Tuesday, 27 July 2010

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Having listened to an interview with Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self), I was in the mood for a sentimental time journey.

During the last 3 weekswe spent at my parents' appartment, I spotted some souvenirs of my past. I remember all of them, old friends:
An 1907's interpretation of races. This used to be a cushion-cover. now it is used for seperating laundry.

The dutch lady (you can see her shoes) representing the Caucasian race ...

This cover almost falls apart, my mother glued it together. The former green cucumber bleached in the sun.

Why didn't she just throw that cover away? My father treasures our memories, too. He started to digitize all the Kodak-Ektachromes of our past life when we were a young family.

Looking at this picture:

... I feel a certain certainty: Yes, I am not adapted and I never was. If only I could retrieve my former boldness. :) and dare sipping from pool-water!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Lets face it - account day

I will start with a Hello to sparrows & sparkles! Thanks to you I can count my followers on one hand ;-)
Your profile reads like another me: "... expensive handbags, inexpensive jewelry, European cities, travel in Asia, doing laundry ..." Laundry? Seriously? Me too! :-) btw: there is another blogger who loves Laduree's macarons: cotton socks from Melbourne.

I am not so sure if you will like this posting. It is about facing the truth of your expenses.

This lid won't shut anymore

Ever since I earned my first money I decided to keep an account of my incomes and expenses. I have to admit this is really usefull when you want or need to know "how much do I acutually need to make my living?".

I also like to keep the bills just in case of warranty-issues. I kept collecting the bills but never took my time to fill them in the excel or put them in order. Holding a bill in your hands puts expenses in the right perspective. You are reminded of items you bought and forgot them somewhere in your closet. Or in the drawer in the bathroom.

The Aveda Blue Malva Conditioner won't end up in the drawer due to excessive use.

All it needed was 2 rainy weekends in a row and I set downn and faced my expenses.

mmmh, the New York Style Cheese Cake at Demel's ... delicious!

The pile just won't shrink!

Wait, the box is already less packed, progress!

Last step is a satisfactory one: filing the bills for warranties. In the order of years and months. After two years they go into the bin since that's when the warranty expires.

At laaaaaast (quote Etta James):
Pfouhhhhh. Done!

Call me insane, I did not quit until I could see the bottom of the box. Sat. night /morning at 2.30am!!! Ok, Mr Paula has been away for a week and I act crazy when that happens.

However, the next day I felt like I need to reward myself. With some excellent reading plus eyecandy:
I like the dress and the concentrated expression on the face of the designer Kostas Murkudis. Collaborating with the artist Carsten Nicolai. This dress is not pret-a-porter. It is fashion. It is polyurethan and nylon.

You must not think now I'm done. Next will the photo album. The topic: Japan 2007.
600 photos need to be reduced to 360, so they can fit into the album.

First some pampering ...
Good night!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Things that make me happy - Part II

How did I end up with high end, prestige detergents?

Want a close look?

At the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna there is a fancy design shop. Two years ago (yes, call me the elephant brain) they had these bottles on display. A few weeks ago I have been searching for a Lampe Berger-retailer and at the company's website I found The Laundress, again. At first it was a black bucket in retro design which caught my eye. Way too expensive though.

But since The Laundress had caught my eye I visited the companies website, wanted to know more about this company and immediately felt sympathies for their approach.
Organic ingredients instead of chemicals. Yes, vinegar!

They prefer washing instead of drycleaning. Clothes are meant to be washed, dry cleaning is a waste of energy. A wealthy friend once recommended a first class dry cleaner. I went there only to find out they did not manage to remove the sauce-stains from my woolen pants.
When you wash delicate fabrics, you should use the best detergents. That's the way The Laundress does it. That's also the way Faux Fuchsia does it!

And then I splurged...

Who would want an ordinary detergent in a huge box when you can comfort your eye AND nose with this bottle instead:

This pink wool-shampoo looks like a hazard to any delicate fabric

I guess I am at the core of their target group.
And I see myself buying lots of cashmere this fall, only for having the occasion to wash them.

