Tuesday, 6 February 2007


It is right now it is colder than normal after a warmer than usual summer and autumn. This might be the winter with the coldest weather so far as long as I have been living here in Finland!

In the old days when the most of the houses were wooden most homes were lost in raging fires in very cold below zero in February, normally the coldest time of the year hence the term “tulipalopakkaset” which would mean fire-freezes in English. The reason for the bigger incidence of fires when it is very cold is that the cold dries up all material and fire was easier caught if not handled careful.

As it happens I quite recently read a book by one of Finland’s most famous writers, Aleksis Kivi, “Seven brothers”. (A must if you want to get to know more about what makes Finns Finns, by the way.)

Anyway, in the book the boys had trouble getting back to the village from the way back woods barefeet in the cold and deep snow when their house was caught on fire during the fire-freezes. They were quite a bundle of boys, these seven brothers in many ways.

Today with the temperatures creeping well below zero, I am free of doing any washing just to save some electricity, at last one good reason for not doing any housework!

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