Saturday, 30 June 2007

Fake police

Being ill is never fun and coming down with high fever in the summer is especially uncomfortable and annoying. Being ill this time my biggest problem has been blogging, not the lack of ideas to blog about but the strength to type the words of the marvellous ideas I have had when being ill.

Or maybe my ideas have just been hallucinations under the influence of the fever and painkillers I have been on, who knows as they were not scribbled down even as notes anywhere for me to type later on, not even recorded which is another way I try to keep up with my ideas and I am sometimes quite creative and new ideas come by in great abundance. Feels good to be more back to normal again, fever gone down.

Anyway, for the past two weeks a handful of tourist have been stopped by scam policemen in the streets of Helsinki. The fake policemen have been asking the tourists to present their passports and credit cards. According to the real police has so far none of the credit cards have yet been used improperly but the posers have still not yet been caught.

Some house squatters were removed by the police from a down town building in Helsinki. I guess these must have been the real police instead of the fake ones as the house squatters were trying to avoid being removed from the site and it hits the news.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Adjustments needed

How well do we know the people living with us our daily lives?

What do we really know about our own family, friends, relatives, neighbours and colleagues?

When a person you know pretty well hit the headlines, is news on all the front pages having done something extremely violent you just can't believe it is true. Someone I once knew quite well, once years ago indeed, just hit the headlines in another European country.

The place mentioned in the papers in the stories telling what happened is right, the pictures prove it even though no faces are recognizable and no names are mentioned and the violent temper was there all along but I still have problems to believe the fact, as it is a fact, someone going to those measures and now spending time in prison.

The offspring was supposed to go visit there, well guess the vacations plans this summer need some adjustment and pretty fast.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007


Is shopping easier with a girl or a boy? When the children are small everyone with boys are complaining about how boring the clothes are and wish they had girls as there is a greater variety in what to choose from.

With older boys there only is t-shirt, jeans and sneakers, men you just buy a suit and the proper shirt and tie to change with according to the occasion. With teenage girls you have to get a new outfit every time with the right shoes and accessories and the same jeans and t-shirts as for the boys for every day life.

I just spent hours and hours in town walking in and out of every shop in town, searching and looking for the right outfit as girls “know what they want but can’t find it”. Sore feet and no zest, near to loosing your temper, permanently this time.

Well, in the end of the day, just before I went bonkers a nice dress was found together with matching shoes but no bolero as they are out of fashion. Could have told her that but would she have listened to mummy or known better? And a disagreement about a handbag, still tights, a shawl and accessories to locate and time running out soon.

Thank God for mobile-cams and credit cards! Send the offspring out to town, have them send pictures home of the wanted item in question along with information about the price, say you say and they can debit on their card.

No need to loose your nerve anymore, why did I not think of this earlier?

Monday, 25 June 2007


One very challenging thing in life is the restoration of old things into their former splendour, like changing the upholstery of old settees or the painting and lacquering of tables and bookshelves. Interior decorating has long been growing in interest here in Finland but it has not yet reached the heights of European standards where the French seem to be the ones having been caught by this frenzy for the longest. There is has grown into an art from to make new contemporary things look like they are antiques. The paintjobs all cracked up using special techniques with uneven paint to even more enhance the look.

Well, that is not quite my fancy, I rather like what is old and what I am accustomed to and want them to look the same from year to year, maybe a change in colour of pattern of the sofas once in an odd twenty years or so.

Finally I now am seeing the end of my latest project which has dragged out in time out of many reasons, soon we will be able to eat proper food on a proper table again, the dining room table of my grandparents that I have been working on lately.

Ripping all the old lacquering and paint, grinding the top even and polishing, repainting and lacquering it all over with the drying time in between to let it set hard before the finishing touch of waxing and furniture polish. Well it does not look like a professional job, but I am very proud of having done it and the table will be standing for hard work another 60 years at least or more if properly taken care of by the offspring.

Maybe this is where I show signs of nationality and heritage which the Finns are very keen on doing.

What is domestic as in from your home country and national as Finnish is good, at least that is what has been said since the war some fifty years ago and has stayed put. But is something better because it is done in Finland and not in Germany, or are you better because it is British and not Finnish? Carrots you do not have to speak Dutch with anyway, or Spanish to your strawberries either, you just eat them. Finnish produce is said to be cleaner than foreign, well watching the road sides where the potatoes are growing right next to the busiest roads in the country just makes me wonder.

