back at breakers

You know that 1 percent of the world owns 90 percent of it? Well, of that 1 percent, 90 percent of them live in Palm Beach. It is the billionaire island, a place so picture-perfect it is disturbing. When you come here, your senses instantly calibrate to delux intake. But when you leave, and you go back to where you came from, it usually takes at least a week of desperate desolation before you’re back to normal… I am not exaggerating.

But, rite here rite now, back at the legendary Breakers. Oh baby, my home away from home. Fresh strawberries and blueberries for breakfast, perhaps oysters and champagne for lunch, and for dinner? Anything you want, sir. God help me now.

I had a killer year, brought in a lot of business for Sealed Air. This does not go unrewarded; the Winning Performer event is our Oscar. As we lay down for a 110 minute couples massage in what is one of the best spas in the world, I can’t help but think that my job is pretty good… invisible smiley included – you might not see it, but I believe you can feel it. And how can a massage be this good? We are on fluffiest cloud nine.

Another day, another treatment. Madli chooses an enzyme peel. I go for a coffee scrub. Please have mercy. I feel so good I could die.

Breakers1 (Copy)

Breakers2 (Copy)

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Breakers5 (Copy)

The days go by. At the pool, jacuzzi, beach, ocean, shopping, snorkeling, making friends, eating and drinking too much, meeting the new CEO of Sealed Air Corporation, dressed to kill, walking the red carpet to the stage, smoking a Cohiba afterwards, yacht cruising/dinner party at sea. The yacht moored next to ours cost 126mil. You could buy Bangladesh for that. My apologies. We are isolated by golden luxury. This is not the time to feel guilty. I deserved this.

Again we leave The Breakers. Why is it so bloody hard to let go of the room key? Agh!

miami mami

SoBe poses like nothing else on the planet. The cars, the music, the hotels, the clubs, the babes in monokinis, and the what the hell is that, a guy in a mohawk, tattoos, abs like rocks, defying gravity while hanging from a gymnastics bar in everywhich way… and he’s carrying a huge yellow boa snake. Well, the jaded me is in love with SoBe. I see guys in candycolored Lamborghinis parking in front of the Clevelander, gullwing doors up, music blasting at volume eleven… everywhere else in the world this would not seem natural. But not in South Beach. Here, it all makes sense. Here, life is comprehensively deregulated and decomplicated. Quick, give me a shot of good toxic. Let’s go out tonite.

Yeah. While border control in Miami was the worst half a day spent in the history of history (the length of the queue stretched to Missisippi, my heels got wet), the rest was awesome. Even a ridiculous flu virus did not keep us down. Not when there is Gin and Tonic, bought at “I Love Liqour”. Up on the roof at the Clevelander, the darkness was so bright I thought I owned the world. Uh! Ah!

We lived on Ocean Drive. Whereelse, dammmit. In a glorious four star art deco hotel, obviously. At arm’s length was everything. Am I repeating myself? Everything. The beach, the ocean, the speedboats, the parties, Gianni’s mansion, Nikki’s Beach, Clevelander, Fountainbleu, hot and blurry memories. In fact, many of the pictures I find in my phone are tripleX-rated…

Miami1

Miami2

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And in the end, a big Cadillac came to pick us up at our hotel in Ocean Drive. We were to be whisked off to luxury incarnated, or Breakers, Palm Beach. Not bad. But that’s a another story alltogether…

south beach miami & palm beach

Luxury and pampering beckons again. Kill me I’m so sorry. First Madli and me will spend five days at South Beach Miami, where we have a gorgeous four star art deco hotel on Ocean Drive waiting. Ocean Drive! Yeah! Night life, shopping, sunshine and people spotting, looking for Sonny Crockett or Carrot Top…

South-Beach-Miami

Then it’s off to one of the sweetest addresses in the world; Breakers, Palm Beach. I’m picking up another Sealed Air Winning Performer award, thank you very much, I can’t tell you how much I deserve this. And since Breakers also happens to have one of the top spas in the US, massages and body scrubs are naturally the order of the day. Oh, five days of this. Yacht dinners. Scuba diving. How to stand this utter indulging! Oh! Oh!

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woman and her wardrobe

A woman without a proper place for her clothes is not a happy woman. And an unhappy woman makes for a miserable man. Clearly, I should have known better than to drag it out – but I was always busy with another part of the house. Now I’m making amends in a big fashion. I really wanted to build a beautiful wardrobe for Madli, and spared no effort to create this…

MadliW1

The old wardrobes were dark, narrow, hard to reach and unpractical.

