Culture and cows

I was going to write this earlier, like last Friday evening but since I was so awed and also tired I try to write something now.

Last Thursday I met my friend Mirva. She lives north of Helsinki, in a city called Jyväskylä which is near our summer cottage. We first met and became friends some years ago when we were studying Information sciences in an Open Uni web course and met on the first live study group-day as I sat next to her and we begun chatting like old friends. Some people just are like that and it’s wonderful.

Mirva was here on a work business and we had dinner and then went to the AmosRex Museum to see the Ars Fennica finalists. Mirva had not visited the museum before and liked it a lot. The exhibition was awesome too, I especially liked the painting of a forest which took up a whole wall and also Aurora Reinhard’s little dolls were awesome. Afterwards we had coffee and a long and nice chat about all things at a nearby cafe and it was lovely.

Friday morning we woke with a downpour, it rained so heavily that the Main railway station’s underground stop flooded and still the lifts are unavailable. Helsinki got about 6-7 cm of rain. I had my red wellies and a raincoat plus umbrella with me so I didn’t mind. At my work we got some of it right inside at the 4th floor too, the caretaker guys were furious. Last time 4th floor was flooded in spring when the snow begun to melt on the roof.

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At home before leaving to work

On Friday evening me and my friends Heidi and Kristiina went to see the latest Tarantino movie ’Once upon a time in Hollywood’ and I must say it was very good. None of us is a great fan of neither Brad nor Leo but we all agreed that they did good roles and I personally think that Leo is quite a talented actor. The story was also very though provoking as in ’what if..’ sort of scenario.  I loved the little details and photography, and I really liked Margot Robbie ans Sharon Tate. I think it also shows how much Tarantino loves movies as an art form.

The weekend passed.. On Saturday I had terrible migraine. I haven’t had one in about six months and this one was really awful, I didn’t know if I should throw up or not or faint or not and it made me a cry-baby too. Not nice. Luckily after two pills I managed to even vacuum the house and read but I still felt dizzy and sweaty. On Sunday I felt all right and managed to sew new curtains to the kitchen, I really like them.

We are having a late summer and lovely nice and warm weather so on Monday morning I biked to work. My biking route is 14km from door to door and it goes via the University cow pasture which is quite nice. I really love cows 🙂 What I don’t like are the two or three hills I have on my route, they are loooong and slow and drag all my juices off.I almost fell at one point as I accidentally gripped the front brake and did a really short stop and now I have a deep bruise on my left calf from the pedal. I was lucky not to go over the handle bar.

Yesterday evening I finished reading ’Fools fate’ (Tawny Man trilogy part 3) by Robin Hobb and I think I need to have a short break of the Six duchies and River Wild for now since I tend to drown into them and forget everything else.

I took the bike also today and now I must say I’m exhausted now but I have biked 113 km which is good. Tomorrow We have the new teacher’s night at my work and I’ll do a longer work day and Thursday we have the all teachers meeting night.  They are always fun happenings and it’s nice to meet old and new people.

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The brown lumps in the middle are the cows
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Some crops coming and the Viikki suburb (middlest son’s high school is there)
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Vanhankaupunginlahti = the old city bay. This is where Helsinki was first located when Gustav Wasa established it. The technical museum is under construction but the rapid was lively. There were also some hook and line fishermen long the banks.

 

 

Wild things

I’ve been so tired every day during this first working week that I have only been reading in the balcony with the cat in the evenings.

I’ve had fun in the work too. On Tuesday we stood two hours on the street to give passers-by our new study catalogue and it was nice. Most were very eager to chat with us and some cyclists even made a de-tour to come and grab a copy. Luckily the weather has been good too, not too warm but a bit windy but not rainy.

On Wednesday as I was trying to find a seat in the underground train I spotted a young man sitting with both legs up on the bench so I went to him and said ”Take your legs off the seat and let us people sit” and he did. Maybe I sounded like a mother since he didn’t complain.

On Thursday I received an e-mail from the Finnish blood donor bank and since I had time I went there after work. I got a nice nurse and we chatted all the time I was laying there. here blood donors don’t get any payment but we get a nice cup of coffee and different sandwiches, cookies and ice cream afterwards.

Yesterday I met my good friend Kristiina at one of the City museum’s called the Hakasalmi Villa which used to belong to a lady called Aurora Karamzin. There is an exhibition about Helsinki during the 1920’s and it was very good, funny and charming. It was inspiring and I’ve always loved the 20’s, my granny used to show me how to dance Charleston.

