Tuesday, 31 March 2015


Going car free is not a problem for me.

I live in Europe where public transport exists.
I pay to live close to the community that serves me , instead of paying less for housing and more for travelling to services; this is the choice I made and continue to make everyday but it might change)
I walk and cycle everywhere, sometimes even for fun without a destination.
I bus, train and plane everywhere outside the cyclable area
I have and use backpacks and bike bags to bring stuff with me, also for food shopping.
I pack smart and light when I travel (If I can not carry it, I can not bring it; Food shopping is also done with this principle. Or I go twice to the shop, walking and cycling each time.)

I have only ever owned one car on my own and that beloved car is no more. The Magpie lasted me three years 2004-2007. She was an expensive toy; my monthly costs went sky high. Parking, gas, insurabce, tickets, repairs etc. I also always worried about her; would anybody scratch her or brak a window. However, she served me well and tought me to drive safely in crazy traffic situations. She went to the certified car scrapper when I was posted abroad.

These days I do not get much driving or training. Probably once or twice a year in a rented van or weekend car. Very few of my friends have cars so there is a social acceptance about adjusting plans to public transportation, times and costs. The price of gas is also so high in Europe and parking so difficult that it is usually not worth driving compared to taking the train (or not going to where there is no public transport).

But yes, if I could have a free car with a guaranteed parking space, I would probably drive every day just as a hobby. Environmental concerns aside. I love driving; the Magpie taught me well.

Monday, 30 March 2015


In 2011 I owned a lot of cutlery. Indeed, I often had people over for dinner but I owned a ridiculous amount of cutlery.
For one person, in a one person apartment, it really was a ridiculous amount of cutlery.
Look at this picture from 2011:
Besides what is on the picture, I also owned 8 nice knifes, forks and spoons as well, in another a fully equipped kitchen. At the time of the picture, that was in another country. Unfortunately I do not know how much cutlery there is in the picture, but it is more than I have now.

Now 2015, those 8 knife, forks and spoons are still the basis of my limited home kitchen. They are some named brand, chosen by me when I was young and added to over many years. I still also own the picnic set pictured. Other than that, and although three houses has merged into one kitchen in a third country, we own less but still a lot.

Currently we own the following cutlery:
- 15 spoons (including the one that by accident got brought home from a clients office - long story),
- 19 forks and
- 18 knifes.
This is not including the picnic set nor our camping spoons. They are all similarly looking although not completely matching.

For two persons who rarely have sit-down dinners with lots of friends any more, this is A LOT.
Actually, I think we do not think we even can seat more than 8 people in chairs and really no more than six at a table so why do we have cutlery for 15-18 persons?

Anyway, we do not have to do dishes for a few days if we not need to. We do all dishes by hand and quite regularly (it is a good thing to do when talking over the day). However, it is nice to be able to cook and know that there is always another spoon in the drawer for tasting or stirring. We can also serve a lot of tapas before we run out of forks.

So, anyhow, we own them, there is space in the kitchen drawer for them and there is nothing irritating about any of them - so we keep them. At least we will never need to buy plastic cutlery for any larger gatherings so that is possibly a saving.

Sunday, 29 March 2015


I like cats like I like men and children; not all of them all of the time but rather a very few specially selected examples and only some of the time.

Presently there are about three children I like. They have in common that their parents treat them as humans, not as children. There is also one man that I like and this one I can have around all of the time.

Cats on the other hand, they are tricky. My first cat love was Alphie, a huge ginger hunter on the Scottish moors who would put mice in my shoes and sleep on my chest until his weight almost crushed me. He passed suddenly in December 2014 and his mother has planted a tree in his memory. I will go and claw the bark off while climbing it in his honour soon.

The man had two mouse hunters since his time living in the derelict house. The small cat (a relative term but also a name) passed before I came into town. The fat one (not only in name) was not happy with me. This cat preferred to be alone with the man. Nobody told him cats were not supposed to act as dogs. He even came when called. After a day alone he demanded an hour worth of belly napping before he accepted us back in the house. In the two years I knew him, he sat next to me once and on me exactly once. The fat cat died during operation two and a half years ago and we still take turns acting out his part in our daily activities. When the man is cooking, a hungry me will stand next to him screaming meow, neow, now, meow, meowt, meawt, meat, meat or any variation of the two.

So I like big, fat, fluffy, independent, snugly, vicious killers as cats. Currently I dream of Nicholas.


Set tasks for yourself

Why should I set tasks for myself? Why can I not just do whatever I want when I feel like it?

- You will have proved to yourself – not only say that you know – that you can what you say you can.
- You will have an appreciation and relationship with your belongings that is supporting. You own them and not the other way around.
- You will have a realistic picture of you properties, you know what you have and what you don’t have.
- You will be prepared for chance and change, you own no more than you need but you own what you need.

