Live music

Hi there! I’ve been mostly off line or done some small surfing on my phone during my free time since I get enough screen time at work and I’ve noticed my eyes grow tired after 8 hours of computering.

Yesterday evening my friend Mareetta took me to dinner to Tammisaari where we did a little summer evening dinner already on July. This time she wanted to see a Finnish-Swedish musician Fredrik Furu to perform. It was a free concert on a restaurant garden and since I had a work day we had some issues with the timing and rush hour but luckily managed to get there in time.

The weather was rainy and cold but the food and music were good so it was actually pretty good Friday evening. Some pics included.

In other news middlest son has been at home this week and last Saturday we did some wholesale grocery shopping which was good. They’ve been eating camp-ratios in the garrison due to the C-situation but it’s going to change soon, he ate like a growing young man. My aunt used to say young men have hollow legs and she knew since she had four.

I’ve been reading, knitting and crafting. I’m finally getting all of the old swaps I had forward, soem of them have been sitting on my desk far too long so I’m relieved. And a bit shamed but sometimes Life happens to the best of us. I wonder if there’s anyone swapping art decos on my readers?

Here is a pic of Sirius sleeping on my knee. I was trying to get to bed but you really can’t go when one is such s dear kitty, can you? On the other pic you can see our desk. We got some nice paintings from the Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) to the House and there’s still some sculptures showing up next week. This painting is called ”Exhaust” by Petri Rummukainen and everybody says the bunnies are us, so you can guess who is the one with the handbag? Yeah 😀

I finally finished Lucifer Season 5. I tried to watch it just one ep per evening but it’s so good and then it was also very short season. Now I’m on Umbrella Academy S2 which doesn’t seem quite as good as S1.

A song by Fredrik Furu for you, he sings in Swedish but I think you’ll survive. I did.

Halfway through August

So I’m back in the city and work too, it begun last Monday and I’ve been so busy with everything.  Youngest one’s school begun on Thursday too.

The cottage weeks went quickly and I enjoyed time with my eldest and youngest son and Sirius. Middlest son visited for overnight as eldest picked him from the city and then gave him a lift to the garrison which is an hours drive North from the cottage. I did some foraging in the forests and picked berries and mushrooms. We had some encounters with wildlife, i.e. bats, and one day we drove to Jyväskylä to meet my cousin and one of my local friends popped by for a coffee. Very relaxing and nice two weeks.

Here at home besides work I’ve been busy sewing masks for myself to use in public transport as it was finally recommended by the authorities. There’s still a lot of people not wearing masks.

I’ve also been washing laundry from the cottage and also from the clearing I did here at home. I’d still go through my clothes to see what to put forward and what to keep. I have less clothes to wash now as middlest son is in the army, he used to change his clothes so often that the basket was always full.

On Friday evening I had coffee date with my friend and we decided to visit two art museums in Helsinki which was nice. The other one has great cafeteria, so after the first museum we then decided to have dinner at this one and checked the exhibitions too and afterwards had coffee and cake. It was nice to catch up with her too.

On Saturday hubby went to buy us more firewood and it was a bit hot weather to put them into the shed later but I love doing outdoors things in good weather. Today we watched middlest son give his oath via live-stream so now he is finally a conscript and not a rookie. Usually they get a vacation after the oath but these days the vacation is postponed still two weeks. In his speech the general said they haven’t had any of the boys sick with Covid19 since spring which is really good.

I’ve finished knitting a scarf, I finally got more yarn on Tuesday. I visited my dentist and afterwards went to my hairdresser and as I had a spare moment I did a quick visit at the yarn shop near her place. Oh and my dentist suggested I’d get braces as now my back teeth are getting too much pressure so I’m going to have a consultation made in mid-September. There’s always some moneypit one can throw her earnings.

This is about all from me for now. Pics in instagram and read books in Goodreads on the right side sidebar.

Cleaning, books, baking and movie

I’ve been mostly offline, mainly because I begun to clean my bookshelves last Friday and it spread a bit. It took me three days to clear the books and organize the shelves and then I had to clear my writing desk and the chests underneath in order to get everything out and re-organized. It took two days..

