Monday, February 26, 2007

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A highlight of Romford

Where I usually go for a beer (which is far less often than it used to be). The Golden Lion has bits dating back to the 17th century and a pub has been on the site since around 1440. Not much of old Romford is left but at least this piece is a pleasant place for a drink.

First blossom

Blossom on a tree not far from my house. Another sign that spring is not far off... for us anyawy

Central Library, Romford

Romford is hardly one of the country's cultural hubs but we have a library and it still has some books! Pity it is an ugly concrete lump that looks as if it could do with a clean.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Walkabout, Västerås, February the 23'rd

At first - let's stop in the small garden outside my building. My oh my, how inspiring. Not.

Well, you see that little thingee sticking up almost in the middle of the snow? That's what's left of last year's peony-colony. In a couple of months they will return. That's what keeps me going right now. Spring. There WILL be a tad of spring and summer this year too :-D

Graffiti or art? Well, this kind of "graffiti" I like to call "art" - street art. I love these small pictures that can be seen in sometimes hard-to-find places.

This MIB guards the house of the local newspaper. I hope they won't wash him off. He's handsome.

On we go, let's stop in Rudbecksparken for a while.
(It was very late in the afternoon/early evening, hence the gloomy colours - think of them as mysterious if that'll make'em more beautiful ;))
Look up - is this the equivalent of a high rise, but for a colony of magpies?
Nah, think again. This is where Santa grows all his...

...misteltoe! Before I moved to Västerås, I had never seen it grow wild, but in this region you can find them everywhere. Quite nice for being an utter parasite, don't you think?
Now - if they grow wild, does the kissing-rule still apply?

This little guy guards the park.
Daytime, he often gets attention from kids, trying to sit on him, trying to feed him and so on. Nighttime, he's magic. The illusion of a small deer (oooh, dear deer!") standing on watch is perfect, when you are only - barely - able to see the outline.
I don't know who's (whose? sh*t, my English grammar skills are deteriorating) work this is yet but it almost looks like something made by Arvid Knöppel (Swedish artist, 1892-1970) .

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Library, Houston

I just have to show the temporary main library in Houston. In my opinion in a much nicer building than the normal one. The main branch is normally housed in the house behind this one, a 1970s building now being renovated (a little sliver can be seen behind this builing, on the right hand side). This older building was (I think) donated a long time ago to be the start of the library system. I love the tree in the front yard. Both library buildings are dwarfed by one of the downtown skyscrapers.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Library, Västerås, again

This is what the corner of my favourite library looks like in spring, I think this was taken in the beginning of May two years ago. From a distance just a boring square combination of one brick on another, but there are plenty of interesting details (also apart from the decorated bricks). Will try to go there again soon, in the company of Ms Ixus :)
(I tend to leave her at home much too often these days)

Say neeeeeigh :-)

Next castle?

No, but next unusual workplace. We are talking 1993, hence the poor quality of the picture. Oh, and my coworkers - well, they are just playing around. Male bonding rituals? :)

This is a building housing a gas insulated high voltage (220 kV) switchgear in Kuwait. I spent a few months there 1993-1994, trying to get it working (well, we were successful in our mission). Amazing place.

Kuwait towers, one of the important landmarks of Kuwait City. Partly destroyed during the war in the nineties, but in good shape when we came there a few years later. Sadly, that was not the case everywhere we went :(

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

...speaking of workplaces

This is - by far - the most beautiful place where I have ever worked.
Strömsholms Castle, some 20 kms west of Västerås, is a very small castle open to the public a few months every summer. No one lives there, it's a museum owned by the Swedish royal court.

(this was one of the places where I worked - in the café and as well as an assistant inside the museum itself - trying to make ends meet during/right after my studies.) <--- perrrrfect for a med student - don't you think? Taking care of an old wreck ;)

(ouch ouch ouch, that is NOT a nice thing to say, errrr, WRITE)

Initially it was built by Gustav Vasa, later it was rebuilt again almost from scratch in 1669. Some of the grounds from the Vasa-era remains, to be seen in the basement.

It does NOT house any ghosts. I was so disappointed to hear that :(

I really love the place, and despite being extremely happy that I have a better job now I still miss it from time to time.

The new cat basket ...

... is approved by the second tester, using a slightly different testing technique.

Monday, February 19, 2007

A trip to the library

Yesterday was grey grey grey, I had to check carefully where I placed my steps since the sidewalks were filled with disgusting slush.

Where to?

Well, that's the nice part: the library. I LOVE the library. It's not the most beautiful building in Västerås, but I love the fact that some of the bricks are decorated. Small small details are always interesting to me.
OH, and yes: I found some interesting books too. I guess that's - after all - my main reason for loving that place.

Testing the new bed

Sally is trying out the new kitty bed. Bed seems OK, great when the paper was added.

Tristan in a box

Old favorite of mine from one of the first weeks in Houston.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Three fridge things, at least one grotty

Well Siv, you asked for this!

The postcard is from my sister when she stayed at our cousin Andrea's guest house in Brittany. Andrea is Dutch but prefers France and Ireland. the little magnet betrays the touch of the not-wife

This is definitely the work of the not-wife but like Jean-Luc Picard there's nothing like Tea - Earl Gray-Hot!

Sadly this is my sole contribution to the fridge furniture. I still use fountain pens and the fridge is an excellent storage area for ink... oh and WD40!

three fridge things

(actually, you need to read that - "three fridge things" - out loud, it's more fun that way ;))

Spill you beans! Tell me (i e show me) three things about your fridge, or rather what's on it (in case you're not the kind of stylish person who refuse fridge-photos and stuff. I tried to be, but I gave in to my fridge-ism again).

