September started

I’ve now been a month back to work and it feels like I had never been on holiday. Well, mostly. I don’t know why but I feel a bit blue, I think it may be the current situation and also that the summer has gone and even the weather is very fall-like already. Cold and wet and it doesn’t feel good in my joints.

Last Saturday we celebrated youngest one’s confirmation. We had most of my siblings, some godparents and some friends over and it was nice to see everyone. As usual we had counted for more people to come so we had cake all week. Also the flowers are still beautiful, except roses that I put to dry since youngest one wanted. I have a nice fragrance here where I sit typing this.

My pilates lessons have started and I’ve been to an osteopath, she does wonders to me and I always almost fall asleep while there. She is lovely young lady and loves cats 🙂 I also enrolled to Yin yoga classes, I hope it’ll be good for me.

Since I haven’t updated in a month I think here’s also a short video I shot at the cottage. I was sitting on the jetty/small pier in the lake shore and this little Mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) comes to sit on me. It was tickly.

Maritime museum and movies

This week we were expecting a bit cooler weather so we decided to take youngest son to the Maritime centre Vellamo in Kotka on Monday and it was fun.

Kotka is a city near Helsinki, about 90 minute drive from our house and I’ve never been there in all my life. My mom’s grandmother had a workmen’s dinery there in the early 20th century which is my closest connection to the said city. Kotka used to have a lot of paper and pulp mills and also an important sea port which is still one of it’s biggest employers. BTW Kotka means eagle in English.

We had first thought to visit Vellamo and then walk in the city which is now famous of the renewed parks, it’s said people drive annually to Kotka just to visit their parks but since it took us five hours to go through the Maritime centre we decided to save the parks for a later date.

The Maritime centre Vellamo was huge and very interesting. There was a nice exhibition of the great battle in Svensksund in the Russo-Swedish war in the late 18th century. We also got to visit an old ice breaker Tarmo and the Finnish maritime history including old cruise boats like Finnjet. My brother Kimmo was an ordinary seaman on a large Finncarriers carrier before he changed career due to raising a family so it was interesting from that point of view also.

In the museum there was a lot of all kinds of ships and such and of course there was also a part of Estonia shipwreck. Youngest son asked about it and I noticed it still makes me cry to remember so hubby got to explain the disaster to him. You can watch videos in YT if you want to know more, just put ’Estonia 1994 news’ on the search bar.

On Tuesday I had a meeting with my osteopath and it was awesome. Later I walked to the city centre to meet Heidi and we went to movies to see Mads in Drunk. It’s a story of four teachers who decide to do an empirical test based on a study about a human functioning best in 0.5 ‰ drunk. I think you can guess how well that goes down.

I’ll embed the last scene of the movie underneath just because Mads was a dancer before his acting career and the scene reminds me of the old fandom phrase ’You can take a man out of dance but you can’t take the dance out of a man’.

Then on Friday I took youngest son to the movies to see Black widow and it was much better than I had thought. Of course one of the highlights was to hear one of the Widows speak Finnish too. It was fun I must admit.

Middlest son got a call from his Captain and he now has place in the ND Uni and will eventually become a fighter pilot! Yay! So he’ll be living here with us next winter and then he’ll go where they tell him to. I’m glad he’ll be able to do what he always wanted to as work, it helps.

Tomorrow me and eldest and youngest are leaving for summer cottage for the next ten days. Hubby has to go back to work and middlest son maybe comes for a couple of days, I don’t know and neither does he. This time we are leaving Sirius the Cat home since I fear some fox or supikoira (European raccoon) will eat her. Also she doesn’t like car trips and we all know that (eww).

Here’s a pic of Helsinki from Tuesday when I walked from Kallio to city centre. The big red brick house on the far right side is the University’s Education theory building, for the teachers-to-be. The left side bank is called Säästöpankinranta (Savings bank shore) because in the late 19th century there used to be a very popular bar and the reason for the name was that poor students could drink there for credit. Hence the name 🙂

Artsy Friday

We are having a heatwave at the moment and in order to have something else to do than sit at home eating ice cream and sweating I planned a movie night with my friends Heidi and Kristiina.

Since I was going to meet them at a cafe before the movie I thought to go city centre a bit earlier and see the Repin art exhibition in our National gallery before meeting them. I had to queue for about 15 minutes bc I didn’t want to buy the ticket beforehand as we have a thing called The Museum card here (you pay an annual fee and get to see as many museums as you like, to cover the annual fee you must visit about four exhibitions). I only took couple of photos of my fave paintings and walked through the exhibition in 30 minutes.

