Thursday, April 28, 2011

3 days to save Herbal Medicine

I don't usually copy Avaaz e-mails straight onto my blog but today calls for it ...
I think its time for us to stand still and think about how much the government actually does to protect us ... and how much they do in the interest of ... let's take this example: the pharmaceutical industry.

In 3 days, the EU will ban much of herbal medicine, pressing more of us to take pharmaceutical drugs that drive the profits of big Pharma.

The EU Directive erects high barriers to any herbal remedy that hasn't been on the market for 30 years -- including virtually all Chinese, Ayurvedic, and African traditional medicine. It's a draconian move that helps drug companies and ignores thousands of years of medical knowledge. 

We need a massive outcry against this. Together, our voices can press the EU Commission to fix the directive, push our national governments to refuse to implement it, and give legitimacy to a legal case before the courts. Sign below, forward to everyone, and let's get to 1 million voices to save herbal medicine:

Sign the petition!!

Let's stand up for our health, and our right to choose safe herbal medicine. 

(As an avid petition signer myself, my only advice is - just do it -, you'll be surprised how good it feels to feel like you're contributing to something good!)

Feel like using your voice? Inspired to sign more? Check out the petition site and be amazed at how many people out their are busy protecting and supporting what they burn for.

Celebrating the small & bigger things

We all celebrate birthdays, and many of us celebrate things like Christmas,  New Year and Easter, but why stop there?

Why can't we celebrate Tuesday mornings with banana pancakes, or Thursday evenings with a romantic comedy?

I want to believe all of us are somehow working for something, a goal, a dream, but as we are so focused on the destination many of us forget to enjoy the journey.
I think I originally read it in one of Barbara Sher's books but it's common knowledge really: celebrating little steps along the way help you get there more easily! So let's do that!

I just celebrated my good results (on my Natural Nutrition coursework) with that camera I've been dreaming and talking about for ages! (I got so bouncy happy and squeaked like a little girl - the shopkeeper was very unimpressed :p)

It wouldn't hurt to become a little more creative in celebrating though ... I have my final exam coming up in a month! And then all those obstacles to overcome to be able to open my little shop at Hamra on the 2nd of June. I'll have a lot of celebrating to do!

How do you celebrate life? What are your next steps into reaching your goal? How will you celebrate those victories?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Home Alone!

Furillen Prison
My boyfriend is being held hostage at Furillen for work so I'm home alone for 4 days. After feeling sorry for myself for a while I discovered the beauty of it:

The apartment is in a delightful messy state without any feeling of guilt,
I sit around in completely wrong combinations of clothes (read summer dress, big socks & sweater) without having to be ashamed of my flawed sense of fashion,
and although I kinda have to study I thoroughly enjoy this blissful solitude (as long as it doesn't last too long).

Plus I got up at 8 without any alarm! The start of a productive day?

Have a lovely Wednesday!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Suderbyn Eco-village

My first e-mail & telephone contact with Robert Hall from Suderbyn Ekoby dates back to January but it wasn't until yesterday that we finally found the time to go and have a look. We couldn't have chosen a better day! We got a private tour of the land while Robert shared and explained his visions for the future: A completely sustainable Eco-village!  Right now the family's cooperation is still very much in the build-up phase and they are looking for new members who want to help make the dream come true.

What the 3 chefs in my company were most impressed about (I think) was the solar cooker out in the yard. Because organically grown food straight from the garden tastes best when it's prepared without electricity of course!

I was most impressed by their experimental building projects. For example their shower house - inspired by Hundertwasser and maybe a little Gaudi? - made with clay, rocks and reclaimed wood.
 Next in the planning is the development of the "Cinderella's house" an outhouse/dry toilet up to diva-standards!

I can see it, all of it, Roberts visions, how far away they might seem, they are crystal clear to me :) That place is going to rock the mind of all who comes by! Now it's up to the businesswoman in me to think of a way in which I can contribute.

Thanks again for your time Robert, you left the 4 of us very impressed and inspired.
You'll see me around!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Glad Påsk Allihoppa!

Happy Easter everyone! 
We just got home from 4 days on Furillen and saw loads of bunnies running around along the way ... busy hiding eggs? 
It's so nice to be home after those long working days - especially for Luqaz who was the only cook on duty responsible for lunch AND dinner. Guests this time included a couple of Swedish celebrities (that I had to google beforehand so I knew who was who) and every single one of them just LOVED Luqaz' food. Luqaz himself is now also a bit of a celebrity: this is him featured in the Sköna Hem Countryside edition

The most fun part of Luqaz' job (in my humble opinion) is visiting (organic) farmers to pick up food. More local and seasonal than this isn't possible! Nowadays we hardly have a clue where our food really comes from - we're so detached from nature, aren't we? Truth is, the old-fashioned way is so much more fun! We ordered and watched while our food was being pulled out of the earth to go into our shopping basket :)

I sneaked into their greenhouse to take a look at their seedlings and young plants and learned the difference between white and green asparagus.
I just sowed some basil myself and even though I left the seeds unattended on our kitchen-windowsill for 4 days loads of tiny leaves appeared! Exciting!
I figured the best way to learn is to give it a try (internet is a very helpful teacher) - but imagine what I could learn if I worked at a farm like Lilla Bjers!
Something to keep in mind!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Be kind to Mother Earth Day

How do you help care for our planet?
Do you do enough? 

