Thursday, 30 December 2010

2011

Last New Year´s Eve I asked for a better year than the previous one. I can honestly say 2010 has been the worst year of my life.

This time I´m not asking, I´m demanding. I´m staring down Faith, Superstition, Karma and the Laws of Science and I demand that 2011 will be a good year. Just give me something to work with, and I´ll make it happen.

Take care of yourselves tonight, and I´ll see you next year!

Cheers

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Plenty of snow and mountains of gift wrapping

Back from christmas blogg vacation!

Christmas came and went, as always. I´m now looking forward to the new year. I always get a rush of extra energy these few days between christmas and new year´s eve, like anything is possible. And I know there will be things to look forward to in 2011.

But first a few pics from our christmas at the "summer" cottage. It was the first time we spent the holidays there, and actually the first time I saw the cottage in winter time. It was beautiful!


My brother and I went christmas tree hunting. What about this one? (The bigger the better right?)


Okay, fine. We´ll choose something that actually fits in the living room. (This is how high the sun came up that day ...)


Tree hunting in -25 degrees makes your hair go prematurely grey.



There was of course sledding, yummy foods (we actually almost managed to make it taste just like mom´s!) and great presents. Dad made his debut as Santa.


He wasn´t the only one who got to dress up. When you live in the forest, you need to have your power tools. ;)


After a few days in winter wonderland, it was rather nice to get back to Helsinki. And an indoor toilet! (I do miss the sauna though ...)

Now it´s all eyes on Friday and 2011. An year can contain so much. Let´s hope for good things!

Cheers


Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Baa Baa here, and a Baa Baa there

Old McDonald had a farm. EE-I-EE-I-OO.

First ever ginger bread cookies made in my own oven. The dress rehearsal batch came out a bit over done, but the rest look rather nice. I don´t know where mom kept her special recipe for dough, so I bought some ready made. It feels a bit wrong, but next year I will have found it.

I got these super cute "kids" cookie cutters from a friend for my birthday. Now I have a whole family!


And their farm animals. (Every Finn has a moomin on their farm.)



Cheers!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Excavation, please


Helsinki is giving the North Pole a run for its money. The snow is just pouring down, day after day.

The Snowmen are back on the roofs. Guards on street level blow their whistles every time it´s safe to showel down another load.

That´s fine. BUT. I was not amused finding my bike suddenly burried under a mountain of snow. Yes, there was a last minute note asking us to move our bikes, but I didn´t see it on time. I guess I wasn´t the only one ...
Cheers

Friday, 17 December 2010

Christmas Vacation!

Today I´m officially beginning my christmas vacation. No work och studies until next year. Wohoo!

First thing on today's agenda: A (very crowded) christmas market downtown. Then a completely chill-out evening.

My mantra for today: "Calm down, you´re not in a hurry anywhere. You have time."

Have a great weekend!
Cheers

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Welcome to my home

Good morning!

I new day has begun, but it´s still early so I´ll tell you about yesterday instead. :)

I got another 15 minutes of fame when a journalist and a camera women came to do a small tv-piece about christmas decorating. A journalist friend had tiped them off about me starting quite early ...

Anywho, it was fun. I'm still pretty insecure about my own voice and always feel like I´m rambling in super high speed. But hopefully I said something clever. The actual interview didn´t take more than maybe 10 minutes. The rest of the 4 hours we filmed different scenes with me prepairing for christmas and also looking at decorations in shops.

Only negative was that I got super hungry towards the end. My stomach started cramping and I felt a bit weak. But we still made it and now I´m waiting for it to air on Sunday evening. Although I don´t know if I dare watch ...

Cheers!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Lunch with the Minister for Foreign Affairs

Even the Finnish Minister for foreign Affairs has to take his son for a burger now and then. Walking into an almost empty fast food restaurant during my shopping today, the first thing I saw was the minister at a table, texting on a phone while his kid ate.

