Category Archives: Personal

Quantum satis

There is a concept that is said to only exist in Swedish. The term indicates a satisfactory amount adapted for its purpose, neither too much that destroys nor too little that is not enough to achieve the desired result. I think it is called “quantum satis” in Latin, in Swedish it is called “lagom”. The English translation could be “just right” or “adequate” but the meaning is not quite the same.

Anyway, in love relationships, I’m way too kind and compliant. I have a lot of psychological explanations for this but they are not very helpful, and I’m not getting better at being “just right kind enough”.
Of course, it is a good quality to be kind, but it can be overvalued. Too much kindness can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, but it can also be exploited, depending on the recipient. The risk being you focusing too much on the other person’s needs and ignoring your own, to be a better person and to be liked.

Next time I fall in love, again, I will really try not to be overly kind. I will try to focus more on myself, try to know my own priorities, and try to set reasonable boundaries. Now I have written about it in this blog and it is public. I cannot hide (and just be overly kind)!

To do, or not to do it, yourself!

I came up with the idea to renovate the kitchen in my little townhouse. It did not come suddenly, I have planned it for the twelve years I have lived here. It has felt like a big project, but now it was time. I wanted to treat myself to it. It would be done thoroughly, a complete renovation, floors, ceilings, walls, cabinets and appliances. And I would do almost everything myself. I chose a kitchen from IKEA. It felt best for a self-made carpenter. 

It is actually not difficult to assemble an IKEA kitchen. All that is needed is foresight and careful planning. A kitchen planner helped with ordering and the delivery time was six weeks. The work began with demolishing the old kitchen. It has lived do-it-yourselfers in the townhouse before me. I discovered several more or less clever constructions so in addition to changing floors, I also had to make a new ceiling. But, what the heck, I like to solve problems!

When installing new ceiling joists and filling the joints between the gypsum boards in the ceiling, it would have been good with a little more craftsmanship. It also had not hurt when it was time to put up the tiles. Fortune favors the bold, and I think it actually turned out really well. I needed to draw new water pipes and for the connection, the skill of a plumber was required. An electrician was also required to put together a fully functioning kitchen. Otherwise, I have actually done everything myself, with a little help from my sons. Now only two pieces of cover are missing over the top cabinets and I am proud of the result. That was my purpose in doing the job myself. I reached the goal!

With hope for the future!

Very soon, the year 2020 will end. In many ways, it has been a terrible year. In Sweden, it turns out that new public management and the just-in-time economy have made us very vulnerable to a plague like the Corona pandemic. Hopefully we will learn something from the ordeal that the Covid-19 virus entails. In any case, we did not want to listen to the warnings and we should have understood better. 

With joint efforts, we will pass this torment as well. But the year has not only been miserable. Just before the year started, I fell very much in love even though I had actually given up the opportunity to meet someone who would put up with me. It has turned out that she is crazy enough and has enough humor to accept me and I can see her whims from the bright side. 

It has not been a dance on roses all the time and it probably will not be in the future either. But I feel the security I need to not let my inner fears take over and not listen to all the nonsense that my ego tells me. It’s not bad at all and then I have come a long way. 

You learn as long as you live. Finally, I have learned and may have grown up in love too. So, despite all the misery of the pandemic, my year has been wonderful, and I look forward to the next. In this post, I share various photos from the year that has now come to an end.

Happy New Year! 🙂

Santa Claus is coming to town!

The tradition of sending Christmas cards started in Britain in the 1840s.  The practice of sending Christmas greetings on colored postcards soon spread both to the United States and via Germany and Denmark to Sweden. In Sweden, it became popular to send Christmas cards at the end of the 19th century and the tradition is still very popular. With her very popular Christmas card motifs, the artist Jenny Nyström gave us the image of the Swedish Santa Claus, Christmas presents and a Christmas tree (jultomten, julklappar och julgranen). My sons and I have a tradition of creating our own Christmas card, perhaps a little less traditional or at least with a more modern motif. This year’s Christmas card shows how Santa takes over Stockholm city.

Picture by @adamfored 🙂

The love of swimming!

