Thursday, 31 May 2007

Don't forget to shower

Greenpeace have for a couple of days had an action against the working conditions and security at Olkiluoto at the construction site of the newest nuclear power plant in Finland. Greenpeace is concerned about the tight timetables of getting the plant built on the cost of the security for the workers and the activists have been hanging up in a crane on the building site in order to protest.

Apart from global warming and climate change there is great concern about the situation of the Baltic Sea becoming more and more polluted with the sea life threatening to disappear completely. Especially bad is the situation of the Finnish Gulf with a lot of waste and sewage water from big cities in non-EU countries being let out into the sea and the southern Baltic Sea with the newly joined but heavily industrialized but less environmentally aware EU countries.

All the countries around the Baltic Sea add more or less to the pollution of the water with artificial fertilizers and pesticides used in the agriculture and the presence of the poisonous blue algae is here to stay. In the most recent gathering by specialist concerned about the condition of the Baltic Sea if the waste water from big cities first were cleaned instead of just poured out into the sea. For many years this has been a great nuisance and nowadays there are algae blooming in many lakes as well being a health hazard if you are not aware of it.

The water temperatures in many lakes here in Finland are unusually warm for being this time of the summer and we might be having the record year of algae blooming at hand this summer so make sure you have a shower after you have been for a swim in the Baltic Sea or in the lakes.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

National aerial day

Heavy rain has been causing trouble in the capital area as well as around the country in general. Cellars have been flooded and water coming in thought the rooftops, which I think is odd as the houses are at least supposed to have been built to last cold winters and loads of snow on the roofs, and snow is water frozen into snow crystals.

A thunderbolt had struck in the antennae that broadcasted digital TV to the eastern parts of Finland. And today has been the national antennae day here in Finland. People are encouraged to check their aerials in order to know if they are correctly aligned with the new digital antennaes and if the broadcasts are correctly received without interference.

So better check your aerials before august and also on the Net to see if the area where you are living is covered or in the shadow.

Monday, 28 May 2007

On break

The south-eastern parts of Finland have not been able to see digital-TV during the weekend and some areas are still without it. This is said to be due to a mechanical failure and it should have been fixed shortly but nobody has protested against not being able to see TV.

In Venezuela there are rallies against the most popular TV-station being closed down after having had discontinued its’ broadcasting license on May 27th 2007 for not agreeing with the current government policies.

Without knowing it here in Finland the most discussed subject on daytime TV-chats is the “Mi Gorda Bella” Show going on summer break and s said to come back after the summer break on August the 27th.

“Mi Gorda Bella” is a Venezuelan Telenovela and as it happens, produced by the same company that was just taken off air over by the Venezuelan government.

Even though TV series are fiction there always are some hints of the truth, or are there?!?

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Social benefits

I was surprised to hear that kindergarten has been free to people with low income here in Finland and parents have been able to leave their children in the municipal child-care full time even when being unemployed and at home. Well, this will come to an end from next year which I think is good. Children do of course need to be with other children in order to develop into normal human beings, to learn social skills to be able to cope when at school every day.

But having the kids at the kindergarten for the whole day I consider as just simply being lazy. Why not spend some time with your children when they are small, as you night get a job when they are older, and many parents hardly see their children as they are busy with their job and careers.

I began planning writing children’s stories “some hundred years” ago it now seems when pregnant, and life with small children sometimes consumes all your time and leaves little for your own ambitions. And for quite some time now I have planned to write a children’s book about our pet cat, the cat with the Vappu balloon and other funny ways and now with off-spring growing, becoming adolescents I have more time to do what I want. So now I am well on my way to developing this idea into reality and by writing it transforming it into a story and have today also found an artist, an illustrator with a nice visual view and I hope we will be able in cooperation to bring these stories into realization.

I was already very impressed when I first saw the samples I received by e-mail and the picture I got today was very much to my liking and looked like the original.

I am very glad and this has been a very good day, even though blogging took its’ time to get done. And this meeting was the most important thing on my agenda today.

Unfortunately I have no longer have any small children to read the stories to but friends and relatives have small children that can enjoy them, as I do not quite yet plan to become a grandmother. But then I guess it is not for me to plan anyway when I am to become a grandmother, but in about ten years time would be nice if anyone asks me.