Here's a few questions copied from one of my study books. 
Because today's not a bad day for reflection ... 

What can you do, generally, to improve your life and the lives of those around you?
Specifically? Nutritionally?
Are you willing to find a better way of dealing with your body, home, and agriculture than replacing germs with chemicals? How can you do this? Do you think we are living in a time of relative infinity on the planet earth, or is our time limited? What do you think/feel/sense, about your own future?

And of course, for as long as the amazing Jack Johnson will keep singing it I will keep repeating it: reduce, reuse, recycle! :D

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Leftover snow = instant happiness :)

Like making a (mini)snowman when it's 14°C outside! 
Gotland never ceases to amaze me :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Colourful Cuteness

Anyone looking for a pick-me-up, visit Color Me Katie, the blog of a 24 year old freelance photographer, actress, street artist and fun maker.
Warning: her photos will make you laugh and will make you want to make other people happy :)

Below is a little mini-documentary about some of her work. Ready to fall in love?

RADAR - Color Me Katie
- Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

Let's not grow up ... not completely anyway :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Days with Julia

What was supposed to be a productive study-day was instead filled with FREE ice cream (10 different flavours!) and drooling over stuff in my favourite shops down town, after which we moved on to more affordable stuff in second hand markets outside of town :)

I made my first purchases for my sustainable (work)shop at Hamra Krog and that's one of the many things that made this day a success :)

I should make a separate label for days spent with Julia ;)

Royal Surprise

It was a really hard thing to keep quite for all these weeks - Victoria & Daniel were coming to Furillen and it had to remain a complete secret.
That didn't completely work, everybody who knew about it kinda talked to at least a few people and I was a bit nervous about being the possible cause of a paparazzi stampede.

Säpo (the security police) seemed to be prepared for the worst but strangely enough the couple enjoyed a whole day in complete privacy.

So now that they've come and gone I guess it's ok to blabber about it :) - and believe me - I will :)

I thought I'd be nervous about meeting royals (let alone serving them breakfast!) but I managed to have a completely relaxed conversation with both of them. I always like when people compliment me on my Swedish (or anything else for that matter) but when it comes from the Crown Princess it just feels that little extra special!
I learned that the couple only drinks still water and that they don't eat cheese. Victoria likes to sleep with the windows open and Daniel really loved the truffle omelet Luqaz made for him :)

It's the strangest thing - I feel so proud when I see Swedish flags. Always have but even more now. Why is that? Am I that easily impressed? Or does Victoria have that effect on everybody?

Monday, April 11, 2011

In Other News ...

I just got my very first official link!

Welcome visitors from the Hamra Krog website!

I have now dedicated an entire page to Hamra and even though there's not much to see yet, that will soon change!

Beautify your world

1. The newest addition to the Furillen Family. A-dor-able!
2. How I spend most of my morning: planting 25 lavender plants 
3. How me and Luqaz spent most of the afternoon: pumping tires, test-riding, and cleaning bicycles.

I must have some sort of bicycle fever because I'm in love witSkeppshult bikes now and really badly want one. I guess I found yet another thing to add to my list of things to save up for ...

I really enjoy working at Furillen and helping in the process of getting everything ready for the new season (coming up very soon and very fast!). It feels like we're actually making the world a better place.
Yes we're paid for all the cleaning, and repairing and organizing we do, and people run hotels with the goal of making money, but I know that so many people are going to visit that amazing hotel and be inspired.
Beautiful places make people happy (or at least that's what they do to me) so by contributing to the beauty of a place, one contributes to the happiness of people ... right?

Here's one of the things you can do to change the world in 30 seconds (via here)
Pick up a piece of trash and throw it in a bin!

Not that hard, right?

Friday, April 8, 2011

The little girl in me :)

I finally got some pictures of the place where I spend about 3 hours ever week - playfully 'inspiring' a 4-year old girl to speak Flemish.
Of all people, I know how scary it is to start speaking a new language - even if you understand it perfectly and know you can, it's a completely different challenge to actually open your mouth!
Our learning environment couldn't have been better though: big spaces with plenty of light, soft colours, toys in natural materials, a huge garden with plenty of trees to climb in, bugs to play with and flowers ready to come out, and to top it of - only organic food on the menu!
No surprises there - I totally feel at home at the Waldorf kindergarten :p

I wish I had pictures of my own kindergarten back home in Belgium as comparison - only vague memories remain, but it definitely smelled plastic!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Silent Evolution

Here's something I didn't know and would have loved to see while we were in Cancun:
Over 403 permanent life-size sculptures - one of the largest and most ambitious underwater artificial art attractions in the world!!!

As I found on their website:
"The Museum aims to demonstrate the interaction between art and environmental science.  Each of the sculptures is made from specialized materials used to promote coral life, with the total installations occupying an area of over 420m2of barren sea bed. 

The Cancun Marine Park is one of the most visited stretches of water in the world with over 750,000 visitors each year, placing immense pressure on its resources. The location of the sculptures promotes the recovery of the natural reefs at it relieves pressure on them by drawing visitors away."

Conclusion: I like!
And also ... we might have to go back to Mexico :)

Curious about things YOU can do to save the ocean? Click here!

Good night you all!