September 30, 2016

"gaming"

 my games page (i call them pages). old favs at the top and trying some newcomers.
Color Lines, Block!Hexa and Cluedo Bingo turned out to be boring. My new favorite is Lolo.

below; Blendoku 2

and;
The app formerly known as H__r. i had this on my phone for several months before making the effort to attach the headphones and see what it was about. and what a perfect timing, there are some construction guys across the street and they use drills and whatnot. when you get used to silence, the occasional drilling sound is annoying. anyway, H__r fixes that, by autotuning surrounding sounds.

September 27, 2016

grocery shopping going slightly over budget; its the newbie excitement

the part of our resettlement thats gone well is enjoying the groceries, the shared house & flat mates & meeting some people in general. doctor also found himself a foldable bike and chrome cast 2. he also found pink grapefruit juice and weird british comedies. at times i am wondering who the F did i marry?? :D

the landlady has an interesting bookshelf. found Matt Ridley's Nature via Nurture there. nice to read a paper book for a change. i dream of a big bookshelf in my future home...

wtf, when i changed my iphone region to UK, i suddenly got a new app? "News". well, at least i was finally able to order Wired cheap and enjoy it on my phone too.

EU nationals, and finnish people especially, are so spoiled i have to say. ive really enjoyed having  finnish passport, never had to worry about being denied a visa or anything. usually i dont even need a visa! and in the case of UK, we just waltz in and apply for national insurances and whatever, if we feel like it. i was just reminded of this when talking to other finns here. for doctor to prove his address, to get a bank account, whether he can apply for NI number...  everything is hard.

brunch last saturday with some finnish women;
i was quite eager to sign up with Netflix, but its a bit of a disappointment, just like in Turkey. i was looking forward to Big Ban Theory for instance, buuuut they only have the first 8 seasons, and the 10th started this week. so far the only positive is The Mighty Boosh. and documentaries. maybe i will find more british series to watch, cos the american ones ive seen through and through (the ones i like).

doctor is watching a documentary about armenian genocide and then RuPaul's drag race. mmm. i admit thats the kind of man i like.

in this weather and conditions i have started to suffer from a runny nose. i dont exactly know what's causing it, but it was obvious that this issue almost disappeared while i lived in Turkey. so i expected it to make a return when the conditions are more Finland-ish. well i bought a packs of tissues from the pound shop.

we planned with our flatmates to have a housewarming party next month. im excited.

tomorrow is our 6.5yr anniversary. the book shop had a good selection of cards that i admired. i dont remember seeing anniversary cards in turkey.
 Brixton market. they sell churros left of the photo.....i might or might not have fallen for them a couple times...

Arttu is coming for a visit next week, so i am preparing a list of items i would like from finland...  rye bread i given, but i also probably want Lumene's toner since i finished it before leaving turkey. its my all time favorite.

my first world probs now include: should i buy a white bathrobe (can be bleached, i like the color) OR a darker color like aubergine (would not show hair dye transfer so easily)?? 

im having bacon & eggs for lunch today!! (6 eggs and a pack of bacon, both free range, were about 4£ (5eur). its enough for 2 with a couple eggs leftover.

September 24, 2016

home & tv evenings

working on:
trying to memorize my own phone number
trying to make my bank account a join one (not easy! bloody proof of address BS...)
finding a good nail salon
finding a book/paper shop

achieved:
we registered at the local GP
doctor ordered his new computer (Dell laptop)
i ordered my PC, deposited money on my brand new bank account
private health insurance (well, missing a few papers but kind of done!)
desks and chairs for both
found a decent hairdresser
feeling comfy in our shared house & with house mates
doctor bought a bike

boxes full of stuff! shipping stuff was so cheap it was a worthwhile investment.

 near our home. a farm and a cafe where they cook with what the farm produces.

Camberwell center, nearby. its laid back, there is a chinese restaurant...  pharmacies, locksmiths, barbers, banks, small corner shops etc.

my first shoe shopping! from ebay. not too high, quite comfy.
 candle from pound store.
furnishing! and we felt like the room was small when we took over it. but somehow we've fit in 2 desks and chairs...  on tuesday we visited Elmor to pick up a box we'd sent ahead of us. turned out they had a desk & chair they wanted to get rid of and we gladly took them. shoved them into an Uber (my first personally paid Uber!!) and tadaa!
 the new set, from IKEA.
i think we are getting very comfy so that's good. but i do have trouble fitting my clothes in the drawers etc...    i think once we get our computers we will be properly set.

set direct debit with insurance company. i hate that im always made to choose miss/mrs/ms. archaic.

another membership card! Superdrug has a nice selection of cosmetics and their own brand is cruelty free so thats lovely.


meanwhile in Turkey;
Hurriyet: woman assaulted on public bus for wearing shorts. importanly, onlookers did not interfere...  this says something. things are going Erdogan's way.


the brother of a friend, Petri Järvinen, makes cool silver jewellery so i asked if he could make me a slightly asymmetrical square. i had a symmetrical one before but it was just something cheap and wore out. i liked the idea a lot though so i thought it was time to invest into a more durable one.

