I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to you all since I’ve been so busy. Now I’ve got two weeks off, I get back to work on January 7th which is wonderful. Hubby’s work and boys’ school begin then too.
Here in Finland we have Christmas dinner and exchange gifts on Christmas Eve. Since we are just with our own family now (me and hubby and two sons) we’re doing these a bit later, our dinner will be served in about an hour and then we’ll see who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. I’m thinking about watching a movie later, now I’m throwing dice between Die Hard I and Fantastic Beasts but I may still change my mind.
Here are some pics. The first one I took on one morning as I left home and was walking to the underground train station, I really like the colors. In the second is a mug of glögg and a star-shaped plum pie which is traditional seasonal treat here and in the last one is out Christmas tree this year. It’s a bit smaller than usually but it’s okay. The cat loves to sleep underneath the tree (the mat is hand-embroidered by hubby’s late mom) and later we’ll burn it as logs in our sauna stove.
On Wednesday evening me and my colleagues had a fun night at the local WinterCircus a.k.a. Dance Theater Hurjaruuth. The circus performs in an old factory hall which I visited for the first time now and I must say it was pretty awesome, both the performance and the place.
The story was about a construction site where the builders work during daytime and in the nighttime there’s ghosts or other spirits plus some very naughty mice. Awesome acrobatics, jugglers and parkour and live music made it better than I had hoped for. Our headmaster said he’d seen the circus every year since 2001 and this was the best so far. I’m thinking about taking whole family there during the holidays if I can get tickets (or just youngest one).
Here you can watch the trailer and read a bit more about the performance if you’re interested. I myself like circus, one of my earliest memories of circus is when I was about four years old and my brother smuggled us in via the elephant tent. I can still smell it.
It’s been a busy week again but luckily it was a short one.
On Tuesday I met a friend over coffee, she had a training day here and had a moment to spare before getting home to Jyväskylä. It was really nice to meet her and we selected a nice lipstick for her before we had to rush to the trains.
On Wednesday we had a Christmas thingy for all our clients which was quite fun except I had to take part to two meetings. Between them I made a Christmas cracker with couple of grannies and little kiddoes.
The other meeting was a Union thing and it was at the union house which caused some problems for me since I get symptoms of sick building syndrome easily (I got sick with the syndrome at my work and nowadays I use inhalator when I’m at work). It was also a long meeting, over two hours, because of people votings and economy things.
On Thursday I was so tired that I had a crying fit when I got home. Part of it was due to a grumpy hubby and a teenage son having a discussion but luckily they solved it quickly. I went to bed early and slept almost 12 hours.
Due to Finland’s Independence day on Friday we had the day off work and it was nice. Youngest son went to a trampoline place with his friend and I just watched an Finnish comedy series and did my bujo. Later I listened to the Independence day ball while making the gingerbread dough and baking chocolate and banana muffinses. The Ball at the Presidential palace is the Thing here, people watch it and discuss the gowns etc. Here are some of the nice dresses, texts are in Finnish. Recycling has been a hit this year, The first Lady Jenni Haukio had an old dress with small changes on and a cleaning service company owner had a jacked made of mops and a member of parliament had National Museum’s banderoll made for a dress.
One of the traditions in Finland is to light two candles to the window. It dates back to the civil war time when the two candles meant a safe house for the White side. Since my mom’s two uncle’s were jaegers (trained in Germany) I find it even more important to hold on to that one even thou people think Whites were slaughters because they killed Reds. Reds otoh would’ve wanted Finland to become part of Russia but civil wars always hard, even harder than the other wars where you have a common outer enemy.
Yesterday eldest son came for dinner. He has lost his phone but luckily has an old one so he was able to use e-mail but then hubby bought him a prepaid. He is going to the Lost and Found to see if his phone is there since he forgot it to the ferry on Tuesday after a student cruise night..
I baked gingerbread cookies yesterday and I also made a mud cake with cherries, it was so good! It’s even better today. Hubby cleaned our sauna stove today and found a dead magpie in the pipe.. We were wondering of the slight smell some weeks ago. I’ve been knitting and doing my bujo, I also ironed the washings while listening to the Stolen boys. Middlest son got a note from the army: he’s going to the medical tests in January concerning the air forces. I’m glad and worried.
So another week has passed and we are in December now. Hubby put the Christmas lights up inside and outdoors which is nice. We’ve got a bit of snow so it’s pretty now but it’s supposed to start raining again next week. That’s Helsinki December, the sea is still open and the snow won’t stay on the ground.
On Tuesday I had my last Pilates lesson for this year but I’ve already enrolled to the next Spring and it begins in January. Now I just need to do something during this month. I have the hula hoop I bought in October and it’s fun and I can also do Pilates at home but I’m lazy and mostly don’t.
On Wednesday I went to movies with my friends Heidi and Kristiina, we watched ’Last Christmas’ which was quite okay. Funny and some romancing and good acting by Emma Thompson and Henry Golding (I’m not so keen on Emilia Clarke). It was nice.
Middlest son had the physical and psychological tests for the AirForce on Wednesday and it took all day, from 8 to 5 but it looks like he’ll get in, at least for now. The results come later this month.
On Thursday I was going to take part to a trade union meeting for library people but I really felt so tired and just wanted to go home so I did and it was good. I enjoyed a nice home evening knitting with the cat and telly.
On Friday we had a meeting at work, just for our ’unit’ which means me and my colleague and the language teachers and the social studies teachers which makes about 14 people. After the meeting we went to a local restaurant for a nice lunch covered by our employer the City and then we had two hours of bowling also paid by our employer. It was so much fun and we had awesome time.
Yesterday we had eldest son and his godmother Leena with her little boy for dinner at our house and it was nice too. We’ve last seen Leena and her son in August so it was nice to catch up. She used to visit us more often but now her son has started to play football so it makes the weekends quite busy too. We used to travel together when our boys were smaller and her son was just a baby, it was nice. She was my good friend in the Scouts when we were teens (here in Finland the Scouts have been in one organization about since the beginning so we don’t have Girl Guides and Boy Scouts).
Today I’ve read one Finnish novel and it was quite good. It tells a story about Ojibwa indians and the Finnish settlers near Duluth and the big lakes. Did you know there’s a word Findians? Also both Finns and Indians were forbidden to enter a saloon in many places because both get violent when drunk.
Passed by quickly again.
The concert on Friday was awesome, we had so much fun with Heidi and I think the people at the club and the musicians too enjoyed the show very much. They played two and a quarter-hour and I danced all the time. Boy my legs were jelly (and still are) but it was worth it.
I almost forgot to tell you! I was rewarded at work and received a nice sum of couple hundred Euros. I was flabbergasted since I’ve never gotten anything (except the reward everyone gets after ten-twenty years of service). I’m quite happy, now I don’t have to worry so much over my financies in London.
I’m including some pics here. The last one is of cinnamon buns youngest son baked just now, they are so good!
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.
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.