Diary.

Blogroll, Finland, Winter frolics

I’ve been keeping a diary for some time now – for various reasons. It has helped me to focus and stay sharp; also, it is a habit that I have been able to keep. The problem is that it has kept me from sharing myself online, which I think is a pity. Not that my visitor numbers would be high, I just thought I could peeking out again. So hello!

Reeds and attempts of ice on an unusually warm Sunday in late January. In South Finland, that is. Wait, it is February already… this picture has just lost some of its charm 😀

I have been properly activating myself, signing up for a lot of voluntary activities that I do not burn for (that was the idea) and trying to get busy with art again although a certain someone has been successfully stopping me from it. I have been rather grateful lately – for health, for material wealth, for wisdom and… for the fact that I have been able to avoid ways of living that would destroy me in the long run. Also, for the skills I have been developing in the past years – patience, fatigue resistance and humbleness.

And I think that Dry February is absolute bullsh*t – everybody who feel like they should take part in it might like to look at their alcohol consuming habits and other life choices in general. But the whole challenge made me think about my identity, my presence, my visibility.

I’m afraid I will never make it into the news – I’m not an exceptional scientist (in fact, I do not want to work in research), I don’t take drugs or drink and I don’t think I will need to recover from dependency on these, I don’t live in a country exotic enough to my compatriots and because I ignore social media I remain invisible to most people (including my peers). My health troubles have prevented me from achieving what I had imagined, but they are not interesting or serious enough. My art is breakthrough in its honesty, that is, how little I depend on Photoshop and general augmentation and instead rely on tangible media. My life is not drastically minimalist or zero-waste, my taste is somehow different but not crazy enough. I’m not exceptionally anything, but I’m exceptional. And I feel good about that.

Post Christmas. Post New Year. Post long-overdue. Post honest.

Art, Blogroll, Comments, Helsinki

No matter how important Christmas is for me I actually enjoy those days following the Christmas Eve (aka the Big Day where I’m from) much better than the actual December 24th. The pressure has dropped, I’m not sick with anticipation or the sense of obligation, the stress level has gone back to normal (whatever that might mean), there is no need to pose in the pictures. Yet I’m still surrounded by the loved ones, enjoy heaps of leftover delicious food without the stiffness of the dinner board and – can play with the present in front of TV.

And, then there are the ‘tween days after Christmas yet before the New Year, you know, those 28s and 29s, when many grown ups went to work and your babyless self finally made it outside as well. Some of us went shopping while those like me more likely travelled or skied or at least did something cultural.

Then the somehow awkward celebration of the new year followed – and then the emptiness stroke – is this it? The new start and the end of the Holidays?

I do not dare to open social media these days (well I do that so that I can find out about what is going on around us), because last year was the best year ever and THE year of transformation to pretty much anyone and everyone, as illustrated by holiday feet shots and sunsets and happy families.

I’m not writing this because I would think 2018 was a dull one, in fact, it was pretty eventful for my part – kicked-off start in Costa Brava, signed a new job contract, got overwhelmed by all sorts of pain, made great progress with a personal coach, bought a flat, then, ehm, my dearest daughter was born, moved to the new place and topped it off with a really nice and calm white Christmas.

I just wanted to say that this year was good, my baby and I are well too. I’m more and more happy with who I am, but honestly, there were so many dull, hopeless, painful, sad and confused moments so that I just don’t have the heart to fool the internet and pick the cherries.

In fact, I’m thankful for those difficult moments, days, mundane tasks and failed attempts. Makes me feel special – like I’m the one who is actually living, and not just augmenting and filtering life for the purpose of, uhm, impressing people I know (or not).

So my topic for 2019 is honesty and keeping it real.

It’s like this, I love taking pictures and sharing the happiness with the almost nameless crowd, but I’d like and will be posting about me dealing with the obstacles, with the routine of the everyday, about simple pleasures such as being able to wash the hair without being distracted by crying babies, filing nails on the toilet, post-midnight chocolate eating and hiding the phone/screen when the little one is around. If no-one enjoys that, well, at least I will.

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I really wanted to post some artsy pictures that would sum this up, but this year baby pictures heavily dominate the photo stash. Heavily. Looking for beauty in the mundane, questioning societal choices and scrutinising the individual’s relationship to their habitat have way to anything depicting various parts of The Baby and glowing smiles of her parents. Well. Have some snow before it melts. Have a good one.

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YesterdayÂŽs 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.

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!

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 SöderfjĂ€rden 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!

Grey hair.

Blogroll, Finland, Picture a day, Winter frolics

Yep, found my first grey hair. Or maybe it was not grey but really, really light and almost transparent. That happens all the time during the summer, but in the darkest time of the year?

Somehow it made feel pretty hot. Or maybe I’m just changing colour for winter like the arctic fox.

We are now heading toward the fourth Sunday of advent. I’m feeling blessed (for all of us) and full of peace (and chocolate). Darkness has taken over my life and most of the time I’m working on autopilot. Maybe that made me so happy re: the grey blond hair..? Today I’ve been fighting a full-moon migraine and consequent speech and cognitive impairment, and put myself through what can only be regarded as pure masochism: a pre-Christmas visit to IKEA. It was for a good cause, but… seriously, how many people are buying kitchens on a weekday morning before Christmas? More than you think.

Also, we celebrated Finland’s 99th Birthday last week.

And enjoyed the views from the TĂ€htitorni (Observatory Park).

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And then the temperature dropped to -9°C, the car suspension broke and the sun came out again! My persistent cough and vitamin D deficit were also quite pleased with the overall situation. Minus the broken spring.

Isn’t Finland absolutely magical?

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It is.

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