Happy New Year

January is here, with eyes that keenly glow,
A frost-mailed warrior
striding a shadowy steed of snow.
– Edgar Fawcett

 

I just wanted to say Thank you to everyone reading this blog. I know I don’t update enough but that’s just life, it happens.

In the beginning of this year I made a promise to myself to read more and spend less time in social media and I managed quite well, today I’ve read 90 books instead of the 80 I had planned to read. I’m quite happy about it and I’m planning to continue it on 2020. You can see my read books here.

Other thing I need to do on 2020 is to lose weight. I’m turning 50 at the end of September and I don’t want to weight this much then. At the end of May we’re probably celebrating Middlest son’s graduation and since all our relatives and friends will attend I need to do something pretty quickly and I know what it’ll be: low carbs for me since it works best for me.

I still have a week off work left and I’m thinking about having a Hobbit and LOTR marathon while knitting.  I’ve already finished Eldest son’s scarf and my cardi is coming along nicely.

Here are some pics; Sirius is planning her next attack on the Christmas tree (actually she’s been very good with the tree this year), the ice skating Santa I gave to my dad when I was about 7-y-o and now it’s been ice skating in our tree for several years, Middlest son baked a rye bread (I haven’t got the patience to make a root), and the last one is from Dec 27th when we had -5C degrees which was pretty nice. I didn’t mind the sun either, it’s been raining forever here.

 

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.

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.