Halfway

through January already. I feel like time is going faster but it might be because I’ve had busy times again.

At my work the courses have begun again and so we’ve got lectures and classes in the library almost every day too. Also finally on Tuesday they called me from the University Hospital about my thyroid and I had an appointment on Thursday with the surgeon. She said they’d like to operate it during this spring and I said that suits me well. Then the nurse interviewed me and I told I’m available for cancelled times so it may be I’ll get the operation quickly but latest in June. She praised me for having filled the pre-questionnaire very effectively and when she asked my BP I had it ready on my journal since I’ve been trying to keep track of it and she was so happy. It was funny. The trip to the hospital isn’t funny because it’s on the other side of the metropolitan area and it takes about one hour and a quarter to get there by public transport but luckily now I can at least take the underground train half of the journey.

On Friday I had two meetings at work, first was for all of our full-time employees and later I took part to the Union reps meeting where I signed the papers to be available in the reps elections. I had thought not to take part but otoh I find it interesting so I said yes when they asked.  After the meeting I met my friend Heidi in the city centre and we had nice coffee and cake.

On the next Friday I’ll be in London to see Uncle Vanya. I’m already so excited that I try not to think about it so I can sleep during the night. My friend said just the same today as we talked about the trip. We’ll be in London only one night but it’s nice to have a mini-holiday. I already have plans for doing a bookshop-run and also some clothesshopping.

I’m knitting a pair of socks to give to Toby Jones, I really liked him in Marvel movies. I have already knit a pair for RA and he has said he doesn’t want them anymore which I can well understand. He only has two feet after all. I’m thinking about buying a copy of Uncle Vanya in Finnish and take it with me to London and get RA’s signature on it, it’d be nice since I have his signature on my The Crucible too.

I’m watching Money Heist while knitting, it’s very good. Only I don’t like they’ve dubbed it in English because their faces don’t match the sentences and it bothers me. We are having dinner soon, I’m so glad middlest son and hubby are cooking because I don’t have the energy right now and middlest wanted to do chicken curry which is his fave dish to cook and he does it well.

 

 

Merry Christmas

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.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday again

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.

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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Celebrations

Today is my birthday and I’ve been celebrating the whole weekend I think. I’m not yet over the hill but as my friend said tomorrow is the last time when I’m under 50 on October 1st. We had a good laugh out of that.

On Friday I had coffee date with my two girlfriends in a local cafe which has a cake buffet, i.e. you get a big cup of coffee and as many slices of cakes you can eat, starting with three slices. The slices are small but delicious and since I love their lime-flavoured cake I usually have two or more pieces of that.

On Saturday I and youngest one begun to watch again all of the Harry Potter-movies which was fun. God, I’m still having hots for Lucius.

On Sunday evening we (our family and middlest son’s girlfriend) went for dinner to one of the more historically famous of Helsinki restaurants called Elite. It used to be the place for artists, authors and actors to go to and they still serve dishes which were the people’s favourite, i.e. Tauno Palo’s beef. Tauno Palo was a talented actor and very handsome, he was the Finnish romantic lead on big screen.

We took the underground train to city centre and walked through my childhood playgrounds, i.e. the Rock church to the restaurant which was nice. The dinner was very good and company was excellent and interior very nice.

This morning I started my fall swimming again. I’d bought hand-paddles since I’ve got  osteoarthritis the breast strokes can be painful for my hands and the paddles were just awesome except now my triceps are killing me. Anyways I did my one km in 36 minutes which was pretty okay as it’s the first time since last spring.

Then I went to work and heard that our water supply had been cut for some reason, the whole house was in uproar and nobody knew when we’d get water again. The water was cut also in the two neighbouring houses which was good so there were more people complaining about it. We had to make bathroom trips to the other side of the street where is a sports center.  The water company was just as out of sorts as we and nobody there knew nothing… Luckily the water came back on in the afternoon so the cooking classes could be held and people could use the bathrooms too.

After work I had a massage appointment again and I’m glad I did, my neck and shoulders are better now. This time the masseuse was another visually impaired young man I had met earlier couple of years ago. He is very nice and plays in the Finnish Goalball team.

Finally at home youngest one made us coffee, middlest son had washed clothes and hubby had bought me flowers. All in all a very nice birthday Monday.

 

 

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.

