Monday, 25 February 2008

Another fabulous day

Some days really are a drag, and this certainly was one more of them, the ones you really could do without ever having to experience.
The morning went well with a nice late breakfast spent mostly in bed watching TV, but as the day went on things changed. The day was planned for some browsing on some nearby flea markets, just to get out and see if anything worth the while might find itself a new home with us. Walking out to the car I of course fell head over heels on the icy ground that had been concealed with fresh snow during the night scratching my both knees and right hand in the fall. So I had to get back inside and get changed as I was bleeding all over my jeans and the woolly I was wearing. Having rinsed off most of the blood from my wounds and leaving the clothes to soak in cold water in order to remove the blood stains, we happily left home and went shopping.

Nothing really worth to mention as bargain on any of the visited flea markets we did a few acquirements anyway and went home for some nice afternoon tea and that is the point I would like to do without of yesterday. Kettle on but with a loose lid on is not a good combination for this accident prone female and here we went again, of course the lid came off when I was pouring the hot boiling water into the teapot, and of course I burned my hand. Fortunately it was just my right hand, and not the pair of them, but it still was the already once injured one from the same morning.

When bleeding is hard to stop you sometimes use the measure of burning the wound, but a fresh wound that has just settled and is still throbbing is not a very delicious combination. The burns were as severe that I for some time actually considered seeking medical help for them but the some what surprisingly sounding house remedy of pouring as hot water on your burns as you can stand for as long as you can take it with out screaming too much is remarkable and helped once again. And the chamomile and St John’s Wort ointment is also another remarkably soothing thing to smear in on any kind of cuts, bruises or burns. Mind you this was not a minor burn but still treatable at home as result of the hot water treatment.

Still cooking had to be performed by someone, and that meant it was not the dinner we were supposed to be having.

Thank God for offspring and a taste for Mexican spicy food in crusty corn shells.

But this typing is no fun as it is.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Nothing done

This week has so far been a real drag with the ongoing winter vacation with the offspring being free from school, and friend that was off last week for her stitched thumb injured a second finger.

The next finger in line it seems as she continued by her left index finger, this time on her free time when cooking and once again the wound got stitched and she has a second week off from work. This means she has once again been visiting me more than usual, that it day time and I have got absolutely nothing at all done this week, as you probably can see by the lack of postings on my Blog.

Anyway, today on the 21st of February is the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the Finno-Russian war.

Two hundred years ago the Russians declared war on Sweden by attacking Finland and thus Finland became a part of the Russian empire instead of having until then been a part of the Swedish kingdom. Maybe I should proclaim some kind of state of emergency in order to get things done by stipulating a time when nobody is to disturb me as close enough to be able to get by me allowing them to disturb me are all aware of my blogging. Do not disturb between the hrs 10-12 am for instance. But then it really is up to me to tell them that, not to just leave a sign attached to the door for them to read.

At Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the northern Atlantic, or might it actually be the arctic sea as it really is way, way up north, they had an earthquake with a 6,2 on the Richter scale. I have never ever heard of any earthquakes in the Nordic countries except for Iceland where there is substantial seismic activity going on all the time. This actually reminds me of a subject I wanted to blog about already some time ago, but I guess I will have to get back to you on that in due time, maybe tomorrow already I will have time to elaborate on some ideas about the possessions of Icelandic investment companies in Finland, as they currently own more than just shares of the Finnish airline Finnair that I have mentioned about earlier.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Kissed and told

The Finnish prime minister is today appearing in a court case as a private citizen where charges are pressed in the Helsinki District Court against his former girl friend that kissed- and told with her book about their time of courting.

The prime minister only filed a complaint against the publisher of the book and not his former girlfriend, but the prosecutor is apparently seeking damages from both the publisher and the former girl friend. The prime minister has said that he wants to openly discuss the principle at stake, that there must a limit on to how much invasion of the privacy of public figures the media actually can make, as there so far has been no precedent case of this kind in Finland.

This case is expected to could set guidelines on how privacy laws apply to public figures and it will significantly have an impact on what can be made public in the media from now on here in Finland.

Anyway, I better get going as I have my book illustrator coming to work for the weekend and need to get stocked up with some groceries in order to cope with the weekend provisions. More time for work and less time needed for shopping and cooking. Sad that our book is about our cat, maybe an illustrated book about the Finnish prime minister would have been easier and more worth the money to sell to some publisher.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Cold Valentine’s

The celebration of the last school day for the soon to be graduates from upper secondary schools in Finland celebrated with their traditional parades on around the country in more cold weather than we have been accustomed to this winter.