All of this will relieve you of thoughts or bad conscience about your belongings or actions. You do not have to think about you attic, garage, basement or possessions much.

Saturday, 28 March 2015


The annual sorting of hygiene, medical and make-up products eliminated only one old tube of rash-cream.
We share a narrow shelf in the shower room for tooth brushing things, shower creams and shampoo's. We both have our own, even toothpaste, and share nothing of this.
We both however need new toothbrushes.

In my wardrobe we each have a box for this stuff, one that we share and I have a larger medical box tucked in behind (this could probably become the shared box in the future). The man has a storage box in his walk-in closet.

The man is sensitive to perfume and I get to inherit products that he can not use any longer. On the other hand, I have had to get rid of all my perfumes. They were all rash-triggers unfortunately. It is a bit sad, although nothing else I normally use seem to be a problem. The less perfumed things I use, the safer it is though. Not that I really mind, I am not much for the smelly stuff. I have moved all perfumed products to my small apartment that is my real home.

Make-up is a sad chapter these days. I don't have much, wear even less and feel that I should do something about it. It has been two years since my last mascara and I think I want one again. I have put it on the wish list. I do dye my eyelashes and eyebrows and have regularly since 1988 when I was shown how to use the home-kit. I am quite fair but with ruddy cheeks and without defined eyebrows and eyelashes, I think I look quite pale.

Anyway, the result of the inventory was that I will attempt to use up as much of the products as possible (except deodorants, soaps and medications which are in storage). The plan is to buy all new at around the same time to know how old everything is. However, it will be the need for face- and skin cream that decides the date.

Friday, 27 March 2015


Den storstad och huvudstad som jag för närvarande bor i, drabbades nyligen av ett stort strömavbrott.
Hela fredag förmiddag var strömlöst. Förutom stora delar av huvudstaden slogs även halva regionen ut inklusive den internationella flygplatsen, sjukhus, tunnelbana och minst fyra halvmiljonstäder.

Vi bor på andra sidan floden och vi jobbar inte på fredagar så vi drabbades inte. Men båda våra kontor slogs ut och ingen av våra kollegor fick någonting gjort. Dessutom regnade det och gatorna fylldes av cyklister som annars hade tagit tunnelbanan.

Vi fick chansen att testa våra förberedelser. När vi hörde om avbrottet, kopplade vi omedelbart in all elektronisk utrustning för att ladda dem full tillsammans med vår portabla camping laddare. Jag misstänkte att vi skulle bli bortkopplade från nätet eftersom vi bor i ett område utan större industrier. Vi har överlastskydd och jordfelsbrytare så det var ingen risk att utrustningen skulle skadas om elektriciteten kom och gick. Vi hade dessutom några få batterier (AA) hemma vilket tillsammans med en mobilladdare som kan ladda från batterier, gjorde att kontakten med omvärlden var säkrad någorlunda.

Jag ville fylla upp vatten i vår 5 liters ihopfällbara vattenhållare för camping men det var tydligt av informationen att vattenförsörjningen inte hotades av strömavbrottet. Vi hade däremot förlorat värmen om strömmen gått. Just nu är det däremot inte speciellt kallt ute och vi har sovsäckar så det oroade oss inte så mycket. Dessutom har vi ett mindre lager av värmeljus. Vi tänker att om det händer på vintern, så barrikaderar vi oss i vårt minsta rum (vårt sovrum) och täcker fönstret med gardiner och filtar för att hålla värmen. Vi har gasspis och den hade fortsatt att fungera vid ett strömavbrott. Dessutom har vi campingutrustning med gasbrännare hemma så mat och varmt vatten hade vi ändå alltid kunnat ha.

Kyl- och frys hade givetvis slutat fungera. Vi gjorde en snabb mental inventering av innehållet i frysen (utan att öppna dörren) och kom fram till att där var mest matlådor. De klarar sig en lång tid och och i övrigt fanns  inte mycket som inte skulle klara 18 timmar under förutsättning att vi inte öppnar frysdörren. Det var mer mat i kylskåpet men som alltid mest grönsaker och de kunde vi alltid ställa ut på balkongen för att hålla kylt (om värmen försvunnit hade det nog dessutom snabbt blivit kallt nog inomhus för att hålla potatis och blomkål färskt).

Strömmen var däremot tillbaka ganska snabbt. De områden med längst avbrott saknade ström i några timmar. Fördelen med att bo i en storstad är att även elektriciteten till bostäder återställt snabbt. Jag tänker på de fastigheter ute på landet som var utan ström i veckor efter stormarna Gudrun och Per osv. Alternativet att låta innerstan vara utan ström i flera dagar finns helt enkelt inte.

Och ifall ifall ifall ett strömavbrott skulle hända: Vi klarar oss och vi kommer att ha resurser så att vi även kan ta hand om grannar och vänner.

