Autumn.

Architecture, Art, Blogroll, Film Photography, Finland

And those shades of yellow and orange are here to distract us from the rest of the world going gray, dark and scratchy in the throat (that is the real reason, not just the green chlorophyll in leaves diminishing and the yellow pigment becoming dominant). I thought I would overplay this – and play around with this Yodica Vega special effects film a bit. After all, soon we will be looking hard to find any colours again out there, so why not overpower.

I quite like how they look turned out though, especially the portraits. Yes, you guessed it, the main motive of all my shootings remains quite clear. The child. But hey, the hue changes as the aperture/amount of light does, so the result is pretty exciting each time.

So here we have the child, some brutalist architecture, rime, grass, water and random twigs. Experimenting around home at its best.

Autumn.

Blogroll, Corona, Film Photography, Finland, nature, photography, Picture a day, Pikku, Sunsets

What captures autumn atmosphere better than a bunch of black-and-white photographs?

Not much, maybe those little occurrences such as a few acorns in the bed and dried leaves stuck on my cardigan.

Every year, at the beginning of autumn I get a bit emotional. You know by now. I rant about it every year, not only in this blog. It is the time of the year when so much (re)starts school, free-time activities, new jobs, new acquaintances. I find that the Hebrew calendar suits me much better in this (and many other) respects, with its cheerful yet relaxed pace into the new year. For me, the 5781 has started (a belated happy new year to everyone!) pretty well, I feel fulfilled after a quick trip to the homeland, despite all covid-caused restrictions and the fact that… that I’m now stuck at home for a couple weeks in an (in)voluntary quarantine. With a toddler (and) soon with the +1 going -1 for a week – that’s quite a perspective.

New connections and activities for near future have been discussed and planned, but it is nothing that I hope will improve the quality of my life as it is. Life is not a waiting game. Well what else to do than to take a day at a time…

(Confession: I actually really like this volatility and changeability – herewith I apologise to my current and future employers. I like planning, I just somehow live alongside my plans, I’m not living them.)

Where two seas meet.

Blogroll, Film Photography, Finland, nature, Pikku

This was probably it, our only week of family holidays this summer. Fortunately, it happened to be by the sea – in fact, as Lea said, by two seas, separated by a sandspit. We made it all the way up to Kalajoki, one of like two spots in Finland with real sandy beaches.

We did enjoy ourselves, but the situation remains bleak – I mean, the life goes on, children are being born (literally all my friends are expecting this year, which is a great thing of course but also reminds me of how few friends I have…) and start schools, people commute to work and shop, commuter trains are filling up.

Now, I’ve been trapped in mu loneliness pit for some time – studying on my own, working from home, looking after a baby/toddler, moving houses (and countries) – and the uncertainty of the current situation somewhat worsens it. I’m all for travelling responsibly, but how does one travel without putting the family and the wider society in jeopardy economy and health-wise? It feels foolish wanting to travel, explore, relax and do nothing somewhere else and take a break while we should take life seriously. It feels selfish to dream of a job that is not essential to the society in any way. It feels unimportant wishing I had more friends in times where we should not really be making that much contact with others. It feels strange squandering money on a film scanner (yes I did) when people are losing jobs…

… are we allowed to let go? Are we allowed to have fun? Is it appropriate? Or shall we just put on a face mask and a serious face underneath and act responsibly at all times?

(Which reminds me – yesterday I was like the only person wearing a face mask on the bus. For those of you who do not know, masks are recommended in public transport in Finland, yet not compulsory. I walked down the aisle (of the bus, not a church) and those non-believers not wearing a mask just looked aside. Every single of them. I mean I was not even trying to make eye contact, just listening to my favourite podcast.)

Of course I have not been sitting still. Actually, we have done a lot of small trips around, visiting various bodies of water, animals, berries, mushrooms and other places that are not Home. And that was great of course, especially when we were joined by some company, so things are not awful, they just could be more comprehensible.

Here, enjoy a few pictures of mushrooms. Because Lea loves them. And because I wanted to boast – they were in my first negative batch I developed by myself.

Parallel.

Art, nature, Picture a day

I had to wait for my 35 mm film scan, and then jigged a little when I finally received the link to the scans. I won’t bore you with pictures of L. aka the most photographed object since may 2018. Instead, I chose these straight lines. I say, how exciting.

Beach bushes in making.

These *plant* (sorry, I paid zero attention to the species) had so much energy inside. Having felt the spring sun, they quickly grew upwards following a nearly perfect straight line. One by one, side by side. I loved the sight, it was so relatable, so juvenile and honest.

Today I noticed that I hardly ever write when feeling a spurt of energy, rather, I “wait” for a post-migraine palsy or a depression bit or 11pm after another toddler day or those 5 minutes I have before needing to run to the nursery. See, it is a form of a therapy, or effort to normalise my situation and feelings as it stands. Well at the moment I’m riiight in the middle of one or more of the above-mentioned and am now enjoying my flimsy wings that will carry me out of it. At least half-way.

