I am in fact a bit of a gardening hero. The amazing weather really put me in the mood for finally doing something nice with the outside space we have. I am most excited about my new cherry blossom tree, I think it will be my favourite photo shoot model in the future…
Archive for the ‘living etc.’ Category
Wednesday, 28 March 2012
Saturday, 27 December 2008
Christmas kicked off on Christmas Eve when we celebrated Finnish xmas at home with S. It was such a treat to be able to watch Santa’s Hotline via the miracle of the interwebs. For my generation of Finns listening to little kids phoning Santa, trying to impress him at the last minute, and make sure he’ll find the right address, is a pretty integral part of getting xmas started. And of course then there’s The Snowman, a true sign that yet another year has passed and Christmas is here.
In a fairly non-traditional fashion, I had pancakes and hot chocolate for breakfast.
On Christmas Day we headed to Essex for the English onslaught of xmas traditions. This lasted for two days, and included two different turkeys.
Such happy Christmassy faces… :D
Certain someone got an air drums set for Christmas. Much hilarity ensued.
And finally, here’s my loot. I must have been a fairly good girl this year!
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
It took me a little while to get back into the swing of things. Somehow that one working Monday left a really bad taste in my mouth, and I had to try really hard to shake all thoughts of work from my mind and get rid of a feeling of underlying dread over the inevitable end of the holiday looming somewhere ahead.
Filling the flat with the smell of baking seemed to do the trick. Can’t wait for tomorrow now. Bring on Santa! :D
Sunday, 21 December 2008
I’ve made the bed with fresh new sheets bought especially for Christmas, the lights and decorations are up and twinkling, and our traditional pyjama party with Sooz has been held… I feel like I’m softly slipping into the luxuriously lazy rhythm of Christmas time. Just have to remember to go to work tomorrow!
Annoyingly I have a bit of a suspicious feeling in my throat and really achy shoulders… I’m trying to think positive and consume as much echinacea as I can. Surely my luck can’t be so bad that I’d get ill for Christmas, no no no.
I spent the first half of this day catching up with some admin work, but my plans for the rest of the day include such laborious tasks as playing with my new lenses and reading magazines. Actually, I better get to the magazines right now, the sofa’s looking awfully lonely.
Thursday, 25 September 2008
Saw this challenge here and loved it. The aim is to photograph your daily commute and what you have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I widened it a bit to include pretty much the whole day. So, here’s my ‘average day’ in pictures.
8am. I leave for work. The street looks fairly quiet. But then again, it always does.
On our station, waiting for my train.
I get a seat, result! First we cross the bridge over to Richmond.
Getting closer and closer to Waterloo (I had more pics from along the way, but this entry was getting waaay too long).
Get off the train. I then walk to the other end of Waterloo station.
1st and 2nd escalator down to Jubilee line.
2nd and 3rd escalator…
I just manage to run into a tube that’s ready to leave. Can’t get a proper picture as am squished against the wall.
Get off the train at London Bridge. There’s two escalators but the other pic was too blurry.
Finally some air!
9am. Our swipey thingy isn’t working at the moment so I have to ring the bell to get in.
Can you guess what the official company colour is? :P
Have a muesli bar for breakfast. Suz has left me a note.
It’s press day so I’m super busy getting pages through pre-press in the first half of the day.
1.30pm. Meet Layla in the lift, we then wonder where to go for lunch.
I get to treat myself to a tuna melt in Costa, since it’s a hectic day and all.
Back to work. There’s the view as well. Super.
Layla calls me into a ‘very important’ meeting in her office. Bump into Hassan in the stairway. Serious business.
John sees a photo op and elbows into our ‘very important’ meeting.
5pm. I force Layla to walk back to Waterloo with me, since the sun is out.
See, is sunny!
There are those sunflowers again.
Nearly at Waterloo now.
5.30pm. Walk back across Waterloo station again.
I get on Layla’s (stupid) train. No seats. I have to change trains at Richmond.
6ish pm. I get off the train and go to the store to get some bits and pieces for dinner tonight.
Almost home, just around the corner.
Nasty spider tries to prevent me from getting to the front door. I showed him!
