It’s Like Going Up Everest With No Oxygen : On Living With Fatigue

At the end of 2016 I publicly apologized for being such a shitty friend, for being such a shitty freelancer, for being such a shitty pretty-much-everything else.

2016 had seen me become the shadow of the shadow of my former self. It had started as a beautiful year; full of so much promise, full of so much hope, full of so much good stuff, all that good stuff that you think won’t ever happen to you, and then when it does, life really lives like a beautiful work of fiction. My writing career was on the up, and I could practically touch my goal – to be a full-time freelance by the time I turned 30.

I had my bi-polar pretty much under control, and being on planet earth was something I really wanted to experience. But then, mid-year, I was swallowed up by a chaos I thought I’d left far behind, and existing became something so fucking difficult.

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Fatigue like I’d never experienced before set in, and everything became a struggle. The motivation that made me me vanished. The enthusiasm that I carried with me wherever I went evaporated like a ghost caught in sunlight. I was losing life so fast it should have terrified me, but I didn’t have the energy to care.

Logging into my Outlook account to look at my emails was draining in itself, actually replying to anything was like going up Everest with no oxygen. I just didn’t have it in me to do it. I didn’t have it in me to do anything.

Getting out of bed in the morning took a colossal amount of effort. Once I was up, I’d eat some cereal, make some tea, then be back into bed before I’d had the chance to take a mouthful of my brew. That’s when I knew things were really bad – when I couldn’t drink my tea.

Sometimes I’d sleep until mid-afternoon, then stumble around in a daze for the rest of the day, mumbling incoherently and doing things like forgetting to turn the oven off, or putting my clothes on inside out, or forgetting to brush my teeth until it was time for bed again.

I felt lost, afraid and worthless. I’d always prided myself on keeping on top of my communication. I’d always met deadlines with work. Not being able to reply to people for days, weeks, in some cases months had me wanting to disappear into the forest and not come out. Not being able to work to the standard I had set for myself damaged my soul. It was almost as bad during the manic periods. Unable to sleep I was endlessly restless but unable to focus and do anything constructive.

This quote from Martha Graham sums up the experience well…

‘There is a fatigue so great that the body cries, even in its sleep. There are times of complete frustration; there are daily small deaths.’

…as does this one from Sylvia Plath…

‘I feel occasionally my skull will crack, fatigue is continuous – I only go from less exhausted to more exhausted & back again.’

I envisaged people saying ‘don’t trust that Katie Metcalfe, she’s fucking useless.’ After 30 years of building up my reputation – both as a writer and a friend – I felt like it was as vulnerable as Arctic ice. There was nothing I could do but brave the storm and wait to see which faces would be there when the clouds cleared.

The clouds have started to clear now. I’m finding my footing again and feel supported. But fatigue is still something I need to deal with on a nearly daily basis, and it can impact me in some fucking ridiculous ways like…I’ll start to put my makeup on, then, before I’m even half done applying my foundation I’ll think ‘I can’t finish this.’ Or, I’ll want to wear something different, but don’t have the energy to decide what, so I throw on what I’ve been wearing for the past three days. Or, I’ll start washing my hair and already dread the energy it takes the dry it. Or, I’ll go to bed in my clothes and makeup because taking them off is just too much.

But I have a plan to weave in some coping mechanisms to make existing with fatigue that bit easier:

I will…

  • Go to bed at the same time every night – 11.30pm (Hard because we’re re-watching American Horror Story : Murder House…)
  • Wake up at the same time every morning – 7.am
  • Avoid the TV and my laptop right before bed
  • DRINK MORE WATER.
  • Actually get out in the sun

While I’m counseling myself to think positive and adopt bravery like never before, I think it’s important to share this quote from Alyssa Reyans.

‘Bipolar robs you of that which is you. It can take from you the very core of your being and replace it with something that is completely opposite of who and what you truly are.’

Just because you can’t see the hurt and the torment and the sheer fucking hellfire of a mental illness doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

 

Beginning Anew : An Invitation To Collaborate

I didn’t need to wear mittens today, a tell-tale sign that my third favourite season has well and truly arrived in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Spring equinox has, for a bloody long time, been a period to let go of the old and welcome in the new. So, I decided the best way for me to celebrate would be to start making tracks with collaborative ideas that have been sitting in my head for too long.

