Mururin – The St. Magnus Cathedral at the Færoe Islands, 2019

About an hour´s drive to the south west of Tórshavn, the capital of the Færoe Islands is the village of Kirkjubøur. The road there is mystic when swept in the mist, giving you a strange feeling of traveling in time as well as place. Here, a surreal encounter with some Færoese geese, who seem to actively contemplate their options/chances with the oncoming truck. No geese were harmed in this incident. The Færoese goose is likely to be the oldest form of tame goose in Europe, brought by Icelandic people during the Medieval period.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2019

St. Magnus Cathedral is a cathedral ruin located in the village of Kirkjubøur on the island of Streymoy in the Færoe Islands. The ruins are the largest medieval building in the Færoe Islands.

The building was initiated by Bishop Erlendur around the year 1300. The building appears as never having been completed but it is unclear how close to completion the project come. During recent investigation pieces of a roof vault and some fragments of paint have been found. It also appears as if details of the interior might have migrated between various churches on the Islands making it difficult to tell what was actually intended to be where.

What is interesting is naturally to which extent the material ruin can help us understand the earliest history of the Færoe Islands and thus, the earliest history of all North Atlantic tribes and cultures.

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Roykstovan at Kirkjubøur, Færoe Islands 2019

On our way to Kirkjubøur, or ‘The Church Village’, about an hours drive to the south west of Tórshavn, the capital of the Færoe Islands.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2019

The small village had its largest economical importance in the Middle Ages. At that time it was the episcopal residence for the Diocese of the Færoe Islands and as such, was the spiritual centre of the society. In those days the village is said to have had around 50 houses that unfortunately were washed away by a fierce storm in the 16th century. This storm traditionally created an islet that contains ruins from that time. It is speculated that the church located the diocese here to establish a christian stronghold to block off the nearby heathens up the coast to the north west.

This area holds three main ancient memorial points. The oldest is the white Saint Olav’s Church. It is now rebuilt and renovated to some kind of mid 19th century style but its origin date to the 12th century, which makes it the oldest still used church of the Færoese people.

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At Art Café Tromsø: Connections by Ivonne Wilken

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro and Ivonne Wilken, Art Café, Tromsø, Norway 2019

At Art Café with Ivonne Wilken in Tromsø, Norway. Ivonne is a writer and artist. Her sculpture exhibition titled “Connections” is currently on display at Art Café, Richard Withs plass 2, 9008 Tromsø, through the months of August and September 2019.
Text & Photo © Art Café, T. Altintzoglou, JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2019

I met Ivonne Wilken about a year ago, not long after I moved to Tromsø. Born in Emmen, Netherlands, Ivonne studied journalism in Zwolle and anthropology/criminology in Utrecht. She’s a writer, writing in both Dutch and English. You can find her book published in English titled VIS-A-VIS available in Kindle version. She’s also an artist. Her sculpture collection currently on display at Art Café is titled Connections, and it’s a personal exploration and expression of relationships.

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Seven flowers from seven fields – Midsummer’s Eve along the Swedish west coast 2013

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro 3502 500

“Seven flowers from seven fields”.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2013

Even as I write this, I can hear the laughter and music coming from several neighbouring parties, the sounds of people chatting from near and far made possible only because the islands to the southern Swedish west coast archipelago allows no vehicles save bicycles, mopeds and electric golf carts.

Swedish Midsummer’s Eve celebrations run like clockwork, come rain or shine. This year’s rain was intermittent, giving just enough sunshine and time to the children to have their dance around the Midsummer pole.
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Barcelona revisited – Sunday sopa de llenties

Spanish lentil soup, a keepsake from Barcelona.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro 2012

My favorite souvenir to bring back from places I have visited is actually the food.

Not only all the local specialties I can fit into my luggage and hope will survive the trip back, but the smell, the flavours and that particular piece of memory and history they contain, that could so easily be revived over and over again at the stove back home.

This weekend I was thinking about Barcelona, that will always have a special place in my heart.

If you walk down La Rambla from the Placa de Catalunya and resist the temptation to turn left into the Barri Gótic just for once, to get lost in the myriads of picturesque back alleys and squares that endlessly lead you round and around in the search for the perfect xocolata you had yesterday, just somewhere around here … and instead carry on, down past the familiar facade of La Boqueria wet market, and turn right, about there, you will soon find yourself inside the bohemian turned pretty posh quarters of El Raval.

There, immediately before you hit the open area of Rambla del Raval, you will find Casa Leopoldo.
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Pizza Rustica


A traditional Italian dish also known as Pizza Ripiena, usually eaten on Ash Wednesday and then again on Easter.
Photo: J E Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson © 2011

It was an article in the New York Times that I came across Pizza Rustica. I’ve always been a fan of quiche, so I could not stop myself from trying my hands at creating a version of this typical Italian Easter dish. There are so many things that seem more fun when the sun finally arrives back after a long cold winter up here in the North of Europe. Cooking is one of them.
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Tagliatelle with pork fillet medallions and Parmaggiano sause


Tagliatelle with pork fillet medallions and bacon crisps
with rosemary and whisky flavoured parmaggiano sause.