First things first as they say.

Friday, 25 May 2007

Shouting out loud

Nightwish has got themselves a new vocalist, Swedish Anette Olzon, and if I am not completely wrong they have already recorded a new single which is to be released shortly. Well, a band is never the same after any members are replaced but it will be interesting to hear their new sound, if they have completely changed it or tried to get a singer with a similar voice. Apparently the new Nigthwish singer was chosen among 2000 applicants.

Anyway, they say sisterhood and brotherhood is a fine thing, well I wonder about that. I think having siblings is over-evaluated. When you were growing up you competed of the attention of your parents, you fought with your siblings about trivialities every single day, at least it now seems you did. Growing up to adolescents you had all the boyfriends and girlfriends and being adults the thing gets even more complicated with husbands and wives, their respective in-laws, your own nephews and nieces who are the cousins of your own off-spring involved in it.

The thing is, the day need your relatives they never seem to be there for you, maybe I am the culprit here but I do honestly not always get what it was I should have done, or what I did do I should have not done. I always get the feeling I have done something wrong, and at hard times you are supposed to be there for each other.

There is a Finnish male choir, “Huutajat”, which would be translated into “Shouters” and they act according to their name, they shout. The choir has made quite a big name for themselves, both in Finland and abroad as being an exotic addition to traditional singing choirs. Last summer they had these workshops with women also being able to join for sessions and just shout out aloud. I just feel like joining them now and then.

By the way, which shrink originally invented the term the primordial scream?

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Best thing

More and more people die of liver cirrhosis in Finland due to high alcohol consumption together with an inherited deficit inflammation gene. Almost a thousand people died in the year 2005 of liver cirrhosis with it having about doubled from the year 1999 and we can only presume this is due to hard liquor getting cheaper and more cost effective to get intoxicated by a couple of years ago. Well alcohol consumption has always been high here in the Nordic countries.

Smoking is another a past-time that comes in handy when you are experiencing difficulties in life, it is amazing to see perfectly sane people get completely messed up like the husband of my friend who tried this new medication but had a couple of downward side-effects. Now both she and her husband are smoking again, but at least now they are talking with each other again and as it seems they might not even let the divorce get through.

The smoking part just seems so in vain to first have quit smoking after 30 odd years with medication a couple of years earlier and then have to do it once again later. I am quite happy to not be able to get any of my usual brand cigarettes here in Finland and am only able to smoke when abroad on vacation. And this is one of the best things about living in Finland so far, for me that is.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

No idea

Some days you just have millions of subjects to write on and other days blogging is difficult with no ideas at all. Well today is one of the days with the lack of ideas…but then I do not seem to be in the mood for anything else either. Cloudy weather always seems to be affecting me in that way. Hmmm…maybe I could do with a nice cup of tea.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Realistic over-heating

The other day I wrote about the swallows having returned to Finland, well this almost true as there is one swallow that has been sighted, it must be have been the first pioneering scout arriving and but today more of them arrived.
And 10 new species of butterflies are reported to have landed in
Finland which means more insects for the birds to eat.

According to the latest statistics the unemployment in April has decreased compared to last year and more people are now working with most of them in the private sector. Out of a population of more than 5 millions only just a little less than 2 ½ millions are employed so the rest must be the unemployed, children, students and retired. Just about half and half.

This means Finland must be doing well but according to the new minister of finances we must be careful as “over-heating is realistic for the time being” and the income tax-levels won’t be lowered as promised until later on, in the end of the four year period of this government just before the next elections.

If more people have got jobs and the taxes are lower, then they have more money to spend and the economy is doing well as money is moving with the possible result of even more jobs getting created.

What on earth is this over-heating? I do know about global warming but that is not what he is talking about, or an engine over-heating, but how does the economy over-heat?!?

Monday, 21 May 2007

Having a bad trip

The problems with seabirds continue and now in the vicinity of Kokkola 50 dead gulls were found lying dead on a field. The found dead birds were common and black headed gulls, and both are protected species and poisoning is suspected to be the reason of their deaths. Well, another reason might be the avian flu, but I doubt that as they are not migrating birds. Wonder when the poultry is allowed outdoors again?