Now I´m not good with famous people. I might have said it before. I want to look at them, because, come on, it´s a bit exciting, but I just don´t have the nerve. It´s the same thing with guys. If I suddenly realise I like a guy, I can´t look at him anymore for the stupid fear of him noticing me noticing him. (It´s not a working concept ...)

Well, I sat dow two tables behind them and dug out a book. I got a bit paranoid because the kid was looking at me quite alot. But then again the alternative view would have been an empty, ketchup stained wall ...

Anywho, I guess the point I want to make with this entry is that it´s nice that the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Finland can take his son for a burger like any other dad (without FBI-esk protection). And that the leaders of the world (or at least their kids) eat hamburgers.

Cheers!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Morning compliment. Not.

My first conversation today:

(Begin scene)

I´m opening the front door at uni. A former teacher, going out for a smoke, takes a long look at me and gives me a crooked smile.

Me: Hi.

My teacher: Oh my, your cheeks are red.

Me (perplexed and rather stupidly): It´s windy outside.

(End scene)

Entering the elevator I take a look in the mirror. No, he´s wrong, it´s not my cheeks, it´s my entire face! I look like a tomato, or someone who actually does an exercise class first thing in the morning.

Damn you winter wind.

Cheers

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Something Beautiful

I´ve always liked "Something beautiful" by Robbie Williams, but right now the song speaks to me in a new way. The lyrics are the same, but the meaning somewhat different. It captures a feeling. And still gives a bit of hope ...

You can listen to it here if you feel like it.

Have a nice day!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Happy Independence Day

I´m watching the presidential ball as we speak. There´s nobody to critique the dresses with this year, but my conclusions so far: Some nice ones. And some completely horrendous ones. What were they thinking?!

Maybe I´ll be there myself one day. Who knows? I bet I would be fretting over making a fashion faux pas. And what would I say to the president shaking her hand? The traditional, boring "Happy Independence Day" or something more creative? Or would I nervously stumble on my high heals and go "shit"?

Oh well, I´ll have years to figure it out. Maybe even a life time. Now I´m going to make some food and watch the rest in my pyjamas.

Happy (Finnish) Independence Day! (Is it just me, or has a certain US alien movie destroyed that sentence completely?)

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Glue Poisoning

Today´s mission was to get the funeral/condolence thank you notes in order. First we did the whole detective thing trying to figure out people´s addresses. Then we signed and enveloped the notes conveyor belt style, careful not to mix the Swedish and Finnish notes. The flap glue could be tastier ...

Yesterday´s pre-christmas lunch went well. We all achieved classic christmas fullness, but still couldn´t stop eating. :) (What will happen on christmas eve when we serve the entire christmas menu? Gasp.)

We even recieved a few presents. I thorougly enjoy this pink (almost) batteryless flash light pig.


After such a christmassy weekend (ignoring the note business) it´s hard to believe christmas is still ahead of us. But hey, the more the merrier! :)
Cheers!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Call me bonkers, but I love it


People, meet my christmas tree. According to tradition, a bit larger than planned.

It smells divine and still has most of its needles left. (I´m always a bit sceptic of trees you buy. Growing up we got our tree straight from the woods and that way knew what kind of conditions it had been in.) But so far my store bought tree is everything I hoped for. :)

So christmas, here we are again. Good thing too since we tomorrow are having a family get together at my place. A sort of pre-christmas lunch with some of the classic christmas foods. This way we all have time to meet up and nobody has to stress out just before the actual holidays.

Have a great weekend!

Cheers

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Jesus came out a little early this year

Christmas is my favourite holiday, and this year I´m going to do christmas all of December.


The lights are out, the angels and little red men have found their places and I even located the nativity scene I grew up with. First my grandmother had it (she made all the figurines!), then my mom, and now I put up the display on my piano.

It´s perhaps a bit early´, but I think Mary and Joseph and little Jesus have the right to get out of the box for more than a few days a year anyway. (And thank goodness they didn´t disappear in the general moving chaos.)



