Speed hike. Speed dive.

Blogroll, Finland, Lifestyle, Picture a day, Sunsets

What does a non-diving diver’s wife do while her better half is testing some new gear in a place like this?

MIU_5935(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:

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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.

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And some sun-kissed reeds from the walk – needless to say I proper wet my shoes while taking picture of these fluffy ones.

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And these nameless ones.

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And the picture of the day for the most faithful of my readers: sun, water, wet shoes and the good old nameless flower.

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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.

 

Darkness.

Blogroll, Helsinki, Immigrant integration, Picture a day, Sunsets

Is here, it’s in our bodies, minds, it is slowing us down and make us appreciate light in all forms – fire, candles, stars, precious rays of sunshine, smiles, sparks in eyes, hugs. And occasional walks on the freezing cold sea promenade.

miu_3936miu_3883miu_3868I guess we indeed are..?miu_3863

And otherwise I’ve been learning more about what it is like to be a refugee, a newcomer to a society, and what kind of treatment one would wish to experience in this situation. Was invited to one’s home, I feel very honoured. I will inform you once it has materialised. Oh and I gave my first lecture, 90 minutes of stress + IBS + sleepless nights beforehand, but I think it went quite well and made my mum proud. Apparently that was just the start, but maybe there will be others who see some sense in what I’m doing.

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Sorry, these pics has been inserted kind of randomly, but don’t you love the sun reflection in the windows? And the evil looks?

I’ve been also thinking about the concept of home, about family and other essential questions, but posting these thoughts would have been unnecessarily messy and uninteresting for this blog. Or would you really be interested in my recent favourites when it comes to housing or taking care of children? 😉

So instead I follow the fashion of like 95% of female bloggers and recommend making yourself a nice cuppa, light up a scented candle and snuggle in the bed watching Netflix or reading books from Helsinki Book Fair (well THAT would be my October haul! 3x Tove Jansson – for adults mostly – and a free mug, oh and numerous magazines and magazine samples, some literature reviews, catalogues aka wishlists, some inspirational talks heard a random old book on something Finnish army related… not bad!).

Speaking of Netflix, I subscribed. I feel so mainstream again, I guess it’s what I needed right now. That and some clothes shopping and I feel much more self-confident to be, look, think and behave in alternative ways. How bizarre. 

Besides I’ve been trying to take on drawing more seriously, some attempts can be found on my instagram (feel free to follow). And drinking tea.

Bearers and keepers.

Blogroll, Helsinki, Immigrant integration, Lifestyle, Picture a day, Sunsets

I spotted them today on numerous occasions. They appeared inconspicuously. Overnight. Unremarked by (social) media. Yet we are talking about the unequivocal sign of winter. Bearers of darkness and sub-zero temperatures: I’m looking at you, all those thousands of aurauskepit (“ploughing sticks”) sown all around Finland. These plastic sticks of varying length are placed along curbs and those no-man areas along the roads, those random patches of grass, narrow concrete passes, etc.

Their obvious purpose is to mark road raises and descents, such as curbs, pavements, road shoulders, ditches etc. once these get covered in snow. What else is there to add?

The weather was surprisingly mild today, but the temperatures get very close to 0°C at night, and I suspect that they might make it below zero this week. We shall see.

Today we went through yet another flat viewing. Or house viewing. It went surprisingly well for a village quite far away from Helsinki. The surroundings were pretty autumny. Dusky. With few colours left.

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miu_3795(I particularly like the one above. Sums it up all. Graveyard. Autumn. Time.)

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Also, I managed to slip to the nearby cemetery and found the grave of Charlotta Lönnqvist, the benefactor of Aleksis Kivi, one of most famous Finnish authors of all times. Charlotta is still cherished and loved by many people, particularly for her kindness, love for Aleksis and art and down-to-earth attitude…

… and then we arrived home and a sunset happened:

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Now, I’ve been somehow busy with all kinds of home improvement and decoration lately. I blame the daily dumpster diving sessions – so far I’ve found 2 brand new (!) ikea Ribba pictures shelves, a collection of white flower pots (the largest of these is now serving as a storage bin for posters, wrapping paper, etc.), a retro kitchen jar trending on Finnish auction sites and this awesome Fazer biscuit tin (probably rather aged). These have been appropriately cleaned and have been stored for future use 😉

The dumpster diving procedure goes as follows: 1. Check out the situation in the inner yard. I’m not too confident going through rubbish in front of others. Yet. 2. Look into the bin and identify any interesting items. Empty boxes and bags which might contain more items. 3. Quickly grab the haul and walk quickly towards the door. 4. Walk into the janitor and about 57931 other people in the elevator hall, despite this being otherwise empty. Greet your neighbour and have a small talk with them. Blush. Be sure that one of the people you’ve just met was the one who threw out the item into the bin. 5. At home, think again about what you just brought with you. On the next occasion bring half of the items back into the bin. 6. Clean the sh*t out of the hauled items. 7. Bring most of them upstairs in the attics, cause you don’t want to use them just yet. 8. Tell your better half. Be pleased with yourself.

