Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Serious TV-shopping

I have always wondered about this phenomenon called TV-shopping and getting addicted to it. I know a couple of women who are passionate TV-shoppers, they just can’t resist anything they see sold on TV!

Repetitive and brainwashing advertising on the TV going on for hours.
Slimming underwear, slimming exercise equipment and slimming lotions to only mention a few and not forgetting about all excellent household appliances and equipment they offer you.

And the stuff they sell is ever so “inexpensive” and clever that you can’t live without it. And as you are told “and this is not all, you also get this bonus for free” with an “unbelievable discount” because of some made up reason you just feel you have to get it.

And all this on a months interest-free credit! Only the posting, packaging and handling fees added on top of the price, which most certainly makes up at least half of the real price to be paid.

So you end up collecting a huge pile of consignments to get home from the Post-office. And home you are with several not so clever malfunctioning gadgets and appliances and have no idea where to place them as your closets are already filled with your earlier purchases.

Oh Gosh, today they have a brand new item I’ve never seen before!

Guess the girls will be doing some serious shopping again.

Monday, 27 November 2006

Relationships breaking up

One trend of modern society is that marriages do not last very long and that relationships do not last as long they used to, say 50 years ago. I guess a lot of the marriages were not happier than they are today but you just had to stick together. Through thick and thin.

Which might have been good on bringing up the children, but certainly not on the parents. Today relationships are broken more easily and these blended families get to be the family reality a great deal of people live in today.

But there is one good thing about it, marriages breaking up I mean.

At least for me as I happened to just live weddings. How fun is it not go to your best friends fourth wedding?!? Getting to spend money on the gifts for the happy couple (no matter how long the happiness lasts) buying a new outfit, hat, shoes and a handbag to go with it. And the best of all, a brand new hat!

I just love weddings!

So I am quite pleased with this new trend of more divorces.
Only bad thing though, I hate winter-weddings as there are no good looking hats to wear!

Monday, 20 November 2006

Running with reindeers?

The length of reindeers’ pee has been tried to be measured and established scientifically.

What on earth am I talking about now?

Okay, imagine Lapland way up north and the Laplanders, the Laps, living there amongst the snow and cold with their reindeers, Santa Claus and all the elves. Hardly no light at all during the winter months, maybe they have nothing better to do?

Anyway, the reindeers are said run a specific length between the times it pees and I think this is research doen by some university. As the Laps use their reindeers to get around in the winter, it seems essential to know how far the reindeer goes without peeing.

I just wonder why?

For not getting wet when sitting in a sleigh behind the reindeer, or what as today they probably use their snowmobiles getting places anyway.

Well, there might be some truth in the jokes being made about the Laplanders measuring their land and property in reindeer’s pees-lengths. So how many reindeers are nowadays followed around the clock by research teams to establish the length between it goes?

Must be one stressful job, running with reindeers.

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Santa Lucia?

I am used to celebrate Santa Lucia on December 13th, and also here in Finland the Swedish-speaking part of the population celebrates the same catholic saint from Smyrna in Sicily if I remember it correctly. Lucia with a candle-lit crown is the bringer of light in the dark northern night, just before the light changes to grow again on December 21st.

Beautiful blonde girls dressing up in white traditional old-fashioned nightgowns, candles in their hands singing traditional Christmas Carrols and reciting poems to the merriment of the others.

Lucia with her maiden companions visit schools, hospitals and retirement-homes to cheer people up, they also have traditional public appearances outdoors. This is quite a nice tradition I think, but I am always as surprised as last time I saw it, when I see how tall the candles in the Finnish Lucia’s candle-crown are!

They must be especially made and hard to wear with the candles that tall and to walk around with them lit!

Anyway, this year the Finnish Lucia went to court the President on December 19th, which I think is quite odd.

Guess this must be one off the things I will keep on wondering about here.

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

No more holy Finnish trinity

In the old farming community about a century ago there used to be a “holy trinity" in every village here in Finland that everyone had to obey.

It consisted of the school-teacher, the doctor and the priest and they were the wisest and wealthiest and no one had any means to oppose them as they usually also were the village elders. The Trinity taught everyone to obey without any objections.

Now, how is this today?