Later we had coffee in a small cafe situated in the museum’s garden and a little wild something ran from behind us to the nearby flowerbed. Ladies next to us asked if we saw what it was and we said that we had just agreed it was a yellow-necked mouse and we all laughed.

Well, now I’m going to watch Downton Abbey since the movie comes out in September and I can’t recall anything of Seasons 5 and 6.

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Sirius saw a new friend
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The amusement park Linnanmäki. My workplace is almost next to it.
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Two old villa’s. The one on the left is called Villa Kivi, it’s the local authors working recidence. Hubby’s aunt had her wedding there since she is a poet, it was a very nice place. The Blue Villa has a very nice summer cafe.
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The Caretaker’s house at the museum’s garden. Now it serves as the work rooms for the museum staff.
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A bright Dahlia at the museum garden.

 

Back in town

And city life. Schools begin next Thursday and I’m having my final holiday week beginning Monday, it’s early fall. And I wonder where the summer did go.

Two weeks ago hubby drove me and youngest son with the cat to the summer cottage. The drive itself went pretty well except of the cat pooping in her box ten minutes after we left home so we did a service-drive back and started anew. Everything went well until the last leg before arriving to the cottage when the car (Volvo hybrid) told us that it can’t load the battery and the a/c went off.. Hubby had a deep think and said that he can’t stay at the cottage and he’ll keep the car running in case it doesn’t start again. So we took all our things from the boot and he got on his way back to town.

About 90 minutes later he calls me that he had got to Heinola which is about at the middle of the route and that the car had finally given up and he had just got it to a truck resting park when the brakes went off. Luckily we have Volvo service so he called them and the car was taken to a car repair shop in a nearby city called Lahti and he got a rental car so he’d drive home.

Well, to make a long story short we are still waiting for our car but since the guys at Lahti couldn’t do anything it was taken nearer to us to Volvo’s own car repair shop on Thursday and there the (hybrid specialist) guy said that he’ll look at it on Friday so with any luck we’ll get it at the beginning of the week. He told hubby that the a/c fuse burning had caused and all-around short circuit in all of the hybrids electrical components. Yay.

At the cottage we enjoyed the warm weather until last Sunday, we had +34C degrees on Sunday and then it dropped to +14C on Tuesday and stayed there. My brother came on Wednesday and on Thursday we all drove home. The cat pooped again after ten-minute-drive but my brother has five cats so he just said we’d stop at the nearest gas station and there me and youngest one took the cat box to the handicapped toilet and cleaned her and the box which luckily wasn’t as bad as before since I hadn’t given her any food on the morning.

At the cottage we swam in the lake and the water was really warm, it was lovely. We did small tasks my brother had made a list of: we cleared all the small trees off the platform side which helps the wind blow to the shore so there’s not so many mosquitoes, I cut the black currant bushes and picked the berries so he’ll be able to build new supports for the bushes and then I uprooted all the fireweeds off my mom’s old veggie garden which only grows weeds now. Meanwhile Jimi played with the cat outdoors and learned how to throw darts. We also had some visitors; my blog-friend from a bit further with her son who is Jimi’s age and then my old message board friend who lives nearby. My brother also paid us a visit on the previous week on Thursday to Friday since he can adjust his work schedules as he likes to. It was nice since he loves to bbq (he is sort-of like a CEO in a German bbq manufacturer’s Finnish office) and also took us shopping with him.

Yesterday I was browsing the Net and happened upon this article in BoredPanda. As I scrolled through the pics I was stopped short with this one. It kind of reminds me of a certain someone, maybe it is his forefather. And now I wonder how Richard would look with a man bun..

Buzzfeed

I guess this is all from me for now. The washing machine is announcing again that it’s done and I need to get the load out. Sometimes I wonder why the men who tried to invent perpetual motion machine never asked their wives.

 

Finally

I’m at home again, have been since Friday morning. Hubby came to pick us from the airport at 1am even thou he had to go to work early in the morning. He is so sweet. Now I’ve been loading my batteries over the weekend and finished two books, an introvert after too much peopling so I decided to write something here too.