Anyway, I was actually going to write about this friend of mine who got this new medication to try. Her medication was to increase the pain level as she suffers from fibromyalgia and so it did. But she did not sleep for weeks, kept on fainting due to low blood-pressure and lost her appetite and almost 10 lbs of weight while the side-effects were supposed to be weight-gain and tiredness. Well these are things you can still live with, especially if you have more weight than you need but the psychological effects of the drug were quite remarkable. Being under the influence of this medication she filed for divorce from her second husband quit her job and began looking for as well a new job and an apartment of her own. She was also planning to send her children to live their father and signing the custody of her children over to her ex-husband from having always being the single custodian. She was not even interested in TV-shopping when using this medication, which is one of her passions in life.

A sure sign of summer’s arrival is when the melting snow causes the water levels in the rivers to raise, an annual happening at about this time every year and always in the same places, like in the Kittilä region now with some roads being in danger to be closed due to the water levels. I have never lived in the country so that the river has flooded my house, but I would get annoyed and tired of it happening every year and have moved somewhere else. And if it happens every year, well guess the insurance companies get tired of paying for lost and ruined property. The insurance companies here in Finland are already as it is very hard to get to pay for anything. The normal routine is to deny everything in the first run without any consent and if you persist about your rightful claim you might get some money in the end.

Guess there is no insurance company that pays you anything if you ruin your own life when being on the wrong medication and having a bad trip.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Summer pastime

62% of the Finnish companies pay their bills in time on the date, but the bigger the company the slower to slow to pay their bills in time. Every 5th company pays their bills too late even though the Finns have a much better routine to pay their bills that prevail in many other European countries where it has become an art form to pay the bills as late as possible without having to pay any additional fees.

Anyway, our Vappu balloon is “still alive”, well it is much deflated now but still hangs high up at the ceiling but has lost its’ sturdy bounce and our cat has lost interest in playing with it as it does not bounce as well as it used to almost three weeks ago when we got it for him. Now with the warmer weather and the prevailing sunshine he has moved on to his summer pastime, spending time sleeping on the table on the balcony or eating some chives that we always get for the enjoyment of both the cats and ourselves. He also sits watching the sunset in the kitchen, a bit like the Indians who used to chant the sun up in the mornings and down at nights.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Mother’s pride

Moderate exercise such as jogging lowers the blood cholesterol levels more than has been understood according to new research. Strange that cholesterol has become such a big culprit in deteriorating the human health and advertising on various food products to reduce blood cholesterol levels are quite common nowadays. We would not be able to digest any fats without cholesterol, and bile that we have to make use of fatty acids consists of cholesterol. No cholesterol means any bile, which means that we are not able to digest essential fatty acids that we can not survive without.

People have natural variations in the levels of blood cholesterol, like some have blue eyes or are diabetic and here we are talking again about statistics, but sure is that we in the western world eat too much “bad” fats which is no good for us.

Young smokers are not concerned too much about the long term health hazards like having lung cancer in 20 years time, but what interest them is instantaneous effects such as bad breath and nicotine stains on the teeth in result of inhaling the cigarette smoke. Most young smokers of today have parents that smoke and according to research the best prevention against smoking are non-smoking parents.

And I always thought being an example in how you yourself behave and what you do as a parent is the best way to raise children and I am quite happy to say I have not been too bad an example, as the off-spring has not turned out too bad for which I am very proud. At least one thing I have managed to do well.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Free museum visits

The first swallow was sighted yesterday so the summer is here, even according to me and not just the almanac. No avian flu in sight so far this year either, even though the migrating birds now are back in Finland for the summer again and the weather is said to become warmer during the weekend.

The eastern neighbour has been very much in the news lately in one way or another. The EU has a summit at the time being to discuss continued cooperation between the two, about meat imports and olis supplies.

And a Finnish company has been in the news and is told to be having in the harbour of Cronstadt where they are running a successful business. There are disagreements about the Finns having trouble to access their working site, about the construction of a nearby dam, removing a fence and the local police not interfering it the disagreement.