MadliW2

So I cut it out completely.

MadliW3

New white fresh walls, floor, and custom-built shelves out of solid wood of cooz, no junk in this trunk. And ooh, a shoe tower, too!

MadliW4

On the road to everything all-white, including accessories, hangers and bars and such.

MadliW5

Ain’t that a peach, thou? The whole room opened up. Enormous sliding doors with faceted bronze mirrors… well, Madli could not possibly be happier. But me? Well, seeing both her and her mirror image in nothing but high heels is a big bonus, but at the same time I am green with envy because in comparison my own personal wardrobe now looks like a toilet in Glasgow. Save space. This story does not end here…

what else, lately

Been to Nice, twice. Part Sealed Air sales meetings, part fun with the lads. Promenade des Anglais never fails to perk you up after a Finnish winter of shit and despair. I always buy Hediard tea in Nice, makes any Karis breakfast into Paris brunch. Sat next to Keke (there is only one) on the flight home, but was so intimidated by his god-like aura that I did not dare speak to him, never mind cutting off a lock of his hair. All I could think of was, “why is he flying economy like me…”

Nice1

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What else? We took Scarlett to Junibacken in Stockholm. A lovely place for a child. In fact, we all had a great time inside the head of Astrid Lindgren. Are her characters not truly mindblowing? Frankly, I realized I’d been taking all these stories for granted, when in fact a huge – h-u-g-e – part of my childhood comes from her imagination alone. Ah, bow before the glorious unlimited power of fiction, still and always smoking plain old reality, exposing it for what it really is; a bit blurry and largely undefined.

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Junibacken2

windows are round, violets are blue

For a long time it has been a romantic dream of mine to once own a house with round windows. There’s something about round windows that make me go mmm. In the old days it was the mark of a manor of some importance, properly built by skilled artisans that took great pride in their work. I feel I would have been at my happiest during the Gustavian era, but fine, let’s make the 21st Century work.

And this is what I did – despite the opposition of the city planners of this town. What I thought would be a cakewalk took half a year of begging on my bare knees to get a permit. I’ll share more some other day.

Round1

The beginning is always humble.

Round2

The shape of a round window? Well, not quite yet. But you’ll see it will make sense soon.

Round3

While opening up walls… still, after all these years, repairing the damage the old leaking steel roof had caused.

Round4

A circle? Sort of…

Round5

On the other side, in Scarlett’s room, the operation was easier. A real neat job, if I may so braggadocio!

Round6

Oh! There is a hole in the wall! Light is flooding in! Help! We’re drowing in bright light!

Round7

Behold, the one-eyed pirate house.

Round8

The finished article, and pleased as punch! Fuck I’m good.

Round9

Inside job. Filler, sanding, including the floor, and painting. Routine. The only thing I hate is cleaning up after sanding. Otherwise, I could do this all year long…

Round10

In the end, the room became Scarlett’s playroom. Lego, lots of lego! Yes, well spotted, that lamp is an Artek A331, the famous beehive, or an object of desire and hot lust.

the poser

Sometimes sweet as sugar, sometimes a rebel without a clue. I like both. But painting her lips with blue permanent marker… well, it wore off. After awhile. Quite awhile…

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the garage

Black glossy clay tiles transformed house into villa. What a surprise, then, that the old steel roof of the garage was getting more and more like sand in the eye. Eventually, I could no longer bear looking at it…

Where does it end? Where does the universe end? Exactly. It doesn’t. It expands. Like a German army.

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Underneath the steel roof, I found three different layers of old tar-coated felt. Each layer was fastened with a trillion small nails. Each layer, older than Alexander The Great, was so frail it broke off in tiny bits. If you believe you can imagine the time and frustration, you are probably way off. I suppose most people would just have built on top of the felt… but I’m one of those who believe the greatest luxury of life is “peace of mind”.
Besides, in the old days, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, the garage had been used as a bath-house and toilet and who knows, probably a brothel or opium den, which meant that some of the wooden bits were well past their due date. There was also a gaping hole in the ceiling, the memory of an old chimney.
As can be seen, I enjoyed a fair bit of carpentry underneath the roof, as well. Tiles are heavier, thus reinforced. Loved that! Looks good, too.

And then, hey presto. No sand in my eye, no sand in my mind.