6.30. Get in and have some water. I see that the sun is just setting so get my SLR out and take a picture for 365 Bokeh.
Start making dinner, but get bored with it so S takes over and cooks me sausage and mash. Is nice. I do the dishes though! I spend some quality time with the sofa and remote.
Have shower, update bloggy things and then head to bed. Where did the evening go?
Monday, 14 July 2008
For some reason I couldn’t get to sleep last night. I spent the whole night tossing and turning and getting up every hour to go observe the progress on the huge (human-size, seriously!) web, which a monster spider was working on outside our kitchen door (fixing of which, by the way, has finally been finished – I think). It was sort of fascinating and repulsive at the same time. Anyways, feel kind of out of it today. Not so much sleepy, but that sort of tired hysteria just bubbling under.
The weekend itself was rather nice. On Saturday I didn’t do anything, as planned. Which was lovely, and very much needed. Sunday was spent cleaning since I realised this was pretty much the last weekend we’d get a change to clean before going on holiday Friday next week (which, by the way, is my birthday :P), as next weekend we’ll be in Saffron Walden.
As a part of Sunday’s cleaning operation I attempted to organise my wardrobe by colour. It didn’t really work that well since everything I own seems to be muti-coloured, and -patterned. Umm. What it does show quite clearly is that I don’t own that many pink clothes! And almost none white. Ever since I had to downgrade from my old walk-in-wardrobe to one rail and chest of drawers, I have been forced to do some heavy
editing. So, even if my wardrobe is a lot smaller these days, and a cacophony of patterns, it’s somehow more functional than before (which doesn’t mean I wouldn’t miss my old walk-in-wardrobe dearly).
It’s lovely and sunny today. So sunny in fact that I was lured into walking to work from Waterloo. A sunny walk sure beats the tube, even if it takes a bit longer. Here’s hoping the sun will stay with us and make this week a more positive one than the last.
Friday, 27 June 2008
For those of you who’ve been biting your nails over what’s been happening with our back door, some news at last. Not sure if they’re what would be considered as ‘good’ news, but I suppose all progress is a case of one step forward two steps back, right? Let’s see, the door was screwed shut on the 9th of June and we were told they’d be back to change the door in a ‘couple of days’. It’s nice that we finally learned the true meaning of the term a ‘couple of days’, it seems it’s exactly 16 days. Live and learn eh! So on Wednesday, S was on overseeing-workmen-duty as I had a press day. When I got to work I got a phone call from the man who was (once again) lost outside somewhere in the vicinity of our flat. I phoned S to go outside and grab him. About an hour later I got a frantic call from S because he couldn’t find a tape measure. ‘Doesn’t the workman have a tape measure?’ I innocently asked, only to be told off for not being co-operative. Eventually the elusive tape measure was found and things could move forward. Next phone call from S: ‘He took the door and the frame off and now he’s done his back in and can’t move’. I wasn’t quite sure whether to laugh or cry at this point. A new man was then called in from Southampton (apparently very inconvenient for him indeed), who then took over from the injured one. All plain sailing from there on right? Well, not so much.
When I got home the state of the kitchen was something else. Mud and dirt everywhere, all plaster having been ripped off from the wall, with a lovely gaping hole at the bottom corner of the door to boot. The bloke was very pleased with himself though as, the way he put it himself: ‘it looks like a door dunnit’. Well, yeah. Apart from the fact that we’re not supposed to touch it because it’s not tacked to the wall. However, our man was in a hurry to get somewhere else and said that he’d come to finish the job the next day. Or maybe the one after that. ‘So that’s secure now then?’ I asked. ‘Yeah yeah, just don’t, like, use it’. Umm. I’m pretty sure anyone could just come and lift the door off, with the whole wall probably following. Needless to say no-one has yet been to ‘finish the job’.
In other news, the nasty stomach cramps have turned out to be a tummy bug of some sort and I didn’t make it to work today.