Guess it sounds like another cup of tea for me again and getting on with the table.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

A new tradition

Warmest midsummer was in the year 1999, well that heat record was not broken this year but the weather still was nice and warm for the celebrations and according to the latest news only 10 people were killed during the weekend, less than last year.

I am much for traditions and try to keep them up, the ones from my own childhood home but I am always looking for new ones, additions to our family traditions and well, and this Midsummer I was lucky to get a new one.

There is so called black bread coming from Finlands' Swedish speaking coastal areas, a very dark, musty bread made with rye and molasses and now I have found a new variety that stands for months without any preservatives in it, that is if there is anything left of it to stand.

Normally gravilohi as it is called here in Finland but internationally more often known as Gravlax is salmon cured with sugar, salt and dill but adding a hint of ground coriander seeds to it gives it new, delicious dimensions. You take a slice of this musty, dark bread, lace it with Gravlax, and pouring ringlets of Hovmästarsås on top of it, (that is a mustard-sauce with dill in it), decorate it with a twig of dill and enjoy your open Midsummer salmon sandwich.

That is my favourite this Midsummer, unfortunately we are running out of the bread soon!

Friday, 22 June 2007

Name difficulties

It seems to be difficult to determine your own name and your own but someone else’s name seems to be a common issue here in Finland if you have a name preceding your “first” name, the name you are called by.

In my case there is no way to confuse the names as Mona is my first name, but this friend of mine I already told you about earlier with the same name as her rich cousin, well this time she had trouble with a doctor. Let’s just presume her name is Sandra Jane Doe to clarify what I mean in this case.

Being called on to the doctor by her “first” but wrong followed family name (Sandra Doe) she presented herself by her right name (Jane Doe) followed by her family name and the doctor being literate, answered by that your name is Sandra Doe! Jane explained that she has a cousin with the same name and as she is called Jane and not Sandra, but that the name is first in her name but not her “first” name. Well, this doctor got really annoyed about her having the wrong name and explained that in their computer system you are called what you are called and that is always the FIRST name.

Anyway, she thought it was not an issue of great importance to pursue to the bitter end and got down to the business she was seeing the doctor for. By the time they had got to the part when the doctor begins to fill in the prescription for her, and quite unusually for health care in Finland, the prescription was not printed out but filled in by hand, fist the wrong first name appeared on the form, and with a short reflection on behalf of the doctor, it was changed into the correct Jane Doe instead of Sandra Doe but the making of a mistake was never spoken out a loud.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Competing with Vegas

In Vegas you can get any wedding of your dreams for a handful of dollars, you can have the wedding of your dreams, anything you have fantasized about. You can be married by Elvis or have a Star Trek wedding with Aliens, you can have cowboy weddings, get married in a drive-thru without leaving your car and you can wed at any time around the clock, even in the middle of the night out of the spur of the moment as many celebrities have done for years. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, well it might not be quite all true.

Anyway, now there is serious competition to count for the Vegas wedding industry by the little city of Naantali on the south eastern coast of Finland. There are Moomin weddings and 5 Japanese couples have already tied the knot by the Moomins and I guess it might be a big word back home in Japan as the Moomins trolls are quite popular over there and summer is the most popular time to get married in Finland, it might turn into a might wedding industry!

Wednesday, 20 June 2007


Now the dirty laundry after the parliamentary elections in March here in Finland is washed. The social democrats finally are ready with their investigation about the cause to their defeat in the polls. According to the results their credibility is low as when asked by the general public why they had not realized any of their electoral promises during the 12 years they were in command, the promised tax reductions for example, the representatives had no answers at all, also the ad campaign I was earlier talking about gave people a negative picture of the whole, at least I would not have voted on a party that had that kind of ads, it was demeaning. Now the support for the party is down to a 20 %, so changes will have to be made. Funny how there always is someone or something you have to find as a scapegoat. Why not just realize it was not the right time, or you are heading the wrong way?!?

Also the finances of the representatives are scrutinized, the funding of their campaigns as it does not seem to be transparent enough for the EU council they have sent their representatives to investigate how things went. We will have to wait and see what, if anything comes out of it.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Vodka or Vodka?

Recently the Finnish national television opened its net site with programs and radio to check out. Now if anybody tells you that program that was on Thursday was so good, and if you get interested you just log onto the homepage and watch it on the net, that is if you have paid your TV license fees.

Actually good as you sometimes forget to save some of your accustomed TV shows out of various reasons, now you won’t have to miss it all by just forgetting.

