Meat-free Mondays

januari 10, 2011

If everybody would have the same eating habits as we do in Sweden, we would need three globes to feed the world’s population (and the US habits would require five…). Luckily (?) for us, almost one billion people are starving. And what will the situation be when the world’s population has doubled in a couple of decades?

In Sweden we get about twice as much protein as we need whereas they in Kongo Kingshasa only get half of what they need. But it’s not just a matter of proteins – it’s about where they come from. The production of meat requires far more resources than other sources and worst by far is the production of beef.

And the consumption of resources is only one part of the problem. The contribution to greenhouse gases is another. And again, beef production is the worst. Even if you would eat chicken seven days a week it would still produce less green house gases than one serving of beef.

So does that mean everybody has to become vegans? I don’t know. I don’t think so. But changing eating habits – definitely! You don’t need meat and fish every day. We eat vegetarian food rather often in my family even though only one of us is a vegetarian (my daughter). My son did a project in school where he wrote down exactly what he was eating for a period of time. And even though he was getting vegetarian food a couple of days per week, he still got all the nutrients he needed with good margin and even more proteins than necessary.

I’ve heard the expression ”meat-free Mondays” among non-vegetarians who want a healthier and more sustainable life style. Why not try that for a start!



Love, peace and understanding is not in fashion…

januari 6, 2011

While we’re still wrestling with the fact that terrorism has moved in on our own back yard, there came more saddening news from abroad: the assassination of Salman Tasir, governor of the Punjab province in Pakistan. It seems he was killed for his tolerant views. And there are so many questions: Why was an extreme fundamentalist assigned to be his body guard? Why didn’t the other body guards fire at the shooter? Why does someone start a Facebook page in support of the killer?


december 29, 2010

After wrapping up the business year of 2010 which means catching up with months of book-keeping and other boring paper work  with the invaluable help of Silver…

accountant cat

… it was finally time for Christmas! But Christmas Eve (which is the day we celebrate in Sweden) is also the birthday of my nephew Daniel. Our most important Christmas tradition is to spend it with my sister’s family.

So Christmas doesn’t start until after 3 p.m. It’s entirely birthday until then.

If you persuade a teenager to be Tomte (Santa Claus) you may end up with a heavy metal one. Well, the neighbours downstairs with younger children wanted a tomte, and why not let him do the job upstairs as well :-):

We had a great Christmas ! Nice and peaceful. Not too extreme food excesses – only the most indispensible traditions (like herring and ham). At least that’s what we thought. Oddly though, it seems that the waistline is stretched out anyway…

Not too many gifts, but those that we got were very appreciated. Some examples:

Vippson examines his present

Tilda's opens her present

Silver wrestles with his present

December fun

december 16, 2010

So much fun going on in December… Here are just some examples:

After months of preparations we finally had our Christmas Concert. It went very well. I believe that we had a  good mixture of up-tunes and ballads, traditional and modern songs, chorus and smaller groups, fun and serious songs.

Our quartet sang too, and here’s the music committee (directors and section leaders) singing Ave Maria:

Fredrik’s new school, Samskolan, had their annual Lucia dance, where all the students do Swedish folk dances dressed in folk costumes. I must confess I thought this might be a bit nerdy, but they were really good – they did some quite complicated dances – and they actually looked very nice in their costumes. And they seemed to have a great time!

And since I like our Lucia tradition, I was pleased that they also had a Lucia pageant . And a good one too!

Personally I don’t feel too stressed up about Christmas. My sister’s family will come here and we always have a great time. There aren’t really any ”musts”. Except for some serious Scrabbles tournaments of course.  Louise has already taken care of decorating the house. Here she’s baking Lucia rolls. Yummy!

There has even been time for some other fun stuff – like the last round of the style jumping series. Little Grandessa was really wild and crazy (probably because of the very cold weather) when we were warming up – kicking, bucking and running around like a maniac. I was actually a bit worried for a while. But once  in the arena we pulled our act together, flew over all the fences and got our third clear-round. Very happy :-)!

Waiting for the ready-signal

So much fun already. And more to come…

Life changing moments

december 2, 2010

Some days are very special because something happens that will change your life for ever. Today, exactly 17 years ago was such a day. It was a cold winter day, just like today and snowflakes big as quarters fell outside the window. Before that, my only responsibility was myself. But that day a new man came into my life. A very tiny one.

And boy, was that a lucky day! Isn’t it amazing that I happened to get the most beautiful, talented, intelligent and wonderful baby in the world?

Here he is with his buddy Erik, one and a half year later:

And time flies. Have you seen this ad? The boy does look a lot like Freddi.

Not even I can claim that he’s a baby anymore. But the most wonderful 17 year old for sure.

Who cares about customers?

november 16, 2010

You would think that in a global economy like ours, if you buy a global brand of some product it would work anywhere on the globe wouldn’t you? Well, that’s  not how it works. I bought a HP printer in the US and thought it would be a piece of cake to bring it to Sweden. But it turned out I can’t buy the printer cartridges anywhere!