Hard wind gusts were blowing straight across the arctic from the North Pole but this had none what so ever effect on the traditional celebrations for the students parading from the back of lorries throwing sweets at the spectators and people passing by. A very cold Valentine’s Day is celebrated today.

This year more than 40.000 students are taking their final exams beginning in a month’s time. This is the day the second year students become eldest in their schools, which is traditionally celebrated by having a formal dress ball tomorrow night in each upper secondary school in the country.

This means there might be some problems concerning how to dress and behave to deal in the near future, as well as someone in the house studying, or at least pretending to be studying. Fortunately there have already been discussions about having ambulating study sessions at several school mates’ homes, which might be a good idea at least from my point of view.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Too much of the good

Having had a very busy autumn and Xmas time an acquaintance of the family just got one weeks sick leave as she cut his finger on chip and not of course being allowed to work in her profession with open wounds because of the infection risk with his four stitches right next to his left hand thumb, she was ordered one week to let it heal, remove the stitches and then go back to work.

This actually came in very conveniently for her as she had not had any vacation and only a few days off once for almost two years and here am I being busy entertaining her. I would not quite say she is a pain in the a** but she is a bit tedious right at this instance as I have things I would have needed to be done, my special favourite hate object number one, official paper work with of course a deadline to be handed in promptly, and being brought up to be polite I have no idea of how to tell her about it. She is a good friend, and I love her dearly but as I am used to being home alone minding my own business all day long, she is a drag to have to entertain as she has thought of nothing better to do than visit her friend. At least she goes home to her family in the evenings and is not spending the nights here as well, so I might catch up with the deadline in time anyway.

Having a friend over is nice of course for a while, but her spending the day here with endless chats over coffee that keeps on going for days is not my cup of tea, if you get what I mean. Thank god there still was some cake left over from Sunday to go with the endless cups of coffee, and tomorrow I have a previous appointment I can not get out of.

Sometimes there can be too much of good things.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

A cake is always a cake

Finland is no more covered entirely in snow as the thin layer disappeared a couple of weeks ago, down here in the south the snow has now melted and we only have sweet memories of the cold winter to cling to.

Luckily I did get some photos of the snow, rare as it seems to be this year, just to remember how it should be at this time, the darkest and coldest time of the winter. It all looks like autumn to me. Must be the longest autumn I have so far seen living in Finland.

Today is the 100th anniversary of my grandfather, deceased already over twenty years ago, but I still in good memory as my grandmother died only a couple of years ago. I used to take good care that I was able to either visit my grandmother on her husband’s birthday, or have her come and visit us at this time of the year knowing it to be the hardest day for her to be alone. Even their wedding anniversary was nothing compared to this it, neither was her own birthday.

My grandparents shared more than fifty years together and believe me, the times were not only sweet back then, even though as the years went by even my grandmother’s memory only remembered the sunnier side of their life.
In half a century there is lots of room for better and worse but strangely enough only the better sticks to your memory in the end.

In today’s modern society it is sometimes hard to imagine that people used to get married and stay married for the rest of their lives like my grandparents did. Splitting up and getting a divorce was out of the question back then, not like today when pressing the toothpaste wrong or leaving the toilet-seat up might end up in divorce.

Decades of sharing a life together, having children, watch them growing up, go to school, begin their professional lives and careers, leaving the nest moving away from home and seeing them getting married and having children. And if you’re lucky enough see your own grandchildren have children.

So I better get going with the cake baking, no need to disrupt any annual traditions that have upheld and approved of for so many years now.

A cake is always a cake, no matter the original reason it’s baked for.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Polar bears in Finland

Since the year 2000 Finland has hosted the World championships in winter swimming and this year they will for the first time be held outside of Finland, this time in London to my great surprise.

The championships will be held in UK's largest cold-water open-air swimming pool this weekend and I guess they can cool down a pool of water as well as heat it up, the temperature is said to be at cool 3 degrees Celsius which would be about the temperatures it would have been if swimming either in a lake or the sea in the Nordic countries, even despite the mildest winter in a generation, or “a man’s memory” as it would be expressed over here in Finland.

But not in any man’s memory has there been any wild polar bears wandering free around the countryside here in Finland nor in any of the other Nordic countries, only a few species living in captivity in Zoos and guess no one will be living that day as the climate is getting warmer all the time.

I guess I am not the only one to have considered the National Geographic’s Magazine as a reliable source of information on wildlife and nature, but I just recently heard that they published information about the polar bears in Finland to soon die of extinction, because of the effects of global warming.

