Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sunny Easter Eve

Today was Holy Saturday, the Easter Eve and in accordance with Polish tradition we went to bless our Easter basket with food. The blessing used to be performed every year in the Saint Henry's Cathedral in Helsinki. There was + 12 'C in the city, the first really spring warm day this year. Usually we walk with the Easter basket in the snow (look here post from 2012)
Helsinki today looked already ready for the summer season with the parterres of flowers in the streets, blooming daffodiles and crocuses. Aleksis Kivi statue got its own daffodiles as you can see in the picture below. Have a joyful, sunny Easter!

Friday, March 28, 2014

spring revival

According to astronomical calendar spring season began this year on March 20.
Next Sunday clocks go forward one hour and the Summer Time begins officially.
It begins also in the fashion, gardening, cooking and house decorating magazines. 
Here's few examples of the various magazines' titles: (usually written in green or yellow:-)
'The best decorative/gardening/party/craft ... spring ideas'
'Creative ideas for your terrace/balcony/patio'
'Amazing ideas for starting a spring garden'
'Inspiring table spring decoration ideas'
'How to add a seasonal warmth to your home'
'Decorate your home with a springtime style!'
'Make your spring to-do list with us'
'How to give your home a quick spring makeover' ...  etc. etc.
All in the spirit of the upcoming revival of everything around.
They incourage to renovate, redecorate, refresh, rebuild, refurbish, repurpose etc.
You like it or not, the time of the spring revival has come.
I have impression that Finns wait for the spring more than elsewhere. That's understable in place where summer lasts just few months and weather is unsure.
Even so, each year we get with the post a biggish bunch of the free cataloges offering the outdoor furnitures. The assortment is impressing and each year I think, for how many days an average Finn can use these furnitures during summer? I would call it 'selling dreams'. According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute thermal summer begins in southern Finland on average in late May and lasts until mid-September. In the northern parts of Finland summer usually starts about a month later and ends about months earlier. 
After ten summers spent in Finland I can say, they last around two months. They can surprise with hot temperatures ... sometimes :-) 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

salmiakki :-)

From Wikipedia: Salty liquorice, also known as salmiakki or salmiak, is a variety of liquorice flavoured with ammonium chloride. ... people not familiar with ammonium chloride might find the taste physically overwhelming and unlikeable'.
I tried many versions of salmiakki candies and I am familiar with their taste but I still find it physically overwhelming. Maybe I would like them if I was familiar with them as a child? But how even children can stand the hot ones? they are extremely spacy.
I brought salmiakki candies to Poland to my family and friends as an example of the Finnish delicacy. The reactions were expected (yuck, yuck), but one of my uncles liked them! One in few tens of people :-)
 He surprised us all as to him it was tasty.
Salmiakki are very popular in the Nordic countries. 
In Finland you can see salmiakki candies in all grocery stores, kiosks etc., tens of different versions. My sons and husband love salmiakki candies, ice-creams, chewing gums, pastilles, lollipops and all 'sweets' of that taste. 
I like the packet (only the packet!) in the first photo. 
I don't get it, how one can like salmiakki, I don't get it at all!:-) 
Check out this blog about salmiakki I've just found :-) :

Saturday, January 18, 2014

winter excursion to the Sipoonkorpi National Park

There is still minus 15'C outside but there is also sunny and free day today, so we took children for a winter excursion to the Sipoonkorpi National Park. 
It appeared to be great idea. The maps and other information in English about this place you can find from here: Sipoonkorpi National Park and here's link to Directions and Maps.
The whole area of Sipoo is very beautiful all year round
I share some pics:



Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Darkness, imprisoning me!

These Metallica's ONE's lirycs are in my mind recently everytime I look through the window.
There's no as bad as in the song: 'Darkness imprisoning me, All that I see absolute horror,
I cannot live, I cannot die, Trapped in myself, Body my holding cell ...'

But it's hard to believe how much lack of light can influence body and mind.
It has been raining for over three weeks almost constantly. Dark, thick, heavy clouds are over our heads all the time. Electric light is on long 'days'. Today at 9am there was still dark like during night. And we live in the very South of Finland. It's funny to me, when my husband's family from Oulu asks: 'How is it going in the South?' I have no idea how they cope there in much darker North. There's no snow there neigher. I never thought I would miss snow. Ridiculous :-) but snow gives much of light and light gives evergy. Sorry to complain AGAIN about weather. I was writing already about the light and snow (eg.the weather forecast and More light please!) but believe me I did not pay any attention to weather before I moved to Finland. Here the weather determines life largely.
We were sitting home for the loooong Christmas holiday. The Christmas break in school and kindergarten lasted 17 days. For my kids it was 17 days of waiting for snow.  
There was one day with a bit of snow on 6.12, later just rain. 
They predict frost and snow for next week, let's see.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year to All!

After rainy Christmas we had rainy New Year's Eve and now rainy New Year's Day. 
Snowy, frosty winter is not expected in the coming days at all. 
As a consolation days are becoming a bit longer but during such rainy, cloudy days it is hard to force body and mind to be awake.
I wish a very Happy New Year 2014 when there would be no other problems than a rainy weather!