Cleaning, books, baking and movie

I’ve been mostly offline, mainly because I begun to clean my bookshelves last Friday and it spread a bit. It took me three days to clear the books and organize the shelves and then I had to clear my writing desk and the chests underneath in order to get everything out and re-organized. It took two days..

Today I’ve been cleaning the ”boys room” which used to be first eldest and middlest son’s room and then middlest and youngest one’s room and now it just middlest’s. But since there were so many layers of history to go through it takes time to clean.

But now it’s all done! Now I only need to take the overflow books to the second hand center (for a big 2nd hand shop retailer) and get some clear plastic boxes for all the myriad of playing cards we have obtained from our travels… There’s some jigsaw puzzles too which some I’m keeping and some I’ll give to my cousin’s little boy. I used to do a lot of puzzles before we had kids but now the cat likes to sleep on them so it’s a bit of a hindrance.

I managed to listen to all of the Alexander Gregory stories by LJ Ross. The first two were read by Hugh Dancy and they were good but I must say that RA’s reading is on a different level all together. (Or maybe I’m just biased.) I also listened to a podcast about opera made by a Finnish actor Antti Holma. He is very funny and he lives now in NYC because his husband is one of the harpists in Met so he made a podcast of how to opera.

I also started the Sandman audioplay (that’s probably the best word for a comic turned into an audiobook) and it’s very good. I love Neil Gaiman’s voice as the narrator, he was so good in reading ’The Ocean at the end of the lane” too which is one of his best novels imo.

On Monday when it was a bit less windy and more sunny I managed to finish ”Milkman”, a novel by Anna Burns sitting outside. It was a hard read. Actually in the middle I just leafed it through so I know what happened. I seldom leave a book unfinished because I think you can always get something out of a novel but boy this one was hard.

As middlest son left to the army I inherited his root. First he said he’d dry it but I said I’d try to bake some bread with it and so I did. We went to movies on Friday to see ”Parasite” and I bought a book about how to bake with a root. On Sunday I took a bit of the root and on Monday evening I finally started the dough and yesterday baked a lovely sourdough bread. It’s so good I’d eat it all alone.

About ”Parasite”: I really liked it. It’s one of those that sink in later. A great movie, very Oscar-worthy and a globally touching story. In the movie theater we had our own row, there were some people on other rows but you’d only buy tickets for two people and then there’d be two empty chairs between other people but since we were just three and there were not many people we sat together. (Sorry for the confusing text.)

Now I’m going to watch some tv. I started to watch ”Stateless”, an Aussie serie in Netflix and it’s very good about paperless immigrants and a woman who’s escaping a cult ends up in the same detention centre. It’s very interesting and it’s also got Cate Blanchett in it who I think is the most beautiful woman on Earth and my fave actress. Some of the New Zealand-made Netflix series have also been very good, I especially liked ”Wanted” and not only because of Deano (*blushing*). He was also very good in ”The Bad seed” but I don’t know if that’s on Netflix since I watched it via our public broadcast company YLE.

But now Sirius needs some scratches and I need coffee and knitting and tv 🙂 CU.

Normal people

I’m watching the tv-serie Normal people which is based on a novel by Sally Rooney. I haven’t read the book and I doubt I will even thou the tv-serie is good.

It tells about a young couple, Marianne and Connell, who start dating in the high school and then their on-off relationship through college years. It’s been a bit of a task to watch because

  • it’s kind of too artsy. I mean the high art when you try to pretend to understand all the nuances and it gets a bit boring to reflect everything through the Deep Meanings (you know what I mean here).
  • there is too many sex scenes. I don’t know why but we are back to the 80’s now with all the official sex scenes in movies and tv-series. Sometimes less is more you know, it gets boring pretty quickly.
  • it hits too close to the young girl I once was, just as unsure and doing what I was told by my boyfriend. And I don’t want to remember the time nor the boy nor the girl I was back then. Of course I’ve changed and people do, they grow up but it’s hard to watch. I guess we’ve all been there.

So yeah.. just two eps to go. And a button strip to knit.

On to other things. We’re having middlest son’s graduation party next Saturday and I’ve counted that all together we’ll make about 30 adults including us.I’ve been cleaning the house and baking all weekend. I washed the kitchen windows today and I don’t think I’ll wash any others during this week. I still need to wash the floors before Saturday.

