Friday, March 31, 2006

Chin up

Dear Marc, staying at my parents house, we're enjoying entertainment of the old world kind. As usual, dad is putting eyes on his chin while telling stories. Scary and entertaining at the same time, we call it "the poor man's TV".

Stop by some time and request your favorite re-run on dad TV.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Fashion fantasy nr 2.

Dear Marc, some days, I am no longer a Scottish heiress. I am a Finnish logger. I work hard all day, and really enjoy my cold beer at the end of the day, sitting by the water at sunset.

The landscape is very harsh all around me, but the Finnish birds and the light make up for the lack of people and gossip. I don't get bored out here, cause this is fantasy, not reality.

I wear only Ivana Helsinki, cause I'm a patriotic Finn. Perhaps you'd care to stop by some day. I'll treat you to some rye bread, so sturdy we have to use a real saw to slice it. Wash it down with spring water and tell me some awful jokes. Then perhaps you can show me how to tango.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Fashion fantasy nr 1.

Dear Marc, as much as I like you, I also love Orla Kiely. I'm a predictable person and find some kind of comfort in this. I want to be a Scottish heiress, walking home from a lecture in my Kiely coat, sheltered from the rain by huge pears.

At home, fresh tea and scones (with raspberry preserves and clotted cream) are waiting by the fire. My kids are somewhere around, playing with scotties. Anders is solving local crimes, stumbling over our long lost family treasures. I look down on the rose garden while writing letters to my friends in Australia. I tell them how we grow prizewinning organic cucumbers in our garden. All proceeds go to Doctors without borders.

On weekends I take the bike to the store to stock up on chocolate and cheese. On the way there, I always run into the handsome country doctor who tells me everything that's going on in the neighbourhood. The scandals!

Must go take the apple pie out of the oven.

Take care love
-Ms McMarple.

Avian blues

Dear Marc, this will be a strange easter. I mean, easter has such a bird focus with feathers and eggs and right now is such a sad time for the airborne creatures.

I read our town newspaper. The headline screams:

"Local police begs: Please stop calling about dead birds".

I can imagine the disillusioned crime fighters. After years of police school shaping them to chase down criminals and stop bank robberies, they have to answer endless calls about ailing or deceased swans in the area.

The avian flu. It's hardest on the birds.
So let's celebrate the winged community just like we should in easter time.

Join me in eggstraordinary decorating.
Buy an eggshaped bird feeder.

Once we've moved in, I'll stop being so obsessed with house-related issues. This will be a great spring. We're going skiing and I'm planning a trip to New York and DC.

And while I'm in New York, there will be a new exhibition at the Met about my favourite Egyptian ruler, the female pharao Hatshepsut.

I'm such a lucky, lucky girl.
What do you have lined up for spring? Work for other season's collections?
It must be so strange to be a fashion designer, to always live somewhat in the future.


Saturday, March 25, 2006


Dear Marc, finally I find a beer holster in 100 % leather!
It's about time! I hate having one hand tied up because of the beer holding.
And if this is how I feel, imagine how the deaf must feel!
Now they can drink AND talk with both hands.

Finally indeed.
-e, typing with ONE hand til I get my hoslter. Hotlser. Holster.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Oodles of poodles

Dear Marc, I just needed to share this too expensive wallpaper with you. It's from Secondhand Rose in New York and costs like a million dollar a roll. Which of course is a reasonable price for such a great image of these lovely decadent canines. How much do I love them? Let me count the ways.

-e, currently wearing necktie and beret, smoking cigarettes while nibbling on a Frolic.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Goodbye India

Dear Marc, we're home again. Snow is still thick on the ground here, but other things have changed. Two of my friends have just welcomed a baby boy and we've moved into my parents basement while waiting for our own place to be done.

It took many nice flights to get us back to this silly corner of the world. I tried to sum up our Indian vacation in my head, but a mix of jet lag, red wine and terrific in-flight entertainment (thankyou Virgin Atlantic!) made it difficult to concentrate.

