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.

 

 

 

 

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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Visiting Stockholm

By request I’m updating about our trip to Stockholm. Stockholm is a nice city, Sweden’s capitol. Stockholm and Helsinki have nice ferry cruises between them and on the cruise you can buy tax free shopping so it’s very popular in both countries I think. Finns buy cheap alcohol and Swedes the other things. The ship leaves on the evening, arrives to destination in the morning and leaves again in the evening so one has about 6 hours to visit the capitol cities at each end.

We usually make the cruise every spring and fall and use the VikingLine since hubby does some IT-things for them in the company he’s working. In Stockholm VikingLine is located a walking distance from the city centre and the shopping streets which is nice. The Stockholm Fotografiska is also on the route from the dock to city if it interests you. If you are a walking-kind of person the SiljaLine is also on easy walking distance but the underground trains are also easy from their dock.

This time we took a small ferry from Viking’s dock to Djurgården since it’s easier to travel between the small islands and walking to Djurgården takes almost an hour. Djurgården has many places to visit, i.e. the ABBA museum, Gröna Lund’s amusement park, Junibacken for everything Astrid Lindgren, Skansen’s outdoor museum and other things (i.e. Christmas market), Nordiska Museum and the Vasa Museum which we wanted to visit this time.

The Vasa museum consists of the ship Vasa which sank on it’s maiden voyage about 500 metres after leaving the dock. It was found in the late 60’s and now it’s been under conservation about 50 years. I’ve visited the Vasa first time in 1982 when it was still sort of outdoors experience, there was only a light shelter around it.

This time we spent few hours in the museum and then walked to the Old town which dates back to 13th century. I just adore it but it’s choked up with tourists (I don’t blame them). It has many nice little shops and cafeterias and it also hosts my favorite shop in Stockholm: The Sci-fi Bookshop. It’s a must for me since I can find books, films and tv-series there which are not available in Helsinki. There’s also lots of role playing games and things for them and anime and so on.

Finland and Sweden share a common history since Finland used to the Sweden’s dependency until Sweden gave it to Russia and that is probably why Finns feel a sort of envious towards Swedes. Sweden has also managed to avoid wars the last two hundred years unlike Finland.

Last December I spent some nights in Stockholm with my friend Mareetta. We were going to see BoyGeorge perform since Mareetta is a huge fan of his but the concert was cancelled. Mareetta got us invited to the shadow-Nobel literature price evening as she is a great fan of Alexandra Pascalidou, a Swedish columnist, television hostess and author, and we’ve been to watch a theater programme by her in Gothenburg.

Mareetta introduced me to a wonderful cafe called Mr. Cake in Stockholm and now also in Gothenburg. If you want to enjoy really great cakes and light lunch go there! We had cake overdose with Mareetta one night when we bought cakes to go so be careful. The ’Mr. Cakes’ themselves are Roy Fares who has made several cake books and is a cousin to film director Fares Fares and Mattias Ljungberg, several times awarded confectioner.

One other nice cafe is located in the Old town and it’s called Sten Sture, who was a real nobleman in the 15th century and the Lord Regent. The cafe is next to the Nobel Museum and it’s in the basement floor of the house. It used to be a prison in the 18th century. Unfortunately this time we couldn’t visit it since they were under construction, maybe next time will be better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m alive

I just haven’t been very active (anywhere).

Last week I took youngest one to Jyväskylä which is a city in Central Finland, about 60 km north from our summer cottage. My cousin lives there and some of my friends too so it was nice to go and see them.

Jyväskylä is quite an active city due to a long history as a University town and it also has a very lively artistic side, i.e. the Finnish Handicrafts Society’s Museum is located there (they have awesome things in their shop). There’s also a blacksmith and yarn shop in an old house near my cousins place.

The neighbouring city of Vaajakoski hosts one of Finland’s candy factories called Panda. (Yes, like the black and white bear from China.) My cousin drove us there and we shopped chocolate and liqorice and chocolate liqorice. In fact we have now a lot of candy since bought quite a lot from the trip to Stockholm too.

We also did an empiric study of the local cafés with youngest son. We didn’t even get into all of them since there are so many! Our favourite was a place called Miriam’s, it’s a family owned small place where the owner and her brother do the cakes them selves and they are so good!

One night we went to movies with youngest one, we watched The Joker which was pretty awesome. I had my suspicions about it but it was good.

On Sunday we took a train back home. It was so nice to see my cousin and her little son but it’s also very nice to be at home. My cousin’s son has a genetic disorder which is very rare, he is one of three boys to suffer of it. The pain made him a bit cranky in the evenings which is understandable but my cousin said it was like a holiday for her too to see us and I said to youngest son that he’ll get an inkling now what it is to be a big brother.

On Monday morning I went for a swim before getting to work and it was nice. I bought hand paddles some weeks ago and they are wonderful except my left shoulder was pretty painful the whole week. I couldn’t even laugh because of the pain. Tuesday I went for my Pilates lesson which I absolutely adore and it did good for the shoulder too.

In the evenings I’ve been watching Netflix and knitting. I’m soon finishing a scarf I had to unravel during summer, now it’s much better. I still need to do the buttonhole strip for the  Scull and Roses-cardi, it’s been much too warm to knit it.

I also visited the workplace-doctor one day since I think my thyroid has grown and it needs to be checked with ultrasound. This is the third year it’ll be checked. Last year there was a very grumpy doctor doing the ultrasound, he told me that I can’t possibly feel the thyroid grown 0.2mm and that it’d be left alone. Well, I think it’s grown again and so I’m going to the ultrasound again. I hope it’s not him again doing the check-up, the doctor writing the cover letter was a very nice lady who took my concern for real. I also gave blood samples since I’m sweating like a pig on and off and if it’s not thyroid it’s the menopausal heatwaves. Yeah, nice being a woman.

Oh well, I’m trying to get some sewing done during weekend and I’ll try to visit a friend who got her toes operated last week. Now I’m going to knit and watch telly with the cat.

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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.