Because all is well.

Blogroll, Corona, Lifestyle

We are not spending too much time around others, we are not taking collective transport and we have become experts on getting on each other’s nerves – and my wanderlust is on level 534. Instead of dividing my active time between family and working on that PhD a few hours per day I would prefer doing, errr, pretty much anything right now – including actually staying at home and having time for things. Especially now when I have so many unfinished projects and project ideas going on that I’m ashamed of myself as a human being.

Too bad? No. It is how it is, we are all reasonably healthy, we are developing some extreme partnership skills and the weather has been pleasantly random. Oh and of course, Lela won’t stop amazing (and draining) me . Ever. So I don’t think I should mention this ever again, because content is gold.

So I’m just writing this to save myself a moment and let you all know that all, after all, is well.

Diary.

Blogroll, Finland, Winter frolics

I’ve been keeping a diary for some time now – for various reasons. It has helped me to focus and stay sharp; also, it is a habit that I have been able to keep. The problem is that it has kept me from sharing myself online, which I think is a pity. Not that my visitor numbers would be high, I just thought I could peeking out again. So hello!

Reeds and attempts of ice on an unusually warm Sunday in late January. In South Finland, that is. Wait, it is February already… this picture has just lost some of its charm ūüėÄ

I have been properly activating myself, signing up for a lot of voluntary activities that I do not burn for (that was the idea) and trying to get busy with art again although a certain someone has been successfully stopping me from it. I have been rather grateful lately – for health, for material wealth, for wisdom and… for the fact that I have been able to avoid ways of living that would destroy me in the long run. Also, for the skills I have been developing in the past years – patience, fatigue resistance and humbleness.

And I think that Dry February is absolute bullsh*t – everybody who feel like they should take part in it might like to look at their alcohol consuming habits and other life choices in general. But the whole challenge made me think about my identity, my presence, my visibility.

I’m afraid I will never make it into the news – I’m not an exceptional scientist (in fact, I do not want to work in research), I don’t take drugs or drink and I don’t think I will need to recover from dependency on these, I don’t live in a country exotic enough to my compatriots and because I ignore social media I remain invisible to most people (including my peers). My health troubles have prevented me from achieving what I had imagined, but they are not interesting or serious enough. My art is breakthrough in its honesty, that is, how little I depend on Photoshop and general augmentation and instead rely on tangible media. My life is not drastically minimalist or zero-waste, my taste is somehow different but not crazy enough. I’m not exceptionally anything, but I’m exceptional. And I feel good about that.

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

Blogroll

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.

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¬īs 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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The sunniest place in Finland.

Blogroll, Finland, Pampas, Picture a day, Traveling

Is in √Ėsterbotten, more specifically, it is the town of¬†Vaasa. It quickly became one of my top towns in Finland, and yes, it should be the place which receives the most sunshine in Finland. I only spend there a day and did not take any pictures, just used the sun thing as a click-bait.

Nah I did take some pics, like these from the¬†Edvinin puisto¬†–¬†Edvin’s park, a smallish recreational park filled with amateur scrape metal sculptures just like these:

The following batch of photos, in fact, is taken in Närpes, where our tomatoes and cucumbers and flowers grow, and to where large quantities of immigrants move to work. So this would be the most representative photograph of the area:

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Another interesting sight would be these church stalls – yep, over 120 wooden stalls for the church visitors’ horses. They were in surprising good conditions, although I cannot really think of a good way to use these. One stood open so I took a peek – and it was empty, then I tried to spy in the wood cracks and none of the stalls seems to be in any kind of use at the moment…

A couple of Swedish miles (one Swedish mile = 10 km) away from Vaasa I drove and walked around the coast line. It was great as usual, I mean this blog is over-flooding with blue-green landscape sceneries and boats and alike.

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While in N√§rpes I also visited¬†Kristinestad a bit – a tiny picturesque town with a historic centre and the curious¬†Carlsro¬†museum. The wooden villa (which is not electrified by the way) belonged to a certain Carlstr√∂m, local tradesman and ship-maker of the late 19th and early 20th century. The business did not go that well in the end and he shot himself in 1910. To cut the long story shot, the villa stood abandoned for some time and deteriorated accordingly and was sold in an auction in the early 1960s for close to nothing to a local weirdo. The idea was that in the worst case he could use the building material as fire wood, but fortunately, he did not do that, instead, he filled the villa with all kinds of old/antique/strange/novelty/curious objects. It really is crammed with random stuff! Well, come and see for yourself, the piles of pots, books, dolls, mirrors, shoemaker accessories look particularly interesting in the omnipresent gloomy dusk…

 

… while the house itself is really fresh and inviting on the outside …

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… for the most part at least.

And as you can see from the pictures, the sunshine was abundant, so there is something to the sunniest-place-gossip!