And the news have been going on about the Finnish presidents visit to the USA, she was declined to meet with president Bush, the female presidential candidate as well as by the female chairman of the Senate. I just wonder how much in advance these requests were made, I mean, even I have a busier agenda than being able to right now make myself free just like that. Oh, by the way, she is meeting, or already did meet the secretary of the UN, so one thing did go as planned.

Today is the international museum day so you can actually visit museums free of charge today; at least here in Finland I know you can as it might not apply to all countries. So now I have to decide which museum to visit today.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

It’ll just pass

Surprisingly enough there is only 22% women among the senior management in big companies in Finland having even decreased since last year.

That does not look good with the Finnish parliament now consisting of over 40% women representatives, the new government also having a majority of 60% of female ministers in office and even a female president. Well according the population this should not be too bad as I think there are more women than men in Finland so may be this management deficit in women will correct itself with time.

Sadly enough women have also become increasingly more violent suspected due to drug abuse. Women are today committing more crimes compared to earlier and the crimes they are committing are more violent than ever.

But this seems to be an overall prevailing trend in crimes, just heard about an acquaintance with south European origins getting severely beaten up one Saturday night. He was just walking home and all of a sudden got beaten up by several drunken men in the middle of the city for everyone to see with no one bothering to interfere. Only later apparently the beating was over someone passing by called for the police and an ambulance.

It is sad with this inventiveness and carelessness that prevails today, and this is becoming more and more common not only in Finland but all over the western world. Maybe this could explain the about the inconsideration about the global warming. It is just too much to grasp what is happening so we don’t do anything.

"Never mind. It’ll just pass".
And maybe my dear spouse is hoping that I will forget about the bike too.

No chance, my dear!

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Bike problem

Today the news of the day seems so far to be that the Finnish president is travelling to the USA and her inquiry to meet with President Bush later this week was declined due to lack of time.

The news have so far since yesterday discussed about the reasons why the meeting will not take place, whether it is because president Halonen publicly expressed her opinion against the Iraq war in the UN a couple of years ago or what ever reason it may be that Finland is not important enough to be received by Bush at the moment. Maybe just hurt feelings as the Swedish Prime minister was just received in the Whitehouse.

Anyway, I have now finally stepped into the mp3-player era. I got tired of carrying around an old cd-player and finally got myself a brand new mp3-player and I am really amazed about how they have shrunk the old times large stereo into this little pocket size thing!

Well of course the off-spring has had mp3 players for some time now, they have actually had more than one mp3s, seems to be one things consumed in this family. The players get more expensive with their size shrinking and 1 GB sounded like a lot of space but it apparently is not, I just discovered as I needed more songs into it to get all moods covered. Anyway, loading your music into the player is just as easy as uploading your photos from your camera into you computer.

So now I just have to get husband to fix my bike to get going, music is fixed. Bike is going to be a trickier question, I am not good with bikes so I rather leave them be if I only can and from now on I can blame him for not getting any exercise as my bike needs its’ spring service, just as every year.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Throat of Sea and Backsea?

The NATO forces have an unusually large naval exercise in the Baltic Sea. When the fleet entered Gothenburg harbour in Sweden last weekend rallies were held against NATO as Sweden is neutral is in not allied to any country. Finland is also considered neutral and neither of the two countries is part of the NATO joint forces but both countries are considered to be pro NATO and are taking part in the naval exercise.

The Swedish and Finnish defence forces have already earlier had joint exercises like the joint air force one a couple of weeks ago and are negotiating about the possibilities of joining their forces in training and acquiring military equipment.

Guess this NATO fleet exercise is a thing that could never have happened in the old days with the cold war, and it will be interesting to see what comes out of this exercise so near Russia, as there has already been turbulence about moving the Estonian war memorial statue for instance and the top summit between EU and Russia on the door step in a few days. Maybe nothing at all happens but I would bet on that the eastern neighbour has something in mind.

According to a survey 65% of the Finns do not believe that the Finnish-Russian relationships were worsened by the Estonian statue argument and according to another survey more than a fourth Finns are pro NATO.