On Sunday morning we, me and youngest son and my friend Heidi, found ourselves in London. I almost lost Heidi when we changed underground trains in Green Park as the  train left before she managed to get on board. So she took the next one to Southwark (luckily the only possibility) and I spotted her sitting in the car and called her from the door. There was only one man so I didn’t quite die on embarrasment. After we had stored our bags to the hotel (LSE Bankside, a dormitory for LSE students with very cheap accommodation during Uni holidays) we took ourselves to the British Library. On our way there we popped by Forbidden planet, mine and youngest son’s fave shop, and then we walked to the BL via Russell Square which did good after all the sitting on the plane.

At the British Library we met Heidi’s daughter Mira who lives in London. She had got a bit cold and was sneezing all the time. Inside we saw the ’Treasures of British Library’ exhibition which had beautiful old manuscripts (poor monks in their cold cloisters) and also Beatles lyrics and so on, very interesting even on youngest one’s mind.

From there we went to the hotel to see if our room was ready (it was) and then we had some dinner and went to bed.

On Monday we visited the Science museum with youngest one, Heidi went to visit Mira for the whole day. When we were back on the street we noticed the Natural history museum’s ads and went in to see their exhibition of volcanoes and earthquakes, it was interesting but a video of the tsunami in Japan at 2011 reminded me too much of the Thailand tsunami on 2004 where my cousin lost his family and I just tried not to cry. Afterwards we realized we had been there over five hours, made a quick tour to Covent Garden where we watched a man ride a uni-cycle and jongleur with knives, he was very good. Then we had dinner and went back to the hotel.

On Tuesday we visited the National Gallery and especially the impressionists. Oh yes, the Monet paintings were wonderful and I recognized Turner’s art because of the RA-film.. so one can learn things watching good movies.

After that I went with Jimi to Science museum because he wanted to change a gyroscope he bought since it was keeping a noise it shouldn’t have. Heidi was going to Mira’s again. When we finally got out of the Science museum I called Heidi and she said she was going to Mira’s later since Mira was so feverish she was trying to sleep so we agreed to meet at Harrods. My phone died after I had sent a message to Heidi that we were going to the pet supplies (what a joke!) and finally we met Heidi there. As I had anticipated my phone to run low on batteries I had the charger with me and so we spent about an hour in a corridor in Harrods. Then we walked a bit around Knightbridge and went to eat fish and chips to a pub and then Heidi left to Mira’s and we went home.

On Wednesday we walked to Postman’s Park which is located near St. Paul’s Cathedral. I’ve wanted to visit it for years, I saw pics of it the net some time ago and now I finally got to see it and it was just lovely. From there we took a underground train to Baker Street. Oh yes, the famous detective himself. There was a bit of a queue but finally we got into the small house and it was lovely. The shop was just as lovely.. Then we had coffee and took a bus to Oxford Circus where we met Mira who was better. We did some shopping and walked to the Forbidden Planet where I bought some books and Jimi got three Funko figures. Well, actually two are his and I got Bucky ❤ Heidi and Mira left to have something to eat as Mira was feeling not so good. We took our shopping home and rested a bit and then went for dinner to restaurant Zizzi at Southbank. Oh boy the food was so good! and they were really busy too but very nice staff. Back at the hotel I tried to pack my suitcase and then Heidi came with Mira, who had gotten a huge migraine and fell asleep on Heidi’s bed. Heidi did some shopping and in a bit after Mira woke up she was feeling much better and Heidi walked her to a bus and her boyfriend was at the other end of the bus route to get her home.

On Thursday we checked out and left our luggage to the hotel to wait and went for a walk. First we visited Tate Modern and took the lift to 10th floor and also browsed the 4th floor free exhibition. I have always walked through the Tate Modern’s ground floor because it has good shops. This time I found just a fridge magnet. We walked to the Blackfriars bridge and had coffee and watched a pair of swans and enjoyed the sun. Then we got our luggagge from the hotel and walked to the Waterloo station, did some window shopping there too and took a train to Heathrow where we were in really good time. We did some shopping, had dinner and I and Heidi found ourselves in Cath Kidston sale and bought handbags for both of us.

Our flight was a bit late but we managed to get home nicely, hubby drove us home via Heidi’s so she got home too with ease.

Nice trip and I love London.

 

 

 

 

 

Back home

We’ve been back home almost a week now. I was quite jet-lagged on the weekend but the days just flow by while I’m doing something close to nothing (Prince said it so well).