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
As it happens, our back door is not just a back door. On top of its door-like qualities it’s also a) the quickest route to the car, which lives just next to the stairs leading out of our back door; b) and to the bins that live underneath the stairs, thus making taking out the rubbish a lot more straightforward operation that lugging it out the front door and the all the way around the building; c) it opens up to the only realistically usable outside space (unless you fancy sitting in the front garden while the people downstairs sit next to you on the other side of their lounge window), in a shape of a landing at the top of said stairs; and d) it also has a very important function as a cooking-aid, when the two (yes two) fire alarms inevitably go off while you’re trying to cook anything involving the hob.
So, as you can imagine, when the lock on the back door broke in a way that prevented us from getting the door open, life became just that little bit more aggravating. Yesterday was finally the day when a man was coming to ‘fix the door’ (I use the inverted quotes quite purposefully here). I had to take a half day off as holiday, so I could be at home to welcome the saviour who was going to return our standard of living back to the level of only mildly annoying, as yesterday afternoon was apparently the only time it could be done and I certainly didn’t want to risk it never getting done.
After hurrying back home at lunchtime I found a man in a suspiciously paint-spattered attire wandering outside the general vicinity of the building looking lost. I asked him whether he might have been there to fix our back door, and it turned out that indeed he was the right man, albeit he had been given a completely incomprehensible address by the company through which we rent our flat. Lucky that I caught him wandering around, otherwise he would have never found his way to the right door. I showed him in and he eagerly took to the task at hand, i.e. took my key and tried to get the door open. Nothing doing. Which I could have told him. It took about an hour of further swearing, violence and power tools until he finally got the door opened up. A great moment you’ll agree. What followed then were multiple phone calls to someone who was requested to purchase a new ‘strippy bit’ and a lock for the door. I must admit that my spirits started to waiver a bit at the mention of ‘strippy bit’. Surely an actual locksmith would know a slightly more technical term for the strippy bit? But perhaps that was just their chummy way of communicating, I concluded, probably after you spend most of your time installing strippy bits you start referring to them in affectionate terms.
The next task was for him to get the whole mechanism (i.e. strippy bit) removed from the door so it could be replaced with a new shiny, and most of all, functioning one. Easier said than done. An hour of a lot more swearing ensued. Finally with the assistance of a power drill, the door was stripped down to a virginally strippy-bit-less state, the only thing that refused to move was the actual lock itself. Turned out this was the least of his problems though. While he’d been swearing and hacking into the door, the elusive partner at the other end of his phone calls had been on the hunt for the new mechanism. Funny thing (and I use the term ‘funny’ very loosely here) was, the manufacturer had apparently seized producing new strippy bits for this particular type of door. ‘Sorry love, you’re gonna have to get a new door’, were the words that once and for all brought my dreams, in the vain of summer nights on the balcony with a jug of Pimm’s, crashing down.
At this point the door was looking a sorry state and, defeated, I was inquiring the man how we were supposed to live there (or more to the point, ever go out again) when we now had a door without any sort of way to lock it. ‘Don’t worry, I’ll screw it shut, it’ll be no big thing’. And so he did. With much further swearing and with screws that are bent completely out of shape, refusing to properly sink into the metal frame of the door. I don’t dare try how much pulling or pushing the door would take before the screws give in and anyone can just walk in. I also don’t dare to think how long it will take for us to get a new door, not that I have very high hopes of the door actually fitting the frame when it finally comes.
All in all, not only did yesterday turn out to be a spectacular waste of precious annual leave hours, it also seems to have taken our predicament back a few steps instead of fixing any problems, as you can see from the picture. The sellotape is a touch added by me as it turned out that night time bugs were relishing the opportunity to fly in through the newly required airing holes.
To sum up, I’m not best pleased.
Sunday, 6 April 2008
I forgot to show my new curtains last week! While I quite liked the curtains we had in the bedroom before, I didn’t much like the fact that they were pretty much see-through. It made getting dressed and undressed a bit of a challenge. I ordered these new curtains a while back, but they only arrived last week. I love them, they somehow make the room feel a lot lighter while providing complete privacy. The bedside table isn’t that new any more, but it’s still probably my favourite piece of furniture that I’ve ever owned. Oh and the sheets are supposed to not be ironed. Honestly…
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
I’m about to go to bed but just remembered that I was supposed to post pictures of the transformation of my flower bouquet! The white lilies totally outlasted all the pinkness, so today I simplified the arrangement somewhat. I think there’s mileage in these flowers yet!
