I am exhausted… but so very happy
Why am I beat? Well I have been working very long hours since Monday in organizing a very special work related transnational gathering. The meeting was successful in my opinion, and the feedback we received let us to believe we did OK.
First of all I say how very pleased I am to be here and learn English under your professional guidance. My name is Leila and I live in Northern Finland; my home town is Oulu.
I do my best to keep you interested, but I also hope that you are very severe by pointing out my mistakes. When I write in English I keep on making grammar mistakes, I don’t get my prepositions right and I lack of looseness in my writing style.
I think that writing is kind of a performance. I have been watching American Idol on (or in… what about the article?) TV and I have been trying to find out; what makes a good performance.
I think that a good story is made with emotion, the act has to have a story, it needs to flow, passion has to be at present, the whole performance has to be technically right and finally it has to entertain. I know it is far too much for me try to achieve all that, I am merely trying to analyze, how one can try to improve oneself.
On a lighter note, I very much doubt that my blogs are going to be a great entertainment, but one thing I promise; you will learn a lot about Finland and a bit about me too. The good thing is, that over the months I have noticed that you bloggers are very energetic and happy people, so please help me to make these weeks memorable.
By the way our national anthem is called “Our land.” What is your national anthem and are you yourself a good singer? Maybe you also sing while taking a shower!
posted on Thursday, 01 November 2007 | comment on this post
A happy student here again
Rachel I am so pleased that it is you, who is tutoring me. When writing my first entry yesterday I was uncertain who the tutor was going to be and when noticing that it was my possum friend from down under I was delighted. I hope that by the time we depart at the end of November, we have grown to be possum bosom friends.
I also want to pass on my thanks to my student colleagues; I appreciated your warm welcome. I promise to tell a lot about Finland; about our culture, history, economics, weather, tradition, my family and of course about Santa Claus. I will try to have a different topic every day and my entries are going to be more interesting as from next Monday, as I said yesterday, I have been working very long hours and I still have many things to catch up with.
Rachel I do not mind you being short. I am a person, who tries to write with limited words. Reason for that is… I confess that I am rather impatient person; long windiness is not my favourite as I am so fast with my moves. The reason for above is that I always have so much to do.
I will try to correct my errors:
1. I do my best to keep you interested = I will do my best….
2. I’ve been watching American Idol on / in TV = this one I always find very tricky, but I guess it should be on TV (my intuition tells me that), and yet the picture is “inside.”
Rachel I do know Waltzing Matilda, when I lived in New Zealand I had a pleasure to hear it a lot. I would like to hear the story behind it. Pavlova I also like and I do adore the sound of didgeridoo.
As the weekend is coming, I would like to share the following with you.
“The true wealth of a nation lies not in it`s gold or silver but in it´s learning, wisdom, and in the uprightness of it´s sons”. Kahil Gibran.
Rachel thank you for picking up my mistakes, I trust you continue to do so. During the weekend I am going to put my best foot forward. Feet remind me of the promised account of Chris’s best shoes …
posted on Friday, 02 November 2007 | comment on this post
Humming calms me down
Today´s title refers to melody. It is true that humming calms me down, it also has to be said that music inspires me. The names and the words of your National anthems sounded splendor, well that is precisely what they are supposed to sound, isn´t that so? The musical subject mutter proved to be useful, I am glad we together managed to create something new, BBC Learning English is going to have a Christmas special about singing, thank you Paul telling the good news.
Paul, I am some what inquisitive and wonder how many of us Finns have been writing a blog with you before me?
And Rachel how things are down under today? What is the current topic that makes the land of Australia tick? I liked the way you made me rethink my own errors Rachel, I am hoping we will continue to do so. I will have lot of things to ask, but firstly I try to give everyone a short introduction about Finland.
And all you guys: I was so pleased that my first name, Leila, was so familiar to you. Someone knew that couple of songs have the same title as my name and someone else knew that it has an Arabian origin. All your comments were so motivating and many topics you put forward were a great interest. For example (Rachel e.g.?) one of you talked about self-confidence, that surely is a difficult issue. I, as many of you, maybe lack of it at times, I confess openly that sometimes I wish I had more of it. But then again, if one has too much of self-assurance, it may change to grow into (article or not Rachel) arrogance. I am so pleased Adek that you took the subject matter up. One of my favorite quotations that suit this subject matter is from King Lear by William Shakespeare: “Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest, lend less than thou owest”. Isn´t it well put?
A bit about Finland; you maybe know that one of our key industries is forestry, which is a controversial issue at the moment; Finnish pulp factory in Uruguay as Beatriz told us. I will be writing more about Finnish economy later on. As far as weather it´s true that during the summer time we do lot of crazy things, yes the sun shines right through the night and we organize many activities during Midsummer nights. But we do pay for the lightness. During the early winter it´s pitch-dark most of time (end of November until January), we call this time “Kaamos”. Someone of you asked about Vodka, well I am glad to say, that hard drinking doesn´t apply any more, nowadays people fortunately enjoy wine and beer more than hard spirits.
About singing, I am not a good singer, but I do a lot of humming, I find it settles me down, also if you hum long enough your whole body starts to chant. Karaoke is quite popular also in Finland, but it hasn´t reach near the popularity that is has in other parts of world.
About my family: I have a lovely and very dear daughter, she building a new home with her fiancé at the moment. I am married to a great man and I have three sisters and a brother. My mother died about seven years ago, but my father is still alive.
About Finland: The country is the seventh largest country in Europe and only over 5 million people live here. So Finland is not densely populated. Most people live in urban areas such as greater Helsinki. Helsinki, or Helsingfors as it is called in Swedish, has a population of over 570 000 and with it´s neighboring Espoo and Vantaa, they make up the greater Helsinki area (about 995 000 people). Other major cities in Finland are Turku, Tampere and Oulu, which is my home town (about 600 kilometers from Korvatunturi). My home town is a dwelling place for 131 000 people and Oulu is sixth largest city in Finland.
So much for today, I will be doing my best to write my blogs every weekday about the same time; in the evening after work, that means that I will post them by 19.00 local time in the evening, meaning that my blogs are sent onwards daily by 5 pm Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). This writing is done on Sunday afternoon, as I have something else to do on Monday night.
It was nice to talk to you all again. I was so delighted to notice that so many familiar names were there, you are like old friends: Marianna, Ana Paula, Naheed, Jarek, James... Good one from Antonio to remember that hello in Finnish is terve or moi or hei… now best wishes from the country of thousands of lakes. By the end of November you will all learn how many thousands (or thousand Rachel).
What kind of water ways your country is best known and how many people reside in your home town or home village?