The Laundress is old-fashioned. You won't get the all-in-one product but will have to start a procedure. The detergent did not remove stains by simple laundring when I tried it first.
First you use a stain-remover, then soak it in a bleach-alternative product and THEN launder.
Yes, that's a job. But it is soothing and somehow relaxing. And, it feels good, taking care of your wardrobe. And it makes sense: why wash everything with a harsh detergent if you have only a few stains? So this is what I do.

I also got myself something to get rid of the small in my arm pits. *yieks* Cycling all year long, I need a good detergent to get rid of the smell in the armpits, even after laundring the smell is still there if not treated before laundring, especially when it comes to 100% Polyester!

First I soaked my smelly arm pits in scented vinegar.

After soaking comes the laundring. Well, this is probably an image you have never seen before: a washing machine!

Reference image: laundring the Whites

I won't show you how I sniffled at the arm pits afterwards, I can only assure you the scent is nice!
Amazing. This top has been around for years. It is H&M and still sparkles.

The Laundress is an eco-company selling eco products.
Too bad I am way to smart to neglect the fact that it is NOT eco buying detergents made in he US, shipped to the EC.
The Laundress is cheaper than conventional stuff. Well, maybe this is true in the US.
Their dishwasher-detergent costs 20 times more than the drugstore detergent when I buy it in the EC.
The dishwasher detergent would be sweet: I could use it for handwashing and the machine, a two-in-one product. Plus it is scented with natural oils. Is this benefit worth the price? Having only 1 bottle instead of 1 bottle+1box in the kitchen? I say no. For the moment. The charming lady at the shop where I splurged warned me: this stuff is HIGHLY addictive. Yep!

The two gals from The Laundress said something like "create a luxurious experience for a necessary domestic chore." I can agree with that :)

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Things that make me happy - Part I


today I am in a happy mood.

happy # 1
Had an appointment at the eye specialist. I need more dioptres.
Other people might be upset when they hear these news. Me? No way! I am glad there is a reason I felt uncomfortable during the past weeks.
At the appointment I read the tiniest writings on boxes with big pleasure. I absolutely enjoy a good sight and feel quite miserable when I loose it.

happy # 2
Watching men with funny thin legs cycling around France used to make me very happy. Especially on hot days when I shut the heat out with the blinds.
I fell in love with the landscapes. Pyrenees, French Alps ... It feels good, being still up-to-date. Flecha, Sastre and many more familiar names are still there. Also the french caravans along the road, almost dropping from the mountains. There is nothing like a tradition. Even when its doped. (sorry for that)

Allez! Allez Allez!
Farewell Lance! I really liked the US Postal-Dresses

happy # 3
I have been looking for a picture but could not find a motif for my third happy mood: it occurs as soon as I roll past a construction site on my bike and sense the cool air coming from the wet concrete. Still wet concrete in a hot summer city - a perfect air conditioning system. Unfortunately it only lasts for an instant. Maybe I cycle too fast.

happy #4
No appointment tonight!
yesterday I met a former friend from university. At the Rathausplatz - a big square in front of the city hall.
She used to go there ever since, I rather meet friends on quiet places. Especially when you haven't seen them in 10 years. The actual problem were the oversexed men around her. Stupid conversation, they might call it jokes. I feel akward when I listen to them, like being in the wrong place. Definitely wrong place. What actually showed me one thing: being 38 I can no longer under no circumstances deny where I stand and where I don't belong.

Standing there and politely waiting for them to stop with their jokes – so my friend and I could continue our conversation – I kept wondering if I would and/or should write anything negative about the evening on this blog. What if I pass this link to my former friend from university some day in the near future? Well, since those men where not an acquaintance by chance, but actually friends of hers, chances are that I will not pass the blog-link to her. And I actually keep the negativity to a minimum by not quoting what those men said.

Reference image: Oversexed man. bah.

Farewell Rathausplatz !

but hello ....
Hello housekeeping!

happy #5
having detergents and cleaning supplies in super-cool bottles around me at home - this is something to be happy about.

This picture is a happy #5-teaser. More to come!

Monday, 19 July 2010

That you Love - a meme

Lisa from amidlifeofprivilege invited me to pick up this thing called a meme.
Thank you Lisa!

1. What Experience Most Shaped You And Why? (That You Love)
Being the younger daughter of two. Though I am not sure if I love this experience.
But it shaped me most, no doubt!