Curios about whether this possibly could be true, I googled it, and to my great surprise I discovered that the National Geographic’s had indeed published such a thing, but that they had since updated their information in beginning of January this year. Well, I know that the general impression has that there are walking wild polar bears in all of the Nordic countries, but I would have expected such a reputable magazine the check their facts before publishing, they normally do have people employed just to do such background research, or at lest they used to in earlier days.

Well, we all make our fair share of mistakes but you must admit this was a bad one!

Friday, 8 February 2008

Horror movies

The hard rock band Lordi, that also won the Eurovision contest in the year 2006, has now moved on to making horror movies. A Finnish horror movie, unique in its’ kind as there is a fairly small market for horror movies here in Finland, the movie is ready made in English for a more international market had its’ premiere yesterday.

The monster rockers of Lordi are fitted into the story just as they are, monsters that are just there to scare you.

The bands promotion videos have already been in that genre and the identities of the band members are still not publicly known. Strangely enough the general idea seems to be that the band was formed just before the Eurovision contest which is absolutely not true as the band apparently has been kicking and alive for a decade already.

Finally the water situation is getting back to normal in the city of Nokia as the municipal water now has been tested negative for any further contamination and the city council is to discuss when and how to get back to normal tap water usage by next week.

In the same small town of Nokia also alleged serial killings were discovered last year. A nurse was been accused of inducing deaths of three with insulin and attempted to kill two more people in the same way. Now as it seems to be impossible to prove the origin of the insulin in the dead bodies, as there is no laboratory in the world that can determine whether the insulin was natural or where it originated from so there might be a miss trial in the case.

I have been quite curious about the reason why she has killed these people, if she wanted to help and they were mercy killings or what. Guess we’ll never know.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Terrorist threat to Finnish Embassy

The Finnish embassy in Kenya has three times by e-mail been warned against a planned terrorist threat originating from Ethiopia and the Kenyan police are now investigating where the warnings have been sent from.

In the mean while the security has been tightened on the embassy premises, as the Finnish prime minister takes them seriously. The main question here remains; why on earth make warn the Finnish diplomats, what have the Ethiopians against Finland? The threat is not believed to have any connection with the current unstable political situation in Kenya.

Anyway, there is one thing going on in this country right now that people in general are speculating might make the current administration crumble down. That is the governments’ part-ownership in the forest products giant Stora Enso that are closing their mills in Finland. Especially their mill in Kemijärvi is considered to be deadly serious business and the prime minister has been visiting the Kemijärvi area in order to try and calm down the soon-to-be unemployed. 300 hundred demonstrators also took the train to the capital Helsinki in order to protest against the decision to close the mill, marching the three block distance from the railway station to the steps up to the house of parliament, where a series of speeches were held.

As the mill is the main mean of employment in the Kemijärvi area, its closing most surely will have devastating effects on the whole business situation in the area resulting in a general depression in regional economy.

Well, here I have to ask one thing, might this have anything to do with the effects of the long and tedious strike the paper worker’s union undertook two years ago during the summer? That forest industry companies re-localize their manufacturing to other countries with more affordable wages and with maybe employees more keen to keep their jobs which will be more cost effective in the long run.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

On coffee again

The town of Nokia is still suffering of lack of potable water as they still are waiting for the results of the cleaning of the contamination from its municipal water in some areas of the town. The chloride levels in the water were temporarily raised sky high in order to flush out the impurities and people were asked to run the tap water in order to get the water pipes clean.

The last results of the water’s purity is expected by end of this week and then hopefully life can go back to normal for the last 10.000 inhabitants in the last and worst contaminated part of the town after having been on detention from tap water and having to collect it at these special drinking water distribution stations all over town since beginning of December last year. I can only imagine the trouble you have to go through for making one single cup of coffee, which reminds me; our house is more peaceful now than it has been for the past three weeks as dear spouse of mine is once again allowed two cups of his accustomed coffee. One in the morning before he leaves for work and the second one that the two of us have together when he arrives home after a hard days work. Which is a nice custom as we share what has happened during the day over the coffee, a moment for just the two of us every day as routine?

All raw vegetables are back on the menu, as well as is his favourite rye bread that was the second thing he missed the most being on this scientific “we will then know” diet his doctor ordered, only thing missing is dairy products and as the air home nowadays is less polluted by bad fumes our dear docto0nr must’ve been right. Not that I doubt him, as I notice the pleasant outcome, but it might have been something else, not necessarily more serious but something that would not have been quite as obvious as this lactose intolerance is.