The photo below is of my daughter Katri and her horse Touho, they look like good mates, don´t they?
posted on Sunday, 04 November 2007 | comment on this post
Santa gave me a call
Hi everyone and dear Rachel
I had a phone call from Korvatunturi. It was Santa Claus himself and he was not very pleased with me. Why not? Well I told you on Sunday that Korvatunturi was about 600 kilometers from Oulu, but as Santa pointed out, that the distance between Oulu and Korvatunturi is only about 400 kilometers.
I can well understand Santa´s annoyance, I have such a grand audience all around the world and I told his whereabouts incorrectly. I am sorry!
Rachel thank you very much for your kind advice, I am very pleased that you point out my errors. It is precisely what I wish you would do. I am not here to be told how well I am doing (although some praise form time to time would be nice); instead I hope to get advice how to do better.
Rachel we don´t use article in Finnish, and here is my home work:
I am rather an impatient person…
The reason for the above is
Someone knew that a couple of songs…
As far as lacking of something: I am waiting for your advice.
Everyone thank you again for your very interesting replies, I read them all twice. They were all very interesting, I was particularly interested about the water ways and related subjects matters. Just a few quick replies for some of the questions you put forward. First of all horse riding is very popular here in Finland and mainly with females. My daughter Katri is a horse riding instructor, and yes Ana Paula the film you asked about is familiar.
About Sauna, it is a place we Finns can not be without. I will talk about sauna later on in length.
You also talked about our paper industry. The pulp and paper industry has traditionally had a strong significance in the Finnish economy, as many of you well knew. I live near the pulp and paper factory that was founded 1937. When the site went through moderation work in early 1990´s, it was considered the most modern paper making factory in the world.
Some of you asked me about my views on subject matter in Uruguay, well I am not an expert on this issue and from were I am sitting it would be impossible for me to say, but I can say that our Oulu paper and pulp factory has never caused me any harm and further more our environmental regulations to my knowledge are very strict (as they should be).
Which reminds me of you: hello_loc from Vietnam; I agree with you that national resources are utmost importance when building a wealthy nation. If I understood correctly we both agree that the wealth of nation relies on natural resources as well as on people (know-how, wisdom, education, good governing and equal opportunities to all). Perhaps the uprightness of the people is the base for using the resources in a responsible way.
Rachel mentioned Guy Fawkes; I can well understand why you fell nostalgic about it Rachel. Here in Finland we have just celebrated so called “Saints Day”, during this day we remember those who have passed away. You may remember that I mentioned yesterday that we are entering the dim light period.
Well we have a custom to light candles on the graves of our dear ones. As it is dark outside the graveyards look so beautiful with hundreds of candles burning (Rachel I am not happy with this sentence, this is what I mean when I say I would like to have more looseness in my writing). And as it happens the 5. of November was also our wedding anniversary. All and all a memorable day!
Rachel was talking about election in Australia. Well politics are always a good subject to talk about. We have a fairly new government, and as a result Finland has 20 ministers; 12 women and 8 men. Our President is also a woman. I was listening news the other day and I heard that Finland is a world record holder having female majority in political power. I don´t know if that is something to boost about.
We have a multi-party system with tree major parties (Centre Party, National Coalition Party and Social Democratic Party) and several smaller parties (Left Alliance, Green League, Swedish People's Party, Christian Democrats and True Finns). Most executive power resides in the cabinet (the Finnish Council of State) headed by the Prime Minister.
The parties in power for four years as from end of April 2007 are: Centre Party, Conservative National Coalition Party, Green League and Swedish People´s Party. Other parties are in opposition.
Unlike the Scandinavian countries, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden being constitutional monarchies, Finland has a republican form of government. The 200-member unicameral parliament is called the Eduskunta (Finnish) or Riksdag (Swedish). Eduskunta is the supreme legislative authority in Finland. The President of Finland is the Head of Finnish state, the President is also the commanding chief of the army.
No more tonight, tomorrow I will continue to write about issues you put forward; global warming etc..
I wonder if celebrated something special just now?
posted on Tuesday, 06 November 2007 | comment on this post
A bitter day
It´s your bosom possum here again and Rachel I am so pleased you are such a bubbly personality, you make us all feel the warmth of Australia.
I think that for a moment I have written so much about my home country that it´s time to talk about something else. So I give you a break at least for a day. Some of you have already hinted you would like me to be more personal, which is fair enough.
At the moment I work as a Project Manager for a small independent company, before I started with them I was a Communication Officer for one of local joint municipal development organization. I also have been an entrepreneur for many years. As you can see, I am a working girl. Also I would once more like to say how pleased I am to be able to practice my English with you. I need to use English in my job and always the text I need to produce is work related, so reflecting... let me say how wonderful it is to write something else and at the same time to polish one´s ablitity.
The man in the photo is my husband doing his favourite past time hobby raking.
Marianna I glad you talked about Ingrid Bergman, were you a ware that he died last July? Antonio so nice to hear you have such a good memories from Finland, I liked so much the way you described “trembling lights on graves”, it sounded just right.
Kirsti you mentioned Finnish Swedish Heritage Day, I am glad you told everyone about it, naturally I remembered the day. Chandra: I was born on a small farm a long time ago. We had some cows, a horse and of course domestic animals: a dog and cats. I have lovely memories from those early days. I and my sister (Rachel can I say: me and my sister) had our own cows we had to take care off daily; milking was a chore we had to do during school holidays. I will try to do some research work about farming and come back to this subject later on.
Religion you also wanted me to talk about. Faith is a difficult subject, but yes I will be talking about Finnish religion issues as well.
Today is the day one hopefully can get comfort from faith; I chose a title “a bitter day” for a reason. We have had a very unusual incident today in Finland, a shooting at school. Several people are dead, a sad day.
In spite of of the tragic occurrence life goes on, that the way of life. The good news is that 59 000 new babies were born in Finland last year. Finnish mothers have a very good maternity leave and fathers also are eligible for time off when the baby is born (Rachel, please tell us all the different usage of the words of and off) .
Do you know how many new babies are born in your country yearly?
The photo below is taken during our short winter days (kaamos time) by my daughter Katri.
posted on Wednesday, 07 November 2007 | comment on this post
First snow fell today
When things start going wrong they do so totally; first of all I got mixed up with Marianna and Ana Paula and then I got the name of great Ingmar Bergman wrong. Could one do any worse? Sorry! I hope I am forgiven.
By the way I didn´t know that Nepal had so huge water recourses, thank you Silwal Kishor telling us. Energy production is very important to us Finns, considering our climate; if we were to run out of energy we would die of could in the winter time. So energy is crucial to us here in the North. We in Finland don´t have as big Hydro Power recourses as they have in Sweden and Norway.
Rachel you asked about the winter time photo yesterday, I think it has been taken midday as the sun is as high up as it gets. During our darkest days, we don´t see the sun at all. The picture below has been taken possibly at end of January; that is my guess as the sun is higher up in the sky (going towards spring). This photo has been taken by a business associate Tero Tuohino.