J E Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson © 2010

This is long time favourite of mine. It is quick and easy to make, not that expensive, and can make up a the main course of a really nice home cooked dinner for quite a number of guests with no big effort.

Water for the pasta

All in all it takes about half an hour to make, provided that you have the ingredients prepared and at home of course. If so, the first thing to do is to get the water for the pasta started.

Getting the sauce going

Next is actually the sauce since it will need a little while to mature. This will take about thirty minutes, so we estimate the time on this. Basically you just make a white sauce with butter, wheat flour, milk and a few tbs of full cream for flavour. Add freshly ground white pepper and stir in a teaspoon (tsp) of sea salt flakes. Now stir and slow cook this for at least a quarter of an hour while adding milk and cream as needed so that you arrive at the thickness you want. Then add about a cup of loosely ground parmaggiano cheese and melt in while stirring.
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Sneak preview of the Gothenburg table, before the Luxembourg Culinary World Cup 2010

Team leader and Cheryl, the finer details of Chocolate sculpture and desserts

Gothenburg Culinary Team Leader, Johan, pointing out the finer details of the chocolate sculpture and desserts.
Photo © J E Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC 2010

In preparation of the upcoming Culinary World Cup held in Luxembourg in November 2010, the Gothenburg Culinary Team was doing a ‘dry run’ of the competition dishes. As luck would have it I was invited to take a sneak preview of their efforts if I could make it to Uddevalla, just north of Gothenburg, Sweden and of course I’d love to.

Meeting with the whole team.

Meeting with the whole team.

At this point in time, the team is already in the later stages in their preparation for the international competition and had set up a complete display table that resembled the one to be judged in Luxembourg. This entire exhibition was a team exercise that acted as a show-case plus brainstorm session for the team members, showing in detail how things right now would look like when put together.

Even if their food display already looked thoroughly breathtaking and appetizing, the fact was that all dishes would still be improved upon before the final design that would go into the competition was set.

This event was rather nondescript for their efforts, a showing mainly for themselves, friends and colleagues. It was hysterical to observe that all visitors to the display table were frustrated that entire set meals, plus breads and desserts were strictly for display only. There would be no touching, no tasting, no licking, no eating of any crumb on the table as the crumbs would most likely be part of the dish display and most carefully placed where they should be.
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Entrecôte a la Suede


My take on a Swedish meat classic, in Nordic summer’s evening light.
Photo © Jan-Erik Nilsson for CMC 2010

Strangely enough the most common meat dinner in Sweden – at least in the mind of the Swedes themselves – would be a French slice of beef or an entrecôte, with fries on the side. But how did it come to be like this in the land of elks and the Midnight Sun?

Well contrary to Singapore, Sweden does not really have a tradition of eating out on a daily basis. In Singapore one would eat out three times in a day (and then some inbetween) without thinking about it, but in Sweden eating out has always been a little bit of an event where people are more likely than not to dress up a bit and expect something out of the ordinary. The up side of this is that this attitude from bygone days until now had helped create a ready market for gourmet cooking and fine dining, which in turn, had helped skyrocket Swedish culinary art to world fame. 

However in 1954 the ‘French Bistro’ was introduced into the Swedish food scene by Chef Yves Fitoussy at the newly opened restaurant Cassi in Stockholm. Here the open bar kitchen was introduced where steaks could be fried very quickly in front of the guests and served instantly over the counter, and with French Fries – also a novelty at the time – on the side. The impact was tremendous.
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Cufflinks – a perfectly smart finish

Cufflinks in gold and white gold, set with mother of pearl and 2 brilliant cut diamonds, c. 0.10 cts. Stamped GD & Co (G Dahlgren & Co.), Malmö 1940, Sweden. These are to be auctioned this coming weekend, at W.A. Bolin.

In a crowded room to any formal event, one could well sweep over the hall and indulge in the general sight of people well dressed. But as the evening draws on and conversations are engaged, it is most often that one cannot help but notice details in a person’s dress. Women for example, might notice details in men’s dressing such as the colour of his tie as in contrast to his shirt, the cut of his jacket or the pockets on his coat, his tie pin if he’s wearing one and then most interestingly, his cufflinks. Every bit of clothing on a person contains information about personality, and a pair of cufflinks might just well tell if he has a sense of humour. Continue reading “Cufflinks – a perfectly smart finish”

Meeting with Jan Berglin

Today we went to the great Swedish Book Fair, held at Svenska Mässan i Göteborg. There among about one million visitors were indeed a few highlights. At the Kartago Publishing Company’s booth we met with the well known Swedish cartoonist Jan Berglin. He is one of the driest, most academic authors to have ever drawn a comic cartoon. Here is a picture of Jan Berglin at the Kartago Publishing house booth, signing his latest book.


Funnily enough I think he looks like what he draws.


JE in queue to meet Jan Berglin. A bright, happy kid is all I see! Pretty much as any eight year old kid queing up to hand over his wishing list to Santa. David, JE’s son who is standing behind JE was also there.


We couldn’t really help asking about his style, of mixing philosophy and quotations from our traditional literary heritage, with humor. As expected he just smiled and explained

I guess that’s me. I try to put a lid on it but I can’t really help who I am.

