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 Tähtitorni (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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Alvar Aalto’s House.

Blogroll, Helsinki, Picture a day

… for those who are interested in Aalto´s architecture, do take a look at my recent blog post on Helsinki100 – I visited his house in Munkkiniemi. It was surprisingly cosy. The best moment was taking a peek on the balcony. The guide opened the doors, I took a step outside, had a look and took one more step… and suddenly got blown by icecold wind and pseudosnow. Bless my 38°C mascara.

Nature vs. Nurture.

Blogroll, Helsinki, Lifestyle, Winter frolics

… or how was it? I never noticed this tree in Kamppi, a place which I pass many times every week. Looks quite nice in contrast to the sunshine (for real)-illuminated sky. I mean, the tree is located at one of the busiest spots in Helsinki, thousands of people and hundreds of buses pass by every day, and it just stands there peacefully and bears whatever we pass onto it.

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… just like the people closest to us, right?

As you can see, the snow is gone, long live the snowy frosty weather. Together with the snow, my better half departed for an adventure and he took some of my worries with him. There is much to do still, apply for grants, meet VIPs, ingratiate myself with gatekeepers, visit more Swedish speaking areas, take pictures of whatever I have made lately…

… sorry but due to certain circumstances, or certain people using this blog as their stalking platform, I cannot share more at this point. But I shall, I’ve used this platform for 10 years and no lack of respect shall change this 😉

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^ our beloved apartment building. For another several months at least. The picture is taken yesterday, note the winter sky contrasting those miniature apples (I always wondered whether they are edible…).

An hour and about 1000 steps later:

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This is the official Christmas street of Finland, and an unofficial and accidental tram no. 4 – and the legendary Stockmann department store clock. I mean yeah, it is Christmasy, yet nothing I’d blog about… oh oops!

Another part of the Christmas street is the shop window scene at Stockmann. I have no idea what was in the window this year, all I could see was… blue and black silhouettes.

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Oh and may your Advent Sunday be blessed! Cannot wait to be with the loved ones, nothing can beat a family get-together, watch the little and elder ones alike… And for those curious about our humble season decorations, do not despair, they will be documented once there is daylight.

Cheers to good life!

(not with this glass though, found downtown, abandoned yet still shining)

Winter frolics. Part 1.

Blogroll, Comments, Creations, Lifestyle, Likes, Winter frolics

I thought I would start a series on winter symbols, signs reminding me of Christmas approaching, wintery ways of obtaining vitamins, happiness and something to look forward to during the cold and slow-paced season…

Well here is the first one:

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Do you wonder what this is? It is quite simple really. If you ever bought a pack of dried dates, chances are that the pack came with a complimentary fork. “Fork”. Plastic, blunt, sticky and unbelievably flimsy, bending in clear arches once it touches the date skin. No living person has ever used it for eating dates (or for anything really?) yet they have been a part of since 1935 (I made that up). I’m sure that the original kind was made out of wood (or similar) and was actually quite nifty, unlike its modern offspring.

I guess this is yet another thing we keep doing “just because”, with no rationing behind…

Is it OK if I don’t want to write anything for the moment?

Architecture, Blogroll, Doors of Helsinki, Helsinki

Partly because I don’t know what to say, partly because it’s pretty late, yet I cannot go to bed without posting some pictures which are safe and somehow pleasant to look at. I guarantee that they won’t make you jealous or feel bad about your life, your figure or your purpose in life. Nor will they force my life into your face. Nor will they make you feel sorry for the less fortunate ones. A few days ago I caught a sunny afternoon for once, so I grasp the opportunity and drove to Lammassaari… and walked and listened to birds and cracking ice and the humming of the cars bringing their drivers back home from work.

The second par of this post is way more concrete. Way more tangible. Way more Helsinki. I took a walk around the city centre and took picture of doors and gates. I tried to grasp the art-nouveau feel of Helsinki, the one really hard to explain to visitors acquainted with the French/Central European version of this style. Sometimes (read: often) the art-nouveau mixes with romanticism and revival of Finnish mythology, typical for late 19th century, so please excuse me not being consistent in my focus – but the walk was great. Weather, light and cars parked in front of some of the unique gates not that much.