the other day, i went to pick up a world map that i ordered through my local bookstore (i had been looking for one in a particular size for months before i finally ordered one), and when there, i came upon two books on sale: the lover by marguerite duras (a classic that i never got around to read) and the unbearable lightness of being by milan kundera. kundera is a writer that made a huge impression on me when i had just passed my teens. the unbearable lightness was the first of his books that i read (some might know it better as the 1984 movie starring daniel day-lewis, juliette binoche and lena olin, a film that is beautiful in its own way that certainly made an impression on me back then, but it does by no means do the book any justice). i will give this copy to a friend.
when i got home, there were other goodies in the mail; a copy of a tolkien book that a friend sent me, as he felt i would like it a lot. i don't read much (any, to be precise) fantasy, so i'm not sure.... but i will give it a try.
there were also a package containing the soap nuts that i have been wanting to buy for a couple of years, but couldn't find a norwegian retailer until recently. with it came a small organic cotton washing bag to keep the nutshells in while washing, and a sample of organic gall soap (it's a highly efficient stain remover and comes in solid bars as well as liquid).
i've tested the nutshells twice, both on 30 degree C washing programs. the shells has a distinct, not too pleasant smell, and even though the instructions said that the clothes would be odourless, i could still smell it vaguely on the wet clothes. however, it was completely gone by the time they had dried, and they are - odourless. the second wash i put a few drops of etheric oil on the washing bag, to see how that would be. they're still on the line, drying.
so far, i'm happy with the shells, and the clothes definetely seems as clean as they do with my usual detergents (which is sonett powder).
the giving part means sending off the handrolled hankie + + to my swap-choo partner. in this digital and electronic world it feels so good and special to send and recieve something by 'old fashioned' mail. (and look, i found a use for my impulse napkin purchase at ikea, and i've also been using my hand carved stamps!).