Thursday, 26 March 2015


So far I have the following conditions for the rain jacket replacement I want:
- Solid discrete colour (NO neon's and no contrasting zippers) (Test question: Can I go into a fancy French country side restaurant with a backpack and not feel like I just came from the gym?)
- Preferably no logo or at least nothing visible
- Light-weight (less than 300 gr but certainly less than 500 gr)- Must pack into its own pocket
- Suitable to wear while carrying a backpack (unfortunately this eliminates most golf clothes)
And last, not least - be a regular light weight jacket, with room to fit fleece and at least two shirts under.
- Did I mention not costing over €200? Preferably, but this is the least important.
What else? Oh right
- Keep rain out when hiking regardless of wind or amount of water.

However, I have been using the current rain jacket this week and it is great (besides not being durable enough for heavy or long rain, it does do its jobs for normal days) so maybe the next jacket can be quite minimalistic.

Ahhh, the difficulty of buying things.

(edit: the rain jacket was eventually bought in September 2015 and this item is now off my wish list).

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Die Brücke

Die Künstler Gruppe Die Brücke hat die folgende als Mitgliedern:
Fritz Bleyl 
Erich Heckel
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff
Emil Nolde 
Max Pechstein
Otto Mueller

Noch zwei gehört eigentlich dabei aber möchtet nicht Mitgliedern sein:
Max Beckmann 
Peter August Böckstiegel 

Drei andere Küntlers sind influeert bei die Brücke aber sind nicht Deutch und gehört doch nicht dabei:
Aleksi Gallén-Kallela (Finland), Cuno Amiet (Schweitzer und malt wie Ferdiand Hodler), Kees van Dongen (Niederland).


The most effective option to save money on clothing clearly is not to buy any, hence this is what I would recommend.

I have probably not bought more than singular items of clothing since 2008. On the other hand, then I had very much clothes. Socks and underwear as well as some hiking shirts, that is all I can remember at the moment to have bought since then. Oh, yes, and a lovely coat in 2014 that I love but hardly wear. That taught me again not to buy clothes on a whim. It does not work in the long run!!! (Note to self, not a general advice.)

Before you ask -No, of course not. My clothes do not look like new, nor do I fit into everything any longer. Nor does everything fit me any longer. My life and my life style has changed drastically since then. Instead of daily, I now wear a suit twice a year, maybe. And it is not for work.

However, I have worn only some of my clothes from 2008. When an individual item just is not working any more, I go shopping in my storage where everything I have too much of, is kept. I do not get rid of fully functioning, fitting, fairly OK clothes that I already own. There is nothing wrong with anything that is in storage and some is really nice. I may take it for that special day when I feel like I want it, but it goes back afterwards. 
It does indeed have its advantages to have a personal style that is quite consistent. 

I care for my clothes, mend everything quickly, count and inventory annually and re-sew when need be.
I laundry as rarely as I can get away with and since I for a long time have bought the best of the cheapest, the pieces do keep quite a long time. I do not use a tumble dryer, everything is always hung and air-dried.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015


We have six kitchen knifes for cutting.
That does not include the two miserable weak existences that we eliminated last week but it does include my exceptional Japanese knifes. Sometime around 2005, I was given two nice knifes from my then job as a Christmas gift. They are too good to rumble around in a kitchen drawer so they have lived in their box ever since. Consequently, they have been used very sporadic ans usually only for nice Asian-style cooking. I have hand-washed them carefully and immediately after each use.
Today they are almost as new - and sharp.

To make the knifes more readily available and to use them more, they needed to be kept in something more convenient. Together with the other knifes as well as the also almost unused fish knife, nothing looked good or fitted our needs in the kitchen. Nor our price tag which of course was set at nothing.

So we crafted a knife holder out of fabric covered cardboard. It is made to fit each individual knife.
It can be hung on the wall but it can also be leaned against something so it can be placed anywhere. The man did the sewing, both by machine as well as hand sewing.

We now can enjoy all the knifes we already have (and easily practise the fine art of cutting).

How many knifes do you have for cutting in your kitchen?

Monday, 23 March 2015


When I die, I am going to go straight to heaven
And you’re going to ask me why.
Did I pray enough? No.
Did I share enough? Not really.
Was I humble enough? Definitely not.
So what makes you so sure that you are going straight to heaven, you ask me.
And I will tell you: Because I told the truth.

Humanity seems to be divided into two categories. People trying to be good and people trying to be bad.
But personally, I don’t know what’s so much different. Because if you spend your whole life as a saint, eventually you will crave the opposite. And the filth will appear as an oasis in the desert.
But if you’ll spend your life in the gutter, sooner or later you will be searching for wisdom. Like a pig sniffing for truffles.
If you want to reach the sky, fuck a duck and learn to fly.

