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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Final Countdown

Hello!

Are we liking July so far? I took my laptop and my script and once again escaped to the countryside for the weekend. I needed to start editing. After a long-ish break, the play had begun to scare me. The thought of getting back into it was intimidating. Rule number 1: Don't let your own words get the better of you!
A playwright's feet and purple flowers. Note the cat hairs on my skirt. No weekend in the country is complete without a playwriting cat.  
After two days of editing I'm feeling a bit calmer. I enjoy working again. There are still things to be done, probably more than I'm aware of, but I can only do my best and hope it's enough this time around. The deadline for the play, which is also my MA thesis, is September 1st and although it might sound far away, I can really feel time running out. This is it. This is when it really matters. I am graduating!

Back in London I'm trying to keep the momentum going, but with a lot of other work, I might have to wait for next weekend to really get my teeth into it again. I want to get this done!

Have a great evening!
Cheers

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Experimental Baking

Hello!

How's summer going? I had my last uni lecture (EVER!) this week and now half of my brain is thinking I should be on holiday while the other half is screaming You still have a full time job! You still need to write the final draft of your play (thesis)!

I decided to indulge my lazy half (and my taste buds) by baking sweet potato brownies. Yes, sweet potato. It's like you're getting dinner and dessert in one. I seem to surround myself with more and more people who feel better when they don't have too much gluten, and the base for this recipe was sweet potato and a tiny bit of buckwheat flour which is gluten free. There's no refined sugar either.
I know, my camera focused on all the mess in the background instead of on the brownie. Let's pretend that's how I planned it. 
I have to admit, I was a bit sceptical. It all sounded way too healthy. The orange bits are actually sweet potato, but you can't taste it at all. The brownie is very light in consistency, it's not as sweet as a "normal" brownie but perhaps that's just a good thing. You can easily have it on its own or for example with ice cream. No, I have to say I'm surprised how edible it is! It maybe feels a tiny bit rough in your mouth, I'm thinking it might be the buckwheat, or the 100% coco, but it's not a massive issue.
Having eaten a piece, I hereby declare this a pretty decent first attempt at gluten free baking. It's also a dairy free recipe except I chucked in a few optional milk chocolate chunks (bad habits die hard), but I'm not sure if it made any difference to the taste. It does have an egg in it though so vegans beware!

What next? I still have loads of buckwheat flour left!

Have a great weekend (soonish)!
Cheers

Monday, 30 June 2014

Control the weather, I can

The magic of flying is that you can be in two different places within a very short space of time. I just spent a long weekend in Helsinki, managing to combine business with pleasure. There's the little hell of emptying my flat so I can let it out in its entirety once I officially move to London (no longer a student).  I only just started this weekend. The big push is going to happen in July (and possibly August). If anyone wants a nice piano (it's free!) why not drop me a comment?

I also managed to visit family which was much more pleasurable. I can't believe how quickly my nephews are growing! The younger one is turning four in just a few days. We had a pre-party and I got a dirty look from my brother when my nephew unwrapped a wooden recorder. Hehe. They need to start young, right?
The Finnish summer weather hasn't been brilliant the last few weeks but this weekend I think it outdid itself. (Maybe I'm secretly a weather god?)

Friday was pleasant but not too hot, ideal for running errands. Saturday was sunny and warm, perfect for a BBQ and outdoor dining at my brother's house, and then today it was pouring down, windy as Eurovision and 11 degrees celsius. I didn't mind leaving it behind!
I hope you've had a great weekend and look forward to the week!

Cheers


Monday, 23 June 2014

Eternal Sunshine of a Shattered Mind

Yes, shattered. I am. Not in a bad way though, I just had an intense week.

Wednesday was REHEARSALS and THE SHOWCASE. Weeks (or actually a year) of work got an airing as professional actors read our play extracts in front of a substantial audience, including the people I care about most in London. (Thanks for coming!) It was brilliant to hear the actors read. My biggest fear was that the dialogue would sound terrible once actually spoken out loud, but I think I got away with it. The actors had little time to prepare all the different scenes, so I was very impressed by their work.

The weekend was spent under fun and lovely and slightly nerve racking social circumstances. It's amazing how you can jump on a train in central London and 30 minutes later walk across fields, visit tiny village churches built in the 13th century, and lounge in beautiful gardens with pear trees and home grown courgettes. London suddenly feels very crowded.

I know, there should be plenty of photo evidence, but unfortunately, I just didn't have time. You'll have to make do with this peaceful duckpond.
Next time, I'm bringing bread.
I hope you had a great weekend! Things aren't slowing down just yet, but as long as I get a bit of sleep, it's all good.  

Cheers!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

When grown men cry

Hey kids, do you know what time it is? It's World Cup in football time!

Thank goodness I lack an aversion against football and actually played the game for a few years, because I happen to live in a football crazy flat. World Cup equals Christmas for a whole month. We also happen to be a very international bunch which means there are about 6 teams to root for. So far it's been a big YES! for the Mexican win and a few tears for the Croatian and Australian losses.

Being Finnish I've never had the chance to root for my own country. Here are some stats for Finland's (men's) national football team:

  1. We have never qualified for the European Championships.
  2. We have never qualified for the World Cup. 
  3. Our biggest defeat was against Germany in 1940: 0-13. 
  4. Our biggest win was against San Marino in 2010: 8-0 (or Estonia in 1922: 10-2.)
  5. Finland played its first international football match in 1911. Back then we were still the Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire. We lost 2-5 to Sweden.
  6. I should point out that the the women's national team has qualified for the European Championships three times and got as far as the semifinals in 2005.
With this track record I'm a bit excited to finally live in a country that has a team in the World Cup. Sure, England is expected to do badly, but at least their in it! 

England is known for its football loving people, and tonight is going to be an emotional night in Flat B. 

Cheers!

Source: Wikipedia (of course) 

Friday, 30 May 2014

It's what's on the inside ...

Today at work I got the urge to bake and decided on Finnish cinnamon buns. I keep forgetting how hard it is to bake from a Finnish recipe when the types of flours are all bit different here and I couldn't for example find cardamom for the dough or coarse sugar for decorating. I just had to make do!
They all came out looking very different, which is good. There's beauty in individuality and imperfection.
Some were downright rude ...
As always I thought I'd put enough filling but when they came out, I realised I hadn't. There can never be enough butter, cinnamon and sugar! When will I learn? I'm sure someone (krhm) will eat them anyway.

Hope you've started your weekend on a good note!
Cheers

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Five Minutes of Fame


I know, you're mainly seeing an overexposed pile of white, but this is what my life is all about right now. In approximately three weeks my university is organising a showcase for this year's graduating play- and screenwriters. And that includes me.

We've spent much of spring choosing a suitable 5-page extract from our full-length work for the rehearsed reading. It's harder than you think. It has to make sense to the audience without being too on the nose. We've polished these extracts and are now nervously hoping the professional actors will make it sound good. (If it sounds rubbish, it's going to be down to the writing, not the acting.)

The envelopes are filled with invitations and letters to industry professionals. Even if they can't attend the actual event, it's time to let agents, literary managers, producers etc. know that we exist. We're also allowed to bring as many friends and family members as we like. Since I don't have family over here, I'm just going to hijack as many of my friends as I can. Although I'm not convinced I actually want them to be there. I'm always more nervous performing in front of people I know! And even though I'm not on stage this time, it's going to be my words being read.

Oh well, we'll all survive one way or another and mixed in with the nerves is a level of excitement. This is what I want after all, my words being read on a stage.

Cheers!