January 15, 2017

moving memories

so tired. im happy to be back home to London even if Helsinki is nice, i love seeing my friends and i enjoy working at the office (as opposed to working from home). it was just so extra draining this time, running around buying 2nd hand luggage, going to different storage units separating and choosing stuff to take, having to sell a few of those salvaged items...  also had to go to bank a couple times and handle other "business". that, on top of work, going to stockholm for a day... my muscles are aching and im still mentally tired too. also, on thursday i suddenly felt this pain on the right side of my butt...like, sharp, sudden...wtf?! since then its been randomly on/off...  just one wrong move and the pain shoots through. a nerve pinched somewhere, but jesus fuck how painful it can be. if it doesnt get better by monday ill need to go to my GP i guess...cos this is seriously hindering me...


i met friends pretty much every day, and miss R arranged this one get together with a group of friends which was lovely.

so i went through a lot of stuff in storage units, 3 of them... doctor was there helping me, shredding old bank statements and carrying out trash and whatnot. not sure how i wouldve managed without him.

on sunday we went on a 'booze' cruise', spending monday in stockholm. although its a very calm trip when u take it on a sunday, mostly middle aged people...  and we were so tired we fell to bed around midnight. but meeting Carina & Korhan in Stockholm was great, they showed us around and we had lunch at Gondolen.
 gamla stan/stockholm
our double bed cabin <3 p="">

and some gifts we had waiting for us on the boat, thanks to our flatmate Anette who got us the cruise vouchers.

at some point the project looked....challenging. i carried this stuff over from the storages and had to go further through to see exactly what was worth packing and in which suitcase...

going through storage provided a lot of surprises and odd "gems". and holy f* how many corsets i had - i think 2 even had the tags still on....i've just been a shopping roll back then. at least i managed to sell the handmade one.

i had to let this family tree graduation photo collage go (it was an ad on Helsingin Sanomat).

a box of tights. and it didnt end there, i continued finding tights in various boxes and bags... including an unopened pack from Primark - id bought it in 2008 or whenever i visited London. i did ask myself if carrying it back to London was definition of insanity...

 one of my fav filsm! i remember buying this when i was like 13...  and there was a guy in my school (Antti L) who looked pretty much like Edward :D

while i dont have a player for these kind of records anymore, i would never let this go... important part of my history. i left it at my friends alongside some other Apulanta memorabilia, will pick it up on my next visit maybe.

my grandmom and aunt gave us this shallow Aalto vase as a wedding gift, yay. i had refused to accept one before moving to London, we had enough stuff to carry at that point... and this time too, but i am in such a nesting phase, wanting to build a cozy home...i said yes please. this is something i wanted, perfect to put a couple of tealights in!

i found my really old denim jacket, too. lots of memories associated with it...but makes no sense to carry it around the world as memorabilia. on the inside of the jacket i had autographs, like this one by Toni (Apulanta) from circa 1994.

these shoes came to London with me. and a couple of other pairs, but this is the main bunch. very happy to have salvaged them!
these shoes didnt make the cut....  off to charity (Fida, i love them cos i made a lot of great purchaces from them back on the day)

raaaandom stuff i found....LP's, kimono, Montreal Canadiens NHL shirt... 

Tom of Finland stamps!! belated gift from miss R actually. we also got a Tom of Finland fabric bag from VV and his partner. doctor woved to use it exclusively.

unrelated: in Norwegians inflight mag there was this story about getting your own helicopter... im just thinking, people flying Norwegian prolly cant afford those....  bit confused, even if its just about the image and "interesting" stories....

December 31, 2016

the year we made London home

i think this week was just haze...ive been quite stressed about what everything that the trip to finland entails, mainly emptying storages and trying to find suitcases in which to bring some of my stuff back. and the idea of having to throw stuff to trash is always nasty. and theres a lot of other scheduling things that make me feel stressed...  just too much stuff. i obviously want to see my friends but running from one place to another is tiresome.

2016 was politically disappointing, but if i think of this from a selfish perspective - as is typical of myself - it was no a bad year at all. i tried to enjoy istanbul to the fullest in my last year there, the coup attempt was a 'small' hiccup and i started getting pretty restless and stressed about the move after that but since the move everything has been going quite smoothly. living in a residential area life is much more quiet than im used to, but 2017 should provide an improvement to that. we've made friends here, tried to tolerate the cold and dark, and enjoyed lots of nice foods and drinks, while missing some turkish favorites at the same time. and doctor's registration process is going on schedule and he accepted a job offer. pretty good. and i look forward to moving to our own rental property in February 2017.

we spent christmas (25th here) with Avner, Elmor and their friends. very nice dinner and a few films and just chilling.
 films included Sausage Party and Die Hard :) especially the latter is a christmas classic.

a sort of oven stew i made with the braising steak i bought from that free range farm delivery service. 2,5h in the oven! but okay, it was tasty. 

tonight a NY with Avner & Elmor & co again... cant wait to pour some bubbly to our first year in London! then, mayyyybe 2h of sleep and off to Helsinki!

