Friday, December 30, 2005

The year comes to an end - with pics!

Another year went by. It seems it wasn't all that long ago when some of us gathered here at my place to celebrate the beginning of 2005. Twelve long months and what do I have to show for it? Ah, well. Let's see.

First, there was spring by the seaside. I borrowed dad's car, took my camera and drove to Ruissalo (one of my favorite places in Turku) to see how everything looked. This was around easter.

Then came June and I had to part with my dear old car. You can see it parked between the bright red and blue car. The pic was taken from my balcony. Buh-bye, Skoda.

Then there was the Medieval Market. Ye Olde Good Times Were Had by All.

August came, and with it work and my little goddaughter. See how well we were color coordinated already at the maternity ward, heh.

And then there were the Australian GUFFers Damien and Juliette, here seen in the local sf society's clubroom. They were wonderful people and I had a good time showing them around Turku (them and two additional Aussies, Karen and Dave). Evidence as follows.

See all those tiny Aussies in the window of Turku's magnificent medieval castle?

One beautiful early autumn evening our friends invited us all (and then some) to a great party. They had the fireworks to back up their promises, too.

Then I went to Helsinki one weekend. Met the author M. John Harrison and took touristy pics. Here's one.

And the rest of my pictorial year hasn't yet been developed... Although, as you well may remember from my previous posts, the rest of my year has included two additional trips to Helsinki, having international visitors from Malta and Belgium, working, working and working and so on. Not a bad year, all in all, I'd say.

I do have a couple of requests from the Magnificent Fates to make 2006 even better. Would you be so infinitely kind as to
a) kick my butt enough for me to get my act together and graduate
b) let me win in the lottery
c) let me fall in love once and for good
d) keep my friends happy and sane (and me along them, naturally)
e) bring peace to the world
f) choose at least one of the above for your serious consideration.
Thank you ever so much.

With this I wish you all a very happy new year. May it bring you joy, happiness and success.

(I'll see you, when I begin my new year of blogging. It'll be in about a week, because on Monday, I'm off to Lapland to ski for a few days with mom and dad. I'll be back on Saturday. No computers, no stress, just snow and nature (and about bazillion tourists in Ruka...) Whee!)

Monday, December 26, 2005


Thanks to Tigerlily who kindly pointed out this site and caused a wave of squeeing, awwwing and other funny noises. Go and melt yourself into a puddle of goo.

This was one of my favorites. There are no words...

Just how cute can a baby seal get?

Friday, December 23, 2005

It's the season to be jolly...

Tralalalalaa and so on. We have, once again, come to the point where I notice that almost a full month has gone by. In this case, I don't mind it, because it's Christmas Eve tomorrow! Yay!

This year, it seems, we'll have all our family members healthy and happy at the dinner table come tomorrow evening. Last time this was the time when I was worrying about mom who was in the hospital. Infinitely better this way.

So, getting ready for everything has been relaxing this time around, I'm happy to say. Today I cleaned up my place, baked some gingerbread cookies and went to the movies with a good friend. We saw Narnia, which turned out to be quite charming, if nothing else. I want a unicorn, too! (I couldn't help pondering whether or not Peter's unicorn was in fact the same horse that was Shadowfax in LotR, since the battle scene was at least one of the scenes filmed in New Zealand and Peter rode bareback, just like Gandalf. The horse would have to be used to that sort of thing. I may have to do some digging up of facts...) And what an appropriate name the movie has - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Me and my friend, at least, were checking out the clothes of the characters at all times. I need a dress like Susan had, so I can be a believable archer next summer... ;)

Anyhow, it's time to go and wrap up the last of the presents and go to bed. Tomorrow will see me happily listening to the Declaration of Christmas Peace, eating way too much of delicious food and hopefully opening some nice presents, too. And having said that, I must confess I'm going to try and not sit by the computer during this upcoming weekend! There'll be other things to do, books to read and movies to watch, I'm sure.

In other words, I wish you all can enjoy a warm and joyous Yuletide with your families or loved ones.

Season's Greetings from Turku! The picture isn't very wintery, but this is just a reminder that it will look like this again in about six months or so. Days are already getting longer!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

We have a debt of honor

This is what a young Finnish athlete said in an interview just a while ago. He had been invited to the president's independence day reception, thanks to his success in the world championships this past summer. He was answering a question about the meaning of independence and referring to the generation of Finns who sacrificed their youth to defend our independence in the last wars. I agree with him, today more than ever.

A veteran of the Continuation War gave a speech in our school yesterday. He told us of his own experiences in the fierce battle of Tali-Ihantala (in the summer of 1944), in which an estimated 8500 Finnish soldiers and around 18000 Soviet soldiers lost their lives or were wounded. It's the largest ever battle fought in Scandinavia and he survived it. Truly humbling story, really. My grandpa, who is also a veteran of the Continuation War, has never really told me stories of the battles he fought in his time. I think he really doesn't want to talk about that part of the war at all - and I don't blame him.

Today, however, grandma told us about her experiences, which is very rare. I don't think I remember her telling us stuff like that before. She gets to speak up more now that grandpa is getting quieter and quieter all the time. She told us how she had taken her little puppy with her to the bomb shelter, even though it wasn't allowed. I didn't even know she had had a dog then. But the image of grandma and her family fleeing from their home, because Turku was bombed heavily, is just chilling. Especially when she told that they were forced to walk towards the city to the nearest bomb shelter, because the area where they lived didn't have one. Which then meant they were actually walking closer to the areas that were bombed, rather than running the other way. It must've been scarier than I could ever imagine.

To complete my patriotic and emotional independence day I watched the old movie version of the Unknown Soldier earlier today. I absolutely love the book and I finally remembered to tape the movie for future use in school. Oh, how I cried. It's an old black&white movie, which makes it very much like the old document films we see of the war. Which then makes it feel very real and made me think about all the young men (and women) who actually were in the war... You see what I got myself into? An emotional trap. I watch a movie - movie gets my imagination running - I get emotional... Argh.

Oh well, I suppose being emotional over Finnish history is very appropriate for the occasion. And besides, I love being a Finn. I absolutely LOVE it. Anybody notice that lately?

Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää kaikille!