What I miss from Czechia.

Blogroll, Lifestyle

Pretty much all expats miss (and will definitely tell you about) certain material things from their home countries – this is nothing rational, rather, pure materialised homesickness and nostalgia. Typically, those little things are by no means necessary for survival in the new country and can be enjoyed through all respective senses and are often connected to the taste and smell of home (I’m not too thick on Czech sweets, soda, booze, or cuisine), or, have something to do with the overall comfort of life. In my case, these are things related to accessibility of networks, services, and to arts and crafts.

So what are the things I miss most from Czechia,

my fatherland given up a long time ago?

Family and friends – goes without saying.

Stores. (German-style) drugstores. Affordable organic produce stores. Variety of and in stores. Stationery stores (!). Toy stores. Convenience stores.

Koh-i-noor and Centropen stationery.

Marinated beef sirloin with cream sauce – like once a year.

Proximity of Europe and easy train/car travel to the rest of Europe.

Variety of flours.

Variety of shoe brands available, including Czech brands. I’m tired of those four (sub-par) shoestore chains in Finland.

Herbal and homeopathic remedies widely available.

Ingredients for making own detergents and cleaning products as a part of a non-toxic life style.

This kind of ruler. Sorry, but how on earth do kids learn to draw perpendicular lines in other countries?

And of course the landscape, although I never thought I would admit that.

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.