Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday, December 12th, 2008:
The second snowfall and
buying silly things in Helsingborg

What I think:

The second snowfall, errm, fell on Helsingborg. You may remember my post about the first one of this season. Some mystery joker, who probably lives in the building opposite ours, "wrote" in the snow.

It appears that this may now be a regular occurrence, as I just looked out the window a few minutes ago and saw this:
Yes, it's the word SEN upside-down. This is a bit more cryptic than the "STFU OMFG" we saw last time. Sen is Swedish for "late", but it's also commonly used as a shortened version of senare, which means later. (Here's a little Swedish lesson for you: sen, senare, senast mean "late", "later", "latest", respectively. Educational blog, or what!?)

While I did indeed wonder why someone would want to write "STFU" and "OMFG" in the snow, I could almost see the point. I took as a kind of a "No way! It can't be snowing, get outta here!" type of thing. But this one's got me baffled.

Is it some kind of message to one of my neighbours (US/CAN: neighbors) across the way; as in "I'll see you later"? Or could it be something more sinister? Hhmm... 

Answers in the comments, please. The writer of the best one will win something. Sometime. If they're lucky.

Moving on...

I made a rather silly purchase recently - but first a bit of background:

My girlfriend and I live in a small flat, but we have a fair-sized glassed-in balcony. We put a single bed and a side table out there, so that we could use the balcony as a spare room during the summer (all 17 days of it), and a little smoking room year-round.

One problem was that it wasn't very attractive. So, my girlfriend decided to do something about it. Here's the "before" photo, with GF starting to do something about it:
And here's the "after" photo, taken yesterday:
Much better, isn't it?
 
We laid some good (but cheap) carpeting out there, on which Lucy Fur can sharpen her little toenails whenever she pleases (she hates scratching posts, for some reason), and it's more pleasant on one's feet in general.

The balcony's fine when it's not winter, but since this is only for about nine days out of the year, it can get very chilly out there, and the carpet doesn't keep one's feet warm, even with socks.

Since my teen years (i.e. when it became important to be "cool"), I've had an aversion to wearing slippers. Now that I'm in my forties, I don't want to wear them because (unreasonably), I'll feel old; you know, the old man with pipe, slippers and newspaper image. Shudderingly retro, in a bad way. Even if the pipe is now a bong.

BUT, then I saw something I thought would be quite funky. Some slippers that you stick in the microwave for 90 seconds before slipping them on.

Yes, I bought a pair of Slippies.
That's all my years of accumulated street cred destroyed in one fell swoop. 

But they do work.

I have to say that I will normally only wear them when I go out on the balcony for a smoke, or when I'm sitting at my desk (which is right near the balcony door, so my feet do get cold).

But that's not because they're extremely uncool, but because they're not made for walking in. The soles are filled with flax seeds and some lavender essence (so your feet smell like an old lady's blue-rinsed hair), and walking in them feels like you're walking on a beach wearing socks & sandals. In fact, the text on the packaging indicates that they're not designed for walking in, as they don't have any grips on the soles.
While these Slippies are quite comfy, and indeed ideal for sitting out on a cold balcony for the duration of a cigarette, they're otherwise pretty useless items of footwear for wearing around the home. 

So I nominate Slippies my silliest purchase of the year. I may just ask the Swedish government if they have any ideas for next year's silly purchase; they seem to be good at spending money on useless things as well.

So, what was YOUR silliest purchase of the year? Please do share.

9 Comments:

Blogger Gwendolyn said...

"Sen" is also Japanese for 1,000.

3:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe 'sen' refers to a neighbour's menstruation? Maybe a small scandal is about to be let loose :O !

5:00 pm  
Blogger Mark Base said...

Ah so!
Perhaps you're both right.

5:45 pm  
Blogger BLOGitse said...

I came here from blogcatalog, thought Helsing was something to do with Helsinki, Finland because you inflect? Helsinki to Helsingin...autch! too complicated to explain here...
But Helsingborg and Helsinki - quite close...written, I mean...

By the way, Finnish is more difficult to learn than Swedish! snif!

I'm an expat from Finland, now in Cairo, Egypt.

I'll be back here! Nice blog you have!

you can visit my blogs
http://blogitse.blogspot.com
or
photoblog: http://blogitsephotos.blogspot.com
and
leave a message I know you've visited!
See you! :-)
ps. the balcony looks great!
and
the slippers...I know those...WARM!

2:13 pm  
Anonymous *lynne* said...

those slippies look nice and warm, but yeah it's a pity they're not made for walking. I guess if they added the necessary rubbery things on the sole you couldn't nuke them or they'd melt?

btw - that's a great transformation of your little balcony. I love your wry comments of summer being all of 17 or 9 days long... that bad, huh?

5:25 am  
Blogger Beat Black said...

i don't know what sen means but niiiice make over!!

11:36 am  
Anonymous Romancing Italy said...

hi Mark, love the transformation in the balcony...at least it looks warm, even when it isn't. And well, maybe sweet smelling baby blue booties are not that cool, for a guy I mean (hehe) but warmth is sometimes better than cool (esp at home behind closed doors)

sorry couldn't help it. :-)

Thanks for dropping by. Bev

5:19 pm  
Anonymous graham p said...

silliest thing i bought this year, American made snowblower for a Canadian winter

4:58 am  
Blogger Robyn said...

I have those exact same slippers! They feel like beanbags, and you're right, so impractical for walking (although I do try as our apartment is so small).

But what's even stranger is that here too in Vancouver (Canada), we just had our second snow fall, and I've been busy snapping photos out of my solarium. My solarium is basically a glass cube 22 floors up and it's where I sit down, admire my houseplants and dabble on my laptop. In the winter, it's freezing in there...

... which is also why I have those slippers in the first place.

Strangest purchase of the year? I'll have to get back to you on that one.

9:38 am  

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