The dream, the life…

I’m in Dubai. A few hours ago I was in Cape Town. In  few more hours, God and whatever powers may be, be willing I’ll be in Copenhagen. A little later in Sweden.

I just finished off a mocha from Paul, one of my fav coffee chains. It’s French. I’m in Dubai. I paid with a British card, but could have chosen from any number of international cards. My bag is from America. My coat from the UK. My scarves from Sweden. My shoes from Cape Town. Me? I’m an Angeleno, though technically I’m Swedish and I live in Cape Town and work in the UK and Cape Town, with a business in the US too.

Sometimes I get tired. I wake up and I don’t know if it’s spring, winter, summer, or fall. I don’t know what time zone I am in or where I am. Mostly though, I just don’t know what season it is.

I get out of bed to write for clients, do everything I do for Little Angels, work on Magique, write movies and raise the twins. There are days when there is too little time to sleep and even less time to relax.

Yesterday when I had to leave the twins to get on a plane to renew my visa and raise funds for Little Angels in Europe I thought my heart would break. When we shot the documentary for Little Angels last week I felt like I relived three and a half years of trauma and bliss. It was like walking through an emotional shit storm. The fight for the twins and the people at Little Angels can get overwhelming to say the least. The fight to set up Magique has been a whirlwind of fighting against time and money constraints, working for free and willing myself to move beyond my fears to launch the business of my dreams.

Yet, I know with every heartbeat that when I let go of the suffering, of the things I can’t help alleviate, that this is my path. I got the first product samples for Magique yesterday (only the labels and a few bits and bobs missing) and as I looked at it, it was…my dream alive and well. Right there. Idea. Reality. A hell of a long journey from one to the other, but through the journey the brand grew into something much better than I first envisioned. Or maybe, it simply grew into what I envisioned but didn’t know how to create.

I built a website I didn’t know how to build. I designed products I didn’t know how to design. I found people I didn’t know how to find. I battled questions I didn’t know how to answer. I ran into walls and climbed them. I’m still not done, but I’m getting there even though I sometimes was so tired I didn’t know how to find strength for the next step. Not with everything else I was juggling.

I would like a home in the Hollywood Hills again, but I will never be me without Africa. Without Little Angels. Without the twins. Maybe I didn’t take the straight path to where I wanted to go. Maybe I acted impulsively. For sure I made mistakes. I’ve seen the best and worst in me. I’ve been down and out more times than I care to remember. But as I’ve learnt to let go and look up more and more, I know that this is me. The traveler. The gypsy. The filmmaker. The entrepreneur. The charity worker. The dreamer. With the insane desire to make her dreams reality. I can only pray I’ve learnt how to make the path a little bit easier.

And so another journey has started. One where dreams come true. Because I have to raise R5m to invest in Little Angels so I can get a permanent residency visa and the right to adopt.

Let’s go. ‘Cause I’m a gypsy…

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Jesters and the night…

Night flutters by and leaves a blanket of comforting darkness to hide in. Sounds fade and the lonely feel lonelier, whilst those content find themselves listening to their own heart and the faded sounds of nature. They discover in the muted darkness what was hidden in the blurred technicolor events of the day. Strong winds are sometimes heard, blocking out all other noises. On such nights restless souls find themselves wondering, worrying, or maybe dreaming of possibilities to come. As dust is stirred imagination is awakened.

With dawn possibilities arise. The night feels far away, almost like a dream hidden in the clouds of consciousness. You aren’t really sure if the thoughts that were awakened were your true heart’s desire, or folly. It seems but a vague memory now, maybe with some bits of clarity attached to it. Other times you feel thankful for sunrise as what you faced was not your heart, but your demons. As morning arrive you feel cleansed. Reborn.

Daylight tugs at you. Pulling you to create what night whispered in your ear, or to create something new to avoid returning to that which you heard in the night. You move into action, heralded by the thunder of your heart and the promise of life. One more day. One more chance.

It is funny what night does to you.

Just another little piece of The Jester.


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Naked thoughts…

How do you view a city? When you close your eyes and think about your three favorite cities, one after the other, what do you see?

Now, if you do the same thing and think about the history of those cities, what do you see?

