My brother Kimmo’s birthday party was yesterday. He has now turned 60 and decided to invite all of us siblings for a coffee to his home here in Helsinki. It’s been years since I last visited his house and back then it was chock full of souveniers brought from their travels and paintings and I can just say that they had multiplied, severely.
Before the party I had called him and asked what he’d like to get for his birthday gift. Last time we were on the summer cottage the bench on the pier had broken because it was old and had been outdoors the last 15 years, mainly without cover for winters too so that when I sat on it some of the rungs just snapped. So now Kimmo wanted us to replace the bench as a birthday gift for him ’because we had been jumping on it and it broke’.
I was flabbergasted. Some of my friends say I shouldn’t have bought the bench and DH and the boys are also a bit miffed.
I decided to buy the bench even as I think it was not our fault it was broken but I thought I’d be the bigger person this time. DH found a bench from a garden supplier and bought it and we’ll be going to take it to Kimmo’s summer cottage in October when we collect some old furniture there for our own (new) summer cottage.
The party itself was .. well.. okay. Kimmo’s wife Anne has cats as she breeds Singapura so youngest son was happy to play with them and I talked with my middlest brother and his wife more than I have in years. Maybe I should add that Anne and I aren’t really in friendly terms due to some old stuff but we managed to be civil.
In the beginning of July when our summer holidays were just begun we decided to have a day in Tallinn, Estonia. There’s several ferries that offer rides, the cost and length just differ a bit.
The day was beautiful, sunny and nice and the sea wasn’t very bad (I forgot my acu-bracelets home) as I get seasick very quickly when the sea is rolling. We had brunch at the ferry, it was very good. We even had chocolate mousse as dessert (I once went for it five times since it’s my absolute favorite dessert).
In Tallinn we walked a very short distance to the old city wall tower Fat Margaret where they nowadays have the Estonian maritime museum and it was really great. The exhibition took all four floors and from the top of the tower is nice views over the city.
From the museum we strolled through the old city and had a coffee and cake break in Maiasmokk cafeteria. Back in the 90’s it used to be pretty small but now it’s very nice. We had a table in the small square while we enjoyed our iced coffees under the shade.
After our coffee break we had just enough time to do some shopping so we walked to the Virukeskus where I did first some shopping in the cosmetics shop (which is huuuge) and then we visited the grocery shop downstairs which is awesome. Then we walked back to the ferry and enjoyed our cabin all the way back to Helsinki.
This is my very late post of the Saturday (and Sunday morning) we spent in Dublin right after our week in Limerick in May.
After a great breakfast at our hipster hotel in the Docklands me and Sari walked to the Trinity College for our pre-booked tour on the campus and Mikko did something on his own. The tour was lovely and the student guiding us was a very nice young man. Our tickets included the Long Room and Book of Kells which was good since there was quite a lot of tourists that day.
The Long Room has been on my bucket list for ages and I was so happy to finally get to see it. For a library-lover it is a real treasure and I enjoyed immensely seeing the colorful slips in the shelves indicating borrowed books. The only thing that bothered me a bit was that it was so crowded.
I did some souvenir shopping and had a nice chat with the cashier guys about audio books 🙂 and then it was time for me to get moving in order to meet Guylty/Sonja in time. We had agreed to meet at the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) which was very interesting to see too. I left Sonja to enjoy herself in the newest exhibition while I walked through the museum and it was just lovely. The museum had a nice cafe where we enjoyed lunch and also a very nice small gift shop.
From there we walked to the Marsh’s library as Sonja was such awesome guide and thought I might like it. I absolutely adored the place! I’ll always be grateful for Sonja for showing it to me.
From the Marshs’ library Sonja walked a ways with me as I was going to visit the Yeats exhibition at the National library where we parted (the exhibition was a bit of a disappointment and the other parts of the library were closed due to renovations) and then I visited the National museum’s Ór exhibition as she had recommended which was beautiful. From there I walked back to our hotel via some bookshops (didn’t find anything to buy sadly) and rested my feet for a while before we went back to the center for dinner.
We had first thought to have a dinner in pub but they were all filled to the rafters due to it being the rugby and football finals that night so we ended up to a very good pizzeria. On our way there Sari stopped to admire Sweny’s windows just as they were closing and so we ended inside to have a chat with PJ Murphy about James Joyce and all kinds of things and it was just lovely. Also in the pizzeria we had lovely chat with the neighboring tables and I must say that all the Irish people were so wonderful. (Actually we came to the conclusion that Finns and Irish are quite alike, we felt like being at home with everyone, it was so easy.)
On Sunday morning we took a little walk to the city center but then decided to get back to hotel and leave for the airport since we’d heard it was going to be quite the struggle to get to the flight in time. We were lucky and made it to our flight but we queued to the security check for two hours and I didn’t have time to buy anything from the tax free, I only managed to bu some sandwiches for the plane for dinner.
