Thursday, 30 April 2009

The Vapp

First day of the two-day party combo is over. "Valborgsm√§ssoafton" began with meeting friends and going downtown to see Havis Amanda getting her hat. Afterwards we stayed and mingled for a bit but like every year I discovered that I´m not very good with large groups of people or making conversation when I´m only half aquainted with the other person. Especially when the other person doesn´t seem very interested in talking to me either. I´m not a mingling kind of person, that´s all.

After Amanda we went to a friends house and had some great food; Salad, pie, warm bread and chocolate cake. We had a good time and since we all know each other well, there was a relaxed atmosphere. Now I´m really tired and on my way to bed. Tomorrow the festivities continue! I´m meeting friends again, probably for brunch and later on I´m visiting my parents. Oh, and then there´s the hockey game, Finland-Slovakia. Go Finland!



Picture: My outfit for the day. I was going for something springish but am evidently channeling part nurse part pyjamas. Comfy either way.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Finland! (This time music)

Wow, I just now heard Finlands song for the Eurovision song contest and I liked it! (Yes, I know, I should have heard it ages ago but somehow I´ve missed both "Lose control" by Waldo´s People and most of the other participating songs.)
I´m not necessarily a big europop fan but somehow this works, at least it got me dancing, and the video isn´t bad either. (Some of the contest videos make me cringe every year). I´m also glad that we´re showing some versatility after a couple of years of darkly dressed, heavily made up Finns playing rock or metal.

So, I´m watching the Eurovision song contest in Moscow this year, are you?

Monday, 27 April 2009

Finland!

It´s that time of the year, the ice hockey world championships are here! Anyone else watching the Finland-Denmark game? It´s an exciting one. Finland slept pretty much through the first period and Denmark scored the first goal. Luckily it woke the Finns up a bit and the period ended 1-1. The second period began with a bang, 2-1 to Finland. We really ought to win this one!

Go Finland!!

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Picnic and politicians

First picnic of the year! Wohoo!
Met up with a friend and walked to Seurasaari where we sat down on a cliff overlooking the water. The sun was shining and the wind didn´t hinder us from enjoying one of the first warm spring days. Had some nice picnic food with chocolate covered ricecakes for dessert (not in the picture).
After lunch we just chatted, read our horoscopes (which weren´t too encouraging), and tried to get our faces to turn that pigish pink colour.
On the way home we met another jogging politician; Astrid Thors, a member of the finnish parliament. I didn´t photograf her either.


No ice!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Tip of the day

Suddenly need a calm space while in the buzzling downtown area? Easy. Buy a ticket for a midday showing of a romantic comedy and you´ll have an entire auditorium with 300 seats all to yourself. (Okay, you might need to share with say four other women but still ...) The movie is perhaps not the greatest (or it might surprise you) but at least you can put your feet up for a moment, pretend it´s only you and that dishy guy on screen, or just relax and give your mind a rest.
I´ve spent 6,80 euros on worse ...

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Sushi à la Madicken

Made some great vegetarian sushi with a friend today. She had promised to teach me and after a minor crisis with the rice everything went like clockwork. She showed me how to roll the seaweed and mix the vinegar, sugar, salt etc. It was fun!
Now I´m so full that I can hardly move. I just want to drink alot of cold water. Being a bit heavy handed with the wasabi has its drawbacks. :P




Friday, 17 April 2009

Sausage arms

I went to the gym today and it felt good. Last time my body felt as lean and forceful as a traditional Finnish sausage. Funny how it can change from day to day. The body is such a large web of mental and physical impulses and it seems any little imbalance can make the orbitrek pure hell. Even small changes that you are unaware of yourself can turn the gym (or life in general) into a voluntary torture chamber. Well, that´s my theory anyway.

How to keep the balance then? I don´t know. You might try to:

  1. Eat well
  2. Sleep enough
  3. Quit bad habits (the occasional chocolate bar is not a bad habit!)
  4. Enjoy life even when it gets tough
  5. Surround yourself with nice people
  6. Do things that make you happy (even if someone else might think it´s boring, nerdy or just plain stupid.)
  7. Complement yourself and others. It´s an instant mood booster!
  8. Have dreams (not just when you are sleaping.)
  9. Make your home a HOME.
  10. Learn to enjoy time on your own, yes, alone. With yourself. (It´s not as spooky as it sounds.)

Any other tips on how to get that balanced life and body?



Thursday, 16 April 2009

Cars, tears and elephants

Picture: My "Double-elephant-racing-car"

Two hours of babysitting my two-year-old nephew and I´m exhausted. I like and dislike it at the same time. I adore him and enjoy spending time with him but it breaks my heart when his parents leave him with me and he gets upset. I feel like a monster!

Anyway, today was no different. He started crying when his dad left for an hour at the gym and he wouldn´t have anything to do with me for about 20 minutes. He just sat in his pram (that is stored in the hall) moping and sipping milk. If I got too close he started crying again so I let him be for a while so he could calm down.
Then I started luring him to me with legos and cars. When I took out the coloring pens the temptations grew too big and he wanted to be lifted out of the pram so he could join me. Heureka!