Paul is over from Ireland to enjoy the rain and wind that is supposedly a ‘super storm’ terrorising the UK at the moment (mother already phoned to ask if we are still alive). Somehow we did manage to catch a sunny break today and went for a very wind-swept walk by the river. If the wind doesn’t blow the whole world away during the night we’ll probably attempt to climb up to Richmond Park tomorrow.
Tomorrow is also when I might possibly maybe also receive a new camera … perhaps… ;)
Oh and Happy Birthday Jenni! :)
Monday, 11 February 2008
So yes, it’s been a while since I’ve spared a proper thought to this blog. It was a conscious decision mostly, brought on by the circumstances. There was the whole moving from a country to another thing that occupied the end of last year, and the start of this year has been dominated by the ‘looking-for-a-job’ project. Both of these things and all the trimmings and extra brain power they take up have been the main reason for the lack of updating. While I still haven’t found that ‘perfect’ job, the flat at least has finally gotten to a stage where it doesn’t feel like a constant work camp with endless boxes as far as the eye can see to unpack and dubious amounts of crap to dispose of. That was the reality for quite some time. And most of the rooms looked like this until quite recently.
There’s still stuff to sort out, but things have started to find their place. I’ve gotten rid of SO much junk it’s unbelievable. It’s quite amazing, the amount of stuff that you accumulate throughout the years. The lack of storage space felt like a curse to begin with, but when I got into the whole purging spirit it was actually quite liberating… to just let go. I’m almost at the point where I own just the amount of stuff I need rather than all the things that might come useful someday (still, let’s not look up in the loft). Going through boxes that I hadn’t opened in years, up to 10-15 years in some cases, was quite cathartic as well. There’s something to be said about a good trip down memory lane. It is weird looking at the evidence of yourself from years ago. How much you thought you knew when you were young, how wrong and even cruel your own thoughts and actions can appear to you now. A familiar person but still a complete stranger.
But the flat, yes. Here are some snaps to give an idea of the space we currently occupy. It’s compact but it does the job for now. As said before, everything is not yet quite in its place…
As far as the area is concerned, I’m feeling really at home here. I love the fact that it’s very calm and quiet, even though we’re just 9 miles from central London, and that Richmond is just on the other side of the river. I can’t think of any negatives really, apart from the cost of living.
Saturday, 12 May 2007
I’m so fricken impressed with myself! I’m in the process of making this wedding scrapbook of sorts and I’d gotten some fabric that I was suppose to glue on the covers to make it a bit prettier. Well, lying in bed last night I started wondering why don’t I just sew a cover for it. It would look a lot tidier and be more durable etc. However, I haven’t really sewn anything in ages and I was pretty sure this was just a catastrophe waiting to happen… But what do you know, apart from the nail biting moment when I thought it wouldn’t fit, it turned out pretty darn good! :D Wow, who knew I was so crafty.
In other news, the Eurovision Song Contest is well on it’s way. The semi-finals were on Thursday night and as prepared as I was to be embarrassed, it was alright! Mikko and Jaana did their best, and once they relaxed a bit it was almost enjoyable watching them in action. Even the english was a level up from the normal F1 english that finns are famous for. :P All in all, it was a pleasant surprise that the production looked very professional and everything ran smoothly. I don’t know why exactly I was afraid of the worst… It still feels very surreal that the Eurovision is in Finland though. Not that it’s important to me in that way, it’s just something that no-one here would ever have thought would happen. There’s all sorts of happening going on in Helsinki and I should really haul my ass over there if only I wasn’t so busy/lazy.
Since I can’t vote for our Hanna, I will be voting (and already did in the semis :P) for Kenan Doğulu, even though I should possibly be suing him instead for getting this bloody tune stuck in my head. :D
Saturday, 14 April 2007
In the meanwhile, I’m entertaining myself with eBay (again). So I’m not complaining really. :D I’m waiting for one auction to end and also trying to will my own items to sell.
I just realised I hadn’t yet shared the latest development on the dressing room front! While I’m waiting until we move back to England until I get some of these (ingenious!), I decided to do the next best thing for now. So, I printed out pictures of the shoes I have in boxes and stuck them on them, just to make life a little bit easier. And more organised. And more pretty. And more like sex & the city. No but seriously, I think I’m going to move into my new closet. It’s so lovely.