Today I’ve been cleaning the ”boys room” which used to be first eldest and middlest son’s room and then middlest and youngest one’s room and now it just middlest’s. But since there were so many layers of history to go through it takes time to clean.

But now it’s all done! Now I only need to take the overflow books to the second hand center (for a big 2nd hand shop retailer) and get some clear plastic boxes for all the myriad of playing cards we have obtained from our travels… There’s some jigsaw puzzles too which some I’m keeping and some I’ll give to my cousin’s little boy. I used to do a lot of puzzles before we had kids but now the cat likes to sleep on them so it’s a bit of a hindrance.

I managed to listen to all of the Alexander Gregory stories by LJ Ross. The first two were read by Hugh Dancy and they were good but I must say that RA’s reading is on a different level all together. (Or maybe I’m just biased.) I also listened to a podcast about opera made by a Finnish actor Antti Holma. He is very funny and he lives now in NYC because his husband is one of the harpists in Met so he made a podcast of how to opera.

I also started the Sandman audioplay (that’s probably the best word for a comic turned into an audiobook) and it’s very good. I love Neil Gaiman’s voice as the narrator, he was so good in reading ’The Ocean at the end of the lane” too which is one of his best novels imo.

On Monday when it was a bit less windy and more sunny I managed to finish ”Milkman”, a novel by Anna Burns sitting outside. It was a hard read. Actually in the middle I just leafed it through so I know what happened. I seldom leave a book unfinished because I think you can always get something out of a novel but boy this one was hard.

As middlest son left to the army I inherited his root. First he said he’d dry it but I said I’d try to bake some bread with it and so I did. We went to movies on Friday to see ”Parasite” and I bought a book about how to bake with a root. On Sunday I took a bit of the root and on Monday evening I finally started the dough and yesterday baked a lovely sourdough bread. It’s so good I’d eat it all alone.

About ”Parasite”: I really liked it. It’s one of those that sink in later. A great movie, very Oscar-worthy and a globally touching story. In the movie theater we had our own row, there were some people on other rows but you’d only buy tickets for two people and then there’d be two empty chairs between other people but since we were just three and there were not many people we sat together. (Sorry for the confusing text.)

Now I’m going to watch some tv. I started to watch ”Stateless”, an Aussie serie in Netflix and it’s very good about paperless immigrants and a woman who’s escaping a cult ends up in the same detention centre. It’s very interesting and it’s also got Cate Blanchett in it who I think is the most beautiful woman on Earth and my fave actress. Some of the New Zealand-made Netflix series have also been very good, I especially liked ”Wanted” and not only because of Deano (*blushing*). He was also very good in ”The Bad seed” but I don’t know if that’s on Netflix since I watched it via our public broadcast company YLE.

But now Sirius needs some scratches and I need coffee and knitting and tv 🙂 CU.

Immersed

I was spending about all of my waking hours in the Rain Wilds last week. I was rereading the Rain Wilds Chronicles by Robin Hobb and during the night I dreamed of them. I love Hobb’s novels and I’ve been slowly rereading all of them and it’s been a real pleasure. It’s always been like this for me when I read her books, I get so immersed it’s hard to do anything else. I don’t get just as deep with Tolkien or other fantasy realms but the Six Duchies touches my soul differently than others. Maybe it’s the dragons; I’ve always loved Hobb’s dragons, they are like cats, very independent and selfish but in need of servants.

We’ve had horrible weather ever since last Tuesday. The wind blows like it was Autumn and the rain sloshes down at every hour (except right now). In June I was worried the plants would die from drought and now I fear they’ll need a lifesaver so they don’t drown.  I can’t even go to the forest to walk because the ground is so wet and since it’s so blustery cycling is hard. On Thursday when it didn’t rain until evening I visited a friend by bike and my knees have been aching ever since.