It’s fascinating sometimes to look at what’s really going on in our mind when we think about a certain thing. Cities came to mind after I found a piece about New York in my Facebook feed today – the city I once thought was my dream city. Why? Mainly because it had TISCH School of the Arts, but also because it had West Side Story and Jimmy Dean and Marlon Brando’s Actor’s Studio in the fifties. It had a history of passionate immigrants. It had O’Henry’s stories to make it come alive. It was the home of Tennessee Williams. It had dance studios and a ballet. And it had ice skating in Central Park in winter. I had some glorified romantic ideas about this. I always wanted to go Christmas shopping in New York.

I did get into TISCH, but I couldn’t pay the fees, so I never went to New York until after I had found L.A. And by that stage I knew where home was. I liked palm trees and sunshine. I liked the hills and the ocean. I liked a crazy community of health freaks, filmmakers, entrepreneurs and spiritual free thinkers. I liked the City of Angels.

When I think of the history of L.A. I think about the history of the movies. When I think about the history of London, I think of Shakespeare. When I think of the history of Italy I think of Florence, the Medicis and Leonardo Da Vinci. I think of perfume and painting and weird ideas about medicine, some corrected by Da Vinci, but not put in practice until much later. When I think about the history of France I think of romanticism, then the French Revolution and the thinkers of the time. I think of Voltaire and Rosseau. I think of Robespierre. I think of Marat and a bathtub. But all those names become a blur. I may give a passing thought to Napoleon, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola and Marie Antoinette. Then I think about the Belle Epoque. I think about Haussmann. I think about the Moulin Rouge and Toulouse Lautrec. I think about Degas and the ballet. I think about Rimbaud. I think about French cinema and homemade food. I think rustic. I think real.

When I think about history I think about thoughts that captured me, like the thoughts that were discussed in the salons of Paris, and I think about art and the artists that inspired me. War, politics, kings and queens…most of it didn’t enter my heart, save maybe John Locke and the aforementioned French Revolution. And as all this information was gathered throughout the years I can’t even remember most of what the thinkers said and did, I just remember my enthrallment. The essence of some idea I liked.

Sure, I remember some of the modern European history I studied in high school, like the causes of the great wars and Russian history…Rasputin, Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky and his affair with Frida Kahlo. It’s just I was more interested in Kahlo. I enjoyed understanding the disputes and misunderstandings that led to the wars. To get an overview. To see how life has unfolded and what we can learn from it. To debate different points of view. But what enters your heart is a different story entirely.

Now, if you close your eyes and think of something else, like summer, or mother, you will find the thoughts you associate with that. In drama school (The Kogan Academy of Dramatic Arts) we called it complexes. The thoughts activated when thinking about something. The thoughts we don’t even realize we are thinking; we just have an impression. We like, or dislike, a city. We feel comfortable, or uncomfortable, saying a word, or mentioning a person. Underneath it all, underneath those feelings, is your subconscious; the rivers under the earth as Thornton Wilder called it. Your gathered thoughts and impressions which lead to your emotions. As actors we broke down characters into these thoughts; these generalized impressions of men, women, money, self, sex, life, relationship with key people in our lives and so forth. We focused on the key thought complexes, but we have a complex surrounding everything from what we think of fridges to mountains. And our consciousness is a super complex of complexes.

This just came to mind as I realized what my key thoughts are surrounding the history of cities. The artists and the thinkers. To others this might be unimportant. To them it’s about the strikes and the political upheaval. The plagues and the scientists.

I like the history of medicine too and I also spent a lot of time contemplating the sailors and explorers; the ones that got to explore new cultures and bring home new spices. However, when I think of cities it’s the artists and the thinkers.

Maybe we should all stop sometimes and ponder what we’re really thinking. What our naked thoughts are. The ones beneath our general impressions. It might help us find our wounds and our passions and the paths we need to move forward.


Image source: Lucien Clergue – HABILLEE DE LUMIERE, SANTA BARBARA, 2002

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Did you ever get so angry you wanted to punch someone in the face? Yet looking back at it you know that all they did was spill a tiny, tiny amount of salt in your wound, which hurt so bad that your first impulse was to hit them in self-defense. You thought you were under attack, when in fact you were defending yourself against, erm, salt.

That’s the illusion of our emotions.

