One night in London

and the world’s your oyster.

See what I did there? A terrible earworm but wrong city. So our trip to London was quick but very efficient.

On Friday we landed at 9 am to Heathrow and then took the tube to our hotel near Tottenham Court Road. A lovely hotel I might add. We got our room right away and took a little respite to think about what to do.

Since my friend M wanted to go shopping music we took the tube to Shepherd’s Bush and found HMV in Westfield shopping centre. Oh my. I’ve never seen such a huge shopping centre and believe me I’ve seen some pretty huge ones in USA too. I was awed. It was beautiful and nice and there wasn’t the horrible background music everywhere (or at least I didn’t hear it).

In HMV I left M roam free the cd’s and browsed some BR’s and other stuff. I found Doctor Who 11th season and Prince collector’s CD box and when I had paid for them I also found the book about Prince I’ve been looking for.

After HMV was searched through we went for late lunch and then did a quick round in H&M and M&S since they were close by. On our way back to the tube we bought some nice supply of delicacies to our hotel room to eat before the theater. We had thought about meeting some other fans (R) but decided not to and rested instead.

After the play we came back to the hotel and collapsed. In the morning we had a wonderful breakfast (I’ve never had such beautiful breakfast in any hotel). Then we went shopping to Foyles and Forbidden Planet and Primark. I bought (only) six books and found some nice t-shirts and we had nice coffee break too. On our way to hotel we found another music shop and I bought two movies. Afterwards we had some fun times trying to fit all our shopping into our bags..

We had nice late lunch at TAS next to our hotel and then collected our bags and left to Heathrow. In the tube we got so sleepy we tried to find the owls in the ad (below).

We had just enough time to do some quick airport shopping and sit a while until boarding and arrived to Helsinki around midnight. Hubby was waiting for us and we drove my friend M to her parents house and then came home and I went straight to bed.

A nice little trip to London, it felt like I had been there longer and I’m quite happy now.  I’ve always loved London, when I was 17 and visited it for the first time I felt like coming home.

Vanja-eno

Yes, that’s Uncle Vanya in Finnish. I always find it weird that English doesn’t have own word for different relatives since in Finland we have many words for different relatives, i.e. ”eno” is mother’s brother ( my sons have three eno’s :D) .

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On Friday me and my friend M saw Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya in Harold Pinter Theater and it was just as good as people have said. Toby Jones was awesome as Vanya, Cieran Hinds was perfect as narcissist Professor and the ladies were great too, especially Aimee Lou Wood and Rosalind Eleazar. Richard was of course quite perfect as the melancholy and given up Dr. Astrov. The play was very Russian and also quite universally applicable just like Chekhov has meant his plays to be, showing the humanity through his characters.

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A word of the theater itself too. HP was a bit claustrophobic imo, old house with small interiors and steep stands, even the stage was quite small but it’s an old theater so we’ll forgive all that. I’m glad the play wasn’t any longer because the rows of seats were quite cramped and I felt sorry for anyone taller than me (I’m of average height and even I had trouble with my legs).

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After the play we went outside to the stage door to wait for Richard. We had a small gift for him: some Finnish chocolate and a contemporary Finnish novel My Cat Yugoslavia by Pajtim Statovci which is pretty good. First out came Rosalind Eleazar who was very sweet and thanked all us fans as we praised her performance (she looked a bit overwhelmed). Then came Ciaran Hinds ready to sign the hand programmes and he was very nice also. While we waited for RA to show up we noticed Anna Calder-Marshall to go to the other way not wanting to walk through the fans and other people waiting there. Then came Richard and he started from the back of the line which was really nice of him. He was very quick and we barely managed to thrust our gift bag to him but we got autographs and it was all good.

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We had agreed with R to meet afterwards and we saw them in the queue after RA left and went to a nearby pizza place to sit and talk (and to eat late dinner).  I felt like I had known R for years instead of just reading her tweets. It was so much fun but in the end we really had to go get some sleep.

I’ll write another entry about what else we did on our trip to London.

 

 

 

Lazy days

are over and it’s back to work again tomorrow. I did absolutely nothing of the things I was going to and had planned to do all fall and just enjoyed reading, knitting and watching tv and movies. I’m a lazy one. On the other hand I think I needed the quiet time after the hectic fall.

Eldest son comes home from Japan tomorrow evening. I hope he has had good time with his friends there. His new studies into games coding begins right away, in fact he misses one day since he didn’t know he’d apply for the school when they bought the trip. Luckily it’s all right for the school too but I don’t know if I see him before the weekend.

Middlest son has the Army medical tests on Friday and I suppose they’ll too take few hours at least. If he gets through them we’ll probably have a pilot in the family. When he applied into the Air forces they asked if he’d be willing to do a career for 13 years onwards and he said yes. It’s always been his dream to fly a plane.