2. If You Had A Whole Day With No Commitments, What Would You Do? (That You Love)
Ah, that's an easy one! Saturday was such a day with no commitments. What did I do?
I laundred my clothes, later I did some bills,
spent 2 hours in the tub with a book and peppermint-tea,
blowdried my hair and strolled around with my Nikon D90,
taking pictures of beloved corners in the neighbourhood.
And I watched various birds around the terrace at my parents place.
The birds hoppend around on a branch of the tree,
disappeared and show up again on another tree.

3. What Food Or Drink Could You Never Give Up? (That You Love)
Viennese tapwater turned into TEA! I went through various tea-phases: green-tea,
by ginger-lemon tea. At the moment I enjoy black tea with milk a lot!

4. If You Could Travel Anywhere, Where Would That Be And Why? (That You Love)
I like to travel to France.
The most beautiful idyllig region so far was the Massive Central,
a part of France where you find volcanoes and plateaus with plains and beautiful cows.
Food is important when I travel. France is a good choice.
I am privileged being able to go anywhere in France within a few hours from door to door.
So when I start getting too homesick about France, I just go there!

5. Who Do You Have A Crush On? (That You Love)
Reflecting upon my sensation when I find out "he" is taking part in the movie,
it is Keanu Reeves. Before it was Lee Stetson aka Bruce Boxleitner. yeah!
Scarecrow and Mrs. King :)

6. If You Were A Leader Of Your Country, What Would You Do? (That You Love)
Disrupt the signals for mobile phones in trains and cultural buildings
such as theatres and museums. There have to be places without mobile communication.

7. Give Me One Savory Recipe That Doesn't Include Cheese (That You Love)
Vegetable stalk:
Cut lots of greens and roast them in the pot, add lots of water
let it boil for at least half an hour. I prefer 40-50 minutes.
Drink it from a mug whenever you are in need of a special comfort.

8. If You Could Spend Just One Day In Someone Else's Body, Who Would It Be?
(That You Love)
This question is scary. I would probably pick my 6 years old niece.
She is having such a good time! She reminds me a lot if myself at that age.

9. What Women Writer---Living Or Dead----Do You Most Admire And Why? (That You Love)
This is a tough one since I mostly read non-fictional books.
There is one writer I love, still far from admiring: Amelie Nothomb.
She is belgian, lived in Japan and writes in french.
"Stupeur and Tremblements" was one of the first french novels I read - in french.
A victory I will never forget.
She writes about the experiences she made in a Japanese company in the 1980's.

PS: I started this posting offline and ended up with no line breaks at all. So I added them. looks unfamiliar, should work out next time!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Animals in the City

A city is the home for a big number of animals.
You'll see birds, not just in the sky:

And if you look close, you can find beetles in the underground:
And if you are awake at 2am on a damp, hot summer night in the city, chances are, that you might be a lifesaver. The moment the bat loses its orientation in the appartment.
It entered through the open kitchen window, crossed the hallway and circledabove my head, under the ceiling of the living room.

No, it is NOT nice, having any wild creature in your appartment on the 5th floor, at any time of the day. And this is NOT because I am afraid of the animals but because I feel so terrible, terrible sorry when they hurt themselves. I can't stand that at all. :(
That's why there was no camera around the moment the small cutie flapped down to the floor and did not move any more.

Reference picture: Bat to the left resembles the bat on the floor of Paula's appartment at 2am

All I could think of was "please please please little bat, do NOT move, I am going to get you out of this miserable situation called my appartment.
Rushed to the kitchen, reacting like I react when I encounter grasshoppers and huge spiders in my appartment: picking a plastic dish plus lid.
Rushed back the living room, fearing it might be seriously hurt. The poor little thing obviously lost its orientation after entering the appartment and capitulated in my reading corner. Usually the echo helps them out.

I put the dish over the bat and closed the dish loosely with the lid - not too firm because one wing was stuck between dish and lid and the bat started flapping.

Then came the moment of truth. (I had the deja vue: I once picked up a bird in the stairway, it was laying in front of my door, injured and died on the way to the vet-doctor, you can tell I am traumatized by injured animals who don't belong in a appartment-building)

Would the bat fly or drop dead, 5 storeys ?

