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.

(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.

Doing in order not to be not doing it. And pictures from Warsaw.

Blogroll, Likes, SoMe, Traveling

I think that we all remember our parents asking us with a lot of reproach at some point in our childhood or teenhood that annoying and well-worn question “If (s)he jumped off a bridge would you?” – usually as a reaction to our pitiable excuse for doing that silly something that that friend did too (and before us).

Now, many years later, I noticed a social trend (ha!) that has become even so obvious with the wide-spread use of social media. I called it doing it for not not doing it. It is a bit like doing what our peers are doing. Only his time we are not following a silly friend, but we are doing what others in our physical, social, industry or virtual surrounding – and, importantly, very often those we do not know – are doing not for the thrill, but for the fear of being labeled as “those who are not doing it“. It is rather interesting, nowadays we hear from everywhere that we should be original and not be afraid to step out or think outside the box (anyone else hates these buzzphrases?), yet the fear of not being a member of the herd is real. 

For example several weeks before the Helsinki Pride, random companies, organisations, associations, political parties, restaurants, probably even daycare centres and post offices, well, everybody was turning all rainbow and sexual minorities aware and friendly (errr… I don’t know how a company of tens of thousands employees can “be” anything in the first place, but let’s leave this aside for now), and of course, there is nothing wrong with it when you actually mean it, feel for the rights of minorities and your (organisation’s) values are somehow connected to those of the minorities – but at some points, the number of fans and supporters reached a critical mass and the support became and issue of who is not with us.

And that is wrong.

It forces peoples and organisations to hypocrisy and soulless trend following, and dishonour the original thought or cause.

Surely, trends spread and once they have reached enough people and have lingered about for a while, they are replaced by another one. Yet one thing is the way trends emerge and spread, yet whole another is how we are forced to submit to the trend in order not to be associated with its opposite.

So no, just because I’m not not Charlie or I do not associate myself openly with Helsinki Pride, it does not mean that I do not feel with the editorial staff of Charlie Hedbo or that I’m a homophobe. I just don’t want to be a part of this.

And now time for a batch of completely unrelated pictures: Warsaw. On analog camera. I liked the city and I’m satisfied with the way the pictures turned out.

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… and a picture everyone who has ever been to Warsaw has:

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Yesterday´s 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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Visiting Costa Brava.

Blogroll, Lifestyle, Picture a day, Traveling

Makes sense in December/January – holiday resorts turn into ghost towns, yet you get so much sun, fresh breezy air and good food. And reuniting with some of the dearest people in my life was absolute bliss.

And because this partly is a lifestyle blog, I’m supposed to brag, so I’m not going to tell you that I was ill, snotty and feverish almost every moment of the holidays, could not taste or smell a thing (hello, pineaple, Manchego cheese and fresh squid, I remember what you looked like) and felt my head was exploding.

MIU_8825… eeeeeh!!!

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MIU_8780Sea and mountains, my two favourite things in the world. In one shot.

MIU_8775Protest in yellow.

MIU_8772MIU_8771MIU_8762… and an empty sand beach – to be compared to any moment between June and Aeptember in any given year.

Compromise.

Blogroll, Traveling

Travelling, inevitably (in my case) involves the willingness to make compromises. There are too many inner and outer factors which may not make the journey as you planned. Weather, availability of resources (money and time). The trick is to enjoy what you have and make the most of it, and not to mourn what you could not do. Actually if everything went as you planned and with no surprises when travelling, you probably did something wrong.

And these pictures document the result of our Italian holiday. A bit of Toscana, and a bit of Rome.

Let’s begin with some general landscape pictures. Happy scrolling!:)

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And my personal favourite:

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Now some a few Toscan details:

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… and more pictures from our Toscan adventures.

Montefioralle – a lovely village in the heart of Chianti.MIU_6993

Roccatederighi.MIU_7459MIU_7448MIU_7428MIU_7412MIU_7473MIU_7421

Montalcino. Of course.MIU_7485MIU_7479

Bagni di Petriolo.MIU_7545

Pisa maybe. Whoever came up with those idiotic leaning/supporting pictures…MIU_7388

San Gimignano. Because cats, ice-cream and Unesco.MIU_7097MIU_7085MIU_7139MIU_7146

A day trip to La Spezia and Riomaggiore.MIU_7160MIU_7164MIU_7166MIU_7171MIU_7200MIU_7204MIU_7260MIU_7265MIU_7267MIU_7289MIU_7305

… via Carrara, of course.MIU_7320MIU_7339MIU_7359

We also travelled to and around Pienza.MIU_7621MIU_7610MIU_7607MIU_7594

Oh and not to forget Pistoia (amazing Renaissance architecture)and Montecatini (an old and ultracool funicular to the top of the hill – the views, ah the views)!MIU_7663MIU_7656MIU_7690MIU_7716

And then we visited Rome. For the first time in our lives (the shame). There were the tourist bits…MIU_7835MIU_7923MIU_7927MIU_8011MIU_8023

… and not that touristy bits… MIU_7880MIU_7891MIU_7899MIU_8026MIU_8031

… and then there was EUR, aka the Mussolini bits. MIU_7962MIU_7963MIU_7943MIU_7968MIU_7973MIU_7978MIU_7999MIU_7998MIU_7982

It was good. I did not see all I wanted but I saw things I thought I would not see, and I tasted the best pasta in the history of humanity and bought a Carrara marble mortel. I vote yes.