Thank you Sonja and Ireland for lovely time, I’ll be back!
We (me, my colleague and the head librarian Sari and our media teacher and education planner Mikko) visited the Further Education and Training College in Limerick as an Erasmus+-mobility project and it was very interesting. We got to talk with the teachers and visited different campuses and took part to the LifeLongLearning Festival they had on just that week. Here is a short video from the Multicultural day, look closely and you may see me there too, just try to spot the hot pink jeans 🙂
We had tight schedule and got so much information that I think we are still processing things. We had interesting talks with people and enjoyed seeing different campuses and also met one teacher originally from Finland with whom we had a long chat about how things are in both countries. One theme for our visit was media literacy and how it’s taught in Ireland and in the end one of the teachers said that they can see how much they still need to do in order to teach it to their students so I think we all got something out of this visit.
All days were so full scheduled that we had to sneak away on Thursday in order to get to see the King John’s castle which was very nice. We also visited St Mary’s Cathedral which was very interesting, there was a chamber choir just rehearsing for their evening performance and it was absolutely beautiful.
I didn’t manage to do any kind of shopping since all shops closed so early, I only bought some trousers from Dunne’s where I did some grocery shopping in the evening and their clothes department was on the same level as the grocery side.
The people were awesome and made us feel welcome. We had a nice informal dinner on Thursday night and made friends and talked about everything more easily than on the campus. One very kind lady called Máire took us for a car trip all over the county on Friday.
We drove from Limerick to Burren National park where we did a short walk. From there we drove to the seaside so we’d see the Cliffs of Moher (we didn’t go there since it was a tourist trap) via Aillwee cave (where we bought some nice cheese and didn’t get into the cave at all) and Fenore beach. From the roadside we’d see Moher very well and took some nice pics and then Máire drove us all the way over the peninsula so we’d see the other side too. Then in Clahane shore Mikko went for a swim in the Atlantic ocean and afterwards we had nice dinner in Lahinch village and later ice cream stop at Liscannor before driving back to Limerick. Then we took the train to Dublin and were quite tired after all the excitement of the week so after we found our hotel we just bought some sandwiches from a shop next door and went to bed.
Okay, here was the Limerick part. I’ll try to write the Dublin part this week too.
Just a FYI I’m over Covid19 now, I only had fever for two days (38,5C degrees) and runny nose last week, I went back to work on Thursday and Friday and now I’m feeling quite myself again. I was very tired during the first weekend of June but day napped with Sirius on the balcony and it was good.
I feel like I mainly post about my day trips and I don’t even do them so much. So funny!
Last Saturday we (me, DH and youngest one) drove to Jyväskylä to inspect middlest one’s new flat which was very nice. It had many cupboards and the rooms were spacious and the balcony was lovely. While the men assembled some Ikea furniture I unpacked the kitchen things and uploaded the dish washer with the new dishes. We made a list what middlest one should still buy, i.e. dish washer tablets and so on and then we had dinner in the city centre. I called my cousin and we decided to go to her place for coffee and bring something to go with it.
My cousin’s little boy (5) got a bit scared when we showed up as they have been low contact with people since he’s a ’heart child’ with HLHS. Luckily he got over his scare in a short while and later played card game with youngest one while we chatted with my cousin. It was nice to see them too 🙂 Afterwards we drove middlest son to pick up his car from the garrison and left for home via the local chocolate factory shop.
At work the week (three days) was hectic as we have a strike looming ahead. It was supposed to begin on the Tuesday after Easter but it was postponed two weeks. I’ve never been on a strike, they’ve always been cancelled for different reasons so I find this very interesting. I’ve promised to go to my old work place as a picketer for a day with our head shop steward.
On top of these strike news I got news that I was selected with my colleague and our Media teacher for a Erasmus+ for a week in Limerick in May. I’m flabbergasted to say the least, I never expected to get chosen but my lovely boss said I should apply and I did and here we are! I’m so excited!
DH had one of his summer holidays still left and as they are lost if not used at the end of April we took a one-day cruise trip to Stockholm. I got a day off and youngest one too and on Wednesday evening we went to the ship, ate well and did some shopping and in the morning we woke up in Sweden. After breakfast we walked to the Viking museum in Djurgården which was very interesting. Afterwards we took a ferry to the Gamla stan where I did some book shopping and then we had coffee and cake (”fika”) and then we slogged back to the cruise ship. The weather was smutty, drizzling but okay. Back at the ship we had dinner and this morning we were back home.
Both eldest and middlest son were home so we had dinner together and I baked a Key Lime pie which was very good.