Suddenly we were the best of friends and painted the ads vigorously (I couldn´t find any real paper). I drew mostly circles while my nephew preferred aggressive stripes in every color. Later it was time for the cars to come out and we played with them and the Mumins for almost an hour. Every time I got up from the sofa he patted it with his small hand wanting me to sit down next to him again. Aww, my sappy heart melted.

Conclusion: Apart from the rocky start the babysitting went really well today. I just can´t get so emotional when he´s sad. Being left alone with me for an hour or two won´t traumatize him for life. And he does not think I´m the EVIL AUNT who only represents being left behind.
( I hope ... )

So, a happy ending after all but now I really am knackered. My apartment feels suddenly more peaceful and calm than empty and lonely. And there isn´t a love sick Rotweiler in my lap. :)

Great art by great minds.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Wanted: New Camera

I´m thinking about buying a new digital camera. My old one is still working but gets occasional fits and is therefore a bit unreliable. Now the question is, what should I get instead?
The dream is of course a really great one with all the goodies. But at the same time I´m not sure it would serve my purpose. I´m mostly a point and shoot photographer and with many up and coming events I want something that takes good pictures without a lot of fuss. It also needs to fit in my handbag so that excludes the larger cameras with wide zoom range, extra flashes and stuff. (I appologize for my technichal lingo, it´s not great, especially not in english.)
In other words: I´m looking for a good quality pocket sized camera that I can carry with me wherever I go, that has a respectable amount of pixels and optical zoom. It does not have to be cheap but I don´t want to feel like I´m transporting the crown jewels either. So, any tips?

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Lousy paparazzi

Celebrity Sighting of the Day: Erkki Tuomioja in dark blue tracksuit jogging towards me in the park. Not knowing how else to react I just kept on walking, trying not to stare or look excessively cool about it. Instead of reaching for the camera in my bag and snapping pictures of the exercising former Minister for Foreign Affairs and current Member of the Parliament for any magazine willing to pay, I kept my stride and soon was passed. The moment had gone. So, today you get to admire the exciting Spring Sign of the Day instead: Some Yellow Anemone next to a house, close to the beach.



Actually, the flowers might be a more rare sighting than Mr. Tuomioja right now. He, and other leaders of the country, are known to exercise in these parts. Spring signs on the other hand have been few and far between. So, in my opionion, I didn´t do such a bad job after all.


Monday, 6 April 2009

Maddening solitude

Gaaah, I have been isolated in my apartment for three whole days now. I am going mad! Today was mostly due to tiredness but tomorrow I´m going outside even if it means bringing the pillow and duvet with me.
When I first moved to Helsinki I didn´t find it unusual to be on my own for an entire weekend. Now I have apparently grown used to seeing people almost everyday. Maybe even a bit addicted to it. Madicken "the hermit" wants to be social, can you belive it?! :P
I´m so glad to be fit for fight again, even if it only means saying "Thank you", "Bank" and "Good bye" in the shops. I might even throw in a little smile, just for the sake of it.

Hello pretty world and all you pretty people!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

No party for me

I´ve got the stomach flu. Or I did yesterday and today I feel generally week and have a low fever. I knew I´d get sick as soon as I stopped working. And on the weekend no less. But It could be worse so I won´t complain too much. I´m just a bit upset that I can´t attend a friends birthday party tonight. It would have been fun. Instead I try to drink fluids and force-feed myself unappealing foods. To think that the idea of pizza and pasta can be so off-putting.
Anyway, tomorrow will probably be alot better. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Sunfaraa Sunfaraa

I´ve just come back from the spring sing-along concert at Finlandia Hall. We sang everything from Finlandia and Finnish hymns to Abba songs and Freddie Mercury, all accompanied by a full symphony orchestra. It was fun! And it has become somewhat of a tradition. We´ve gone to the concert in different family constellations for the past three years. I hope it continues!
Uuuh, and the cute contrabass player from last year was still in the orchestra. There´s nothing wrong with a bit of mid-concert flirting is there? ;P

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

First day

My first day as my own boss is soon over. I´ve had fun. Woke up without the alarm clock (still pretty early), had a nice chat with my brother, took a stroll in the large department store that shall not be named and then hit the gym. I´ve missed working out!

It´s still really weird to think that I won´t go back to work. After 15 months it´s a rutine and a way of mind that will be hard to shake off. And it will be even harder to find a new one. I wan´t to be free but I will also go mad if I don´t come up with stuff to do (apart from writing). Thank goodness it´s spring and the outdoors get more and more alluring.

I also miss my friends at work. They´ve been great all this time and they were so sweet yesterday. It really got to me. Still, I know this is the right thing to do. I´m so excited about my future plans. Big and small. And I´m definitely going to stay in touch with my "workbuddies" so it´s not like I´m never going to see them again. (We´re actually having lunch next week.) :P

Speaking of food. Celebrated my new way of life by having dinner with a friend yesterday. We tried a new Japanese restaurant and had some nice sushi and fried vegetables with tofu. Neither of us dared to eat the flower though ...