27 August 2011

Joen Yö

We went to Joen Yö 2011 on Friday - it's the equivalent of Museums at Night in the UK, with the museum, art gallery, theatre etc staying open late and putting events on. There were all kinds of stalls down by the river, and lots of bands playing some interesting music on the stage in the marketplace. Here's one lot, who didn't err towards the heavy metal as much as some did:

We sat and watched them while eating some rather good bratwurst, courtesy of a German stall (the marketplace was full of stalls selling food, sweeties, heavy metal t-shirts...).

We had a lot of fun wandering around and discovering what was on - we loved the folk dancing on the marketplace stage, but the absolute highlight was a steel pan band playing Europe's The Final Countdown. Aces.

21 August 2011

More blueberry rambles

As is traditional on Sundays, M and I headed off to the forest. We went back to Lykynlampi for a stomp around the lake (and quite a lot of blueberry eating). We followed most of the yellow trail:

We saw several huge dragonflies, lots of people with baskets full of huge mushrooms or buckets of blueberries, and many, many trees (rowan, pine and birch).

We also found a mysterious set of steps, which we had to climb (all 167 of them):

But the view from the top was worth it!

18 August 2011

Our new house, part I

We rather like our (rented) Finnish house. It's amazingly warm and cosy, which is rather a novelty after the draughty Victorian/Edwardian terraces we've always lived in in the UK. I don't think I've ever lived in a house this new either - it's only two years' old.

Here's our living room, complete with 1960s sofa salvaged from the Red Cross shop for 40 euros:

We also have a stove, for when the weather turns cold:

We have a compact, but bijou kitchen, complete with the largest fridge/freezer combo you have ever seen (you've only got the fridge part of it here in the picture)

And then there's three bedrooms, a bathroom/sauna, a utlity room and a loo room. Plenty of space for all of us and the cat...

17 August 2011

Blueberries, part II

These pictures were taken on Sunday, when we headed off into the woods again, this time to Lykynlampi. It's about 5k north of where we live, and has all kinds of walking/hiking trails, and some rather good blueberry spots. We might return soon for some lingonberries (and we also have plans to gather some pine cones for firelighting use in our stove, once we get a run of dry weather).

Lykynlampi is an absolutely gorgeous spot. The sunlight was dripping through the trees onto the forest floor, which was studded with blueberries. We also found the lake, with its firepit and outdoor sauna (the first is quite tempting - we might come back for a picnic - but we might give the second a miss. I think we need to try out the sauna in our own house first!).

So far we've stuffed our faces with blueberries as they are. I've also made some blueberry muffins, and filled the (massive) freezer with berries. It's all down to our magic collecting device:

11 August 2011

New car!

It's a Mazda mumble mumble mumble, blue/green and the size of a small house. All three of us could comfortably live in the boot - I predict lots of picnics in the rain! Here we are setting off for work this morning - it's about a 10-minute car ride into Joensuu centre, which is where my office is at the moment. I cycled earlier on in the week, and it took about 25 minutes (it's very flat, much like the Fens which I grew up in).