But one thing I kept remembering was the tendancy of many an Indian woman to offer their opinion on myself and my children. Sometimes their frank questions about me were directed to Anders:

"Is that your wife? Do you not control your wife? Why she miss one tooth? Why she have black marks all over her legs?"

He could only respond with the truth - that no, he had no control over me.

I was kind of OK with the remarks about my own lack of perfection, but it irked me when the woman who was doing the metal detection feel up at customs told me "your baby carrier is so dirty, your baby will be sick". She was not convinced by my "it's just sand" response.

We kept Joel happy during the 3 hour delay in Goa by offering him cookies. Indian women all around me told me that "he has baby food in his face". I know. He's 10 months old, still trying to figure out the finer mechanics involved in putting the food where the mouth is.

Here's a picture of art from the international Bombay/Mumbai airport. I have no idea what it is, but it looks kind of Koonsy to me.

Now that you've rested your eyes on all those pretty horses, let's head back to the pool of negativity. The list of comments about Joel was long. To the Indian eye, he was looking "too hot", "too cold", "dirty", "mosquito bitten", "hungry", "tired", etc in absurdum. I'm so happy the Indian people let me keep my baby, since it seemed I was in no way the kind of parent they would have liked me to be.

They would often pinch his cheeks in a very hard way, I'm still surprised he didn't protest more often. Vanja, on the other hand is 4 and shy with strangers. She did not appreciate the pinching and the lifting up on various arms.

Anders came to her rescue, pinching Indian men's cheeks and offering them to sit on his arm. Surprisingly, not one grown man accepted the temtping offer.

India in all, however, was a lovely time, as pictured by Joel, the child so neglected by Indian standards:

Must go wash our dirty laundry. All the Indian clothes are too cold, the Swedish winter clothes have been put away in storage boxes since I thought we would return to a warm Spring weather.

My waiting for the house-look will be an interesting mix of skimpy beach wear and my father's thermal underwear. Got any tips on how to make this work for me?

Love love

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The missing link

Dear Marc, know how I always talk about how I can’t wear high heels because my feet are so broad and flat? And know how I always lament this fact, since I love your shoes so much?

Well, guess what, I’ve found a man who might help my feet fit more comfortably into my MJ’s. With the help of patience, time and a few nifty, foot friendly postures, I may be able to recreate my lost arches.

Yes. It is that guy in that picture up above. He is the one.

He was my yoga teacher back in Palolem, which we have now left behind us. I miss him so much. I wish we could bring him with us back home to Sweden, but am afraid he would be too cold, wearing only that tangerine tank top. The beard might protect his neck, though.

This is how we lived, just a quick walk from the beach:

And this is where we had great meals:

The place was so pretty, here’s a view of the library (please notice the local librarian):

The final picture doesn’t really belong here, but I’ll throw it in anyways, cause I like it so much,.
It may look like his and hers prison cells, but it’s actually a sign for rest rooms. Notice how ladies wear saris and gents are try to hold their pee with the help of slightly bent knees.

Curried- soon to be well heeled- love

Saturday, March 11, 2006

It kind of rubs off on you

Dear Marc, have you been to India?

If so, did you grow a mustache? You must have.
India does something to people, and it seems that what it does to men is to create an urge for more hair on the upper lip. 99.9% of all men I see here have mustaches. It’s like going to a country where all women have feathered hair.

As for women, if you stay for more than 2 hours in India, foot jewelry will seem like a must have, just as long skirts, scarves and colorful sandals. I swear it’s so contagious, I found Vanja’s blonde Barbie dolls adorned with blue dots between their eyebrows the other day. I had no idea they were so desperate to fit in.

