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.

 

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.

 

These times

On Friday I cooked some sort of tian, a Provencal veggie dish I found by accident when googling something else. I used eggplant and zucchini and it was so good! I also read ”Everything I never told you” by Celeste Ng on Friday and it was really great. I loved her novel ”Little fires everywhere” but for some reason this was better imo. I also finished listening to ”Patient man” by Joy Ellis, read by Richard, today and it too was very good.

Yesterday I was a bit down. One of my best childhood friends had her 50th birthday and we couldn’t celebrate them. We’ve known each other since we were 9-y-o and their school’s all pupils came to our school for the school year as their new school was getting built and on one of the first gym classes she asked to be my pair and now she’s eldest son’s godmother.

Since there’s no celebrations during this time me and some of our mutual friends gave her together a gift card for a pedicure and a bunch of flowers delivered to their house and it was nice to surprise her. I also sent a greeting card from our family.

My friend is  working as an X-ray nurse in the pandemic hospital which I must confess makes me a bit worried. I’ve also been a bit blue since on March 27th it was the 5th anniversary of my mom’s passing and this is always sad time for me.

Luckily we had good weather during the weekend and yesterday I made a 90-minute walk in the woods (and my legs ached all night), heard finches sing  and later helped youngest son to cook us dinner and dessert since it was his HE homeworks.

Today I sorted the old cook books and recipes in kitchen self, it’s been on my to-do-list for ages. Did you know that in the 70’s it was recommended to cook pizza with liver or European cisco (fish)? I didn’t throw those recipe books to the bin yet, I’ll keep them as a curiosity.  Later me and hubby changed the cactus’ dirt and pots which has also been on the list quite some time.

There was an article about Finland’s stockpile of supplies in NYT if you want to read. There’s an old joke which goes: ”What does Sweden have Norway and Finland don’t? -Good neighbours” (neither Finland nor Norway appreciate Sweden as high as they could, sort of sibling rivalry).

Tomorrow I’m going to work for a few hours since my workplace health care is in the neighbouring house and I need to go there for some bloodworks (thyroid). Hubby will drive me there and also collect which is nice.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

Weekend

Passed by quickly again.

The concert on Friday was awesome, we had so much fun with Heidi and I think the people at the club and the musicians too enjoyed the show very much. They played two and a quarter-hour and I danced all the time. Boy my legs were jelly (and still are) but it was worth it.

I almost forgot to tell you! I was rewarded at work and received a nice sum of couple hundred Euros. I was flabbergasted since I’ve never gotten anything (except the reward everyone gets after ten-twenty years of service). I’m quite happy, now I don’t have to worry so much over my financies in London.

I’m including some pics here. The last one is of cinnamon buns youngest son baked just now, they are so good!

This and that

So it’s been a while since I wrote anything here last. I’ve been a bit busy with life and everything.  I’ve also tried not to be so much in front of my PC when home and have instead been watching tv more.

Hubby wanted to buy us a new tv and did it so now we have a 60″ tv. It’s about as long as I am when I’m laying down.  DH wanted to install it on a wall support which can be stretched out from the wall and turned this way and that or it can stay against the wall and it’s quite like having one’s own movie theater.

Me and youngest one have been watching Preacher (I bought it on Blue-Ray from Stockholm) and I’m on the last legs of Black Sails too. It’s taken me about two years to watch it because the first season was mostly shagging and it gets boring pretty quick. (I had the same problem with Outlander’s first season.) Today the postman delivered Good Omens for me so I’m going to start watching it now, I can’t wait!

I probably told about the thyroid here. Well, I had the ultrasound and it has grown a bit but the doctor called me yesterday and said that my bloodworks are so good, there’s nothing on them (just like previously) so I don’t get medication. Instead she asked if I want her to send my details to the surgeon and see if they’ll take a look at the thyroid and I said yes. Even if they don’t want to operate it I’d love to hear their opinion.

Today I only did half a day at work because I had an appointment at my own health care center since I’ve been meaning to get a doctor to have a look at some moles I have. This is the public healthcare and I was happy to get the appointment pretty quickly, the thyroid was examined at my work place doctor (which is kind of private doctor because the City employees are so many) but they don’t do specialist doctors examinations, I’m being sent to the public side for that surgeon opinion.

Okay, back to the moles. So I had to take half a day off because I live in the neighboring city of Vantaa and had to travel a bit further by train. I found the place and had to wait about 15 minutes before the doctor who took a magnifying glass and said there’s nothing to worry about, the moles are just fat and will probably go away by themselves. I’m glad. I’ve been a bit worried of them but now I’m just fine.

Last Friday I went to youngest son’s school where we had a follow-up meeting with his teacher and youngest one. I felt quite proud when his teacher who teaches Finnish said that she hopes all her kids will be on the same level in Finnish when they leave middle grades as youngest one is now. He still has two more years to go so..

Later last Friday I and my friend had a North & South-marathon and it was so much fun.

On Sunday eldest son came for dinner as he turned 21 on Saturday. I wonder where the years have gone since he is a grown man and I’m still as young as I ever was. Funny that.