Some March musings

Today it’s the 6th anniversary of my Mom’s passing. Today it’s also the day Middlest one moved out of home to the NDA dormitory first and next week he’ll be getting a flat in Central Finland. So it’s not always the sad memories to go by.

Middlest son is going to move to a ’right of occupancy’-apartment. Since we haven’t been able to travel these past two years we’ll loan the needed money to him and then he’ll pay it back in some years. The apartment is about 49 square meters, has sauna and balcony and is located next to a lake on second floor. He’ll have about 1 km to the city centre via the bridge. I’m glad he got the place (since I found it) but we’ll need to buy everything starting from bed sheets. We’re planning to go see the place around April, before Easter weekend.

DH is getting better, he’s in not so much pain anymore but he still naps some hours per day which is good. I had to go to talk with a nurse at my work health care since I begun to feel so overwhelmed and it was good I did. I feel much lighter.

Youngest one had the enrollment to high school and he applied first on the Middlest one’s school. I hope he gets in as it would be a short biking or bus route to take and also Hubby works next door so he’d get a ride every now and then too. It’s one of the hardest ones to get in to, a sort of elite school, because it’s the University training school for teachers but it’s also top rate studying. The final results come in Mid-June.

Last week I went to movies with youngest one to see Moonfall. It was so much fun, no logic and totally unbelievable but very good for relaxing. We enjoyed it a lot.

I also went for a ride with my friend Mareetta, we drove to Tammisaari and then watched the sun down in Inkoo harbor and the moon rise at Kaivopuisto in Helsinki. We had lovely day in wonderful spring weather and great food.

January gone

It’s already February and I’ve been lazy updating.

I’ve been at work since Jan 10th when my holidays ended. We’ve been in the closed down house alone with the janitors and some teachers. The Helsinki city Education decided that all adult hobby groups go teaching ’via net’ except Finnish for foreigners and so the kids schools have been open but elderly people have sat at home, most of them vaccinated too . We (me and my colleague) have been giving digital IT help via phone and also helped teachers with their lessons and other stuff. I must say I’ve been on the verge of depression due to this last closure and some of our clients said the same.

Luckily since Feb 1st we are open again and the teachers can decide themselves how they want to keep their lessons. On the beginning of March all classes will return to classes.

Hubby had a small infection in his tubes (due to the kidney stone) and he got meds for it and is now better. The tube is bothering him a bit and it’ll be operated on Feb 18th as both of the doctors who knew the procedure were sick which delayed his operation.

Eldest son was skiing in Lapland two weeks ago and managed to break his wrist. As it was Sunday he had to go to the private clinic there which did a good job but it cost 720€. He paid it with his student loan and we gave him the money afterwards. The private clinic had said he needs to show the wrist to a doctor here and last weekend he had been in the HUS hospital twice for X-rays and then on Monday he had seen the surgeon. The surgeon had said the plaster isn’t enough to keep the bones still so they operated his hand today, he got metal plates inserted and they’ll probably be permanent.

Middlest son came home a week ago, he was camping with other army guys in forest for three weeks in Northern Finland. Since then he’s had one day at the garrison. On March he’s moving to Central Finland as his pilot training in the Air Force begins. We’ve been searching for flats there, mainly ’right of occupancy’ apartments as it’d be better for now as he’ll be there about three years and so he made a request of one which looked really nice. I said to hubby that I’d like keep the flat as a summer residence if we won’t sell it when middlest one leaves the place.

Youngest one turns 16 next Tuesday and we are thinking of going out to dinner next weekend with the whole family. Due to hubby’s condition I don’t think it’s a good idea to ask people to come to our house right now, we can have cake later with youngest one’s godparents at home.

Youngest son is trying to decide between high schools as the enrolling time gets nearer at the end of this month. We have managed to get him to apply for some schools nearby that have great reputation, the final results come back on June which is still far away. I hope he’ll get into the first one (which is the one middlest son went to) but the rest are not bad either.

We’ve had a real snow fall last weekend and this weekend. Me and middlest one have done the shoveling and Sirius enjoys playing in the snow, she’s so funny.

I’m so relieved that I finally received the Christmas gift Michelle sent me on Dec 14th. I was worried it had gone missing so I asked an old acquaintance (a message board friend) who works at the Postal services if he’d help and then the package was found and I got it yesterday! Thanks Michelle, I’m so happy ❤

What a week

It’s been the kind of week you just hope it’ll end safely.

On Monday at work we were wondering why there is a smell of smoke. We checked every place but this time it wasn’t our building. It was the largest coffee roastery in Helsinki which is situated a block away over the football field. The smoke was pretty heavy and as I went to lunch the air was grey with smoke even some blocks further from the fire. Funnily our nearest work lunch place is on the Main fire station next to my work, there were many people from my work having lunch and sitting a bit longer in a smokefree place. I did a short walk a bit further to get some clean air, since we didin’t have clients anymore it was okay to stay a bit longer. The fire continued to Wednesday when the fire department finally got it out. Here you can see a video footage of the fire.

I felt like a smoked ham after work but I met a friend after work in the city centre. We changed gifts and it was nice to have a chat and nice cup of coffee after all day inhaling smoke at work.