I’ve traveled the world looking for lovers of ultimate beauty
I am a Wonderlust King! I stay on the run (The run!)
Let me out. Let me be gone but never settled in

Eugene Hutz, Filth and Wisdom/Gogol Bordello


Give as presents things you have been given and do not want.
There is nothing wrong with that; just for goodness sake, remember who gave it to you!
Don’t open a free gift until you need it, this makes it more suitable for a present. Also set these potential gifts aside in a special place.

Be prepared to gift something immediately if somebody say that they wish that had something that you already have and you can be without it. It makes someone very happy and you have one items less to care for.

Make presents, especially edible ones. This is primarily an advice if you thought the advice to re-gift things was stupid. If you do not want more stuff, nobody else does either.

Sunday, 22 March 2015


Na twintig jaar afwezigheid, is dit top zowel een goede naailes als en repetitie:
Halskant voorpand inrimpelen, gebruik hiervoor het sjabloon als maat.
Midden rugpand als getekend inrimpelen.
Rugpas met de binnenkant op de buitenkant rugpad leggen en vaststikken, de boogjeskant blijft uitsteken.
Voor en rugpand op elkar leggen, een schoudernaad stikken.
Toeslag smal zigzaggen en naar voren stikken.
Hals met het duchesseband ombiezen, het band hierij strak strekken, zodat de hals niet uitstrekt.
Nu de andere schoudernaad stikken, toeslag smal zigzaggen en naar voren strijken, duchesse band op de schouder naaien.
Armsgaten met de duchesse band ombiezen, band netzo op de naad naaien.
Zijnaden stikken, zigzaggen en achter strijken.

Saturday, 21 March 2015


I have impregnated my beloved rain jacket from 2007. Only a loose seam has been mended in all years. But after long hikes both north and south, it just does not keep the rain out any longer.

Impregnation has been used. All instructions have been followed to the fullest. All waiting times adhered too and all rules complied with.
It looks a little greasy, as if I spilled milk over the black jacket. I am sure it will come out ans as looking as it keeps rain out and still breathes, I do not care.

Testing in the shower awaits. (Of course not rain expected today of all days.)

Later in the day of course it rained. A long walk became an exciting test and trial. The milky look disappeared. Sadly I am not satisfied with the task of keeping rain out.
So now I have a good wind and dripple jacket and have started the hunt for a replacement (meaning it has been placed on the wish list)

(edit: the rain jacket was eventually bought in September 2015 and this item is now off my wish list).


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
I have been invited to a wedding again. Drat.
It is such a drag. I am really not a suitable guest at most weddings.

The only wedding I remember fondly was the one when we all were green from the night before.
(Do not drink with the bride's sister! General rule.)
All other weddings have different shades of pain. 
The best are the ones I have not attended.

This one I will have to attend. I do not know the couple but I will have to be there.
However after negotiations, the destination wedding has been to be included in a camping vacation and I have been bribed with a very nice place for my tent. Ungratefully I have accepted.
How bad could it be when I get to go home to my sleeping bag afterwards?

I have a very nice pair of office trousers left from my affluent days and a re-sewn top from the early 1990's so I do not really have a clothes problem. If push comes to shove, there is even a summer-party dress in the wardrobe that still fits and could be acceptable. It is not a dress that I would like to be caught dead in, but then, hey there will be very few people that I know at this wedding so I don't much have to think about what they think of me. The man will be in kilt and will draw all the attention. And I will not be comfortable regardless of what I wear.

Friday, 20 March 2015


Frukost de flesta dagar är havregrynsgröt.
2 dl (80 g) AXA (fd Kungsörnen) fiberberikade havregryn för två med fyra dl vätska och lite salt.
Koka någon minut eller två och sedan är det klart.
Salt är viktigt men det behövs inte mycket. Socker på toppen, mjölk eller frukt är för mig helt onödigt.

Havregrynen däremot - helt avgörande.
Jag har ätit mig igenom hela havregrynssortimentet i tre länder och stora delar av havregrynen till salu i tre andra. Jag har manglat havre själv och jag har laborerat med kli, linfrö och annat.

Verje gång jag lämnar Sverige finns det AXA fiberberikade havregryn i min väska, upp till tio kilo beroende på hur länge jag ska vara borta. Jag har bara hittat dem till salu i Belgien hittills. Jag kan äta andra men mina havregryn är jag beredd att arbeta hårt för.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

ERE5-Free hobby

Find a free hobby to keep you engaged and active.

Me, I study.
I have access to free university courses on line. I started in 2010 when I decided to do something I liked and lost time doing, instead of work that didn't. It also gave me something worthwhile to do those hours of insomnia.
I am currently writing the final paper and also have one exam left to do, but I hope for a degree in 2015.

I am interested in many other things and the same topics keeps coming back.
Periodically over the last 20-30 years or so, I also have been passionate about art, early modern history, light-weight hiking and camping, football, architecture, pilates, theory of religion, sewing, English detective novels from the 1930s, time keeping, poetry and of course learning different languages. Soap, clothes and candle-making as well as cooking are not hobbies per se but I really enjoy them and it keeps costs down. They can be substitute-cost free (as in the same cost as if I bought them) and make me more self-sufficient. 

