28 November 2011

Spot the difference

Yes, that'll be the 16cm of snow which landed in my back garden last night then.

This morning was our first experience of 'snow work' - shovelling the snow off the driveway so the car could get down it. Most of the roads had been snowploughed, apart from the little roads in our estate in Marjala (but even these had been done by the time we got home at around 2pm). It was my first time driving around in proper snow, and wasn't too bad (there was the odd bit of sliding about, but I'm now a HUGE fan of studded tyres. And estate cars big enough to stick your snowboots, shovel, blanket etc etc in). I'm also a big fan of my lovely neighbour Tiina who helped me shovel the driveway this morning at 7.30am...

Apparently Finnish school is brilliant because you can go and play king of the castle on the enormous snow heaps thrown up by the snowplough, and the school actually has a box of sledges you can get out at playtime. There may also have been meatballs today, which just added to the excitement.

22 November 2011

A weekend in Finland

Friday: Rustle makes some new friends:

Saturday: We stack wood in the garage. Two square metres is quite a lot of tessellation...

Sunday: We go ice skating at Joensuu ice hall. I attempt to wobble round without falling over, in only the second time I've been ice skating since about the age of 10. M uses the cunning ruse of 'pushing a chair round'. It's surprisingly good fun. Even if my ankles have been complaining ever since.

Sunday also happens to be -8 degrees, sunny and stunningly beautiful:

We have a lovely afternoon with some friends. And the whole day is rounded off by a firework display for the opening of the Christmas season in Joensuu. It was too cold to take my camera out, so here's a picture of a small Michelin child instead:

09 November 2011


View across the square on my walk to work this morning:

A lunchtime stroll by the river

05 November 2011

Bonfire night, Finnish style

It's been quite a test of my history knowledge, explaining Bonfire Night (and why we don't have it in Finland) to the six-year-old. You can't exactly rely on the old historian's excuse of "that's not my period". Between me and Orb, we managed to get the story about right, with the correct monarch (James I) and century (17th, just).

Today, we managed to have our own bonfire in the middle of Lykynlampi, the lake area where we often go for a walk. It was quite a cold, grey day as you can see (probably a couple of degrees above zero), and it started to snow a little as we walked round.

Orb built us a small fire (there's a shack full of firewood for you to use), and we had a Moomin-style picnic. Not sure we've ever picnic-ed with snow starting to fall before...

Instead of fireworks, we went to the ice hall this evening, to watch an ice hockey game. Joensuu Jokipojat were playing Sapko, a team from Savonlinna. Sadly, Joensuu lost 5-3, but it was great fun to watch. Neither team showed much mercy in terms of shoving the opposition into the sides of the rink! The small girl thought this was hilarious...

Last of all, we paid a visit to Joensuu cemetery, as it's All Saints Day here in Finland. It's celebrated by placing candles on the graves of family members - and the graveyard was a sea of lights. Every grave had a candle or lantern, with the lines of lights stretching as far as you could see into the darkness. The war memorial was especially moving, as it was surrounded by a low wall of flickering lights.

We've lit a candle, and put it outside our house in memory of Grandpa.