At least there will be no more grunting about “coffee this and coffee that” anymore when out on town on our almost weekly shopping trips to town, dear husband and I with an occasional impromptu coffee and cake break.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

No equality in Parliament

The Finnish Parliament returned to working life again as their Christmas break ended on Monday.

Despite having been on Xmas break the parliament has been hitting the headlines with rumours about female assistants and secretaries having been sexually harassed by male parliamentary representatives. Names of the representatives have of course been visible in the media but none of the allegedly sexually harassed has come forward. The president and the chairman of parliament both have condemned sexual maltreatment, and to my surprise I found out that the law on equality only applies to workers and not to representatives of the parliament. This seems like a peculiar oddity and at the same time a bad flaw in the law in these days when sexual equality is spoken about and regulated and guidelined for here in Finland in every way.

Anyway, I have been down with the most excruciating headache since Saturday afternoon and finally today it was time for my appointment with my chiropractor. I have a tendency to get my neck all tense and then the headache hits me like a sledge hammer, it is no migraine as my migraine medication does no do anything for it and ordinary painkillers only get the edges off it, and as the agonising pain can go on for day and night for up to ten days I sometimes crave for a bullet to end it all. All I have been able to do about it has been to stay in bed in my dark bedroom and wait for it to pass, counting the hours…and seconds avoiding to move and to think. And thinking is not the best thing to do, the rest of the family always enjoy the oddities that comes out of my mouth at these fortunately more rare than commonly habitual occasions of this headache.

Thinking about it right now, it seems a bit like an over drastic measure to take to end the pain with a bullet into the brain but this far nothing has helped, and when you’re there having the pain you just want it to end. This time I was lucky as I had the appointment with the chiropractor so conveniently booked, almost like a premonition. Of course his treatment was not the most pleasurable ones I have been through, and believe me I have been to a couple of chiropractors in my days, but the relief afterwards even though places still are sore and ache but I got relief from the tension, the headache lifted off.

God, am I thankful to be alive and kicking!

Sunday, 3 February 2008

A pig’s hole

There seems to be a nice little loop hole, or a “pig hole” as they say here in Finland with the sports associations rules as right now it seems like the Finnish female skier that just last week tested positive for doping might just make it without being banned from all sports competition for life.

As her previous positive doping test was for another sports association, then the cross country skiing association, and now this time she tested positive being a member of the biathlon association she apparently still has tested only once positive and not twice as previously was though. A nice little pig‘s hole, isn’t it?

Now with the Chinese New Year closing in on us we are also so conveniently leaving the year of the Pig and entering the year of the goat. Or what Chinese year is it?!?

Friday, 1 February 2008

White as snow

A Finnish female skier yesterday tested positive for doping.

This is the second time in her skiing career that she has tested positive and both her A-sample and her B-sample were positive in a doping test. First time she tested positive with then also traces of the so called EPO-hormone 2003 as a member of the FIS when she was part of the Finnish cross country skiing team, and now this second time she tested positive for the same illegal substance, this time as member of the International biathlon federation and she may be banned from competing for the rest of her life but that won’t be decided upon until next week

I always though that if you were to cheat you should do it so nobody sees it, and if caught cheating then don’t do it again.

Most of the Finnish cross country team that was caught red handed winning their own hosted the 2001 world championship in Lahti when 6 Finnish skiers were tested positive for doping with Hemohes. Just days before the skiing event a doctor’s bag with bloody syringes and empty, used bags of the Hemohes plasma-expanding fluid were found forgotten on a petrol station, and those championships were for long called the Hemohes championships here in Finland. The doctor’s bag was in the end were discovered to belong to the Finnish skiing team coach who was made to resign together with a couple of other coaches. This same female skier that now tested positive was also competing in cross country skiing in Lahti but her test was then clean and she was not among the tested negative for doping.

Quite embarrassing actually, it must’ve been, hosting the world championships during which most members of the home team tests positive for doping.
Anyway, now the Finnish biathlon association is demanded an explanation by the Finnish minister of sports whether they knew about the doping, if and who was involved in it etc in two weeks time as they are sponsored by the government and this might mean having refund paid sponsorships. This particular illegal doping substance is also said to be difficult to get by which also raises the question about how and where it was obtained from.

In any case skiing has got once again got a bad reputation here in Finland which probably means a major set-back of many sponsors withdrawing their support.

In the meantime southern Finland has been caught in a blizzard with hard wind gusts. This now means that all of Finland now will be white with snow but this is still far away from the normal amounts of snow at this time of year. Or maybe blown over by snow it should be in this case. At least that will mean favourable skiing conditions for the general population, that is, if the weather keeps cold enough for it to not melt away during the weekend.