Finally

I’m at home again, have been since Friday morning. Hubby came to pick us from the airport at 1am even thou he had to go to work early in the morning. He is so sweet. Now I’ve been loading my batteries over the weekend and finished two books, an introvert after too much peopling so I decided to write something here too.

On Sunday morning we, me and youngest son and my friend Heidi, found ourselves in London. I almost lost Heidi when we changed underground trains in Green Park as the  train left before she managed to get on board. So she took the next one to Southwark (luckily the only possibility) and I spotted her sitting in the car and called her from the door. There was only one man so I didn’t quite die on embarrasment. After we had stored our bags to the hotel (LSE Bankside, a dormitory for LSE students with very cheap accommodation during Uni holidays) we took ourselves to the British Library. On our way there we popped by Forbidden planet, mine and youngest son’s fave shop, and then we walked to the BL via Russell Square which did good after all the sitting on the plane.

At the British Library we met Heidi’s daughter Mira who lives in London. She had got a bit cold and was sneezing all the time. Inside we saw the ’Treasures of British Library’ exhibition which had beautiful old manuscripts (poor monks in their cold cloisters) and also Beatles lyrics and so on, very interesting even on youngest one’s mind.

From there we went to the hotel to see if our room was ready (it was) and then we had some dinner and went to bed.

On Monday we visited the Science museum with youngest one, Heidi went to visit Mira for the whole day. When we were back on the street we noticed the Natural history museum’s ads and went in to see their exhibition of volcanoes and earthquakes, it was interesting but a video of the tsunami in Japan at 2011 reminded me too much of the Thailand tsunami on 2004 where my cousin lost his family and I just tried not to cry. Afterwards we realized we had been there over five hours, made a quick tour to Covent Garden where we watched a man ride a uni-cycle and jongleur with knives, he was very good. Then we had dinner and went back to the hotel.

On Tuesday we visited the National Gallery and especially the impressionists. Oh yes, the Monet paintings were wonderful and I recognized Turner’s art because of the RA-film.. so one can learn things watching good movies.

After that I went with Jimi to Science museum because he wanted to change a gyroscope he bought since it was keeping a noise it shouldn’t have. Heidi was going to Mira’s again. When we finally got out of the Science museum I called Heidi and she said she was going to Mira’s later since Mira was so feverish she was trying to sleep so we agreed to meet at Harrods. My phone died after I had sent a message to Heidi that we were going to the pet supplies (what a joke!) and finally we met Heidi there. As I had anticipated my phone to run low on batteries I had the charger with me and so we spent about an hour in a corridor in Harrods. Then we walked a bit around Knightbridge and went to eat fish and chips to a pub and then Heidi left to Mira’s and we went home.

On Wednesday we walked to Postman’s Park which is located near St. Paul’s Cathedral. I’ve wanted to visit it for years, I saw pics of it the net some time ago and now I finally got to see it and it was just lovely. From there we took a underground train to Baker Street. Oh yes, the famous detective himself. There was a bit of a queue but finally we got into the small house and it was lovely. The shop was just as lovely.. Then we had coffee and took a bus to Oxford Circus where we met Mira who was better. We did some shopping and walked to the Forbidden Planet where I bought some books and Jimi got three Funko figures. Well, actually two are his and I got Bucky ❤ Heidi and Mira left to have something to eat as Mira was feeling not so good. We took our shopping home and rested a bit and then went for dinner to restaurant Zizzi at Southbank. Oh boy the food was so good! and they were really busy too but very nice staff. Back at the hotel I tried to pack my suitcase and then Heidi came with Mira, who had gotten a huge migraine and fell asleep on Heidi’s bed. Heidi did some shopping and in a bit after Mira woke up she was feeling much better and Heidi walked her to a bus and her boyfriend was at the other end of the bus route to get her home.

On Thursday we checked out and left our luggage to the hotel to wait and went for a walk. First we visited Tate Modern and took the lift to 10th floor and also browsed the 4th floor free exhibition. I have always walked through the Tate Modern’s ground floor because it has good shops. This time I found just a fridge magnet. We walked to the Blackfriars bridge and had coffee and watched a pair of swans and enjoyed the sun. Then we got our luggagge from the hotel and walked to the Waterloo station, did some window shopping there too and took a train to Heathrow where we were in really good time. We did some shopping, had dinner and I and Heidi found ourselves in Cath Kidston sale and bought handbags for both of us.

Our flight was a bit late but we managed to get home nicely, hubby drove us home via Heidi’s so she got home too with ease.

Nice trip and I love London.