Wednesday, 26 November 2014

DAY 96: Secret Agent Woman


It's days like this I feel like a double agent; office worker by day, word warrior by night. After work I shot off to meet the theatre company I'm collaborating with. We're in application mode and with a few chops and slices we managed to get everything we wanted to say down to the allowed amount of pages. After the meeting I then took the Madmobile home to edit a magazine column and a book chapter. (The first my own, the second not my own.)
You have to be ruthless. They should never see it coming. 
I think I've written about editing before, how it can be both a pain and a pleasure. Like most people I find it easier to edit bits of text that are not my own. I'm not overly attached to anything and I haven't become blind yet to all the small details. As soon as the text is my own the ego begins to protest. On a bad day it thinks everything I've written is absolutely brilliant and there shouldn't be any reason whatsoever to cut or change anything. On those days you just have to give your ego a good talking to and then be ruthless.

With two deadlines by the end of the week I'm hoping I'll get everything done on time. I'll just have to play it cool.

I'll have my diet coke shaken, not stirred. Please. Lemon? Sure. But no ice. (Do you have any straws? Ooh, mini umbrella!)


DAY 95: A Happy Birthday


Greetings from a happy 30-year-old. I had a lovely birthday, celebrating it with cookie baking and decorating in good company. I wanted to do something low key since the actual "party" is on Thursday when Lotta and I are having joint birthday drinks in a pub close by.  
Traditional and not so traditional cookie cutting.
 One of my friends congratulated me on Facebook and asked if I'd had my crisis yet. I don't think I'm having more of a crisis today than I had yesterday, even though your 30s do determine a lot. But I look forward to all the great things that might come along!
The concentration was fierce.
 I received some lovely cards and gifts and I was even presented with a surprise cake with candles and everything. Thirty years on I still get embarrassed when people sing happy birthday to me. But in a good way! I managed to blow out all 13 candles, one for every letter in Happy Birthday. (That's not unlucky is it?)
 I didn't remember to take photos of all the cookies so here's just a selection. These were some of the first ones we made so we hadn't quite gone crazy yet. My flatmate had bought some fab stuff for the decorating, she'd gone all out and it was great fun!
A massive thank you to everyone who made my birthday special, whether you could be here in person or sent me a kind wish. I look forward to seeing many of you in the upcoming year and celebrating your birthdays too!

Thanks again!

Monday, 24 November 2014

DAY 92, 93 & 94: Sitting in the dark


It's been quiet around here since Friday, I know. But I'll rectify that now by doing a weekend round up!

A friend was visiting London for the weekend. She's a great dance lover so I took her to Sadler's Wells Theatre for Triptych. I'm embarrassed to say I hadn't been before despite living close by. It was a great evening and I'm always amazed what the human body can do! It got extra exciting when the lights on stage suddenly went out and we all sat in complete darkness for a while. First we thought it was part of the show, but when the live orchestra stopped playing as well we realised something had gone wrong. The unpredictability of live entertainment! The audience shared a few worried glances before deciding it was all quite amusing and there was lots of clapping and cheering.
On Sunday I did another first. I ventured East to Stratford for some shopping. It was either that or Oxford Street and Oxford Street on a Sunday, in torrential rain, just seemed like the most miserable option ever, so I decided on Westfield instead. At least it was all indoors! I wasn't the only one who'd had the idea, but while the corridors were quite busy the shops weren't too bad. No queuing for the fitting rooms! 
Swedish dough - Close enough
Today I finally took the tube to Scandinavian Kitchen for the gingerbread dough. Birthday Baking tomorrow! I ended up with a few other things as well ... But like I told the shop assistant (in Swedish!), it was still cheaper than flying to Finland and getting the stuff there.

Right, time to enjoy the final hours of my twenties! I hope you had a great weekend! 


Friday, 21 November 2014

DAY 91: Oops I did it again

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Drum roll please ... Or not, that's fine too. Although it's been quite an exciting day for me because I received the final mark for my MA! I have officially graduated! (Except the graduation ceremony isn't until January.)