Sometimes the way we see things completely alters a situation. At times we think it’s obvious someone should just walk over and hug us (or whatever else it is we want in the situation) because x, y, z has happened and we feel like shit. All we want is a hug and we think it’s so obvious. Instead, because they don’t realize x, y, z happened, they only see x and they only see it from their perspective, they just shrug their shoulders and carry on talking about whatever. So you think they don’t care. Or you have a eureka moment and realize that you suck at communication.

Other times, it’s us who do the interpretation. Someone says something, or does something, and we interpret it to mean something really bad, when in fact they had no intention to harm us. It’s our own assumption that harm was their intention.

Yet other times it’s like the introduction of this blog – someone throws about some salt, it hits your wound and you feel like you’re in extreme pain, when in truth they did nothing to harm you, or what they did should only have caused a fraction of the pain it did.

The other day I got furious with myself because I realized I have a big bleeding wound regarding one matter. And I felt if that’s the case then I will never ever achieve this one thing. I’ve been so hurt in one area it’s enough someone looks at me funny in situations relating to it, to make me want to punch them. I was despairing because I thought if that’s how raw my wound still is, then how can I ever sort this out. Will I continue to be drawn to bad situations related to this?

Then came the eureka moment: all I need is a good experience. All I need is for people in this area to help me heal. I don’t have to be perfect in everything, no one is.

If you have been told you are worthless in one area for the most part of your life, what you need is someone who believes in you in that one area. Of course, you still need to take responsibility for your own healing, but just because you are still healing doesn’t mean you will attract bad things in that area. All it means is that you need twice the love you do in other areas. You need someone kind hearted enough to understand and work with you.

It’s fascinating how our minds work – how they are programmed to make certain assumptions due to past experiences, as well as the information you have. To remember that the other people you interact with have different experiences and therefore behave differently, as well as the fact that they don’t have the same information available you do (your point of view), is important. Sometimes when I sit back and watch what conclusions my brain comes up with when I try to untangle the seemingly inexplicable emotional reaction I have to something, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

On the one hand, it’s fascinating and ridiculous to see how you ended up feeling the way you did, on the other hand I despair thinking I’m a hopeless case if I have those emotional reactions. Imagine one day if I don’t manage to control them and sit down and analyze them before I react? Normally I’m pretty switched on and I go for that metaphorical walk before I do anything, by the end of which I’ve come to my senses, but what if I don’t? I know for me it’s usually that I feel worthless/not good enough/unlovable (it’s my master wound if you so like, hidden under layers of “everything needs to be perfect” and “I need to be super woman in everything” which of course fuels the wound as you are never perfect enough, especially as you take on more than you can handle so as to ensure you are just below what you could be in any one area), so I would do something to get rejected to prove it true and that’s just no good.

The solution, of course, is to take responsibility and always do an emotional cleanse before you react and surround yourself with people who understand and support you. We all have one area or another that is our achilles heel and to heal it, we need both our own support and that of others, if our wound is in any way related to other people.

I think sometimes we want to give up when we are the closest to a solution as well, because all our emotions are triggered. This year I’ve been trying to clean up my wound related to men and whenever there’s a mouse on my doorstep (that’s to say: someone poured salt in my wound which I’ve sort of exposed to air to let it heal) I’m like “OMG, there’s an elephant in my room and I’m being trampled, someone help me please. I’m gonna die. Like right now. The elephant is really big and those hooves are just gonna crush me.” Five minutes later I’m like…well, that mouse is, uhm, tiny. But if you happen to meet me when I think there’s an elephant in the room which I’m fighting for dear life as I think it’s about to kill me…

Thankfully I’ve not exercised my wound healing on a man, because we’d surely both be dead by now if that was the case. Accidental trampling by elephant and sword throwing by angry woman. And I love elephants, both metaphorically speaking, and in real life. It’s one of my favorite animals. I just happened to get a bit trampled when I was younger so I defend myself against peaceful elephants too and if you defend yourself against a peaceful animal, well, they might get angry. So I’ve been avoiding elephants I care about for a while and this year I decided to face my fear of elephants because end of last year I bumped into one I quite liked the look of and I haven’t done that for years. If I ever get to know this elephant, or someone else like it, I don’t want to provoke it to trample me.

And I’m now starting to think elephants was a bad metaphor. For a variety of different reasons. Not least the trunk… Besides, having confessed to my ultimate wound of worthlessness, I now need to finish this piece asap (no more time for elephants) as I have to go and be perfect at something which I slightly fail at, because I’m doing something else at the same time. You now understand how emotional wounds run our lives subconsciously? Great. You’ve been enlightened and I mortally humiliated. As one always is when one confesses to wounds and exactly how ridiculous they make one act.