About the home work: Thank you Rachel for your valuable advice; I no longer lack
self-confidence and there is less lack of
looseness in my writing. I have been doing the same mistakes on the trot
far too long. My title today is about snow. What evoked
me to choose such a theme? This winter´s first snow naturally. When I am watching sport I don´t know if I am supposed to be with opponent side or favour allies
. I find it difficult to name someone, who has made a comeback
, maybe Beatle-Paul. As I am not a sport girl, I have never been knocked out
in the sport fields, but I certainly have been knocked out by surprise. What really winds me up
is when I forget familiar names. It is too difficult for me to say, who is the most good-natured person
, but I do know that people who participate in writing this blog must reasonably good-natured folk. Designated seating
is very usual for instance in the parliament. In Finland quite easy come by product
this time of the year is moose meat. One need a decent exhilaration
from time to time, nothing is better than exhilarate
yourself by swimming in a frozen river (whole through an ice > avanto in Finnish).
The last picture today has been taken again by my daughter Katri while riding. Carolina from Argentina, do you ride a lot?
Now I am wishing you all a very good weekend, I will be back on Sunday.
Best wishes from working girl Leila
posted on Thursday, 08 November 2007 | comment on this post
Spoken and unspoken
A man from Casablanca knew about (the?) Finnish way of life. I was watching TV on Friday night and a gentleman originally from Casablanca was being interviewed. This man, a professor, had been living in Finland for 30 years and when asked about silent Finnish rules, he so accurately replied: “A foreign policy issues are delicate in Finland, secondly it isn´t good to repeat oneself and thirdly approach Finns slowly.
Yes, I think the man from Casablanca was correct. Someone asked me about freedom of speech in Finland; my answer is, that we have a freedom to talk about anything. I would also like to say, that more freedom one has, more responsibility one has to take, I also would like to add, that as with anything it is good to have manners and respect towards others. To my knowledge our foreign policy is one of issues, that are being luckily looked after with care and subtleness. I will return to this subjest later on during November.
Thank you Flippo, Tiasha, Ernesto, Kirsti, Redouane, Adriana, Adek, Ana Paula, Hien, James, Naheed, Carolina, Jola, Marianna, hyoshil, Beatriz, Benka, Antonio, Majka, Mateen, Tuong Van and of course our tutor Rachel. It is a great privilege to be able to write here, so many sincere thanks to BBC Learn English team as well.
I think that the hardest part lies upon you. Day after day you find time to encourage a new blogger; you kind response makes me feel so honored and humble. For instance you advise: “Just write how you feel, was so simpple and yet so wise counseling”.
hyoshil from Lincoln, please put me out of my misery and tell me your whereabouts roughly. Naheed and everyone else I will be talking about Finnish food tomorrow. About clocks, yes we do change them back and forward twice a year, we did that about two weeks ago.
You were also asking about our language. Finnish language belongs to the Finno-Ugric languages, which are: Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian. The official languages in Finland are Finnish and Swedish, the later is spoken by some 6 percent of the population. I am a Finnish speaking. Other topics that you have requested are written in my notebook: weather, farming, global warming, faith issues (religion in Finland)…etc. Ana Paula I haven´t forgotten you request about New Zealand I will try to find time to write about that wonderful country as well (I have lived in Auckland New Zealand for five years). In the mean time I will add a good link for you to research further. Also don´t forget a great New Zealand singer, a Kiri Tekanawa.
By the way I can very well understand, how difficult it is to understand our lightless days and our days without darkness, it isn´t easy to comprehend unless you have experienced it.
I was touching to read your thoughts about the shooting in Finland. The day of Darkness it was.
If I may recommend to you some Finnish reading, it would be a book by Mika Waltari. The title is Sinuhe Egyptian. I have added a link on the right hand side for you to get more information about it. I also have added a link telling about Kalevala, our National epic. Is there a national epic in your country?
Today I have a couple of pictures for you look at. The first one was taken last night at our hide a way place, where my husband was doing his raking two weeks ago. The other photo is taken some hours ago, while returning home from our cottage; we came across with a group of men just about taking off moose hunting, the lady with the men is a working girl Leila. I asked men how many moose can be killed this year, and they told that 53 000. I have never hunted myself, but moose meat is supposed to be delicious (I will talk about food tomorrow), and the people who hunt say that they are doing a favor to everyone as the moose tends to be a problem on the roads causing accidents. Many parts of the country road sideways have been fenced so that moose would keep away from the road. It is a big and very beautiful animal.
Someone noted that Finns have many firearms, it is true. The large number of guns is to my knowledge due to many factors: hunting being one of them, the other reason maybe is that almost all Finnish men so far have served in the army and thirdly we have been in the war. My father used to hunt wild birds for us to eat when I was a kid, father also served in the army and he has fought in a war. Do you have to serve in the army?
posted on Sunday, 11 November 2007 | comment on this post
Sauna, Sibelius, Sisu and food
Rachel, you gave again very useful tips; evoke something for… I will surely remember it from now on. Yes I have swum in a frozen river many, many times; I did it for seven years on a trot (water temperature is about 1 – 2 degrees Celsius). It made me laugh you saying Crikey. I will tell you that a swim in an icy could water definitely exhilarates, and yes it is crikey.
You also asked me about New Zealand writers, I am sorry it is such a long since those times (20 years), that I am unable to remember. But I admire a great deal Jane Campion as a movie director. I guess many of you have seen the film called Piano. Rachel I am sorry for a second time as I am not able to do my home work tonight. I have to out and I promised to tell everyone about food. As a matter fact I almost feel conked out so pretty much I have to accomplish this evening. But a promise is a promise, and friends you can not let down.
Yesterday I thanked many of you, my list was incomplete, hello Aga, Dusan, Mohammad, Aniko, Dima, Evelin, phil, Babak, Renato, Silwal Kishor, Tiasha…
About the Finnish way of life: Finland is often associated with sauna (a hot steam room) and our famous composer Jean Sibelius. We also like to think that we have extraordinary stamina (in Finnish we call it “sisu”); it is maybe true that we do have a lot of endurance. I am not certain if it requires stamina (maybe only a strong stomach?), but we are a world record holder in coffee drinking.
As the coffee bean doesn´t grow in Finland, it has to be imported. Coffee and fruits are big import items to Finland. Part from coffee we like rye crisps, rye bread, herring, cold-smoked salmon and smoked reindeer meat.
Berries are eaten a lot in Finland as well, we have several types of berries that grow wild in the forest, and we collect mushrooms in the autumn woodland. The forest gives people meat also; wild game and elk (moose) are hunted and a domesticated caribou, reindeer, rambles in Lapland.