On Tuesday we had youngest son’s health check with a nurse as he’s beginning the middle grades on August and the official health check is done now, next one will be with a doctor and a nurse at 8th grade. Since it’s the middle of summer and the closest place was closed we got eldest son to drive us to the nearby suburb Tikkurila where we were supposed to be (the bus ride takes forever).

The nurse was really nice and health check was quick. Youngest one (=Jimi) is having his growth-spurt now and he is about 4 cm’s shorter than I am so I’ll soon be shortest in our family. Feels funny, he is only 13.  All the boys and hubby have the same shoe size now but I wonder if youngest one will become tallest since it looks like his shoes size is still growing.

From Tikkurila we took a train to meet my friend Heidi at her flat in Oulunkylä. Since the train goes over the city border the train fare is a bit bigger and I had thought I had enough money on my public transport card and to my horror when I tried to pay with it at the train it said there’s not enough to cover the fare. I had especially taken care to upload more money to Jimi’s card but forgotten my own and so when the inspector lady came to check our card I was almost crying since the fee is 80€ and I really have better use for them. I told the lady that I was under the impression I had enough for the fare and I guess she saw my stress since as soon as we were over the border she said ”You can now buy the ticket” and when I asked what about the inspection fee she just shook her head. I was so grateful that I almost cried again. There are angels amongst us.

Soon we were at Heidi’s and Jimi played with her two cats while we talked a while. We (me and Jimi) are going to London with Heidi on Sunday, her eldest daughter lives there and we thought to go meet her again 🙂

Later we took a bus from Oulunkylä to Itäkeskus shopping center since Jimi needed something and I wanted to change money for the trip and Heidi was going to her younger daughter so it was easier for all of us to go there. I had installed the traffic card app on my phone while we were at Heidi’s so I got a mobile ticket for the bus. It wasn’t easy but it was better than nothing.

We met Heidi again yesterday as we went to movies with her and my other good friend Kristiina. We are all Marvel fans so we went to see the new Spiderman : Far from home. It was really good, I liked it a lot. I like Tom Holland as Spidey, I never quite liked the earlier Spideys as much. This one reminded me a bit of the animated Spider-Verse which was awesome.

I’m still pretty tired and I’m so glad I still have weeks left of my summer vacay unlike hubby who went to work already on Monday. I was going to the pharmacy today but at 3pm I realized that I’d been just sitting here reading Stucky fics and listening to music all day and didn’t bother. Tomorrow’s another day.

And I’m a bad mother: only after I had bought the plane tickets to London I realized why the date (Sunday) was so familiar..  Middlest son turns 18 on Sunday. YAY. I told him to think about something I’d buy him from London but he hasn’t said anything yet.

 

 

Aloha

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exhibitions

I’m writing an another entry just about two exhibitions I’ve been to lately.

Last week I went to see Frantisek Kupka’s works in the Finnish National Gallery. As a matter of fact I had almost never heard of him but I had seen some pics of his works and liked them. So on Wednesday after I had given my donation at the local blood bank I went to the art museum to see them myself.

While there I also walked through the basic collection which has some of my fave articles. I’d also tell you that my brother’s ex-wife’s granddad was one the Finnish impressionists but it’s like the game ’almost related to a celeb’ so I’ll just keep quite about that 😉

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Albert Edelfelt: Luxembourg park in Paris. One of my all-time faves.
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Bibliophile by Kupka
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Frantisek Kupka: Way of silence
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Frantisek Kupka : Surfaces of color series
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Surfaces with color
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The deep reds were awesome, this pic doesn’t show them well enough.
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One of my faves in the Kupka exhibiton. I’d just stare at this painting for hours.
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And this one. So sunny.

Yeah. I really loved most of the paintings there. I used to paint porcelaine when kids were small and as I know how hard it is to make deep reds like the one above makes it even more beautiful.

Today I visited a game exhibition with my friend at the Finnish National library. Our ex-workmate was one of the people who put the exhibition up and he showed us around.

There was all kinds of boardgames starting from the 19th century and it ended to the Nintendo and SuperMario played with a C-cassette thingy. It was fun too.

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A historical boardgame based on Finland’s history, a fictional character Ensign Ståhl by our national poet J.L. Runeberg.
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Kids playing a boardgame in 1950’s. The colorful back is from the most famous Finnish boardgame of all times called the Star of Africa.