Older people still respect “the trinity” and do not express their differing opinion in front of them, they do talk behind their backs though. Younger people are more straightforward and tell what they think. So the teachers are in trouble as the youngsters of today are not as respectful as they were less than a century ago. It is now the pupils hitting the teacher instead of the other way as it used to.

The Lutheran priests are celebrating mass on Sundays in empty churches, as the young ones here in Finland begin to practise the much more freer New Age and pagan religions The same as they recently have begun to do in so many other Western countries. The church has nothing to offer people anymore, too stiff and rigid.

Even the doctors have less influence than before and they can be wrong too, and they even admit being wrong sometimes. I have few a couple of them, but some doctors still think they are next to God.

I just came from an appointment with a very rude doctor who told me off in a very rude way for no reason at all. I can't see why asking a perfectly relevant question to the issue at hand to triggered that abusive answer. It must have been her time of the month, and it is so sad to always have to explain female reactions with the same answer.

Well, she would not have been a waitress for very long. Not even a cheap and sleazy hamburger-bar, I tell you, not with her attitude!

Anyway, I'm out of there, problem solved, the sun is shining, and I am enjoying a nice cup of hot tea.
So life goes on and tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

Health-care issues

There is a shortage of qualified doctors in Finland, both in the public and private sectors and it is an ever growing shortage of several hundreds of doctors, which might not sound a lot but is when coming to receiving the proper medical care when needed in your own home region!

Nurses are headhunted abroad to other countries where there is a shortage of trained nurses. Many of the hospitals in the country are struggling with their mildew sanitation as mildew has become a nuisance and hazardous to the health of the people working in the hospitals.

At the same time Alternative medicine practitioners are lobbying for an official alternative therapist register to prevent uneducated charlatans to cash money on the illness of people.

Do you see what I am going on about? Why are things made so difficult when the answer many times is just in front of your eyes?!?

Less rigidness on what we have always done before, more learning about new things so life is easier for everyone!

No need for more doctors if nurses are given more pay, hospitals are made healthier and treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractics and homeopathy are accepted alongside with traditional western medicine.

Complimentary medicine is less expensive and sometimes more efficient. I can say, that my health would have been much worse if I had not received alternative medical help years ago, and it would have been both quite costly and time consuming with traditional health-care as it would by then not have been detectable in any tests or X-rays. (But now it can be detected, so I have proof.)

Healthcare can not only be about erasing the symptoms of the disease, it should also be about preventing getting the disease and its' symptoms before they become chronic. Prevention of disease should be prioritized!

In China the doctors are to this day supposed to keep you healthy and treat the disease before it is breaks out. And in earlier days, long time ago in, they used to kill the imperial doctors when the Emperor was taken ill. How’s that for motivation to prevent your patients from catching a disease?

Monday, 13 November 2006

Winter-sports and global-warming

The traditional Father’s Day was celebrated this Sunday on nice winter weather. Our daddy got a nice rose-scented body-lotion for massaging his aching feet after a hard day’s work. But Don’t you dare tell anyone about it!

I noticed that the winter arrived earlier this year than ever, and that summer lasted much longer than experienced I have here in Finland before, so I do wonder about the global warning we are told about in the media all the time.

What is wrong with longer and warmer summers as long as the winter also is longer? Doesn’t that kind of take each other out?!?

Anyway, now the season for winter-jogging bare-chested is open. Yes, you did read it correctly, there are men jogging bare-chested in the winter. And I really do hope only men do it ! If not then it would be something for Playboy to write about.

There also is a widespread habit of winter-bathing in the lakes in Finland. They say it really is invigorating and gets the endorphins going. Supposed to be good for many ailments such as arthritis for instance, but not good at all for heart-trouble though. I might consider going swimming after a steaming hot sauna in an icy lake but I doubt about the sanity of jogging bare-chested for women, unless wearing a good bra!

Thursday, 9 November 2006


Today the peaceful little town of Hämeenlinna is not as safe as any other day.
Today the town has got a lethal visitor, a bear roaming around in the town.

Imagine, a real wild, living bear just walking around, loose, in the town you live in!

A bear-alert has been announced and people are told to avoid the town-centre and to take the children by car instead of letting them walk as they normally would do. The bear has so far shown no aggressiveness according to the news, but they are still hunting him down with guns and dogs.