Today the debate is going to be high in the EU parliament as cats, dogs and Vodka is to be discussed. There is a bill in the parliament concerning selling furs of cats and dogs are to be allowed in the EU. Also the future of Vodka is to be settled today. As the taste of Whisky and Cognac depends on what they are made of and is regulated but laws in difference to Vodka, which is basically pure spirits, pure alcohol and anyone can distil some, well with the right permission of course. With the taste of Vodka not depend on what it is made of, there is a suggestion about with a label marking on the bottle saying what has been used in the production of it if it is not grain or potato, which are mainly used

in distilling Vodka. Well I am no real fan of Vodka but why are only the more southern countries of the EU only allowed to have their own specialities delicious they are, their precious hams, wonderful cheeses, Whisky, Cognac, Champagne only to mention some? Why is the originality and heritage of the Nordic countries and Eastern Europe not as magnificent and important to preserve as the ones of France, Germany, Spain and Italy?

With Whisky the distilled spirits is uncoloured and then placed in oak casks for years, preferably sherry with

Caramel added to give some more colour to it and then bottled. And great difference there is between Whisky, whether Scottish Whisky, malt or blended, Irish Whiskey or Canadian, American bourbon, rye or sourmash Whiskey.You can even taste the difference in a Manhattan cocktail and a Rob Roy cocktail where Whisky and Bourbon is mixed with vermouth to even make it more different to taste. Same drink but different Whisky in both. So what is the difference here, really?

As for Cognac the area where it is distilled determines the name Cognac as well as the grapes used to ferment the wine the Cognac itself is distilled from before being matured in oak casks. Vodka is unflavoured but you still can taste the difference one brand from another, they are not the same.

Even usual tap-water and mineral waters of different brands vary in taste. And if you think they are just the same, well then there is something wrong with your palate!

Monday, 18 June 2007

Lack of time

Currently the sun sets at about 11 PM and rises at 4 AM and that gives me not much time to sleep and Thursday will be the shortest night anyway, after that the nights will become longer and darker again.

Some days there still are too much to do so you have to choose between the things at hand. I had gone through the wardrobes and called a charity foundation that collects things from home and off they went. I even got rid of an old chair that was just in the way.

I very much prefer giving things away knowing that they will come to use instead of just throwing them way in among the garbage in the bin. After being so “good” photographing took overhand of ironing and doing the laundry which I had planned to catch up with today. And many nice photos of summery Finland was shot today, not too much sunshine but that never turns out well in photos, the contrast between the shadows and bright spots is too high.

Guess now having uploaded the pictures from the camera I should go and get some dinner preparations done as soon it will be dinner time and home will be invaded by hungry off-spring and spouse. Is it lack of time or my priorities that are wrong ?

Sunday, 17 June 2007

A book is only a book!

Salman Rushdie just got knighted by Queen Elizabeth the II of the United Kingdom and the Muslims are offended by this as he is one of the most hated men in the Muslim world since he wrote the Satanic verses in the 1980’s. Well I have read the book and I do not get what is so offensive about the story in the book. But then I am not a Muslim, and there might be hints about things I do not understand. I think freedom of speech is good and a book is only a book

Islam wants that the western world to pay more respect to the Muslims and their faith Islam. Well why not the same thing around, why should the Muslims not have any respect for other religions? The Christians seem to be the enemy number one.

During the French revolution in the late 1700 century people wanted freedom, equality and brotherhood and that should be every ones’ right to no matter the religion you confess yourself to. I guess killing all the French aristocrats at the time in order to obtain the freedom, equality and brotherhood was not a very suave way and it seems like the same thing is done over and over again, Palestine being a good example of irreconcilable differences.

I really do not understand why people that are of another religion than your own are bad, why people who think differently should be killed because of their religion differing from ours. And according to what I have read in the Quran, the idea of Islam is not very far from the Christian or Jewish faith written in the Old Testament and the Bible. The ethics and guidelines are much the same so I see no difference as the definition of how you see God, is basically the same just a matter of choosing the name. I mean, you pray to God, even with the name changing from Allah, Yahweh and God.

I think diversity is the exciting thing about people, that people are different and not all the same. Meeting new people and getting to know them, is thrilling and you can learn so many new things. I have friends of different religions and do not think any less or better of them because of it, they just are what or who they are, friends.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Nice change

From now on you have to declare your money if you are taking more than 10.000 Euros outside the EU. This is done to prevent the laundering of money and you are to declare sums over the allowed amount at the customs and taking a sum bigger than the allowed one may result in fines.

Well I guess that will not be my case, point me to the nearest book shop with a sale on and I will happily spend all money left, and stay home all summer reading a book and having a nice glass of wine and maybe some cheese. And it is a nice change from yesterday’s turmoil, nice and quiet and no off-spring or spouse in sight. Just me, home alone with the cats and my new books in a stack waiting to be read.