Yesterday I baked a bundt cake which my sister loves, it’s called Sandcake since it’s very dry and today I did some ’gentry cookies’, they are a traditional small cookie in weddings and other kin parties. Here you can see a pic of them, I cut them heart-shaped because I like it more.

Hubby has been cleaning our garden furniture and finished painting them today. One of our neighbours came to inquire where we bought them 🙂

At my work we’re waiting for our work desks to arrive. If we’re lucky we’ll get them this week which would be great since we’re off to our summer holidays on June 18th and come back on early August just as the clients arrive too. On Friday I got rid of all the music class books the teachers had decided they didn’t need anymore and it took me all day to shred the books off the covers. I was quite done afterwards.

Here are some pics. The music class pics show the state of Friday morning before and after lunch. Then there’s some Rhododendrons from my yard and the last pic is of a Finnish actor Jasper Pääkkönen, whom you might know from the Vikings and the BlacKkKlansMan. This pic was in an article and I was just thinking how here in Helsinki our (famous) actors can just casually bike around the city, nobody bothers you (much).

Now I need to get my beauty sleep 🙂

 

School’s out

Yesterday was quite different than I expected in January. We were supposed to have a big graduation party for middlest son but now we only had nice dinner with all of us here and it was okay too. Some of our relatives and friends are coming here on June 13th to celebrate him so it’s all right.

I did a test-cake of rhubarb and strawberry filled cake with meringue-cream icing and it turned out pretty good. I’ve never made meringue icing so it was interesting to learn that too.

Youngest son begun his summer holiday yesterday and he got good grades too. Both of them went to school to get the paper and later in the evening middlest son went to his friends house and came home in the afternoon.

As I said to Rachel we have my MIL’s old recipe booklet for pizza from the early 80’s. It’s got recipes for all kinds of pizza’s, i.e. one with liver and another with kidneys or anchovies and European cisco (fish). Eww. Here is a pic of Pizza with Sardines, the lack of other pics is due the fact the booklets didn’t have nice pics. They looked more just mushy and were not clear enough for photographing.

There’s a bonus pic of Sirius. I was reading on our balcony and she came to sleep on me. I love when she does that because our old kitty Sysi was much more reserved after being in a shelter as a small kitten and hardly ever slept on or with anyone. Sirius was born on an pony farm which had puppies born at the same time and she is a bit like a dog, i.e. she comes when you pat your knee and some other small things too.  I really loved Sysi too, don’t get me wrong, she was an awesome kitty and was very protective of our boys when they were babies but she was shy. Only when she was old (18-y-o and forward) she slept on my lap in the evenings. But as a cat-person I love being a cat-mattress.

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Another day at the paradise

Actually it’s been kind of long week at work even though it’s a public holiday tomorrow and I took Friday off. I’m just so tired, I get to bed too late and then I have to get up earlier so I’m in work at a reasonable hour even if hubby drives me there.

It’s been much too cold to start the bicycle season yet. Maybe next week. My osteoarthritis really doesn’t approve of the cold and when biking I’d need gloves and even then my knuckles would be freezing.

I’m planning a small gathering of relatives on June 13th to celebrate middlest son’s graduation. Before that we are celebrating Middlest son’s white cap and youngest one just between us.

The school’s are out on the May 30th and now the graduates will have an online-ceremony, i.e. the headmaster’s speech and they receive the papers in mail. Youngest son goes to school to get his grade paper but there’s no ceremony for the whole school. I miss it, maybe even more than the kids, so I decided that we celebrate it just between the family and am now googling suitable cake recipes. I need to call eldest son so he can come too.

At work our interior decoration is getting along nicely. Last Friday we ditched an old bookshelf out and I said I’m getting agoraphobia due to it. Next week are about to receive new desks so the old ones are leaving probably on Monday or Tuesday. Since we also lose our clothes cabinets I had to take RA’s The Crucible poster home. It and the cabinets will be replaced by an art work.

All the tall shelves will be replaced with lower ones too and our desks will be facing the entrance. We’ve been clearing ten year layers of things. Ten years ago we had a big renovation in the whole house and spent 18 months in a building next to ours and of course at the time we moved back there was a hurry and all kinds of s**t was just dumped back. Now we don’t have to deal with clients so it’s easier to go through old things.

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In-between

I feel like I’m in-between everything nowadays. I guess it’s normal at this time.

