Friday, 29 August 2008

Expensive blueberries

I have heard that the global warming bring more rain to Finland. Well, the words “global warming” I understand as “it will be warmer globally”.

And it sure has brought us a more than fair share of rain this year.
The swallows left for south extremely early, already in beginning of august, and the weather has been intermittent heavy rain and colder than normal for this time of year.

Only two years ago we had the worst heat wave on this very same time, in august!
The wild berry crop will be the smaller than normal. So opposed to the “warming”, this year there was might frost when the blueberries, or bilberries as some call them, were blooming. Too cold for the blossoms, with hardly no bees around to pollinate them there are hardly any berries to pick.

There were also much less insects around this summer. I had high hopes that our youngest, the now soon-to be 11 months old kitten, would had at least flies flying in through the open windows to catch. With her being an indoor cat, this will be her only way to follow her basic instincts of hunting. There were only little tiny flies that live in the dirt of flower pots, which she was happy enough to chase around oblivious to her surroundings.

This year they say blueberries will be as expensive as cloudberries, and they are quite expensive mind you!

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Homes for the homeless

Finally some good news for the homeless in Finland.

It has been appalling if not outrageous, the amount of homeless, in this northern country with winter so cold, with currently estimated 2500 persons, living human beings, without a place to stay. But now, finally, the government has decided to do something about it.

The state and the concerned municipalities, and here it means the cities, where there are most homeless wandering about in the streets, are to split the costs in equal halves acquiring either apartments or housing in so called group homes for 1300 of the homeless.

Well ain’t this grand, then there only is the other estimated half to provide for who will still be “chronically homeless” as they are called that still will be without shelter when the winter comes.

But still if I may say, it seems quite controversial for a government in any country aimed more at conservative values than socialistic ones, to reform such a thing as housing for the poor and homeless.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Punk rocks

Some prejudices seem to become mellower by time.

Finally, the cult punk band the Sex Pistols got to hold their concert in Helsinki last Saturday. Last time they were scheduled in Helsinki for a concert in 1978, but it got postponed by three decades as the band was forbidden entry to the country. This as a result of protests from child protection and youth agencies as the Sex Pistols back then was considered as bad influence to the Finnish youth together with the band splitting up for a period of time.

This was the Sex Pistol’s third appearance in the country, and maybe there are not as many fans dressed up in the proper punk manner as in the good old days, as most of them must be at least my age, and many things change in time, and three decades is a loong time.

Ah, sweet youth of mine, brings back memories.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Cheaper air fares

The budget airlines are beginning to discover Finland for real!

Earlier there have been only the ordinary airlines to fly with but since Ryan air began their flights from Tampere a couple of years back with a brief additional visit by Sterling air in Helsinki for some months, now more low cost airlines are hungry for a piece of the action, which of course is good news for travellers. Berlin air has been flying from Helsinki and soon to come will be the low-cost airline Easy jet. Mind you, be well advised, what you get with budget airlines is not the same as with the “ordinary” airlines, that we have been well informed so well about with a couple of TV series, what can go wrong, can go wrong.

But you might just as well be lucky enough to get what you want, just a cheap seat to far away countries away from the normal routine. Just what I would need sometimes, just a one way ticket, never to return...

I guess I will have to suffice with just a good book in the meantime.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Specialized in a generality

How strange does it not sound when somebody has specialized in general medicine?

I know that the word is used in many other languages, but it just occurred to me the other day how stupid it really sounds.

Anyway, I was admitted into hospital for some major surgery, just routine stuff but minding the rumour the hospital in question I was an outpatient, I was quite a bit worried about having it done there. And it turned out excellent.

The surgeon that was performing the operation took his time to see me before the procedure, to talk things through and chat about common trivialities such as the weather, which I normally find boring stuff but this time joined in out of sheer pleasure, it really took the edge of my by then almost panic stricken fear. Nest came along the anaesthetist, to interview me about possible allergies, when I had eaten and if I’d taken any medication in the morning. Same questions, which was asked in the pre-interview the precedent week by a nurse. The longest time it took was the waiting for getting in to the theatre and estimated time had been mentioned as 6-7 hours before I could leave for home loaded with a stock of heavy painkillers. I was quite amazed that just after having had major anaesthesia when I was sedated and the drugs totally knocked me out and 3 and a half hours later I was ready to leave for home in perfect condition!

Oh, and about the huge misunderstanding that Finland should have health care free of charge, well that is a huge lie as they do bill you for it afterwards.

Monday, 11 August 2008

No blueberry-pie

Finally the summer vacations are over and done with, off-spring is back to school and I am able to get down to normal business!

This summer was more hectic than ever and all plans got turned up-side down countless times and therefore the lack posts in my blog these past three months. The summer has been quite unusual in many aspects as the weather has changed between heat wave in early summer and cold periods so there has been no blueberry pie this year as previous years. The blueberry blossomed at the time of unusual night frosts so hardly any blueberries at all are to be found in the neighbouring woods. Also the chanterelles are later than usual and today for the first time dear spouse of mine has gone to see if there is any to pick, so if we’re lucky we will have some for dinner tonight.

At least there is some hope for mushrooms as lately the rain has been pouring down intermittently.