Since long, I am well known as a ”bathing coward”. Google translate doesn’t translate the Swedish word “badkruka”, but I am talking about outdoor swimming in cold waters, I didn’t use to appreciate it. Mostly, it’s rather chilly in the waters of the Baltic sea. Ever since I got a boat of my own, gradually I’ve had to learn to appreciate swimming in cold waters.

Like most of Europe, in recent weeks we have had high pressure weather and a heat wave. The water in the sea has become really comfortable. This weekend, it didn’t take much courage to swim. I could even wash the water line!

Pictures by Carolina Källgren.

Fear and Love

We all carry inner fears. I think that when we recognize them and know them, we have the conditions necessary to reach the final stage of our ”adult development”. In our minds we have an idea of who we are. We have learned the idea of ourselves during life. Thoughts about ourselves have been shaped by success and adversity. We have learned to live our lives. But even if the thoughts, once formed, were appropriate, in adulthood they may have become an inner fear, a fear that complicates life.

We are happy to defend our inner fear of discovery. Wouldn’t it be awful if someone discovered that we are inadequate and not worthy of love? Whenever we are in a defensive position, we really are not in our favor. The notion of ourselves and our inner fear is then easily confirmed, especially in love relationships.

I know, it sounds hopeless but you can actually learn again. It’s hard to get rid of the inner fears but you can stop being afraid of them. Recognize them and learn to deal with them as a fully-grown person. Do not be afraid!

Love and trust.

Trust is the foundation of love, and we can only truly love someone that we can trust. Love by itself isn’t enough, and really does not conquer all. I now know that I have to trust the one I Love. To have a healthy love relationship, I must have the guts to believe in my partner. Trust is necessary.

Trust is a feature of love. Trust enhances love. A real love relationship is built upon trust. If your partner tends to break your trust in any way, it simply isn’t true love. Building trust requires commitment, and trust must be maintained. Trust requires listening to and communicating both our desires and needs. Most importantly, trust requires honesty.

Once the trust is broken it is hard to avoid doubt and fear of trust and love being broken again. You become more cautious about whom to trust, and to love again. Fortunately, trust actually can allow us to love again! When you are aware that trusting someone is a risk, and when the falling in love comes with a hope that your lover will deliver on all the promises the earlier relationships failed to fulfil, you must dare to take the risk. That risk can create a wonderful, everlasting love!

Doing Stockholm!

I am rarely down town, even though I live and work near Stockholm city. This Christmas and New Year I had a little longer leave. It has been a wonderful vacation! I even had the opportunity “to do the town”.

Me and my lovely sweetheart had lunch at Medelhavsmuseet, the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities. In the museum you will find Bagdad cafe, a delicious restaurant and wine bar. Tables are nicely placed among exhibition booths. 

We wanted to celebrate the day with a drink! Unfortunately, the bar at Katarinahissen was closed, but the view of Riddarfjärden, Gamla stan and Stadsgården was beautiful.

We went to the nice bar in Hotel Scandic Malmen and ended the day with a mouthwatering Mojito and a delicious Caipirinha!

Chance and love.

Very much happens by chance or at random. Admittedly, the right conditions need to prevail, but chance mostly has a big impact. Being lucky seems necessary! When it comes to love, I think we create the conditions ourselves.

Brusquely expressed, I lost faith in love about six months ago. I was well on my way to become bitter and almost misogynous! But, I’m basically unhelpfully romantic and couldn’t stop believing that even for me, somewhere there was a great answered love.

I just had to take it easy and stop hunting, but still be open to love! Suddenly and completely unexpectedly she was there. I fell in love and realized that the love is answered. Now, our love develops and we get to know each other. It is wonderful. Random is not enough to explain that we have met. It really feels like a higher power is involved in the fact that we two met each other!

Forget the modesty!

You can really wonder why I’m blogging and why I’ve started posting about my feelings on the internet. This website started out as a kind of photo blog just because I wanted to learn blogging. But, honestly, I actually find photo blogs without text pretty boring even if the pictures may be really nice. Not all pictures do tell more than a thousand words!

To me, a blog isn’t like posting on Facebook or Instagram. I confess I’m posting there to get many likes! On this blog, however, I can see the viewer statistics and where you viewers reside but nothing more. If you are a WordPress user and likes a post, I can see your feedback, but I allow likes also from anonymous viewers.