Friday, 15 June 2007


The weather has been quite windy during the night and many locations were cut off their electricity supplies during the early morning hours. Over 30 men were injured by a sudden thunderstorm and lightning hit on two different locations 15 kms apart on Thursday night. The men were out on a military exercise out in the woods in southern eastern Finland. Most of the men were not seriously injured and about 10 of them had to be hospitalized with only three being seriously injured. There were about 300 thunderbolts hitting the ground in the area and the storm is considered to be “modest” in its’ force and people being struck by lightning only rarely leads to death.

Worst row this year was fought between off-spring and mummy dearest yesterday. When two as stubborn people as the two of us are refusing to confess their mistakes then just war breaks out and there is no logic in anything that happens after that. Luckily dear spouse was not out fishing when we were struck with thunder and lightning and could negotiate the disagreement into a more pleasant tone of voice and a while later we were business as usual. I even was hugged by the off-spring in the end, which is a good sign.

Why do people you love most annoy you more than anyone else? Some days are just fine and we all get along but then there are days that sometimes stretch over weeks when there is no one home.

Someone once said then adolescents are not at home in their minds and only after they have gone through their adolescence they turn into interesting people. Well, guess this is the “no-one-at-home” faze and I hope someone soon will be home. I do not enjoy loosing my temper in the way I just did earlier.

Thursday, 14 June 2007


Getting proper insurance can be difficult in Finland if you have received a marking in your credit records for unpaid bills.

If you have a marking registered in your credit records your insurance application might in the worst case be completely rejected or you might have to pay the fees for your insurance up to one year in advance. Even getting a home insurance might be difficult and as there currently are about 300.000 Finns with credit markings, it suggests that many families lack home insurance in this country.

Strange how some things just get jinxed, like this SONY digital camera that was given as a graduation present to the off spring last year.

In one months’ time it stopped to work properly and went for a warranty check up and as the camera did not work as it should it was replaced by a new SONY model with more pixels which was a nice surprise.

The problem is not really the camera not working properly, it is the owner of the camera shop where we got the camera from the beginning. Well, having had my own a bit more expensive about for three years than the model in question, I guess I should know something about digital cameras but being a lady, the owner thought I had no idea about anything and talked very rudely and demeaning back to us in the shop when filling in the warranty forms and sending off the camera for its’ service. He was quite sure it would turn out to be our fault and it would have been better to buy a new one in the first place.

Collecting the camera went easier as I took dear husband of mine with me and as he seems to get some respect by the photo shop owner. Then three months later the second camera began to malfunction as the previous one and also went for a warranty check up and was also replaced by a new model with more pixels, once again a nice little surprise.

The third camera has now been up and running since last fall but has now stopped working and is behaving just like the two previous ones and off spring is once again without a camera for the time being. I am not sure whether it is the camera itself that is jinxed or me going to the shop but I hope to have my spouse with me on Saturday on this one.

Unfortunately there is no proper insurance against bad shop keepers and I seem to be stuck with having to do business with this one until the camera jinx is over.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Winning first prize

Have you ever participated in a lottery?

What are the odds that you would win? When these lotteries in different stores to advertise a new product, you fill in your data and drop it in a box or participate by e-mail but who wins? Do real people win on lotteries or is it all a fake, just made up names on a list?

Just got one on the post with the monthly points form one food chain and there you can win to use an RV for two weeks time with petrol and a gift voucher to the food chain in question arranging the lottery all together to a value of 5.000 Euros.

Or the other one from the sister company of the above mentioned one, they have a lottery between all the receipts that you have registered to your membership card, and one lucky winner gets to win a car.

The average family in Finland have an estimated budget of 1.450 Euros to spend on their vacation which is less than in the rest of the Nordic countries done by an estimate by the Nordea bank. Most families are not able to stay in budget and spend more than they can afford to so I guess the winning of the use of the RV would come nice and handy, but as there is only the one to win.

Ryan air has been flying from Finland for a couple of years now and Ryan air is by far Europe’s biggest low-cost airline. They just recently announced their best results ever despite fuel costs increasing by 50%. The result is said to be a result of the airline increasing their higher ticket prices and having introduced lower baggage limits with the result in bigger income in excessive baggage fees together with increased handling fees. Well guess this is another way to stretch your money, to fly with low cost airlines. The only thing with Ryan air though is that you have to fly to Stansted in the UK with them first to change flights in order to get to most places they fly to as they only fly to a handful from Finland.

