Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Life Paths

There is one intersection in downtown Helsinki, where I have started to stumble this summer. The reason for my wobbly walk is an installation called Life Paths by a Sculptor Kaarina Kaikkonen up in the air. I cannot take my eyes off it when ever I am around. Remarkably, it was set up by a private enterprise Gallerie Forsblom as opposed to the usual suspect of public art displays - the city of Helsinki. It will be taken down in September and I know I will miss it. Lucky I have the pictures.

I thank Gallerie Forsblom for the installation it has provided for the public this summer. This kind of acts of kindness make me like this city and country even more than what I already do.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Window Shopping

After midsummer I craved for a coffee house coffee. Went out and found long ques in every place open in southern Helsinki. I love coffee, but I am not a person to que for a cup for too long and instead I went for a walk. This time it was the window displays, which caught my attention.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Helsinki Looking Good

I do like the look of the buildings in Helsinki. Most of them, I mean.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Balloon Like And Like Me Not

My lonely midsummer continues in empty Helsinki. Morning started with rain and that put me off going for a walk. I stayed in and started to crochet a rug. It was so nice, that I did not do  much else today except too much eating. I had an uncontrollable amount of sweets, four meals and snacks of all sorts in between. I feel like a balloon and I really do not like a balloon as myself. However, the balloon like little mobile home I pictured yesterday is cute.

PS: In my case lonely is not bad. It is actually quite nice, but overeating is bad. Very much so.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Empty

This midsummer I traveled against the stream and came to the city. Most of Finland escaped it and went to the country side. While people enjoyed the lakeside wonders of Finnish midsummer, I walked around empty Helsinki.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Midsummer

Midsummer is the only pagan festival still celebrated in Finland. Although, we know about the ancient ways, only few traditional celebration practices are applied today. Bonfires are still burning, but strictly according to the restrictions of the fire department. Alcohol is still consumed, saunas heated and people wander in masses to waters like in olden days. Few years back the festival date was changed from the actual summer solace to the first following Saturday for economic reasons and it kind of took the point of the magic. Earlier this week I talked to a farmer friend on the phone and reminded her to swim naked in a rye field at midnight of summer solace in order to dream of a man she will marry. "Sweety", she responded, "I grow my rye for market and do nothing to harm it. My boyfriend is enough. I have no rush to marry". Times have really changed in 100 years or so.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Third Day of Rain

It rains and I can almost see how the plants in my kitchen garden are getting bigger. I wish this rain would stop for a while and I could go out to deweed  my little plot. The weeds are unfortunately doing equally well to my precious vegetables.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Time Travel Passenger in Port Antonio

Yesterday's reminder of the sun took me back to Port Antonio. One day there, less than a year ago, I went for a walk with a friend and we pumped into a very stylish gentleman sporting a fedora and orange shirt. My friend knew him, greeted him and paid respect. She then introduced me to Mr Minott. I had no idea who he was. He told me he was in a mento band. I had never heard of that kind of music before. We chatted for a while. He was super nice and cool with charisma larger than the island.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Rainy Day

Today is the first day this summer when it rains constantly. My plants like it. I need a reminder of the good old sun.

Pictures were taken in my beloved in Port Antonio, where the sun always shines. Well, in my memory. I do recall someone claiming, that the place has a reputation of receiving the highest rainfall on the island per annum.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Confessions of a Goddess

My kitchen garden is thriving. Turnips, carrots, onions, peas and salads have all lifted their baby heads. I feel like a total domestic goddess.

Picture from http://www.flickr.com/photos/78469770@N00/279468845/ via weheartit

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Seeking Help

Yesterday I had my first therapist appointment ever. Today I shall see a fortune teller for about the 100th time in my life. It is going to be interesting to see which one I'll eventually find more helpful.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Beauty in Every Inch

My friend is blessed with beauty. Yes, I do refer to her looks too. Moreover, she is a beautiful mind and soul. She is surrounded by beauty, has an extraordinary eye for it and talent to create it. To give you a glimpse, the picture illustrates how she serves leftovers. Beautifully.