Lately, I have written about my experience of falling in love, for me in a new and fantastic way. It is possible that I shouldn’t write about such things, but I feel strongly that I want to share. It might help some, somewhat chubby men in their best years, to believe in love. Who knows, maybe it helps even more, who are looking for that great love.

Anyway, in order to blog about emotions, I have had to move outside my comfort zone, and have had to put my shyness or modesty aside. So far it has been fairly painless but I have not really received any response to what I have written, except from her whom I love and who loves me. So, you my few readers, don’t be shy, log in at before liking, and please comment! 🙂

The pictures again are photos from 2017 that I like including people I love.

The language of love

There is saying “Treat others the way you want to be treated”. In love relations this seems safe and easy, and you will probably get what you want in return. But imagine if you act completely unaware of the other’s wishes. Then you might become too selfish, simply a jerk. No one wants to be like that, right?

I’d rather say “Treat others the way they want to be treated”. I enjoy being responsive, loving and generous but risk being perceived as too soft and without my own will. Fortunately, that’s a risk I’m prepared to take, and it seems to pay off!

I now know that there is a love for each of us. You just have to give yourself time to understand what you are longing for. How to treat each other is an essential part of the language of love. When you have met your love, and when you speak the same language of love, then you know that you have found the one you do not want to live without.

The three first pictures are from the Pride parade in Stockholm, and the last is from Regent’s Canal in London.

Reciprocated love

Some say unrequited love is real love but I can’t disagree more. Some say the less reciprocation there is, the more desire we have! I do believe they are horribly wrong. I would argue, however, that love without response is like an important question without an answer. I have been in love when I haven’t had the same reciprocated emotion, and it hurts. Not a pleasant soul pain like a sliver of autumn depression, but a nagging and joy-killing.

Love has now suddenly arisen in my life and I feel that she really cares. She seems to see the imperfect me perfect. The love is mutually answered.

The pictures are taken some years ago in Stockholm at Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum with farmsteads and a zoo.

Falling in love or enamoured hope!

In the Swedish everyday language there are several words for love, kind of reflecting the different stages of the “love relation process”. The first stage, when we are falling in love, is called “förälskad” and may translate into English as “enamoured”, or “amorous”, or simply “in love with”. 
I am into research and maybe I theorise too much. Anyway, I mean that stage when it all feels great and we are full of hope and dreams. We hope that our lover will deliver on all the promises our earlier relationships failed to fulfil, and we dream of remaining in love forever. All our love hormones are overflowing.
This truly is a wonderful stage, and it is probably necessary for the relation to develop into the next stage when we really love each other, in Swedish “när vi älskar varann”. When the love deepens and develop, and when you really feel you have found the one you don’t want to live without.
(It’s just some thoughts of enamoured hope!)

Love and expectations.

I find love and expectations difficult and it doesn’t seem to get easier with age. I am a romantic and think that practical or comfortable love is boring, but what are realistic expectations? Does it mean I can forget a great love, forget that person who makes it feel like bumblebees are buzzing in my chest?

Does having realistic expectations mean that I should settle for someone who is okay, and that I should be happy with a partner who isn’t great? Actually, I would generally be okay with a partner who is human, just like me, and who, like me, is imperfect.

I don’t expect myself and my partner to fulfill a romantic ideal; to always be in sync, to always know what the other person is thinking, to always do the right thing. Things are never always perfect. All I want is a love that’s real, in which me and my partner recognize each other for who we really are—as wonderful, flawed human beings.

The pictures show wonderful, flawed and withering flowers in my garden, now in November.

I read and was inspired by:

Without love!

Love is not finding someone to live with, it’s finding the one you don’t want to live without!

I tend to learn stepwise. Sudden insights make me understand. This quote on love made me realize that I have been chasing love the wrong way. 

I am divorced since long, and am ashamed of not succeeding in the marriage. In addition, since my divorce I have not been able to keep a lasting love relation. This adds to my guilt. But, before I didn’t have the understanding I got from the quote above.