The funniest thing just happened the other day; I got a MMS that nobody had sent!

It was sent unintentionally by my friend carelessly shoving her mobile phone into her handbag and she had no idea of having done so. Well she did find the proof afterwards yes, but having received it I rang her up and we went for a coffee. It was really nice as I had missed seeing her as sometimes time just flies and you forget what is important in life, your friends and family. Tomorrow we are going out for lunch, and maybe some more coffee and desert afterwards.

So right now I feel like having won first prize on the lottery!

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Drinking habits

Less than half of Finns would like to see wines sold in grocery stores, according to a recent survey.

46 % of the people asked in the survey are in favour of wine being sold in supermarkets with men being more liberal and wanting an easier access than women. There was also a difference in education, so not only that according to surveys you have a better chance to make use of your education if you are from an academic background, you also want easier access to stress down with alcohol, make ir easier accessible in the supermarkets.

Parents in Finland are surprisingly tolerant of their teenagers' alcohol use. A fourth of parents even buy alcohol for their kids, according to a survey even though supplying minors with alcohol is a crime in Finland. And mind that even giving it to your own children is the same crime. A great deal of parents interviewed in the survey had no idea of the drinking habits of their children at all.

I would like to see the survey that says whose kids are supplied with the alcohol?

I would bet on it being “the better half” of the population, the educated classes that are more liberal with things anyway. Well getting the painkillers for your hang-over the day after you still have to pay prices about 11 % higher than the average in the EU and they are available at the pharmacists and not yet in the supermarkets, which has been discussed as well.

There was also a difference in education, so not only that according to surveys you have a better chance to make use of your education if you are from an academic background, you also want easier access to stress down with alcohol, easier accessible in supermarkets.

Parents in Finland are surprisingly tolerant of their teenagers' alcohol use. A fourth of parents even buy alcohol for their kids, according to a survey even though supplying minors with alcohol is a crime in Finland. And mind that even giving it to your own children is the same crime. A great deal of parents interviewed in the survey had no idea of the drinking habits of their children at all.

I would like to see the survey that says whose kids are supplied with the alcohol? I would bet on it being “the better half” of the population, the educated classes that are more liberal with things anyway.

Well getting the painkillers for your hang-over the day after you still have to pay prices about 11 % higher than the average in the EU and they are available at the pharmacists and not yet in the supermarkets, which has been discussed as well.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Left or right?

Scientists have found the gene that makes people left-handed and the scientists believe that the same gene makes the brain lobes develop differently from right handed, when the left side becomes different from the right.

Moving as such is a very traumatic experience for all involved people. You first have to choose what to throw away and what to save. Then pack all your precious things so they will not break, carry all the furniture and boxes you have packed out of your home and carry them once again into the new home.

The whole thing gets even more complicated if you are splitting up or divorcing after many years or living together. Another thing that adds to the turmoil of emotions is the children that also are going through the separation, if to live with mummy or with daddy, what things to keep at mummy’s place and what to have at daddy’s. Sometimes the aftermaths of tearing up a home become too painful and you can just not bear it anymore.

Many parents try hard to keep up with the daily lives of their children that live with the other parent; many try to meet their children as often as possible. When everything is against you with the other parent making things difficult with making things up on your agreed days to see your own children and subtly at home use the art form of blackmail you, as the other parent one day just give in. You have been through so much pain that you can not take anymore of it and just let your own kids be. How many parents are wrongly accused of being bad parents and instead the other parent the children live with uses all weapons to get back at you for all the wrongs they have suffered forgetting that the children are deprived of one of their other parent.

I wonder how the brain becomes different with left handed people, are they more creative or what?

Yup still have to decide whether it is the left or the right thing to do.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Finally a new hat

The summertime is always a time of festivities graduations and also in the Finnish Lutheran church with all the weddings and also the confirmations for the adolescents that turn 15 during the same year are celebrated.

When it is time for confirmation in many places around the country you are going away for a week’s confirmation camp and have the confirmation itself some time later. The previous winter has normally already been full with church visits and Sunday masses and weekly gatherings with the vicar for the requested amount of education.

The difficult thing with all this is not catering for all the relatives and friends attending your home for the celebrations, nor to house your guests for the night. No the real problem lies in what to get the youngsters.

Flowers with a single rose to give away is one among the most common ones, also a nice tradition, jewellery in various looks and to everybody’s taste is also usual, but many times you just have no idea of what to get them as they today have “everything”. Nowadays a gift voucher has become more and more acceptable and also in many cases handy for the giver to get, even by a late date, and is appreciated by the receiver as they can get many vouchers from the same place and get to buy more and bigger, more expensive things of their own choice.