You can browse the other art works in the exhibition here: https://ateneum.fi/en/exhibitions/repin/

At the cafe we shared our latest news like that I got through my exams with flying colours (I was quite certain I had failed) and then we went to see Cruella. It was very good. I had expected something else so it was a very nice surprise. Of course great actors, i. e. Mark Strong 😎, and both female lead Emmas’ among others and the costumes, music and charming doggies. All in all a very good movie! Go see it it you can. We had great time and enjoyed greatly our first movie after November.

That was my artsy Friday. I had good time 🙂

Today we’ve had hottest day this summer, +31c degrees in shadow. Hubby has been driving me to swim in the sea and so far the blue-green algae is not yet bothering us. It’s been wonderful. As the beach doesn’t have boxes to lock one’s things into while swimming Hubby has been watching my stuff as he doesn’t like to swim in the ocean here 🙂

Lunch dates and road trips

The beginning of my summer holidays has been busy. I’ve met friends over lunches and dinners and had lovely massages. I’ve also been swimming both in the Baltic sea and the public pool. We’ve had great weather, sunny and over 24 C degrees. Me like.

We celebrated Midsummer just at home. I bought five kilos of strawberries to put in the freezer for winter. We also ate about three kilos before that, the strawberries are so good now and they are all ripening now. I haven’t frozen strawberries for years but it’s a kind of civic duty here and people discuss where you can find the cheapest berries.

I’ve also seen some art exhibitions.

On Monday I, hubby and youngest son visited the Serlachius museums in Mänttä which has a Banksy exhibition. I reserved our entrance in good time already back in May. Since it’s an 3-hour-drive I was sure to get us booked in the afternoon and it was a good decision, we got to sleep and eat breakfast in peace without rushing (well almost.. teens you know) and then had a coffee break on the way. The exhibition was free and it was quite nice. We also took a round around the other exhibitions there and enjoyed them too.

We drove back via hubby’s childhood summer cottage but since it was already a bit late we didn’t go visiting his uncle. Besides hubby has such horrible memories of the place he was happy just to see it from the roadside 🙂

Today I went for a lunch with my friend Heidi. We were going to see an exhibition at the AmosRex museum but then we just browsed the shop and continued to the Helsinki City Art Museum (HAM) nearby. It was nice, the free side had some Tove Jansson’s works and the paid ticket side had some interesting art made by Katharina Grosse.

We were both a bit tired so it was a bit short day today. I had a osteopathy massage me yesterday and he found some nice sore spots in my legs. Last week he did my cheek muscles..

Some piccies underneath.

Here’s a song for you too. I quite like her voice.

Day tripper

Yeah! Me and my friend Mareetta did a Sunday trip to a nearby city called Lahti today. We left at 10 am and I just got home an hour or so ago. We had fun day.

First we visited a second hand store and then an outlet shop of an Finnish brand where I found one nice t-shirt and a light skort (skirt and shorts combination I really like, awesome for i.e. bicycling). Then we drove to the city and had a nice dinner at a local restaurant and afterwards we did some light shopping at a department store next door. From there we drove to a shopping mall a bit further since they had a lovely waffle cafe. After that we were about to drive home but decided to take a turn at the lakeside in the city next to the famous ski jumping hills. You may have heard of a Finnish ski jumper Matti Nykänen, these were his home grounds.

Since it’s been a holiday week again (a day off on Thursday) the motorway was so packed with people coming home from the summer houses that we decided to drive back via the old highway and it was nice. We watched the local houses and farms and enjoyed the scenery.

On other news; I’ve enrolled to my last Communications Science course which is a bout the freedom of speech and it’s okay I guess but so much writing. I need to write a paper of the lectures after I’ve listened to them and also I must read five books, of two of them I need to write a paper of and three will be questioned in an exam. Whoo boy. I think I took a too large bite with this one. Well, at least the summer holidays will be appreciated.

Last Tuesday I was getting my braces tightened again and the dentist said I’ll get them off on mid-June right before my summer holidays. On my last day at work (the next Wednesday after I’ve got the braces off) I’ll meet with my own dentist and we’ll plan what to do next. I hope I’ll get everything fixed during the summer, it’d be wonderful. The money I saved during this pandemic by not travelling will be put to good use.