Many projects which I’ve started during my career as a creative never made it past infancy, primarily because I was to stubborn to ask for help, and had that whole ‘I’m a lone wolf’ mentality. While I still have a lone wolf streak, I’m no longer afraid to ask others if they’d like to come aboard and navigate an uncharted sea with me.

Wyrd Words & Effigies Magazine was one such project that didn’t reach the peaks I dreamed it would. I can only imagine where it could have been if I’d been more open and had brought in some other enthusiasts of the macabre.

But back to now. I’m going to lay my ideas down on the table, and if you find yourself thinking ‘holyshitballs I would fucking love to be involved with that,’ then send me a note and we can talk. If you find yourself thinking ‘I know someone who might fucking love to be involved with that’ then drop them a note and link them to this post.

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Arctic Fever – A Spoken Word Journey

What Is It? Arctic Fever will be a live spoken word show, centered around the thawing of the Arctic, and how the catastrophic changes are impacting the people, flora and fauna of the great white north.

What Help Do You Need? I’m looking for one or two adventurous female musicians who are passionate about the Far North, and in raising awareness about the effects of climate change in the Arctic.

I would be extremely happy if you would be willing to challenge yourself to learn some  Inuit throat singing and drumming techniques, as these are elements I envisage accompanying the poetry. Ideally, you would be based in Västra Götaland County, Sweden so we could meet on a semi-regular basis. 

I’m also hoping to bring on board a female artist from Scandinavia who is infatuated with the north. You would work with us to create promotional material,  as well as an accompanying pamphlet featuring poems from the show, tied in with exclusive artwork.

It would be beyond incredible to have someone experienced with fashion and/or costume and stage design to provide guidance on putting together the ‘look’ of the show. For example, help me to conjure up an idea of how myself and the accompanying musicians should look on stage.

Finally, I would greatly appreciate some council from someone experienced with crowd funding and who would be able to guide me through the process of setting up a crowd funder for the project. The initial goal is to perform the show in Borås, Gothenburg, Stockholm and a location within the Arctic Circle, and to be able to do this, I’ll need to round up some krona.

To recap, I’m looking for:

2 female musicians

1 female artist

1 fashion and/or costume designer

1 experienced crowd funder

An Independent Press Run By Eclectic Women

What Is Is? It has been my dream, since before time began or something to that effect, to run an independent press publishing authors whose writing is a world away from the mainstream, writing that’s capable of changing your dark world in a heartbeat.

After a few attempts and some near misses, I left the dream to simmer on the back burner. But I never stopped thinking about it and, recently, when my thoughts started burning so fiercely it felt as though they were going to sizzle through the skin on my forehead, I realised I had to say something. I regularly see writing – mostly on Instagram at the moment – and it’s making me think ‘I WANT TO PUBLISH THAT RIGHT NOW IN A BEAUTIFUL BOOK!’

I can envisage starting with a few titles a year – poetry, collections of essays, short stories, non-fiction, whatever happens to come up that is too good to pass on. The only requirements would that it would need to be of a dark nature and/or about the far north. I’m also doting on the idea of having a yearly annual featuring unseen work from ‘our authors’ and other carefully selected writers.

What Help Do You Need? Aside from my lone wolf mentality, another reason I think many of my projects didn’t succeed is that I don’t have a good head for business. I have tried to change this, believe you me. I have been to countless business courses but could rarely stay longer than one lesson. Something in my brain prevented me from learning past a certain point. (I never was the brightest student.) However, I don’t want this ‘handicap’ to prevent me from publishing and celebrating writers I truly believe in. I just need help with the number crunching and other such things.

So, I would need to bring a woman on board with experience in the publishing industry (ideally), or with a good head for business in general, who wouldn’t feel exasperated by the mere sight of the word ‘overheads.’

I’d also need another person who would feel comfortable working as  an editorial assistant. Ideally, you would be based in Scandinavia and and enthusiast of the macarbe and, preferably the north, but elsewhere in Europe is okay…so long as you possess the passion for print and the best in peculiar literature.

To recap, I’m looking for:

1 female with experience in the publishing industry

1 female with editorial experience

If your finding yourself getting a little bit excited about any of these positions,  email me at katiemariemetcalfe@hotmail.co.uk with your thoughts. Tell me a little bit about yourself and why you’d like to be involved and link me up to where you are online.

