Post Christmas. Post New Year. Post long-overdue. Post honest.

Art, Blogroll, Comments, Helsinki

No matter how important Christmas is for me I actually enjoy those days following the Christmas Eve (aka the Big Day where I’m from) much better than the actual December 24th. The pressure has dropped, I’m not sick with anticipation or the sense of obligation, the stress level has gone back to normal (whatever that might mean), there is no need to pose in the pictures. Yet I’m still surrounded by the loved ones, enjoy heaps of leftover delicious food without the stiffness of the dinner board and – can play with the present in front of TV.

And, then there are the ‘tween days after Christmas yet before the New Year, you know, those 28s and 29s, when many grown ups went to work and your babyless self finally made it outside as well. Some of us went shopping while those like me more likely travelled or skied or at least did something cultural.

Then the somehow awkward celebration of the new year followed – and then the emptiness stroke – is this it? The new start and the end of the Holidays?

I do not dare to open social media these days (well I do that so that I can find out about what is going on around us), because last year was the best year ever and THE year of transformation to pretty much anyone and everyone, as illustrated by holiday feet shots and sunsets and happy families.

I’m not writing this because I would think 2018 was a dull one, in fact, it was pretty eventful for my part – kicked-off start in Costa Brava, signed a new job contract, got overwhelmed by all sorts of pain, made great progress with a personal coach, bought a flat, then, ehm, my dearest daughter was born, moved to the new place and topped it off with a really nice and calm white Christmas.

I just wanted to say that this year was good, my baby and I are well too. I’m more and more happy with who I am, but honestly, there were so many dull, hopeless, painful, sad and confused moments so that I just don’t have the heart to fool the internet and pick the cherries.

In fact, I’m thankful for those difficult moments, days, mundane tasks and failed attempts. Makes me feel special – like I’m the one who is actually living, and not just augmenting and filtering life for the purpose of, uhm, impressing people I know (or not).

So my topic for 2019 is honesty and keeping it real.

It’s like this, I love taking pictures and sharing the happiness with the almost nameless crowd, but I’d like and will be posting about me dealing with the obstacles, with the routine of the everyday, about simple pleasures such as being able to wash the hair without being distracted by crying babies, filing nails on the toilet, post-midnight chocolate eating and hiding the phone/screen when the little one is around. If no-one enjoys that, well, at least I will.

IMG_6422-2

 

I really wanted to post some artsy pictures that would sum this up, but this year baby pictures heavily dominate the photo stash. Heavily. Looking for beauty in the mundane, questioning societal choices and scrutinising the individual’s relationship to their habitat have way to anything depicting various parts of The Baby and glowing smiles of her parents. Well. Have some snow before it melts. Have a good one.

IMG_6553-2IMG_6554-2

Yesterday´s snow.

Blogroll, Finland, Helsinki, Lifestyle, Picture a day

Not the jolly sunny kind, just wet and a plenty of it. One moment you can barely walk and you have to dig your personal parking space. A few hours later everything is melting and you question the nature’s intensions and the purpose of life while you wade through heaps of wish-wash. And this all, this shall freeze over tonight!

MIU_8953MIU_8984MIU_8980MIU_8966MIU_8960MIU_8957

 

Visiting Costa Brava.

Blogroll, Lifestyle, Picture a day, Traveling

Makes sense in December/January – holiday resorts turn into ghost towns, yet you get so much sun, fresh breezy air and good food. And reuniting with some of the dearest people in my life was absolute bliss.

And because this partly is a lifestyle blog, I’m supposed to brag, so I’m not going to tell you that I was ill, snotty and feverish almost every moment of the holidays, could not taste or smell a thing (hello, pineaple, Manchego cheese and fresh squid, I remember what you looked like) and felt my head was exploding.

MIU_8825… eeeeeh!!!

MIU_8815

MIU_8780Sea and mountains, my two favourite things in the world. In one shot.

MIU_8775Protest in yellow.

MIU_8772MIU_8771MIU_8762… and an empty sand beach – to be compared to any moment between June and Aeptember in any given year.

Compromise.

Blogroll, Traveling

Travelling, inevitably (in my case) involves the willingness to make compromises. There are too many inner and outer factors which may not make the journey as you planned. Weather, availability of resources (money and time). The trick is to enjoy what you have and make the most of it, and not to mourn what you could not do. Actually if everything went as you planned and with no surprises when travelling, you probably did something wrong.

And these pictures document the result of our Italian holiday. A bit of Toscana, and a bit of Rome.