I’m trying to find us a summer cottage where we could be as we want to. I don’t get along with my SIL and it’s getting harder summer by summer to stay civil, not that we ever see but my brother is the in-between-man and I don’t think it’s fair, besides the boys are getting frustrated too as they’d like to go to cottage more than they now can. I found one place which would be in my price range and contacted the seller about going to visit the place next week but he hasn’t answered yet. It’s a three-hour-drive but it looks promising. I’ll be going there with eldest one to inspect.
I don’t seem to get pics to gallery mode anymore and now I’m too tired to look into it. Maybe it’s all right as it is. Here’s a song for you, I really like Ben Folds but then I kind of forgot him for a while.
Today it’s the 6th anniversary of my Mom’s passing. Today it’s also the day Middlest one moved out of home to the NDA dormitory first and next week he’ll be getting a flat in Central Finland. So it’s not always the sad memories to go by.
Middlest son is going to move to a ’right of occupancy’-apartment. Since we haven’t been able to travel these past two years we’ll loan the needed money to him and then he’ll pay it back in some years. The apartment is about 49 square meters, has sauna and balcony and is located next to a lake on second floor. He’ll have about 1 km to the city centre via the bridge. I’m glad he got the place (since I found it) but we’ll need to buy everything starting from bed sheets. We’re planning to go see the place around April, before Easter weekend.
DH is getting better, he’s in not so much pain anymore but he still naps some hours per day which is good. I had to go to talk with a nurse at my work health care since I begun to feel so overwhelmed and it was good I did. I feel much lighter.
Youngest one had the enrollment to high school and he applied first on the Middlest one’s school. I hope he gets in as it would be a short biking or bus route to take and also Hubby works next door so he’d get a ride every now and then too. It’s one of the hardest ones to get in to, a sort of elite school, because it’s the University training school for teachers but it’s also top rate studying. The final results come in Mid-June.
Last week I went to movies with youngest one to see Moonfall. It was so much fun, no logic and totally unbelievable but very good for relaxing. We enjoyed it a lot.
I also went for a ride with my friend Mareetta, we drove to Tammisaari and then watched the sun down in Inkoo harbor and the moon rise at Kaivopuisto in Helsinki. We had lovely day in wonderful spring weather and great food.
Just a FYI for starters: I’m not going to comment on the Russian and Ukrainian war here since I’m trying to avoid it as much as possible.
I’ve had this week off work as it’s the local Winter holiday and school’s are on holiday. I thought I’d need this week off and boy was I right.
Last Friday DH went to the hospital with the expectation that he’d stay for the night as the tube was taken out and the kidney stones removed. In the end he was there four nights as the kidney had a massive vessel bleeding and he was being monitored every second. On Tuesday he finally came home.
He said that the reason he had had constant pain ever since Boxing Day when the doctors put the tube in was that it had started bleeding then. Two surgeons had told him that there had been some tests lacking and also a screening and he should make a malpractice notice. It was a very close shave that he came home at all (as I had gathered already since I’ve watched my fair share of ER and other hospital series).
So I’m just glad he’s home and everything is getting better. I’ve been mostly sleeping, reading, watching tv and doing a jigsaw puzzle (been years since my last one).
I was going to go to movies but haven’t had the energy and so I’ve been watching the Marvel movies with youngest one on the timeline order instead of the release order. I’ve also got us HBO now and so far I’ve watched Station eleven and White lotus. I was a bit worried they’d ruin Station Eleven as the book is one of my fave dystopian novels but it’s surprisingly good which I’m glad of.
I guess this was the news from my corner for now. I’m going back to the couch now with Sirius.
It’s already February and I’ve been lazy updating.
I’ve been at work since Jan 10th when my holidays ended. We’ve been in the closed down house alone with the janitors and some teachers. The Helsinki city Education decided that all adult hobby groups go teaching ’via net’ except Finnish for foreigners and so the kids schools have been open but elderly people have sat at home, most of them vaccinated too . We (me and my colleague) have been giving digital IT help via phone and also helped teachers with their lessons and other stuff. I must say I’ve been on the verge of depression due to this last closure and some of our clients said the same.
Luckily since Feb 1st we are open again and the teachers can decide themselves how they want to keep their lessons. On the beginning of March all classes will return to classes.
Hubby had a small infection in his tubes (due to the kidney stone) and he got meds for it and is now better. The tube is bothering him a bit and it’ll be operated on Feb 18th as both of the doctors who knew the procedure were sick which delayed his operation.
Eldest son was skiing in Lapland two weeks ago and managed to break his wrist. As it was Sunday he had to go to the private clinic there which did a good job but it cost 720€. He paid it with his student loan and we gave him the money afterwards. The private clinic had said he needs to show the wrist to a doctor here and last weekend he had been in the HUS hospital twice for X-rays and then on Monday he had seen the surgeon. The surgeon had said the plaster isn’t enough to keep the bones still so they operated his hand today, he got metal plates inserted and they’ll probably be permanent.
