Tuesday, May 11
I've been tidying up at home (should have done it earlier so I had had time to enjoy a tidy home), packing the last things on my list, even sewing a little. Spotify has played me Au revoir Simone and French versions of the songs from Snowwhite.
Drinking coffee too. In the afternoon I rewarded myself with an apple-and-cinnamon muffin for being so efficient.
And checking the volcanic ash map here. About 2,000 km from here someone is waiting for me to build a clock-tower with legos.
Olen puuhaillut kotona: siivonnut, pakkaillut, ommellutkin vähän. Koti on kiva siistimpänä kuin aikoihin - sääli, etten ehdi nauttia siitä! Spotify on soittanut taustamusiikiksi Au revoir Simonea ja ranskankielisiä versioita Lumikki-elokuvan lauluista.
Olen myös juonut kahvia. Iltapäivällä sain muffinssin palkinnoksi siitä, että olin ollut niin ahkera.
Lisäksi olen tarkkaillut tuhkapilven liikkeitä näiden nettisivujen kautta. Noin 2000 kilometrin päässä minua odotetaan rakentamaan kellotornia legoista.
Monday, May 10
It rained most of the day - fine persistent drizzle which seemed never-ending. Waking up to the most miserable weather is easier to bear if you wake up next to someone, though (even if that means you wake up stiff because you haven't had enough space in your bed) and have time to eat a leisurely breakfast.
Mother's Day this year meant a dinner at the Boy's parents. There were only 13 of us, as only two of the Boy's three sisters were present. There is a total of 17 people in the Boy's immediate family; this feels like a lot of people, as my relatives can basically be counted on two hands (if I leave my cousins' kids out), and is sometimes a bit overwhelming. Though - like I might have mentioned before - I couldn't find a boyfriend with nicer sisters if I tried!
I seem to have shaken off the flu I caught last week when I was super stressed out. I've been doing things like cleaning my oven and organizing (somewhat) my wardrobe and writing and re-writing a packing list. I think version 6.0 is the last one.
Wednesday, May 5
Yesterday was a bad day. I woke up with a sore throat. Nothing felt right - I would have just wanted to sleep the day off. The sky was grey and my spirits were low. The evening before I had been too long at the university, and too lazy to walk to the grocery shop, so I couldn't even have a cup of coffee to fortify me.
I had to run some errands, so I ordered myself a big cup of good coffee in one of my favourite cafés. Somehow, even when it's full, this café manages to exude a feeling of calm and peace. In there I feel like I'm in no hurry at all.
And who wouldn't feel better after enjoying a slice of their delicious mud cake under a rose-coloured lamp with strings of glass pearls? (I would never in a million years have a lamp like this at home - but it fits the cafés old-fashioned interior very well.)
Sadly, the cure was only temporary - today the sun has been shining, but I've felt even worse and have sat teary-eyed in front of my computer. But there will always be another day, and more cake!
Eilen oli paha päivä. Heräsin kurkku kipeänä, kaikki tuntui kurjalta ja olisin vain halunnut jäädä peiton alle ja nukkua mokoman päivän yli. Taivas oli yhtä harmaa kuin mieli, ja koska en ollut jaksanut edellisenä iltana kävellä myöhään auki olevaan kauppaan, en saanut edes vahvistavaa aamukahvia.
Koska kävelin muutenkin keskustaan hoitamaan asioita, määräsin itselleni ison kupillisen hyvää kahvia yhdessä lempikahviloistani. Kahvisalonki onnistuu aina henkimään rauhaa ja kiireettömyyttä, silloinkin kun siellä on täyttä. Ja kenen olo ei paranisi siitä, että syö palan herkullista mutakakkua? Varsinkin kun sen syö ruusunvärisen helmirimssulampun alla!
Kovin pitkäksi aikaa tuo lääke ei auttanut - tänään on ollut vielä huonompi päivä, vaikka aurinkokin paistaa. Onneksi tulee uusia päiviä, ja uusia kakkupaloja!
Tuesday, May 4
On Sunday we took a long walk, through a neighbourhood where every garden seemed to be blue with scillas, to a place where it feels like you're miles and miles from the city even though you're almost in the middle of it. It took us over three hours.
I grew up in a part of Finland where these white flowers, Anemone nemorosa, don't grow wild. Even though I've now lived ten years in Southern Finland, seeing them popping up in spring is nothing short of a miracle for me. Unbelievable.
Sunnuntaina teimme kolmen tunnin kävelyretken vähän niin kuin vahingossa. Vanhat pihat matkan varrella olivat sinisenään skilloja. Perillä tuntui siltä, että emme ole kaupungissa laisinkaan, ja säpsähdimme sitä, miten lähellä uutuuttaan hohtavien kerrostalojen rivit kaislikon toisella laidalla ovat.
Kasvoin paikassa, jossa valkovuokkoja kasvaa vain istutettuna pihoilla. Luulin aikuiseksi asti, että ne ovat Etelä-Suomessakin harvinaisia - ja vaikka kymmenen etelänvuoden jälkeen olen ymmärtänyt olleeni väärässä, ne tuntuvat silti ihmeiltä joka vuosi. Että ne noin vain kasvavat satamäärin, jossain ihan tavallisessa metsikössä, tai kapealla rakennuksien syrjään jääneellä kaistaleella.
Monday, May 3
I guess you've really become an adult when you celebrate Vappu, First of May, with plenty of eating instead of plenty of partying. That's what I did - and I much preferred it. This year I even skipped the May Day picnic.
The one tradition I very much want to keep alive is the First of May lunch (or perhaps lunner) at my sister's. This is something we started I guess the first year I lived in Helsinki, before she started dating J, my brother-in-law, and I think we've repeated it most years since. My sister is an amazing cook and I really miss cooking and eating together - another thing we used to do when living in a same city, first the two of us, then J came along and we all cooked together, and then when A was born my duty was to keep him happy while the others cooked (when I say "duty" I really mean "pleasure"). I miss all this so much it might be one of the main reasons why I want to move back to Helsinki when it's possible. I used to feel bad about it, but hey, if being with the people you love isn't a good reason for changing cities, then what is?
So this year we celebrated with the addition of the Boy. It felt extra special to have this little party with my sister this year, as she has been through a lot with her cancer in the past few months, most of which I can't even understand. It's times like this when you really remember to appreciate what you have - and I'm happy to see many May Day lunches in the future.
Sister had really outdone herself. We started with pink cava (courtesy of the Boy) or pear lemonade and cute asparagus pastries sister had made with A (A is taking after his parents and showing some serious interest in baking). Then we had my favourite, a wonderful spring salad with strawberries, walnuts, brie and avocado; lamb and fennel with honey sauce; and last but not least, a devil's food cake (my contribution to the meal) with mascarpone, quark and raspberry filling.
The cake was absolutely delicious although very rich and the five of us didn't manage to eat even half of it on one go. It didn't matter - the Boy and I took a chunk of it home with us, and I ate it for breakfast on both Sunday and Monday.