Saturday ping.

Blogroll, Finland, Helsinki

I’ve been feeling pretty emotional lately – too many upsetting things keep happening, some of them over and over again, and virtually all of them are so hard to change. If I could wish one thing for the humanity it would be for everybody to realize that although personal liberty is absolutely essential aspect in one’s life, the choices we make every day should be, well,  informed, or at least conscious. And not just informed in the sense that we’ve read an article on superfoods online, but more like… like that we all have a lot of responsibility to this planet and too the humanity. What we buy, what we say, what and how we dispose of, all this affects so many people.

Will we ever run out of excuses why not to take responsibility for out actions, for casting the blind eye?

*end of the melodrama nobody cares about anyways*

I’m well if you were wondering. Last week the weather was absolutely fantastic… Oh and I do know that I write about the weather in like every single blog post – but the weather affects me so much, and even so more since I’ve moved to Finland, quit all sorts of hormonal products, started listening to my body and appreciating living side-by-side with the nature. Consequently, my mental wellbeing has improved and I’m generally much more content. And don’t mind becoming “old” all that much.

Where were we… ah, the weather, the sun, the light, an absolutely wonderful week. And the two weeks before – since I last time updated my blog SHAMEONME – were not too shabby either, equally sunny yet slightly crispier. Either way: Finland in spring and summer equals paradise.

First, a set of lakeside pictures taken with my new-old camera. And I discovered my first shipwreck!

We, too, celebrated the May Day, and it was really nice. Spontaneous champagne tent invite extended to a circle of friends -> encounters of joy. After the celebrations in the Kaivoupuisto and after having suffered through 20 minutes in the toilet queue we proceeded to the market square (read: we wanted to sober up a bit and I craved some cotton candy). Just like in the previous years we found the guy selling iconic foam lizards, symbols of vappu/May Day for the previous two generations. The guy was still a bit reluctant to agree with an interview: “not quite yet.” – Well we will be back next year. At least I managed to take a sneaky pictures of him!

What else do we have here… ah, some snippets from Helsinki (Pasila concrete moments, Olympics velodrome and an somehow unexpectedly decorated window on the way to the city centre)…

… and from Turku. If you wonder what is so special about it, I’ll tell you: those were the first signs of leaves a couple of weeks ago. And scout lilies 🙂

From Tampere, with love:

 

The following set is from the botanical garden in Kumpula which I visited a tad too early. Most of the flowers are still waiting for the full bloom, but this magnolia seems to have already been through it a while ago. And that just added to its delicateness… those angles, those geometric shapes, those bright whites! I’m so incorporating these in my coming art/craft projects.

And what would a Finnish blog post in May be without a picture of blooming sakura trees of Roihuvuori? An obligatory social media haul, a cheesy background for your phone-portraits and selfies, well, at least I can say I did it the cool way – when *I* visited, around 9:30pm, there was only a handful of people, and a beautiful, warm evening light…

Disclaimer for my previous post.

Blogroll, Finland, Helsinki

Don’t expect any major confession in here, I just wanted to put you in the big picture.

So I was feeling a bit sad. It does happen sometimes, doesn’t it, and thought I’d just take a walk in the nature, get rid of the headache and the thick black spleen. I went to Nuuksio and had a blast. And on the way back I stopped at Koivusaari, one of these exceptionally interesting spots along the Länsiväylä (a very busy road for Espoo-Helsinki commuters).

Koivusaari is conveniently located only a few hundred meters from a metro-station-to-be-very-soon, and despite the vicinity of Länsiväylä it is quite calm. I’m sure somebody else noticed how conveniently located this island is, so unless the boat owners have some kind of a union, we might soon see the end of Koivusaari as we know it and get ready for yet another developers’ experiment.

I had no particular reason to visit the place, just because I wanted to see what is there…

.. well, boats apparently, and boat owners getting their vehicles ready for the season. I did not really fit in; my response to this identity misplacement was that I accidentally hit my head on that fin-like thing (you know, right, that thingy which goes under the water) of one of the pretty vessels. I hope nobody saw that.

In joyful moods (as joyful as my head bump was) I continued walking around the island – it is tiny and used solely by boat owners, occasional picture hunters and – quite surprisingly – boulderers (there are no cliffs, don’t get excited, just a somehow biggish piece of rock overlooking the sea).

I’m sure  you remember what the island looks like from my previous post: boats and innocent sea views.

Wait. Did you see that?!

DSC_2719

Look closer. Closer. Even closer. No, I’m not enlarging the picture for you.

Above that big rock is a pier and an army of naked Finns taking a dip after having obviously been to the sauna. One by one, in an orderly and natural manner. This sight made me giggle for a few long minutes…

And what else did I do today? Collected birch sap. It went surprisingly smoothly, and the result tastes very refreshing. We should have waited a few days or week though, the sugar content is still pretty low.