I had like two drinks tonight and I got so very tired at around 10pm, but now what with it being 3.30am I’m wide awake of course. Figures. I might go and try squeeze myself on the sofa to watch the episode of ER I recorded the other day. Not completely sure if I’ll be able to hear anything over the synchronised snoring however.
Tuesday, 10 April 2007
I went to pick up this small packet from the post office today. Inside was a little box that said Tiffany & co. and inside that a little pouch with the same logo. I got into a bit of a panic about my eBay habits getting out of hand right then. Especially with S looking suspiciously on. It turned out that inside the pouch was this little necklace (with again, the same logo) that I did indeed get from eBay. However, as far as it being an authentic Tiffany necklace goes, I paid all of 90p for it. :D Surely I can at least pretend it’s real? :P
The Easter break was very pleasant and most of all, productive. I organised most of our closets and threw out so much useless crap it’s not even real. It’s crazy how much shit you carry with you from house to house without ever really taking a proper look at it. I also sold some clothes and stuff on eBay, which makes me feel a bit better about spending so much time on there lately. :)
And then I did something radical. I moved all my clothes into the walk-in-wardrobe off the guest room, previously home to random crap and tools etc. Now that I’ve done it, I can’t for the life of me understand why I didn’t do this earlier! It’s so cool, I feel like Mariah Carey or someone. :D I can actually access my clothes and have my shoes and everything in one place. And since I also organised the guestroom, and rescued the beauty desk from underneath all the crap, what I have now is effectively a dressing room. Ha. There’s still some random boxes, bedding and sheets etc. in the wardrobe, but I’ll soon find a new home for those. :P The problem of course is that there’s no going back now. The next house will have to have a walk-in-wardrobe, anything less just won’t do…
Friday, 26 January 2007
Let’s do the good news first. The bathroom got finished this week, which is wonderful. And it turned out very nice indeed, considering that we didn’t have *that* much done to it. Little things do make a big difference. As do the bigger things, like the sauna. It is just soo gorgeous. And somehow more spacious. We’ve already had a sauna twice this week (and the bathroom only got finished on Wednesday)… :D For those among you who would want to see some boring before, during and after shots, I’ve put up a little gallery here. Although I have to point out that the change feels a lot more dramatic than it looks in pictures (what with everything still being more or less in the same places).
The joy of the bathroom was dampened a little bit by an unexpectedly shitty end of the week on other fronts. I had a dentist appointment on Wednesday and I wasn’t really prepared for what happened at all. When they give you painkillers and antibiotics before you’ve even sat down, you can be sure that what’s coming isn’t all that pleasant. :| And the surgical sheet that was taped over my face didn’t help in shaking the feeling of dread much either…. Uh huh. Wednesday night was awful awful awful, I haven’t been able to open my mouth much for two days. Couldn’t really sleep much from the pain last night, but today it’s been a bit more bearable. Even if I still look rather like Quasimodo. At least the saga of my stupid tooth (recap: infected root, root canal, lotsa money wasted, turned out to be a birth defect, pulled the tooth out, now in the first stages of putting in an implant) is getting a bit nearer to the end. By spring time I should have a full row of teeth again and can go back to enjoying the fact that I have no fillings (nor money left). :P
If that wasn’t enough, on Thursday morning I had to drag myself (= be kindly chauffeured by S) to the hospital for the dreaded ACTH Stimulation Test, which entailed getting poked by needles every half an hour for a couple of hours. Lovely. Was pretty much knocked out all day yesterday after that one.
But yeah, let’s look on the positive side, at least our bathroom is gorgeous and noise- and workmen-free. <3
Friday, 1 September 2006
Well, it seems I can’t sleep so might as well try to update some blogs (ain’t it horrible when updating the details of your life to the world becomes a task!) and stuff.
I’ve been feeling really cranky for the past couple of days. Just all blah and pissed off. I wonder if it’s PMS. I hope it is. I hope it passes before my head gets completely fucked.