OK here goes, the Västerås-version of assorted fridge-ism:

Oh, the memories! Depeche Mode at Stockholm Stadion, a lovely summer night in 2006.

Magnetic writing pad, got it from friends. I simply CAN'T understand what they mean by that. Me, being the owner of many pairs of shoes? Hmpf!

Poor quality, but it's a photo of a photo, and it wasn't really sharp even to begin with (my mom took it, she's not really into photography :)). This is Astor, one of my cats, although he lives in Karlstad with my mom since three years now. He moved there to keep her company when her cat died (I had Izzy, and they really hate each other so this switching thing is a great idea, even though I miss him). He's a Norwegian Forest Cat, very handsome and extremely friendly.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Build your own kitty-kit?

Unfortunately, this was the result of the Saturday morning fight, found on the kitchen floor. This, and some shattered porcelain. Bohoo :(

A few hours later Fjant was happy again. But still.

feeling hot hot hot

(no, it's not THAT hot, but being the cranium-worshiper that I am I simply had to buy it just because... well, just because.)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

And no, I won't pull your finger

Now who's boss?

Robyn usually is very sweet natured and has no problems with the girls competing for his attention. But every so often he likes to remind them who's the Alpha cat

Thursday, February 8, 2007

For the love of...

I love the new OLW gourmet crisps (Swedish brand only available here I guess, sorry Cecilia, Henrik and Shaun for teasing in case you think they look goooood :-P) with a hint of chili and guacamole. Evindently, they love me back (no, they are usually not shaped, they are "natural potato stylee" - as "natural" as potato crisps can be, that is, but that's another philosophical question to handle ;)).
Non-sentimental as I am I gulped it down as soon as the picture was taken.
I giggle sometimes when I hear about ebay-auctions where carrots shaped as JC (etc etc) sell for ridiculous amounts of money. Perhaps I should have tried to sell this as "The Sacred Heart"?

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Sally and the orchids

Sally in her favourite window, the one with the orchids.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Monday, February 5, 2007

More Bebe

We got Bebe as an adult cat through a shelter. Being a feral cat she took some time to settle on but once she did she became a sweet, affectionate little lap cat.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

The cat's whiskers or the whisker's cat?

Ted's white bits catching the sun this afternoon.

Speaking of the Eiffel Tower...'s really not all that it's cracked up to be. Look at this - I'm only 161 cm and the tower easily fits into my hand :-P

(I visited Paris in May 2006 - oh, the glory, it was a wonderful trip despite the gray skies)

Among the tourists

On a hot Monday in July, at the Eiffel Tower, some people were working, trying to keep the order among the infinite masses of ice cream eating tourists.

(I'm not absolutely sure I'm the photographer of this picture, it might be my sweet travelling companion, but it is from my camera).

The equivalent to Hodge?

No, this cat never belonged to a famous person, it's just famous (well, that depends on how to define famous) for sitting on the stairs outside the local newspaper i Västerås, VLT, and for having been kidnapped in the beginning of the nineties. He/She was later found again in a forest close to the city centre.
I paid it a visit last week (I was going to the small café "Kalle på Spången" in the house at the corner in the background) but none of the pictures were any good so I used an old one, from June 2006.
I met a copy in Gothenburg just a few weeks ago, inside AEC.
a note, added 070221
Today I found out that the cat is named "Jönssons katt", designed by Anders Jönsson, available at Svenskt Tenn for SEK5300:- - okidoki!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Is there something wrong with this fountain?

This is one of the fountains in Trafalgar Square (just below the Alison Lapper statue). The figures are of Tritons and are all very classical but there seems to be something wrong with this picture- as if someone ate a dodgy kebab!

Oh, the irony

This slightly "enhanced" sign can be found in Bishop's Street (OK, so it's "Biskopsgatan" in Swedish) in Västerås, ca 100 m from the cathedral. Some people probably mind (and if they do I guess they mind a LOT), but my pagan soul finds it quite amusing. This said, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but... Well: The IRONY.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Alison Lapper - Trafalgar Square

This has to be the best statue on display in London at the moment. It currently occupies the fourth plinth in Trafalgar square (this plinth had been earmarked for a statue of William IV, but nobody could be bothered to raise the funds!) A few years ago it was decided to use the fourth plinth to display challenging works of art.

The statue of Alison Lapper, an artist in her own right, got a mixed reception from the critics (what do they know?) but it has proven to be quite popular. Unfortunately its time on the fourth plinth comes to an end in April. The replacement does not look that inspiring, sadly.

By the way since you all use your real names I thought I would do likewise so no more jamsodonnell - not here anyway!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

By popular demand:

Sally's spotted tummy (just as soft as it looks):

Back to cats

Must have some pictures of cats after all the green stuff :-).
Here is our younger cat Sally:

Not a daisy but....

... one of the last surviving summer flowers in the garden. It looks like a snapdragon but I think it's a Diascia. It's times like this I give thanks for a sheltered garden and the Gulfstream!

A taste of... December

I found this poor lonesome *sob* Daisy outside my building December 5th 2006.

That's global warming for you.

A taste of summer

After meeting a fellow food blogger and her husband for lunch in Stockholm last summer, I took a long stroll with my trusty Nikon. I caught these, slightly weathered, daisies along the way.