This and that

It’s been kind of busy here since the last time I posted. Last Friday I had coffee with a friend of mine at the city centre. It was fun to chat for a while and have a nice cuppa in a coffee shop I had never visited before.

On Saturday we visited the Hämeen linna, a castle which dates back to 13th century. It’s been ages since I last visited it and it’s been much improved over the years. We also visited the Military museum right next to it and it was also quite interesting. There’s some pics also on my Instagram on the right side of this page.

On Monday I had my bloodworks check and then we went to Ikea to buy some clear plastic boxes I needed. Now the things are finally getting along as I managed to clear one place, i.e. a cupboard I’ve been using as the quick storage when we’ve had guests coming and needed to stuff things. It was so full of things I didn’t have anymore space for ’quick cleaning’. Finally it didn’t take than just about an hour to clean it and now I have more space there again.

Yesterday I visited my friend M’s parent’s house. They live in the neighbourhood I used to live during my school years. We’d have met earlier with M but she went to the Steiner school (=Waldorf education) and I to the public so we only met when she came to my earlier workplace as my maternity leave substitute. So M’s parents have a huge garden full of roses since they are rose collectors. They also have a grapevine which has been growing well despite it being outdoors. Their house has been featuring in a Finnish children’s movies called Heinähattu ja Vilttitossu (Hayflower and Quiltshoe) as the siblings home. (You can see it in this video at 0:24.)

We had coffee at the garden and then me and M went for a drive and found ourselves in the city of Tammisaari about an hour’s drive away. We had nice dinner and did a little walk around the old city which was closing up at that hour and then we had coffee and cake at the restaurant on the wharf. Pics on Instagram again ->

Today I visited my friend Heidi and then came home. We had some leftover candy and as I was eating it the last crown on my upper jaw broke.. Of course the time was just past 16pm as I tried to call my dentist. I have his private number too and as it’s the first number on my contact list I accidentally chose it but disconnected right away since I thought he had gone home already. After a while he called me and asked what happened and after I had explained he said that he’d have a small window of time between patients in half an hour if I could make it and I said yes (since we are going to the summer cottage I wanted to have the tooth fixed asap) so hubby drove me there and I waited a bit and then Kaj took a look at the tooth and said he’d just file it because it was a crown and it’d be fixed with better time. I got a date with him in August when I’m back at work but I’m so relieved now. (Have I mentioned I f*love my dentist?)

I should be doing things to get ready for cottage life but since it’s been a chaos this week and middlest son is coming for his first free period off army I think we’re leaving to country side with youngest and eldest on Friday. I don’t yet know if we’ll have the car for the whole time there or what but we’ll see that too.

Now I’m going to watch some tv. Yesterday I watched the Old Guard from Netflix and it was all right. And a trick question; is that Karl or is that my dentist? 😉

KarlCl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Immersed

I was spending about all of my waking hours in the Rain Wilds last week. I was rereading the Rain Wilds Chronicles by Robin Hobb and during the night I dreamed of them. I love Hobb’s novels and I’ve been slowly rereading all of them and it’s been a real pleasure. It’s always been like this for me when I read her books, I get so immersed it’s hard to do anything else. I don’t get just as deep with Tolkien or other fantasy realms but the Six Duchies touches my soul differently than others. Maybe it’s the dragons; I’ve always loved Hobb’s dragons, they are like cats, very independent and selfish but in need of servants.

We’ve had horrible weather ever since last Tuesday. The wind blows like it was Autumn and the rain sloshes down at every hour (except right now). In June I was worried the plants would die from drought and now I fear they’ll need a lifesaver so they don’t drown.  I can’t even go to the forest to walk because the ground is so wet and since it’s so blustery cycling is hard. On Thursday when it didn’t rain until evening I visited a friend by bike and my knees have been aching ever since.

I came home via the graveyard where my father’s grave was, we gave the lease up since none of us (me and my siblings) didn’t much care about the grave site. Me and my sister agreed that we can just as well light a candle for our father in the remembrance site in the graveyard. In Easter me and hubby visited the grave and then the stone was still there but now they had already taken it off.

Middlest son left early this morning to the Air Forces base in Central Finland. He’ll be there 11 months and due to the Covid19 we don’t yet know when he’ll going to come home. I guess we’ll hear about the off-weekends later this week. Yesterday we had eldest son for dinner and since tomorrow would be middlest son’s 19th birthday I baked a cake and it was all very good but now it’s very quiet here. Just me and hubby and youngest son. Luckily Sirius meows every now and then.

I started to knit a shawl but had to change the yarn. The first yarn was a very nice yarn and I loved the color but since it was handpainted it kind of lost the brilliance in lace knitting and vice versa.

 

 

Day trippin’

We did a short day trip today to a nearby old ironworks factory called Ruotsinpyhtää or Strömfors in Swedish. The village was chosen for ’the Village of the year’ in 2018. The factory dates back to 18th century and is an idyllic place to visit. There is a smith show on Wednesdays which is nice imo.