So why am I doing this?!

I’m a sucker for old, quality things – and of course I can appreciate a bargain. Most items I find in the recycling centre/thrift store/bin are items of timeless design, are quality (!), have been almost always made in Europe (if not in Finland) and have some direct connection to this country. Or to the time and place they were manufactured.

Besides, I would like my children to be able to inherit some items with a (hi)story. Either I get the item from the above-mentioned places, or I buy hand-crafted or designer items, or I make and reuse a plenty – typically I would make or order-to-be-made cushion covers, as I think cushion covers are great for saving random bits of fabric which would otherwise not be used or shown. Chances are that some of these items might not be appreciated by the kids, or my better half – but that’s fine. That is their choice. But if I just followed lifestyle trends, what would I end up with at the end otherwise? A batch of poor quality IKEA glasses and dressers of mass character or Pepco/Lidl/KiK ceramic stars or “Home” signs made in East Asia..? Meh.

What else has been going on – hmm, I have been thinking about “my” immigrant families, I have been trying to – rationally and emotionally – understand their situation, especially that of those who will be most probably excluded from the Finnish labour market for some time (or forever) and  I have some thoughts. I’ve made myself present in the course, kinda tried to establish contact with the students and gain their trust. Once I’ve collected enough of material I will share the conclusions with you, but not quite yet. But, inshallah, soon!

Golden hour. Or golden 16 minutes.

Blogroll, Helsinki, Picture a day, Sunsets

A few moments of joy after a day spent fighting migraines and other troubles. The beautiful light was followed by hot juice and bun – I bet that helped too!

I’m kind of thinking already about what to post about tomorrow. It has to be about my new hobby: dumpster diving. As some of you know, our beautiful  and beloved house is soon undergoing repair work, and we will have to leave our den (sob) at least for some time. The janitor was so kind and organised a skip in the inner yard where (rich) flat owners have been disposing of their excess junk. To cut the story short, so far I’ve rescued a glass jar which is now trending massively in Finland as an interior accessory and two shelves for framed pictures. I’ve heard rumours about a certain neighbour whom I truly respect and who might be throwing out a substantial number of books soon… Ah, bring the rubbish on!

I wash my hands and my newly acquired possessions properly by the way.

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Kirkkonummi and Villa Mehu

Blogroll, Finland, Helsinki, nature, Sunsets, Traveling

Yesterday prior to picking up boys’ wreck boat and taking it to the repair place (conveniently located next to a waste dump) we visited quite an exciting spot, Villa Mehu. If you like deserted spaces and/or Finnish nature and/or colourful pictures and you liked the statue park post from a few weeks ago, click on the above link!

On the way to Villa Mehu we passed another obviously deserted construction. It was huge; I wonder what it served as? Factory? Farm estate? Storage? All off above?

 

Villa Mehu (Villa Juice) was awesome as expected, and were surprised we were the only visitor that sunny autumn afternoon. The light of the late o’clock was wonderful, warm and golden and just added to the atmosphere of last berries of the year and the smell of wet foliage.

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Before it turned completely dark yesterday – a sight which I’ve become unused to thanks to long Finnish summer days and white nights – the long day and long moving of the “boat” was closed off with the sight of this. No. Our boat is not in the picture.

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Summer frolics.

Blogroll, Finland, Helsinki, Lifestyle, Sunsets

So I’ve been enjoying the summer, right, because that’s what just about everybody on the Northern hemisphere is doing right now. Oh. Never mind the rain and storms – and whatever preceded the rain (check out my Instagram @milleristine for more info).

On Friday I was asked to take some pictures of a folk-dance event in Grankulla/Kauniainen, Espoos cute little sibling. That was genuinely so much more fun to watch, not only through the lens!

My two favourite shots: notice the perfect “x”. And the facial expressions.

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Today another lovely sunset happened (in fact it is still happening, white nights are the bestest thing); this time my beloved Karhula food jars noticed as well.

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And a little reminder for everyone: let’s start all afresh tomorrow. Let’s make the coming week work.