The plastic bags with our ca 1hour yield of sap from 3 different locations (hence the numbers). Looks plastic, tastes fantastic. And being

Ah, and a few snippets from a short with a tussilago picking mission in Nuuksio (especially love the blue flowers screaming here we are, at last!). The older I am the more and more I appreciate living in the countryside, alongside the nature. I live in the middle of the city and I love it here – and I absolutely adore the flat we are lucky to live in, I should show you why at some point, especially as we are due to move out soon. And I hate the suburbs and even so more those unlucky and antisocial satellite “housing projects” (collections of wanna-be-upper-class horrendous houses located some kilometres beyond the city border, either in the middle of nowhere or as a part of small villages or settlements which had respected traditional urban growth patterns).

It is incredible how the proximity of real nature has helped me to get over some rough times, it is not just the scene and the smells, it is the whole system, the immense power of the nature to revive itself over and over again.

Sob. Living in greenery. I’m getting old and I’m loving it.

 

 

Wake up and smell the spring.

Blogroll, Helsinki, Likes

It is everywhere yet still kind of nowhere 😉 it has been suspiciously sunny and bright lately, yet the temperatures hardly ever climb over +7°C. Ha! But this year, this year I promise I won’t miss the spring moment…

The bottom right pictures is not from a post-tsunami scene, it is this lovely spot next to the sea I will write about in my other blog. Also, I will soon add a few humorous stories from my happy life here up in the North.

The tranquility. The air. The overwhelming desire to buy a boat so that I could actually set my feet on those islands out there…

… and don’t worry, soon you will live to see a real post in here.

… and a post-Lapland post.

Blogroll, Finland, Likes, Traveling

I’m back in Helsinki after a wonderful trip to Lapland, and the homesickness stroke again just a day after we came back to the capital. Lapland will always remain the place where my body, mind and heart are completely free; a place on Earth like no other.

 

And for the tourist in us, whom I believe all of us cherish: yes, there were reindeers. Of course I saw zero reindeer in the wilderness, however, I fed, stroked and cuddled a few of them, now how great is that.

I learned that the best things in life are for free – or they cost 3 €. While on painkiller and muscle relaxant high (migraine), a few weeks back I bought this jumper at the local second-hand store: grey, oversized (or maybe it was just placed on a wrong rack, it was a regular men-sized winter garment) knitted jumper with reindeer pattern and a wind-proof insert. Woolmark. A Finnish product of the 90s I believe for mere 3€ – and my absolute favourite piece of clothing in Lapland! I felt warm and cosy wearing it as a top layer and – most importantly – it made me stood out from the crowds of tourists. I felt so local…

… another one of my 3 € swags was a bag of lichen I bought at the Sámiland museum in Levi, aka Lappish Disneyland and a destination for party skiers, aka a place to avoid – or at least close your eyes while passing downtown Levi on the way to the slopes or treks. Sámiland is a sub-par museum about Sámi culture, and it is located in the basement of a hotel situated right on one of Levi’s slopes. You got the idea. So we got the tickets (or Museokortit) and a bag of lichen, please, because there were reindeers in the outside part of the museum! And they were so much fun to hassle with. When I grow up I will get myself a reindeer, or rather, I’d be taking care of one as reindeers don’t belong to anyone but the nature.

Now, what next is there? Some creative work, some academic work, and getting used to above zero temperatures. And I promise that this year I won’t miss the moment of Finnish spring.

Pre-Lapland post.

Blogroll, Finland, Turku

Yes, we’re off to Lapland (but don’t worry potential burglars, our flat is well protected). Wish I was in better mood – or is it the stress? Travelling fever? Feeling unfit and inappropriate? Misplaced? Idle? All of those? Hard to tell – and the fact that my cognitive functions have been impaired by migraine meds does not help.

And because we are off to the north I will obviously delight you with pictures of the south, namely of Turku. When I was there last week the weather and the atmosphere was springy, crispy, energetic. Now the weather is nowhere around as joyful, but soon I will be back where my heart loves it so much: beyond the polar circle. Yay!

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.”

Blogroll, Finland, Helsinki
  • Cupcakes are nothing else but muffins with sugary chemically glittery decoration camouflaging their overall mediocrity.
  • Washi tape is expensive masking tape with colourful print on. Nothing pretty has ever been made using it because one of inherent properties of the tape is that it will always look like what it is. Just like masking tape.
  • Swanky or quirky neigbourhoods are those favoured by young people living on budget. And generally are full of indoors and outdoors ethnic establishments.
  • Lifestyle blogging represent materialised desire to become a paid marketing channel for mainstream brands. It is hard to remain impartial and/or not to look cheap or saleable.
  • Spring = greenery in bloom and temperatures above zero. I’m proud to tell everybody that we have noticed the increased amount of daylight and the new flow of fresh spring energy. But temperatures around -4°C, occasional morning snow which with astonishing regularity melts over the day. So much for the blooming nature.

… wait! There is this spot in Helsinki serving as my personal indicator of spring. Whenever I feel it might be time for spring I go there and look for clues.

DSC_2272.jpg

There!

Teijo Nationalpark.

Blogroll, Finland, Traveling

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.