Wednesday, April 28

Are we there yet?

I'm working like crazy right now. We're launching a new website in a few days and everything needs to be done yesterday. We're checking, fixing, uploading new photos, writing and translating.
I've been transferring content all day, in an endless stream of copy, paste, copy, paste, copy... and now my hands and arms hurt.

Right now I just wanna be on a tropical island, sipping a drink and reading a book. Madness can come too.

Sunday, April 25

Intelligent Life

I admit that the cover was the reason I first picked up this issue of Intelligent Life, a quarterly lifestyle and culture magazine from The Economist.

The current issue.

The content is superb and well written. In my mind, good journalism should flow so easily that the story just seems to slip off the page. And find that illusive balance between telling a rich story and rambling on and on for ages.

My favorite piece is called Five boys: the story of a picture, written by Ian Jack. It's published on the Intelligent Life website and tells the story behind this classic photo by Jimmy Sime.

Five boys and not one of them is an Etonian.

Friday, April 16

Volcanoes, ash and aviation

Who would have thought that an Icelandic volcano called Eyjafjallajökull could disrupt all airline traffic in western Europe?

14.04.2010 The farm Thorvaldseyri (Þorvaldseyri) today.
It lies on the south side of the volcano and glacier Eyjafjallajökull (1666 m).
The farmer, Ólafur Eggertsson, took the picture.

I doubt that the Icelandic volcanoes are a sign of the apocalypse. If they are, we're on a very slow countdown. But it's an interesting collision of a very old, natural, geological phenomena and modern life.

Eyjafjallajökull has been around since the Ice Age and there are recorded eruptions in 920 and 1612. The last time it was active was in 1821, an eruption that lasted two years.
Think about it. That's once when the Vikings were kicking ass* in Normandie and the UK, once in the year that Galileo Galilei first lays his eyes on the planet Neptune (he thought it was a star but I'm not gonna hold that against him) and once at the time the first photograph was taken.

Back in 920, 1612 and 1820 most people didn't travel very far from their homes. Boats and horses were used to get around. The 1820's are the decade of steam engines and the dawn of rail transport. Something tells me that volcanic ash from Iceland didn't cause much disruption to transportation back in the day.

The Wright brothers built their first aircraft in 1903, almost 80 years after Eyjafjallajökulls eruption. My nearest airport, Kastrup in Copenhagen, opened in 1925 with a grass runway.

From then on, aviation has developed at an amazing speed.
When my grandparents were young they traveled by boat or railway. My paternal grandmother's cousins who emigrated to the US in the 1920's or 1930's traveled by Ocean liner.
In the late 1960's my mother, then in her late teens, went on holiday with her parents on a chartered jet. My grandfather traveled internationally for work, so he took the family abroad on a few occasions.
When I was in my teens I had visited the UK several times, been on holiday in the US, Sicily, the Netherlands and one or two holiday resorts in the Mediterranean.

Today it seems like every Swede has been on holiday to Thailand at least once, air travel is as glamorous as traveling by train and we expect to be able to go anywhere, whenever we want. Until an Icelandic volcano decided to wake up and stop everything.

Nobody knows how long the ash cloud will disrupt air traffic in western Europe. It might be back to normal in a few days, or we could have even more ash floating about. For where Eyjafjallajökull has gone in the past, the neighbouring Katla has followed.

I hope that the ash cloud clears up and drifts away soon. A year or two of no jetplanes combined with a need to cut down on fossil fuel might just catapult us all into steampunk.
Rocketeer jetpack, anyone?

Promotional poster for the 1991 movie Rocketeer.

*A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine!
A phrase supposedly heard in monasteries in the UK before the Vikings came around for some pillaging. Loosely translated as: From the rage of the Northmen, save us, gracious Lord God!

Thursday, April 8

RIP Malcolm McLaren

Malcolm McLaren, the man behind the clothing store Sex, manager of Sex Pistols, designer and provocateur has passed away. He was the kind of person I loved to dislike. Opinionated, loud and always sure of his own excellence.

I guess it's just got a bit louder on the other side.


He was a sharp dresser back in the 70's.

Joseph Corré, the founder of Agent Provocateur is the son of Malcolm and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood.

I got the news from the Independent.

Tuesday, April 6

Smell Ya Later

I meet a lot of people when I'm out and about with the Saint 21 crew; HepCat Store and HepTown Records. The majority are very nice but every now and again I meet some strange creatures.

Like this one guy I talked to at a release party for a band on HepTown Records. He smelled like he'd washed himself in his grandmother's perfume. When you're talking to someone at a venue where the band is playing you need to stand pretty close to hear what the other person is saying. I don't have a problem with this. But this guy... The smell wasn't so bad at first, but it became more and more intrusive.

He seemed to be one of those guys who are really certain of their own excellence, but the smell was the really annoying part of this encounter. And it stuck after the conversation was over and I was back at the merch table. All I could smell was stale, icky perfume. Everywhere.

I tried going out for air, standing really close to a smoker and putting my nose against Rob's slightly sweaty shirt, anything to get rid of that nasty perfume smell, but nothing worked. I was stuck with that nasty smell in my nostrils.

Until the DJ burned the plastic coating on one of the spotlights in the DJ booth. We were right next to that spotlight and the sharp smell of burning plastic was a sweet relief...

Saturday, April 3

Happy Easter!

I got a little creative for the office Easter party and decorated my egg with post-its.

Cut and paste.


It won 2nd prize, beaten only by a pink egg with feathers and sparkly bits. Not bad for 20 minutes with scissors and glue.

The great thing about Easter, apart from the sunshine and all the candy, is that there's time to sleep in, meet friends for lunch and read.

I found these flowers at Möllevångstorget for next to nothing because they were a bit scruffy. They look great after a bit of TLC.

Happy Easter!