I’m also always up for collaborations, so if you have an idea for a project you’d maybe like to have me involved in, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Photo: Erzabeth Svedlund

A Living Witch Photographs…Winter’s Ghost

Most people come into my life and leave without me misplacing so much as a breath. Few come into my life and have an impact so tremendous that, for a while, I forget how to breathe. They tattoo an imprint on my soul and, when I feel I’ve lost the magic that is life, they help me to find it again.

Erzabeth Svedlund is one such person. She’s a powerful single mother, a beautiful creature and a creative extraordinaire who will do anything for her art…she will cover her naked body in pigs blood when temperatures are below freezing. She will climb to the top of treacherously positioned rocks. She will give her whole self to the moment so I can capture it as a memory forever.

For this shoot, we had a vague idea…’something Laura Palmer…something…white wig….something make the most of the snow…something.’

We thought that winter had left us for real, but when he came back for a brief visit it was all systems go and we sped into action to make the most of his return. Here’s what we captured.

* I will be uploading a full album onto Facebook soon with many more shots…*

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I Kept Seeing Her Out The Corner Of My Eye – On The Passing Of A Pet

The first time I experienced death for real was when our three and a bit year old hamster Rodney died. (We called him Rodney in honour of the lovable, lanky smart arse from Only Fools & Horses.)

Rodney was an irritable rodent who’s objective in life was to – and I don’t blame him – escape the confines of his rather luxurious hamster cage. On one of the many occasions that Rodney managed to get out, he made his way up the stairs into my parents bedroom, and to the back of a wardrobe which was so stuffed with clothes, a fully-grown human being could literally disappear into it. We called it the Narnia wardrobe.

How Rodney managed to get up the stairs was a feat in itself. They were stupidly high, even for human sized legs. He must have clung onto the carpet fibers, and hauled himself up with his tiny paws, using his teeth for support. How my parents managed to find him at the back of the wardrobe of chaos is beyond me. I imagined the vast quantity of clothes would have muffled his hamster noises. But I do know he was pissed off about being discovered and became extra savage.

Rodney died not long after from a stroke. It was probably stress related. We had a funeral for him in the back garden. My dad, for reasons unbeknown, wrapped him in toilet roll and put him in an airtight sandwich box before burying him. I often think of the good things about Rodders; the wee snores, the times he didn’t bite me when I held him, the way his cheeks plumped out when he stuffed them with food. I also think about the people who will one day find him in the soil, tiny and mummified.

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I’ve experienced several deaths of pets, but today was different, different because Offan the cat had only been a part of my life for about six months. Originally named Wolfbane, Offan was the sort of cat that you’d look at and think ‘You are just so cat. She was quiet, except for when she was in heat, then she was anything but. After a few hours of a cat being in heat, you’re more than ready for a stint in a straight jacket. In the moments in between the yowling, I told her that I loved her, and stoked the red smudge on her head.

She was gentle, peaceful and so freaking elegant it was almost enviable. And those paws. Those neat and perfect paws which she always brought together when she sat down. She moved like a kitten. Not a newborn kitten, but one that had found its feet. When I first met her before she came to us in my head I thought ‘she can’t be more than three surely…’ She was ten.

When Sebastian put her in the carry case he asked me ‘would you like to say goodbye?’ I put my fingers through the bars. She looked at me. Her eyes asked ‘where am I going?’ I managed ‘Hej…’ one half of a Swedish goodbye. Nothing more would come. The cliche ‘cat got your tongue’ had never been so apt. She didn’t make much noise when they left. It wasn’t her style to make a fuss. I had asked Sebastian if he’d wanted me to go with his, but Offan’s mum would be making the trip instead. She had been there since day one.

The apartment felt colder with Offan gone, barren almost. Boney, our other cat, wandered around silently, ears pricked. She was tense, looking in all the shadows. She went to food bowl, nudged it with her nose and walked away. She did the same with the water. Several times I thought I saw Offan out of the corner of my eye. Several times my breath caught tight in my throat. Several times tears felt like flames kissing my eyelids.

When the door went again, I half expected to hear Offan’s soft meow. But I found Sebastian with an empty carry case, and shoulders stooped as a mountain trolls. He told me she’d passed in his arms. I wondered to myself if those moments I’d seen her out of the corner of my eye, if she was passing through, on her way to a better place.