Last time I told you about the blog I was putting up. Just as I got it ready to be published my boss said we need to do it in Google Sites because the City organization we are included uses it… so yeah. Been wringing it there about since and finally got it ready yesterday and I must say I just effing hate Google Sites. Have you actually ever tried doing things with their stuff? It sucks. It looks pretty nice but the usability of the thing is nowhere near even blogspot. (And it sucks too.)

Hubby’s company has put everyone on part-time layoff and they are not sure if the company’ll pull through. The managers of course have got huge financial benefits.

I went to hairdresser today and it was awesome to see someone live who isn’t part of my family. We had a nice chat and recommended tv-series to each other since we like the same kind of things.

When this is over I’ll probably not fit into my old clothes anymore. Youngest one has had to all kinds of baking as his HE homeworks and middlest son does dinner and baking.

I’m knitting yet another cardi and planning to buy more yarn for mext one.

Well.. see you next time. Piccies on the right side menu in my insta.

Closer to Christmas

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.

 

 

Weekend

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!

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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Fall is coming

Youngest son’s school begun yesterday, he is now on middle grades and at least two of his teachers remembered his big brother. His ’own class’-teacher teaches Finnish and her husband is the Math teacher who was middlest son’s ’own class’-teacher, they were nice and good teachers imo.

We are having an abundance of cucumbers and zucchini. I have tried to eat them but every day we get more so I barely make a dent in the numbers. I must check zucchini baking recipes.

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I’ve once again listened to audio books. I finished one (The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston)  I started in May because it was such an annoying novel and I deeply disliked the female protagonist. After that I’ve listened to Kelley Armstrong’s Lost souls (Cainsville 3.5) which was nice and short and the reader had a lovely voice, especially when he narrated Gabriel. Oh my.

After finishing that I’ve once again started ’The Tawny man trilogy’ by Robin Hobb and totally dived into Six duchies again. It may be I’ll stay there for a while, except my work begins next Monday *sigh*.

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ETA Once again I don’t know why the Goodreads widget doesn’t show all of my read books, it’s really annoying.

Sunday

We are already first week in the May which means my summer holidays are nearer and nearer, just four weeks to go.

We Finns celebrated Vappu – the 1st of May eve – with a spring carneval but since it was pretty cold and we hadn’t planned any kind of party with our friends I was just happy to stay at home and watch tv. On Wednesday we actually slept until noon with hubby, that hasn’t happened in years.

On Friday I went to movies with youngest one and my friend to see Tolkien. It’s not a document so it’s bit different than how Carpenter tells Tolkien’s life in the biography.  The One Ring Net had quite a good article of the movie. Don’t forget to bring a hankie, even the very end makes one cry. Of course since the director is a Finn and a Tolkien-fan himself made the film even more touching.

We liked the movie a lot and youngest son asked what would have happened if Tolkien had died in the WWI. I said that probably the whole genre would have been born later and/or different than what it is today. Sometimes the 13-y-o makes me wonder with the questions he asks…

On Saturday we went to see Hairspray musical to middlest son’s highschool. he played the percussion and his girlfriend was one of the mean girls. Their highscool is famous for the musicals they do, last spring it was Grease and it was very good too. We got youngest son to come too, with a bit of meanness by my part (not proud) and with a little pushing by hubby. In the end he was happy to be there and middlest and his gf were happy to see him there too.

Yesterday evening I watched Brie Larson’s Unicorn store from Netflix, it was quite good too. I’ve also watched a Finnish tv-series about how the Finnish diplomats help save Chilean people during the 1973 coup. The Swedish ambassador is played by Michael Persbrandt (Beorn in the Hobbit).

Today hubby and I did a cemetery tour and went to see how his parent’s grave and my father’s have survived the winter. Our parents are on different graveyards and my mom has been buried to her family grave in Porvoo, a small city nearby, where she lived her childhood and then she moved back there when my dad died in 1994. Me and my siblings decided to give up my dad’s gravesite after this year since none of us has much time to take care of it so we didn’t plant anything there now. Maybe I’ll take some pansies there later. We didn’t drive to Porvoo today but instead as we went home middlest son asked if we’d go to garden shop and so now I have a new climbing rose and flowerbed has new plants and middlest one got cucumber and tomato.

I also baked a mudcake and hubby made a chocolate fudge covering for it, it was really good ❤

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Cherry trees near my in-law’s grave at Honkanummi cemetery