September 30, 2014


Yesterday, I saw a UFO. Yes, I know! I was coming around a corner at about three o´clock in the morning, crossing a parking lot, when I reacted to something unexpected in the upper left area of my field of vision: three bright lights, evenly spaced out, as if three Venuses  had decided to form a slightly over-size Orion´s belt, at a slight angle, as if Orion had bent over to smell the roses (if he had been that kind of guy). I stopped and looked up, and one after another, the lights went out. Very odd, indeed. Just between the constellations of Cassiopea and Pegasus.

I am sure there is a natural explanation for it, I just don´t know what. When I was a kid, hugely fascinated by these things (what kid is not?), I was a member of UFO Sverige and read their magazine about close encounters of all kinds, hoping desperately to have one myself. They seem a lot more level-headed these days, or perhaps it´s more about me having changed.

One thing I realized was how much the sky is part of the way I take in my over-all environment. I will meet people in the mornings: dogwalkers, the occasional dopey, people going to work, and we often exchange a word or two. I will sometimes say something about what´s going on in the sky, perhaps a meteorite shower, a planet being very visible, or a particularly fine moon or aurora. Often they seem surprised and unaware, some have even said they never look up and have no idea what is going on in the sky. Karin Mamma Andersson, the artist, said once in a talk she gave that when she had her studio high up in a suburban apartment building, she used to observe people walking by, and how they never raised their heads. Some people even complain that it is hard to do, as their bodies seem not to allow that kind of movement. I suppose we become rigid and unflexible within the bounds that we map out for ourselves, a bit like that story about how fleas kept in a jar learn how high they can jump without banging their heads against the lid, and then don´t jump out even when the lid comes off.

I haven´t seen anything in the media about strange lights in the sky, so I guess it goes into my X-file...

September 28, 2014

Night-time Spectacle

There is one consolation to the cold and the darkness of the winter half-year, and that is the aurora, of which we have had plenty this last week. I never tire of seeing it, even though I realize that it looks so much better out of town, away from the streetlights. I have a few good, dark spots were I go when there is a spectacular one playing across the sky.

I´m not close to even trying to attempt to photograph it myself, but at least I can make a drawing of what it kind of looks like. Some people claim to hear a crackling sound to it, and either they have very good ears, or it´s some kind of trick of the mind. I mostly see the green colour, but once it was a full-sky dance of whites, pinks, purples and greens. I imagine it is something of the same being deep down in the dark sea, looking up to see the sunlight reflecting on the surface; perhaps seeing shoals of herring moving above you.

September 23, 2014


Gosh, a whole week since I posted! Well, I have been busy drawing, my course has begun and it´s challenging and interesting and all that.

Winter took us by surprise at the beginning of the week. In one swift afternoon, temperatures dove from a comfy light-jacket-fifteen to the point of freezing. I had to go dig out the old winter jacket, longjohns, and knit hat and gloves. It is also very very dark; with another month of this, snow will be welcomed to brighten things up a bit.

The husband has caught the autumn cold, naturally - he works in a school, after all - but so far I have been lucky not to get it myself. We both have our remedies that we believe in wholeheartedly, and I have taken this snap to illustrate:

That´s his stuff to the left:pills and potions. His collegues in the nursing department swear by them, apparently, but they are shock full of flowers and things that I might be allergic to, so I´m going nowhere near them, instead relying on the germ-killing powers of garlic, which I press into glasses of orange juice (the expensive, freshly pressed kind, full of vitamins), and the soothing properties of ginger tea. I stink, that´s true, but if no one comes near me, they will not infect me either, so I don´t see that as a bad thing. The husband is already sick and can´t smell a thing, so he doesn´t care.

I also swear by the Philips Energylight, an amazing lamp/erzatz sun in front of which I sit and meditate (and stare into) for about 20 minutes every day. This really is a lifesaver during the dark season. I got it a few years ago when I found myself permanently fatigued to the point where I had become a Very Dangerous Driver, careering with no stops through a couple of red lights. Thank god for cautious fellow road users... and the mum-in-law, who was with me, was already so blind (and deaf when she is talking, which she does All the time) she didn´t notice. The lamp really works, as getting those eight or ten hours of sleep is not enough when the daylight hours are limited to one or two and you´re lucky to catch them due to work and severe cold.

