Tag Archives: spring

Spring is (almost) here – and so is Tampere Film Festival

Ups. They say that times goes faster when you get older but I never imagined it would go this fast. And I’m not that old yet, anyway. 😉

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Photo: yle.fi

Anyway, even the Finnish winter is almost over, which is great. Today it has already been 7C degrees over zero.

However, after an extremely mild winter it feels that we haven’t been as superheroic as after surviving a “normal” hard winter. But I don’t care! I’m looking forward to taking my bicycle out of the storage room and taking all the heavy winter clothes back to the cellar. Soon, very soon… maybe next week!

Another sure sign of the approaching spring is Tampere Film Festival, which always brings me back to my dear old hometown Tampere. What changes from one year to another is the weather.

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For many years now, I’ve written articles about the festival to the Finnish magazines I collaborate with as freelance journalist. This is a tradition I love – and need. Routines give you security, they say. I always return here, meet lots of people I know and get to see a great amount of short films – the best thing about them is that they are short! It’s a perfect concept for these times full of concentration problems…

Further, Tampere Festival is among the most important European short film festivals, so one really gets to see interesting things. All in all about 500 films!

Some of this year’s highlights are short films from Africa, a rare treat in Finland, and films based on Edward Hopper’s amazing paintings. Today I saw a selection of films by a German painter-director Jochen Kuhn. Perfect ones to relax with after a long working week. 

And tomorrow more shall follow! Before that, I’ll concentrate on enjoying the time with my parents, sauna and some delicious mom’s food… Good night, everyone!

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Today I’ve been working from home office, well, actually from a cafe near our home in Kamppi. The place is called Deli&Cafe Martta and it’s a very comfortable place, owned by The Martha Organisation, a traditional Finnish home economics NGO, founded in 1899, to promote the quality and standard of life in Finnish homes.

They also organise courses on ecological cooking etc – and bake excellent korvapuusti pulla – a cinnamon bun called “slapped ear” for its form. I even found a recipe in English on ScandinavianFood.com.

The smell of fresh bun is amazingly strong here, the sun is shining in and they have brought fresh daffodils to my table… Summa summarum: a hundred times better option than sitting in the boring office!

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Martha Deli delicacies - if you get too hungry to work...

Working from “home” is one of my tricks to fight the spring anxiety. It always arrives more or less at the same time. I get a strong feeling that I want something has to change: I need new ideas, challenges and adventures, traveling away and all that”exciting” stuff. Life seems too routinous and common . I have no idea why this suddenly to me, every spring.

Before, when I got this feeling, I started to look for a new job. However, this time I’m (still) quite happy working in the NGO where I started 1,5 years ago. Everything is relative: some friends say that I should stay here for a while and “get established” while others are surprised that I’ve been in the same job already for more than a year!

Well, I haven’t been changing jobs that much – and normally the reason has not been me, as my previous contracts have been of temporal nature – that’s very typical here in Finland that the university graduates must jump between various temporary jobs before someone gives them a “real job”, with a permanent contract and all the benefits it includes.

I hope this anxiety will go away with small substitutes: walking in the sunshine, working less, hanging out with friends. For example tonight we’re going to Literary Death Match at Korjaamo Culture Factory. There famous Finnish writers read examples from their books and judges choose the winner… The concept is created by Todd Zuniga, the editor of Opium magazine. Interesting.

Ah! Talking about recipes, yesterday I baked excellent bread (baking is a great way to relax too…). The recipe includes whole wheat flour, carrots, dried fried onion, linseeds and of course yeast, water and a bit of salt. Mmm. There’s nothing better than fresh, warm bread.

Bread with carrot and dried onion makes you happy.

Sun, cinnamon buns and spring anxiety

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The spring is arriving to Helsinki… eventually

The Finnish spring is tricky. One day you smell the first glimpse of spring in the air, the sun is shining and the snow melting… And the next day you wake up with a snow storm.

I guess this tricky weather has its influence on the Finnish mentality – it’s quite understandable to be a bit melancholic and suspicious when you live in a climate like this.

But there are positive aspects too. If you don’t suffer the darkness and coldness of the winter months, you neither learn how to appreciate the rare warmth and the sun. And the Finnish summer with its midnight sun is real magic, even if I say so myself.

Anyway, this is what I saw yesterday when I decided to leave from work (too) early and walk around Töölönlahti Bay – with tens of other people and hundreds of ducks.

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Töölönlahti Bay with its villas the first of March. Credit: me.

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View towards the centre of Helsinki - hard to imagine that at this point you're only 5 minutes walk away from the centre of our capital city!

And today it’s Friday! And the strangest thing is that I don’t have ANY “compalsory” plans for the weekend… So I’m open for everything.

Well actually, tonight we’re going to the concert of one my favourite Finnish bands, Pariisin kevät (The Spring of Paris). They just published their 3rd album, Kaikki on satua (Everything is a fairytale). The melodies are nice, lyrics are clever and they are amazing live! What else can you ask for…

Here is a song that’s a tribute to a neighborhood here in Helsinki called Pikku Huopalahti. It tells about peoples’ dreams, melancholy and the mediocre middle class life they live.

 

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