On Tuesday the smoke didn’t get indoors anymore but as it was last day before my days off I didn’t much care. I left early as I went to dinner with my friend Mareetta. She had some trouble coming to pick me up from my work as the fire was on one of the main entryways to the city centre. (In twitter someone compalined the fire trucks being on the bicycle lane…) We drove to the seaside to take some pics of the sundown and then went to eat to a shopping centre.

On Wednesday I had my first day off and as youngest son had a short day at school we went to movies after his school to see the new Spiderman : No way home which was very good, we really enjoyed it. The new Dr Strange movie looks good too.

Eldest son was coming to spend the Christmas with us so hubby went to get him and they did some last grocery shopping. In the evening DH started to say his tummy ached a lot and then he threw up from the pain twice and finally around 10pm he was in so much pain he was just crying with pain on the sofa and I said I’ll call the Emergency Services and he said yes. So I did and they send an ambulance to assess the situation, at this point eldest son was already sleeping as he had an early morning next day. The ambulance crew took hubby to the hospital for a check-up and I was left with my old traumas (from when my dad died) to spend the night badly. Luckily eldest one slept through all of this but middlest and youngest one were still awake when hubby left so they were a bit tired too.

On Thursday around 10 am DH got out of the hospital and middlest one went to get him. It was kidney stones and the doctors had decided not to operate as it’d be a too big an emergency operation. Instead he got great painkillers and they’ll call him in for an operation soon, then they’ll blast the kidney stones so they come out more easily. Hubby still has pains as now the stones have moved downward but he’s able to do things at some level. Boys were great help, they carried the Christmas tree indoors and did all the things DH usually does.

This has put a bit of dampening on our Christmas but not much. Yesterday after dinner both elder boys fell asleep as they were so stuffed and we gave gifts later. I had bought the new Abba LP as a gift for DH and me, it was awesome. Even Sirius came to listen to it 🙂

I watched Die hard with middlest son and went to bed around 1am. Today I napped an hour on the sofa and then read a book. Now I’m planning to watch Die hard 2 or Jumanji 2 or Jungle cruise which I have yet to see.

Smokey day, I was on my way to lunch (next to the church).

I hope this year will end soon and nothing extreme happens next week. I’m quite done already.

Fall holiday’s over

I’ve been on holiday this week. As I work in the City Education organization we’ve got the same holiday schedule as schools and so I took the whole week off and it’s been nice. I haven’t done much but that’s all right too.

View from my kitchen window

Last weekend me, hubby and youngest one took a long awaited cruise to Stockholm. We have these huge ferries that sail (run?) from Helsinki to Stockholm and back during the night and then you’ve got a day in the city there, for us Finns it’s Stockholm and for Swedes it’s Helsinki. They are called shopping cruises bc the ferry has a huge tax free shop and people buy a lot of alcohol from the ship. We buy a lot of candy and some cosmetics. I linked our ship Silja Serenade there, it’s been about ten years since we last took a Silja Line ship bc we’ve been using Viking Line since hubby did some work for them and got rewards.

Helsinki in horizon

In Stockholm we visited the Abba The Museum in Djurgården, it’s such an awesome place for one who has grown with their music. After the museum we took a ferry to Gamla Stan (Old City) which has one of the best scifi bookshops in Europe and it’s on our ’visit every time’-list. I bought only three books this time and one dvd. Oh and a wall calendar for next year. Then we walked to the newer city centre, the main shopping street has a nice candy store where you can buy traditional Swedish polkagrisar (= peppermint candy).

Since I had already told hubby I wanted to have a coffee (fika) at Mr. Cake cafeteria we went there and luckily managed to enter at a time the queue wasn’t very long (a short while afterwards the queue went out of the door to the small square). From the cafeteria we walked back to the ferry and were there in good time, about an hour before the departing time, which was nice.

Hubby had Monday off work which was nice. After we had come home and let the cat out we unpacked our bags. Middlest son had left on Sunday to Tikkakoski for a flying thingy and came home on Tuesday. On Tuesday I did a short walk in the forest as we had walked about 15 km during the day in Stockholm and my legs were a bit stiff. On Wednesday it rained all day and I read all day, I finished ’The Shadow of what was lost’ by James Islington and felt sorry I had even started the book. I can’t recommend it to anybody. Oh and I did bake cinnamon buns, they were good.

On Thursday my friend Mareetta and I drove to Tammisaari again. On our way there we did an expedition to a funny little shop called ’The Greenhouse effect’ which has all kinds of awesome stuff to buy and then we drove to Fiskars village. We had a very nice lunch in Tammisaari and then drove back via Fagervik (it dates back to the 17th century) and Kirkkonummi new library, only we didn’t go in this time. It looks like I’m going with Mareetta to Gothenburg in mid-November, it’ll be nice.

On Friday we had horrible weather, rain and very windy. I had my osteopathy therapy session in the city centre and then I met youngest son in the Eastern shopping mall, he needed new clothes and he wanted to buy new cell phone with his gift money from the confirmation day. In the evening we watched couple of episodes of Buffy with him.

View to Tammisaari historical centre

Tomorrow I’m putting some bulbs on the ground so we’ll have tulips and crocuses next spring too.

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.