To the sea.

Blogroll, Finland, Helsinki, Picture a day, Traveling

And beyond. In my efforts to escape the temporary (!) inability to interact, work and create I somehow managed to get myself beyond the boundaries of everyday life, flat, worries – it does work. After an active and no-pressure-on-performing weekend life feels much better.

First I got lost on the way to Paavolan Tammi, the Oak of Paavola. This mysterious-looking oak is located close to Lohja, about 1 hour away from Helsinki, and I managed to reach another Paavola – well at least I got to pick some tussilago flowers in the afternoon sun (!).

The tree is pretty cool – apparently 250-300 years old, trunk circumference 4,7m, and it looks very decorative. It is the only broadleaved tree on the spot, it sits on a kind of a hill and for the effect and kicks the surrounding trees have been cut down. Well why the heck not, we all need a mysterious place like this now and again!

MIU_5578MIU_5582MIU_5590MIU_5584MIU_5585

Yep, I know, I did not take the right lens. Also, the place was busy – swarming with people clutching phones in their hands and taking all kinds of instapictures – #paavolantammi anyone?

And… and on Saturday my dream might have almost come true! A private tour around Helsinki archipelago (read: we launched a boat and took it from one port to another, that is). I was not of much practical use – besides, like, holding onto some ropes and attaching them to slings and commenting on the visual aspects of the kitchen and cabin, but then I celebrated my 20 seconds of glory and steered the boat, ha! Also, it was windy and there were no ducklings or swanlings around yet.

MIU_5600

Setting off from Jollas…

MIU_5603MIU_5605

… not fitting under the Hevossaaren bridge, fortunately we only got to wait about 3 minutes for the show…

MIU_5617MIU_5623MIU_5629

… and back in Helsinki centre again!

And then we ate kebab, drank coffee, were happy – and picked up a new friend of mine. A Macbook Air. I promise I will treat it better then her previous owner, and I promise I will still love my big old Macbok Pro as much as I do now, but because the latter has to go to the service I needed a replacement (and a travel buddy). Material delights.

And today France devastated Finland in ice-hockey (and got a pretty swanky new president). God’s ways are mysterious.

 

Looking back: Vappu.

Blogroll, Finland, Helsinki, Lifestyle, Likes, Picture a day

As I said, I did not quite feel myself on May 1st, for obvious reasons I was fearing the day when everyone puts a hat on, meets friends, drinks a plenty, eats picnic and has to be jolly.

MIU_5492

Watching these freaks jump into ice-cold water did cheer me up a bit. But the drunk wife who blocked my views did not.

MIU_5502

The day before the official frolics we went to a contemporary music concert. Yes. That kind of squeaky music when you are waiting for one of the clarinetist to whack their instrument on the head of the pianist who is busy playing the piano using a microwave. I will post a report on this sooner – in Czech, ha, as a part of my blog new section 😉 very shortly: the concert was not all that bad! I actually liked it – am I really THAT old? – despite that literally all the pieces sounded like student film/psycho horror/experimental film soundtrack…

… the concert took place in Suomenlinna again – and I really liked these seagulls.

MIU_5469

Oh and we have had some sun recently. I’ve been exploring Taka-Töölö (Rear-Töölö) and focused on happy colours this time…

MIU_5521MIU_5553MIU_5550MIU_5544

… an on eating ice-cream on the cliff with some new friends. Being depressed does not mean that I don’t experience anything pleasant – but let’s not get into it now, let’s hope for the better and for the best and for… for… for better quality linopaint. I’ve had some big fails recently (today),

MIU_5545

7 minutes.

Architecture, Blogroll, Doors of Helsinki, Finland, Helsinki, Likes, Picture a day

Sometimes I like to play invisible. Unnoticed. One of the crowd.

It only takes to go out of the flat and shop for milk. Return a book to the library and have a smalltalk with the librarian. Or even to put on clothes (the basic bitch kind, nothing showing too much personality) and a kånken and get out of the flat. Just do anything as long as I feel like I’m surrounded by the anonymous crowd – and as long as people might think I’m one of them. Act. Get some life context. Pretend. 

That I have a decent (read: 9-5) job. That I’m healthy. That I’m tired like everyone else and looking forward to go home. Or to meet my imaginary friends. Or to go to a yoga course and then watch tv.

The reason why I’m trying so bad to blend in and be accepted and seen as a part of the grey crowd is the current mental state – I feel like I’m just way too odd, that everybody else is having a balanced, content life and I’m just flying by the seat of one’s pants. Having arty aspiration, working from home or profoundly alone, doing research, meeting people on my own, thinking and analysing on my own, far away from my uni, being a foreigner, currently not feeling well (spring depression anyone?) – you see, for a few minutes I was just the girl in the flower leggings sitting on the tram, stripped of my abilities, worries and fears.

MIU_5565

And two little Töölö details – I swear I did not have to photoshop these, or even use the polarizing filter: the sky really was this blue (but it was pretty chilly otherwise).

MIU_5561

Töölö doors. Töölö gate bars. Töölö atmosphere from when Finland was a newborn…

MIU_5557

(The heading of this post inspired by Michal.)

Block print rediscovered.

Art, Blogroll, Comments, Creations, Finland, Helsinki, Picture a day

This will be a quick one.

In a desperate attempt to break through as a visual artist I’ve been getting my hands dirty lately – washing printing paint off various surfaces.