Best of all: Tomorrow I´m getting a christmas tree! Not a huge one. Not the "seeling high, tomorrow it´s christmas eve" tree. But a moderately sized tree that I can put in the corner of my living room and decorate with light and baubles. I´m a conservative when it comes to christmas trees. No fakes allowed! (Unless you´re really allergic, then you´re forgiven.)

So, welcome to my winter wonder land! If you´re good, I might get you a present. ;)


Cheers!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

It just goes crazy

I´m an advocate for sub zero degrees and snow this year (to many peoples dismay). There are only two every day issues that make me give the outside world the occasional evil eye.

1. Dry skin
It´s like my skin is trying to copy the snow. The minute it gets cold, my skin goes white and flaky. It doesn´t matter if I´m inside in comfy +22 degrees. It just KNOWS the quicksilver has hit -1 outside and it´s time get tight and itchy. And unattractive.

2. Static hair
When I was in high school my waist long hair was like an octopus. My head was the body and the stresses its curious arms. As soon the temperature fell the octopus began examening its innoncent neighbours, climbing up their deliciously syntetic cardigans towards the comforting shoulder and winter flaky face. It didn´t matter if the person next to me was a friend, a math teacher or my crush of the month, my hair always found someone to molest. And if there wasn´t anything to cling on to, it just went into Marge Simpson mode. Sans the blue colour. Sometimes I was afraid it would turn och me and suffocate me in my sleep ...

Cheers

Friday, 26 November 2010

Ice Legs

It has been winter in Helsinki for a few days now and I´m starting to get my ice legs back.

I think it´s something people who experience snow and ice on a regular basis develop. A conscious and subconscious knowledge of how to walk on slippery ground. It´s everything from choosing the right footwear to not tensing up and just going with the "glide" when you realise there is nothing but black ice under your feet.

Of course, sometimes even the most seasoned winter walker might take a fall. I´m crossing my fingers it´s not me this year either. I do know my legs are adapting to the cold conditions. I have muscle ache in the lower parts of my calves!

Cheers!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Birthday part 2

Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday dear ...

Well, you get the point. :) Today I have officially turned 26, going on 30. I began the morning with a sturdy breakfast. Or at least it was yummy ...



It´s amazing how different birthdays a year a part can be. Last year I walked on Australian beaches and this year I´m trying to keep the snow out. :)
In the afternoon I had my grandmother on a visit and we planned a small christmas party here at my place. And after that Heidi and I painted 3 doors all white and bright. And ate a bunch of chocolates. (Did I mention it´s my birthday ...) ;)

The rest of the evening I´m just going to relax and plan what to serve my guest on Saturday. If nothing else, Heidi gave me some good cheese tips. :)

Cheers!

Monday, 22 November 2010

My unrealistic wish list

This is what I want for my birthday on Thursday:

  1. A call from my publisher saying they want my next book
  2. A (for me) perfect boyfriend
  3. A 15-pages, well written method essay (due in a week)
  4. Sense to do nothing, energy to manage everything
  5. All my friends from around the world together in one place (preferably a place where I am too ...)

Now I know most of these thing are highly unlikely. Not maybe sometime in the future, but all on the same day. But hey, it´s my birthday. I can wish for anything I want.

cheers!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Birthday part 1/3

My dad came down for the weekend to celebrate my 26th birthday (which is on Thursday). One of the main events: Sushi. A first time experience for him.


Conclusion: He didn´t think it was horrible, but rather unusual. Sushi offers a lot of new tastes which might need some getting used to. I remember my first time. I wasn´t quite sure myself, but now I´m almost addicted!

For dessert we decided to give my unreliable gas owen a last chance to prove itself. And it did! It turned out almost perfectly.


No birthday is complete without a few gifts. I got a sweet necklace and a external memory I really needed. Now I have 1 TB space to store all my photos on. Brilliant!


