This post is more for myself, to see what the cards look like together. If interested, please do get in touch!
What does a non-diving diver’s wife do while her better half is testing some new gear in a place like this?
(I actually love – or hate love – how disturbing the above picture is! I hate the composition, it stresses me every time I look at it. It feels as… as if the forest would not fit in the picture, as if it was pressing down on the lake. Interesting how bad composition can affect (some)one’s emotions.)
She walks. It was a race and I won, I managed to hike around the Iso-Melkutin lake. It was nothing extraordinary, the scenery was pretty much like this all the time:
And it was super peaceful of course, after all it’s Finland and Sunday late afternoon. I was at least hoping to spot a lynx, but was out of luck this time.
There must have been a wind storm in the area not a long time ago, there were plenties of logs and branches in the water (and along the path). More than usual. In combination with the lake’s clear water it was a nice scenery.
And some sun-kissed reeds from the walk – needless to say I proper wet my shoes while taking picture of these fluffy ones.
And these nameless ones.
And the picture of the day for the most faithful of my readers: sun, water, wet shoes and the good old nameless flower.
Don’t get me wrong, it does get a bit boring at times when you are with the divers but you “actually… don’t dive”, and the thought You never know in advance how long they’re going to take, there are no amenities around, in case of bad weather there is nowhere to hide and it gets a bit boring, and you feel like a short-order cook when you start lighting up the fire and grill the sausages. But actually at that point it is mostly for you, ’cause you are starving and tired of waiting.
After that your better half smells of mud and rubber and… you are glad that he is fine.
Today has been a particularly weird day. Former Finnish president Mauno Koivisto was buried today, the state funeral was aired and everyone has been feeling kinda under the weather. The emotions, once again, just hopped on the others – or maybe it was just me.
A nice BLT sandwich and a few hours outside around Ruukinranta in Espoo (that’s where Galen Kallela museum is!) did it for my part. And close to the port I found these buttercups and they are for Mauno.
The port, yeah, well there were some boats and buoys, and I guess this diesel pump has had it 😀
There are some lovely Villas around Ruukinranta, something like old Westend, but much more picturesque. More wood and more soul. And more houses for sale with “minor roof damages” – but with amazing tile stoves or wooden furnitures! Dining table, I’m coming back for you 😉
The downsides of the area are bad collective traffic connections and the omnipresent humming noise from the nearby highway. I’m sure the locals love the Turku motorway.
A short walk from the port and Villa Åkerblom, a popular event venue dressed up as a humble wooden villa, is the famous Villa Elfvik. It is, in fact, a nature education centre with a cosy café, several children- and wheelchair-friendly nature trails, a bird-watching tower and… nature diversity. It was remarkably awesome! Seriously, a lovely Espoo surprise. We’re coming back on bikes, so expect more pictures within the next weeks!
So, this is the main venue, Villa Elfvik…
… a garden gazebo…
… and the nature trail!
There were birds nesting. Apparently.
And this is Otaniemi and Aalto University.
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!
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.
Setting off from Jollas…
… not fitting under the Hevossaaren bridge, fortunately we only got to wait about 3 minutes for the show…
… 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.
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.
Watching these freaks jump into ice-cold water did cheer me up a bit. But the drunk wife who blocked my views did not.
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.
Oh and we have had some sun recently. I’ve been exploring Taka-Töölö (Rear-Töölö) and focused on happy colours this time…
… 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),
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.
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).
Töölö doors. Töölö gate bars. Töölö atmosphere from when Finland was a newborn…
(The heading of this post inspired by Michal.)
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…
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.
Living near greenery calms one down – the peace and calming colours bring down the blood pressure, monotonous sounds soothes the busy and stressed mind and the overall abundance of non-man-made stimuli inspire the mind.
Also, I love skiing and running, picking berries, avoiding idiots, grilling marshmallows and taking pictures, so the general proximity of nature works pretty well for me!
As I advertised last time, we spent a week in Lapland. And it was quite nice, although for some reasons hard to comprehend not as nice as I would wish. Now, I actually did not take that many pictures, because I find carrying a DSLR on ski trips awkward. Also… how many pictures of snowy landscapes does one actually fancy looking at in April?
Not that much of azure-blue skies, more silvery beige tones. Nah, I absolutely adore Lapland, but after a long and particularly gray winter I’m not that thrilled any more.
On a more spring-like note, a few shots from the short walks around parks and nature reserves in Helsinki area. As you can see, I got a bit carried away by moss...
Do expect more photos tonight or tomorrow. So long, m’friends!
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.
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.
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…
… long time no sea? Time to travel to the archipelago then!
I admit the following pictures was taken by mistake. Makes a perfect background material for further projects though!
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.
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.
(the last shot is a bit Instagrammed, I admit.)
And some evening impressions from Vaasa harbour:
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 😦
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.
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.
And here we go, Jeppis aka Jakobstad aka Pietersaari (Iknowright). Well. There were some pretty houses, but this was my first impression:
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!