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.

 

 

Busy weekend

I had busy weekend even thou I did have some nice tv and knitting time too.

On Friday after work I had a massage because my neck has been acting up and my left shoulder is stiff. I found a good massage place near my work couple of years ago and so I went there again and it was very good.

After the massage I went to movies with my friend Heidi, we watched Downton Abbey and enjoyed it. It was quite light but funny and great actors with historically accurate interiors and clothing is always a pleasure to watch. I loved Maggie Smith as Lady Violet and her frenemy Isobel Merton’s  (Penelope Wilton) jabs at each other were so much fun.

On Saturday I didn’t do much, I knitted and watched Sleepy Hollow’s fourth season which I was dreading but it was better than I expected.

Yesterday, Sunday, me and hubby and youngest one went to Helsinki amusement park called Linnanmäki.  They have a new roller coaster called Taiga and it was really fun! It’s the second fastest in Europe as it goes 106km/h. After that we went to the old wooden roller coaster which I absolutely adore and one other roller coaster. I can’t do teacups or anything similar so hubby took youngest one to them but I did three rounds on the wooden roller coaster.

We came home after five and later I watched Manhunt which was pretty good too. I really like Martin Clunes and he was very good again.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

Sunday

We are already first week in the May which means my summer holidays are nearer and nearer, just four weeks to go.

We Finns celebrated Vappu – the 1st of May eve – with a spring carneval but since it was pretty cold and we hadn’t planned any kind of party with our friends I was just happy to stay at home and watch tv. On Wednesday we actually slept until noon with hubby, that hasn’t happened in years.

On Friday I went to movies with youngest one and my friend to see Tolkien. It’s not a document so it’s bit different than how Carpenter tells Tolkien’s life in the biography.  The One Ring Net had quite a good article of the movie. Don’t forget to bring a hankie, even the very end makes one cry. Of course since the director is a Finn and a Tolkien-fan himself made the film even more touching.

We liked the movie a lot and youngest son asked what would have happened if Tolkien had died in the WWI. I said that probably the whole genre would have been born later and/or different than what it is today. Sometimes the 13-y-o makes me wonder with the questions he asks…

On Saturday we went to see Hairspray musical to middlest son’s highschool. he played the percussion and his girlfriend was one of the mean girls. Their highscool is famous for the musicals they do, last spring it was Grease and it was very good too. We got youngest son to come too, with a bit of meanness by my part (not proud) and with a little pushing by hubby. In the end he was happy to be there and middlest and his gf were happy to see him there too.

Yesterday evening I watched Brie Larson’s Unicorn store from Netflix, it was quite good too. I’ve also watched a Finnish tv-series about how the Finnish diplomats help save Chilean people during the 1973 coup. The Swedish ambassador is played by Michael Persbrandt (Beorn in the Hobbit).

Today hubby and I did a cemetery tour and went to see how his parent’s grave and my father’s have survived the winter. Our parents are on different graveyards and my mom has been buried to her family grave in Porvoo, a small city nearby, where she lived her childhood and then she moved back there when my dad died in 1994. Me and my siblings decided to give up my dad’s gravesite after this year since none of us has much time to take care of it so we didn’t plant anything there now. Maybe I’ll take some pansies there later. We didn’t drive to Porvoo today but instead as we went home middlest son asked if we’d go to garden shop and so now I have a new climbing rose and flowerbed has new plants and middlest one got cucumber and tomato.

I also baked a mudcake and hubby made a chocolate fudge covering for it, it was really good ❤

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Cherry trees near my in-law’s grave at Honkanummi cemetery

Sunny days

We’ve had pretty warm days here. Yesterday we had around +20C degrees but today it turned to colder again and I finally got the biggest flowerbed weeded. I still have one smaller one to weed and then the old climbing rose must be dug out and replaced with a new one.

Middlest son wants to try growing tomatoes and cucumbers. Tomatoes would probably like to be with the rose and cucumbers could be okay on our glass-walled balcony which can get really hot during summer.

Eldest son visited last Friday and he’s probably getting a summer job nearer here which is good bc their flat is being re-piped during late May to sometime in summer and he is moving back here for the time being so he’d take care of the plants while we are traveling in June.

Last week at work we had quite decent days since about all of the courses are finished and now there’s just the Finnish-for-foreigners and some language courses left. Friday was so quiet that I helped one of our recitation teachers take promo pics of her to her summer performance ads. We had great time too, she is so funny elderly lady and she got into character so I got a free performance while snapping photos 🙂

I went to movies on Wednesday to see Avengers : Endgame and I must confess that although some things in the story made me wonder in the end I was flabbergasted and the rest of the evening I just sat at home and had a ’movie-hangover’. It’s  a relative to book-hangovers.

While gardening I’ve been listening to Richard read me ’The fourth friend’ by Joy Ellis. I hope it’ll be better than the two previous parts which were quite predictable. Well, we’ll see.

Now I’m going to watch Umbrella academy and knit my cardi. Tomorrow I’m having an appointment with a foot therapist because of the Morton’s neuroma I have on both feet and later we have the Labour Union’s meeting which I’m taking part for the first time.

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