Monday, March 31

the first day my winter coat was too much

Today I sat in a café, walked a lot (but took only a few photos) and bought a new, lighter coat. A very good spring day! Tomorrow it'll be April already.

Thursday, March 27

for the weekend

Talking about visiting winter... After I came back to Tampere, we had a crazy big snowstorm (at least in Finnish scale - we usually get our snow little by little, even though we get lots of it in some parts of the country). It began on Wednesday morning, I woke up far too early because the wind was howling outside - and inside, too - I could feel it while lying in bed, which isn't even in front of the window (luckily!). The snow was falling horizontally, it was the kind of day which can be perfect if you have hot chocolate, a good book and a company of a cat/dog and don't have to get out the whole day. Unfortunately I had none of the above, I didn't even have milk for my coffee because of the fridge incident explained later, and it really is rather cold in my room when it's windy like that.

It's hard to believe it wasn't that long ago when it was warm and springy and I took that photo above. I'm kind of miffed, since I have already set my mind on 'spring', and anyway, if we don't get much snow the whole winter, we certainly don't need that now. But according to the weather forecast, it'll be all gone soon, so it's not too bad.

Otherwise this is an easy week, as I didn't have any classes until Wednesday and could enjoy being pampered by Mum for several days. After that even the fact that I'd managed to unplug my fridge (instead of coffee maker like I meant to) just before leaving for train last week didn't make me loose my calm. I didn't have that much in my fridge anyways.

I'm working again this weekend, but looking forward to some fun with friends too, it looks like we might actually have enough energy to go out. :) Isn't that usual these days, maybe we're getting old?
Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, March 26

easter in eastern finland

There was white glittering snow and sunshine, and some more snow. It was nice to visit winter! Meant to post during the weekend, but as always at my parents, ended up mostly doing nothing (except chatting with the guests - my uncle and his wife - taking walks in the snow, eating well). Hope everyone had a good Easter weekend!

mum-made bunny buns

Finnish Easter pudding, mämmi, served with cream (or milk/cream mixed) - I'm beginning to like it after refusing to eat it as a child, and then eating only a couple of spoonfuls each year

Thursday, March 20

one little easter bunny

Thanks for all your comments on the last post! It was really nice to read them, and I thought I'd share my answers to them with you all... Like Kaisa said, it's so easy to ignore all the tiny wonderful details in your everyday environment. I think it's too easy - at least when it comes to myself - to let the mundane activities distract you from really seeing what's around you. I have to say after seven years in Helsinki, I notice some nice details in the neighbourhood I lived in only now I'm not living my daily life there. But whenever I find these surprises in familiar environment, I feel like I've just gotten a present.

Sometimes I wonder if I maybe give a false image of Helsinki to those of my readers who have never been there: it is indeed true that my love for the city strongly influences the photos I show you and the things I tell about. I hope if you ever visit Helsinki it won't be a big disappointment to you! That doesn't mean I don't understand you're all smart enough to realise I might do some editing when deciding what I want to show you. :) And I do like Helsinki a lot, really - I see it maybe even more clearly now I don't live there. I think I should apologize Tampere for not showing more of it in my posts - it's not because I don't like it here, and I hope I'll have more to show when I get to know Tampere more.
Anyway, I just read a short article about travelling to Helsinki in this month's Nylon magazine, and I smiled a bit comparing my photos here with the ones they published in the magazine. Maybe I should scan them, so you'll get a different view! The city looks so empty and cold in those photos - though, I have to admit, if you come to Helsinki for a late November weekend like they did, it's most likely going to be empty and cold, because everyone stays inside. Come to think of it, late November is probably the worst time you could pick to visit Finland, or most likely any place in Northern hemisphere...
(For me, reading blogs has certainly opened new views to countries or cities, and my list of places I want to see is growing steadily. One of the cities I never even thought about before - though I've known about it for a long time - but now really want to visit is Gothenburg; after reading great blogs written by certain Gothenburgers, most notably Sandra, I'm assured it's one cool city, where people sit in cafés all day long, and where there's always something interesting to see. You've got a lot to answer for, Sandra! :) Actually, I know a Finn who's lived there since last summer, and she says it really is a cool place.)