Jag älskar dig Offan, I hope there’s open fields and mice where you are.

 

 

Wisdom From Moominvalley

Whenever I feel like I need a bit of extra support during the day, I automatically reach for my Moominland Midwinter Mug and use it for my tea. It gives me a gorgeously warm sense of reassurance, hope and even peace. Everything seems better when I have it full with a hot, strong brew. And even when it’s not full – which is rare – I keep it close to me.

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The Moomins TV show (the Japanese-Finnish anime one) was on Channel 4 every Saturday morning when I was growing up. It was on early, about 6.30 am. It had a different, more peaceful vibe than many of the other shows, and that peaceful vibe established itself as a huge comfort throughout my childhood, teenage and yes, even my adult life. I was watching the Moomins on DVD well into my 20’s. Basically the Moomins calmed me the hell down. It made me laugh. It made me think. It made me consider things and life and stuff in different ways.

I also, naturally, wanted to live in Moomin Valley (Tove Jansson was inspired by the area around her family’s summer home in Northern Finland), I was massively curious about the Groke – and simultaneously fucking terrified by it – and I had one of those weird childhood crushes on Snufkin, who’s actually gone onto greatly influence my fashion choices. I kind of wish that I had been alive and in Sweden in the 1950’s because The Moomins were such a big deal you could actually take Moomin studies at university. Just imagine what I could have done with that degree!

Anyway, when I’m in need of a dose of wisdom – and sometimes a laugh – the majority of the time I find myself Googling for quotes from Tove Jansson, Moomintroll and the gang. One of my all time most loved quotes from Tove is

“Maybe my passion isn’t something special, but at least its mine.”

As I know there are plenty of other Moomin devotees out there, I decided  to share some favourites  that I collected earlier including plenty from one of my Spirit Animals, Little My. (Though I’m also a bit Snufkin…)

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“Believe me, I’m wise.” – Little My

 

“The Groke knows.” – The Moomins

 

“I want everything to happen fast.” – Little My

 

“This was not a particular funny celebration.” – Moomin Troll

 

“And if that doesn’t work, I’m gonna go bite them.” – Little My

 

“I own everything I see and everything that pleases me. I own the entire world.” – Snufkin.

 

“It’s not my fault!” – Little My

 

“Making a journey by night is more wonderful than anything in the world.”- Moominpappa

 

“Don’t you understand art? I’m in a Groke-mood, so I make a Groke.” – Little My

 

“It would be awful if the world exploded. It’s so wonderfully splendid.” – Snufkin

 

“Nonsense. My spirit isn’t lifted.”

I Opened My Shop Today

The moon is distracting me from writing this post. It’s full in the sky, glowing like an expectant mother. When the moon is full, it’s the perfect time to practice gratitude, and that is exactly what I’ve been doing, in between piecing together my Etsy Shop selling things ‘too wyrd for most people.’ Today has brought one beautiful surprise after another, and it’s like the universe is looking out for me. I can practically hear it say ‘you’re going to be alright kid.’

One of the surprises was that I actually succeeded in opening up my little shop. I’ve been doubting myself over the past few days, looking at my cross stitch and thrifted pieces and thinking ‘Are people going to want these things? Am I being a total buffoon by opening this shop? Am I just going to embarrass myself with my rudimentary embroidery skills? Do I even know what I’m doing?’

It got to the point where I thought about selling everything much less that I’d originally intended, simply because I didn’t think anything I’d done or found was good enough, and because, basically, I’m winging it. But then something moved in me.

I remembered all the hard work, all the time, all the love that has been put into every stitch, every moment thrifting, every day writing and re-writing and editing. I remembered all the daydreams I’d had about people finding something in my shop that they could connect with, be it a book, a cross stitch or a piece of vintage clothing. Yes, I’m winging this, but aren’t we all just winging everything? I read a brilliant quote from Charles Bukowski which made everything feel that bit better.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received: ‘No one else knows what they’re doing either.’

So I went ahead and finished establishing my little shop and launched it, leaving those negative, detrimental thoughts out in the cold. While the things I make and find won’t be to everyone’s taste, I know there are people out there walking a similar journey to my own, and hopefully they will find A Living Witch – both the shop and blog – and feel like they’ve arrived home.

Here are some of the things I’ve created and thrifted and am now parting ways with…if an image starts to speak to you, click on it to be taken straight to where it sits in my shop.

