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.

 

 

 

 

 

Beach life

We’ve sand everywhere. I’d wonder more if we didn’t but really.

Yesterday we did the easy hiking trail on Manoa Falls trail and enjoyed it even thou it was pretty humid. It was a lot less muddy than our first visit there years ago so it has been filled with gravel and also there was more steps added to the muddy ground. At the water fall some people went swimming even if it was prohibited and there was danger of falling rocks and some bacteria which can make you really sick.

Afterwards we drove to Sandy beach which is the most dangerous on Oahu and also Mr. Obama’s favourite. My companions just went for a roll in the sea and I had my book with me while I waited.

Then we drove back to Makaha via grocery store and some take-away and it was nice too.

Today we spent about four hours at Makaha beach and back home middlest son and his girlfriend cooked us dinner; cashew chicken. It was so good!

On the beach I had a chat with Julia, middlest son’s girlfriend, about periods. I’ve noticed she’s having hers and asked if she’s okay and we had a nice long talk about them. I have had a hysterectomy done when I was 39 bc after youngest son was born I almost never stopped running and had to live 24/7 with a mooncup and the operation was such a huge relief. I bet anyone with huge flow can relate.

In the evening I finished a chick-lit novel ”Lots of love”. It was funny but not much of a plot. The romantic male lead was supposed to be blonde with silvery eyes so of course my brain turned him into Richard. Yeah… so now I can begin to read my B&N haul. (I wonder if there’s any RA-lookalikes in them.)

Aloha

Hello! Last Saturday was the kids last schoolday and later in the evening I went with a friend to see Lenny Kravitz sing and play for us in Helsinki. The show was very good and Lenny and his mates played over two hours. My legs were jelly.

On Sunday afternoon eldest son dropped us (me, hubs and two younger sons) to the airport, where middlest son’s girlfriend was already waiting for us. Hubby had insisted to take ourbags to the airport on the previous day which was good bc one of the luggage tracks had broken down and there was huge queues so we passed them all.

The first leg of our flights was from Helsinki to Tokyo, a 9-hour-flight and it was quite allright. I even managed to sleep about five hours. In Tokyo we had a 10-hour overlay so we took a train and traveled to Harajuku Park. I had looked for tips from TripAdvisors pages and found that. I thought some walking would do us good and it did. It was quite a warm day but we walked in the park, there was a nice shinto temple, and did a turn on the Takeshita Street which is popular among teens and cosplayers. We were quite tired and so were back to Narita airport on good time and walked a bit there too. We found a very nice paper shop among other things there, I need to do some serious shopping on our way back home there.

We left Tokyo on Monday evening and arrived to Honolulu on Monday morning, a bit funny. Got our car and drove to Makaha. We are staying third time at the same house complex there but in a different flat. It’s a nice place with peacocks everywhere and a short drive to Makaha beach.

Yesterday we hiked to Ka’ena Point and I managed to burn my shoulders even thou I had put sunscreen already on at home and again before beginning the hike and again at the point. Today as we went to the Waimea beach I put so much sunscreen on I had white shoulders and they are not as bad as they were ealier.

Yesterday we had dinner at the Kahumana organic farm with our last time neighbour who is a very nice lady. She’s leaving to Italy next week but we wanted to meet her and it was nice.

You can see my travel pics from my instagram feed which should be visible on the right sidebar. I only have my phone and tablet here so I can’t fix any pics.

Anyways I love Oahu, I could easily move here if I had the chance.

This and that

Last week was a bit hectic and this one is too.  Looks like the closer the vacations are the more hectic the days before it become.

Last Wednesday I got roped to a dinner with our AV teachers as one of them was unable to attend. We went to one of the best restaurants in Helsinki, it has three Michelin stars and I’ve never been there with my own money. We were served a tasting menu of different Asian dishes and they were all so good (except the dessert which had lyches..)  so I was quite stuffed and tired since it took three hours to complete the dinner. I didn’t mind the time spent as the people were nice but I had a bit of anxiety over Thursday since I had promised to our workplace head steward I’d go to a meeting since everyone else of our union were taking part to another meeting.

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So on Thursday I found myself in a meeting with another union representative from our partnering trade union I knew a bit and some employers representatives and of course the employees whom we were there to help. I’ve never taken part to other negotiations than our own so it was quite new situation for me but luckily I had the other person there too.

In the end I think it went well. Of course the employees were not all together happy of the final result but it was the best we’d do for them and the employer side seemed well enough mood too. The situation is continuum of the vocational studies reform the Helsinki Vocational school did last year and it is reasonable but people feel they’ve been forgotten in the great shake.

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The area has streetnames that describe some jobs and since this is the mechanic’s street it has a mechanic on top of the street sign. These small signs were made some years ago by a group of local artists and I think they are quite funny.

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On Friday we had my work teams Spring recreation day but I’ll write more about it tomorrow since I’m about to fall asleep with my head on the keyboard. It’d not look nice to have qwerty on your forehead.