Went to see Miami Vice with Jenni today. It was satisfying for some parts but quite… flat on the whole. Colin of course is always satisfying. Even with a blond mullet. And my god, the man can dance as well! It must be destiny… Err anyways. What always drew me to the original series was the atmosphere. There’s this sort of definite Miami Vice feeling you get, like the excitement at the pit of your stomach when stepping into a nightclub combined with the sadness at the end of an evening after too much drink and too much… everything. The cool and hedonistic combined with the ugly side of life. It always fascinated me how they did that, with the style and the music. The film definitely had some of those atmospheric moments in it, just not enough to carry the whole thing through.
The plot was a bit run of the mill and not awfully interesting. I agree with Jenni that the cinematography was quite fascinating, moving in between the slick neon-lit coolness and this grainy almost documentary-kind visual world. I do think this worked well in establishing the dualism that was always the most interesting part about the concept – how their undercover roles were so cool and able and in control, but how back in real life they were just people with fears and problems. However, cinematography alone isn’t going to create the tension and grip that this film lacked.
I waited and waited and waited for the titles and the theme tune. It never came! How can it be Miami Vice without the theme tune and the flamingos! Must be some sort of a licensing problem there or something. Still, sucks quite hard if you ask me. Also, how comes – if even Colin went bravely all out with his bleached mullet and the most horrendous mustache ever – couldn’t Jamie Foxx grow proper Tubbs curls! What is he… too cool for his own good or what. Pfft. Anyways, he was nowhere near as cool as the watery-eyed Philip Michael Thomas used to be. More like a cardboard cut out in the background. Having said that, none of the actors really had that much to work with. Colin conveyed as much as he could with his expressive brow, but the script sure as hell didn’t give him whole lot to work with. And there wasn’t really any chemistry between Farrell and Foxx, I actually think that Colin is too intense an actor to be half of a ‘buddy’ movie, his worst films are the ones where he has to share the screen with someone (like S.W.A.T.).
But the biggest gripe of all… where the hell was Crockett’s boat and Elvis the Alligator!!! Miami Vice my ass…
Oh I think I forgot to show you the nice coffee table we got as an engagement present from Stu’s parents (well we got some money which we spent on the table). Isn’t it scary, I’ve become a person who’s living room furniture is mostly in the same range. And I never thought the day would come that I’d buy a glass top table! It is nice to be able to look at all my pretty magazines through it though. :D
Saturday, 29 April 2006
Well not really. But last night I got my yearly urge to change all the furniture around in the living room. A bit of a task but I’m happy with the new sense of open space gained. And I also acquired the perfect spot for photoshoots as well. Wee. I just need to find a big round turquoise rug now.
Here’s some pictures of how it sort of looks now (although it feels a lot more spacious in reality). Obviously these pics are of any use only to those who know what it looked liked before. :|
Thursday, 22 December 2005
Everything’s tidy, the food shopping is done (omg that was painful!), it smells divine and Susanna is coming soon. Let TEH Christmas begin. :D
Monday, 19 December 2005
The tradition of a Christmas tree can be traced back as early as 700 A.D and has played an important part in winter celebrations for hundreds of years. Many pagan festivals used trees when honoring their gods and spirits. The Druids and Romans used evergreen branches to decorate their homes and public buildings to celebrate the Winter Solstice.
In Germany families would make their own Christmas tree decorations. Over the years, these traditions were adopted by Christians, who incorporated them as part of their Christmas holiday celebration.
During the 16th century fir trees were taken indoors over the Christmas period. In Germany and throughout Europe, families would set up trees in their homes and decorate them with colored paper, small toys, food and sometimes candles. As these people moved or immigrated to other countries, they took the tradition with them.
Through the years different things were used to decorate Christmas trees. In the 1900s, many trees were decorated with strings of popcorn, homemade cards, string to look like snow and sometimes fancy store made decorations.
Candles were also used as decorations and it is believed that Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, was the first to add lighted candles to a tree. Walking through woods one night, he was so impressed with the stars twinkling through the tree branches that he recreated the look at home for his children by putting candles on the Christmas tree branches.
The first electric tree lights were used in 1882, three years after Thomas Edison has his first public demonstration of electric lights.