This blue marble

– and yet it spins


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Interlude: soft summer

pcaLovely ones, on to quite a different topic for once: color. It is an endless source of inspiration for me, even if my home has exactly three colors: some cocoa brown, mostly shades of gray, and a touch of turquoise. And now, finally, after decades of thinking about it, I had my own colors analyzed. I always thought of myself as a True Summer, but could not quite make mint green or light blue gray work. Now I know why. My coloring is one of those tricky neutrals, on a slider from the coolest colors slightly towards warmer, but still more cool than warm.

Soft summer is probably the most boring, flat, mousy color scheme out of them all. There is no white, only a light neutral like a sheet caught in the smoke of a campfire. There are no pastels, or colors with white added to them; instead all the light colors are diluted with a shade of gray.

But soft summer is also elegant, understated, polished. Like a bluebell on a slightly hazy dewy meadow. My gray cat’s paw, with lavender pads. Dusty old dried roses. There is depth to soft summer: aubergine, Douglas fir needle green, a deep slightly muted burgundy.  There is no real contrast: the differing but same-tone colors bring the picture to life. Like if you reduced a photograph of a hazy summer night meadow to black-and-white: you cannot tell what is what, and where the flowers are. But add color and all makes sense.

Now I need to get my head into a slightly more neutral, dusky, calm space. With a sense of revelation I have recycled a couple of garments I had always loved but which never seemed quite right. Mostly because they were either too cool or too light. And I cannot wait for spring to go hunting for seafoam, sage, and pistachio greens.

(Helsinki, Finland; November 2017)


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Interlude: tidy spaces

konmari-2“After some thought I realized that the WC is the most public space in the home, even more so than the kitchen. But toilet supplies are the least inspiring things of any home. The guests may rarely see them, but if they are displayed in an untidy fashion, your reputation is ruined. This is why esthetics is essential especially when it comes to storing toilet supplies”.

Marie Kondo never fails to make me laugh – just before she slaps me with a new insight barely a second later.

(Helsinki, Finland; May 2017. Excerpt freely translated from the Finnish version of Spark Joy by Marie Kondo)


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The end of me

booksEnglish bookstores will be the end of me. I think it runs in the family. Once my sister and I spent a week in London and lugged home 10 kilos of books. Another time she spent 3 hours in Heffers in Cambridge. I was not bored, either.

This time we spent a week in Oxford and London and I managed to come home with only 5 books (yes, one missing from the photo). But where else can one find an entire book about nightly walks of artists and literary figures in historical, sometimes dangerous nocturnal London? Or a book on quantum mechanics in biology? Or books and books about trees, the ocean, and naturalism?

Help. I may need help. If not for any other purpose, then to expand the entire wall of books I have at home. Just as soon as I’ve finished this book I am reading.

(Helsinki, Finland; January 2017)