Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Memory Lane - Kolkata, India 04 Vol.1

The colour of Kolkata was dusty gray, but I was fascinated by her greens and sparkling whites. I loved the round shapes of Ambassadors.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Tomato Love

Usually I snack on cakes, but after trying out candy resembing plum tomatoes, I fell in love with them. Hallelujah. For once I snack on healthy things.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Memory Lane - Chilika Lake, Orissa, India 04

Chilika Lake in Puri is a sanctuary famous for the flocks of migratory birds. The soft cradle of the boat lulled me to sleep. I missed most of the bird watching in the place where people go specifically to spot the specialities.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Getting Things Done

Years back I bought a simple black winter coat from sale. It was very cheap and the quality of the material was not great. However, the coat had such a simple pattern that I wore it over a decade and never felt terribly unfashionable. Despite its questionable quality, it lasted long, because I spend years in the tropics in between and wore it only during my winter holidays.

Last winter I decided that the coat had come to its end, but I still was not quite ready to part from the model, so I went to a fabric shop, bought cray wool and cut the old coat into pieces from the seams. I cut the new fabric according to the old coat and started to sew. Everything went fine until the pockets. I realised I had totally overestimated my seamstress skills. I was stuck. I did not know how to continue.

This winter I joined a sewing club run by a friend. Every Tuesday I have cycled to the other side of town to wait for my friend to pick me up from a certain bus stop. Together we drive 30 minutes to a school of a village outside Oulu. From six to eight thirty me and 13 other women work in the school's craft class room. For every cut and seam, I ask my friend, the instructor, for advice.

The work in process has struck me by surprise. The simpler than simple pattern of the old coat has turned out to be pretty complex to sew together. There has been times, when I have lost faith and  regretted the good amount of euros I invested on the fabric. Until I finally joined the woollen part to the shiny silver lining. The coat started to look like a piece of clothing.  I took that as a turn in my life. Things started to happen and got done.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Snow Snow Snow

This is yet another strange spring. The weather has been great. Slightly chilly and sunny and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Strange part is, that we still have a way too much snow for the time of the year. You see sun alone melts snow slowly. We need rain now. That would sweep all white away much faster.

Last summer I kept complaining about the endless rain and now I miss it. Only for a day or two though.

Edit a short while later after publishing this post: My complains have been heard. It rains now. Goodbye snow.

About Photography

I am very interested in photography. I call it my hobby. I enjoy taking pictures despite my limited skills. I am also a novice when it comes photo editing, but having seen interesting blurry, over exposed and soft pictures in number of blogs I admire, I used my my Sunday afternoon experimenting on editing.

The result is not quite what I envisioned, but it was my best attempt as a beginner. 

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Top 7 Intelligence

Oulu has been selected to the top seven of the most intelligent cities in the world by the Intelligent Community Forum. The selection was based on the best practises in broadband use and ability to educate and encourage the citizens to prosper. The other six in top seven are Columbus, Ohio, US; Stratford, Ontario, Canada; Taichung City Taiwan; Tallinn, Estonia; Taoyan County, Taiwan and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. One of them will be elected as number one in a short while.

If I was a gambler, I would put my euros on Canada or Taiwan.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Memory Lane - Puri, Orissa, India 04

Puri gave me a glimpse of beach life in Indian style. Everybody in the sea was fully dressed. Saris came in all colours. When I admired the spotted sea, my friend said - the beauty of Indians is that they do not discriminate any colour. I thought it was a beautiful thing to say. Later I learned how true the statement was.

Puri exposed me to professions I had never witnessed before. They require hard physical condition. 

Puri did not allow me to see the famous Jagannath Temple, as I was of wrong everything - ancestry, nationality, religion.

Evenings were cool and quiet. One night my friend took me to a shop serving hot milk and traditional sweets. We walked back to the hotel through dark and quiet streets. Occasionally, I had chills, as I could feel eyes following me from the shadows. Being one of the few Westerners there, people were curious of me. I think that was all. It was just the quiet darkness that made my imagination to run.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Blisters and Sneakers

I have been barely able to move here in Helsinki. Since arrival I have been wearing my better boots, which I used only once this winter. I got them last year and basically lived in them then. They are very comfortable and perfectly walked in, but this time they gave me three gigantic blisters. Maybe it was their revenge for this winter's neglect. I had to buy a pair of sneakers to get back home. They have made walking slightly easier, but since the pain is already there, I walk like a granny with short and careful steps.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Sweet Helsinki

Last time I was in Helsinki, I was told that there are two cafes serving super douper quality and tasty coffee. Again, this time my first stop was coffee and I headed directly to the other one of them - La Torrefazzione. Coffee there was heavenly and the place had the coffeeshopest decor of all coffee shops I have ever visited in Helsinki. Nice indeed, but there is always a but. The place was dead busy and I felt that I had to move out as soon as I had finished my coffee. Nobody asked me to leave, but the fuzz of staff around me was screaming go, go, go.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Memory Lane - Portland, Oregon, US 10, Vol 3

Portland gave me my camera.

I read Murakami in a cafe, when a young Portlander came over. She had been reading the same book across the room. Hers was in Japanese. She was really nice and wanted to talk about the author and his work. I was really delighted for her approaching me and I was happy talking with her. However, being a Finn who is not used to approaching people in cafes, I failed to invite her to join me in my table. I realised only afterwards, that it would have been a friendly gesture from my side. A lesson learnt.

The last picture was taken in the toilet of a cafe named Broadway. I guess it was located on the street by the same name. It was my first mirror view picture of myself ever. Later I shot myself via every mirror on the journey thinking to put together a collection called The Great American Toilet Series. I have not done that yet, but here is the first as a last.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Memory Lane - Portland, Oregon, US 10, Vol 2

Portland was about art - quirky statues, theatre, music and lovingly warm coffee shops in cool weather.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Memory Lane - Portland, Oregon, US 10. Vol. 1

Portland was about chill rain and warm brick red tones. She had a strong outdoorsy vibe. Seemed like everybody was skating or biking in soft-shell and hiking boots. She had the foot prints of the Simpsons all over and a river full of barges, tug boats and iron bridges. Some of them could open or elevate.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Snow Castle

Oulu's Market Place looks like this now. The structure in the middle is a modern snow castle. As the market place is almost like the front yard of Oulu University's Department of Architecture, the temporary structures there tend to take a lean shape like this. Some times they work, some times they do not. Over the years I have seen all sorts and I am hard to impress.