In my photo yesterday you maybe noticed that everyone had a red jacket on. While people hunt, they have to wear colorful clothes for safety reasons. As you noticed I also was wearing a red jacket, for safety reason too, as our hide a way place in near the grounds where moose is hunted. We rarely (hardly ever) have any accidents, but it is good idea to dress appropriately when taking walks in the forest.
So what do Finns eat? In the summer time, Finns eat a lot of sausages; they are often grilled on a barbecue. Our Midsummer Eve is a major Finnish sausage festival, each summer we seem to break a previous record in the sausage sales. If you come to Finland during our Midsummer festival (24.6.) it will be difficult avoid eating sausage and visit sauna; there are about half million summer cottages in Finland and each one has a sauna, and any good Finn lights a barbecue. Beef, pork, mutton, lamb, chicken, turkey and lately more exotic meats as well are eaten in Finland.
Fish is eaten in Finland a lot also, I mentioned herring and smoked salmon before, but part from that, we love fish soups. Home made fish soup is very delicious and it is often served at the funerals and weddings as well as other type of get together parties. I like fish, one of my favorites is herring. In the summer time when new potatoes are ready to pick, one very simply lunch can be; slices of Baltic herring, new potatoes, raw onion, fresh herbs (mainly dill) and maybe a knob of butter, I call it a Heaven on a plate.
Finnish crayfish is a delicacy; it is enjoyed at the end of summer just before the time, when lamprey season starts. A few more words about food: Any Finnish man has eaten pea soup. It is made of dried green peas soaked in the water for about 24 hours before cooking for several hours with pork meat pieces and with few onions and black peppers, salt is also added. Why I mentioned that our boys know the soup? Well, it is a stable diet served in the Finnish army. The army tradition is that soup is served on Thursdays, and for dessert pancakes with jam are offered. If you want to make a very good pea soup, it is wise to use leftovers from Christmas ham as a meat part.
As I have been a vegetarian, I am not a big meat eater nowadays either, luckily my husband has very similar taste. We eat lot of vegetable dishes, fish we eat also, soups are served in our household, salads I eat daily at work and we always have fresh fruit at home.
If one wants to eat out, there are many possibilities here in Oulu; Chinese, Indian, Turkish, Italian, Greek and Russian… restaurants come to my mind immediately. All and all, I think that Finnish cuisine is very much a mix of European cooking.
At the moment I am very fond of Indian cooking; my daughter bought me a book about Indian cookery. Sometime ago we had some friends over and I made an Indian style dinner. We can always come back to this subject later on, if you want me to be more specific.
Who is the most well known composer in you country and what type of food you like best?
Photo today is again by Katri. What do you say about this tree?
posted on Monday, 12 November 2007 | comment on this post
My home town
The heading today reminds me of Tom Jones and his green, green grass of home.
My green grass of home is Oulu. The city of Oulu was founded about 400 years ago by the King of Sweden. Later on this week, as I will write more about our history, and then you will become aware why the Swedish King was the founder of Oulu.
As this is a blog, and everything is in digital disorder, I try to have some sort of manuscript in my writings. I hope this will help you to read my blogs. It is easy to quote American David Weinberger here: “Everything is miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder” (the title of his new book 5/2007). No, I have not yet read the book, and I am not trying to advertize it. The reason why I talk about it, is that this blogging participation is a very good example of “digital disorder.” People want to participate, not just read!
And you guys participate. Thank you again for your fantastic response. Rachel I am sorry, that I haven´t had a change to answer to all or your questions, I have been so busy trying to entertain (in spite of fearing that I am not able to keep you interested). Kirsti thank you for your information about Finnish related languages, the piece of information was new to me. It was great to exchange words with all of you about music, composers, army and food. Noora; name of Leila is not very uncommon here in Finland. hyoahil from Lincolnshire thank you: I was near your neighborhood last June while visiting Scotland.
Being so far to North it is often thought, that polar bears walk on our streets. This is not a reality; I have never seen a polar bear in Finland. But our winters are pitch-dark and harsh, and our climate dictates our lives a great deal. We need winter tires in our cars, our houses are well insulated and house windows need triple glassing just to mention a few examples how the climate has to be considered at all times. The changes in the temperatures between the winter and summer can be over 60 degrees Celsius, so anyone can imagine the difficulties that this brings.
The greatest hero in Finland is Santa Claus and he lives in Finnish Lapland. As I mentioned we have no polar bears, in fact Finland is a highly industrialized country. You may know Finland because of our famous Formula drivers, such as Keke Rosberg, Mika Häkkinen or Kimi Räikkönen. Or maybe you know Nokia mobile phones?
My home town Oulu is very proud of the high technology achievements that Finns have made with mobile communications. Nokia Plc has always been very tightly connected with Oulu.
Do you use mobile phone? Your phone is maybe Nokia, Motorola, Sony-Ericsson, LG, Samsung or something totally different? Or maybe you don´t use a cellular phone at all?
The photo from yesterday was really a tree covered with snow. Katri had taken the picture by the ski slopes in Lapland. This kind of phenomena is rather common during the winter; wet snow gets stuck on tree brunches and freezes… more snow and wind together harden the tree even more. The picture tonight is of me and my husband in a gala mood.
Talk to you again!
posted on Tuesday, 13 November 2007 | comment on this post
A very short blog tonight
I had an exhausting day, so I will be very brief tonight, besides when I am writing this entry I haven´t received any comments yet, I hope I have not tired you down? Anyway I have added new links for you to have a look at on the subject matters you have requested.
A few quick replies: The Indian cookery book that I talked about is written by Shehzad Husain... and reading your kind response I suddenly remembered Antonio Carlos Jobin, I really used to like him. I also used to listen Joao Gilberto.
The weather in Oulu today has been mild, only – 5 degrees Celsius. Rachel: A special place near my heart is always with me: the time of tranquility and peace to contemplate. So long until tomorrow…
posted on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 | comment on this post
Let us tango
What a fantastic response from you again! How silly of me not to explain “Green, Green Grass of Home” –thing; it is a country song originally written by Claude "Curly" Putman Junior. The song was made popular by Tom Jones in 1966 when it reached number one in the UK Singles Chart.
I also did forget to mention, that close to 4 000 people work for NOKIA in Oulu. Mariangela from Italy, I hope you find useful information from my writings and very warm welcome to Finland.
Rachel your story today reminded me of my fright many, many years ago in New Zealand. We could hear rattling while sitting in the living room. At first we did not know where it came from, but then the noise was replaced; it came from our fire place. So we removed the cover in the front of the fire place. And what was it. A possum!!! I say no more, but I am sure you get the picture!
Great not to have home work, thank you kindly!!!
My title tonight is from your request: It is said that we Finns are melancholic people. Maybe it is true, our music taste perhaps tells it; we love tango very much.