3 American and 2 European cartridges - can you see the difference?

Even though there are a million different versions of cartridges for different printer models, there are also different cartridges for the same printer model in different regions of the world! So I have to get the printer de-regionalized, whatever that means…  That’s necessary in order to be able to use European cartridges in my American printer. So I turned to HP’s helpdesk. They always promise to get back to you within one business day. Which they usually do. If you’re lucky, a correspondence with 10 mails only takes two weeks. Unfortunately it didn’t work after our long mail conversation.

Finally they revealed to me that there is actually telephone number I can call instead of this tedious mailing. And after following step-by-step instructions over the phone, I hopefully waited for the magic code that would be mailed to me. It didn’t come.

So I contacted them again. And we went through the whole procedure again. And now I’m waiting again…

My conclusion is, HP doesn’t only make very expensive cartridges and make it very complicated by having so many versions. They also want to make it complicated to bring their products over the borders. And even more complicated to reach their help desk. Who cares about customers? They’re just a nuisance anyway, aren’t they?

Right now I really need my printer for my work. Very frustrating. I wish I could just forget about the whole thing, find a sunny spot and relax just like Mr S:

I'm an expert when it comes to chillin'



Lame excuses

november 15, 2010

The discussion that followed the publishing of name and photo of the suspected gunman in Malmö is really lame – both the pros and cons!

Those in favor of publishing say that the name and picture is already on the web. But there are many things on the web, porn for instance. Does that mean that newspapers should take after and publish porn? Does anyone care about the ethical rules that apply to newspapers and magazines? Or the simple ”presumed innocent until proven guilty” approach? So the fact that people can find it on the web is lame excuse for exposing a maybe innocent person’s life (and his family’s!) in order to sell more newspapers.

But even more strange: those against publishing say that having the picture on the newspaper placards will disturb a witness confrontation. But of course a witness can search the web for the pictures anyway. That’s a lame argument too. Why doesn’t anybody say: That’s not how the newspapers work in Sweden – we have certain ethical rules. We don’t expose victims, we’re extra careful when children are involved AND we don’t ruin a possibly innocent person’s life by publishing name and picture.

Is ethics not in fashion anymore?

Over to something else: Me and fantastic little Grandessa had another very nice day at GRFK yesterday. Part two of the style jumping series resulted in one more clear-round. Very happy. 🙂

Grandessa ❤

Echoes of marching boots

november 9, 2010

Today it’s been 72 years since Crystal Night (or Night of Broken Glass). And the world is entirely different today isn’t it. Or is it?

It was just a few days ago that Angela Merkel flirted with the xenophobics and said that the multicultural society has failed. And the Danish Government just decided to make it harder for immigrants to get into Denmark. And two months ago the Swedish government got a party with xenophobia on its program. And similar hostile voices are heard all over the place.

But: Today is also the anniversary of the day when the Berlin wall was torn down, symbolizing the birth of a more open and democratic era. I remember so well how excited we were and what great hopes we had for a better world. Maybe the world can still turn back onto that track?

And: Today is also the day when the police caught the man who has been shooting at immigrants in Malmö. At least if they got the right guy. Apparently he has some mental disorder. I’m glad that he’s crazy – it wouldn’t make sense if someone with a normal brain would shoot innocent people. It’s just sad that one of his victims is already dead.

Too much and too little

november 8, 2010

Dear readers,

you are so wonderful who keep checking in on me even though I’ve been the most negligent blogger lately. I can tell from the counter on my blogg site that I actually had an all time high in visitors yesterday (!), even though it’s been a week since my last post.

I will shape up – promise!

I have not been neglecting my blog because nothing is happening. It’s actually the other way around. It’s just been too much work, too much coughing (a stubborn cold that just won’t give in), too many new songs to learn for the Christmas concert (has it become more difficult to memorize lyrics and music lately…) and too much November greyness that drains all energy. Hence too little blogging.

But a fun-filled week-end with a big party with family and friends, horses and quartet practise reminded me of what a lucky person I am.

See ya!


Having a Volvo in Volvoville

oktober 30, 2010

Time to say good-bye to my Saab from 1993, my Dad’s old car. Good old PNY has been a good pal, hardly ever ”ill” or reluctant to work. When my Dad bought the car it was brand new and he was very proud of it. And I’ve never listened to anybody who told me that it’s uncool or an old man’s car. I’ve always liked it!

Good old PNY

But I’ve finally realized that it’s just a matter of time before the great demise starts, and in addition I’ve been talking about getting an environmentally friendly car for years. But there were a lot of tricky questions: How do you combine environment with a car that’s big enough to fit four tall people? And what type of engine – gas, hybride, diesel, electricity? But the selection narrowed down more and more as I tried to figure out the equation and in the end there were a couple of cars that were pretty similar.  And the winner was Volvo V50. Fuel consumption is 0.4 liters per 10 kilometers (0,017 gallons per mile) which is less than half compared to old PNY.

I’ve never bought a new car. This is something I thought they only did in TV-commercials:

Tada! The dramatic unveiling!

Even though I think my old car did a very good job, I must confess that it’s fun to drive a new car. It’s so smooth and quiet! And has a lot of clever devices. There sure has been some product development in 17 years…

...and we're off!

So one question remains. Having a Volvo in Volvoville – will I be able to find my car in a parking lot?