So that was my first celebration. On Thursday I will have my grandmother and a friend over and on Saturday it´s time for the actual party.
Now where´s that duster ...

Cheers!






Saturday, 20 November 2010

Fine, I´ll do it myself

Yesterday I plucked up the courage and energy to finally choose and contact a new hairdresser. For weeks I´ve been thinking I need to cut my hair. Did the hairdresser answer my desperate phone calls?
NO.

I have peculiar bad luck when it comes to good hairdressers. I´ll give you a few examples: The first lady who cut my long childhood hair short(er) was absolutely brilliant. Next time I needed my hair cut, she was gone. Died of a brain tumour.
Last time I cut my hair (also short) I was rather pleased with the result. A few weeks later, the salon had changed owners. I never saw my hairdresser again. (Hopefully she´s still alive and in good health.)

The bad hairdressers in between? Oh, they never go anywhere. They are still there, ready to destroy any head coming their way. Brilliant.

Is this a sign? Should I just leave my hair alone and slowly turn into Cousin IT? Do I have the right to destroy people´s lives by asking them to make me pretty?

Cheers

Thursday, 18 November 2010

White morning


A lot of people are cursing the snow right now, but I couldn´t help feeling a bit excited when I got up this morning and saw the world all white for the first time this winter.

There´s something comforting about snow. It´s soft and bright and a reminder of how lucky you are to have a warm and comfy home. It also reminds me of christmas, although this year I´m a bit worried about the holidays ... It was my mom´s, and my, favourite time of year. We always went a bit nuts with the food and the decorations. She was the one who knew what everyone wanted, without having to ask. It will never be the same again. Even though we´ll try to enjoy it, it is still going to be bitter sweet.

Of course, my mom actually hated the snow (except at christmas time) so she probably doesn´t mind missing out on it right now ...

Cheers

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

My favourite food


I know the picture is anything but apetizing, but jolly tastebuds this swedish turnip dish is so good I long for it every year. Come to think of it, I probably wrote a similar entry last winter singing its praises.

Of course, not everyone likes it. Some people look at me like I forgot to put clothes on when I say it is the one thing I want for christmas. Because it is only made around christmas time. And so I eat this like a maniac during November and December when you can find it in the shops.

I could make it myself of course, but I would never do it as well as this one brand I won´t mention here ... :)

Anywho, this was the 2010 love song to the Swedish turnip.
Cheers!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

And suddenly it is mine ...

I am now officially a home owner. What a weird thought.

I guess it´s actually quite a big thing. My first own, that´s my signature on the paper, home. On the other hand, I´ve lived in this flat for 7 years already and nothing is really going change ... Except that the interior has gotten a lift in the last few months.

Well, while I´m waiting for it to sink in, I´m going to raise a toast with myself and wish for happy times to come in this little home of mine.

Cheers!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Hidden Gem

Now you see it ... Now you don´t!


The solution to put the dishwasher in an old cupboard in the kitchen turned out great, so why stop there?

My microwave felt out of place until last weekend when dad helped me install it in a smaller cupboard above the dishwasher. And this time we kept the door so you can even hide the not so attractive appliance. Brilliant!

"Microwave dinners, moi?"


Cheers!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

A day of remembrance

Today we celebrate All Saints´Day in Finland, a day when we remember our loved ones who are not with us anymore.

I guess this was the first time it really hit home. The first time I celebrated the day with someone very special in mind. I´ve been lucky, I guess ...

We visited the cemetery after dark and decorated the grave with candles. We were not alone. People around us were also quitely visiting their dead. It was rather beautiful. Hundreds of lit candles against a deep black back ground. It was the first time I saw her name on the stone.

Take care of the people you love,

Cheers

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Oxford!

I was very excited to visit Oxford, the home of great writers like Tolkien and fictional characters like Morse and Harry Potter (okay so he was in Hogwarts but a lot was filmed in Oxford!). We took the train from London and stayed at a cheap B&B in the centre of town. It wasn't Buckingham Palace but nice enough for us with our own bathroom.