We’re in Goa now, we took the train here. It was a lovely experience except for the fact that we were stuck with a woman who never quit talking. We all moved out of our compartment to avoid the constant babble, but that didn’t stop her, she found me, asleep with Joel sleeping on my arm behind closed curtains in another compartment. “Excuuuuse meee!”, she said and proceeded to show me yet another cell phone video of her baby.

But the train ride was still great, because the scenery was often breathtaking and the food was so good. And the people behind the food was even better, listen to their slogan:

Rajdhani: Service till eternity.

Isn’t that what we all want? I guess it could be a nod to the slow pace of many Indian train journeys, but I still love the grandiose dedication to the customers. Thankyou Rajdhani!

Almost as good was the motto of the Kerala police force: Polite but firm.
That’s what I want to be too!

Polite but firm greetings from

Ps. Did you ever try an Indian Tourist candy bar? The hollow waffle with a white creamy centre.

I don’t think I’ve ever read such a fitting description.

Here are some pictures for you:

Vanja showing off her yogic flexibility, flowery thoughts, sharp teeth and new anklet. Notice the mustache on the pseudo-Indian guy beside her.

Keep working, happy, polite, skull!

Trying to soothe the talking woman’s baby as Vanja looks on and Joel protests.

The best part of taking the night train is breakfast with a view as the new day is dawning.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Getting centimental

Dear Marc, this letter is special. It is the 100th I write to you. The standing is now100 – 0. Perhaps this should be enough to make me stop writing you, but it’s become a habit I find it hard to kick.

Today’s current affairs include Bush’s visit to India, dragonfly sex and Joel.

We didn’t notice much about the presidential visit. I was most impressed by his arrival. 3 identical airplanes landed in Hyderabad yesterday. Which hosted Mr. Bush? It was like a game of Magical Cups or whatever you call it, that old street game invented to fool tourists off their money.

The Bush visit also reminded me of his old speech about ”smoking terrorists out of their holes”. The Indian heat did the same to us, smoked us out of our inexpensive cabin and blew us in the direction of a more expensive, AC equipped hotel with pool. Mom, if you’re reading this, we’re OK despite the heat. Don’t worry.

We all sleep better here, and this morning I took a swim under the coconut trees, while tropical birds and butterflies flew over my head. I also saw a couple of mating dragonflies, which added interest to my swimming. I admire how the dragonflies add flight to the exhausting act of insect sex. No wonder their lives are so short.

Then I had breakfast and read an Indian magazine called New Woman. There was an interesting article on female sexuality. It stated that women who don’t orgasm might go insane or explode. Do dragonflies reach climax? Or do they explode? Perhaps a majority of female dragonflies are insane, what do I know?

Then I had coffee and Anders showed up with Joel. Joel is 10 months old now and he’s going through a period of serious mom attachment. Perhaps it’s a combination of us moving out of our house, going to India and cutting him off the milk. It seems likely. He’s most happy if he’s in my arms.

Every morning I go to my yoga class. On returning I see my son happily playing with his dad and sister. But after catching just one glimpse of me, he starts to cry. Anders calls it a classic case of the Stockholm syndrome, since Joel will accept and even like his oppressor until he sees his usual caretaker.

Isn’t it typical that Joel should be hit with the Stockholm syndrome during the 6 weeks we’re out of Stockholm? I wonder if there is a Kerala syndrome. Perhaps there is one, I imagine it would involve an urge to be living on a houseboat. Or goats or elephants like the ones behind our hotel.

Right now, the poor kidnappee is taking a short kiddie nap, wearing a nappy. I’m not kidding.
Love 100 times


Ps. Oh, this was the real reason for writing:
I have Joel in my lap while feeding him porridge and mashed vegetables. He has only 6 teeth, undeveloped motoric skills and poor table manners. As a result, all my clothes are marked with mashed vegetables and porridge.

No woman wants to walk around looking like a dirt tablecloth. So my question today is: Would you consider making a pretty dress our of waxed cloth, Teflon or rain cloth? Thank you!