October 23, 2021

meeee weekend

Arttu visited us for a week. good times. when i visited helsinki we didnt get to spend as much time together, and same when i spent a few days in helsinki just before the pandemic... so the last time we really had time was i think Feb 2020 when he came to see our new home. we visited a few places of course, finally i got to see Sky Garden too - it is lovely. we also watched Tove which i had really been looking forward to - and it was really good. now im just chilling alone this weekend, doctor is at work and im going to take care of myself.

Spotify suggested me this song, maybe on my weekly discovery list; Tuvaband: He Said Me Too (spotify link). i really like it. lately, when i have a shower i play music and im stuck on this one playlist in particular. listening to the same playlist every time ive learned how long my showers are. i usually get halfway of the 4th song here (spotify links): 

The Saxophones: If You're On The Water
Wangel: Reason
Ville Valo: Olet mun kaikuluotain
SYML: The War

shower is the time to chill and reflect so it's important to have a playlist supporting that atmosphere.

this NYT article on "Bad Art Friend" was a good read. and then this journalist wrote an thoughtful piece on who really is the BAD friend in the story. 

 im still hurt over the Bond film. a few friends have gone see it so at least ive been able to discuss it finally. not many share my strong dislike for the plot though. anyway ive come across a few GOOD, fresh  articles on Bond that are not just praising how good the new film is.

AV Club on how Brosnan's Bond paved the way for Craig
BBC's take on Bond's future

 



October 03, 2021

alone with Bond

i built up a lot of excitement for the new Bond film. maybe too much so. high expectations mean potential heartbreak when theyre not met. and thats what happened. a few people have asked me "was it good?" and thats a fair, generic question, but its not that simple for me. there is a lot of good and bad in it for me, but more of the latter. yet, based on reviews for most it seems to have been mostly the former with just some minor disappointments at most. so i feel quite alone, like ive been robbed of something. i know im not the only one thats unhappy, ive been to Reddit where the division is clear, but i'd really rather share my thoughts with someone i know. but no one i know has yet seem the film so im stuck dwelling in my sadness by myself. doctor was there to see the film with me, but he is not a fan. on friday we went to see Brent and some common friends at a pub, and a few of them share a bit of my passion for the franchise, so i just urged them to go see the film ASAP. now im waiting if they actually do and we could bond (lol) over the experience. 

ive been meaning to update my pre-settled status to settled now that ive resided in the UK for 5 years. but. i got a new passport while in finland, and i immediately updated the details it in the Home Office system, since the status is tied to a document, but its been a month and Home Office has not yet changed it for me. i cant really update my status while they are processing the document update. Home Office has been in such shambles this year. a friend who is here on a work visa has been wait for the visa renewal since february. he cant leave the country now as technically he has no valid visa. and our situations are not weird exeptions, its easy to check current processing times and confirm that for both, work visas and eu-status document updates, these periods are not too far from the average. then add to that the disgraceful fuel shortage at the petrol stations, gas prices going so high a lot of people will struggle keeping their already cold english homes liveable, empty shelves in the shops, animals being slaughtered en masse as there are no skilled  abattoir workers...     its just crap. now all we need is another lockdown to really kill our spirits. the past few weeks deaths and hospitalisations have been going down though. there were some articles about israel possibly being a warning for the rest of us for whats coming, and time will show, but i think israel's plight might not reproduce exactly everywhere. from what i understood the problem in israel was the combination waning immunity, possibly lower levels of immunity due to 3 weeks between vaccines, and delta which apparently only found its way to israel in the summer. thanks partly to israel's example UK has started giving boosters to vulnerable people as wel as health care staff, UK was also the first one to start with 12 weeks between shots, and delta... well its FROM UK. im sure there is a million other factors. like people moving indoors now that the weather is getting colder and that increasing transmissions. but overall the situation might not actually get that as far as those predictors go. reminds me how controversion the 12 week break between vaccines was at first, seemed like a crazy risque move, and while i (na├»vely?) trusted that there is decent reasoning and knowledge behind the decision, it did weird me out that i never saw very good argumentation for it, although i do follow the news on the subject...    but as we now know, they did know what they were doing. i can appareciate that giving boosters makes sense, but at the same time knowing that the developing world is this waiting for their first shots seems crazy and not sustainable. anyway, doctor was invited for his booster the other week when they started handing them out.

the discussion surrounding Sarah Everard's killing is making my blood boil at times. the police suggesting "flagging down a bus", lol. not to mention proper good old fashioned victim shaming and complete obliviousness to the reality of power disparties in situation like where Sarah was in. like, how about sorting out the misogyny from the inside instead of adding to the endless stream of advice on what women should do to stay alive.