You all maybe know that Finnish tango is a close relative to Argentinean tango. Do I like tango? But certainly, I love dancing tango with my husband.
About melancholia; I do think that Finnish people have melancholic characteristics. How I came to this conclusion? Well I tell you, if we have too many Reindeer Teardrops (a drink with Finnish Vodka and red Vermouth decorated with icy cranberries) and dance tango, even men may shed a tear or two. Tearful is O.K. but crying aloud? Only in a very extreme circumstances one can behave in such a manner!
What do we learn from this? It is a known factor, that when one is feeling blue, it is wise not to have too many Reindeer Teardrops. I tell you very honestly, that I never have more than one Reindeer Teardrop, but I hardly ever cry in public as a result.
Someone asked what do we do during kaamos time (dark period) in Finland. The answer is simple; we turn our lights on. Aren´t I in a jolly mood today! It is because I had so many replies to my blog... and yesterday I though you had deserted me.
The photo from yesterday was taking at the New Year´s party given our Governor of Oulu Province.
Today I want to share photos of winter swimming with you; swim in an icy hole as we say (avanto). You may wonder about the shoe picture; it is very advisable to have socks or specially made shoes on while swimming. Why? When you come out of the water with wet feet, they will freeze on the ground very easily without protection. Also it is wise to have gloves on, as the tip of your fingers feel the cold easily... and lastly many people wear a hat while swimming. Most defiantly one must not dive under water, too big shock for your head. Third photo is taken during winter swimming competions. We are nuts!
Photos today are from different Internet sources (copy right unidentified).
posted on Thursday, 15 November 2007 | comment on this post
A few quick replies and a notice for you
I have added some new links regarding subject matters you have wished for. About the faith issues: There has been a complete freedom of religion in Finland since 1923. There are two national churches in Finland, the Lutheran and the Orthodox churches.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church has the country’s largest denomination; nearly ninety percent of the population are baptised Lutheran. There are also Catholic, Jewish and Islamic congregations as well as numerous smaller religious communities.
Mohammad, I am sorry I forgot to say welcome to Finland in January. I will be coming to your part of the world in December when I go to Egypt. Anastasia I know roughly your whereabouts, although Russia is such a vast continent.
I will talk to you soon again. Tomorrow I will spend some time with Katri and this evening I will go out with my husband. I am privileged person, I thank my faith and lucky stars.
Have a wonderful weekend. Bless you!
posted on Friday, 16 November 2007 | comment on this post
Food, farming and country side
Although I grew up in the country side and we had a few cows for milking, a working horse, couple of pigs and calves, I am afraid I no longer know in detail about Finnish farming.
However I know that we grow potatoes (potato seeds as well) and sheep, pigs and cattle are grown for meat purposes. Fishing is also a livelihood for many. Corn, grain and different vegetable crops are harvested in Finland also and tomatoes and cucumber for instance are grown in a glass house. In addition there are many garden centers that grow different types of perennial flowers and decorative trees. Dairy business is very important in Finland also (milk, cheese…).
The animals are kept indoors during the winter, although there are a few open cow house premises, where cattle can move freely in and out. Beetroots, carrots and green salads are also grown in Finland.
I was thinking my food favorites and maybe my list would sound like this: rye bread, lentils, rice, fish, vegetables, kiwi-fruit, beetroot, cheese, cauliflower, onions, avocado, mushrooms, wild berries, leeks, barley, couscous, peaches, dried tomatoes…
I must emphasize, that my knowledge about Finnish farming is not the whole picture, but I hope it gives you some idea about the subject. Maybe someone would tell more.
Rachel: How am I doing in language wise? I have a feeling that I have developed during these weeks. Also as you haven´t pointed out my mistakes lately I take it that my writing has improved? I liked the photos of your family in England. Rachel you are living a wonderful time. It is so grand when one´s child is growing and parenting is so very important.
Your pictures remind me of my daughter Katri being a baby and a young girl. She was born in London in January and I used to take her for walks in a pram all over London area; I was a home mother for three years. As we lived in Wimbledon (South London), the walks were often done around there. But many times we took a tube to central London also. If we traveled underground, Katri would lie in a push buggy.
You all have commented so kindly about my family, thank you very much. Today I want to share a photo of Katri taking part in a horse riding competition last summer. The photo has been taken by Kati Valjus. The other picture is from our hide way place and again it is taken by Katri. You can see my husband on a balcony.
I am sure you have realized that if you tap the pictures with your mouse (right hand key), you can enlarge the photo size.
As I am unable to write on Monday, I will post this blog on Sunday. On Tuesday I though that I will respond to your comments from Thursday, Friday and this one.
I hope your oncoming week is a nice one.
posted on Sunday, 18 November 2007 | comment on this post
What an amazing global lot we are
Firstly thank you Rachel about of and off -explanation. About the visitor in our fire place in New Zealand: The possum was hurdled out with a great difficulty with brooms and sticks through a cardboard tunnel unharmed of course. For those you haven´t encountered a possum in their fire place, I have added a new link so that you can make yourself acquainted with this “vicious beast.” I also added some other brand new links.
Rachel I like James Blunt very much also and “Men at work” is my all time favorite; give me a vegemite sandwich anytime. I better let you tell what vegemite is, if someone doesn´t know.
Adriana, I remembered you while watching a programme of Brazil on TV some days ago. I was also pleased to learn that you follow Formula. I hope you son´s English exam went well; please tell him never give up. Ana Paula you sound to be a romantic lady, I am also a sensitive person, two of the kind we are. Brazil to me sounds like music, energy and joy, regardless of difficulties… that your country no doubt has also. I think Adriana that “God saves us” sounds just right. I also believe that goodness of people is something that one must trust regardless.
London times I will write before the end of November, we will also discuss about education. Kirsti I have worked and lived in Hammerfest. For those who are unaware where Hammerfest is, I tell that the city is in Norway and it is the most northerly town in the world.
Thank you for asking how my day went with Katri. Very well, we had a good time together; we did some shopping. You maybe noticed that she had left a little note for me as a response for my bog; as she said I was interviewed in the newspaper about writing a blog!
And yes I am very fond of her and extremely proud…Anastasia yes at times I have been worried of her and about the possible accidents she might encounter. In fact she has been out of work for three weeks, as a horse (not her own) kicked her rather hard on her upper leg.
I was glad to notice that my writing has brought back some nice memories even as far as Dubai. One´s own childhood is a very important life time source of power.
About the food questions: We eat herrings a lot in Christmas time and also in the summer. Yes let us talk more about Christmas later on. We have Italian restaurants here in Finland and pizzas and pasta are very much appreciated.