Let’s begin with some general landscape pictures. Happy scrolling!:)

MIU_6997MIU_6998MIU_7003MIU_6952MIU_6967MIU_7399MIU_7607

And my personal favourite:

MIU_7565

Now some a few Toscan details:

MIU_6985MIU_7012MIU_7130MIU_7396MIU_7269MIU_7296MIU_7594MIU_7626

… and more pictures from our Toscan adventures.

Montefioralle – a lovely village in the heart of Chianti.MIU_6993

Roccatederighi.MIU_7459MIU_7448MIU_7428MIU_7412MIU_7473MIU_7421

Montalcino. Of course.MIU_7485MIU_7479

Bagni di Petriolo.MIU_7545

Pisa maybe. Whoever came up with those idiotic leaning/supporting pictures…MIU_7388

San Gimignano. Because cats, ice-cream and Unesco.MIU_7097MIU_7085MIU_7139MIU_7146

A day trip to La Spezia and Riomaggiore.MIU_7160MIU_7164MIU_7166MIU_7171MIU_7200MIU_7204MIU_7260MIU_7265MIU_7267MIU_7289MIU_7305

… via Carrara, of course.MIU_7320MIU_7339MIU_7359

We also travelled to and around Pienza.MIU_7621MIU_7610MIU_7607MIU_7594

Oh and not to forget Pistoia (amazing Renaissance architecture)and Montecatini (an old and ultracool funicular to the top of the hill – the views, ah the views)!MIU_7663MIU_7656MIU_7690MIU_7716

And then we visited Rome. For the first time in our lives (the shame). There were the tourist bits…MIU_7835MIU_7923MIU_7927MIU_8011MIU_8023

… and not that touristy bits… MIU_7880MIU_7891MIU_7899MIU_8026MIU_8031

… and then there was EUR, aka the Mussolini bits. MIU_7962MIU_7963MIU_7943MIU_7968MIU_7973MIU_7978MIU_7999MIU_7998MIU_7982

It was good. I did not see all I wanted but I saw things I thought I would not see, and I tasted the best pasta in the history of humanity and bought a Carrara marble mortel. I vote yes.

Friends.

Blogroll, Traveling

That kind that you meet after *add any period of time* and just carry on as if nothing happened in the meanwhile. That kind you unfortunately cannot spend time with as often as you want – because they may be thousands of miles away. Those friends who made you discover and accept that the connection you once made is way too precious to throw away.

We know that they are somewhere and that they care about you. We watch each other grow and develop (thanks, internet), and we debrief and catch-up now and again in person.

And then, one day, you meet them (yes, two of them) only in order to see them marry each other.

I was no there to take pictures of the wedding, there were more qualified people to do so, and I’m sure the outcome will be awesome. I feel so honoured to have been there, to share and witness, to see happiness and love and to be happy on someone else’s behalf. It was even so more special as the wedding took place in their hometown(s). I cannot share the atmosphere of the wedding with you, it is way too personal, but I can share the atmosphere of the nearby towns (Tarragona) …

MIU_6825MIU_6802MIU_6805MIU_6808MIU_6812MIU_6815MIU_6802MIU_6839

MIU_6752MIU_6748

and village (Cabra del Camp).

MIU_6779MIU_6755MIU_6783MIU_6785MIU_6789MIU_6704

Please accept apologies from my side for being emotional beyond description in this post. We had a great, great time and the weather was just, well, pure summer, the food delicious and the time spent with friends priceless.

Shortly on Naantali and Härmälä gorge.

Blogroll, Finland, Picture a day, Traveling, Turku

I will be really brief when it comes to telling you about Naantali, a traditional spa-town close to Turku. It is what a spa-town should be like – cosy, small, touristy and close to the water. Nowadays most tourists come to Naantali to take either a fake steam-boat cruise or go to the Moomin theme park. We were not interested in either, just walked around and visited the tiny and somehow unimpressive museum.

But Naantali, that is off-white, lace and beige. Wood and cobble stones. Sea and ice-cream.

MIU_6294MIU_6297MIU_6291

And then I HAD to go and visit the Härmälä gorge, ie. a big crack in rock. It was great to walk/crawl through it, but impossible to take decent pictures due to an impossible angle – camera lens combination. If you want to know more, take a peek here. I would definitely recommend to visit if you are around Turku, and please do so during some unpopular times as the crack might get crowded during summer weekends (and totally empty in winter). Mass tourism, hey.