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:

MIU_5918MIU_5946

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.

MIU_5947

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

MIU_5932MIU_5931

And these nameless ones.

MIU_5924MIU_5920

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

MIU_5927

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.

 

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.

 

Outdoors.

Blogroll, Helsinki, Lifestyle, Likes, Picture a day, Traveling, Winter frolics

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?

MIU_5426MIU_5425MIU_5424MIU_5423MIU_5419

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...

MIU_5446MIU_5461MIU_5439MIU_5444

Do expect more photos tonight or tomorrow. So long, m’friends!

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!

New Year, new year.

Blogroll, Finland, Lifestyle, Likes, Picture a day, SoMe, Traveling

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…

miu_4614miu_4623miu_4629miu_4637miu_4663-2miu_4667-2miu_4679miu_4681miu_4698-2

I’m particularly fond of the following photo, taken after the sun had disappeared behind the Petrin Hill:

miu_4713-2Nice. 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.

miu_4724-2miu_4721

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. 

And keep well.

Nature vs. Nurture.

Blogroll, Helsinki, Lifestyle, Winter frolics

… or how was it? I never noticed this tree in Kamppi, a place which I pass many times every week. Looks quite nice in contrast to the sunshine (for real)-illuminated sky. I mean, the tree is located at one of the busiest spots in Helsinki, thousands of people and hundreds of buses pass by every day, and it just stands there peacefully and bears whatever we pass onto it.

miu_4199miu_4208

… just like the people closest to us, right?

As you can see, the snow is gone, long live the snowy frosty weather. Together with the snow, my better half departed for an adventure and he took some of my worries with him. There is much to do still, apply for grants, meet VIPs, ingratiate myself with gatekeepers, visit more Swedish speaking areas, take pictures of whatever I have made lately…

… sorry but due to certain circumstances, or certain people using this blog as their stalking platform, I cannot share more at this point. But I shall, I’ve used this platform for 10 years and no lack of respect shall change this 😉

miu_4225miu_4221miu_4219

^ our beloved apartment building. For another several months at least. The picture is taken yesterday, note the winter sky contrasting those miniature apples (I always wondered whether they are edible…).

An hour and about 1000 steps later:

miu_4258miu_4252miu_4256

This is the official Christmas street of Finland, and an unofficial and accidental tram no. 4 – and the legendary Stockmann department store clock. I mean yeah, it is Christmasy, yet nothing I’d blog about… oh oops!

Another part of the Christmas street is the shop window scene at Stockmann. I have no idea what was in the window this year, all I could see was… blue and black silhouettes.

miu_4245

Oh and may your Advent Sunday be blessed! Cannot wait to be with the loved ones, nothing can beat a family get-together, watch the little and elder ones alike… And for those curious about our humble season decorations, do not despair, they will be documented once there is daylight.

Cheers to good life!

(not with this glass though, found downtown, abandoned yet still shining)

Relief.

Blogroll, Finland, Helsinki, Lifestyle, nature, Winter frolics

If you’ve been wondering what has kept me away from the blog /I’m sure you were worried sick/ it was a mild yet annoying enough case of bronchitis. Or to be more precise, head pounding from sinus headaches. Things seem to be somehow better now, so I took a chance and stepped out of my den yesterday.

And my roads led to… the supermarket. I took the sightseeing tour though and got to enjoy the snow for the first time since it arrived. Oh and it was wonderful. Together with my (almost complete) recovery other things happened in my semi-personal life which enhanced my general well-being, the walk in the sun somewhere in Oittaa put me back on the right track and helped bat all the worries and ugly away. Life is fine again.

First, I found myself at the end of the world.

miu_4091

Turned myself around and saw the silent faces under the snow blanket…

miu_4098

And now, check out the snow: how does it even stay on those almost vertical branches? What a marvelous result of the wind force combined with the gravity and the way snowflakes hit the branches!

miu_4116miu_4145miu_4149miu_4111

At the risk of being Captain Obvious, snow equals winter for me. And melting snow and icicles equals spring. This, however, is not the case any more in central Europe or the UK, so hey yet another reason to be glad about living up North! To be honest with you, they promised rain and above-zero temperatures again next week, so soon we will say goodbye to this shiny sign of Yuletid,  illuminating the otherwise rather dark land- and cityscapes. The snow, too, shall pass. And come again when it really is the time.

miu_4117miu_4131

What else – I’m currently working on a several art projects which are kind of secret (Christmas, baby) and pretty messy, but hopefully worth it. They include (in no particular order) metal, lino, a pack of styluses, paint and woolen thread.

And hoping I get my other camera working for a good cause – hope someone will get to use it soon and will share the results with us. *drinking a glöggi toast to that as I “speak”*