14 elokuuta 2006

Äiti ja isä

In July, my parents came to visit and we decided to spend one day in Porkkalanniemi again. If you remember a previous post, this is a very interesting place.

As you see we took it easy (especially Anne)

We had a very nice day just walking about and having a laugh.

My father, a big fan of Sibelius, got a photo at the Sibelius monument in Helsinki

In our program for visitors we have the traditional trip to Tallin too

They enjoyed the old town and did a lot of shopping.
And the usual question... who's next? : )

13 elokuuta 2006


Moi! by the end of last May we got visitors (Fiona & Xosé María) and this gave us the excuse to spend a long weekend in a mökki (cabin) by a lake in the Padasjoki area

As you see the cabin was very well equiped

The laituri (pier) was excellent for sun bathing after the compulsory dipping into the lake to refresh from the sauna

Grilling is a must in these circumstances too

Next day we took a taxi-boat and headed towards the largest island in the Päijänne national park.

The place is really beautiful.

Isn't it?

Late May is also an excellent time to look at diving birds

Zola enjoyed the excursion as well, although it was a little hesitant to swim

We enjoyed some grilled sausages and a nap. So well my friends... who's next? : )

22 toukokuuta 2006


Last Saturday was a day that will be remembered in Finland in years to come. Yes! Finland won Eurovision (for 1st time) and in which way. Spectacular performance of the band Lordi, and record score in the history of the competition. The participation of Lordi was opposed by conservative groups, and even some said that if Lordi would win they will move to Sweden. After the victory Lordi said that they were willing to help with the moving. The band was a blow of fresh air in the competition and lots of fun!!!!!!! I personally like the traditional Kitsch-Gay atmosphere of the festival but it was getting really boring too. As lordi said: "a victory for Finland, the rock and open-mindness. Hyvä Lordi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some of us got together in our place and followed the contest with the right attitude.

During Lordi's performance the TV was out loud and we rocked (and laughed) hard.

Thanks to Cim we could celebrate the victory with sparkling wine

A happy 'glamourous' but deeply satanic fellow : )

03 toukokuuta 2006

Hauskaa vappua!

Moi. Two days ago we celebrated May 1st (Vappu) in Helsinki. This set of photos belong to the traditional picnic in Kaivopuisto. There is plenty of sparkling wine and other alcoholic drinks. Many people (almost everyone) who have graduated from high school (lukio) wear their student cap. Events include the capping of the Havis amanda, a nude female statue in Helsinki, and the biannually alternating publications of ribald matter called Äpy and Julkku
Moi. Hai dos díes cellebramos el primeru de Mayu'n Helsinki (Vappu). Estes semeyes son de la romería que se fae nel parque de kaivopuisto. Casi tola xente que se graduó nel instituto lleven una gorra. El día anterior ponse una gorra a la estatua de Havis Amanda y la publicación bianual alterna de dos publicaciones satíriques Äpy y Julkku

Some people, arrange extremely lavish picnics with pavilions, white table cloths, silver candelabras, classical music and lavish food. The picnic usually starts early in the morning, and some hard-core party goers continue the celebrations of the previous evening without sleeping in between. Some student organizations have traditional areas where they camp every year
Dalgunos apañen tiendes de mucho postín, con pabellones, candellabros de plata, música clásica y delicatessen pa xintar. Polo xeneral la romería comienza temprano, y nun ye raru que muchos vayan de doblete. Dalgunes asociaciones d'estudiantes tienen reservaes zones del parque tolos años

As you see we had an excellent weather.
Tuvimos un tiempu mui guapu

Carrying the table...
Llevando la mesa...

Mari making the arrangements for our particular feast. I added some heterodox touch by bringing my wine skin bag (bota de vino), which is laying on the rigth
Mari preparando la nuestra fartura. Añadí un toque tipista llevando la bota vino, na sombra a la derecha


Terve! Two weeks ago we went to Porkkalaniemi a very nice peninsula located in Kirkkonummi. In the peace treaty after the Continuation War, in September 1944, Finland had to lease the Porkkala naval base to the Soviet Union and was recovered by Finland in 1955. Nowadays is an excellent area for hiking and birdwatching (especially now during the spring migration).

There were some bits of ice in the sea, but this didn't stop hundreds of eiders (Haahka) to be there.

17 huhtikuuta 2006


Last Sunday we visited the family at Ypäjä. The river Loimijoki was flooded and many birds swimming about.

I enjoyed the view a lot. The branches of the trees barely coming out of the water, the whooper swans (laulujoutsen) enjoying themselves and a marsh harrier (ruskosuohaukka) trying to catch something.

The forest birds proved to be less willing to show up at Anne's family place in Tapola (Ypäjä).

The unexpected birding experience encouraged us to try today again. This time in that nice tower in Kaitalahti, where we enjoyed more beautiful waterfowl. I liked especially a couple of goosanders (isokoskelo), which I find extremely graceful.

26 maaliskuuta 2006

Fancy a swim?

Why not? Let's go to the avanto (hole in the ice) and have a swim. No kidding, this is something worth trying. But today we didn't swim, we went to the Seurasaari (the island of company) to enjoy a bit of fresh air. Two wonderful days in a row.

But as you see one doesn't go to the Island but around it. As I call it, that's the Jesus Christ way (walking on the sea, no offense). Yep, all the people in the photo are on the sea.

It is nice to have a different perspective of the island and see the places you usually see from the shore. Beautiful.

Look at the guy on the left, he´s topping Jesus... skiing on the sea. Moses would be speechless (ehem, no offense again)

A coup of hot tea? Anne is enjoying it. She's a sensible Finnish girl well prepared for these chilly excursions. Meanwhile, I take good care of Zola, or is it the other way round?

What can I say? I love this fresh and pure air, the wide horizon and the massive sky. Sometimes I think if I'd jump I'd leave the planet.

25 maaliskuuta 2006

Spanish Civil War

Today a friend pointed me out an article in the newspaper "El Paí­s". The article (in Spanish) explains that this year are coming out several books about the Spanish Civil War. It seems that these recent contributions are unveiling interesting points as the struggle during 1938 between Socialists and communists on the one side, and the nationalists (PNV and ERC) on the other side. Or, in turn, that the Soviet Union was also reluctant to support the republican side fearing an anarchist revolution. Although the information is not new, the renovated interest may contribute to a more objective vision of this episode of our recent history. It definitely explains many facts and attitudes still present in contemporary Spain. Worth giving a try to the book "The Spanish Civil War: a very short introduction" by Helen Graham. Very good set of Robert Capa´s photographs about the Spanish war At the Magnum Site, just type "Spanish Civil War" in the search box.

A sunny day

Today there is a wonderful morning in my neighbourhood, Kallio, one of the most lively areas in Helsinki.
I went for a walk to enjoy this beautiful day, lots of people walking on the frozen sea and sitting on the benches to enjoy the warmth of the sun.

Even if the thermometer reads -4 celsius it feels quite warm today.
It takes long for the spring to get here and days like this makes you feel that it will arrive after all.

As you see I´m not the only one waiting for the spring

the trees are looking forward too...