Anyway, looking at the Baltic Sea two quite funny Finnish names for parts of it pops up, “Merenkurkku” which I get to “Throat of sea” or “Sea throat” and “Perämeri” which would be “Backsea”, “Bottomsea” or maybe “Anterior Sea”.
What they really supposed to be in English? I would be very pleased to know and you can give me any suggestions!

Monday, 14 May 2007

Life in a nut shell

The Finnish Supreme court asked the Finnish customs authorities to adjust the taxes they impose on imported used cars The taxes have so far been valued too high according the ruling form the Supreme court and new guidelines will be needed. This will be good for anyone purchasing their car from abroad from now on, as cars are quite expensive here in Finland, but also for them who have already done so as they get an opportunity to appeal to the customs authorities about the taxes they have had to pay.

The weekend was busy at the Senate’s square in Helsinki with big audiences of tens of thousands watching the Eurovision song contest on Saturday and the ice-hockey world championships final between Canada and Finland on Sunday from giant TV-screens. Must be one reason why Mother’s day was so subdued for many.

I did get some flowers in the end yesterday but we all the missed eating out at a restaurant as off-spring did not arrive at home at time agreed but 2 ½ hours later instead.

Well that is life for the moment in a nut shell. People talk about how difficult babies are as, well wait until they are adolescents and want to keep their own mind no matter what the consequences may be. And having a couple of teenagers at the same time really is a strain as you have to keep up with whom has done what and when. I mean, it is not fair to accuse the wrong one of what the other is to be blamed about. So disobedience and disagreements are the daily routine for the moment. The parents who have survived and stayed sane after their adolescents grew up to be proper people say they are quite nice now, especially the ones who have had children.

Being a grandparent must be grand, just lending the baby for some time and when it begins screaming handing it over to the parent at hand. Well, I have to survive teenage hell first. So I have something to look forward to, one day, eventually and it might be just what is needed to keep me sane and going.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Mother’s Day again

Serbia won the European songcontest yesterday. Once again there was no way to foresay the future but Serbia was one of the favourites to win.

Quite funny actually, I happened to watch TV when the Serbian contestant Marija was interviewed one morning and she told that she had been told to bring the Eurovision there next year. Must be quite an experience to do it whenyou were told to win. Guess the song will not be a good song to sing along to as some other previous winners but it sounds like a typical Eurovision song as they used to be years ago.

There were more estern European countries than ever participating this year with most of them seemed to be in the finals yesterday. The Eurovision final was broadcasted all over Europe and Finland's biggest media event ever so far and this probably is good advertising for Finland.

And today is Mother’s day. Husband went off fishing early in the morning and no off-spring in sight. No breakfast in bed, no flowers to mummy so it must be just an ordinary day. I was thinking of going to a restaurant to eat dinner today, but as no one in sight or has shown any signs of life yet…maybe I’ll just treat myself to a nice sandwich.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Loose helmets

The use of mopeds amongst the young has increased and a couple of years ago a compulsory moped license was introduced. In order of acquiring the license you have to pass a written test about traffic regulations and safety. Sadly enough 14 adolescents were last year killed in moped accidents, and 5 of the victims lost their helmet in the accident. Wearing a helmet is compulsory according to law, both for the driver and the passenger riding on the moped.

According to the police many youngsters use their helmets but sadly they are not properly attached below their chins
becoming loose in a accident.

Well moped age is here so this is an issue much talked about for the moment. Not to wear your helmet, but to wear it properly attached to your head.

Friday, 11 May 2007

Doing nothing

I have never blogged this late any day before, but at least I now have blogged continuously every day for quite long even though my aim was to do it at least every two days. Guess this blogging kind of gets addictive in the long run, which I find quite surprising as I never was a neither good nor conscientious diary keeper earlier.

The Finns consume most ice-cream in the whole world according to statistics, an average 14 litres ice-cream per person a year. I think that is quite a lot and I am sure I do not eat that much and I doubt that the off-spring does that either even during a hot-summer like the last ones have been. Well, the Finnish are among the top countries in drinking coffee per capita as well.

Today even with the prevailing nice spring weather I have managed to achieve anything important, or why do household chores always sound like “nothing”. Why does not washing or making the dishes count as anything in anyone’s eyes, not even my own? I mean certain rooms get filled with heaps of dirty laundry on the floor during the week and all of a sudden it disappears from the floor and turns up in as a massive stack in the laundry basket. And this is the point when I get depressed. It is much easier to wash a machine now and then instead of having to wash all weekend long, running machines all day long.

