Monthly Archives: September 2013

Grumpy Swede at IKEA

Today was spent shopping at IKEA and enjoying a lunch consisting of disappointing mashed potatoes, gravy and lingonberry jam that cost £0.5. It’s not quite the same without the meatballs, I guess the meal is more exciting for meateaters.  Bought some stuff, like a clock that we will have to return because it doesn’t appear to be working. At least I got a jar of lingonberry jam (I can spot two or three lingonberries floating around in that red sugar jelly so I guess it counts as jam). I know some Swedes living abroad go to IKEA to feel at home, but it just reminds me that I’m away to be honest. Small stuff as a misspelled sign in Swedish, the traditional gravy not being quite right and the lingonberry being served in a pump. 

I don’t miss Sweden that much yet, but I wish I was able to find the following items here: Big packages of low-fat strawberry yoghurt (1 litre or more), my favorite ramen noodles, prescription-free 20mg Omeprezol, Marabou chocolate and fresh/wet yeast.

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Original art post

So over a month ago I said something about buying ridiculously expensive faber-castell pencils to make a drawing for my mum’s birthday. I was meaning to post the result but I got distracted or something and posted a bunch of TMI:s and a little bit dumb posts instead. But hey, better later than never. These photos have been on my computer for about a month so I guess I’ll post them now?

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Filling in the seaweed was a pain in the ass. The position of her left arm looks a bit odd, I think the shading there is a bit off. I was pressed for time when I made it so I didn’t attempt to fix as many mistakes as I usually do, and due to my overly firm pen grip my hand didn’t really want to work with me (hand cramps).  I wanted to find a reference photo for the pose I had in mind, but there wasn’t really anything that was spot on, so I had to use a lot of imagination to try to imagine how her body could be positioned realistically. That’s a good exercise but it’s not something I like doing or is particularly good at! I can hardly figure out which way to look when crossing a street so imagining how a muscle would flex if a body part is angled a certain way is tough. Aside from the hand cramps, I had fun doing it. Drawing on a relatively big canvas has the advantage of being able to focus more on details, but it also means that it takes ages to fill in things. When I was finished I was frustrated that things hadn’t come out exactly as I wanted them to, because it certainly isn’t perfect, but now that some time has passed I can appreciate it. And OMG I love the pens!

And if you were wondering, it’s completely acceptable in my family to give nude portraits to each other.

My younger sister’s comment on this: “You are really good at drawing nude women…”

Me: “Or maybe I just really hate drawing clothes and try to avoid it at all cost…”

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Ewwww cold…

Both Tom and I are sick and snotty and I’m getting tired of it. We need his and hers tissues cause I keep losing mine and grabbing one that I think is mine only to hear “umm I think you’re using my tissue” which is gross and I don’t like it. I want color-coded tissues. We’ve gone through 24 packages soon ;P

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Cold concoction for the sore throat

I’ve been having a cold the last few days and got the idea to crush up a bunch of Honey & Lemon Strepsils and dissolve them in rum.

Step 1) Ground the strepsil lozenges in a mortar.

Step 2) Put the crushed strepsils in a glass of rum.

Step 3) Put the glass of rum and the strepsils in the microwave for a minute.

Step 4) Stir and “enjoy”.

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To be honest, the effect wasn’t that good. I think it’s because you need to consume throat lozenges slowly to give the throat a chance to absorb the numbing ingredients. Maybe if you sip the rum and strepsils instead of taking it as shots it might work. I’m not a fan of hard spirits though so I don’t think I will be repeating this experiment! I think the taste was nice though. You can probably get the strepsils to dissolve completely if you ground them a bit more finely than I did and microwave for a bit longer.

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Croydon life

I have now been living in Croydon for almost 2 weeks. Croydon is, judging by people’s reactions when I tell them I live there, one of London’s more “ghetto” areas. When I went for my National Insurance Number interview, the interviewer straight up laughed at me and said “oh, no, don’t get me wrong, I love Croydon, I have lived there. I know all the right people” and then recommended me a couple of nightclubs (Black Sheep and Bad Apple).