Youngest son is going to his confirmation camp on early June, it’s a hike in Lapland. He wasn’t very happy when I said he needs to go but it seems he’s adapting to the thought. His best friend is coming to the same camp so it’s alright. On Friday I took him to shop all the necessary stuff, i.e shell jacket and trousers, woollen set of underwear etc. I think he was most happy of the new Marttiini knife he’ll need there.

I guess this is all for now so have a nice Sunday evening and awesome next week! Here is Sirius sleeping.

Wintery times

We’ve got more snow and now the weather getting colder again, next week temperatures should drop down to -12C degrees. I don’t mind, I’ll rather take the rain in snow than in water during winter time, and the cat goes out anyway whatever there rains. Actually she really loves the snow, she plays in it and hunts the snowflakes too.

I’ve been helping at the teleworking students lunchpack sharing on couple of Mondays now and it continues next months too. The students are both from college and vocational school and there’s four schools they can drop by and get their lunches for a week. I’ve had a lovely group of people to work with, two are from my own workplace and one is a former colleague from the City Library, we have great humor too so the days go by quickly even if there’s all kinds of mixups and mess to clear up. For example on the first Monday the students name lists were not in alphabetical order but on the order they had enrolled to the service. It cased some serious queueing which is not very nice atm.

At work we’ve been doing some serious digital jumps again with teaching our teachers how to use Google Meet an such. We’ve also digitized some materials for the teachers so they can keep their lessons from home more easier and then there’s all the online-meetings.. Some days my ears are sore of the earbuds and eyes from too much screen time.

On this week some of my friends had their birthdays. On Wednesday I had dinner my friend M with who we saw Uncle Vanya in London last year. Since we haven’t met since November I gave her now the lovely wooden Christmas decorations made by Rachel and her SO and bought from the RA-fandom Christmas auction. She loved them and was very happy to receive them.

Yesterday I met two of my friends in Ekberg’s, one the eldest cafes in Helsinki, which is very classy and has delicious cakes. I bought some cakes home too since Juhana, middlest son, came home from the AirForce for the week and youngest one, Jimi, Has his birthday on Feb 8th and today we had Jarno, eldest son, on dinner too so it was small birthday party for Jimi like this.

I’ve been watching McLeod’s Daughters and now I’m halfway through 3rd season. It’s nice to watch something easy while knitting and I’m eagerly waiting to get on 4th season so I’ll see Deano soon. I’m also watching WandaVision from Disney+, it’s very interesting. Earlier this month I watched Midnight Sky, the new film by George Clooney and wasted two hours of my life for such a crap. It was horrible. I also watched one Finnish Detective series called Ivalo (Arctic Circle) and almost strained my eye muscles while rolling them too hard, it had so many twists that it’d have easily filled three seasons.

Well, tomorrow I need to concentrate on my studies at the Open Uni, I’m now doing Organizational communications course and it includes video lessons, a homework and a book exam of one very thick book. Aargh. Not to mention I’m reading some very good detective stories which doesn’t make it easier to start reading for the exams.

Oh! I bought an activity bracelet just to keep an eye on my steps and so far it’s been nice. I have also lost some weight as a consequence. Not bad.

Just a quick one

Since Guylty asked to see more of my art (art and me being a bit too much said on same sentence) I’ve taken some quick pics of couple of things I’ve done.

I used to paint porcelaine. It was a dear hobby for about 15 years but then I changed workplace and couldn’t attend to the classes anymore so it was left behind. I still occasionally paint something by request, i.e. a plate for my godson but it’s very rare.

These cats are one of the last things I did on my classes. They are copies of a Finnish graphich artist Frans Toikkanen’s cats he made with mezzotint print. I was glad I managed to paint them on porcelain with their spirit intact.

This is just a quick drawing I made for my journal last year, on September pages. Actually it was the first draw for an Art Deco themed ’In the forest’ but I didn’t like how it turned out so I made another one for the deco and kept this myself. I like it more now.

Well. Another Christmas holiday over and tomorrow it’s back to work. Middlest son left back to his garrison already, their flying lessons will begin in few weeks (I’m a bit worried.. mothers you know) so I’m trying to concentrate on other things.

I received a wonderful gift on my birthday in September, my three best friends bought me a writer’s course. Of course it has writing assignments which was to be expected but I’m about to stress myself out with them too. I should write a short text every day and then there are other writing assignments too.. Well, it’s only ten lessons and then I’ve the lessons available next six months so I’m trying not to beat myself too much with that.