Anyway, back to the ice-cream, I have for many years now wondered why women always in movies or in TV-series eat ice-cream when they are depressed. What purpose can the ice-cream, or candy or cookies have?

When I get depressed enough I just stop eating, I can’t get anything down and I completely loose interest in cooking. And cooking is one of my favourite pastimes, so I have to be really depressed to quit cooking.

Thursday, 10 May 2007


The pre-shows of the semi-finals with audience of the Eurovision were held yesterday and the real semi-finals will be held between 28 countries competing to get to the finals on to be held on Saturday.

As always you never can tell who will win, it had always been impossible to predict the winner. But I can understand that Lordi won last year, they were the only ones with their clothes on and doing “Kiss”, disguising themselves to keep their privacy. Which I think is brilliant!

Well this year, according to the glimpses I have seen of the contestants, a lot of them are wearing clothes but I guess the most different and standing out number is the Ukrainian one. Maybe they will win?

The Finnish entrant is played too much on the radio and TV commercials so I am getting pretty bored with it, I am sorry to say. And talking about music, first Robbie Williams did his “Bee-Gees” and now Justin Timberlake is also sounding as he has got his b*lls in a vice. Just wonder why?!? Both have got real nice voices, why howl?

And now to something completely different; in the last two years or so various strange concoctions with chocolate apart from fruit and nuts have appeared in the supermarkets here in Finland.

There is one variety of chocolate with the mint-chocolate candies called “Marianne” crushed in it, and you can now also get McFlurry at McDonalds with Marianne crushed in it. Then there came the chocolate with Daim, or Dime as it sometimes is spelled in some countries, crushed in it and you could also get a McFlurry with it crushed in it. I am not sure if this still applies, about the McFlurry I mean.

I guess almost everybody knows what liquorice is but maybe you are not familiar with Salmiakki if you have not visited the Nordic countries and tasted it.

I am not sure how to explain it to you but I guess salty liquorice is the closest I can get describing how it tastes. So now they mixed Salmiakki with chocolate. I have not yet tasted it, have not dared to but my off-spring has, the one who has been experimenting with what goes in porridge in the morning, even though my kitchen has been left in peace from porridge cooking for a while. Anyway, the whole chocolate bars was eaten but not with pleasure and the comments were not favourable for it so I guess it must have been more the off-spring’s sweet-tooth that was aching.

That there are more than one ice-cream with Salmiakki and it is not as bad a combination I think, as long as the ice-cream is not too sweet. I kind of like it, but tasting this Salmiakki chocolate needs to be considered carefully. Hey, I’ve tasted stranger things than that and the Vodka spiced with Salmiakki is not bad at all! Actually it is dangerous stuff as you loose count of how much you drink as it does not taste Vodka at all.

And as it nowadays is completely okay for celebrities to publicly confess certain forms of addictions in the tabloids such as being a chocoholic for instance I am sure there must be Salmiakkiholics too!

Who will be the first celebrity to confess to this addiction?

Or has someone already done that ?

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Demeaning or not?

According to the statistics the treatment of obese people in Finland cost hundreds of millions of euros.

Well in the rest of Europe the Germans are the most obese according to the facts presented with the British on the second place, maybe a couple of hundred euros is not so bad compared as there are more people and thus more obese in both countries.

I wonder about the new programme featured in the mornings, the Eurovision morning comb or whatever it was called. A Finnish guy talking in fake broken english many words inbetween in Finnish. If you are not fluent in Finnish you do not get it at all. As a foreigner I do not get the fun of it, maybe my sense of humour is wrong .

But do really the Finns themselves see the fun in it?!?

Is this how the general public in Finland want to make themselves known to the rest of the world, in this case most of Europe as this is to enhance the knowledge of foreigners visiting Finland for the Eurovision songcontest?

I think that is demeaning, but hey, that’s only my opinion.