Maybe the life in a big city is not as dangerous and daring as in the rural countryside here in Finland after all?

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

More corruption?

Finland is the least corrupt country in the world together with Iceland and Switzerland if I remember it correctly.

That is according to Transparency International that just made their research results public. No bribing officials or clerks here, or medical staff in hospitals for that matter.

No wonder things do take their time to get done.

Strange how some hospitals have a bad reputation, it is just the same all over the world.
There are rumours, not always quite true but certainly some parts right, that “don’t go there is you’re not healthy, you could die”. Well, certainly true if you are a vegetarian, there is not much they serve you to eat.

One friend of mine has a thyroid condition and is on and off quite poorly. She woke up in the middle of one night and couldn’t breathe, so her husband called for an ambulance. After a couple of hours waiting for the doctor in the hospital the strong painkillers she was on began to wear off so she asked the nurse, (a male-nurse by the way), if she could have some painkillers. The answer was that she could not have any before the doctor would see her and had she not taken her medicines with her? What?!?

Taken her medicines with her to the hospital when leaving in an emergency?

And what kind of hospital requires that you bring your own medication?!?

None that I have heard of earlier even allows patients to take their own medications due to insurance policies. Result, no painkillers and had to wait for the doctor. No way of the nurse asking the doctor if some painkillers could be given in the meantime, while waiting.

After three more hours of killing agony the doctor finally had time to see my friend, just to say she was in no danger with her heart, which was no news after five hours of waiting as the hearts’ racing had stopped hours earlier. So she just got dismissed.

And that was fortunate for her, as another acquaintance of mine went minor for surgery throat in that same hospital, a standard procedure “a walk in the park” she was told, and woke up at after an emergency-operation in another hospital, in-tubated and just to find out she could have died during the operation, and that her vocal-cords were so badly injured that she would have difficulties to ever speak again.

Not to mention the bills she received afterwards for their mishaps and the correcting surgery that was needed to mend her vocal-cords.

Anyway, now she is talking again and sometimes I hope she still was in-tubated…But maybe some presents to the staff would have gotten them better treatment, at least in some other country that is.

Friday, 3 November 2006

The quietness...

...after the snow-storm. At last no wind blowing. How wonderful.
Total quietness.

No more tin-roofs rattling in the wind no more hot-cocoa cuddled up on the sofa watching the film “Das Boot” when the town-buses are in a chaos. No matter how many times I watch that film I always cry in the end. Enduring such hardship only to…well I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it yet.

I have always enjoyed to live on the top-floor but during hard wind it is no joy at all listening to the tin roof-rattling in the hard wind and worrying about it blowing off, as it did a couple of years ago. It actually did blow off once, during the summer when we had just moved into this place. Parts of the tin-rooftop blew off during a gale and after the following heavy rains our fish-tank began to fill itself with the water pouring down through the ceiling.

So no more hot-cocoa for this girl, best get back to my business, pretending to be hardworking housewife!

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

Into the darkness

We are now once again entering the darkness of winter here in Finland.

The winter-time was set back onto the clocks on Sunday so now the days feel much shorter and darker and you get more gloomy and depressed, going towards Christmas until the light change and begin to return again.

They also lowered the speed-limits with 10 kms an hour on the roads last week for safer winter circulation, and right now we are also experience the worst snow-storm in a decade! I am so glad we have not had any electricity break-downs here, yet, as many households in the area are without electricity in this storm.

And my offspring never made it to school today due to the snow-storm, which is not very common here. Normally you just get by no matter how much snow there s falling from the sky, but hey, guess this is no “falling” from the sky, more like pouring down on you from all directions.

A journey by bus about a mile long, that normally would take about 5 minutes with all the bus-stops between, took 45 minutes this morning. So the journey to school would have taken 4 hours today with that speed, with the wind blowing straight from the direction you were heading at and probably some accident somewhere on the way slowing down circulation.

Thank God for mobile-phones, they got a phonecall from school and were told they could stay home today so they returned home with the next bus, which only took the normal 5 minutes coming this way. They were so happy to be able to stay home today! So now they’re home to disturb mum’s housework.

Guess that is what I am doing right now…is it?!?

“Darling, could you please make mummy a nice cup of hot tea?”