Middlest son came home a week ago, he was camping with other army guys in forest for three weeks in Northern Finland. Since then he’s had one day at the garrison. On March he’s moving to Central Finland as his pilot training in the Air Force begins. We’ve been searching for flats there, mainly ’right of occupancy’ apartments as it’d be better for now as he’ll be there about three years and so he made a request of one which looked really nice. I said to hubby that I’d like keep the flat as a summer residence if we won’t sell it when middlest one leaves the place.
Youngest one turns 16 next Tuesday and we are thinking of going out to dinner next weekend with the whole family. Due to hubby’s condition I don’t think it’s a good idea to ask people to come to our house right now, we can have cake later with youngest one’s godparents at home.
Youngest son is trying to decide between high schools as the enrolling time gets nearer at the end of this month. We have managed to get him to apply for some schools nearby that have great reputation, the final results come back on June which is still far away. I hope he’ll get into the first one (which is the one middlest son went to) but the rest are not bad either.
We’ve had a real snow fall last weekend and this weekend. Me and middlest one have done the shoveling and Sirius enjoys playing in the snow, she’s so funny.
I’m so relieved that I finally received the Christmas gift Michelle sent me on Dec 14th. I was worried it had gone missing so I asked an old acquaintance (a message board friend) who works at the Postal services if he’d help and then the package was found and I got it yesterday! Thanks Michelle, I’m so happy ❤
DH is back home and getting better. I’ll add an TMI warning further below in case you don’t like to hear about people’s innards.
First I’ll just give you some pics from my walk yesterday. We had -15C degrees and I thought to try on my new snow pants I bought last Feb when we had very cold weather and of course as I bought them the weather changed so I didn’t get to use them at all. I dressed myself warmly and went to forest and I was so hot that back home I felt like I had done a sweaty aerobic class. Anyways it was nice to be warm and in the fresh air enjoying sunny day.
It’s been the kind of week you just hope it’ll end safely.
On Monday at work we were wondering why there is a smell of smoke. We checked every place but this time it wasn’t our building. It was the largest coffee roastery in Helsinki which is situated a block away over the football field. The smoke was pretty heavy and as I went to lunch the air was grey with smoke even some blocks further from the fire. Funnily our nearest work lunch place is on the Main fire station next to my work, there were many people from my work having lunch and sitting a bit longer in a smokefree place. I did a short walk a bit further to get some clean air, since we didin’t have clients anymore it was okay to stay a bit longer. The fire continued to Wednesday when the fire department finally got it out. Here you can see a video footage of the fire.
I felt like a smoked ham after work but I met a friend after work in the city centre. We changed gifts and it was nice to have a chat and nice cup of coffee after all day inhaling smoke at work.
On Tuesday the smoke didn’t get indoors anymore but as it was last day before my days off I didn’t much care. I left early as I went to dinner with my friend Mareetta. She had some trouble coming to pick me up from my work as the fire was on one of the main entryways to the city centre. (In twitter someone compalined the fire trucks being on the bicycle lane…) We drove to the seaside to take some pics of the sundown and then went to eat to a shopping centre.
On Wednesday I had my first day off and as youngest son had a short day at school we went to movies after his school to see the new Spiderman : No way home which was very good, we really enjoyed it. The new Dr Strange movie looks good too.
Eldest son was coming to spend the Christmas with us so hubby went to get him and they did some last grocery shopping. In the evening DH started to say his tummy ached a lot and then he threw up from the pain twice and finally around 10pm he was in so much pain he was just crying with pain on the sofa and I said I’ll call the Emergency Services and he said yes. So I did and they send an ambulance to assess the situation, at this point eldest son was already sleeping as he had an early morning next day. The ambulance crew took hubby to the hospital for a check-up and I was left with my old traumas (from when my dad died) to spend the night badly. Luckily eldest one slept through all of this but middlest and youngest one were still awake when hubby left so they were a bit tired too.
On Thursday around 10 am DH got out of the hospital and middlest one went to get him. It was kidney stones and the doctors had decided not to operate as it’d be a too big an emergency operation. Instead he got great painkillers and they’ll call him in for an operation soon, then they’ll blast the kidney stones so they come out more easily. Hubby still has pains as now the stones have moved downward but he’s able to do things at some level. Boys were great help, they carried the Christmas tree indoors and did all the things DH usually does.
This has put a bit of dampening on our Christmas but not much. Yesterday after dinner both elder boys fell asleep as they were so stuffed and we gave gifts later. I had bought the new Abba LP as a gift for DH and me, it was awesome. Even Sirius came to listen to it 🙂
I watched Die hard with middlest son and went to bed around 1am. Today I napped an hour on the sofa and then read a book. Now I’m planning to watch Die hard 2 or Jumanji 2 or Jungle cruise which I have yet to see.
I hope this year will end soon and nothing extreme happens next week. I’m quite done already.