I share many of these interest with the man, which is very convenient. I am not sure I engage very much with other people in my hobbies, nor do I give much back. So this part has room for improvements.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015


Invest in your teeth. Annual spendings of money and time on your teeth is a great investment for the future. It will save time, money and grief in years to come.
Treat your teeth better than your body. Your teeth does not heal and your body will.

Brush, floss, rinse. Every day or at least today.
Go and see that dentist or dental hygenist.
Do it!

I have made reservations for my annual visit.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015


Jag behövde möblera till en lägenhet 2010. Jag hade flyttat från en liten etta till en stor tvåa och möblerna räckte helt enkelt inte till för att fylla hela utrymmet.
Det fanns däremot en risk att jag inte skulle bo där längre än tre år och jag hade inte lust att samla på mig speciella möbler som skulle bli dyra att flytta efteråt. Men jag ville inte bo med vad som helst. Alla möbler som kom från den lilla lägenheten hade sitt ursprung hos den småländska möbelfabrikanten och jag hade ingen lust att leva katalogliv.
Den nya stora lägenheten fick därför vara lite tom ett tag (till mina vänners stora förskräckelse) till dess något kom min väg. Vissa möbelbehov utkristalliserade sig efter ett tag medan andra behov försvann. Det är ett bra råd att bo in sig först i en ny bostad innan något inskaffas.

En dag på väg hem från jobbet, såg jag ett skåp i en container. Skåpet såg ut att passa ett bestämt hörn och fylla ett klart behov.
Efter att ha gått hem och bytt kläder, gick jag tillbaka och tog en närmare titt. Det såg helt perfekt ut men oändligt smutsigt och uttorkat. Det var däremot ingenting som inte lite armkraft skulle kunna fixa. Skåpet var tungt men jag kunde bära det själv. Det var inte långt hem.

Efter en första skurning och torkning började jag olja in skåpet. Jag använde en olja som egentligen var köpt för köksbänken men som inte användes i någon större utsträckning. Vanlig vegetabilisk matolja hade nog också fungerat.

Så här stor var skillnaden mellan den oljade delen (vänster) och den ursprungliga men rena delen (höger).

När allt var klart såg skåpet ut så här:


Skåpet hade vissa skavanker men ingenting som inte uppvägdes av att det var gratis.
Det gav dessutom mina övriga billiga möbler lite pondus.

När jag flyttade ut 2013 kom en välgörenhetsorganisation och gav det ett nytt liv. De tog också vissa men inte alla av de billiga katalogmöblerna. (Resten fick jag köra till återvinningen).

Sammantaget bevisar det att välgjorda stabila möbler har en mycket längre livstid än billiga möbler.
Jag möblerade det hörnet gratis under tre år och hade inga kostnader för att göra mig av med det efteråt. Kanske jag till och med kunde ha sålt det, vem vet, men jag vet att välgörenhetsorganisationen fick både pengar för sina projekt och arbetsträning för sin personal genom min donation. Och det är ju givetvis bättre än några få kronor i min egen ficka.

Monday, 16 March 2015


Marc Chagall made glass windows for churches, cathedrals and other important buildings.
I know about the following:
Saint Stephens Cathedral, Metz
Église Notre Dame de Toute Grâce du plateau d'Assy
Notre Dame, reims
Frauenmünster, Zürich
St. Stephan, Mainz
United Nations building, New York
Pocantico Hill, New York
All Saints Tudeley, Kent
Hebrew University, Jerusalem
I have seen three and I have currently a picture of one of them on my wall.
Maybe there are even more?

Sunday, 15 March 2015


I have five coats of which one is a warm winter jacket. I also have a rain jacket.

Today I cleaned the winter coat, sewed all damaged threads and made some necessary repairs. I have also cleaned out all velcro fastenings.

In total I have six outer wear covering four seasons. I know that I last year had days when the rain jacket was not performing to the needs caused by the weather.. It is a high quality, low weight bought at least seven years ago. I have been looking for something new and securer but nothing really attracts me. I have not even put a rain jacket on the wish list yet.

I may be forced to buy something quickly if the camping plans suddenly materialise but I will take that risk. I think we still have some stuff left from impregnating the old tent. I will see if I can use that to improve the jacket I already have and love.


Mobile phone costs come in many shapes and forms today.
1995-2012 all my mobile phone cost were paid by my job. Also the private calls. i tried to talk about it bit it was cheaper just to pay the whole thing. I was on the road most of the time anyway so the private calls would have been expences.

The last year I finally acquired a private number, which i promptly forgot and had to get a few new ones until I wrote it on the phone.
2013 I bought the cheapest dual sim-card phone I could find on the market. This is my third phone since 1995. (The two first were from Nokia.)