December 24, 2016

christmas time

watched Queen Mimi, very interesting documentary about a quirky lady from LA.

on monday i went to a cool bar with Anna...(Drink Shop & Do)  there, while enjoying your drinks and snacks, u get to make a REINDEER PINATA! and we made an awesome one ith a superhero cape...

my doctor is execising and watching a Russell Brand documentary about war on drugs. and it's the night before christmas. somehow its surreal. we plan to take a hot bath.

prepacked things (veggie fingers, rice, greens) put together for a lunch <3 br="" nbsp="">

odd to be in a christmassy country again, there is christmas music everywhere and today there were queues in front of every bakery, fishery etc...  i am starting to remember why christmas was a stressy time. and this is one without gifts thank god.

December 22, 2016

flat update, mainly

UFC Fight Night in London on March 18 is supposed to have Makwan Amirkhani... i think its about time i go see MMA again. and UFC of all things. everything is in this city, hah, im in the right place... :)

so our reference checks for the rental property went through. holy crap. what a relief. it was the last major thing i was concerned about. i think after we learned that, for a while i was just sitting here in utter shock - the shock of not having anything to stress over. it's a state i cannot really...comprehend. and i didnt. ive  kind of moved on to find small stuff to concentrate on. and in january there will be a the residence card application for doctor - that will be a major worry! ive already started but it hasnt really kicked in. still, i am of course happy. very happy.

regarding the flat, we are waiting for the landlording company to get us the papers to sign. i think i shouldnt hold my breath to get it done before christmas, i think things are already slowing down. but i feel like i cant really relax until papers are signed. 

positives and nagtives listed!

the positives:
huge wall size windows
artsy floor plan (2 floors in 3 levels)
modern, nice finish
wood floor
about 50m from a big road with shops and restaurants
4min walk from Brixton Village!
Iceland within walking distance (6min)
huge Lidl and Tesco within 11-12min walk (read: bus)
gated area & flat has alarm
close to Victoria line, overground and busses
saving £££ cos partly furnished

the negatives:
street level
boring view/street without shops
closest grocery is Sainsbury's Local (ie. not huge)
cant buy our own washer/dryer cos white goods are included
won't have dishwasher cos rental flats here dont seem to have one...
likely high heating costs (due to large windows etc)
partly furnished...  i prefer to pick my own furniture

doctor is in the process of registering with GMC now. cant believe we're finally at that point! of course, right away, they asked for more papers. so there is the hassle of arranging those...  but that's just something u have to get done and that's that. and omg the bureucracy of the hospital job offer he accepted :D :D they sent like 10 documents/forms to fill and some need to be printed and filled and mailed (proper paper mail). some just filled online, need to register for something to do it. some u need to fill and email. and so on. brits LOVE their forms! also they wanted copies of some papers and him at the office so he went there today, luckily we live close to said hospital. the process seems pretty oerwhelming to be honest but i didnt get involved, it's his stuff and he can handle it - for once i'm keeping my paws off.

December 18, 2016

week 50 officially the best week of 2016?

if the week wasnt eventful enough with doctor accepting the conditional job offer and our flat offer going through... on friday morning doctor got an email to say he had passed the 2nd exam. the results were supposed to come out next week so this was quite a shock, had to log into GMC website to confirm it was for real. but yeah, he'd passed, was not even close. was a god damn RELIEF. now there is literally nothing stopping us (or slowing us down, should i say). i cant believe everything so far has gone according to plan. unfortunately while i do feel relief and im joyful, i am quick to move on to new worries. now im particularly stressed about the reference check for the rental property which is pretty serious sh*t. but i would say passing this exam was the most important thing out of all - because jobs seem to come easy, and there are plenty of flats too. well not plenty to fit our requirements but overall...it's not impossible to find a flat.  had doctor needed to retake the exam it would've caused a bit of a delay in him starting working and incurred costs of course. those things happen in life but im glad it wasnt the case now. now, if the registration  goes without a hitch, he's due to start work Feb 1st - exacly on schedule (a schedule i've drafted in excel, but thats kind of what counts?). retaking the exam would've complicated his residence card application too...  cos u need a passport for these exams, registering with GMC etc...and thats not really possible if the passport is with the Home Office. so yeah, the news about the exam crowned the week. so proud of my breakfast-in-bed-making bf that i'll share his PLAB2 results here;
somehow im not surprised that the 'bereaved relative' station didn't go so well. there is a reason doctor specialized in emergency med and not psychiatry or oncology or something where u need a that specific type of empathy...:D