Anyway, the weather is beautiful and the sun is shining so maybe there are better things to do today than to blog.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Point of view

I was quite surprised yesterday to receive quite a negative feedback as a comment on a previous Blog I have posted.
(Unfortunately as this post is moved here from my previous blog the somment is not included here. But I think the person missed the point about why I bother to keep this Blog of mine at all.
So if you are annoyed with my Blog, stop reading it and wasting your time!

I am in no way complaining about Finland or the Finns, I moved here by my own free choice and have chosen to stay.
I am amazed with the creativity of the Finnish people and learn to know new things about
Finland almost every single day. I admire the Finns and their culture and am in no way trying to demean Finland in any way.

Besides, my idea of keeping this Blog is to make people think about things they might not even have thought of earlier, like a wake up call. So not all the things I write about is really what I think, like stated in my profile for everyone to see if you bother to check.

I am really sorry if someone is offended about what I write in my Blog, my apologies to them.

So, everybody is entitled to their own opinions, the person who made the comment as well as me blogging.

My Blog is about the facts I have heard on the news together with bits and pieces about my own personal life. As we all understand things and experience our lives differently as a result in the way we were brought up or our cultural background it results in sometimes irreconcilable differences in values and opinion.

Diversity and experiencing new things makes life worth living.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Bear warning

The outmost southern part of Finland is the peninsula of Hanko and a bear came swimming by sea. With the peninsula being as narrow as it is and the old spa town Hanko being situated on it, the bear had to be shot in order to protect the general public.

Further up the coast a big colony of black-headed gulls, an estimated 30.000 birds are all nesting in the same area being a health hazard and nuisance to the people living in the vicinity of it. The colony in question is said to be the fifth of the total population of the black-headed gulls in Finland and as the black-headed gull is rare in Finland it is protected by law and to be left alone and not shot or hunted. This particular problem with the colony of the gulls has even been discussed in the Finnish parliament and what could be done about it.

Birdwatchers had a competition during the weekend on which of the 167 towers participating all over Finland would see most species of birds. Well 119 species were spotted from the winning bird watch tower, guess they were not in the area of the gulls then there would only have been one species to spot. And quite a lot of gull shit all over you.

Anyway, one sure sign of summer is when the Helsinki 1952 Olympics swimming stadium opens for the summer season, as it did this morning. So swimming we go in the heated up water early in the morning.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Ice-fishing without ice

Nowadays you receive your tax declarations filled in advance by the tax-office here in Finland.

If you have nothing to remark upon you just leave it without comment but of you want to change or add anything in it you have send it in by May 15th, with the deductions to travel to work being the most common one people add in their declarations.

Okay, ice-fishing, well you do it with special equipment and you do not need a fishing certificate to do it I have been informed. But what I did not know was that this so called ice-fishing is practised when there is no ice on the lakes and that they even have competitions in it during the summer with styrox-foam boards floating on the water with drilled holes in it to fish through! And in the heat of the summer the fish search the coolness of shadow under the styrox boards so it really is no joke to fish. Well I still think it is a joke!

I mean, how serious can it be?

Anyway, the reason why I am posting about this is that the over enthusiastic fisher friend of my husband’s finally persuaded my husband to go fishing with him today, and that is ice fishing but in a boat. I wonder if the two guys consider drilling holes in the bottom of the boat to fish though?

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Wishing for a headache

They say that drinking habits are getting more and more unified in all of EU. What does this mean then? The rest of Europe is following in the foot-steps of the Nordic countries, the ancestors of the heavy drinking Vikings, getting pissed every weekend? Or do they try to convince us that the inhabitants of the Nordic countries finally learned how to drink socially?!?

Anyway I have a bad migraine and can not even imagine drinking any alcohol for a hundreds years! That is until this migraine loosens the vice it has got on the veins in my brain and subdues into a normal day after headache. Right now I would welcome an ordinary headache with open arms together with a hang over I had caused drinking some good red wine instead of this instead of this sickening feeling accompanied by thought on how to get my hands on a gun to end my misery. If you have no migraine then you do not know what pain is. And there is no “No pain, no gain” it means nothing as nothing comes out of this.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Hazards of partying

The Finns have earlier been very conscientious about not drinking and driving but now the trend has changed. Last week all over the EU countries the police checked drivers and as it turns out every 100th driver in Finland is under the influence of alcohol and especially younger drivers are prone to drink and then drive. Well they might have been partying hard the day before and hang-over and still had some alcohol in their bodies.