September 17, 2016

survived the first week

first week done! yesterday Lloyd's txted me that i got a bank account, on thursday i visited the job center to apply for a national insurance number and ive done a bit of online shopping (bath slippers and ergonomic mouse pad). and now im about to order my new computer, exciting and nerve wrecking! this is the point where i switch to Windows 10. i knew i would, by now its stable and all, but to be honest im a bit hesitant.
im planning to order my PC from Chillblast. with the following specs, most likely;

Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake CPU, 4 Cores, 4.0 - 4.2GHz
Case: Fractal Design Define R5 Case - Black
Graphics Card: Asus GeForce GTX 960 OC Strix 4GB
CPU Cooler: Gelid Tranquillo Rev.3 
Motherboard: Asus Z170-A
Memory: 16GB DDR4 2133MHz Memory (2 x 8GB)
OS Drive: 256GB Samsung SM951 M.2 PCIe Solid State Drive
Secondary Hard Drive: Seagate 4TB 5900RPM
Third Hard Drive: Seagate 2TB 5900RPM (for automated weekly back ups!)
Optical Drive: Blu-ray Reader / DVD-RW Combi Drive
Power Supply: Corsair RM750x 80 PLUS Gold 750W PSU
Wifi card: Gigabyte 802.11ac 867Mbps PCIe WiFi and Bluetooth Card
Warranty: 5 Year Warranty, 2 Years Collect & Return UK only


ive signed up at Tesco's and Sainsbury's already. i want membership cards and mail. i think that translates to: i want to feel like i belong. cos im generally not big on memberships...   while im generally enjoying my time now, i think the next months will be hard on some level because i want to psychologically settle and tie myself down, but at the same time we don't know for sure if we will stay. so i shouldnt. its like being in a limbo. but i always find something to complain about, dont i...

my mobile operator has a handy app;

i think i just saw an add for Miss Dior perfume where a woman left a guy on the altar and escaped with a lover on a helicopter...   umm, am i old fashioned or how do i not find that worth celebrating? like, its her business what she does, but im not gonna buy the perfume (not that im the Dior type anyway) cos i do not associate with what she did. do women in general want to associate with that?

we ordered an extra desk from IKEA we think we can fit in our room, for my PC and work i need a proper spot. the computer monitor we shipped ourselves also arrived safe. and i brought my trusted keyboard with me on board. so once i order and receive my PC, i think i will feel even better.

doctor it seems is enjoying his time too. its been a rough year and finally he is purely on holiday, waiting for his (PLAB 1) exam results. the exam he took on wednesday was changed up a bit unfortunately, so it was hard to prepare for, but we will know in a few weeks how it went. and how to proceed. now, i find him watering the plants in the garden, watching british tv and cooking amazing stuff with the local ingredients. he seems to be in his element and comfortable.

September 13, 2016

under the warm sun british sun...:D

so on saturday, early morning hours, we moved. i was quite stressed about the airport. after the coup attempt there had been a lot of issues, crazy queues at passport checks that caused especially turks to miss their flight. car queues even getting to the airport. not to mention the possible trouble if you work for the government and so on. we were there super early. online check had been useless as usual - out of the 20 or so times ive done it i think ive benefitted from it maybe twice (benefit= saved time, only baggage drop or so).we had to wait for the check in to open late. ok that went alright. then we luckily had 'fast track' via doctor's mobile contract, and didnt have to queue with passports. most importantly they didnt ask doctor for anything, he had plenty of papers prepared but well, in turkey u never know. so that was that. over here, rainy grey weather greeted us, as well as judgemental border control. people say nothing will change until UK is officially out of the UK but i think the treatment we got at the aiport (vs treatment last May) was proof that in practise, they do find ways to change things a bit.

i had ordered myself a giffgaff SIM to our address, so i got started with that right away. on sunday we walked to Brixton and got doctor a pay-as-you go from Three. once we had mobile internet, life was suddenly much better...  we also started stocking on some food basics while admiring the grocery store selections. and found a chinese take out very close by - which im grateful for.