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French kissing…

“Soul meets soul on lovers’ lips.” That’s what Shelley says about kissing and it sounds damn good. Personally I think I’ve experienced anything but.

There were the kind of kisses that tasted like fairy dust – you knew the men would magically disappear as soon as the moment was gone.

Other kisses were so good you felt them in your knees…but somehow the same guy never had that effect again.

Some kisses were just persistent – you ended up with a rash on your chin for weeks to come. And maybe the stubble was sexy and the kissing good, but soul? It was the kind where two souls are drawn together in a storm; fragments of the souls flying about and meeting on your lips without any kind of binding love. Like two magnets filled with parts that reject and attract at the same time. You see something in each other, but the rest you don’t want to see.

Then there were the kind of kisses where you could taste the regret in your mouth, whether his or yours. Rancid kisses sprinkled with attraction. Possibly the worst kind.

At times kisses tasted of love and maybe there was a bit of their soul, or even all, but  you asked yourself if it was really meant to feel that way? Because it didn’t feel like when you were fifteen and madly in love with some guy you’d never date. It felt different. Like a friendship with kissing. A soulmate you were drawn to, but not attracted to. Not in that way. It’s like discovering there’s salt in your honey – it just tastes wrong. And so you can’t get lost in the kiss. Even if you kiss them for years.

There were air kisses too. The ones where you felt they meant nothing, whether you wanted them to, or not. Like kissing the air looking for meaning. Only the air was empty.

Of course there were also kisses of desire. Maybe you thought one day they’d be more. Or you thought spice would be nice, for a change. Either way, it never led to that soul meeting. Then again I guess each meeting is a meeting with a soul. Even if none of you put your soul in the kiss, or the other can’t taste the soul given.

Personally, right now, “I want a red dress. I want it flimsy and cheap, I want it too tight, I want to wear it until someone tears it off me.”* With their soul. Tear me naked with their soul. Bare me with love. Till then, I’ll…refrain from kissing. I think. Maybe.

* quote from Kim Addonizio (I came across some quotes whilst writing product descriptions for Magique. If you don’t know my brand it’s a lot about love. And desire. I’ve spent half the weekend trying to invent the scent of sin. It’s hard going. I think I once smelled it, but unfortunately it wasn’t essential oils. And I have a deadline. For the scent of sin. So help me lord.)

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When hot men in chocolate sauce are the only solution…

Winter. Coriander. Winter with no indoor heating. Coriander in my favorite Latin and Thai dishes. Those are the things that should be banned. Or at least kept at a distance from me.

It’s winter in Cape Town. Or it’s autumn, but they only have two seasons here, really. During one it’s windy and sunny, during the other it is cloudy or rains at least 70% of the time. It’s dreadful. If I had panoramic views of the oceans on one side and the mountains on the other, a fireplace in every room, plus proper insulation and heated floors, a hot tub and a steam, it would possibly be better. But now I don’t have any of that.

The only place I like winter is in L.A. It rains for a week then it’s sunny again. It gets cooler, but it doesn’t get cold. Cafés understand they need heating lamps everywhere. If you want a sense of proper autumn and winter you just drive out of the city and into the mountains. Hell, you can even go snowboarding like two hours away from the city. And in L.A. you have another important thing, namely L.A.

As much as I love the nature in Cape Town and the work I do here I can’t stand winter. We’ve had two rainy days in a row and I feel like killing someone. Most likely myself. Possibly due to PMS, which would explain my thunderous headache. It’s like having fog in my brain. Life sucks, when the other day life was awesome.

To me, good Swedish summers in the south are heaven. Sunrise around 4am, sunset around 10pm and it never gets really dark. I am like an energy bolt and life is fabulous. I’m super charged and my creativity reaches new heights (which is impressive for someone who’s been described as “hyper creative,” trust me).

I have something called light addiction you see. Light makes me happy. I don’t even like blinds. I prefer to wake up with the sun playing on my face. I’m drawn to light like some are to hot men with chocolate sauce on them. (OK, I might be drawn to those too.) I just don’t function without it. I’m sleepwalking and no amount of coffee (and sugar – normally it’s xylitol, but when it rains? I need energy) can awaken me. I live in a house with a ton of natural daylight and it is still a time of year when it’s sunny for the most part and all it takes is two days of rain and I think life’s going to hell.

