Quick update

DH is back home and getting better. I’ll add an TMI warning further below in case you don’t like to hear about people’s innards.

First I’ll just give you some pics from my walk yesterday. We had -15C degrees and I thought to try on my new snow pants I bought last Feb when we had very cold weather and of course as I bought them the weather changed so I didn’t get to use them at all. I dressed myself warmly and went to forest and I was so hot that back home I felt like I had done a sweaty aerobic class. Anyways it was nice to be warm and in the fresh air enjoying sunny day.

Now to the hubby part.

Jatka lukemista ”Quick update”

Highlights

from this past month.

Just a couple of days after my previous update we had our team meeting. For my surprise I got flowers and a gift from the City since I’ve now worked 30 years in the different libraries for the City. The gift was five days of paid vacation, I got to choose from actual money (of which they would’ve taken taxes) or two night stay in a spa hotel or this. I think this is the best gift for me, I get to choose when I’ll keep the days or if I want to take one day off at a time so prefect!

In the evening I went to movies with youngest one and hubby to see Ghostbusters: Afterlife which I greatly enjoyed. Paul Rudd was very good and all the old ’Busters’ were there too. It was so much fun! And of course the little marshmallow men really stole the game 🙂

We had very cold weather for a week, around -15C degrees. Sirius wanted to go out but came back in right away. Silly girl.

In the beginning of December I had my dentists appointment. First I was supposed to go on a Tuesday morning and just as I was waiting for the tube to arrive their office lady called and said that we need to reschedule (again) as my dentist had called his car tire had blown on the way to his practice so we moved it in Thursday. I had to make the hours in as it was in the middle of the workday but finally I got four new crowns (and it cost way more than I had thought but now its done). Luckily I have a savings account…

I’ve been working long days but on Tuesday I decided to go to movies to see The House of Gucci. I went alone as none of my friends were able to come but I didn’t mind. As a teen I used to mostly go to movies by myself (at least the company was good) so it’s no biggie for me. I enjoyed the movie. I’m not a great fan of Lady Gaga’s but she was really good as Patrizia Reggiani and Adam Driver was so hot… Jared was great as Paolo and I really liked Al Pacino as Aldo Gucci. The scene with the two latter ones at the airport was so good, both sad and funny. The soundtrack was awesome too. ( I flove this pic of them.)

On Wednesday as I was walking towards my workplace I stood to watch that there was indeed a firetruck outside our building door. Gladly it was such early that there were no clients and all classes are finished already but still. So I go to the inner courtyard and ask one of the office ladies who always comes in early what’s the problem and she said one of the doormen had forgot to turn off the stove after he had cooked porridge, luckily there was nothing on top of the stove so when we got in finally there was just a god awful reek in the lower floors. We are also lucky to have the fire department right on our backyard (we go there for lunch). That one doorman has a drinking problem and we are a bit concerned of him, his bosses have had a talk with him already but it remains to be seen if he can continue working for us.

I’ve also been preparing for Christmas by baking gingerbread cookies and I’ve bought all presents too already. we’ve done grocery shopping and hubby got the tree from the Uni forest students near his workplace. Youngest one wants us to bake more gingerbread cookies and try to built a huge house and I kind of said yes.. I’ll take pics if it turns out okay.

We had our library teams Christmas coffee at the nice cafe next to our workplace on Thursday, it was nice. There’s just three of us so it was pretty low key.

So this is news from my corner for now. Here’s a song for you!

Artsy Friday

We are having a heatwave at the moment and in order to have something else to do than sit at home eating ice cream and sweating I planned a movie night with my friends Heidi and Kristiina.

Since I was going to meet them at a cafe before the movie I thought to go city centre a bit earlier and see the Repin art exhibition in our National gallery before meeting them. I had to queue for about 15 minutes bc I didn’t want to buy the ticket beforehand as we have a thing called The Museum card here (you pay an annual fee and get to see as many museums as you like, to cover the annual fee you must visit about four exhibitions). I only took couple of photos of my fave paintings and walked through the exhibition in 30 minutes.

You can browse the other art works in the exhibition here: https://ateneum.fi/en/exhibitions/repin/

At the cafe we shared our latest news like that I got through my exams with flying colours (I was quite certain I had failed) and then we went to see Cruella. It was very good. I had expected something else so it was a very nice surprise. Of course great actors, i. e. Mark Strong 😎, and both female lead Emmas’ among others and the costumes, music and charming doggies. All in all a very good movie! Go see it it you can. We had great time and enjoyed greatly our first movie after November.

That was my artsy Friday. I had good time 🙂

Today we’ve had hottest day this summer, +31c degrees in shadow. Hubby has been driving me to swim in the sea and so far the blue-green algae is not yet bothering us. It’s been wonderful. As the beach doesn’t have boxes to lock one’s things into while swimming Hubby has been watching my stuff as he doesn’t like to swim in the ocean here 🙂

Lunch dates and road trips

The beginning of my summer holidays has been busy. I’ve met friends over lunches and dinners and had lovely massages. I’ve also been swimming both in the Baltic sea and the public pool. We’ve had great weather, sunny and over 24 C degrees. Me like.

We celebrated Midsummer just at home. I bought five kilos of strawberries to put in the freezer for winter. We also ate about three kilos before that, the strawberries are so good now and they are all ripening now. I haven’t frozen strawberries for years but it’s a kind of civic duty here and people discuss where you can find the cheapest berries.

I’ve also seen some art exhibitions.

On Monday I, hubby and youngest son visited the Serlachius museums in Mänttä which has a Banksy exhibition. I reserved our entrance in good time already back in May. Since it’s an 3-hour-drive I was sure to get us booked in the afternoon and it was a good decision, we got to sleep and eat breakfast in peace without rushing (well almost.. teens you know) and then had a coffee break on the way. The exhibition was free and it was quite nice. We also took a round around the other exhibitions there and enjoyed them too.

