Although there was this common recommendation not to travel to Lapland we… we decided to do it anyways. At the end of the day, we felt much safer in a cabin in the fells than in a flat in the capital region. Opportunities for meeting others were very limited and even more limited for those who injured their knees on the first day and were then unable to part-take in any decent winter activities.
Except from walking short distances and visiting a reindeer farm.
And yes, the (real) North remains what it has been for me since the first day I set my tired foot there (Kiruna, a.d. 2012). I have never been calmer and happier anywhere else. Maybe one day you will find me herding reindeer and spending evenings drinking black coffee and chewing on reindeer jerkies.
I admit this is – photography-wise – nothing overly original, after all these are basically cracks in the ice and some random snowy/shadowy arrangement, but I just wanted to take pictures of something that is not a toddler so bad…
Other than that, ice cracks mean that the spring is on its way. Finnish spring though, so dripping water, melting snow and more sunshine.
Apparently I posted nothing the whole seemingly-dead month. Sorry, my dear readers. It was a great winter month this year, cold and snowy, at times sunny and socially awkward. Here, enjoy some seemingly dead flowers and a not-so-seemingly-dad toddlers that I came across.
We had exactly 3 days of winter last week. Winter meaning minus degrees, snow and sun; after that it quickly turned back to good old liminal grey nonsense.
On one of these days I took a feel-good walk to the cemetery and paid tribute to the frozen cherubs.
On another day I had some business in Malmi. I wish there was something more exciting to take pictures of. Maybe some other time?
However, during the weekend we were meeting some friends on Suomenlinna. And that’s why this post will probably take you like 2 hours to load – I cannot resist taking AND uploading all the pictures. According to hardcore Suomenlinna locals such days are scarce and should be enjoyed fully. So we did that.
I don’t think these photographs need any comments: we took the ferry to the island and walked around and drank coffee and bubbly. The light was soft and warm and everything was so fluffy from frost.
I’m particularly fond of the following picture. Eeeeeeeeghh!!
Everything was fluffy and beautiful. Bikes, trees, trash along the paths, fences, rails. Everything.
The best thing is that apart from minor exposure etc. corrections no photohandling was needed.
Some views across the half-frozen sea…
Those pastel colours!!
Obviously we tried to avoid the crowds.
A little peninsula.
Isn’t that wonderful? It was. A few days later the temperatures climbed above zero and all the beauty was gone. So I resorted to books, emails, articles and sketchbook.
I’ve been postponing writing this post for so long it has become proper awkward – but awkward to whom? To my few loyal readers, or am I just using this as a self-loath tool, to prove what I have not done? Either way, the post is being written now and another item on my to-do list is being checked. Ha!
Last week we got our new supercomfortable futon mattras and a reasonably good-looking bed, got rid of a few bagfulls of stuff that does not bring us happiness no more and while giving the flat a fresh start into 2017 I thought I would be original and come up with some resolutions for the coming 12 months, with a little audit around my birthday (which is conveniently in mid June).
So what kind of year do I wish for myself?
an active and efficient one, FFS. I’ll use my potential. I know what I mean, but telling the world makes it a bit more binding. Applies to both work and fun.
I’ll take a picture a day and publish it either here or on on Instagram.
every day I’ll sketch or be otherwise artistically productive.
I will take better care of myself. The body is asking for some particular care so it will get it. Includes some weight or proportion alterations.
I won’t buy a single item of clothing from a mainstream brand. Why? Because ethics, ecology and refusing to support fast-fashion. Because I’m sick of poor quality of clothes hidden behind (designer) labels.
I’m allowed to cheat a little bit on the previous and buy things such as undies, socks, ball gown should I be invited to the Independence Day Ball and – if I made it to London this year – a piece or two from COS or Jigsaw I know I will wear a lot.
I will save toward travelling and house.
do something I have not done before every week.
be a better person for myself and others.
Get that photo project going, dang it.
Survive the pipe replacement in the house.
And learn basics of a new language – and a foreign alphabet.