Marianna best wishes to you mother. Hoshil did the Reindeer Teardrop cure you headache? Pary; swimming in the freezing water is a very extreme thing to do. People are given instructions how to do it right. How I do it? Just about when you are going under, I would advise you to take a deep breath and lower yourself calmly and some what in a slow motion up to your neckline. I found (I have not done it this year) it very lovely to bend my neck backwards so that the back of your neckline feels the cold embrace. The idea is to keep breathing deeply and calmly and take a few strokes (5 – 20); some people stay under only a while, others swim longer. When you come out of the water, do it slowly also, that way the experience is more vivid. Once you are out, I never used to go to sauna, because I wanted the gold feeling last longer, in fact your skin is totally red and warm (blood circulation comes to the surface) after a swim and you feel totally serene.
Naheed avocado is pear shape, green fruit and with a thick skin. It is rather oily and it has a quite large stone. I like it with salads with lemon juice. Naheed have you just graduated as an accountant? Silwal Kishor thanks again for your participation. I know only a little about of your part of the world. Current Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso has visited Finland several times. I am somewhat ignorant about Nepal and Tibet, maybe you would kindly tell us a bit about the issue.
Rachel asked us a few questions; I am trying to answer them next. Usually it is an unexpected issue that may crack me up, although I seldom loose my control. I know it may be boring. If I am showing off, I usually do something very stupid. I take my hat off to very many people, but I would like to mention Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Nogay. I also admire a great deal Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa. Not only I would take my hat off for them, I would bow many times.
About chucking things out, well that hit me hard. My daughter used to say, that I would chuck her out, if she stayed in one place for too long. I admit I chuck things out weekly.
Wild berries that are rather common here in Finland are; cranberry, cloudberry, raspberry, blueberry and some arctic brambles are also found in Finland.
What types of berries grow wild in you country?
The photos today by Katri have been taken during the summer time. Touho looks very happy with his mate.
posted on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 | comment on this post
Very serious issues
Thank you again for your participation, I understand very well that you all have a life of your own to live outside from this site. I really appreciate your time and effort to give me feedback. I was so happy to notice that we in Finland are such a happy nation, thank you Hyoahil. Adriana I am aware of your county being one of the major economic powers of the future. We here in Europe talk about so called BRIC-countries (Brasil, Russia, India and China) being the major economic powers of the future.
About the links I add, I have tried to have some new links all the time, please tell me, if you want me to keep them longer for you to view. Ramin you made my day, I feel like a sweetheart. About the wild berries; it is a big business here in Finland. If I have time I will tell you more about the subject before the end of the month. Marianna I am sorry to hear you are a bit downhearted, it will pass I know for sure.
Ana Paula; the interview with the Press went fine, you may remember that I have worked in the field of communication, but of course when it is you that is being interviewed it is always different. I talked about my marvelous opportunity to learn English with BBC and how my global family was helping me every day. I tell you that about 200 000 readers had a possibility to view the story.
My title today is a serious one and you will see soon why, as I will talk about the history.
Finland has common history with Sweden; the trade with Vikings was lively during 800 – 1050 AD around the coastal areas. The first missionaries arrived in Finland from Sweden, and Finland became part of the Swedish realm in 1155. Sweden later (1809) surrendered Finland to Russia and the Russian Czar Alexander I declared Finland an autonomous Grand Duchy and himself as a constitutional monarch.
In the year of 1917 Finland declared independence from the Soviet Union. The new state was first recognized by the Soviet Union, France, Germany and Sweden. Our independence day is celebrated in the 6. of December.
In 1918, Finland experienced a brief but bitter Civil War that influenced our domestic politics for many years, and it is fair to say that it also has left wounds in people´s hearts. The Civil War was fought between "the Whites", who gained support from Imperial Germany, and "the Reds", which were supported by Bolshevist Russia.
Later on Finns have had tragic wars with Soviet Union (1939 – 1940) and 1941 – 1944. Since those times Finland and Soviet Union have shown great desire to live in peace; Soviet Union - nowadays Russia - and Finland have had very close trade relations and co-operation for many, many decades and good relations continue.
Our neighbor on the other side of Finland, Sweden, is a country that Finns recognize as a modern and tolerant society. I think we have love and hate relationship with Swedes. It is most tragic when Swedish Ice Hokey team wins the Finnish team, but what a joy if we beat the Swedes! And if Swedes and Russians are playing, you guessed; it is better if Russia wins. As you can read between the lines, Sweden is Finland´s best neighbor; they are our most beloved opponents in every way.
My father fought in the war. He is 83 and he lives on his own. My mother died seven years ago, as you may remember me tellling you earlier.
My last thought tonight before I go to bed is how wonderful it is to talk to you guys and share our thoughts and good wishes.
Yours sincerely Leila
posted on Wednesday, 21 November 2007 | comment on this post
May there be peace
I knew that the issue I chose to write last night was a painful one. But in my opinion the good thing was, that we all came to a same conclusion: A war is the most destructed act on earth.
I also noticed that there are so many similarities with all the nations and that everyone at end must want peace. At least I believe that we, human beings, have learned something from the horrors of the world.
Mikhail; I am unable to answer your question as I don’t know the history in such a detail, but you may find the answers in history books, maybe even Wikipedia.
I am not keen at all to continue talking about the war, it frightens me to think that people with all the knowledge and wisdom would still want to harm each other. The reason why I wrote about it in the first place was to open a little bit of the Finnish history to you. After all, our history partly forms us.
Sorry that I didn´t make myself clear when I was talking about my father. What I meant to tell is that my father is coping and living on his own (by himself). He can make his own meals and even do his own laundry. Luckily one of my sisters lives near by and offers father a dinner at the weekends.
Cleaning help he needs, but that is very difficult to come by, although we are supposed to have good services for elderly and particularly for war veterans, who are leaving us by numbers all time due an old age.
Few more words about Finland: We have been a full member of European Union (since 1995). Although we are a small nation, Finland is a major operator in the manufacture of pulp and paper products and one can say that Finns are world leaders in the construction of paper machinery, and I must not forget to remind you of Nokia again, the company being an amazing global story.
And one more thing; Finland is a country of thousands of lakes and islands; 187,888 lakes (larger than 500 m²) and 179,584 islands to be precise.
Rachel: I will do my home work tomorrow, I already been through it, but I think it deserves a different Blog (not with this unhappy war issue).
On a happier note, I want to share a nice picture of Katri and Touho with you again. The energy is there, right!
So my next Blog is my homework, I will also tell why about 600 charter flights from Britain land to Finnish Lapland in December.
Maybe you want to tell what do you do for a living?
posted on Thursday, 22 November 2007 | comment on this post
Dream-time – peace time
What can I say! All your comments touched me deeply, and the wisdom behind them was so very evident. When writing this blog on Saturday, the weather is very fine-looking, there is a shadow of sun light over the horizon, the new snow has fallen on the ground and the temperature is only – 4 degrees Celsius. Peace on earth!
