Quick one

Tomorrow I’m going with my friend Heidi to see a Finnish singer Ismo Alanko perform on a club here in Helsinki. I bought the tickets in June when we were in Hawaii, right when they came available. I think Ismo is one of the brightest Finnish musicians, he started his career in the early 80’s with a punk band and has done a massive career here. I loved him in the 80’s but as I say I never got to see anyone perform live when I was a teen I’m taking it back now.

One of his bands made one album in English but never quite caught outside Finland. Their lyrics work best in Finnish imo but you can find them in Youtube under the name L’Amourder.

Here is one of their songs from their stunt in Moscow. Forever hungry

And one of Ismo’s new songs, in Finnish. In English the name is Trance-assumpted dance and I just love it, I must always dance when I hear it.

 

Netflix and chill

Has been my motto during these last days. It’s November which means the darkest time here in Finland because it usually rains or has just rained or will be raining and the clouds are wet and heavy and near the ground. The new season of The Crown begun and I’m already halfway through. I’m also finishing knitting a pair of socks for my cousin and then can begin a new cardi for myself.

I also got my deep stomach and back muscles so sore last week that I couldn’t breath very deep, even yawning made me wince with pain. I fear that the pain will return as I just got back from my Pilates lesson.

During the weekend I read two YA novels. The other one won a national book prize on the year it was published (my cousin was the main judge bc she teaches creative writing for kids and teens in Jyväskylä) and the other one was a quite recent Finnish YA-fantasy novel that had gotten good reviews. Both were good but I liked the first one more which is a bit surprising since I usually like all kinds of fantasy novels but there were some things that bothered me in the fantasy world.

We are in the middle of a postal strike here and it seems it will spread as the other unions support the postmen so I’ll probably have a day off on Monday as the public transport will probably be stuck. I was going to have a free Friday but now I can change it to Monday, I don’t actually mind.

Now I’m off to the English royal family and coffee and knitting.

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Keep on swimming

I’m a bit tired tonight. On Monday morning I did my swimming routine of 1 km in 33 minutes which was awesome. I had a private lane all the time since there was only the aquajoggers and the other lanes were full of schoolboys and slower adult swimmers, I was the only one on the ’fast lane’ and swimming with my hand paddles felt so good! During the night my shoulders and arms started to ache.

Yesterday I had my Pilates lesson and it was actually quite a tough one. I go to the advanced group since I’ve been doing Pilates ten years now. Today I haven’t been able to inhale deep since my back muscles are so sore, my abs aren’t even near so sore as the back is and my shoulders and arms were even more sore than the previous night. I had to put some piroxicam salve on them which I seldom do.

Today I went to a swimming technique lesson, for breast stroke. It went well and I learned the new technique (it’s been updated since I learned swimming as a kid) well enough. I also managed to get over my dislike of putting my face underneath the water which made me quite happy. There was six of us and the teacher was a quite nice lady and did good job with us.

Hubby came to the swimming hall to collect me and when we got home he made us dinner since I was so hungry, it was very nice of him. Now I’m off to bed and since it’s evening shift tomorrow and youngest one goes to school at 9 am I’ll get good long night. I hope I’ll get out of bed in the morning.

CU!

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This and that

So it’s been a while since I wrote anything here last. I’ve been a bit busy with life and everything.  I’ve also tried not to be so much in front of my PC when home and have instead been watching tv more.

Hubby wanted to buy us a new tv and did it so now we have a 60″ tv. It’s about as long as I am when I’m laying down.  DH wanted to install it on a wall support which can be stretched out from the wall and turned this way and that or it can stay against the wall and it’s quite like having one’s own movie theater.

Me and youngest one have been watching Preacher (I bought it on Blue-Ray from Stockholm) and I’m on the last legs of Black Sails too. It’s taken me about two years to watch it because the first season was mostly shagging and it gets boring pretty quick. (I had the same problem with Outlander’s first season.) Today the postman delivered Good Omens for me so I’m going to start watching it now, I can’t wait!

I probably told about the thyroid here. Well, I had the ultrasound and it has grown a bit but the doctor called me yesterday and said that my bloodworks are so good, there’s nothing on them (just like previously) so I don’t get medication. Instead she asked if I want her to send my details to the surgeon and see if they’ll take a look at the thyroid and I said yes. Even if they don’t want to operate it I’d love to hear their opinion.

Today I only did half a day at work because I had an appointment at my own health care center since I’ve been meaning to get a doctor to have a look at some moles I have. This is the public healthcare and I was happy to get the appointment pretty quickly, the thyroid was examined at my work place doctor (which is kind of private doctor because the City employees are so many) but they don’t do specialist doctors examinations, I’m being sent to the public side for that surgeon opinion.