yesterday i went off to the other nearby center, Camberwell, to try open a bank account, but they live up to the reputation, its very challenging. and not fast, either way. there is a vicious circle, similar to Turkey. here, for a bank account you need proof of address. which means a utility bill of some sort. but you cannot open a lot of services (like internet) without direct debit, which requires a bank account. also they may ask for NI-number, but you cant get one without proof of address. Lloyd's is welcoming EU-customers with passport only, but i had to come back home to do an online application, then go back with my passport, and they told me they would let me know in 7 to 10 days. wow ok. in turkey at least when u get a bank account its quite swift. every country has it problems...  nothing new there. having a safe, nice home, and internet and money, im quite content for now. i was prepared to face some struggles and spend a month or 2 just getting my papers in order. i changed my credit card address earl on at least so i could start online shopping right away! my fist order (sort of a test, i admit), was shower slippers. they should arrive in a day or two.

the furniture and style of the house is not exactly how i would do it, but thats hardly the most important thing. its very clean and well kept.
enjoying the sun...these past days have been super warm, quite 'unnatural'?
the view from our window, a line of identical houses

our first shopping

Camberwell sign.
like:
+nutritional info on food packaging
+availability and price of free range meat
+availability and price of non-animal tested cosmetics
+Amazon and eBay orders are finally within easy reach
+i can test out Vina app
+people are polite and helpful, also those working for gov (in istanbul this varies wildly)
+user friendly mobile operators with their handy apps

don't like:
-the pound sign is placed before the number, eg. £10
-living in a very quiet neighborhood
-the traffic going the wrong direction
-how everything revolves around proof of address - get yourself some ID's or whatever it takes, people

the lists are to be continued

im still on holiday so i can just take it easy and relax in a fairly unergonomic position. i will need to buy a small desk tho for work. i will try go to cafes too, but i know i dont work too well in unfamiliar environments. IKEA has this desk for 30£ (yeah i put the pound sign where i want to)/35 eur and home delivery is not horrible, 7.50. i should prolly get a chair too. after i get my desktop PC i am worried i will be in trouble though. i wont need this travel laptop, but my work laptop and a screen & keyboard... :/ the desk is only 30cm deep.


one last view of our home in Istanbul. 


September 09, 2016

waiting is excruciating

our home of over 5 yrs was emptied yesterday morning, in a matter of just 2+ hours. everything was gone, even the lamp shades. then doctor took off to run after some papers he needs, regarding his graduation, resignation etc. I took a couple of our bags and headed to the hotel nearby (Khalkedon - has a really nice rooftop with a view!). sitting in the hotel room I've felt oddly empty, nothing to worry about, nothing to do...  blissful. today I'm back to my normal self as I've found things to worry about :D my dear laptops wifi stopped working. I've tried quite a few tricks already so it's getting alarming. also doctor has had bumps in the road today, while on another paper collection tour. 


found behind wardrobe, not just the usual mold but the wall is seriously moving;
 
Khalkedon's rooftop. 


I checked us on the flight and I'm annoyed we couldn't avoid excess weight so I guess we will be paying for that...

tonight I will meet the girls one last time for a quick dinner, and then hopefully sleep a few hours. we have a wake up around 3am I think, the flight is not until 8:35 but there are so many factors that could delay us at this point, we just want to be on the safe side...  


September 04, 2016

last weekend in Ist

i finally pulled out our luggage today and started packing, a bit, i am just really anxious to see how our stuff will fit in, and what else will have to be shipped in a box. also Murat, doctors friend who is buying all our furniture, came over with a moving company guy to see everything and plan for the moving truck o guess. good luck with that, our street is one way, and once you stop a car or a truck there, no one else is going anywhere. but thats life here and istanbullu's are used to it. they should come on thursday at 7am. nasty time but the least traffic...   after that we will stay 2 nights in a hotel very close by. and saturday morning... we should finally be heading to a new country. scary sh*t... 

i watched the Weiner documentary. it was really good as the rumour said. i really enjoyed it. things are not as black and white as i would like them to! i recommend. 

i met Elin on Friday, one of my oldest friends in istanbul actually. she worked at the translation company and that brought us together 5+ yrs ago. since then our lives went different ways but im glad we have stayed in touch and been able to meet sporadically

the "3rd" bar street.



random snapshot from thursday, when we enjoyed dinner by Melisa with friend. lovely evening, 


if in the morning i have a lot of emails, it makes me nervous for a second or two, until i see them. i dont know what it could be but for a moment im worried. cos when i wake up and if my phone says you have 8 emails, and i know i should have just 4....  wtf?! but of course its just Threadless having a sale and other stuff...  advertising that i am ok with etc. i think i havent ordered from threadless for the past 2 yrs tho. we had enough shirts and somehow they have become less "personal" and a few of their shirts were really shitty quality, pilling after a few uses. shameful, they are not the cheapest after all.

wall art in kadiköy. its promoting education for girls.