The old church has an altarpiece painted by Helene Shjerfbeck but unfortunately the church was closed when we visited. There were some interesting looking fir trees outside and the WWII soldier’s cemetery is always nice to browse and meditate for a bit. You can spot them in every village and city you visit here in Finland.

There was some art exhibition in the old stables and some of the pieces were really nice but I haven’t yet won the lottery so had to leave them there. Afterwards we walked to a lunch restaurant which served a really good lunch and then headed home.

Winter pelt

Here in Finland we call the first swim in nature waters after winter ’throwing one’s winter pelt’ and since it’s been quite warm weather these past days I got rid of mine. The sea was wonderfully warm, I was expecting the water to be colder and was surprised when it wasn’t. I could have stayed in the water for all afternoon yesterday but.. Hubby doesn’t like to swim in ’cold water’ as he says and youngest one wanted to skim the stones off the water surface.

We’ve celebrated the Midsummer just being at home and enjoying it, I’ve read outdoors and already have nice tan. Middlest son has been mostly with his friends since he is going to the army in the early June. His friends cut his hair, it was to his shoulders but now it’s shaven 1mm long. He looks so much older it makes me a bit weepy.

Tomorrow is my first official day of summer vacay but I took Thursday off already and it feels like I had already been several weeks away from the office. Our new work desks came but they can’t be put on place yet since the acoustic wall-to-wall rug must be washed during summer. Well, it’s nothing we can do so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Due to the Covid19-situation the public swimming halls have been closed among other things and I thought that since hubby is working on Tuesdays and Thursdays now I’d go for a swim in the mornings since we can’t do any short trips until he gets off. I missed swimming during the closing, it’s my fave sport (pilates is another of my faves).

Since we are not traveling outside Finland this summer I have time to go through the cupboards I’ve used to fill with things when we get guests. I should also go through my book shelves and re-arrange them. Whoo boy.

 

Summer party

Last Saturday we had the graduation party (i.e. summer party) for middlest son. It was lovely, the weather was awesome with +22C degrees and everything went so nicely.

The guests arrived right on schedule which was unusual but it didn’t matter since I had some things still to prepare in the kitchen and the Graduate was about ready to go greet his guests. Hubby had gone to fetch eldest son from the metro station and when they came everybody else was already here.

Only my sister Johanna and her son Aki (a young man of 30 now) and my cousin Kristina with her husband Sten were attending as relatives, my brother Kimmo had visited us on Thursday already.  All the other guests were our friends, some are my school mates and some are hubby’s childhood neighbours and some of them are also boys’ godparents. It was so nice to see everyone again after this horrible long winter and spring.

Sunday went lazying around, sort of. I washed three loads of laundry, read in the sun and off sun, checked the plants in the garden and had a nice sauna in the evening.

I have only two work days until my summer leave but I have two teams-meetings tomorrow and one on Wednesday. Today we had a bit of a hassle at work since most of our furniture came and it can’t be put on place yet because the wall-to-wall acoustic rug must be washed during the summer and amidst of all this came one of our poetry teachers with a guest to record an hour-long video. The guest was one of Finland’s most famous film stars Kati Outinen, she is so nice and genuine.  She’s done a lot of movies with director Aki Kaurismäki.

Some pics of the flowers and dishes from Saturday. I love peonies. It was so sunny that we had to keep the curtains drawn in kitchen but luckily it didn’t matter much.

 

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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Coffee in a park

Today I met two of my closest friends first time since early March. We bought coffee and some cinnamon buns with us and went to a park to sit for a while. The wind was a bit chilly so after we chatted a while and drank our coffees we went to warm up to a bookshop but it was closing in ten minutes. We had still some time to browse books and stuff so it wasn’t all lost.

I’ve also bought summer flowers to plant in pots in out yard/garden and it’s nice. On Wednesday I did half of my day at the work place and the afternoon from home since I had a meeting to attend to via teams so hubby came to get me home and since I had lunch hour we drove via the City garden and bought pansies there. They have huge greenhouses because they grow all the flowers for the city’s summer flower beds in parks.

I haven’t been able to go for a walk in the evenings since I’ve been pretty tired and also my legs ache. I’ll need to go on weekend I think.

Youngest son is going back to school next Thursday and I think it’ll be okay. Middlest son’s graduation party is probably moved to the end of August but I’m thinking of having a small celebration for him in mid-June since I’m not sure the Army will let all of this spring’s graduates out on the same weekend.

I’ve been watching Young pope from Netflix and I find it quite funny. I’m not a great fan of Jude Law but Diane Keaton is very good. I’m about to finish the cardi soon.

ETA I almost forgot; I’ve been thinking about putting some of my fics out to the Archive but I’m still a bit hesitant. Two would be just one-shots and then a longer one about Avengers.. I’ll think about it again.