Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Do Re Mi ...

The first choir practice of the fall season tonight! So naturally I have a soar throat and a slightly stuffy nose. Sometimes I wonder if it´s my body´s way of saying I should give up singing. Like "Hey, you´ll never be the next Cecilia Bartoli anyway, so give it a rest!"

How I wish I was a brilliant singer. I´m not bad, I manage fairly well in choirs and smallish groups, and as an alto I´ve learned to sing all kinds of weird harmonies, but sometimes I long for that brilliant, huge voice that makes people go "wow!" and wins you the top price in whatever talent competition you enter. Maybe a role in a Broadway show.

My soar throat might also be a symptom of the fact that I´ve always had a bad relationship with my own voice. It´s the first thing that acts up when I´m nervous. I used to hate listening to myself speak on radio and tv (which was compulsory in journalism school).
I also had problems reading aloud from my book, often to largish audiences. An old lady once came up and told me "That was nice dear, but you have to slow down, I could hardly understand a thing." Well, you have to speed up if you´re going to read a whole chapter in one intake of breath.

Luckily things have improved. Now a days, I can quite comfortably give presentations and readings, and even the odd song without too much discomfort, but it´s still the one thing that makes me nervous before a performance. Keep calm, remember to breath, in AND out, and don´t worry if there´s a slight tremor, it will only get worse. If you listen to your own voice enough times, you´ll slowly stop going "UGH!"

So, where was I? Oh yes, choir practice tonight. Should be fun.


Monday, 29 August 2011


Wohoo, my summer-long scarf project has finally come to an end! I´m rather pleased with it which doesn´t happen too often when I make things. It doesn´t look like much draped over a chair like that, but I´ll see if I can´t get a better pic of it "in action" later on.

Long and wide enough to use in many different ways.

Fall is after all on it´s way! I don´t mind really. I´m in a fallish mindset right now and enjoy a spot of rain. And who can resist a really warm and chunky cardigan!

Have a good start of the week! I´m planning a visit to the fabric shop (so many projects on the go!) and then a visit to the gym.


Saturday, 27 August 2011

Artsy Evening

Yesterday we had The Night of The Arts here in Helsinki. For one evening the city filled up with people on the hunt for literature, dance, music, theatre, film and arts, mostly for free.

I walked around downtown for a few hours an enjoyed whatever came in my path. There were famous Finnish authors like Matti Rönkä and Leena Lehtolainen.

Dance students who showed their talent in the street.

And musicians entertaining in streets and parks. Some of them play in the street everyday during summer but mostly go unnoticed . Yesterday evening they were stars and generously rewarded by the people who walked by or stopped to listen for a while.


Slightly eccentric:

My favourite!

Later on I met up with some friends and went for a drink. A good way to end an entertaining day.

Apparently someone else in my street had also had an "artistic" night. Now if you write "Welcome!" outside the door, is that an invite to anybody who passes by?

Tomorrow I´m attending a rather "alternative" dance performance. It´ll be interesting!

Hope you´re having a great weekend!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Chocolate overdose

Oh dear, I´ve eaten so many of these in the past 24 hours. I bought them for some guests yesterday and I´ve been munching on the left overs ever since. I´m high on sugar!

Luckily I was invited to a friend´s house for tea so I brought the last ones with me and we shared the burden of finishing them. Oh life is cruel, hehe.

Have a nice evening!
(I´ll probably never fall a sleep ...)


Sunday, 21 August 2011


I´ve enjoyed my Sunday. It´s been both productive and relaxing, including tasks like washing the kitchen floor and having a nice cup of tea downtown while working on a project. I also picked up a few films that were on sale ( possible reviews later on) and put in a 30 minute visit at a friends house. She had kindly supervised a book of mine while I was away (just in case it needed to be given back to library while I was out of town).
She´s soon having a baby and had earlier in the week received the child care packet that expecting mom´s in Finland get from the state. So many cute things for the baby! Almost everything you need to get by in the beginning.

Anywho, tomorrow a new week rolls in, packed with things to do. Hope you´ve had a good weekend!


Saturday, 20 August 2011


I just saw one of my absolute favourite films, The Adventures of Picasso, a Swedish comedy from 1978 written and directed by Tage Danielsson, starring Gösta Ekman.

You have to see it to understand the brilliance. It´s funny and absurd, the jokes ranging from the childish and banal to clever and educated. I´d say you have to know Swedish to understand it fully, although there is an English version where the narrator speaks English and they´ve tried to "translate" the jokes. But so much is in the language and delivery.

The film is very close to my heart as my brother and I, together with our maternal cousins, used to watch it over and over again as kids, visiting our mutual grandparents. We knew all the jokes by heart and used to slip them into normal conversation. I was a bit anxious watching it again. I was afraid it would have lost its edge or maybe I had grown out of it, but no, it was still wonderful and I still remembered it all. :) So glad I decided to buy my own DVD online!

Pling Pling!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Double 0 nine and a half

Whoever cracks my oh so intricate code, will receive an amazing reward. ;)

Can´t tell you how much this bugs me right now. Pretending to be a top secret agent for MI5 (or whatever they´re called ...) doesn´t really help. You think you´ve finally fixed it, and suddenly there´s a whole new problem. Joy.

I will still be going over these numbers when I´m 80, certain I have missed something.


Monday, 15 August 2011


Good Morning!

Today´s plan: 1. Go to uni and work on thesis. 2. Begin the workout season again after a rather lazy summer.

First of all I should probably get dressed ...

Have a great day!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

One of those skies

I know, it´s the pollution. But isn´t it pretty? And even prettier in real life. Helsinki is a nice city because the buildings are quite low so you easily see the sky, and in winter you can spot a star or two. Some days I´d like to just sit on my living room sofa and watch the clouds go by.

Hope you´ve had a nice weekend!


Saturday, 13 August 2011

Green Porno

I might be the last person to stumble upon it, maybe you´ve seen it all before, but I still thought I´d share.

Now don´t be alarmed by the headline, it´s nothing (completely) sordid. Isabella Rossellini, the famous actor and model, did a few years back a series of short "documentaries" showing how different animals reproduce. But instead of going out into the wild, she dressed up in absurd animal costumes and acted out the different mating rituals with equally absurd dolls in rather artistic settings. It´s all very educational, funny and ... Well sort of anatomically correct. I know I´ve learnt a thing or two.

In an interview Rossellini said she did them because she had always liked animals and she thought it would be fun. They were made for the Internet but now there´s apparently also a book.

Here are a few examples:

How bees mate:

How whales mate:

And spiders:

Today´s biology lesson over,

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

One Year

Today, one year has passed since my mom died. It´s quite hard to grasp. It has probably been the longest and the shortest year of my life. So many emotions, so many moments, good and bad, so many changes, and yet such a clear memory of those last hours watching her pass away. The sandwich I ate afterwards because the nurses told me to. Like it was yesterday.

We went to put some candles on her grave last night. It wasn´t possible to go together today, because to the rest of the world it´s just another Wednesday.

I´ve linked to it before, but on a day like this, this song might do some good. If nothing else, it helps me cry properly.

Take care!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

A large yellow flower to brighten up the day!

(The real colour is more yellow than in the pic ...)