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Snow Falling On Pines Cross Stitch

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The Scandinavian Witches Cross Stitch

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A Fragile Vintage Collar Trimmed With Lace

“While I can promise that there will always be handwoven embroidery and my writing available, you will need to think of this shop as a place where you’re never quite sure what you’ll encounter.

Much of what you will find here will have been thrifted and altered, and you know the nature of thrift stores…they’re a treasure trove of the wyrd and wonderful, and are never the same from one hour to the next. That’s very much the nature of A Living Witch – it’s a place with a pulse. I’m deeply passionate about re-homing precious things, and giving objects that have been abandoned a chance to breathe again and be loved.”

 

 

 

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Stand Up And Be Heard…Always

Maybe I should have posted something on the 8th of March – International Women’s Day, but something kept me from doing so. Though I did quietly celebrate the news that the glorious country of Iceland will become the first country to require equal pay for men and women. I also enjoyed the waterfall of inspiring posts from women I follow across the world on Instagram and Facebook.

I’m of the belief that we don’t need a specific date of the year to have our voices heard, to have our faces seen, to have our spirits celebrated. Being a woman is something that should be – and can be – rejoiced in every single day.

To rejoice in my own womanhood and the womanhood of my sisters, I’m going to offer some white space to one women who has inspired me immeasurably over the past decade – Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

Jungian psychoanalyst, poet and author, Clarissa is the mind behind the hugely empowering book Women Who Run With The Wolves, one of the most important tomes to have come into my life. It was one of those books which I was told countless times ‘that I needed to read,’ and, at the moment when I needed it most, it practically fell into my hands from a charity shop shelf. I parted with 75p and went home with a book that genuinely radiated positive energy.

In this post, I’m pairing up a number of my favourite quotes from Clarissa, with self portraits I’ve taken in the last six months. I hope you leave illuminated by her wisdom and, if you haven’t already read it, prepared to part with some pennies for her tour de force.

*While I can’t stress how important is it for every women to own a physical copy of Women  Who Run With Wolves, I’m also aware you might need to keep the purse strings tight. So I’ll let you in on something…the book is available as a free downloadable PDF file. Just Google for it, then get yourself a physical copy when you’re able to.*

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“The things that women reclaim are often their own voice, their own values, their imagination, their clairvoyance, their stories, their ancient memories. If we go for the deeper, and the darker, and the less known we will touch the bones.”

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“The psyches and souls of women also have their own cycles and seasons of doing and solitude, running and staying, being involved and being removed, questing and resting, creating and incubating, being of the world and returning to the soul-place.”

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“If you have yet to be called an incorrigible, defiant woman, don’t worry, there is still time.”

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“Go out in the woods, go out. If you don’t go out in the woods nothing will ever happen and your life will never begin.”

Winter Witch VI

“I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories from your life – not someone else’s life – water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom. That is the work. The only work.”

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“I’ve seen women insist on cleaning everything in the house before they could sit down to write… and you know it’s a funny thing about housecleaning… it never comes to an end. Perfect way to stop a woman. A woman must be careful to not allow over-responsibility (or over-respectabilty) to steal her necessary creative rests, riffs, and raptures. She simply must put her foot down and say no to half of what she believes she “should” be doing. Art is not meant to be created in stolen moments only.”

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“One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.”

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“The most important thing is to hold on, hold out, for your creative life, for your solitude, for your time to be and do, for your very life.”

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“How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to say about it all.”

Return Of Winter III

“A healthy woman is much like a wolf: robust, chock-full, strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, inventive, loyal, roving.”

A Thrifty Witch Haul : True Love Tarot Deck & Book

I went thrifting with the intention of finding some fabrics to cross stitch on – sadly all the nice ones I unearthed from the heaps had curious stains on them – but instead came away with A True Love Tarot : Deck & Book Set for 35 krona (about £3.20).

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I was hugely taken with a raw food cookbook (can’t remember the title) but at 45 krona it was a little bit steep for this haul, plus, the ingredients were slightly too exotic and included the likes of nuts found only in the Himalayas and grass that needs to have been meditated on for a week before eating. (Sarcasm). Though if it’s still there next week and I have enough dough, you can bet I’ll pick it up. All the raw food meals I’ve eaten in my lifetime has been sublime to the point of orgasmic, and I would be only too happy to eat more raw.