A cup of coffee is also indispensable to keep spirits up, and last week I realized that my tastebuds have been spoiled by that new discovery: the cold-brewed coffee. I was at a café with a friend and complained that the coffee was unbelievably bitter. I tried to put some hot water in it, but that didn´t help much. My friend said she found it perfectly normal. I am going to become one of those annoying people who carry my own coffee gear around wherever I go. I just don´t know how to fit a microwave into my carry-on...

And a link that may cheer you up, if you need it. I laughed so hard at this...

September 15, 2014

The Yellow Bike

It´s been busy lately, and will continue to be busy. I have started a drawing course and it´s so much fun, but also so much work! The first exercise is measuring to get proportions right, and it´s a lot harder than I thought, but so very rewarding.

But I haven´t forgotten the summer trip and all those photos waiting to be posted. When we were in York, we saw yellow bicycles all over the place - this year, Tour de France (I am not into cycling at all, I thought it was a biking competition around France, but apparently not) passed through the UK, doing three distances: Leeds - Harrogate, York - Sheffield, and Cambridge - London. We were not in York on the day, missed it with almost a week, but we saw some of it on television. The colour yellow alludes to the yellow jersey, worn by the race leader. If you need more information, Wikipedia has an article about it.

This one was outside a kindergarten/school.

September 12, 2014

Robot Assembly

I adore Mattias Adolfsson´s drawings, I may have mentioned this. This made me laugh so much: robot assembly from your friendly KELP megastore. If you ever bought anything from IKEA, you recognize this.

September 11, 2014

Great Elk Hunter

I saw a really cute story in Piteå´s local paper the other day, about a toy poodle, Tuva (= tuft or tussock), who had turned out a very talented elk tracker! The elk hunt is on at the moment, and when the article was written, this amazing poodle - the only dog used by a nine-man hunting team - had already helped fell three elks.

Unfortunately, I can´t link to the article, only this photo. In the paper version of the story, there was a great photo of the dog standing proud on top of a dead elk (grainy snap below). Dogs rarely seem aware of their size - I know of a Great Dane always trying to sit in his owner´s lap.

I feel there is a lesson in this. About looks being deceiving and perceived destiny and all that kind of stuff. If your heart is set on doing something, chances are, you will be great at it.

September 10, 2014


Finally, the clouds lifted and I could see the supermoon. I don´t have the best tools for astronomical photography, obviously, but it´s amazing what one can do with a tripod and exposure delay. Not to mention a digital darkroom. I am thinking about getting a superzoom: 28 - 300 mm, or something like that. It´s probably a monster to carry around, but how useful it could be.

September 5, 2014

Derelict Houses

I so love these paintings by artist Jared Small! I particularly appreciate how he lets the paint loose to turn the painting into something magical. There is something about them that fires the imagination.

They were brought to me by Faith is Torment.

September 2, 2014

New Artists

Check out this guy´s work! It´s amazing!

I am very fortunate, by the way, to have found Faith is Torment, which brings a couple of artists I never heard of to my attention every day. If you are into art, I recommend you to subscribe.

September 1, 2014

Advice and Support

Doing my little thing.

I have subscribed for a while to Paul Jarvis´s newsletters. I find his voice to be reasonable, comforting, and encouraging in a world where so many are shouting about all the things one has to do. This piece particularly spoke to me, being an introvert and feeling rather awkward in public, both online and offline, much of the time. Or perhaps not awkward, exactly, but unwilling. I find myself often apologizing that my blogs (which I love to do) are small, that I should be more social media active, but to tell the truth, I have other things I´d rather do.

I have read two of his books "Everything I know" and "The Good Creative" and surprisingly, I seem not to have blogged either. Perhaps it´s because what he says isn´t revolutionary, it´s not summed up in easy catch-phrases, it´s not promising to give you the world. It´s just sensible; he makes me feel it´s ok to be just the way I am and that I can work with that.