Bachelor in Paradise:
im surprised no one (online) seems to address how Ashley I. is calling Shusanna 'russian hooker' on BiP. if it was the N-word, ppl would go nuts. N-word cant even be said, its N-word. but hooker is still ok...? thats rough, there is a racist undertone there too.

August 31, 2016

celebrating specialist bf

Married At First Sight AU season 3 is starting - woohoo! one of my favorite shows by far. although in the OZ version they dont really get (legally) married, due to the law.

And Nick Viall is gonna be the next Bachelor, lol wtf, but somehow i had a weird feeling, he has been so smooth lately, talking to the media, being really nice about the show and network and yadi yadi... that guy has turned around his image 180.

Telegraph on Instagram changing, or being, photography
Medium: i got scammed by a Silicon Valley startup

The Greasy Strangler seems slightly odd....but at the same time im kind of interested. i should watch it.

i watched Never Let Me Go yesterday for our 'movie club' with Arttu. it was through provoking and even more so after we talked about it, i tend to see only superficial things but Arttu pointed me to some analogies.

oh lord this article...  im not a developer, but WTF Medium: Responsive Web Considered Harmful

For once, i DON'T agree with The Guardian's view on Erdogan and his special kind of democracy.

and it other news... doctor passed his final specialist exam today, which officially concludes his 4.5 yr studies in emergency medicine. im really proud of him :)  admittedly it was abit hard especially in the beginning, due to the crazy hours, but im glad he pulled through. and after the exam he rushed to fill the forms in order to resign. cos we need that processed like asap...    cant wait to go out in the evening and celebrate over a dinner!

August 29, 2016

packing, selling, working


i paid our first rent in London (for September). thats a milestone? i feel a bit excited, although it was money lost...  £800 is 935 euros approx. more than we pay for our current flat, which is 120 sqm, in the center of the asian side of the city. oh well. in life you make choices and so forth. we will come back if we feel like thats better...

there are studies or articles now that suggest permanent female contraception should be removing fallopian tubes, not just closing r cutting them. considering ectopic pregnancies still happen after tubal ligation and surgically the risks are similar, maybe it makes sense! i guess later i will be one of the 'old style' ladies, who just got her tubes cut and burned...
link 1: ncbi 
link 2: medscape

this month has been busy work wise, although i didnt even notice, im so focused on the move, work just happens on the side. but when i look at the hours ive logged, im surprised. and now that im "off" taxes in finland (supposed to pay them in the country of residency, turkey), im getting it tax free, too... crazy. im very committed to start paying taxes in the UK though, i just have to be there in order to get the national insurance number and get that stuff going. on the positive side, most of my work is actually exciting and finding and solving some bugs really

i want to see the documentary about Anthony Weiner. imdb says it should be pretty good and i also have that feeling.

yesterday i had afternoon coffee with Ulas & DW, a great couple living not so far from us. they might also leave in a year or 2... i will miss them even if we didnt meet that often. Ulas has become a yoga teacher and i think he could do well in the big cities of the world :) tonight i met with a syrian friend who is weighing her options to go abroad. but also thinking of visiting her parents in Syria, they live in a peaceful city where life is apparently 2normal2 except for electricity cuts.

today i gave my finnish bank my new address and asked them to send me some mail so i would have it on paper. this part is extremely important when trying to acquire a british bank account, i hear - evidence of address. so i have started to gather the evidence - i want a bank account.


all you can eat sushi


we had a sushi evening with friends, very nice. meetings friends is really one the most valuable things around - i mean besides a possible partner what else gives content to life? yes, the internet, but lets not go there. people are different of course so for some movies or books or solitude will do, but i enjoy spending time with fellow humans (or bunnies) especially. im so glad i have met so many interesting and nice people.
and speaking of nice people. now that me and my closest friends here are slowly all going our separate way, we started doing skype meetings, over a glass of wine (or chosen drink). just like old times! :)


in some instances im pretty old fashioned. instead of logging on google chrome to save my trailer tabs and sync them to my next computer, i am just closing them and noting down the films i think i should watch later. maybe its time for those tabs to go? not so much for firefox, which i still use as my main browser. definitely syncing FF! ive been carrying around my bookmarks since like 2000 also... 

today is our lunaversary. i think last month and the one previous we were occupied with other things or doctor was working, so we did not celebrate appropriately. so we actually marked this sunday in the calendar in order to have dinner outside. but i ended making salmon pasta instead, cos we had leftover salmon from yesterday, oh well. i guess its the thought that counts.