But I still wonder about is how many drivers were under the influence of other substances, and I do not mean drugs in this case. How many of the drivers use painkillers that are not suitable to take if driving, or medication against anxiety and to calm you down like Valium or had a sleeping pill the night before. The effects do not just disappear when you wake up in the mornings; it lingers on for hours after quite similar to a hang-over.

To my surprise the health authorities have published guidelines for smoking on balconies. So from now on you smoking on your own balcony can be prohibited if it is proven to be hazardous to the health of your neighbours.

Guess this produces even more pressure for people having parties in apartment buildings in as you do not normally smoke indoors in homes in Finland and going out to the balcony might not be allowed anymore.

Another funny thing, I was in Stockholm on a cruise not long ago and almost no one smoked in the streets anymore since smoking no longer is allowed in public places in Sweden.

So having a drink and smoking a cigarette when you are having is party might soon disappear.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Best thing in life

Still with unemployment in Finland and still some jobs are hard to get anyone to take. Working in the industry with welding, being a truck-driver or a waiter or waitress seems to be the least wanted jobs here and they are even harder to fill today than they were last year according to the statistics.

More than 1500 employees are to be laid off here in Finland from joint Networks of two mobile giants in the three next coming years and worldwide they are letting go of 7000 workers all together. The new joint venture of giants began in April and so here we are again, new winds blowing with new management.

And I thought businesses were doing good, expanding and making good results. Still there are lay offs and some jobs are not even wanted at the same time.

Well, at least the Vappu balloon is still holding it together and giving us all great joy, both the owner, that is our cat, and all us spectators here to see all his funny ventures. At least he has always done his job well and without complaining, been there to cuddle when needed and daily entertained us with some new thing he has never done before.

He is the best thing in my life, well after the off-spring of course!

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Ice-cream or no ice-cream?

The Eurovision song contest is held on May 12th and already some of the contestants are arriving in Finland already today.

A lot of public events are going to be held in Helsinki to entertain the audience, same thing that was done for the world championships that were held on the Helsinki stadium a couple of years ago. Which I think is good advertising for this country as it has a great deal to offer. Finland is just unfortunate to be so unknown, maybe this will improve things.

I seem to just be preoccupied with ads for the time being in one way or another.

The latest ones being the ice-cream ads. I do not get the idea of how eating and ice-cream is sexually connected and I think the ads they make for this one particular ice-cream have been distasteful for years, if not even pornographic.

I do not want MTV into my ice-cream, I just want to eat it. Plain and simple.
And as it happens it is my favourite ice-cream, and with a bad ad I usually avoid buying the product in question.

Well this has caused me problems for some years now as I enjoy an ice-cream basking in the sun in the summers and this year there are varieties with dark chocolate, my absolute favourite and I can not decide if to try one or not to. There are so many difficult questions in life to make up our minds; we always seem to get back to the “to be or not to be?” that Shakespeare’s Hamlet contemplated already centuries ago.

Which in my case happens to be "Ice-cream or no ice-cream? That is the question."

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

No more soup, please!

There has been a boom for six years in the consumption of champagne and sparkling wine in Finland and 50% of the bubbly wine sold in is actually sold for Vappu, not for New Year’s Eve as you might have thought.

Imagine 1 million bottles bubbly wine sold!

With the ever growing demand for sparkling wine the Finnish manufacturers of berry wines try to match the thirsty Finns, to give them a Finnish alternative of bubbles.

Today the worker’s rallies celebrating Labour Day are sure to be quieter than the student’s carnevals held yesterday were. The celebrations yesterday began already early morning with various activities in different cities. Statues were traditionally capped with their white hats earlier in the night and the new students received their white hats at midnight.

In Helsinki about 20.000 people gathered yesterday to celebrate Vappu in the city and the police inform that this was just an ordinary Vappu celebration but this might have had something to do with the cold weather.

Well, I am still stuck in the soup kitchen hoping for quick recoveries of the ill.
I am sick of making soup and chamomile-tea all the time.