2014 I learned to use open wi-fi networks. I still need to learn how to use data but then, since I still have the phone numbers written on the phone, maybe I am not ready. I have an old Ipad for reading and surfing on open wifi's.

I spend less than €10 a month for the cash-only private card. The other is paid by work but since that is almost not used, the cost is low.
I sit by the computer and use email and Skype to communicate with everybody. I plan ahead when I travel, I go with the flow and the phone is more for emergencies than anything.
But this is me, I know I am an odd fish in the mobile sea.
It is cheap though.

Saturday, 14 March 2015


Samla dina verkyg på ett ställe och använd dem ofta.
Gör samma sak med ditt sy-kit.
Se till att verktygen alltid är rena, oljade vid behov och tillgängliga (med andra ord, där de ska vara.)

Jag hade massor av verktyg efter mina år som hemmansägare. Mycket såldes, donerades eller slängdes efter husfösäljningen 2014. (Slänga verktyg? Oja. Om man köper billiga engångsverktyg för vissa jobb måste man göra sig av med dem efteråt. En vind, runddragen polygrip i mjukmetall går inte att donera. Det ger bara nästa fattige stackare dåligt självförtroende. Det finns ofta bra verktyg i andrahandsaffären men det gäller att veta skillnaden.)

Nu har jag en stor verktygslåda i bostaden jag äger (äger rätten att bygga i) och två mindre i bostaden jag hyr (och inte planerar att göra något med förutom måla.)

Verktygen löser snabbt små irriterande problem. S-kroken som hela tiden faller ner behöver en liten kläm med en tång så att öglan sluter sig lite mer runt stången den hänger på. Två minuters jobb från start till dess verktyget var tillbaka på plats. Signalur som slutat pipa. Fem minuter. Vicklande handtag till stekpanna. En minut.

Var förvarar du din skruvmejsel och din hammare? Har du några speciella verktyg på din önskelista?

Friday, 13 March 2015


"Gracious! when I think that  I was given  my college fees and my clothes and five pounds a term to make whoopee on!" Dorothy L Sayers

My budget contains a whoopee-post. 
When my fixed costs for housing are paid and not counting food and hosehold cost, this is whatever else I spend. There is a separate post for vacations and travels but whoopee-money will be spent then too. 
I suppose that if I was twelve years old, it would be called pocket-money.

It covers my whoopee-costs. Going out with friend, local travels, bike repairs, mobile pone charges, personal hygiene products, clothes, shoes, sweets that only I eat, books and any and all other things I want.

The rest of my budget consists of three other packages.

Thursday, 12 March 2015


Extra bedding - but how much do you have?

You probably never need more than three sets of bedding – and in most cases less than that.
One set of sheets, covers and pillow-cases are in your bed, another set is waiting clean in the drawer. If you often have difficult access to laundry or accidents in bed, you may need a third set (the one in the laundry basket).
You also need a cover and a pillow and possibly also a winter blanket to supplement for the cold season if you have seasonal changes.
Find the two (or three depending on your needs) worst sets of bedding that you own. Put all others away in “Storage”. (Storage is out of sight but remember to air it at least once every year.)
Use the two sets until you really can not bear to use it any more – this of course includes dying them if the colour is annoying but the fabric is still good and having done all and any necessary repairs. Remember that what you have is free. You can probably make yourself use the two bad sets for up to a year more if they had normal use to them from the beginning.

When you are really at the point of wanting to buy bedding – take out your storage. Go shopping for free in your storage and pick any two sets of bedding you want.
Get rid of the old bedding (meaning use it for something else) and put the rest of the bedding back into “Storage”.
Repeat until Storage is empty. Then you put Bedding on your wish list for things to get or buy during the year.
2015 my storage is empty. There will be need for a sheet in the next year or so but I have no specific needs.


We went to Switzerland for the weekend. After all costs were calculated and exchanged it turns out that the trip miraculously stayed under budget.
The budget was set by a money-present we received from a relative to do something nice with. It was large enough to have a very nice long exclusive vacation somewhere very nice. But we decided to go to Switzerland. One of the most expensive countries in the world! There were a number of things we wanted to see and they were only to be seen in Switzerland.
So we booked the cheapest flight we could find to our favourite airport. We did it four months in advance in order to catch the perfect combination of art exhibitions.
Then the Swiss currency went sky high and the entire trip was placed on maybe.
The currency came down a little and with a budget on free money to do things we really wanted to do, we decided to go ahead with the trip and to try and keep it cheap.

