Thursday, 25 November 2021


brickover: iconic album covers recreated in LEGO from Pasa Bon’s curious links 

sand castles: an innovative intervention to counter desertification 

all about photos: arresting, colourful best-in-show exhibits from the AAP annual competition—via Kottke

no one listens to cassandra: rediscovering a 1997 article on what could go wrong in the twenty-first century that’s eerily prescient  

parks & rec: a huge collection of vintage outdoor living catalogues and magazines—via the morning news   

what—it’s not magaggie’s birthday: an unauthorised Simpson’s cookbook  

spin-cycle: a gorgeous, inviting laundrette outfitted by Yinka Ilori and LEGO

Friday, 29 October 2021

suite №4

For the iconic motor carriage’s sixtieth anniversary, the design studios of Mathieu Lehanneur made some modifications to the classic Renault 4L (“Quatrelle,” manufactured from 1961 to 1994)—now fully electrified and with photovoltaic cells to help charge engine batteries as well as glamping accessories—the first hatchback as sort of an open, motel on wheels. More at designboom at the link above.

Friday, 13 August 2021


Via friend of the blog Nag on the Lake we learn that in anticipation of our promised flying cars and jet-set future in the mid-seventies, Winnebago ambitiously teamed up with a helicopter service (that sourced its craft from army surplus) to offer a flying recreational vehicle that could go anywhere, with a spacious and luxurious cabin fully equipped with all the comforts of home, sleeping six with full kitchen, bath, generator and colour television.
Many more details and specifications at the links above, including footage of the model in flight. Though out of the range of most like its predecessor which also burned through nearly three hundred litres of fuel per hour in flight and required a qualified pilot, we also learned from the comments section that such ostentation is not only relegated to the past but there’s currently for hire an amphibious plane, the Grumman Albatross, with similar accommodations.

Wednesday, 4 August 2021


This fully equipped residential building by architect Sergey Kuznetsov is a steel-clad installation that reflects the building’s surroundings and is perched on a hill in Kaluga, an aesthetic but inorganic intervention for the park on the bank of the Oka river. Read more about the model home, perhaps future glamping experience called Russian Quintessential from Design Boom at the link above.

Monday, 19 July 2021

bohuslรคn secured a well-situated site to act as base camp at the marina of island of Vindรถn, we had the chance to leisurely explore the colourful and craggy harbors and fishing villages of the granite cliffs and fjords of Sweden‘s south central west coast, sharing the North Sea with Norway and Denmark—this rocky archipelago approaching ten thousand islands and skerries, though mostly linked by land bridges today. we visited the larger port of Lysekil, a formerly important trading centre and a quarry but now focused on oil refining and tourism.
Next we saw the cove of Kungshamn and Smรถgen with its ensemble of fisher huts.
Not the Reeperbahn or St Pauli’s in miniature but picturesque and pleasant nonetheless, we saw Hamburgsund whose short-haul cable ferry takes passengers over the hundred-meter sound to the island of Hamburgรถ a hop away, and finally the beautiful Fjรคllbacka, built around a massive boulder in the centre of the village and holiday home to Ingrid Bergman.

Friday, 16 July 2021

sveafallen finding a campsite by Mรถckeln Lake in Degerfors, we went to the Cultural Centre with an ensemble of boutiques for handicrafts and local artist that was also the location of a micro-geological nature reserve that compressed various landscapes, miniature canyons, boulder-strewn forests, marsh-land into one compact park created by glacial erosion over the aeons and a rushing river under a primordial ice-sheet—though some more dramatic theories posit the environment was formed by an extinct massive waterfall, many times bigger than Niagara. reminding us of home, there were also remarkable examples of weathering including glacial potholes called giant‘s kettles. In the end, we found the Bergteich—and though the trail was a bit of a parkour with climbing and jumping that was a fun challenge and treacherous at times, the markings were a bit wanting for first-time visitors, disorienting like the way-out markings in an IKEA that leads one through the entire store before one can find the exit. A bit of a hike for sure but a fine comparative introduction to the plant life and geology of the country.

askersund the sheep troop for a last inspection and rotation, we left our campsite on the Gรถta Canal and headed towards the northern reaches of the Vรคttern and the land in between the great lakes, stopping to visit at Askersund on the edges of the Tiveden Forest. Once an important trade and industrial centre—a zinc mining operation occurring nearby—that heritage reflected in the the symbol of the city, according those rights despite its small size, a smith hammering an anvil, also sort of a mascot, atop city hall (Rรฅdhus)—and ensemble of old wooden fishing houses and a monumental church overlooking the harbor. Afterwards we headed on to Vรคrmland and the community of Degerfors.

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

After departing from our natural campground in the woods at the border of the farmstead on the shores of Helgasjรถn, we first visited the nearby ruins of the fortress Kronoberg, built originally as a summer retreat for the bishop of Vรคxjรถ, destroyed during the Dano-Swedish War in 1470, rebuilt and fortified and eventually appropriated by Gustav I with the country’s conversion to protestantism.

