball.
Everything else must be called Australian, American, Welsh or any other regional form of ball -
or feet.
This is international football.
The World Cup is only played every four years with teams who have survived an almost two year qualifying process. They come from every continent (except Antarctica, they did not qualify). The traditional European and South American dominance is broken and Asia and Africa are now represented with equally strong teams on the field.

I have a lot to do.
I follow three Scandi-countries, three previous home countries and four favourites just because I love the way they play.
There are countries I would love to have had included (Norway and Finland - hyvää gutta!), some countries that think they ought to have been there and several who dreamed about being there but wasn't prepared to do the work to get there during the extensive qualifying round.
We all know who I'm talking about.

I have watched two to four games per day every day since last week.
There is more to come and I am rationing, trying not to watch everything.
But I follow everything, and read everything.
I have a complete schedule on the wall that I keep updated.

I have started sewing again just to avoid to sit and eat in front of the telly for days at the end.
In my underwear (or even worse: sans-culottes).
I am making an advanced style of culottes in green cotton twill that can possibly be called skorts or jupe-culottes (similar to Burda 6905). They have so many tricky steps that I can do a little thing after another with plenty of thinking and ironing in between.

The old house-rule never to watch commercials on the TV is actively pursued.
Whoever is caught, or catches one self, watching the commercials, is to do ten (or as many as possible) push-ups on the floor.

And of course, I still go running.