You may remember that the Finnish Independence day is being celebrated very soon. Ana Paula you asked how the day is celebrated. Well the Finnish President gives a formal reception in Helsinki; a couple of thousand people are invited, I don´t remember exactly the number. There are also other smaller functions all around the country and people at homes may light a candle. Candles are also burning on the graves of those who died during the war. The day is also a holiday; many people do all sorts of outdoor activity, such skiing, walking or just being together. Me and the “hubby” maybe are also going to spend the day outdoors.
Just a few words about the feedback from you; I was sorry to hear that there is still so much uncertainty, unrest and turmoil around the world. Kirsti thank you for replying to Mikhail, I also had a look at the Wikipedia site you mentioned, I did add a new link for those of you, who are interested to read more about the subject. Please note that the neutrality of the article is disputed.
So Christmas time is near. I mentioned that approximately 600 Charter flights arrive to Finnish Lapland in December. British visitors form England, Scotland and Ireland are been flown to experience the Christmas magic with us. About 115 000 visitors spend a few active days, mainly taking part in the outdoor activities, in the Finnish Lapland. You can well understand how important it is for Finland to host so many “tourists” every year. We still have a lot to do making our service packages such that they will appeal from year to year. Santa is of course one of the main attractions, snow we almost always have this time of the year, and I must say that we are also learning to buff up the service packages from year to year.
I have noted your request about the Finnish education system. I must do some research work before replying, as you may recall that I have lived abroad for about 12 years, and it is such a long time since I was at school. I promise to get some current information together. I myself am a life time learner.
The home work: Rachel thank you pointing out my weak points, using the articles is a difficult issue for me. I hopefully understood your very simple advice (a good counseling is always easy to comprehend). So I will have a go.
1. Tomatoes and cucumbers are grown in glasshouses.
2. Regarding the subject matters you have wished for.
3. We could hear a rattling while sitting.
4. To wish my parents a happy wedding anniversary.
5. The movie would give me a bad taste of the book.
6. The plot of the film was set in the history.
7. The building has…. The false ceiling is made of plywood.
The more I spend looking at the BBC Learning English site, the more convinced I became for it´s purpose.
The more I read about Australia, the more I want to go there.
It was too spicy a curry for Owen to eat.
It is too big a pile of laundry to do at once.
Vocabulary exercise: Spring to mind > pops to mind, Out law > a person without protection of the law (criminal), Bushranger > a person who has taken a law to his own hands, Strung out > stressed out, I am hard pressed > difficult to do something, Don´t get me wrong > by the way…
The Aboriginal dream-time legend was touching. Because of it, I took a photo of my tea-shirt with Aboriginal design. With this photo I want to say: Let us all dream of peace!
posted on Saturday, 24 November 2007 | comment on this post
Birds, Santa and goodwill to all
Rachel your rhyme: One for sorrow, two for joy... is a familiar one to me and it reminded me of:
Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye;
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing;
Was not that a dainty dish,
To set before the king?
The king was in his counting-house,
Counting out his money;
The queen was in the parlour,
Eating bread and honey.
The maid was in the garden,
Hanging out the clothes,
There came a little blackbird,
And snapped off her nose.
You were also asking about the Finnish literature and Rachel I didn´t in my last post reply to you about legends from Finland. I thought that as I had mentioned the very best Finnish legend, Kalevala, you would have remembered that. But when I was looking back to my post, I realized that I had mentioned the issue in passing. I have now added a couple of links that you may want to have a look.
A piece of taste:
Ilmatar (the Virgin of the Air) descends to the waters. A pochard lays its eggs on her knee. The eggs break and the world is formed from their pieces. The mother of the water then gives birth to Väinämöinen. Sampsa Pellervoinen sows the forest trees. One of the trees, an oak, grows so large that it blots out both the sun and the moon. A tiny man rises from the sea and chops down the giant oak. The sun and moon can shine once again.
I also have added a link about the education in Finland. I think that the very first page descries quite well the school system we have in Finland. Kirsti, as you said the Finns do well with PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) survey.
Ana Paula yes I do know the Ponsse company, they are making heavy machinery as you mentioned, in particular they are well known for forest machines.
Naheed, we don´t make Christmas pudding as such, although I am very fond of the British Christmas pudding and we are able to buy them here as well. The traditional Christmas dinner in Finland is eaten on the Christmas Eve, December 24th.
Oven-baked ham, root vegetable casseroles, mixed beetroot salad, liver casserole and different pates, smoked salmon, fish roe and herring dishes form the basis of the traditional Finnish Christmas dinner.
The following salad is perfect for the Christmas table; mixed salted mushrooms or fresh cultivated champignons > finely chopped onion to taste > smetana, crème fraîche or whipped cream and pepper. If you have collected the mushrooms yourself and stored them with a aid of salt, soak the salted mushrooms overnight in plenty of cold water to get rid of the excess salt. Change the water every now and then. Be careful not to remove all of the salt, so keep tasting the mushrooms every now and then while soaking, until the taste is suitable. Drain the mushrooms carefully, squeezing them as dry as possible, and cut them into small pieces. If using fresh champignons, clean them before cutting them into small pieces and briefly cook them in boiling water (about 5 minutes). Drain and squeeze them dry as well.
Mix the mushrooms, the chopped onion and some smetana to get a potato salad-like consistency and season with pepper. Add also salt, when using fresh champignons. Store the salad covered in refrigerator before serving.
Once you have eaten it is good to sit down and wait for Santa to come. Anastasia Santa has a wife and his helpers carry a name elf or brownie (tonttu). Helpers are great friends of all the animals, I believe elves visit also Katri´s Brown Beaty and give Touho a ginger bread biscuit.
One more thing before I go tonight; we had our company´s 10th year celebration on Saturday night, and as my turn is almost at the end, I would like to share a photo of myself, taken during the evening. The picture was taken by my husband Pekka.
Talk to you soon
posted on Monday, 26 November 2007 | comment on this post
Porridge and almost farewells
Hi again, yes sadly the month of November is almost over, I will have a hard job to adjust after writing my blog almost daily for a month. I am sure it is even harder for you Rachel, not only because you have been doing it for two months, but because your role, compared to mine, have been even tougher.
But I am certain I will be supporting the next student blogger; I know how important it is to get feedback. I never forget the kindness all of you have shown to me. I know I am not going to be able to match Ana Paula in writing frequency and it is more unlikely that I reach the participating regularity of Naheed either, but I will stay with you for sure. Good think is that three of us like cheese and fudge, if I remember correctly!!