We drove back via hubby’s childhood summer cottage but since it was already a bit late we didn’t go visiting his uncle. Besides hubby has such horrible memories of the place he was happy just to see it from the roadside 🙂

Today I went for a lunch with my friend Heidi. We were going to see an exhibition at the AmosRex museum but then we just browsed the shop and continued to the Helsinki City Art Museum (HAM) nearby. It was nice, the free side had some Tove Jansson’s works and the paid ticket side had some interesting art made by Katharina Grosse.

We were both a bit tired so it was a bit short day today. I had a osteopathy massage me yesterday and he found some nice sore spots in my legs. Last week he did my cheek muscles..

Some piccies underneath.

Here’s a song for you too. I quite like her voice.

Preparing for May

It’s been spring weather here. last weekend was very nice, sunny and warm with +15 C degrees. I raked all of our yard and the cat was outdoors all night (I slept poorly). Now we’ve got snow and sleet and the temperatures are just around +3 C degrees. So glad I didn’t get any summer flowers from the shop yet.

I received my first shot of Pfizer a week ago on Thursday. During the evening my arm got so sore I’d barely lift it and I also had muscle pains. Then on Friday I did a short walk in the forest and back home almost fainted.

On Monday we had youngest one’s medical examinations (=blood works and ultrasound) and when we got to the lab we found out the doctor had forgotten to send the referral so we agreed with the nurse we’d go first to the ultrasound and I’d try to call the doctor so we’d get the blood works taken while in the hospital. So I left son to wait for the ultrasound and went to the pediatric department where a nice nurse did the call for me and I met youngest son halfway back to get him and we went back to the lab and got all his tests taken. Doctor said she’d call us if there was anything concerning results.

I’m glad they examine everything but it’s been a bit of a bother as the hospital is over 20 minutes drive and since I don’t drive hubby has to take us there. Luckily it’s been good with his work schedule.

Well back to the header. The year is turning to May and we Finns celebrate the May eve and The first of May as a national carnival. Now as the current pandemia is raging the traditional celebrations are available in the Net second time around. In May eve the statue of Havis Amanda at the city centre is washed and then she gets a student cap at 6pm when it’s a sign for all who have passed the matriculation exams to put their student cap on. On May day people gather to the parks and especially to Kaivopuisto in the city centre for picnics. The traditional labour marches are not so popular anymore. You can read more of Finnish Vappu here.

Since Rachel asked I thought to share with you the traditional sima (Mead) recipe. It’s fairly easy to make and is a nice and refreshing drink in summer time too.

***

Mead

4 litres of water

250 g dark sugar

250 g caster sugar

1-2 lemons

small amount of yeast (about 1 pea)

raisins + sugar for the bottles

Take a plastic bucket or large glass jar (or whatever the liquid fits) and boil half of the water. Put the sugars into the bucket, add both warm and cold water. Rinse the lemons well and peel their skin, put the skin into the sugar water. Strip the white part off of the lemons (it makes the mead sour) and slice the lemons and add them into the sugar water. Stir so the sugars melt, add yeast (be careful not to put too much yeast bc it makes the bottles pop).

Leave the bucket to a warm place over night or two nights until it fizzes when stirred. Add a teaspoon of caster sugar and about 5 raisins to each bottle before the lemon water. Strain the mixture through a sieve to glass or soda bottles.

Put the bottles to fridge or cellar (if you have one) and let them be about 4-5 days. Mead is ready to drink when the raisins float on top. Check the corks every day since you don’t want the bottles to explode.

Finnish mead is slightly alcoholic and the longer you let it ferment the more it fizzes. My mom once found a bottle from previous year and it was like cider.

***

I’m having a short working week. Since we don’t have clients and it’s pretty quiet at the place I decided to take Thursday and Wednesday off. On Monday is the last time we are sharing the foodbags as all the schools will open on May (youngest one is going tomorrow already) and on Thursday middlest son comes home again for a week.

I hope we’ll get decent weather so I’d get outdoors. I’m planning to open bicycle season too. In the pics some of my bakings and Sirius and my new Riddari sweater. I’ve also knitted a cap for a friend which still needs blocking and I’m currently knitting a light sweater for my cousin’s son.

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.

 

 

Sleepyhead

I’ve been quite tired this week and I wonder if I’m getting sick. Hubby and middlest son are having a terrible flu with fever and noses running etc. since last week. I hope I’m not getting it.

Eldest son moved back to his shared flat on Monday and I haven’t heard a peep from him since. Means he’s okay.

On other news I begun to watch my carb intake at the same time as I went back to work and now I’ve lost 5 kilos which I certainly don’t want back. I’m planning to continue low carbs until I’ve lost about 10 kilos more if I can. It’d be good for my joints (arthritis) among other things.

On Friday I’m taking youngest son shopping, he needs a waterproof jacket and new trousers. He grew over 12 cm last winter so the previous jacket doesn’t fit him anymore. I promised to take him for a coffee to the cat cafe beforehand as a bribe.

The weather is turning to fall. We’ve had very nice warm days during the weekend and Monday and Tuesday but today it’s been very windy and rainy. Tomatoes like it.

I was going to take part to the dance gym tomorrow but I’ll need to see if I’m really getting the flu. My pilates lessons for the winter begun again yesterday and I enjoyed the class very much.

I’m in the middle of Mind Hunters second season and my cardi will soon have the second sleeve too so I’ll go continue them. If I pass on the couch it’s better than having keyboard on my forehead.

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.