We booked a small self-catering apartment/hotel room for three nights in another town than the one  we flew into. The combination of towns gave us flexibility and opportunity to see even more things. The trains in Switzerland are not especially cheap but they run on time and everywhere and every day.
The small kitchen made us keep the food budget low even if the hotel cost was not the cheapest alternative. Location was within walking distance to the city centre. We brought breakfast and coffee from home as well as a few camping dinners for emergencies. After an adventure with some bad chicken we ended up buyin food in the shop and then eating at home most evenings (It is not really worth going to a restaurant to order plain boiled rice and green tea.) This also kept the food costs down.
Entrance fees were paid and souvenirs were limited to postcards. Nothing was bought but we saw a lot of cool things and places.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015


Found a cheap fight? Great! Keep the trip cheap with these advices of frugality:
Bring a pic-nick. Bring your sandwich, apple, snack or similar in you carry on bag. Do not plan to eat on plane or airport but always bring a snack anyway. Delays do happen and food is also comfort.
Bring an empty water bottle from home. It has to be empty when going through the security. After that it can be filled up in any water tap with cold water. The same goes for a Thermos of coffee but it can be more difficult to fill without paying for it.
If you didn’t bring a bottle from home – find one at the airport, rinse and fill in bathroom. They are easiest found right before security (make sure it is empty) or around the waste bins next to the water bottle machines. Are you grossed out reusing a water bottle somebody else has drunk out of? Remember that there is a price to pay for being sensitive (the grossed-ness cost). Never forget to bring your own bottle again and this time go without. However, consider the contamination risk seriously – be rational about it.
Pack hand luggage only. With a frugal wardrobe you will not have much to bring anyway.
Do not pack a pocketknife! Make sure all your fluid bottles are either empty or a size 100 ml or less (NB: not the content, it is the size of the bottle that counts.)
Pack headphones with a regular plug. Modern trains and planes sometimes offer radio/film entertainment and sell headphones for it. But the plug is (usually) a standard size so bring from home. Alternatively bring the headphones for your electronic device if you have one but then you also have to bring the charger and you will be restricted in your mobility.
Travel inexpensively to the airport. Check in advance and plan to take the cheapest available option when travelling to the airport. Usually there is a local bus somewhere close by. As you will have only hand luggage, those extra couple of hundred meters will not hurt you.  
Find reading material at the airport. Left newspapers can often be found everywhere. International travels are interesting, but the language is almost irrelevant if it is only to be used to pass time. Most hotels, especially the cheap ones, have an exchange bookshelf bulging with books. You do not have to bring any. (Expensive hotels usually do not have this; can anybody explain this to me?) Also read all reading material, including advertisement during the flight. Ask to share the neighbours paper. You do not need to buy reading material. There are also always thinking to be done.
Do not stress. Stress clouds your judgement. Check in time is the earliest you need to be at the gate – not the latest. If you have a seat reservation and there are no special instructions for security (depending on where you are going to/from) you can plan to have gone through security at the time of the gate opening. How long time security takes is sadly impossible to know.

If you have plenty of time at an airport: Exercise. Walk the entire area and all terminals and to all gates. It is free exercise, you open for opportunities to meet people and find great newspapers. Being a bit tired also helps sleeping on the plane.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015


Grocery shopping has become easier and easier for us. We have established a rhythm and a food routine. In average we spend around or less 400 € for two a month with almost all non-fixed household costs included. This is not ERE-extreme in any way but it is also not a food-budget per se. It includes all items for the household and all food costs including everything we eat out of the house together.

We are trying to avoid the franchise shop across the street.
The eco-market is nice but too exclusive. The cheap market is a bit dodgy as to where the food comes from.
Instead we buy large quantities of rice of different sorts (5 kg bags) from the Turkish butcher.
We also buy large amounts of onions, potatoes and garlic in the good veggie-shop together with other seasonal vegetables.
Using a shopping list, we take the bikes and go shopping for larger amounts of food  in the cheap supermarket about monthly (or when the need shopping list is long). We are good at shopping sensibly, especially when we do it together. We do most things very well together.
We have a small fridge and an even smaller freezer. We stock two weeks of fresh food at the most and we eat less and less meat, then usually beef.

When there is food in the house, cooking is easy.
My speciality is to make a meal from an almost empty cupboard. (I learnt to cook in the student club and in the hostel.) The man can cook anything perfectly, as long as he has a recipe and a sous-chef to clean around him.
We save all left-overs, always brings lunch-boxes for work and pic-nicks or snacks whenever we go out.
There is no dishwasher in our apartment and even though we merged three kitchens in the last years, we still have space in the two top and two bottom cupboards that are available.
We can still cut the costs with increased attention but all in all, I think we have this one covered.


One foot was being soaped in the shower and the other decided to go for a dance.
The shoulder took the hit and now I am one-armed.
I am reminded of my health target this year.
Strengthen feet.
30 second balancing on each foot several times a day.

Sunday, 8 March 2015


Mannen framför mig på flyget hostar och hostar och hostar. Vi har inte ens börjat taxa ut än, vi har faktiskt inte ens startat motorerna än och han hostar och hostar och hostar.
Han snyter sig och snörvlar men framför allt hostar och hostar och hostar han.
Sa jag att han hostar?