September 23, 2021

from Helsinki to Bristol

doctor was away for a weekend a month ago, and a few days this week. last month was his friend's stag do/bachelor party. they were camping and doing all kinds of stuff all weekend.and this week he went hiking to the south coast of England. i dont mind having some good me time. its very chill and i get to do nothing, or housework, or both. or fix my windows 10 as Bunilla just got ill again.

i went to finland for a couple weeks. i was pretty busy with work there and then i was trying to catch up with friends i hadnt seen since the pandemic...  so i was pretty tired in the end. but its a choice i really want to see people, and obviously work is important, i can see clients and have face to face meets... i also brought with me (finally) can openers, because british people dont know how to open cans. i even brought extras to gift people. im SURE they will appreciate, lol. last weekend we went to Bristol for a long weekend getaway since our travel plans didnt really pan out. but Bristol was nice, the weather was lovely and we had a decent time. doctor planned our Bristol trip. nice, because usually i like to plan everything, but i asked him to take this one. and he found activities i probably wouldnt have.

a real can opener. small, fast, easy. 

the nightlife in Bristol was pretty wild, as if there never was a pandemic. i felt like an asian tourist with my mask, we were like the only ones wearing it. oh well. 

a street in Bristol

doctor got us a glass blowing experience. it was so much fun and i got to ask so many questions, lol. people are sometimes

 the baubles we blew arrived in the mail on tuesday. now all that is missing is a big christmas tree. althought not really, i dont like blue and they are blue.

 

cemetary! very calm and pretty.

Bristol museum

a church?

M-Shed museum. very cool stuff about Bristol.

"stand up magic" Mark Bennett at Smoke & Mirrors. very amusing, fun show. we also got a private close up magic show as a random surprise from the house, it was so exciting.


i think foie gras should be just banned internationally, its such gross animal torture. 

i like to read Reddit's Am I The Asshole posts. the story heard from one side, with multitude of social rules with cultural contexts with consideration of what just, what is right. it tickles me.

i just had a long shower while listening to Roy Orbison. he is amazing. the shower was long and hot so probably destroyed any chance of UK reaching its climate goals. 

 

Nuuksio in finland. we had a work thing. 

the new Bond film is coming out on the 30th. i booked us tickets to the night showing at 00:01. now im pretty excited waiting, watching the different trailers. did not love Billie Eilish' theme song though. i feel like during the winter we should do a Bond marathon...

July 27, 2021

back to work woohoo

it was weird to return to England which had dropped virtually all covid restrictions. london public transport and many others have set requirements about using masks still though. not sure why Boris dropped the mask rule. its such a small thing with known benefits. traveling with a mask on for 15 or so hours straight is NOT fun, nor is a shorter period in a hot metro for instance, but except for those, i dont mind. so i think i'll keep using it when it seems beneficial or is considerate towards others, but drop when it seems less useful (no close contact, spacious or outside). i guess ill just see how things go. but it does seem incredible that the country is open, like, i could have a houseparty?! i think soon we will.

so i calculated our return from St Lucia was 15 hours; 2h bus, 8.5h flight and 1h train+bus plus the waiting periods and whatnot in between. well worth it. when we left, we were expecting to quarantine for 10 days upon return, but there was already talks about dropping it for double vaccinated and im glad it went through and we dont have to. totally would be worth it though for 3 weeks in the caribbean. i was looking at doctors face when we went to airport check-in for when he would realise where we are going, but the desks didnt display  the destination and the staff did not mention it so it wasnt until we leave the desk with our boarding passes that he saw it on there. lol. i had thrown him off by talking about pesos and whatever, since he too knew that Cuba was one of the possibilities. honestly i was originally looking at Antigua but my passport has less than 6 months left on it so. St Lucia is just open to everyone with something resembling a passport, and willing to get covid tested before arrival.

St Lucia is a green 'paradise' island (judging by the looks, not life expectancy or something). 50% of the working population works in tourism one way or another so i can see how it's so important for them to keep things going despite the pandemic. they try hard to keep covid numbers down and it seems to be working. the people were lovely, like more so or differently than i expected, in a very chill unassuming way. 

we stayed in this one resort for 3 weeks, with covid a package holiday was the only reasonable option really. so i picked a big all inclusive (Hideaway Royalton) and hoped we would not get bored as we couldnt travel freely around the island, just excursions and a few covid certified restaurants. the hotel itself had 6 restaurants, sports bar, outdoor bar, 3 swim up bars, ice cream and coffee 'shop', food truck and a few other things to keep us interested. evening program was varied and outdoor buffets made a difference too. i LOVED the pools cos they were warm enough, like i could just walk in without hesitation. the sea water also filled my hopes and expectations being around 27-28c. and the hot tub was actually HOT. pretty amazing.

i can defo tell which of the following were taken with my new Canon...