I came home via the graveyard where my father’s grave was, we gave the lease up since none of us (me and my siblings) didn’t much care about the grave site. Me and my sister agreed that we can just as well light a candle for our father in the remembrance site in the graveyard. In Easter me and hubby visited the grave and then the stone was still there but now they had already taken it off.

Middlest son left early this morning to the Air Forces base in Central Finland. He’ll be there 11 months and due to the Covid19 we don’t yet know when he’ll going to come home. I guess we’ll hear about the off-weekends later this week. Yesterday we had eldest son for dinner and since tomorrow would be middlest son’s 19th birthday I baked a cake and it was all very good but now it’s very quiet here. Just me and hubby and youngest son. Luckily Sirius meows every now and then.

I started to knit a shawl but had to change the yarn. The first yarn was a very nice yarn and I loved the color but since it was handpainted it kind of lost the brilliance in lace knitting and vice versa.

 

 

These times

On Friday I cooked some sort of tian, a Provencal veggie dish I found by accident when googling something else. I used eggplant and zucchini and it was so good! I also read ”Everything I never told you” by Celeste Ng on Friday and it was really great. I loved her novel ”Little fires everywhere” but for some reason this was better imo. I also finished listening to ”Patient man” by Joy Ellis, read by Richard, today and it too was very good.

Yesterday I was a bit down. One of my best childhood friends had her 50th birthday and we couldn’t celebrate them. We’ve known each other since we were 9-y-o and their school’s all pupils came to our school for the school year as their new school was getting built and on one of the first gym classes she asked to be my pair and now she’s eldest son’s godmother.

Since there’s no celebrations during this time me and some of our mutual friends gave her together a gift card for a pedicure and a bunch of flowers delivered to their house and it was nice to surprise her. I also sent a greeting card from our family.

My friend is  working as an X-ray nurse in the pandemic hospital which I must confess makes me a bit worried. I’ve also been a bit blue since on March 27th it was the 5th anniversary of my mom’s passing and this is always sad time for me.

Luckily we had good weather during the weekend and yesterday I made a 90-minute walk in the woods (and my legs ached all night), heard finches sing  and later helped youngest son to cook us dinner and dessert since it was his HE homeworks.

Today I sorted the old cook books and recipes in kitchen self, it’s been on my to-do-list for ages. Did you know that in the 70’s it was recommended to cook pizza with liver or European cisco (fish)? I didn’t throw those recipe books to the bin yet, I’ll keep them as a curiosity.  Later me and hubby changed the cactus’ dirt and pots which has also been on the list quite some time.

There was an article about Finland’s stockpile of supplies in NYT if you want to read. There’s an old joke which goes: ”What does Sweden have Norway and Finland don’t? -Good neighbours” (neither Finland nor Norway appreciate Sweden as high as they could, sort of sibling rivalry).

Tomorrow I’m going to work for a few hours since my workplace health care is in the neighbouring house and I need to go there for some bloodworks (thyroid). Hubby will drive me there and also collect which is nice.

 

 

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.

Netflix and chill

Has been my motto during these last days. It’s November which means the darkest time here in Finland because it usually rains or has just rained or will be raining and the clouds are wet and heavy and near the ground. The new season of The Crown begun and I’m already halfway through. I’m also finishing knitting a pair of socks for my cousin and then can begin a new cardi for myself.

I also got my deep stomach and back muscles so sore last week that I couldn’t breath very deep, even yawning made me wince with pain. I fear that the pain will return as I just got back from my Pilates lesson.

During the weekend I read two YA novels. The other one won a national book prize on the year it was published (my cousin was the main judge bc she teaches creative writing for kids and teens in Jyväskylä) and the other one was a quite recent Finnish YA-fantasy novel that had gotten good reviews. Both were good but I liked the first one more which is a bit surprising since I usually like all kinds of fantasy novels but there were some things that bothered me in the fantasy world.

We are in the middle of a postal strike here and it seems it will spread as the other unions support the postmen so I’ll probably have a day off on Monday as the public transport will probably be stuck. I was going to have a free Friday but now I can change it to Monday, I don’t actually mind.

Now I’m off to the English royal family and coffee and knitting.

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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.