Okay, back to the moles. So I had to take half a day off because I live in the neighboring city of Vantaa and had to travel a bit further by train. I found the place and had to wait about 15 minutes before the doctor who took a magnifying glass and said there’s nothing to worry about, the moles are just fat and will probably go away by themselves. I’m glad. I’ve been a bit worried of them but now I’m just fine.

Last Friday I went to youngest son’s school where we had a follow-up meeting with his teacher and youngest one. I felt quite proud when his teacher who teaches Finnish said that she hopes all her kids will be on the same level in Finnish when they leave middle grades as youngest one is now. He still has two more years to go so..

Later last Friday I and my friend had a North & South-marathon and it was so much fun.

On Sunday eldest son came for dinner as he turned 21 on Saturday. I wonder where the years have gone since he is a grown man and I’m still as young as I ever was. Funny that.

 

 

 

 

Book fair(y) and other things

I’ve got two friends named Kristiina, it was a very popular name in the late 60’s and my cousin is also Kristina, the Swedish version. These two Kristiina-friends I met when I was studying to become a library assistant in the early 90’s and we used to call them the tall Kristiina and the short Kristiina. Yesterday I met with short Kristiina at the Helsinki book fair like we do every fall.

Of course the book fair is not the only happening but there is also the Food and vine fairs at the same time. This time we were sneaky and did the Food-part first. Kristiina wanted to buy some chocolate from a certain chocolatier and asfter some time we found it. The examples were awesome and I bought a little bag too.

Then we went to the book fair and mostly just walked around. Since we both work in library it’s not so important for us to examine every book there. Earlier this fall I had asked an acquaintance from the City library (he has a small publishing company) if he had a book I wanted and now I bought it from him and I also got a small notebook as a thank you since I was their first customer that day.

Then we did some small shopping, Kristiina bought Christmas cards from her fave artist and just as I was collecting my coat I saw one of our class mates from the library assistant studies. I’ve seen her every now and then, we go to concerts sometimes but it’s been couple of years now since I last saw her. I went to her to say hello and we hugged and then she said that she was also leaving and I asked her to join us for late lunch but she said she was so tired as they had a very hard meeting last night concerning her son’s treatment (he is suffering of schizophrenia). I was so sad to hear that.

Well, I and Kristiina had late lunch at the just-opened new Tripla mall at the Pasila railway station. The food and dessert were very good and I had a mocktail which was delicious too. The service was good and waitresses really nice but the delivering took forever. They had probably too little staff in the kitchen because it’s only been a week since the opening and as we were leaving we noticed the other part of the restaurant was almost empty since they filled first the ’outside’ looking side. We were glad we had been early there since the queue was pretty long at the time we left.

Hubby came to get me from the train and we did grocery shopping and then I remembered my hula hoop had arrived via post so we collected that too. I tried it already yesterday and it was so much fun.

Some news of family too. On Thursday Middlest one had the Army hearings as here in Finland all males aged 18 to 35(?) must go to the Army or Civil service and for females it’s voluntary.  Middlest son wants to go to Air forces but his basic training begins at Parola Armoured brigade in next July. His girlfriend has enrolled and applied to Air forces too which I find both endearing and amusing, it be fun if they were there at the same time.

Youngest son had baked cinnamon buns at the home economics class and they were so good! He said that the teacher had appointed him and three other boys to bake them since all the other kids just mostly sit there. What a waste! I and hubby liked HE and so did the elder sons too.

Well, now I’m going to do some hula hooping and then sit in front of the telly with the cat for the rest of the evening.

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Visiting Stockholm

By request I’m updating about our trip to Stockholm. Stockholm is a nice city, Sweden’s capitol. Stockholm and Helsinki have nice ferry cruises between them and on the cruise you can buy tax free shopping so it’s very popular in both countries I think. Finns buy cheap alcohol and Swedes the other things. The ship leaves on the evening, arrives to destination in the morning and leaves again in the evening so one has about 6 hours to visit the capitol cities at each end.

We usually make the cruise every spring and fall and use the VikingLine since hubby does some IT-things for them in the company he’s working. In Stockholm VikingLine is located a walking distance from the city centre and the shopping streets which is nice. The Stockholm Fotografiska is also on the route from the dock to city if it interests you. If you are a walking-kind of person the SiljaLine is also on easy walking distance but the underground trains are also easy from their dock.

This time we took a small ferry from Viking’s dock to Djurgården since it’s easier to travel between the small islands and walking to Djurgården takes almost an hour. Djurgården has many places to visit, i.e. the ABBA museum, Gröna Lund’s amusement park, Junibacken for everything Astrid Lindgren, Skansen’s outdoor museum and other things (i.e. Christmas market), Nordiska Museum and the Vasa Museum which we wanted to visit this time.