I’m actually petrified of winter. It makes me feel awful. Light aside, no matter how much I exercise, how many cups of hot tea I drink and how much chili I put on my food (I currently put it in my tea too), I’m still freezing. My skins start cracking, even if I apply body lotion three times a day, or more. And then to topple it off I have a blanket of depressing fog in my head. And trust me, I eat my vitamin D. In Cape Town I also get sick in winter. I am just recovering from two weeks of a cold and sinus infection, both that left me bedridden with a fever until antibiotics slowly brought me back to walking upright for longer than five minutes at a time. In fact, I’m still popping antibiotics.

So there you have it – I’m sulking. I have enough work to do to keep me busy for months, if not years, and my concentration is faltering as I feel miserable in this weather. I feel trapped. I wanna take the kids and head to somewhere where it’s spring. As it’s supposed to be. What keeps me going is the idea that in five weeks I am  indeed going to somewhere where it’s spring as I have to renew my visa. Ideally I also need to go to L.A. for business and I want to see my friends in London. Whilst I’m terrified of leaving the kids for six weeks, I do have to go. Till then I wish to lock myself up and make love to some hot man to keep me warm. Not that I have time for that, but still. Brr, fucking, brr.

Now I’m gonna go heat up more spicy Thai curry. Without coriander. And later I’m gonna drive to Cape Town, oh and ah about the fog rolling in over the mountains and the look of the waves as they crash against the shore, praise the Gods for this beautiful place, drink my favorite coffee at the V&A and chat to people in the iStore as I’m checking my Mac. Usually anything to do with the iStore perks me up by at least 50 degrees. It could be very necessary unless I bump into a hot man en route.

Frustrated blonde, over and out.


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Wild women do…

It’s International Women’s Day. Perfect – I’m international AND a woman. So who’s gonna get me presents for this?! I would very much like a Canon 5D if anyone’s wondering. Failing that, you could just tell me I’m awesome. I’ll tell you you’re awesome in return😉

In all seriousness, growing up in Sweden I never thought much about inequality – if you’d met my gran on mom’s side you wouldn’t either. I’m quite certain grandpa is still doing everything she tells him to up in Heaven, after first having a great argument about it, of course (she’s still on Earth). Having known them I know the difference between vicious arguments and arguments where you know no harm will be done. Arguments that are arguments and not emotional grenades. 

I was also raised by a man as mom died when I was six, and he can cook, clean, sew…but only boat gear…yield a hammer, build boat interiors, run businesses and ride a motorbike (no need to feel inferior if you are reading this and can’t do one of those things. I’m sure you’re great in other ways. Like in the bedroom or something). He also told me I could do anything if I really wanted to (we only disagreed on what I should do…).

Coming from that background, I just assumed men and women are of equal worth, but different. We have different gifts to give to the world and that should be cherished.

I think, as a woman, it’s important to have a tribe of women whom you can rely on and celebrate womanhood with. The ones who have your back when you forget your own worth and whom you can explore the journey of womanhood with. Not having a mom, I know exactly how important that can be. Even though I had my grandmas and my dad’s mom especially became like my mom, there were times I felt at loss. I still do. Like I’m searching for my feminine core, but these days I think I’ve found it. It’s just a matter of stepping into it. Sometimes the tomboy in me is still running wild. 

In cultures where the suppression of women is till this day real (and, sadly, it’s very real in some places), this is also vital. When you stand together, educate each other (and men) and support each other, you can create change. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.

I also think it’s important to stop assuming men want to be superior. After all, they wouldn’t survive a day without us, nor we a day without them. It’s not about us versus them, but us together. Leave the ones who don’t treat you right and celebrate the rest. After all, they’re quite gorgeous…especially the tall, dark and handsome ones. Then again, sometimes the blond ones too… Ah. Sigh. (Just please guys, if you are hotter than hot, consider that you are a traffic hazard. Please do not walk by my car whilst I’m driving and bring attention to yourself. I could knock down a palm tree if I get distracted. And that would be the end of my car. Tesla owners and some Audi owners should also consider this. It’s very distracting trying to check out cars whilst driving.)

#InternationalWomensDay #Womanhood #GodsGiftToMen


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