Rachel we don´t here in Oulu have such a distinguish landmark as Sydney Harbor Bridge is. But our church is a very beautiful building and I could also refer to our High Tech Boulevard near the heart of Oulu.
While I remember I must also mention that I have added a new link > Finnish waterways. There is a very nice photo archive you may want to have a look. Some of you were interested about the lakes in Finland. Well, this site is a very good one to browse through.
Yes Kirsti you are right I did forget to mention the rice porridge, I remembered the issue during the night. Myself I am very fond of porridge, in fact I love rice porridge, not only Christmas time, I would eat it any time.
A few more words about education; I do remember when Katri was studying that the students were sort of offered different courses form a study programme plate and as I understand it, one has to select certain number of courses to follow through.
While I am writing I am doing my laundry, the water is whizzing and at times it almost feels as the washing machine has gone berserk, such different sounds I can hear from the bathroom. We live in an apartment very close to the centre of Oulu. I am sorry to say, that we are not able to see such beautiful birds from our window as you can Rachel.
My day at work was rather busy today, and the days continue to be so, as I have a lot to accomplish before the end of the year. The days never seem to be long enough, do they?
I will be back tomorrow, so long until then!
Today my picture is of reindeers, just in case you never have seen the pictures of them. I don´t know who has taken the photo as it is from Internet and the copy right was not identified.
posted on Tuesday, 27 November 2007 | comment on this post
Song of my heart
Rachel, Anastasia, Antonio, MARIANGELA, Filippo, Naheed, Sayaka, Habooba, Beatriz, Kirsti, Ana Paula, Eric, Ernesto, Waqar Ali Roghani, Pary, mercè, Silwal Kishor, Chandra, Manoj Pandey, Marianna, Jose Lourenço, James Zhih-Cheng Wu, Mikhail, Praveen, Mohammad, Majka, Nikolai, HYOAHIL, Adriana, ramin, michelle, longnguyen, Yati, Christine, Tiasha, Nattapong, Erika, Evelin, Carolina and all others who are reading this....
As my days of blogging as a student are almost at the end, I would like to say a few more words about Finnish literature; particularly I want to mention Aleksis Kivi. He was a Finnish national writer, playwright, poet and novelist, whose major work was SEITSEMÄN VELJESTÄ (1870, Seven Brothers).
Aleksis Kivi was the first professional writer publishing his works in Finnish. He died in poverty at the age of thirty-eight. According to the popular legend his last words were: "Minä elän!"- (I am alive!).
Among Aleksis Kivi's most famous poems is 'Sydämeni laulu' (Song of my Heart) - a dark and very moving work, in which a woman seems to wish her baby dead. The poem was basis for Jean Sibelius song (Op. 18 No. 6) with the same title from 1898. In the poem a mother sits alone with her child and asks:
"Tell me, my child my summerbright, tell me: wouldst thou not sail away from here to a haven of everlasting peace while the white pennant of childhood still flies clean? On the shore of a misty, tideless lake stands the dark manor of Tuoni; there in the heart of a shadowy grove, in the bosom of a dewy thicket a cradle is prepared for thee with snowy linen and wrappings. Hear therefore my song; it wafts thee to the land of the Prince of Tuoni."
('Grove of Tuoni' can be translated as 'Grove of Death').
The winter has arrived to Finland, here in Oulu the temperature is –10 degrees, the forecast for tomorrow in Lapland is –25. I think it was Anastasia who asked me some time ago if I had written everything I had wanted to. Perhaps I have covered most of the things I wanted, but there is a subject matter I did not get change to talk about. It is global warming. But it is so difficult issue for everyday person to try to put right, that perhaps even if we had discussed the issue, we would have not been able to save the world.
Ramin we are just entering the real “Kaamos time”, it will be rather dark here in Oulu until mid of January, in Lapland the darkness lasts longer. Marianna I am glad to hear of your love towards animals and also that you are artistic. Antonio hopefully the pictures tonight please you. Kirsti: Hyvää Joulua! Mariangela I am hard pushed to think of a very typical Finnish cake, I myself like cakes to be rather spicy, maybe I like date cake very much. Lincoln I was happy to hear you are a porridge eater as well.
The pictures are by two very highly respected Finnish artists Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Hugo Simberg. The titles of the paintings are Mother of Lemminkäinen (Kalevala) and a wounded angel by Simberg.
posted on Wednesday, 28 November 2007 | comment on this post
I was thinking today, what should I write, as my farewell blog. As a result of my contemplation I thought that maybe I haven´t emphasized enough, how much our climate influences our lives. During the winter we have to dress warmly, we go sleep a little bit earlier than in the summer time and our outdoor activities are totally different form other seasons; spring, summer and fall.
This coming weekend hubby and I are starting our down hill ski-season. If the weather permits we will be skiing until the end of March. The winter-spring time is an absolute heaven on the ski slopes; the weather is mild and spring-winter sun is shining. During the winter I also like to do a Nordic walk, which means that you walk with poles in your hands to increase your pace of walking. It is a very good exercise for your shoulders.
During the autumn Finnish people spend a lot of time in the forest collecting berries, mushrooms and as we discussed, hunting is done by a great number of people, mainly men.
We like to go for walks in the autumn forest. During the fall we also experience a rather spectacular bird migration event to Africa. It is a quite amazing how the birds that arrive here in the spring time fly back all the way to Africa. The flight formation is like a large plough, the leading bird in the front is changed from time to time (heaviest place) and the small birds are carried by large ones on their backs.
When the spring comes, most people are full a buzz. Suddenly also trees start to come alive, little leaf buds appear and if the weather is warm and there is a warm drop of rain, the buds almost seem to open before your eyes. And soon after that it is a summer.
Yesterday I forgot to answer to your enquiry about my husband´s work. He is a journalist. As he and I are leaving to spend our weekend at the ski resort and we are leaving straight after work, I am unable to write tomorrow, but I will be back to give my comments to the new student blogger next week.
Just in case you wonder why I haven´t replied to your comments from Wednesday, well for some reason they haven´t appeared yet when I am posting this blog on Thursday night. Anyhow we will be talking in December.
So Adios Amigos!
My farewell picture is of Katri, this photo is one of my favorite pictures of her... even Touho seem to have his main on plats. With this image, I want to wish all the best to your children. Let our mutual appeal be that the faith looks after our offsprings. And you kind people take care. BBC staff enormous thanks!
posted on Thursday, 29 November 2007 | comment on this post
New blogger from tomorrow
Thank you so much Leila. Though you say it's cold in Oulu, it is very difficult to imagine a blog written with more warmth. A month may seem like a short time but you've managed to give everyone here a good feel of Finland's history and character (with a Kiwi twist!)
From tomorrow, we have a new blogger, Silvia from Spain. Welcome Silvia!
BBC Learning English team
posted on Friday, 30 November 2007 | comment on this post