The Vasa museum consists of the ship Vasa which sank on it’s maiden voyage about 500 metres after leaving the dock. It was found in the late 60’s and now it’s been under conservation about 50 years. I’ve visited the Vasa first time in 1982 when it was still sort of outdoors experience, there was only a light shelter around it.

This time we spent few hours in the museum and then walked to the Old town which dates back to 13th century. I just adore it but it’s choked up with tourists (I don’t blame them). It has many nice little shops and cafeterias and it also hosts my favorite shop in Stockholm: The Sci-fi Bookshop. It’s a must for me since I can find books, films and tv-series there which are not available in Helsinki. There’s also lots of role playing games and things for them and anime and so on.

Finland and Sweden share a common history since Finland used to the Sweden’s dependency until Sweden gave it to Russia and that is probably why Finns feel a sort of envious towards Swedes. Sweden has also managed to avoid wars the last two hundred years unlike Finland.

Last December I spent some nights in Stockholm with my friend Mareetta. We were going to see BoyGeorge perform since Mareetta is a huge fan of his but the concert was cancelled. Mareetta got us invited to the shadow-Nobel literature price evening as she is a great fan of Alexandra Pascalidou, a Swedish columnist, television hostess and author, and we’ve been to watch a theater programme by her in Gothenburg.

Mareetta introduced me to a wonderful cafe called Mr. Cake in Stockholm and now also in Gothenburg. If you want to enjoy really great cakes and light lunch go there! We had cake overdose with Mareetta one night when we bought cakes to go so be careful. The ’Mr. Cakes’ themselves are Roy Fares who has made several cake books and is a cousin to film director Fares Fares and Mattias Ljungberg, several times awarded confectioner.

One other nice cafe is located in the Old town and it’s called Sten Sture, who was a real nobleman in the 15th century and the Lord Regent. The cafe is next to the Nobel Museum and it’s in the basement floor of the house. It used to be a prison in the 18th century. Unfortunately this time we couldn’t visit it since they were under construction, maybe next time will be better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m alive

I just haven’t been very active (anywhere).

Last week I took youngest one to Jyväskylä which is a city in Central Finland, about 60 km north from our summer cottage. My cousin lives there and some of my friends too so it was nice to go and see them.

Jyväskylä is quite an active city due to a long history as a University town and it also has a very lively artistic side, i.e. the Finnish Handicrafts Society’s Museum is located there (they have awesome things in their shop). There’s also a blacksmith and yarn shop in an old house near my cousins place.

The neighbouring city of Vaajakoski hosts one of Finland’s candy factories called Panda. (Yes, like the black and white bear from China.) My cousin drove us there and we shopped chocolate and liqorice and chocolate liqorice. In fact we have now a lot of candy since bought quite a lot from the trip to Stockholm too.

We also did an empiric study of the local cafés with youngest son. We didn’t even get into all of them since there are so many! Our favourite was a place called Miriam’s, it’s a family owned small place where the owner and her brother do the cakes them selves and they are so good!

One night we went to movies with youngest one, we watched The Joker which was pretty awesome. I had my suspicions about it but it was good.

On Sunday we took a train back home. It was so nice to see my cousin and her little son but it’s also very nice to be at home. My cousin’s son has a genetic disorder which is very rare, he is one of three boys to suffer of it. The pain made him a bit cranky in the evenings which is understandable but my cousin said it was like a holiday for her too to see us and I said to youngest son that he’ll get an inkling now what it is to be a big brother.

On Monday morning I went for a swim before getting to work and it was nice. I bought hand paddles some weeks ago and they are wonderful except my left shoulder was pretty painful the whole week. I couldn’t even laugh because of the pain. Tuesday I went for my Pilates lesson which I absolutely adore and it did good for the shoulder too.

In the evenings I’ve been watching Netflix and knitting. I’m soon finishing a scarf I had to unravel during summer, now it’s much better. I still need to do the buttonhole strip for the  Scull and Roses-cardi, it’s been much too warm to knit it.

I also visited the workplace-doctor one day since I think my thyroid has grown and it needs to be checked with ultrasound. This is the third year it’ll be checked. Last year there was a very grumpy doctor doing the ultrasound, he told me that I can’t possibly feel the thyroid grown 0.2mm and that it’d be left alone. Well, I think it’s grown again and so I’m going to the ultrasound again. I hope it’s not him again doing the check-up, the doctor writing the cover letter was a very nice lady who took my concern for real. I also gave blood samples since I’m sweating like a pig on and off and if it’s not thyroid it’s the menopausal heatwaves. Yeah, nice being a woman.

Oh well, I’m trying to get some sewing done during weekend and I’ll try to visit a friend who got her toes operated last week. Now I’m going to knit and watch telly with the cat.

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