These are some of the first results: Helsinki illustrated. There are more to come, these were in my eyes the most obvious things to start with for the moment: one of my favourite streets, Villagatan/Villankatu, and the messenger of spring, the elegant crane. Things get done faster when there are deadlines…

IMG_1866IMG_1868IMG_1873

Planned projects for the near future include coffee packaging, a card game and handprinted postcards. That’s the plan for the moment at least, while I’m still interviewing people and trying to make progress in my research.

Long time no see. Long time no sea.

Blogroll, Finland, Picture a day, Traveling

No, there was not much sea lately, partly due to me being abroad and around, partly ’cause the spring has not really broken out in here.

MIU_5287

No, this is not Finland. Gotcha.

THIS, however, is. The picture is take about 3 weeks ago, the ambience prevails. The fence was full of wind-torn adverts, above all election posters.

MIU_5302

But the sun shines even in the north, about 23 minutes per day. Such moments remind me of the extra long golden hours we get here in the summer…

MIU_5319MIU_5322MIU_5329

… long time no sea? Time to travel to the archipelago then!

MIU_5402MIU_5374MIU_5378MIU_5383MIU_5389MIU_5403MIU_5412

I admit the following pictures was taken by mistake. Makes a perfect background material for further projects though!

MIU_5401

Dear burglars, we are in Lapland at the moment. Our flat is flat-sat though, so don’t get excited. Dear faithful readers, you can look forward to a lot of snow-covered pictures. It has been rather cloudy lately, so no winter wonderland I’m afraid.

How to find the perfect flat?

Blogroll, Finland, Helsinki, Lifestyle

Location, location and location. The only three valid criteria for looking for the place to live – everything else can be fixed. This is valid probably to all countries except for Finland where land ownership and pretty hefty costs of repairs – not to mention the dreaded and expensive putkiremontti, aka go and eff yourselves for 3 months while we replace the water pipes in your building for no obvious reason – mean that you might, actually, give in after a while. But if you are looking for the gorgeous city apartment, try applying the following for narrowing down your search criteria:

check locations along the tram line – the trams typically serve the once residential quarters which in today’s speak mean liveable places close to the centre and with decent traffic connections.

– check locations on the train line(s) – and by that I don’t mean the underground, look for the real, hardcore suburban train. You might find really interesting spots minutes from the city centre. The bus is for plebs and the underground smells of fat and pee.

check locations close to the water – river, sea, fake lake. Just do, even when you don’t think you care that much. The current urban development trend is to build on anything solid, but you can still count on the fact that building on water surface remains technically… difficult.

don’t look at the number of rooms, that is totally misleading. You can always divide or unite the space – and actually, even the number of square metres is for orientation purposes only. Look at the dispositions, the number and location of doors, etc.

– when you considering buying a place, enjoy a short meal or a coffee there. Ignore the looks of the estate agent or the owner, just, well, see how it feels to be there when you are relaxed and occupy your mind with something else than thoughts about the technical and financial questions. This might sound superstrange, and it kind of is unusual, I admit. Women take hours shopping for their wedding dress, so why should your rush buying a flat? Word of warning: when you chuckle at the tasteless colour scheme the previous tenant left the flat in, try not to be that loud.

don’t lose hope. You can always rent – and wait. There are housing bubbles in many of European capitals. They will burst one day.

 

Österbotten vol. 3

Blogroll, Finland, Pampas, Picture a day

Where should I begin? In Vaasa probably, as it is such a vibrant and fresh little town – and I mean town, not a mere collection of houses and supermarkets (Seinäjoki, I’m looking at you). I did not have much time to walk around the town, instead, one free afternoon I made a short trip to Söderfjärden crater, at first glance quite a boring circular plain scattered with small fields. But if you are lucky enough and catch this beautiful winter golden hour light, it is pure magic.

miu_5018miu_5022miu_4999miu_5036miu_4996miu_5012img_1386(the last shot is a bit Instagrammed, I admit.)

And some evening impressions from Vaasa harbour:

MIU_5064.jpgmiu_5078miu_5068

From Vaasa I continued northwards, made a quasi-legal stop at the fox/mink farm and shed a tear. I won’t post the picture where you actually can see the distressed fox’s face 😦

miu_5090

 

And after a really interesting interview I got some fresh air (literally, sorry foxes but every time I drive between towns in Österbotten the smell hits me) in Nykarleby. Imagine these in summer.

miu_5096miu_5110miu_5099

 

Actually I don’t recall when I was passing Pedersöre – and why did I take that road. I found an abandoned meat (?) factory, or meat product factory to be more precise. It was superslippery outside, the dawn had began to set and I did not dare to climb inside. I needed (my) company.

miu_5115miu_5137miu_5121miu_5140miu_5119miu_5130

 

And here we go, Jeppis aka Jakobstad aka Pietersaari (Iknowright). Well. There were some pretty houses, but this was my first impression:

miu_5188miu_5183miu_5170miu_5186miu_5163miu_5172miu_5176

Haha, this is truly a rubbish post, just a collection of photographs, no impressions, feelings, stories. I don’t have that many stories in fact, but the people are extremely friendly in the north. Does this actually apply to all countries, that the northerners are very laid-back and friendly? Northern parts of towns are pleasant to live in? Who knows. After all Österbotten is not that far up north if you look at the map of Finland, but if you look at the population density, it actually could be.

I cannot wait to visit next time, hopefully when the days are longer and the air smells of spring and hope!