...Okay. I think this is about all I was going to say. Now, I've got a train to catch, together with the little buddy in the photos, who's my Easter present to Mum. He hopped into my bag yesterday, and though he acts all sweet and coy, I'm glad to let Mum take care of him - he wanted more than his fair share of my cupcake...

bunny by Heljä Liukko-Sundström for Arabia

Tuesday, March 18

look up

in Helsinki, or you'll miss a lot of wonderful things (well, I guess it's like this everywhere).

My favourites are the stylized animal and plant motifs of the art nouveau buildings (or Jugend, I should say, since Finnish architecture of that time really has more common with the German Jugend architecture). you can see, I've been pretending to be a tourist while still at home; it's nice every once in a while!

Sunday, March 16

walking in punavuori, helsinki

in the window of Ivana Helsinki store

probably the cutest jopo bicycle ever - the girl riding it looked really sweet and cool, too

I love old-fashioned neon lights

paper snowflakes in the windows of a school

okay, this is not from Punavuori, but I liked the pattern in a construction site wall (the building behind it is the museum of contemporary art)

My hairdresser's in Punavuori, and whenever I have time after getting my hair cut, I like to take a stroll there. Always something nice to see. I almost could imagine living there one day.
This time I visited Pulu (meaning 'pigeon'), a newish art and design shop. I was warmly welcomed by the sweet creature on the right (she's featured as the employee of the month on their website, by the way!) and chatted with one of the owners - she was really nice too. The website is in Finnish only, but if you click on 'tuotteet' you'll be able to see some things they have in the shop. I bought a badge for myself, and a monkey bib for a certain little monkey. Finns not living in Helsinki, you can order the products by e-mail too!

Tuesday, March 11

spring light

I took a long walk in the dusty afternoon light.
The noises of the city didn't disturb me: the sky was blue and I felt warm in my black winter coat.
The fact that it's not dark until after 7 p.m. seems like a miracle after the long dark winter days.

mr blue sky
please tell us why
you had to hide away for so long

The beach is so different from summer.

Sunday, March 9

sunny yellow

Yesterday my breakfast reminded me of sun even though it snowed outside. I drank lots of coffee (I was missing it because I can't drink coffee when sick) and listened to a newly acquired cd - Jenny Lewis' Rabbit Fur Coat.
When I lived in Helsinki, A and I had a tradition of having breakfast together on Sundays (every so often). Breakfast usually included some special treats - we took turns in making it - , lots of coffee and chatting. I miss those mornings, A.

In the afternoon I went to see my favourite pair of sisters in whole Tampere. We ate soup and freshly baked bread, and I had so much fun I didn't realise how late it was until it was very late indeed.

Friday, March 7

slow days

I've been staying in bed for the past few days, battling the flu (I used to fall sick whenever I got a break from university; now, it seems I fall sick a week before the break - which in a way is good, 'cause I get well before the break begins, though I feel somewhat guilty for missing classes). I've had plenty of time watch the snow fall and the light change outside, and notice how days really are getting longer.

When I'm busy, I always think what I would do if I just had some time for myself - read, knit, blog, etc.
And what have I done? Absolutely nothing.
But maybe that's ok, too.

Monday, March 3

winter, again

I had gotten used to the thought of spring, as it was warm and wet for most of February. Therefore I'm a bit amazed by the snow: yes, it has been snowing here in Helsinki for the past few days (and in Tampere as well, I heard). It's nice, because it makes everything clean and white, for a second, plus makes up a bit for the otherwise dreary weather - though, to tell the truth, I think I've had enough of winter; it's not been a proper winter anyways here in south.

The photos are from my walk with miss P on Sunday.