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.

 

In the memory of Mauno Koivisto.

Blogroll, Helsinki, nature, Picture a day

Today has been a particularly weird day. Former Finnish president Mauno Koivisto was buried today, the state funeral was aired and everyone has been feeling kinda under the weather. The emotions, once again, just hopped on the others – or maybe it was just me.

A nice BLT sandwich and a few hours outside around Ruukinranta in Espoo (that’s where Galen Kallela museum is!) did it for my part. And close to the port I found these buttercups and they are for Mauno.

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The port, yeah, well there were some boats and buoys, and I guess this diesel pump has had it 😀

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There are some lovely Villas around Ruukinranta, something like old Westend, but much more picturesque. More wood and more soul. And more houses for sale with “minor roof damages” – but with amazing tile stoves or wooden furnitures! Dining table, I’m coming back for you 😉

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The downsides of the area are bad collective traffic connections and the omnipresent humming noise from the nearby highway. I’m sure the locals love the Turku motorway.

A short walk from the port and Villa Åkerblom, a popular event venue dressed up as a humble wooden villa, is the famous Villa Elfvik. It is, in fact, a nature education centre with a cosy café, several children- and wheelchair-friendly nature trails, a bird-watching tower and… nature diversity. It was remarkably awesome! Seriously, a lovely Espoo surprise. We’re coming back on bikes, so expect more pictures within the next weeks!

So, this is the main venue, Villa Elfvik…

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… a garden gazebo… MIU_5907

… and the nature trail!

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There were birds nesting. Apparently.

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And this is Otaniemi and Aalto University.

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We have leaves. Updated.

Blogroll, Finland, Helsinki, Lifestyle, Traveling

On the trees, also a slight sunburn on the shoulder, the 4th place in the ice hockey world cup and I’m terribly sleepy.

I will just leave this summerly pictures hang in here and add some commentary later. I’m sorry, I have an early start tomorrow again 😦

Have a pleasant start into the brand new week!

Update 25.5. – here are the comments 😉 The first couple of pictures are from a walk around the Rajasaari island. It is located in Töölö, so reasonably central and quite fancy, but it is in a shameful state (not reflected in the pictures). Covered in trash, boating stuff rusty snowmobiles and generally neglected. The dog park is awesome though, and so was the warm spring evening.

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The following takes are from Open House Helsinki – my top visits took place in Thursday and Friday and I was unable to attend. But on Saturday we made it to the Villas of the Valtiosaari island. These largeish, in some cases opulent (think luxurious sauna and a tennis court) wooden villas are mostly owned by the city of Helsinki and occasionally rented out to companies or registered organisations. You can imagine what this means: most of the villas stand empty and slowly deteriorate. Well managed! The whole island would make a lovely place to live – should we have a boat – but we were all surprised how messy and neglected the island was.

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A well-painted Finnish lion in one of the villas.

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This is a hydroplane hangar actually.

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Tiled stove detail.

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The summer church/chapel.

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We got a free boat ride to the city centre! That was the best part of the trip, minus the sunburn (I KNOW.), but look what we saw on the way: a sailboat nursery!

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The last picture is from Porkkala, see the tower on the right? That’s a lighthouse I’m so much visiting soon!

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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!

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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.

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Setting off from Jollas…

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… not fitting under the Hevossaaren bridge, fortunately we only got to wait about 3 minutes for the show…

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… 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?

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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...

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

Long time no see. Long time no sea.

Blogroll, Finland, Picture a day, Traveling

No, there was not much sea lately, partly due to me being abroad and around, partly ’cause the spring has not really broken out in here.

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No, this is not Finland. Gotcha.

THIS, however, is. The picture is take about 3 weeks ago, the ambience prevails. The fence was full of wind-torn adverts, above all election posters.

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But the sun shines even in the north, about 23 minutes per day. Such moments remind me of the extra long golden hours we get here in the summer…

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… long time no sea? Time to travel to the archipelago then!

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I admit the following pictures was taken by mistake. Makes a perfect background material for further projects though!

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Dear burglars, we are in Lapland at the moment. Our flat is flat-sat though, so don’t get excited. Dear faithful readers, you can look forward to a lot of snow-covered pictures. It has been rather cloudy lately, so no winter wonderland I’m afraid.

TurkuÅbo February impressions.

Blogroll, Lifestyle, Picture a day, Turku, Winter frolics

February is almost over and I haven’t been updating the website as much as I promised. Partly due to the lack of events, dull weather and general photopportunities, partly due to those events I have no name nor an excuse for.

So we went to Turku/Åbo, took care of some research-related business, visited some museums and took pictures. Of grey, nearly empty Turku. I’m particularly fond of how this mosaic turned out, the orange hopeful corner… so, how was your February?

On the go. 