I remember that we used to have a list of things we wished that our parents kept for birthdays and graduations. Everybody who was invited to these occasions was told about the list and nobody got doubles as book was kept on what was going to be bought, kind of similar to a wedding list. I have done the same thing with the off-spring as has my sister as well during the years with great success.

Now I just have to decide whether to be original and inventive, and get something for the confirmed in forth nights time or just be plain, old and boring and give away another gift-voucher and a single rose as everybody else.

Finally an excellent reason for me to get a new hat!

Saturday, 9 June 2007

TV diet

I was surprised to find out that there were about 2000 cases of malaria during the years 1941-1945 in Finland during the II world war when the summers were extremely warm. Most of the malaria cases appeared on the Carelian peninsula which then was a part of Finland. Wow, with the summer heating up more and more every year we might be getting malaria back, together with other so far unusual diseases here in the Nordic countries.

Strange how many ads on the TV are for either something edible or potable which makes it hard to try to diet. Have you ever been on a diet and all the ads seem to be just what you are craving badly in that instant?!? Junk food, ice-cream, sweets and candy, frozen pizzas ready to heat up in the microwave, crisps, cookies, cider and beer, crisps…and it just goes on and on until you just give in and empty the fridge of all its’ content. Or completely surrender to your cravings by you getting into your car to drive to the nearest drive-thru to eat loads of junk food. Watching TV is no good when on a diet! I better get on with fixing breakfast now, before it is too late and I am off in my car.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Better benefits

New research here in Finland suggest that young people from families with an academic background get more career benefits from a university degree.

Summers can be most stressful times in many different ways. Having the whole family around you around the clock in a little cabin off somewhere in the woods and it gets even worse when the off-spring turn into teenagers. There is almost certainly nothing for them to do in the woods, bad TV reception, no Internet access and maybe even bad connections for your mobile phones, which actually is what we adults find so attractive with our cabin lives. If it is raining is even less for the teenagers to do as they can not go swimming.

Well this year has brought a brilliant new addition to family life, getting a summer job.

First applying for a job then attending to a job interview finally getting the job! Just brilliant to earn some money of your own, keeps out of trouble during the days. Some of the earnings have already been used before hand, borrowed from mum to buy tickets to a rock concert, to be paid back on pay day. Finally I will get some of the money I have lent back but it will be thrilling to see what the money goes to. New mobile phone, Ipod or a lap top maybe?

Anyway, I just hope the job is just as boring as it sounds so that is will bring better inspiration for the studies to continue in the fall and we might get one more graduate in our family with “better benefits from a university degree”.

I wonder how many times they will show the clip of president Bush pouring himself a beer in a glass with the beer with the foam pouring over the edge?!? So far I have only seen it 5 times today and it is still before mid day. Anyway, pouring beer is an art form, you have to know what you are doing and patience is always a plus.

I better go make myself some more tea.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Secret rankings

The Finnish banks secretly classify their customers with either number or letter codes. Customers pay varied mortgage rates depending on how “good” a customer they are, how much savings they have in the bank so in this case it must mean the more you have to pay the lesser trusted you are. So what is new?

People are judged by their appearance and by “how rich” they are.

Talking about richness, I was quite surprised to hear that he G8 summit did not begin until this Wednesday in Heiligendamm outside Rostock in Germany as there have been rallies to protest against the meeting. Never heard of before the crowd fighting with the police already one week in advance of the event itself. Is it just that we have never heard of it before on the news? A lot has been said about the US and Russia having worst relations since the cold war and this missile shield and missile tests are quite worrying but both countries are facing presidential elctions next year and this is about the last chance for both presidents to make their marks in the book of world history. They should try to be more like Fonzie, cool, and take it easy.

Three Finnish businesmen on a fishing trip in the Persian Gulf were captured by the Iranians last saturdayafter having passed into their territorial waters. The Finns really must be nuts about their fishing to go out fishing where ever they go.

Anyway, they are now being released. Luckily they were not hit by the storm that hit Oman killing 12 people. The storm is the worst storm ever on the Arabian Peninsula And my husband is considering whether it is better to go fishing on Friday or Saturday night. Guess I am lucky he will be in Finland only.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

In need of a drink

The Coca Cola company intends to use less water in their manufacturing processes and are currently using, 290 millions of litres of water every year. The company is said to begin adding vitamins to mineral water and is donating 15 million Euros to the WWF which is not a bad idea, I think

Anyway, some days just are meant to be a waste of time, like today for instance. Travelling 30 kms by bus out somewhere in the bush, sit around waiting for a couple of hours as people do not keep their appointments, then back the same 30 kms in a bus driven by a chauffeur that who does not know how to turn the air-condition on until almost back in town. Good I needed a drink, and a drink of water I mean in this case.