The buildings in central Oxford are just amazing! They are older and grander, or cuter and more colourful than anything you can find in Finland and it just oozes of culture and knowledge (at least for first time tourists like us). I was happy to just walk around and look at everything.



It was fun to recognize all the places I had seen on TV. The Bodleian Library, the different colleges and the river Thames. It was almost a disappointment when there wasn't a murder victim floating in it. 

The library has 11 000 000 books in its collections, and receives 4000 more every week!

This is the oldest "room" of the library. The roof was incredible! It also doubled as the infirmary in Harry Potter. Recognise it?

A place by the river I think I've seen before ...

No bodies, only lovely sunshine. :)

We ate great things as usual. Afternoon tea was a must. Scones with jam and clotted cream. Yum!

And dinner at the Eagle and Child, where the "Inklings" used to drink and talk about their writing. We, of course, made up our own grand plans to conquer the literary world.

Oxford was pretty easy to navigate, but the map came in handy a few times ... And on day two we stumbled upon the Botanic Garden and filled up the camera with fun shots.

When in a garden in Oxford, you have to sit down with a book. (If only for a photo op ...)


Hanna decided to sniff some Cannabis in the medicinal gardens.

And then we left Oxford ...

So, that was my trip to London/Oxford! Hope you enjoyed it. :)

Cheers!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The trip, Part 1

My research plan is done! Now I can pester you with pics from my and Hanna´s week in London and Oxford.

I´ve decided to do them in two parts, geographically. Part 1: London, pre and post Oxford. :) It mostly contained of food and shopping! This time we actually got as far as Harrods!

Anywho, a few highlights from our first day (click on the pic if you want it bigger):

Breakfast at the breakfast club with Lotta and Hanna. I had the most delicious pancakes with maple syrupe, berries and clotted cream, and some lemon and ginger tea. Mmmm.



For lunch we met up with another friend from Finland, Mona (middle).


And dinner, back at Lotta and her boyfriend Gerry´s place: Take away sushi for as far as your eyes can see!

Gerry and Lotta, two tumbs up!


There were five of us ...


Hanna showed off her new tap dance shoes she bought at a vintage store in Brick Lane. Definitely the most random shopping find in London. ;)


Back from Oxford we contiuned with food and shopping, and managed to squeeze in a bit of castle seeing as well.


Too bad they kept all the guards behind bars so we couldn´t tease them ...


Tomorrow I´ll show you Oxford! I definitely filled up my camera there.

Cheers!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

New Header

By the way, I thought I´d try out a new header (the pic on the top of the page). I still like the old one, but somehow it doesn´t feel like me rigth now.

This one was taken by Hanna at the Botanical garden in Oxford. Lovely city!

Please tell me if you hate it and I´ll change back. :)

Cheers!

Back to reality

Hello!

Sorry for abandoning you a whole week, but there wasn´t alot of time for blogging in England. It was a great trip and I´ll show you pictures in a day or two, as soon as I get my research plan done.

I just wanted to let you know that I´m alive and everything went well last week.

Cheers!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

I just need to sleep

Holy socks and lemon cheese cake, I´m so tired I might just not function any more.

The weekend was dedicated to the final clean out of mom´s flat. Just a few light fixtures are still hanging in the otherwise empty rooms. It´s so sad. I remember how I sat on the living room floor with her three years ago, surrounded by tens and tens of glass crystals. We were trying to figure out how they should go in a new lamp she had bought. Today that lamp came down and is now hanging in my own bedroom.

In less than 24 I should be in London, if the strike doesn´t ruin it. It just can´t. I need this trip, even though I haven´t had time to think about it at all. I haven´t packed and some of the clothes are still wet in the washing mashine. I just can´t get up from the sofa.

Please send me a speck of energy so I can think straight.