Off the lid - and - - - hurray! The cute litte bat flew into the nightskies. Not much later and I could hear the squeaks in the air. Finally, orientation worked again! After this unexpected action I closed all the windows - at 90° F.

Just in case you wonder: YES, bats are very very cute. Especially when you encounter them one by one and not like Bruce Wayne down in the cave by hundreds.

THIS bat looks nothing like a bat and isn't cute at all:

Why did the bat fly into my appartment now and not once during the 15 years I spent there.
I have been decluttering the place before and after renovating it. As a consequence I find plenty of voids on the appartment. Before, the appartment had been packed, less void and - less frequented by bats.

Just in case you encounter a bat where it does not belong to:
bats like it cosy, cuddly (if only I knew this before). So the next time I would rather put it in my hands instead of a dish and cover it with my warm and tender hands.

mmmh. cute little bat. Please stay away from appartments, no matter how void they might seem.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Ways to work - Part I

Leaving the house in the morning on a golden rug of lime-tree-seeds. Crisp crackle pop it makes when you walk or ride over them.

Warning, this posting starts starts poetic and comes to a very shallow end.

The hue reminds me of my "new"hair.
This still is poetic: stepping out of the house, comparing the morning-sun-on-lime-tree-seeds ... and look at the play of light and shadow. So poetic. So my day started with a decent niveau.

Oh, before I forget: Mr Paula and me already moved again. This time to my parents place who are away for summer. Our appartment stays impeccable and the burglers have to keep their hands off my parents' goods. They live in the outskirts. Not as far as the last residence had been, lets say, half way. But also in the beautiful west of Vienna.
So this is "Ways to work Part I". Other ways will follow.

I have my cam around my neck, ready to point and shoot while riding the bike.
It is a 6km ride. Today I will feature the first 4 km

This is km 0.5: My old school, an annex from the 1930's by Schalm-Theiss:
This is one of the numerous elegant residential houses in the neighbourhood

At this point, I already crossed the "Wien", a small stream flowing from the west to the city center.
You can find traces of former suburbian villages in the now densly neighbourhood:

Shopwindows like this are rare in 2010:

But I checked it out, it was not dusty or anything so this IS 2010.

The outside of this building would surely make friends with the inside of my appartment:

This is a place where kids used to hang out the weekends before computer games existed:
The huge, 100yrs old museum for technical sciences. The recent director modernised it,
and it still is fun going there.

When I was a small kid, my grandfather went with me and I crawled around the collectiom of huge, impressive steam engines they had lined up in the park next to the museum. Some steam engines date back from 1840! An open air museum of steam engines in the city. This adventure is past. Today they are digging out the earth for a multi-storey parkinglot, accompanying the to-be-built multi-storey hotel and the engines are housed inside.

They also show a Kaplan turbine. How my grandfather and father always pointed out this turbine.
I did not get it, why this should be so spectatular. In terms of "Sons of a Country", Mr. Kaplan was important, no doubt. And compared to the Austrians famous for their soft skills, such as inventing psychoanalysis and waltz, "we" should be very proud of every single engineer who invented something like the Kaplan turbine.

Since entering the new terrain of blonde, I am figuring out which colors flatter me.
I am happy to announce Blake Lively could become my major inspiration: long blonde hair yet natural. She had times when her hair had a much warme tone. And I will become "cooler".

Popissima, the Beauty Boomer is an inspiration and lots of fun with her "30 days to 10 years younger". I never found such usefull tipps before. She saved me from buying a scarf and turn towards the shawls instead. Yeah, shawls! Cotton shawls. Cotton shawls form H&M were the 25 years-younger shop til they drop.

"So pick a celebrity who's the right age--10 to 15 years younger--and use her as your style guru."
Those 30 days are *****. Check them out! Here you find the overview.

Could be, I had Popissima on my mind, when I picked Blake as my colour-inspiration. A woman in her late 30's choosing a celebrity as colour-icon.

PS; I noticed I tag many postings with the label "Colour". Plants, Hair, Walls, Cars, Stockings ... colour everyhwere.
Is there any science/profession - except painting - where you are a specialist on colours? A science would be nice. Maybe as a Chromologist. At least there already is a question out there in the net. It probably lacks the science.