Water is one thing that surely is needed right now in this heat wave that has currently struck Finland and as it gets a bit tedious to always just drink water maybe a Coke or two might slip down too.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Blood sucking moth

A blood sucking moth originating from south East-Asia has been found in Finland. This new immigrant vampire moth has been here since year 2000 and long it was believed that the climate would be too cold for it to survive. Well, now the moth can be found from the east where it first arrived from to the western coast. To this day it is still unknown if the moth is repelled by the traditional mosquito sprays, or if it spreads any disease.

The soap operas of today shown on TV are so cruel. The characters are very nasty to each other, selfish and only think of how to best obtain their selfish goals, how to get richer and sadly enough the children of today have them for example of behaviour. No wonder the kids today are less considerate, they turn up as selfish and nasty,

I think the original “soap” was much nicer to watch even though they were not very nice to each other at all times either at least it was a comedy. Even worse are all the reality-TV shows were people “really” are behaving badly, at least in “Men behaving badly” you know they don’t do it for real. So now our kids are turning into conniving types more or less only thinking of how to best take advantage of every situation, as who are there to show an example, we parents are so very much entangled in our careers and never there. Just thinking of ways of how to earn more money to have a posher car than the neighbour or go on our vacation farther away than the neighbour on the other side.

I have this friend who makes these beautiful handmade candles and soaps. Most delicious, chocolate scented soaps you could almost eat, candles spreading their delicious, chocolaty scent all over your home. Luxurious French vanilla soap to use in bath, soothing lavender soap for when you have a headache and lavender candles that do the same trick.

I just love lavender candles!

Monday, 4 June 2007

School's out!

School finished on Saturday, about 2.500 of these fail to pass to the next grade if they do not decide to compensate their studies during the summer or decide to not take the exams in the fall and attend to the same class the following semesters once again. Every year about 30.000 pupils in Finland finish their nine years of the compulsory comprehensive school and about 300 of these fail to graduate and leave school without their basic education diplomas.

Anyway, finishing school was celebrated thoroughly all over the country and in some places it was compatible to the celebrations at Vappu and the pilot of a new TV-show making fun if the Finnish gipsies or Romanis as they are called was shown on TV.

According to the director of the show in question “even Africans are taken more seriously than Romanis”. Fact is that the Romanis have a culture of their own that differs quite a lot from the Finnish and they tend to keep just among themselves and according to the prevailing prejudices and caricatures they are lazy, do not cope in school so quite a lot of them should be among the 3oo that finish school without their diplomas. They avoid working and live off social welfare; they are thieves and originally conniving horse salesmen that nowadays are cheating people in car sales.

The director and writer of the script was interviewed on morning TV and told the show is made by Romanis in order to diminish racial prejudice. Well, we will see what happens, but I thought the show was no good and lacked good taste, but maybe that is what is needed.

A new bird species was last week spotted in Salo here in Finland and about 500 bird watchers gathered together on the spot during the weekend for the biggest bird watch event ever to try and spot a new and rare bird. The night bird that originally is from North America was sadly not seen more after the first sighting earlier in the week.

Well now I am off to see the parliamentary house as steps leading up to it have been covered in a sea of blooming flowers, gerberas. Guess there will be no sightings of any night birds during full daylight and not in the middle of the capital anyway just flowers in pots on stairs, might even get a few photos of it.

Sunday, 3 June 2007


A brand new head office for the chemical department of the EU has been founded and opened for business June 1st in Helsinki. For the time being there is only a handful of officials but in the coming year more people will be employed to be up and running by full in June next year.

Wonder if they will have any opinions on artemisine, a chemical substance found naturally in Dogwood if I remember it correctly. Artemisine has scientifically been proven effective in the cure of certain forms of cancer as well as highly effective against malaria. As the medical companies want to make a fortune on the exclusivity of new drugs, getting funding for further research might be difficult to raise for a chemical substance originating form a plant and with the plant in question growing freely in the nature for anyone to collect.