Elmor invited us to celebrate the succesful week with her colleagues near tower bridge. there is a row of bars, all full through so many enjoy drinks ourside. reminds me of istanbul. i dont miss standing in the cold through.

but it didn't end there. on saturday doctor got is national insurance number in mail. thats yeat another step towards...everything. nice to have before u start work so that it won't cause delays.

and me...i got my first ever pair of glasses in mail yesterday!! blind no more! i was on my way to prepping for a christmas lunch with some finnish women and i think the frames complimented my look pretty well. although i dont need them inside, so it's mostly my outdoor look. but i had to take a selfie! 

it was quite odd walking around with glasses. i felt slightly different. had some issues estimating near distances, like when in stairs. but the effect of looking at something over the glasses... and it's soft and blurry, and then through the lens...and it's sharp... pretty magical! :D i ordered my glasses from Zenni, which a friend of a friend recommended. she is a pro glass wearer so i trusted in her opinion. i had a few people question how i could trust a chinese website with prescription glasses. like, what if the frames didn't sit perfectly on my nose? oh well, i only need them otside or for watching tv, so. and also, whether they look 'good' on me or not (subjective?). its not a main concern for me, im not in a beauty pageant and find myself attractive enough so that minor stuff like not wearing make up or wearing unflattering glasses don't faze hw i feel about myself. these were my first glasses anyway, and with shipping i paid around 35usd. i think thats an afordable way to get started. then i will learn lessons if needed, and maybe when i know more about what i want and need, and i can invest more in a real optics shop. maybe. and in 5 yrs if my sight has stabilized, i could perhaps get lasik surgery. for now, im happy with my budget choice.

A covered shopping area in Victoria;

my christmas lunch was not very christmassy...fish and chips. but i believe it was my first fish and chips in UK after moving. and mulled cider!

our street late in the evening, all foggy and chilly. 

oh and i just learned last night that we are also getting a bonus at work! i think it's in the next salary. awesomes!!

December 15, 2016

scary amount of stuff going on

wow sweet god our offer on a flat was accepted...  it was the 2nd offer we made, had to up the budget a bit cos we got greedy about space and it seemed like 2 bedrooms were maybe, possibly, just within our reach if we did. we came here perfectly prepared to live in a tiny box at least for the first year or so, but things have gone slightly better than my conservative estimation. i always rather be positively surprised than disappointed...    and this flat is even bigger than a standard 2 bed. the catch? its street level. on a gated courtyard, but visible, yeah. for us that's not a dealbreaker though. i know having wall sized windows will bite us in the ass in the form of heatings costs but thats life. i am a sucker for space, and modern finish. now i am of course stressed about the reference check that will take several days up to a week. our agent is optimistic that it will go through but turkey taught me to be even more pessimistic and vary than i was before....  since we are new here and my job is from finland, all we have to show is a steady 'ok' income for me, and some savings.

and then....
doctor accepted a job offer from his fav hospital this week. so its a crazy week. but i dont think he will have the contract in hand for this reference check so it won't be considered i think.  and its conditional on him getting registered by then, and that depends on the exam results which are out on the 21st. anyway im really happy things have at least started well for him work wise.

but soo...  i feel like its too early to celebrate the flat until it's all checked out and papers signed. so for now im just gonna put a photo from the outside - our hopefully-to-be home in Brixton near Coldharbor Lane.

last weekend in Enfield - one of the turkish areas of the city. there, one can run into turkish people, get service in turkish in restaurants etc. and eat tassssty turkish food. it had been 3 months so it was time :D

a cute book shop in Brixton
on monday i went to drag queen bingo at royal vauxhall tavern with Anna and her friends. it was much more fun than i even expected, hilarious stuff.

on tuesday, something completely different...  London Chess Classic! the final leg of Grand Chess Tour 2016.  like the little groupie i am, i went there to see the masters play with my own eyes. and the commentary, which i've been enjoying through live feeds, now in front of my eyes! it was very cool. and they gave me a full tournament pass!