I achieved what I had set out to do so I'm pretty pleased. I was proud when I received my MA in Social Science at the University of Helsinki, mainly because it had been hard work and I'd done a large research project which resulted in my thesis, but this MA means even more  because it taught me the thing I really want to do. And having someone say "Hey, you're not half bad at this", is always highly appreciated.  
So, I guess I should stop introducing myself as a student now. Should I even get used to introducing myself as a writer? The thought!

I hope you've had a good day too and have a great weekend!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

DAY 90: The BBC thinks I'm ancient


Greetings from my sushi coma. Some good food and good company made it a very pleasant evening indeed. I might have had a bit too much green tea. Hopefully it won't make my current nocturnal tendencies worse.
Good but evil.
In other news, I was listening to BBC Radio 2's Non-Stop Oldies at the office and this song came on, Daniel Powter's "Bad Day".

My brain did a flip and went "Hang on!". That's not an old song. Definitely not old enough to be part of Non-Stop Oldies. For that segment I'm thinking Elvis, The Beach Boys, some Beatles and maybe a Barry White or two. Not the biggest hit of 2005! I refuse to think that my early 20s are now None-Stop Oldies material. I was still quite pleased though because I'd completely forgotten about the song and I suddenly remembered how much I liked it back in the day (me and the rest of the world). I'm not sure it has aged very well but it was still a nice bit of time travel. Who doesn't want to meet "The One" on a rainy day under a red umbrella? (And vandalise a piece of advertisement in the tube.)   

To be fair, it's not the BBC that picks the songs, people are allowed to send in their own playlists of oldies and then BBC the chooses a suitable list (so they do make a judgement call of sorts ...) Anywho, I didn't have a bad day and I hope you've enjoyed your day too!


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

DAY 89: A slightly less lethal lunch

I know, I've already written too many "Hurrah, lunch in the park!" entries, but come on! I'm Finnish. To me having a sandwich and a coffee in the sunshine, outdoors, in mid-November is pretty much a miracle.
No rabid penguins, just a few covert doves. 
Back home I'd be keeping one eye on my numb feet and the other on the rabid penguins watching from the shadows. It's hard to run from a penguin when you can't feel your feet and you have tomato and mozzarella, frozen solid, stuck halfway down your throat. (Okay, I should point out that there are no actual penguins in Finland (or polar bears for that matter). Way too many people still believe there are. No. Not even up North. We have normal bears. And wolves. Lots of flesh eating bunnies (they might not be flesh eating) and worst of all THE SEAGULLS. But you don't see them much in winter. Not the bears either, they normally sleep.) What I'm trying to say is, I really enjoy living in a country where I can sit down for an al fresco lunch without freezing to death or at least catching a urinary tract infection.

I could also tell you about the meeting I had this evening, but let's leave the shoptalk for another time. (My head has gone a bit too night time mushy by now, as you might have noticed.) I'm very happy to be involved though and excited to see where it might all lead!

I hope you've had a great day!

Monday, 17 November 2014

DAY 88: Sweet sweet art

Hurrah! Scandinavian Kitchen in London sells ready made gingerbread dough! There will be gingerbread cookie-baking/decorating this year as well! Why ready made dough you might ask? Well, ideally I would like to make my own but I have a nagging feeling I won't have time, and finding all the right spices in London is a pain. Previous years I've had to leave some out because I just couldn't buy them.
Last year's dough, which had already spent a year in the freezer ... Krhm. (Nobody died! Nobody got sick! ... I think.)
The fun part is decorating the cookies anyway. In Finland we would usually go for the traditional Nordic Christmas motifs but since my flatmates joined me here in London, we've gone off-piste a bit, as you might remember from 2013 and 2012. Lots of fun anyway!
Hopefully I'll be able to pick up a bottle of glögg as well (Nordic version of mulled wine which you can drink with or without alcohol). The risk of going to places like the Scandinavian Kitchen is that I get all food nostalgic and spend way too much money on things like Felix Smörgåsgurka. Oh well, it could be much much worse!

By the way, if S Club 7 was my office radio soundtrack on Friday, today it was all about Queen and "Don' stop me now".

Hope your week has started off well! (I'm definitely feeling better so the resting cure seem to have worked! Knock wood.)