So, as a part of my something-new-every-week, today I gave a good beating to the flokati wool rug I’m in a love-hate relationship with. I can still taste the dust and gunk but the relationship has shifted toward the love axe.
And for the visuals amongst you, I have some memories of Prague. Was it indeed a great day ❤ so great that I don’t mind that about a million tourists and locals will have exactly the same pictures. Kitch is good in smaller doses. Who knows where the compressions went wrong and made the pictures into bitmaps…
I’m particularly fond of the following photo, taken after the sun had disappeared behind the Petrin Hill:
Nice. Noise. I know. Not completely my fault.
I returned to 894,781 shades of grey in Finland – and to -20°C! I don’t understand why people dislike lower temperatures, I mean -15°C is so much more bearable than -2°C. Or +1°C and a foot of slush and wet snow sliding from the roofs behind your collars.
And two random thoughts for the end:
woolen socks I got from grandma rock. Roses and wool and lanolin cure and the smell of beeswax.
do you know what is the best christening present? A Google account in the baby’s name, or close to it at least. Soon Google will run out of domaines, so be creative when naming your baby.
Cudos to Martina&Michal and Victor&Antonina. What can I say, it was great to get out of stadi and enjoy some countryside life after the dreary grey parody on winter. It was still pretty cold and partly grey, but the sun did shine joyfully on Saturday and we caught some scintillae of spring in the setting sun…
The village where we stayed in was called Matilda, and it represented a very pleasant take on a holiday village. Don’t expect a countryside Disneyland, there actually is life in there – one of most renowned microbreweries in Finland, Alpaca farm, brand new marina, junk… I mean antique shop (in positive sense), bar/restaurant/meeting place for locals and tourists alike. I would not mind coming back in summer.
Usva is one of many Finnish words for mist or fog. I’m not sure what kind of mist though. Is it the optimistic one? Lingering above the ground or sea-level, fresh and crisp, promise of a new, better day? Or thick and wet, irritating your nose-trills, covering the already dull day? Or the ragged, horizontal one, opening up as you pervade it? Or the barely noticeable mist at on an early summer morning?
Well, today’s mist would fall in all of the above categories, with an exception of the summer morning (but on the plus side I could smell the spring in the air).
I only barely managed to capture the moment with the camera. Some moments are only available to human eyes and mind.
to share, but it is quite late and I cannot for the love of cats remember a letter of it. I just know it was pretty witty and deep at the same time. It was about recycling and why buying second hand makes sense, and that it is not a money matter but a concrete act of (e)conscience and fight against sweat-shop based economy. I know you are dying to know all about it, so let’s skip to the visual, shall we.
Partly because I don’t know what to say, partly because it’s pretty late, yet I cannot go to bed without posting some pictures which are safe and somehow pleasant to look at. I guarantee that they won’t make you jealous or feel bad about your life, your figure or your purpose in life. Nor will they force my life into your face. Nor will they make you feel sorry for the less fortunate ones. A few days ago I caught a sunny afternoon for once, so I grasp the opportunity and drove to Lammassaari… and walked and listened to birds and cracking ice and the humming of the cars bringing their drivers back home from work.
The second par of this post is way more concrete. Way more tangible. Way more Helsinki. I took a walk around the city centre and took picture of doors and gates. I tried to grasp the art-nouveau feel of Helsinki, the one really hard to explain to visitors acquainted with the French/Central European version of this style. Sometimes (read: often) the art-nouveau mixes with romanticism and revival of Finnish mythology, typical for late 19th century, so please excuse me not being consistent in my focus – but the walk was great. Weather, light and cars parked in front of some of the unique gates not that much.
this time of the year is Hernesaari. It is unbelievably calm(ing). It has charms of both (semi)deserted heavy industry areas and building sites on one hand and the sea and sailing on the other (check out our boat holder dock pictures from summer 2014 somewhere on this blog). And this time of the year, my friends, this oasis of peace doubles as a snow dump site (Iknowright). It is really satisfying to watch the line of trucks coming to the dump site and dumping the load into the sea and then to hear the snow fizz and see it melt… and then jump into the warm bus and be driven back to the civilisation.