Jag gräver upp mitt paket Fisherman's Friend ur väskan och räcker honom. Han tackar och ber om ursäkt för att han hostar.
Sedan fortsätter han att hosta och hosta och snörvla och hosta.
Men han tar ingen Firshereman's Friend.
Han lämnar inte tillbaka paketet.
Inte under flygningen, inte när vi reser oss, int när vi väntar för att gå av och inte på bussen till terminalen.

You are nothing but a hound dog, you are no friend of mine.

Saturday, 7 March 2015


Having and staying in touch with family is an onging ambition and is included in my annual goal.
For me, this includes the following people:
M, P, M, J, L, A, the American cousin and the J-L's at least three times a year, I have promised.

There is one person on this list that I should make sure I get in touch with during the year.

Thursday, 5 March 2015


The Kunsthaus in Zürich holds a representable collection of 19th and 20th century Swiss painting. Of particular note are the groups of works by Ferdinand Hodler.
Hodler depicted the world in contemplation of infinity.

I love Hodler and drag a huge poster of one of his paintings everywhere I live. Now I have seen the original for the first time since 1993 and I am still fascinated.

Kusthaus also have five fantastic van Gogh they forgot to mention - although some are still privately owned. They have so much good art that I almost over-dosed.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015


Imorgon bär det av igen. Denna gång en sedan länge planerad resa för att se en av mina favoritkonstnärer.
Jag har packat tre dagars kläder, tre dagars frukost, två middagar och toilettsaker i min handbaggage ryggsäck. Haglöfs, 25 liter, mer än tio (tjugo?) år gammal och i fantastiskt skick.

Tyvärr, tyvärr köpte jag den röd. Inte chic camper, genleman hiker eller city crawler. Men den är min så den är gratis och ... Sa jag att den är i ett fantastiskt skick?

Visserligen var den inte använd så mycket de första åren. Det kändes lite liten. Nu när jag reser med mindre prylar, är den sällan helt full.

Monday, 2 March 2015


ERE is Early Retirement Extreme, aka Jacob Lund Fisker.
With the help of somE hygge, rød grød and possibly en handbayer, he launched the early retirement extreme website for the americans many years ago.

I am not early as I only have some twenty years until legal retirement.
Nor have I retired, as I still work.
I do have a quite different financial situation than most, but it is still not extreme.
Still, I am more ERE than I am anything else in financial terms.

Maybe I have downsized, maybe I am just normal.

Sunday, 1 March 2015


I have worn a lot more jewellery this February than I normally do.
I have emptied and sorted my jewellery box(es). (Valuables have been put aside with family heirlooms in a separate box.)
All has been looked at and re-evaluated.
I have discarded one measly pair of earrings. I like them but not to wear. Maybe they can become a present. They are put in the your-time-will-come pile.
The rest has been worn, although some only briefly (and not the Christmas-brooch).

I suppose that is as good as it got with last months task. That it will have to be the result of the task.
Next year, maybe I am ready to make a separate box for items I wear and one for items I do not wear but can not get rid of, even if they are not valuable. 
Ah, next year...

FI 31,13

Jag är lite chockad av resultatt av dagens månatliga uträkning av nettovärde och hur många år jag kan leva på tillgångarna.
Jag är tydligen finansiellt oberoende över 31 år med nuvarande börsvärde och om jag har räknat rätt.
Min första reaktion var att jag skulle köpa något för att fira men jag gick och diskade istället och har lugnat ned mig nu.
Intressantast var att jag INTE direkt tänkte att jag skulle säga upp mig. Det är en stor förändring sedan tidigare och ett gott betyg till mina chefer.


This is the task for March.
Go though all clothes in the wardrobe. Take out each item, touch it, shake it - do you want it?
Try it on. If it fits, hang it back, fold it up back into the wardrobe.

Pack all clothes that does not fit in the "your time will come" box. If you don't think that there will e any time to come for this piece of clothing, you really do not need to box it.

Count and inventory all remaining items in your wardrobe. If you have at least 14 tops and less than 14 bottoms left, you do not need to do anything more.

Do you have a lot more than two weeks worth of clothes? Keep the 14 shabbiest and most worn items available in your wardrobe. Take all remaining over-stock and hide them in an over-stock pile. I call this my storage. (Now I just put them behind on the same shelf, out of sight, or even just on another shelf. I just to have a lot more over-stock but it has been reduced over the years of buy-bans and use.)

Now use everything left in the wardrobe before the end of the year - yes, year, but make sure you do it. There are many methods go keep track of that but that is not the task of today.

Is anything to shabby to wear? Discard. There may be something in your over-stock pile if you need go replace it, but that is also not the task of today.
Is there something you really do not want to wear although there is nothing really wrong with it? Put it in the "your time will come" box for later.
This is all you have to do this month.
Wear all of the 14 items twice or cull even more.