Cheers!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Face of the rising sun

Why does my face get so red when I work out? It´s like tiny cell nurses are screaming "Medics, medics! We need more blood. The face needs more blood!"

My pigment doesn´t allow me to blush very often, so I thought it whould help against work out redness as well, but no. My face is like eternal frost bite, red and white blotches, every childhood disease in one go. My legs however, don´t seem to get any blood at all. Instead they wobble dangerously as I try do an elegant jump on the step board ...

In honor of the redness I made pasta with tomato-vegetable sauce for Friday night dinner.



Cheers!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Pimp my desk


I´m only a research assistant for two and a half months but I still feel I need to do something about the desk in my cubicle. It´s anything but inspiring. What can I do to make it a bit more cosy and welcoming? Pink paint might not be a great solution this time ...

Cheers!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Living with strangers

Today was good proof of how little we actually know about the people we share a house with.

My brother and I were taking some summer tires down to the basement locker. An energetic guy from the building saw the tires and began, without saying anything, help us carry them down. So nice of him!

Anyway, when we were done he just said "Tervetuloa!" and left. Okay ... Tervetuloa (Finnish) means welcome, but not welcome as in "You´re welcome" but more like "Welcome to the building" welcome.

I said to my brother: He thinks we´ve just moved in.
My brother: He seemed like a nice guy ...
Me: Yeah, but I´ve never seen him before.

I´ve lived in the building for 7 years, he´s one of my closest neighbours and we´ve never met! Crazy.

Speaking of houses. My mom´s flat went on the market today. Please keep your fingers crossed that it sells quickly and for a decent price. (For us decent, that is ...) I have such mixed feelings about the whole thing, but I know we have to sell so I´m trying to look on the bright side of things.

Have a nice evening!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Long day

Oh dear, I´m so tired I might have to eat some dark chocolate just to get enough energy to get myself in bed.

Today was the introduction day to my new part time job. It´s all about research, databases, more or less willing researchers and deadlines. We´ll see how it goes ...

Afterwards I had the usual master´s seminar where we discuss our thesis progress and present different papers. I´m supposed to present my research plan in 3 weeks. Iiik. I wouldn´t otherwise worry but one of these weeks I´m in London! (Not writing on the research plan ...)

London! Yay, I´m so excited. Even though I haven´t had time to plan much. But we´re at least going to Oxford for a day. The home of Morse and Lewis and famous writers in masses. And it looks beautiful.

Okay, time to eat something and then see if I can find my bed under a load of washed clothes.

Cheers!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Human stories

I´m reading something I usually never read, a biography.

I thought I´d give it a chance. Since the LBM*, I have two shelves of biographies, to shelves of interesting people. Right now I´m reading about Hillary Clinton. Maybe I´ll then move on to her hubby Bill, or Saddam Hussein ...

Do you read biographies?


*Large Book Move, another stupid abbreviation you should forget as soon as possible ...


Cheers!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow ...


The first snow is falling outside my window as we speak!

I can´t help it, I always get excited about the first snow. And the second snow, and maybe the third ... Maybe it´s because I use public transport and don´t have to stress about winter tires and slippery roads.

Anyway, tricky to take pictures of rapidly falling snow ...


Cheers

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Uncomfortable

Question: Why is uni´s vegetarian option Bean stew with Bean salad the day I´m going to the cinema?

Cheers

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Success!


I´m so relieved. Mom´s flat is finally ready for sale. It´s over to the professionals to do their magic.

I celebrated with some sushi and picked up the clothes I had put on hold. I just love my new black, wool coat! It´s super wide, I could expect quadruplets and nobody would know, and really comfy. But then if you put a belt around the waist it transforms into a completely different coat. A bit sexy I must say ... From 50´s housewife to Marilyn Monroe. ;)

I´ll show you some day when my own flat isn´t a complete mess. Inherited mess, I must add ...

Cheers!