I figure that’s the way to do it. Just be yourself.

Photo by David.

And Berglin’s autograph.


V&A London – The golden age of couture …

In an article called Modets guldålder i focus, the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter today announced that the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum in London will open their exhibition on fifties couture this weekend, entitled “The golden age of couture. Paris and London 1947 – 1957”.

The post war years of the 1950s presented an opportunity for women to get out of the factories and back to their domain of family and home. It was an era that celebrated the woman and her femininity, affording her time and luxury to be beautiful again. One can expect this exhibition to showcase some excellent collections from leading designers of the time and should therefore not be missed. Continue reading “V&A London – The golden age of couture …”

Trust your eyes when buying a diamond


A light yellow, old cushion cut diamond with a large culet, weighing ca. 1.9 cts.

When I first got interested in diamonds, I started like everyone else on the 5Cs of a diamond – its cut, clarity, colour, carat weight and certificate.

Questions like, which of these Cs are more important if you’re working on a budget was also part of the learning process and a practical question to consider when buying a diamond. And for the longest time, I could not weigh the importance of either of the Cs with each other. I wanted all of them in my stone ranked as high as possible, meaning I wanted best colour, best cut, best clarity, biggest carat and most definitely certified, in the budget!
Continue reading “Trust your eyes when buying a diamond”

Light reflections from a simple blue topaz ring

The main purpose of a diamond or a gemstone is to sparkle. And by doing so, it brings joy not only to its wearer but to those who look at it.

It is no doubt that the harder the consistency of the stone, the more fire and brilliance it exudes, which is why diamonds are the stones with the most fire, followed by cubic zirconia and sapphires.

But here are some pictures I took of a simple blue topaz ring that I used to own, set in filigree platina.


The pictures were taken in natural daylight. I’m absolutely amazed at how the blue light literally spills out onto its surrounding.

For a simple blue topaz that is cut right, I think this stone performs very well indeed.

Miu Miu studded detail heels

Miu Miu shoes

In the previous post, where I was wearing the Grey Miu Miu coat, I wore these shoes.

There’s a pair of shoes that you can see in the previous picture that I’m trying out with the grey coat – a red and black patent leather and snake skin heeled shoe.

There are many interesting details in this shoe – almost overwhelming in detail actually from:

  • the petal open toe front
  • the black patent
  • the contrast red patent
  • the snake skin print along the sides
  • the duo tone fading from red to black and black to red
  • the studded heel
  • the shape of the heel from thick to thin, not like a standard stiletto or a chunky stacked heel.

I was almost considering going for this pair of shoes but after some more thinking some I decided there is such a things as too overwhelming by details and struck it off the list to my husband’s dismay. He loved these shoes!

Check out the Miu Miu flats in the background, worn by the very helpful and patient sales girl. Now those ballerinas are CUTE!

Miu Miu coat in grey

Miu Miu grey

My third and last try at a Miu Miu Autumn 2007 coat in grey. Not a colour I want – I have too many dark coloured coats in my wardrobe already. But I thought heck, I’m there, I can actually have my hands on something and it might, just might work on me.

This coat was double breasted and very warm. But again, too boxy at the shoulders, that gave me a very “square” look from the front.

There were pockets in the front to keep the hands warm and I did like the way the skirted part of the coat moved when I walked.

Still, I thought the material was too heavy for my frame, so I passed on that based on colour and design actually!

Here’s another shot of the coat…

Grey Miu Miu

In this picture, you can see what I mean when I say that the coat is too heavy for my frame and too boxy in the front.

The pleated details of the skirted part is great though. And I do again, like the girlie look of this coat. But at that price, as all Miu Miu coats are, I think I’d expect more from this coat. It needs to make me look better!

It did however, look gorgeous if I wore it open. On the other hand again, I won’t be able to walk around with an open coat in the Swedish winter. So it was a sad departure for me from the Miu Miu store in London.

(Photos taken with a Sony Ericsson 810i mobile phone)

That RED Miu Miu Coat

Still in London, Bond Street…

I spotted Miu Miu just across the street, somewhere down from Pringle of Scotland. I’ve been looking for a red coat FOREVER – literally, a few years now. And I’ve been eyeing THIS schoolgirl kickpleat red coat from Miu Miu.


The entire Miu Miu autumn collection was inspired by school uniforms and I thought it ideal! I love girly lolita style clothes and school uniform inspired items suited me perfect!

I donned this coat with enthusiasm, only to find that again, it was too large. It was in size IT 38! Which was indeed the smallest they had.

I began to realize that this was not my day indeed. I was truly disappointed here too because first, I love Italian made clothes and second, Italian sizes are what actually FIT ME in Europe. They are all I ever go for when shopping in Sweden because all other cuttings are just that wee bit too large. I think you can see my disappointment in my eyes in the mirror.

A practical consideration. I noticed that the sleeves on this coat did not cover my wrists. This means that it’ll be a cold coat. I do like coats that have a longer sleeve length because I can just pull it that extra bit over my gloves during winter for that extra bit of needed warmth.

And I thought I could’ve worn them with these Miu Mius I have. Disappointing.