I finished watching GoT finally, the last season was available now on the Finnish Broadcast company’s site. Since I really loved the novels it took me three tries to get into the tv-series and I’ve never considered them as good as the novels, so much is left out and the plot goes dramatically different (on purpose) after third season. Anyways I thought the ending was good and done in the Martin-way. Now I just need to wait for the last novels to come out (one may hope..).

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Well I should go pack my work things and lunch ready for tomorrow. meh.

 

 

Happy New Year

January is here, with eyes that keenly glow,
A frost-mailed warrior
striding a shadowy steed of snow.
– Edgar Fawcett

 

I just wanted to say Thank you to everyone reading this blog. I know I don’t update enough but that’s just life, it happens.

In the beginning of this year I made a promise to myself to read more and spend less time in social media and I managed quite well, today I’ve read 90 books instead of the 80 I had planned to read. I’m quite happy about it and I’m planning to continue it on 2020. You can see my read books here.

Other thing I need to do on 2020 is to lose weight. I’m turning 50 at the end of September and I don’t want to weight this much then. At the end of May we’re probably celebrating Middlest son’s graduation and since all our relatives and friends will attend I need to do something pretty quickly and I know what it’ll be: low carbs for me since it works best for me.

I still have a week off work left and I’m thinking about having a Hobbit and LOTR marathon while knitting.  I’ve already finished Eldest son’s scarf and my cardi is coming along nicely.

Here are some pics; Sirius is planning her next attack on the Christmas tree (actually she’s been very good with the tree this year), the ice skating Santa I gave to my dad when I was about 7-y-o and now it’s been ice skating in our tree for several years, Middlest son baked a rye bread (I haven’t got the patience to make a root), and the last one is from Dec 27th when we had -5C degrees which was pretty nice. I didn’t mind the sun either, it’s been raining forever here.

 

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.

 

 

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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Culture and cows

I was going to write this earlier, like last Friday evening but since I was so awed and also tired I try to write something now.

Last Thursday I met my friend Mirva. She lives north of Helsinki, in a city called Jyväskylä which is near our summer cottage. We first met and became friends some years ago when we were studying Information sciences in an Open Uni web course and met on the first live study group-day as I sat next to her and we begun chatting like old friends. Some people just are like that and it’s wonderful.

Mirva was here on a work business and we had dinner and then went to the AmosRex Museum to see the Ars Fennica finalists. Mirva had not visited the museum before and liked it a lot. The exhibition was awesome too, I especially liked the painting of a forest which took up a whole wall and also Aurora Reinhard’s little dolls were awesome. Afterwards we had coffee and a long and nice chat about all things at a nearby cafe and it was lovely.

Friday morning we woke with a downpour, it rained so heavily that the Main railway station’s underground stop flooded and still the lifts are unavailable. Helsinki got about 6-7 cm of rain. I had my red wellies and a raincoat plus umbrella with me so I didn’t mind. At my work we got some of it right inside at the 4th floor too, the caretaker guys were furious. Last time 4th floor was flooded in spring when the snow begun to melt on the roof.

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At home before leaving to work

On Friday evening me and my friends Heidi and Kristiina went to see the latest Tarantino movie ’Once upon a time in Hollywood’ and I must say it was very good. None of us is a great fan of neither Brad nor Leo but we all agreed that they did good roles and I personally think that Leo is quite a talented actor. The story was also very though provoking as in ’what if..’ sort of scenario.  I loved the little details and photography, and I really liked Margot Robbie ans Sharon Tate. I think it also shows how much Tarantino loves movies as an art form.

The weekend passed.. On Saturday I had terrible migraine. I haven’t had one in about six months and this one was really awful, I didn’t know if I should throw up or not or faint or not and it made me a cry-baby too. Not nice. Luckily after two pills I managed to even vacuum the house and read but I still felt dizzy and sweaty. On Sunday I felt all right and managed to sew new curtains to the kitchen, I really like them.

We are having a late summer and lovely nice and warm weather so on Monday morning I biked to work. My biking route is 14km from door to door and it goes via the University cow pasture which is quite nice. I really love cows 🙂 What I don’t like are the two or three hills I have on my route, they are loooong and slow and drag all my juices off.I almost fell at one point as I accidentally gripped the front brake and did a really short stop and now I have a deep bruise on my left calf from the pedal. I was lucky not to go over the handle bar.

Yesterday evening I finished reading ’Fools fate’ (Tawny Man trilogy part 3) by Robin Hobb and I think I need to have a short break of the Six duchies and River Wild for now since I tend to drown into them and forget everything else.

I took the bike also today and now I must say I’m exhausted now but I have biked 113 km which is good. Tomorrow We have the new teacher’s night at my work and I’ll do a longer work day and Thursday we have the all teachers meeting night.  They are always fun happenings and it’s nice to meet old and new people.

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The brown lumps in the middle are the cows
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Some crops coming and the Viikki suburb (middlest son’s high school is there)
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Vanhankaupunginlahti = the old city bay. This is where Helsinki was first located when Gustav Wasa established it. The technical museum is under construction but the rapid was lively. There were also some hook and line fishermen long the banks.