(Re)starting while the nature is getting ready to rest.

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Unlike in the real (continental) Europe in Finland the autumn has already arrived – pretty much everyone is back at work, children are back at school, leaves are slowly turning yellow, the sun angle is smaller, too (read: shining into your face all the time), there is actual darkness at nights and all the new hobbies at adult and children’s education centres are about to commence within the next couple of weeks. The nature is getting ready to rest, everything is slowing down, and we are entering new life phases and making big changes. Alright!

Yes: another “starting afresh” post from me – but, to be honest, since getting a kid I’m constantly on some kind of a learning curve as opposed of being trapped in some kind of a stereotype. Every day is different, every day has some great highs and absolutely dreadful lows, and, some inevitable have-to-survive-this moments. This doesn’t mean I need some change in my life regarding (baby) free-time, I absolutely do, but I live in my own happy space-time where the only indicator of the time as understood by other people is my little Lela.

This, too, shall soon change, but I have to admit that me, a person who aspires, will achieve and needs results (and compares the results with pretty much anything in the world), have finally learnt to take small steps and allow myself take time in letting the changes sink in. Also, there have been some profound changes in my life recently, and no, not just Lela-related. I grow as a person. I’m full of ides. I have been changing my diet and my lifestyle as such. I buy very little and recycle a lot. And, while I’m so looking forward to boxing again this autumn, I do not feel I’m starting afresh. Rather, I’m just accepting that things have changed for some time (just like the furrowed lake surface in the picture above), and I’m just in the flow. All is good.

Thinking aloud #1: People with a skill are super attractive.

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Never mind the actual skill, I really find whoever knows their ropes really interesting.

As a child, I was never led to find and keep a hobby. Something I could get skills and friends through, besides the joy of doing the hobby, and I have to say that I feel the aftermath of this voidness even nowadays. Maybe that’s why I nowadays (and maybe even back in the days) my respect to those with a skill – playing an instrument, mastering the perfect cartwheel, knowing one or more programming languages, etc. –  grows instantly, and so does their overall attractiveness score. There is not such a thing as a boring nerd.

And because there is a little bit of Lela in everything I do nowadays, let me just say that this is how I wish to bring her up. Respect comes from wisdom and skill (and love), not from power or fear.

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(unrelated picture from our trip to Warsaw a long time ago… yeah, a few months at least)

Doing in order not to be not doing it. And pictures from Warsaw.

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I think that we all remember our parents asking us with a lot of reproach at some point in our childhood or teenhood that annoying and well-worn question “If (s)he jumped off a bridge would you?” – usually as a reaction to our pitiable excuse for doing that silly something that that friend did too (and before us).

Now, many years later, I noticed a social trend (ha!) that has become even so obvious with the wide-spread use of social media. I called it doing it for not not doing it. It is a bit like doing what our peers are doing. Only his time we are not following a silly friend, but we are doing what others in our physical, social, industry or virtual surrounding – and, importantly, very often those we do not know – are doing not for the thrill, but for the fear of being labeled as “those who are not doing it“. It is rather interesting, nowadays we hear from everywhere that we should be original and not be afraid to step out or think outside the box (anyone else hates these buzzphrases?), yet the fear of not being a member of the herd is real. 

For example several weeks before the Helsinki Pride, random companies, organisations, associations, political parties, restaurants, probably even daycare centres and post offices, well, everybody was turning all rainbow and sexual minorities aware and friendly (errr… I don’t know how a company of tens of thousands employees can “be” anything in the first place, but let’s leave this aside for now), and of course, there is nothing wrong with it when you actually mean it, feel for the rights of minorities and your (organisation’s) values are somehow connected to those of the minorities – but at some points, the number of fans and supporters reached a critical mass and the support became and issue of who is not with us.

And that is wrong.

It forces peoples and organisations to hypocrisy and soulless trend following, and dishonour the original thought or cause.

Surely, trends spread and once they have reached enough people and have lingered about for a while, they are replaced by another one. Yet one thing is the way trends emerge and spread, yet whole another is how we are forced to submit to the trend in order not to be associated with its opposite.

So no, just because I’m not not Charlie or I do not associate myself openly with Helsinki Pride, it does not mean that I do not feel with the editorial staff of Charlie Hedbo or that I’m a homophobe. I just don’t want to be a part of this.

And now time for a batch of completely unrelated pictures: Warsaw. On analog camera. I liked the city and I’m satisfied with the way the pictures turned out.

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… and a picture everyone who has ever been to Warsaw has:

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Care.

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Among recognisable signs that someone actually cares for you is a simple French braid. Someone took pain to touch your hair and plait it pretty. Or polished your nails. Or made a dish for you that they don’t like. Or actually said that they care for you. Or let you sleep on you all day when you had fever. Or puts up with night feeds or your habits and moods. Or you just think you see that in their eyes.

And you feel accepted and calm.

I miss being in Prague. I miss my family and friends, I miss knowing the ways of doing, I miss knowing where I am going… but my place right now is, well, where I am right now.

This too shall pass.

Blogroll, Finland, Pikku

My daughter feeds me, combs my hair, smiles at me and plays by my side. Cuddles, squeaks, babbles, smacks her lips. And I realise with every day to come that one day, one day quite soon, this precious time the two of use have will end. We will get (back to) our commitments, interests and ways of getting through the day. We will be mum&daughter forever, but it will change.

I’m writing this as a reminder to myself that although some days are less bearable than others, that it is not in one’s power to be the perfect entertaining-attending-active mother at all times, that this baby time is so valuable. I *need* more time for myself, I need more company, I need tricks to get my baby to fall asleep faster and to eat better. I need and want to develop myself in other ways than, uhm, being caring, patient and multitasking.

But I will miss being a mum of tiny Lela.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!!!

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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!:)

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And my personal favourite:

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Now some a few Toscan details:

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… 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.