There was also a gorgeous vegetarian recipe book from the early 90’s. It was so used it’s pages were cotton soft, and every recipe used ingredients of the like that we could actually afford, like onions, carrots and lentils.

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So, the tarot package. While I’ve already found true love, this guide states that as well as being a lovers guide to dating, it’s also a guide to mating and relating. And anything that’s going to help me be better at ‘mating and relating’ is worth exploring.

If you’ve been here since the beginning, you’ll know that one of my goals this year was to learn tarot, and I’ve been on a search to find a set to get started with. Like with my other haul, I think fate led me today and put this tarot set – which is in impeccable condition – in my hands. The artwork has already spoken to me, and the guide looks to be superbly well written. (I will be doing a review of the set and book, as well as my experience using it!)

Created by tarot experts and ‘legendary lovebirds’ Amy Zerner (she’s responsible for the deck) and Monte Farber (he’s responsible for the accompanying guide), I think I’m in good hands to learn how to use the ancient power of tarot to empower the relationship I have with my man.

My Eating Clean(er) Obsession : Exotic Snacks

The relationship that Swedes have with pick ‘n’ mix is, quite frankly, unreal and ever so slightly unsettling. (It’s something to do with grown adult men and women aggressively bumping shoulders so they can get the best selection…) And you haven’t seen a pick ‘n’ mix selection until you’ve come to Sweden, believe me. It’s a fact not all that widely known that Swedes actually eat the most pick ‘n’ mix IN THE WORLD. Which doesn’t seem fair really considering that most Swedes have impeccable physiques, astonishing skin and smiles that can take out your eye.

While putting together a bag of sweets in England is something of an easy process – a couple of  white mice, some jelly snakes, a few flying saucers and you’re practically done – in Sweden, unless you’re a pick ‘n’ mix connoisseur, deciding what’s going to go in your paper bag is a daunting prospect because you have several hundred Swedish sweet, sour, salty, (lots of salty) and just plain weird treats to choose from, including sockerbitar, a Swedish marshmallow that’s much chewier and less sweet than its soft, sugary American cousin. I’m still trying to decide if I really enjoy it or not.

While the Swedes are excellent at leaving lots of bad stuff out of their confectionery, I’m trying to cut down on the amount that I put away. But I’ve been missing the excitement that comes with grabbing some pick ‘n’ mix after you’ve got the boring basics. I’ve been missing the thrill of deciding ‘what to get this time.’

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It was like the universe heard my sadness, because the next thing I know we’re shopping and I’m face to face with a pick ‘n’ mix selection of a different kind, a healthier kind, a kind which, if I’m being perfectly honest, appealed to me much, much more. A kind called Exotic Snacks.

There was yogurt covered berries, yogurt covered pineapple, yogurt covered banana chips (Covered in yogurt? GIVE IT TO ME!) Japanese rice snacks and nuts…nuts galore. Picking up that little shovel and little paper bag for the first time was one of the most exciting things that’s happened to me this year where food is concerned.

This was my fifth or so Exotic Snacks experience, and, while it’s a bit more expensive than the candy I’m used to it is so much better! Yes, there’s still chocolate, dried fruit and an abundance of nuts involved in the Exotic Snacks pick ‘n’ mix, but I take it easy, and don’t fill my bag to bursting. I also don’t eat it everyday, though believe me…I wish I could. For those who want to avoid fat, sugar and calorie dense bites, there’s options such as wasabi peas, mini rice cakes and natural licorice.

Now, while I always pick up some of my favourite choices – yogurt covered raisins, giant corn, Jordgubb yoghurt frystorkad (dehydrated strawberries covered in yogurt) and kokostopper yogurt – I try and pick up something new each time. On this occasion I went a bit wild and took some Japansk Mix and some Äpple & Kokos Grön Bönblandning (which is basically a mix of pumpkin seeds, dried apple pieces, soya beans and coconut). In case you were wondering, yes, I’m a huge fan of mixing sweet and salty.

I love to have my Exotic Mix cold. Not at warm temperature, like a normal human being, but chilled enough so I really have to work at those yogurt covered raisins. Plus, it makes the bag last longer. So I always put my bag in the fridge for a few hours before demolishing. Last night’s bag was eaten in front of It Follows. Exotic Snacks proved to be a thousand times more satisfying.