Like always at her table, I could not stop admiring the deliciousness of the sight. Very Finnish delicacies served tapas style on china from China. From the bottom to the top, you see blueberries with juustoleipƤ, which is very mild cheese baked on live fire. The name translates as cheese bread and it originates from my part of the country. Then graavilohi aka salted salmon (Swedes call it grav lax), herring in sour cream, wild mushroom salad and herrings in vinegar and herbs. To me a lunch of leftovers from previous day cannot become finer than this. Viva la buddy!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Public Decor

Oulu has some neat (and some, not so neat) furnishing it its public areas.

Super sleek granite bench. Chic public decor.
Picnic table looks very nice, but I don't see myself having a relaxing meal there. Where to you squeeze your knees? Not under the table for sure. The benches are actually so far from the table, that you do not need to squeeze your knees anywhere unless you are very tall. However, the fact that there is a considerable distance between the seats and table, does not make your eating position any easier. At least, I do not like to hang in the air when dining. Maybe these were designed for eyes only. If so, they work.


Sunday, 12 June 2011

Hot in Finland

The training week is over. I was back in Oulu just on time to see the blooming apple trees. Next morning the flowers were gone and the photo opportunity delayed by a year. Let's see, if I'll be here long enough to capture them next time around.

The training was great. Loved every minute. Weather was hot and so was something else too.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Learning to Talk

Holy moly! I have a voice. I heard it today giving a presentation. Still no job in sight, but who cares? I have a voice.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Mute and Invisible

Please pretend this post never happened. I am going to practice some negative, petty and pointless whining, which I am ought to stop right here, but yet I am just going to go on.

One reason why I am not good at scoring a job, is my inability to promote myself. Well, inability might be an understatement in my case. I am next to mute and introverted among people I do not know. In today's lecture, people were actively participating in teaching by making questions and commenting. Guess who was sitting still? Yes, you got that right. However, during a break I started a conversation with a woman next to me. I gave my opinion on the issue the lecturer had raised earlier. Within 30 minutes, the lady expressed it as hers using my words. Annoying, but hardly her fault. I should have opened my mouth and expressed it myself.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Carpe Training, Care Gardening

Weather continues to be superb. The sun shines from a clear sky. It is summer at best and I should be enjoying it now. Live it now. Carpe the sunny moment. But my mind is not here. It is in the North in my kitchen garden, which needs lots of water right now.  Is it getting it enough? Or maybe too much? How are my tomatoes doing? How about cucumber? Thoughts of vegetables make me fail my zen, the training and fierce job hunting I am supposed to do here.  

Monday, 6 June 2011

Trained in Stripes

This week I am attending a training course near Helsinki. I arrived on a bus, found the place without a problem, met the trainers and other participants, found my accommodation and managed to log on the network. It sounds like things are going smoothly, but they aren't. I look idiotic. I managed to sunburn my face while enjoying bubbly outdoors with a friend on Saturday. It is not only the red colour that tones the white walls of any training room where I step in, it's also the hideous white sun glass marks across my face. Try to look serious and recruitable adult with unusually coloured stripy face among a number of faultless professionals. I am so doomed to jesterness.

The mag in the pic is my bed time reading here. The face under my sunglasses belongs to Sofi Oksanen, whose book The Purge is really good.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

See, Helsinki is in the South

Compared to Oulu, summer is so much ahead here in Helsinki. I arrived in my trench coat and felt a bit funny wearing it when passing by a park where people were sunbathing in their swim wear.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Helsinki

I am in Helsinki. Visiting a very dear friend. One of the bestest. The sun shines, we talk, laugh and eat well. I shall help her with few errands and together we will work on a slide show. Nothing much, but so valuable. She has been a great support in my low. A real life Prozac and an angel in disguise.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Awakening

My new jeans are totally unflattering. Or my body is totally unflattering to my new jeans. They are record breaking size 44. I was utterly shocked by the tag. I have to stop violating my body by feeding it with comfort. This resolution was sealed with a large latte and cinnamon roll with banana flavoured icing right after the purchase.