from the house party last week.



its great having doctor home nowadays - he makes the best breakfast sandwiches!

need to try finish the tea's before leaving...
 view from by the 'tea trolley'....now this i will miss - having life outside the window!
 i just picked this up from my handbag. and threw away. not like im going to be needing it like...ever again? lol. ill buy a new sun screen when we go on holiday someday... 


i bought the ring on the left - istanbul is too easy for these sort of impulse purches, cheap and accessible. the pearl ring i made myself.


we are going to have way too much paper to carry with us...   from tax records to medical records to whatever... a lot of stuff we will probably never need but "just in case", nice to have kind of. but paper is heavy...besides taking space. i dont understand how some people move with just a plain suitcase.

August 23, 2016

goodbye Gunilla

i think its time i start getting more excited about the move. there are still struggles or things that could go wrong ahead, but they never end, do they...  the lesson i need to learn in life is try and f*ckin relax :D doctor sold the car today, so thats one challenge past us, succesfully. but i will miss her, even if i didnt see her a lot. but doctor said the new foster family is very nice and promised to shower her every day(!). thats great cos Gunilla loved getting a good wash. Istanbul is so dusty... 

the car money is a nice addition to our savings towards the next 6 months. in this 6 month time, doctor should be able to get a UK license to practice and a job, and if not, oh well, we have to continue our adventure somewhere else. also, doctor finally got a paper from his hospital that states there are no obstacles for him to go abroad. even if at the time of the move he won't be a government employee anymore, you can never be sure enough, better have all the papers you can get for when the border control at the airport gets difficult...

after this party i feel even more ready to pack everything, get rid of extra cups and pans and whatnot. but we still have a sushi night to do. we have sushi ingredients so they have to be used. right? but other than that, we better empty the kitchen little by little...  im so ready to go!!

Middle East Eye: Ordinary Turks traumatized by post-coup crackdown

August 20, 2016

the last party in istanbul

the other day i started deleting movie files from my computer. i didnt have that many, a couple dozen movies ive been meaning to watch for months or years. our portable hardrives are kind of full so i figured its not worth it to buy a new one, if i actually want to see these movies some day, i can get a hold of them again...   same applies to some tv episodes and seasons that have been sitting and waiting for their turn. for some of them, it was never gonna be the right time i think... like True Detective for instance.

one of the bazaar shops nearby where i buy mezes and foreign cheese etc.

last sunday we did a wine & cheese evening with a few friends. some good cheese and wines were tasted! mostly french and turkish, both wine and cheese.

tonight is our 'farewell to istanbul party'. around 25-30 people coming. more were invited but a lot of people are on holidays, and several have a wedding to attend to tonight. oh well, a week later wouldve been better attendance wise but i also didnt want to make it too stressful for myself so i wanted to do this well before actually leaving. but overall i want to make it a great party with the people weve shared the past 6 years (or more, in doctors case) with.

party planning!

enough mixers? not quite, but getting there!

building the playlist!

open bar - we need to get rid of all the bottles in our alcohol cabinet. some years old. people are lazy at writing their names on the plastic cups even if you give them the marker (except for swedes) so my solution has been in the past parties to mark them beforehand. this time i wrote down istanbul neighborhoods. it was actually meaningful too, for me, reminiscent of the places ive seen in my time here, they all mean different things; Nisantasi, Kabatas, Feneryolu, Osmanbey, Sirkeci, Pendik, Kartal, Atasehir, Ortaköy, Bahcelievler, Levent, Kozyatagi... 


booked my yearly check up for next monday. its free on my health insurance so why not. also ive been doing research on health insurances in the UK, we will have to get one for when doctor applies for his residence card, since i am 'self sufficient' EU citizen. i got really good service from this insurance broker and they found a cheap one so we will probably go with that. its £84/month.


meze dinner with Carina the other night.


my new favorite lunch take away place, Manca. they are on yemeksepeti but always bring the weekly menu, of course they a lot of if i call and order directly. so i try to do that. they have a lot of veggie options and i usually order 2 small things, which makes for one lunch. importantly, the foods are not drowning in oil, as is often the case with turkish 'home food'.
this 15tl/5eur plate is from the above restaurant. not the most inventive, but if you want healthy vegetarian lunch food (ie. not just cards and fats), your options are very slim. i was happy with this portion.

bought this swedish toothbrush the other way. supposedly ecological and blah blah...  (Humble Brush).

there is this tension in the air though and some people believe something worse than the coup could happen sometime soon. but there are no actual "signs" that you could count on. plus, stuff like coups dont really announce themselves beforehand.