Anyway, I have discovered that it is nor “chic” to be concerned about what miseries there are in the country that you live in, people in general are positive to raising money to famine, war or nature catastrophes in far away countries all over the world. People do not want, and they pretend hard not to show they did see, the poor chap who has no where to live sleeping in your doorway. I can not see the idea in not doing something about the every day lives of the citizens of your own country first, then see what else there might be left to do after that.

So I am not sure what I think of these rallies against globalization, the fightning with the police seems stupid enough, but what else is there to do? Nobody listens to your opinions anyway, at least not politicians or senior management in any big company. Just money talks, the more they have the better.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Miss having a garden

When the summer comes I always miss having a big garden again, forgetting all the downsides of it.

I enjoy watching all the flowers, tulips and daffodils in the early spring, apple- and cherry-trees blooming, the roses, having your own strawberries, gooseberries and currants of all colours. The elder bush blooming white in the garden, hops clinging high around its’ pole and every spring bringing out the geraniums from their winter hiding in the garage and having the same ones in pots for many years.

Having a couple of beehives in your garden and your own honey and the barbequing, oh, I just love to barbeque. We used to begin the season every year on the last weekend in January, no matter if it rained or not.

And I always forget about moving the lawn, and being allergic to grass and suffering of hay-fever, well that is not a good combination, and the hay-fever having advanced into asthma, well, gardening is not one thing I should have. The lawn is nice to play football or badminton on, spending warm summer night in the tent but now with the off-spring growing up; well the lawn would not be to any use anyway. Except for the cats to stand on one leg trying to avoid getting their tummies all wet and cold after it’s rained. All the leaves falling out of the trees in the fall having to be collected, pruning in the orchard, roses bushes to only mention a few more back sides of having a garden.

Living in an apartment in Finland you are only allowed to use an electric barbeque on the balconies and there is only space enough for some geraniums in pots to make it cosier. There is no room where the geraniums could be stored over winter so new ones have to be acquired every spring with only a couple of the rarest and oldest ones surviving in the pitch black cellar store room.

In beginning of June there always are a couple of nights with night frost when the flowers have to be taken indoors in order to not freeze to death and the season always ends too soon. Geraniums can only take a couple of degrees below zero, and one year I did the miscalculation to leave them out here in Finland when hit by a sudden early snowstorm in September as we were having some visitors from abroad. Well the geraniums turned all black and it was in vain to even try to save them for the following spring.

So, living this far up north with such short summers and with the global warming makes me once again wonder, how ecologically correct is it to have someone to grow your flowers to have on the balcony and just chuck them away in the fall? What waste of energy is that? And all the fertilizers and pesticides used in order to acquire healthy plants to sell? Or do these balcony flowers do any good for the greenhouse effect at all?!? Some small addition to oxygen production to balance the carbon oxides?

Anyway, off to the garden centre to acquire this summer’s balcony garden. Geraniums in pots of course.

Today is nice weather and the off-spring will be off celebrating finishing school with their friends. Mummy is no more needed until graduation in a couple of year’s time, but then the whole family is invited to get as many graduation presents as possible.

Are the kids of today getting greedier than we were or do I just not remember how we were in our time?

Friday, 1 June 2007

Eggs and chicken

A baby especially designed to prevent its’ sibling from dying in a terminal disease, is being made in Sweden. Is this right or wrong?

As many egg cells as possible are to be gathered from the mother and fertilized by sperm from the father with IVF and the most suitable of the growing embryos is chosen to be implanted into the womb of the mother to be carried out in full in order to retain the stem cells needed from the umbilical cord at birth, transferring them to the needing sibling who might, or might not get well or even survive with this kind of treatment.

As this still is theory, is it not, that it might not work? Is it not?

But fact is that the baby is to be born. How would you feel if you are a result to save your brother or sister? “The only reason we got you, dear, is so that your brother would not die”. ?!? Well, the couple in question as it happens already have two sons with the same disease in question, the older one is dying or has already died of the condition, but still?

Well good news is that from today even if being pregnant you can go to any restaurant here in Finland and there will be no more cigarette smoke as smoking from today on is prohibited in bars and restaurants.

Oddly enough Salmonella infection was recently discovered in Finnish poultry exported to the eastern neighbour in a routine inspection of the meat and this type of salmonella has not been spotted in the EU in any routine tests according to the EU officials. Well the eastern neighbour seems to be quite on the go for the moment, banning imports of meat from an EU country, cutting off gas supplies to other countries in the winter and even performing missile tests. Anyway, now finally the poultry in Finland is let out after its’ involuntary confinement in order to prevent them to catch the avian flu from the migrating birds in the spring. Good for you chicken, now you can be digging happily for grains outdoors again.