Oh well. Let’s enjoy a kitty in snow!

It’s 2021

Yes, finally. let’s hope it’ll better one than 2020.

I’m not going to dwell on last year except to say that I’m glad it brought me back the joy of walking in the forest or more like the joy of walking and moving my body. As I was teleworking last Spring I realized that I needed to get out of my head after working day and got into walking for relaxation again and luckily I’ve managed to continue walking after the situation got better and I went back to my work at the actual place. This has gotten so far that last Tuesday I walked 12km home from my friends place, the first part we walked together to the Malmi cemetery.

I also started my Communication science studies again in November just to get the final three courses of the basic studies done and the first exam went through which made me very happy. Now I can continue onwards!

I’ve finally got all my read books in order in Goodreads and you can find them here. For some reason Goodreads counts some re-read books twice but not all which makes it interesting. My total count is 102, not 105 as they say.

Birthday gifts and disturbing art

Last time I told about my birthday. Back then I hadn’t yet received the gift from my fandom friend Rachel and it was a lovely surprise when it came a week later (the Finnish postal services are really something these days..). Among other very nice things there was this perfect piece of art which found place next to my Lucius figurine.

A week ago Saturday I went mushroom hunting with my friend M and we found a lot of yellowfoot which is a delicacy I’ve never been able to find on my own. The day in the forest was lovely and weather was cold but clear and when it finally in the afternoon started to rain we were more than ready to go home with our catch.

This week has been hectic to say the least. Since I work some evenings too I had something every day, i.e. on Wednesday I went to theater which had been postponed on May. It was nice, two elderly Finnish actresses told about their lives and loves turning even hard experiences into dark comedy. The audience had all masks on and only half of the seats were filled with empty seats between groups of two. In May there was four of us at work going but now it was just me and my colleague since the other two felt a bit flu-ish and decided against taking part.

On Friday I had coffee with my friend Kristiina and before I met her I managed to see an art exhibition by Patricia Piccinini before it was closed. It was said to be kind of fantasy figures and the ad pics looked nice but when I saw all the pieces in the exhibit I don’t know… I know art is supposed to make people think and wake up questions but apart from the fantasy pieces and alien tunnels carved into furniture I found some these more on the pervert side and some of them made my skin crawl. If you want a closer look just visit her page I gave the link to.

Yesterday I went to my former workplace’s party with M. I was hoping to meet some of my old colleagues but with the situation here now there were just about 20 people of which I knew five (and M). Also it was supposed to begin at 5pm but when we got there there was less than ten people and only around 7pm everyone was there and the food wasn’t very interesting imo. I must say I was disappointed. M and I left round 8 pm and went to a nice restaurant to have dinner just between us which was a good decision.

I’m sewing a coat for myself, we’ll see if anything comes of it. I’d sew the outside on the inside today and then do the finishing but I think it may go on to the next weekend when I finally finish with it.

Well, here’s a movie trailer of the Moomin mom Tove Jansson expecially for Rachel. The scenes of Tove in her studio have been shot in her real atelier in Helsinki. Sorry for it being subtitled only in Finnish and spoken in Swedish.

October already

The fall is getting on again. For me the end of September means the number of my lived life turns one year up and this time it hit the magical number of half a century. It’s funny to think that since when my parents turned fifty they were much older in my opinion than I am now. Of course their lives had been much harder with wartime childhood and then the lean years afterwards but on the other hand my mom used to say that everybody else grow older when one stays young on the inside and that is my feeling too.

It’s weird to think that I’ve been longer than half of my age with hubby and also I’ve been longer than half of my life without my dad, he died when I was 23-years-old and I had only met hubby a year before that.

Since I’ve worked for the city my whole adulthood I got the day off as paid leave (a gift from my employer) and I enjoyed it enormously by taking an almost three hours hike in the woods. Afterwards I took a nap and later went to a nearby shopping mall with hubby to buy a cake and also got some nice fabric for a coat paid by hubby.

I received some gifts and flowers too; I got gift cards to a yarn shop and Marimekko shop, a pair of earrings, a throw, a journal and my long time friends since childhood gave me a writer’s course by a Finnish author which is so awesome I still a bit weepy over it.

I’ve gifted myself braces on the lower jaw. Last Tuesday I got the first rubber bands attached and two weeks from now I’ll get the metal braces done. Yay me. Since it’s a private dentist it’s a bit costly but as hubby said the money will go into my mouth anyway. (He’s got great humor.)

Here are some piccies.