Anyhow, the building I live in used to house a brothel little over 6 months ago so I guess there might be a grain of truth to Croydon’s bad reputation. A week before I moved here, my boyfriend got harassed by a man who showed up in the middle of the night wondering “where the girls where at”.

But aside from that I think Croydon is pretty nice. Wandle Park is the most depressing park I’ve ever seen, but Coombe Woods Garden is amazing. Aside from that, every country seems to be represented by a restaurant (or two or three) and there’s an amazing noodle place (called “noodles”) that will make you amazing noodles for under £5. But the best thing about Croydon is undoubtedly the food market. Everything there seems to be £1 pound or less. 2kg of tomatoes? £1. 5 avocados? £1. 5 bell peppers? £1. For someone who loves fresh vegetables as much as I do, it’s heaven.

Here’s an odd little thing I found out: Apparently the artist Mika filmed his music video for the song “Big girls” in the middle of Croydon market. Why? Beats me.

My photos from the market today:

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Inappropriate children’s toys

Who thought this toy was a good idea? The same people who made “You can shave the baby”, maybe. Or that reproductively confused girl from that yahoo question.

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London weather

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The weather today was weird.The sun was pouring through my window, so I decided to go out for a walk. When I open the door to the street, the sun is shining but the rain is pouring down. I take a photo, then go up to get my umbrella. When I come back down, the rain has stopped. England, what are you doing??

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Todays award for dumbest injury goes to…

Todays award for dumbest injury goes to...

ME! For almost chopping off my thumb while trying to remove the pit from my avocado. Word of advice, if you’re removing the pit by forcefully tapping the knife into the pit and then twisting it out, make sure you don’t miss the avocado and chop into your finger bone instead.

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Procrastination incorporated

Me: *I’m picking up a beer from the fridge.* Uhm, Tom, these drinkable yoghurts you have in the fridge…

Tom: Oh those. I’ve been meaning to drink those!

Me: *looks at expiration date* Uh-huh… I guess you’ve been meaning to drink them for quite a while…Image

 

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a health rant and a little interesting fact

I apologize in advance for the disjointed post.

Yesterday was odd. After lunch, I went to Coombe Woods to check out the gardens and the park. On the way, I started getting upper abdominal pain and sort-of middleish back pain that came and went in waves. I even laid down on a park bench for a bit to see if it would pass. I eventually felt good enough to walk home (a roughly 30 minutes walk) and decided to lie down on the bed for an hour… but ended up falling asleep and waking up almost 2 hours later. I almost never nap after having a full nights sleep. I got up and laid down on the couch instead. After googling the symptoms and realizing it was probably just a part of my already established dyspepsia, I decided to eat something since someone on the Internet said it might work. Maybe I shouldn’t have picked nachos because the pain got far worse after eating them. After 2 paracetamol and 2 ibuprofen and 1 omeprezole (obviously not at the same time), the symptoms finally started to go away. I have some heartburn today but not nearly as bad as yesterday. Very annoying, since I don’t understand what triggered it. When I saw my doctor back in May, he said I should quit all the nice stuff (fat, salty or spicy food, alcohol and coffee). I cut down on fat and salt a bit. Maybe one day I will switch the coffee for tea.

Want to know something else that is annoying? Every time I’ve been to the doctor about something, their solution seems to be to avoid stress. Weird periods? Stop stressing! Losing hair? Stop stressing! Stomach pains and nausea? Stop stressing!!

But… I don’t even feel that stressed… and honestly if I knew how to stop stressing, I’d patent the method and make millions of it.

The doctors also always comment about how I need to be careful with my diet because I’m a vegetarian, despite that my blood test always shows that I don’t have any vitamin deficiency.

/rant. Here is something interesting though: when you puzzle together all the smaller British coins, they form the Royal shield, as seen on the 1-pound.

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