December 09, 2016

and now it finally IS friday

i remember not so long ago the day of the week didnt matter much. even with my current job, i remember working a bit during the weekend and it was sort of all the same, almost. but since being in London, i have noticed a shift towards separating the 'week' and 'weekend'. and i am waiting for the weekend just like everyone else. not cos i hate my job, at all, i have no idea why this is happening. ive always associated that it happens to ppl who dislike their job but maybe not only. anyway so now im like everyone else, waiting for a friday, oh well.

this "Finland doesn't exist" story was almost funny. i get the social experiment aspect kind of, but the starter of the theory believes there is 90% of people who are just trolling for the fun of it, and 10% who actually take it seriously and want to disprove the country exists.  just dont think the number is really 10%. i think it's closer (or exactly) zero. so what i think we have, is a community of peoplw who enjoy the parody and feed off of each other, each thinking that they are feeding proper conspiracy theorists. cos even for people who vote for Trump and cant tell their Africa from their India*, it doesnt take much effort to disprove this theory, does it? so it's almost funny. if there was something similar, maybe not quite as outrageous, that would really have people believing, then i'd be interested in reading. hmm i think thats called bigfoot. and i have read plenty of articles about those to beieve, almost believe, or want to believe. its fascinating stuff.
*inspired by last nights The Apprentice UK episode, where a contestant had trouble distinguishing the two, and also thought 'Colony Gin' was a good name for a gin. go figure :D 

doctor is busy reading and wathing documentaries and whatnot again, kind of like after our move and before the course and hassle of the 2nd exam. i think its 12 days until we get the results actually! and meanwhile, he got another job offer resulting from his interview this past monday. and in case that doesn't pan out, 2 more interviews coming up. then, passing the exam, he would hopefully have a job waiting for him. if not, a sliiiight delay will ensue. last night he was reading about protestantism - and concluded after a while that it was boring as fuck. i said i know, i had to read about Martin Luthen and the rest for years in scool. luckily none of it stuck. look at me, being proud of my ignorance :)

we have Spotify family account and annoyingly the account is linked to the country where the credit card is issued from (=Finland, right now). not billing address or location, although those are required as well. you're supposed to be able to change the location and it should be your physical location but in practise, doesn't really work that way. so we get these finnish playlist suggestions that are quite annoying. i suppose i shouldnt mind, but im not really interested in most finnish music...

London Chess Classic final event starts today. all the big names are there, except for Magnus. but i assume thats cos he was just recently busy with defending his world title. anyway im kind of excited and wanna go and the tickets are free for females (and under 25 yr olds). sexist imho, but well. and i dont even wanna go into thinking how it is for those uncertain of their sex or gender or existence. u just have to go with what your passport says about it i guess, and that decides between 0 and 20£. i understand the positive idea behind the discrimination but not sure i can support it.

December 08, 2016

feels like friday but its not

me and dcotor went to Greenwich last saturday. there was a christmas market and yadi yadi. cute stuff.

view of London from the royal observatory. not that impressive when looking through a pocket camera lens. 

bottomless brunch at The Jam Tree.went there with Karin, our flatmate and her friend who'd come for a visit from finland. and asked our flat mate how she knows me, having seen my name on her fb friends. she remembered me from IRC gallery when my photos were floating around the internets. odd but so cool to be remembered, still - its been 10 yrs!!

me and doctor tried watching Asperger's Are Us but it was unfortunately a bit boring with the cast planning a comedy show...  not sure what i was expecting, usually i like documetaries and i definitely tend to like 'aspie's cos they're surprisingly much similarities in our thinking! yes im generalizing, and stereotyping, all at once.

i noticed they made a sequal to fifty shades of grey. Jamie Dornan must have been paid a lot to do that. or maybe he thinks its a great phenomenon. i just thougt he was really hot in The Fall (awkward but really...) so then to have him do something like 50 shades...barf. he looks like a puppy in the trailer, like a completely different person.

but what im gonna watch for sure is BAYWATCH! :D :D 

i have a cold, oh no. my sinuses feel annoying. and i ordered a pair of glasses online, from a shop the friend our flatmate recommended. so maybe they wont sit perfectly on my nose, who knows, but going out these days i feel like im blind, and watching tv is a bit tedious too sometimes, so i just need something to be able to SEE. doesnt need to be perfect, and life is not a beauty contest so who cares if the frames are an ideal width to my face. the fact that they didnt cost 100£ was kind of ideal. i can re-evaluate the situation again later.