 Our rebel leader Nils Dacke captured the castle in 1542, nearly repudiating the king’s authority by depriving the army, albeit temporarily, of this strategic stronghold.
The eventual retreat of the border from Smรฅland to ร–resund meant Kronoberg lost military significance and fell into disrepair.  Continuing north towards the Vรคttern region, the lesser of the great lakes—we stopped to inspect the old church of a village called Hjรคlmseyrd 

Saturday, 10 July 2021

tatort, tรคtort
Arriving in Sweden, our first stop was the Brick Gothic, Art Nouveau town of Ystad that’s the setting of the popular detective series (Skandi-Krimi—whereas the Swedish near homophone just means a locality rather than a crime scene) called Wallander with the eponymous police inspector and enjoyed exploring the old town with mix of eras going back to medieval times plus a well appointed church and monastery.

Tracing the coastline south, we picked a campground in the pine dunes by the beach at Lรถderup. Cooking outdoors and pitching the tent and generally roughing it are part of the fun of course and I liked the beach view for doing the dishes. I noticed an innovative use for the ubiquitous IKEA squeegee, Lillnaggen, as a doorstop by camp staff that seemed quite fit to purpose. This campsite was a staging spot for the next day’s agenda with a trip first to the megalithic stone ship, Ale Stenar.

Friday, 9 July 2021

just passing through or something forgotten in the state of denmark the chance to finally realise in some form a trip we'd planned two years ago but had had to defer until now—gingerly, cautiously—due to work and other prior engagements to southern Sweden and we both have given some rather serious consideration for those transit zones that are of course destinations in their own rights and ought to be spared a thought in these trying times. the Elba Canal outside of Hamburg and through Schleswig-Holstein and crossed onto the island of Fehmarn via the modernist brige over the sound from the mainland, finished in 1963 and affectionately known as the Clothes Hanger (Kleiderbรผgel) because of its distinctive girders and trusses. an easy morning get away to the ferry to Denmark from Puttgarden, we chose a campsite at the village of Strukkamp, populated by fearless bunnies abd gulls but unable yet to achieve escape velocity just yet from the dreary and driven rain, we were mostly confined to our tent. crossed the island, storied itself and one beach music festival in September 1970 that was the venue for Jimi Hendrix‘ last concert performance and stopped in the eponymous insular capital, called locally Burg. Arriving at the seaport, we realised it was our second time only seeing Denmark from the expressway and pledge to make a proper visit to all of these places one day soon.  Crossing on the monumental ร˜resundsbroen /  ร–resundbrรผcke (previously) bypassing Copenhagen and likewise skirting Malmรถ upon arrival in Sweden.

Sunday, 6 June 2021

overnighter: frรคnkische weinorte

H and I took a drive in familiar territory through the vineyards of Franconia in the Main River valley between Kitzigen and Schweinfurt, taking a couple of ferries that crossed the winding Main as it coursed through the hills and came to the storied vineyard there where we had previously been treated to a wine-tasting tour, after a visit of the town of Volkach with an ensemble of medieval buildings in its walked centre. 

Next we marvelled at the Mainschleife—a closed bend technically but a way to describe a river form with sinuous curves, otherwise a Mรคander, Meander, from the vantage point of the Vogelsberg, a small retreat and gastronomy at the top of a promontory. 



Fording the river with another ferry, we stopped next in the village of Escherndorf—another spot full of character and vintners plus a wedding chapel with a grotto on a hill overlooking the settlement below dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes, built after a Franciscan nun from Volkach made a pilgrimage there and returned with a keepsake, with the support of the original community on the Franco-Spanish border in the Pyrenees. Instead of the usual Stations of the Cross, the path up to the chapel was lined with decorated wine barrels and there was a giant cast that could be loaned out as a tiny party room, complete with coolers for the wine. 

Next we left for our last stop on the Weininseln, the Wine Islands with the village Sommerach, not only known for the viticulture and area monopoly for the Cloister Schwarzach (previously, which we didn’t visit this time around due to a dramatic shift in the weather) but also for the unique character of the estuaries and their protected status as nature reserves. 

Staying at a pitch just outside of one of the more famous wine-producers, regionally known for its Silvaner, I needed to self-administer my first COVID Schnelltests, letting it rest on the floorboard until we were sure it was negative—something unexpected but that I was happy to do to keep us all happy campers. We explored Sommerach some more, which was in the process of reopening itself and everyone was wonderfully day-drunk—last time we visited, it was ill-timed in the middle of their wine fest, a very serious and well-attended undertaking. 

The central part of the Old Town, flanked with cafes and wine-sellers was the church of Saint Eucharius and the monumental fountain featuring the archangel Michael—not Saint George—slaying a dragon. Returning to the campgrounds, we explored the shoreline and encountered a gaggle of strange ducks.
While I had noticed the odd tall—or long duck before, seeing them act as a group, not waddling but marching double-quick time headlong, H and I were amused and a little confused—learning later that this particular breed of mostly flightless, mostly quackless ducks are called Laufente, Indian Runner Ducks (possibly from Jakarta—see also—but no one really knows their origin, bred to be walked to market), which while prolific egg-layers don’t possess the instinct to nest or rear their young and so have to be watched over by their caretakers.