Blogroll

I’m typing this on the phone and it is definitely not that easy. Shall I give in and get a tablet with a keyboard or something.? Plus I have no access to my camera pic as of now, so yeah, this might be a bit dull. 

First, a bit of boasting: my no-more-sweatshop challenge is going well! I have been so tempted a few times but I’m still good and fair;) 

Second, TelltsleFacebook reminded me that today is my 11 year anniversary of FB presence. What?! 11 years?! With a tear jnder my eye I remember tjose times ehen FB was fun, apolitical, for university students only, I had no need to censor my posts, it was just a play. And today, FB is the vox populi and your profile is your constructed self as you want the society to see you… and everyone is on it. Everyone. Not a fun place anymore, actually I do feel anxious every time I open it, anticipating more ignorance, boasting and suggested posts… no. 

I’m in Pampas, aka Österbotten, for the moment. Doing my fieldwork and exploring new places. Burglars: don’t worry, my man is at home, taking care of our property. So! To begin with, there are plenty oc mink/fox/fur farms around. It’s not a pretty sight really, in fact it’s pretty terrible, and as a consequence driving along the coastal roads smells 😀 Yesterday I made it to the Söderfjärden crater. No bull, a real crater. It was too cool to describe in words:


Today I waved byebye to Vaasa and discovered Nykaabi, aka Nykarleby. Def worth a visit. For the nature, people and the overall positive vibes!

Needless to say after having driven 200km per day at least I’m knackered. And glad that the Valentines is called “the friends’ day” in here. Somehow it makes d everyone feel loved, nevermind the relationship status…


That’s a brain/marshmallow/cloud/cotton candy heart for all of you out there. Take what you need out of it ❤ and now please excuse me, I need to go to bed. Noapte buna!

February. Already?!

Blogroll, Helsinki, Picture a day

In case you were wondering why I have not posted anything for way too long (sorry), THIS is why:

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Seriously, one gets so little inspiration from the absolute lack of light. Somehow I have been fighting the past weeks on autopilot, and as of February I feel I might… might finally be ready for bigger transformation. Another kick: as a matter of fact, today I received a new batch of business cards arrived today, with the new kitty/geometric logo.

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I’m pleased with the result.

So. The idleness and lameness aside, I’ve been putting on weight, doing some artwork and writing up PhD related stuff. Finally I have some sense of direction I believe. Maybe my research is relevant after all…

I cannot even go for walks to get inspiration, and I’m not the kind of studio photographer (babies, budoir, nudes, meh, I’m not into staged photography. I hate when I can totally tell how unnatural the pose or the situation is), or the stalking kind taking pictures of people sipping their coffees or performing their acts. I need more spontaneity, more light (duh) and more life. I was thinking I might like to sneak into a closed world in its own terms, like, a factory or another kind of institution, seemingly independent on whatever is going on outside. The truth is, nobody likes photographers spying on them, or observing their work or casual movements, and the last thing I want to cause as a photographer is to upset people.

I cannot say my recent attempts to be photographically productive have been successful. Today, for example, I took a walk around the Töölönlahti bay to Kaisaniemi park. People were – with the exception of drunkards – rushing from building to building/vehicle, striving to spend as little time in transit or outside as possible. But then I saw the beautifully lit greenhouse of the botanical garden in Kaisaniemi:

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Nowhere near as interesting as an average botanical garden around Helsinki, but in the overall dimmed grayness the old greenhouses were shining far around. Next time I’m in Österbotten, and that shall be quite soon, I will take pictures of mink or fox farms and those huuuuge greenhouses shining like lighthouses. They contrast amazingly with the snow… should there be snow.

In order to compensate (at least on the paper) for my photo- and bloglaziness I already planned two and three halves of travels for this year. Some in Europe, some possibly beyond, depends on circumstances. No matter how much I disappoint my mummy, I think I will be going to Romania, to Transylvania and Danube delta to be precise. I have been wanting to go for ages, and I feel this could be the sort of a cultural holiday I need. And yes. Transfăgărășan road, aka another Ceaușescu’s mad projects, is indeed on the list.

What else is left to say? Keep calm and… huh huh… hope for the sun! Meanwhile, spend times with those who have you dear.

(frozen, drity ground compilation)

 

Winter.

Creations, Helsinki, nature, Picture a day, Winter frolics

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?

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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.

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I’m particularly fond of the following picture. Eeeeeeeeghh!!

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Everything was fluffy and beautiful. Bikes, trees, trash along the paths, fences, rails. Everything.

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The best thing is that apart from minor exposure etc. corrections no photohandling was needed.

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Some views across the half-frozen sea…

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Those pastel colours!!

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Obviously we tried to avoid the crowds.

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A little peninsula.

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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.

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Have a lovely weekend everyone!