Some years ago I actually stumbled upon the kind of love that is hard to live without. I haven’t realized this before. Unfortunately, she was divorcing herself and I became the springboard out of her marriage. Her feelings towards me perhaps were mixed with the feelings of life reorientation. 

Anyway, I have tried to move on, my habit faithfully, on my stepped path, but it has not worked. Now I know why, and it really feels good. I am not anymore chasing someone to live with. I might find the one I can’t live without, or I won’t. The important thing is that I finally understand what true love is all about.

My photo blog seems to evolve into something else! For this post I have selected previously published images that I enjoy. I have also posted this from my smartphone!

The winter rest has begun.

The fourth season with my boat is over. It’s been a great boating season, the Stockholm archipelago is really amazing and discovering it by motorboat suits me perfectly. The boat has everything needed for a holiday and with a reasonably large crew you have comfort. With just two on board, it is pure luxury!

It has never been the idea of having a boat, but on the longer archipelago trip, I had new company, even this season. If I were the least superstitious, I would think that there is a curse on the boat when it comes to companionship. It doesn’t matter, I love the boat anyway! Mange and Lollo, and my sons are happy to come along.

At the end of the summer, I gathered the courage to spend the night alone in a natural harbor, but instead I ended up with Anita and Staffan at a cozy barbecue party at Vega Segelsällskap’s club island. If you take the boat trip as it comes then wonderful things happen!

Mange, as seen in the pictures, helped me pick up the boat. Now the boat will rest over the winter. Next spring I will make her shine nice again. If you think you can stand up to a middle-aged skipper who thinks too much, get in touch!

With autumn comes the rain!

You, all my faithful followers know that I have found a new way of life, I commute to work on my new electric bike!
Cycling has been fine so far, but now with autumn comes the challenges. The temperature has been really low a few mornings and it is raining more and more. Luckily, I’m pretty stubborn once I’ve decided! (Some would call it pride. You are not half-Finnish for nothing!)

There is no bad weather, just bad clothes! A little rain won’t stop me. It’s so much fun to ride a bike. It is refreshing and relaxing, purely meditative. I am more present when I ride a bike and even though I actually have fewer thoughts, I get more good ideas. In addition, I avoid traffic jams during rush hour. Does it sound like I’ve become fanatical or saved? Yes maybe!

This time the pictures are taken with the mobile phone camera. The last picture is one of my roses that welcomed me when I got home!

Righteousness and prejudice!

Electric bicycle, it’s cheating! Ever since I started commuting to work on an electric pedal bike, I have encountered prejudice. The cheating accusations kick off my guilt and shame issues, and I get sad whenever I proudly tell someone that I have started commuting by electric bike, and hear that it is cheating. How’s that cheating?

Either way, now I’ve been commuting on my electric bike for a month. Previously, with my regular 24-speed bike, I have not been able to maintain bike commuting for such a long period.
It is great fun! I get lively and happy! I am proud of myself!

I think, that’s how I am!

Adam, my youngest son used to tell me I was thinking too much. Nowadays he is also a thinker.

I wonder if it is bad to think too much. What is too much? Does it apply to all kinds of thoughts? Isn’t thinking a human tool that generally is far too little used?

Okay, I think a lot, maybe too much. But, I like to think. That’s how I am!

To exercise, or not!

I regularly travel by bus to work. It’s nice to sit and think while I look through the bus window and listen to the sounds around me. By the way, smartphone headphones just fall out of my ears.

It is convenient to ride the bus but I do not get much exercise. Regular job commuting by bike would definitely increase the chance of good health and a more attractive body. I have several times decided to cycle the almost 14 kilometers to work but it has never become a habit.

I find great pleasure in technical gadgets with good features and a nice design. Furthermore, whenever I feel a little down, I have the ugly habit of comforting myself with a new technological gadget.
Since I do not only intend to devote myself to growing roses, I have now figured out that with a technically advanced electric bicycle, the pleasure of cycling would increase dramatically. After all, I’ve been a little sad and a consolation purchase always works.

Today I took my brand-new electric bike to the nearby nature area. It was a lot of fun and there the sunflowers bloomed. On Monday, I take the electric bike to work. Bathing season 2020, here I come! 🙂