09 October 2011


We've spent this weekend either eating fish or gardening, not something you get to say very often.

The fish came in at Joensuu's Kalamarkkinat, which was held down by the harbour. There were lots of stalls selling the usual kind of thing (woolly jumpers and socks, dried flowers), but this time there was lots of food too - we tasted olives and pickled gherkins (good), corned fish (like eating cat food), a strange sort of porridgey/oatmeal mix (good, but bizarre), all sorts of rye bread (excellent), and some smoked salmon (amazing, so we bought some). The 'Best of British' stall was hilarious - lots of flavoured cheddar, Wills and Kate celebration mugs, and an awful lot of overpriced lemon curd and jams. It was interesting seeing what is considered 'exotic' enough to export...

There were also some 'interesting' karaoke singers, who won points for effort if nothing else. We never did work out if you had to sing songs about fish (the advert for the event had said there would be 'fish karaoke'), or what the man playing the accordion was singing about.

We had lunch at the market too - no fish and chips or kipper in a bun like at home, but small whitebait-style fried fish (muikku), and some hot smoked fish with fried potatoes, vegetables and a garlicky sauce. M demanded grilled sausage, but then proceeded to demolish the muikku... We couldn't move afterwards, but it was so worth it.

The gardening must have worked off some of the calories, I think. Our landlord has bought a whole load of plants and trees for the (rather bare) garden, which we have agreed to put in. So we have dug lots of holes (surprisingly easy on the sandy soil), and planted 10 shrubs and two lilacs. There's still three fruit trees to go - this may be a bit harder as the holes for them need to be a metre deep. We may need more fish before we can tackle that one...

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