Friday, May 23

time for apple blossoms

It's time for apple trees to bloom right now. In Tampere there are big apple trees in many gardens around my neighbourhood, and at the moment it's very very pretty. The tree under my window is just beginning to bloom but there are others which already are in full bloom. Clouds of delicate white and pink.

It's also time to say bye-bye to Tampere for a little while; I'll be working and living (and hopefully resting) in Helsinki for the summer. I felt a little wistful leaving Tampere yesterday: it would be nice to know the summer there too (though not in my current apartment, it gets way too hot), and it feels really strange that I probably won't be seeing my new friends there for a couple of months. But on the other hand, I love Helsinki, and there are lots of people here to spend the summer months with - one of them is actually going to be my neighbour very soon! Lovely miss H, that is.

Realizing I'd like to spend my summer in Tampere too (maybe next year then), and that I'm eagerly waiting for the next semester and seeing all my friends there, made me also realize that I've begun to feel like home there. It feels good to know I will feel good going back there in September.

small joys IV

seeing all this on my way home - anybody know the name of the violet flower?

(the bird posed for me a long time just like that, clearly proud of the worm he'd caught)

Thursday, May 22

small joys III

all this lush greenness

Plus a great gig I went to yesterday; my friend M was playing in Tampere together with Bridget Martin. Not that many people present, but I really enjoyed hearing M and his band - it's been a long time.

Wednesday, May 21

small joys II

miss H and a shop window full of balloons

(And the fact that this was taken at 10 p.m. amazes me! I mean I know there's a lot more light in the summer - I just didn't remember how much more. Wow.)

Tuesday, May 20

small joys I

Despite all the not-so-good things mentioned in the previous post, there are always many many small things which make me smile. Let me show you some!

part one: cross stitch

Monday, May 19


It's been somewhat rainy and pretty cold lately; after the super warm weather in the beginning of May the cold felt crushing. Still, summer's coming faster and faster, the leaves in the trees are really big; and the evenings are lighter and lighter. The fact that it's light outside after ten feels really amazing! In spring I'm really happy to live in southern Finland - in Eastern Finland the leaves were still tiny a week ago.

Been stressed out, working, not sleeping well, a bit ill, and traveling between Helsinki and Tampere. Didn't want to bring that here. Sorry to all who are waiting for an email! I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, May 7

more green

I think May might be my favourite time of the year. I love late spring - when it starts to be more about green and new and fresh and less about rain and pools and mud. (Early autumn - say, September, and early October - is another favourite, when the leaves are turning red and gold, and the crisp mornings may still lead the way for a warm sunny day.) I love how all the green arrives little by little, at first, and then bam! just erupts in one night - or that's how it seems. A green explosion. New leaves, bigger every day, are bursting from trees, and those new wrinkly baby leaves are so pretty.
By midsummer the wonder of spring has ceased, there's almost too much green around, and in all it's voluptuousness it's ordinary - no magic anymore.

Yesterday J and I enjoyed some caffeine (him: coca cola, me: coffee) at my favourite outdoor café for the first time this year. Many more times to come, I think!

Someone had hung flowers on a scaffold.

Today is my mum's 60th birthday. Sis, her family and are catching a train on Friday, so we'll be at the parents' for the weekend to celebrate. Happy birthday, Mum!

Monday, May 5

celebrating first of may

First of May is the closest we uptight Finns get to a carnival. It's a big day for working class & left-wing parties, but for students too. Most of all, it's time to celebrate spring (even if in some parts of Finland there's still snow). Like Sandra said about Swedes '....Valborgsmässoafton when the Swedes celebrate spring and drink lots of alcohol...' - that's how it is in Finland, too.

The two parties I attented to the night before, however, were nice and quiet with lots of good food. The feast continued on the First of May, as I went to a traditional picnic with my friends (though this year not to Kaivopuisto park, where tens of thousands of people go for First of May picnic every year), and later to have a very fancy dinner at my sister's - which has become a tradition to us. So lots of eating - but I did manage to down a couple of glasses of cava, too. :)

I think I was looking very appropriate for the celebration when I took the first shot; I have a huge crab balloon for the nephew (most kids get balloons on First of May) and my 'student cap', which you get when graduating from school and then get to wear for a day every May. Sounds silly, I know! Plus the fact that it's white velvet really makes it quite impractical for celebrating student style (i.e., getting sloshed). Having been prim and proper in my early twenties, my cap is still embarrasingly white, though!