we made some british friends on the trip and joined them in the sports bar to watch eurocup final. well that did not go super well.

behind the hotel

nightlife



cabana with minipool

one of the infinity pools

swim up bar from the other side

my favorite bar, sitting in the deep chairs looking at the stars was chill.


the stage hosted all kinds of program and bands. very often i heard this one specific song; Jerusalema by Master KG& Nomcebo Zikode (spotify link).

when we went on an excursion they were playing it on the catamaran - which was more like a party boat, they were giving us rum punch before 9am - and got everyone to join in on the dance. its not something i would normally listen to but in that tropical environment, under the sun, having a little tiiiny break from covid, i enjoyed it... one of the best days ever.




my tan lines now though... jesus. actually its not the tan lines, its the tan itself that is the problem. im just not a fan. but impossible to prevent.
 

when we arrived on saturday there was an anti-vaxx march going by our house, just lol. my 2nd vax was a relief. i had a few headaches but it responded to painkillers and my arm was sore for a week but those are non-issues, so i feel like i got away with nothing. yay.

July 01, 2021

holiday times fun times?

summer is well on its way. my holiday started today. 3 weeks off. and we plan to go somewhere too. i did not tell doctor where, he can find out at the airport. he knows the direction we are headed anyway since we had limited options honestly due to visa and other issues.

meanwhile i got a new camera, which is hard to explain as im not planning to go back to the studio work and generally lack the type of inspiration that i think would be suitable for such a purchae. but there is a little feeling in me, and ive had it since i shot with Arttu's camera like 1.5t or so years ago, he had this nice dSLR with him. and that feeling of looking through the viewfinder and pressing the shutter with the finger (joint really rather than the tip). it brings back a feeling and i enjoy it. so i sat on that feeling for quite long but decided to act now. hope i dont regret, these things are not cheap. 

Canon RP with a 50mm 1.8

 got a second hand Kanken backpack. (not the classic one but slightly larger)




we celebrated midsummer with 2 other couples at an airbnb we rented in Northampton. the weekend was a rainy was so just like proper finnish midsummer. but there was a dry moment to grill at least.

Labour approached people with this letter (not addressed at anyone, just delivered to every building). its sad its come to this. we applied for settled status quite some time ago so have that in the bag. but not having a card or anything to show for it is slighty uncomfortable when u know how the system here is imperfect.


Danish Road Safety Council ad is hilarious


i also got my 2nd vaccination yesterday. i had pushed it forward after being traumatised by the side effects of the first. needed some time to just chill. finally i was mentally ready but NOT keen on getting another shot of AZ. like, at all. i talked to my GP who referred me to get something else but not all vaccination centres were willing to mix since the official guidelines dont really allow it (unless you died or had a near death experience from the first, then its sort of acceptable...). anyway i hustled and found a walk-in clinic and got pfizer. im still prepared for side effects, i think my body likes to fight things off, but maybe it'll be mentally easier to not have to go get blood plateless checked if i get a persistent headache again etc.today, just a sore arm more less.

June 07, 2021

summer.

friday evening i was supposed to be on the plane but instead i was looking at sun reflecting window films online while doctor was cooking HelloFresh in the kitchen and listening to some Ed Miliband interview so loud i heard every word. politics is not really his thing so im not sure why he was listening to that. anyway id bought flights to finland in an optimistic mindset that finland would be "greenlisted" by UK in the travel traffic light update on June 3rd. well, it wasnt. no new countries on the green list, and portugal demoted to amber. i think the green list now has 11 places, including israel, iceland, faroe islands, south georgia and south sandwich islands... and bunch of places that are closed anyway like singapore and new zealand. i admit that although i definitely knew the risk of not being able to go, i was SO disappointed i cried. technically of course i could go, its not illegal anymore, its actually just that i cant do the 10 day quarantine upon return, we have stuff planned and booked with friends and just no way i could make it work. i'll try later in the summer.


later i had a zoom with Arttu, to make up for not seeing in finland i guess.and on saturday i zoomed with miss R, we had not had a proper catch up for a while anyway. but now i have like 11 days of nothing planned, cos i was not supposed to be here. i guess its an opportunity. with the weather finally being good too... eh. 

the other week when we had a week off and obviously were not able to go to turkey as planned (im losing count of all the cancelled trips in the past year?? yes my own fault for being so optimistic but i feel like i have to at least try and not regret not trying?!) we went to Hull and York instead. good to get out of the house and out of London in any case. Hull is known as pretty rough and i was excited, we went with Evelina & Mikko as Mikko has lived there a long time ago. so we basically had a guide.  but Hull wasnt so bad, sure a bit rough still but there were also hipster cafes and a lot of new development. and we visited a deep sea aquarium, nice experience. from Hull dctor and me continued on to York, which of course is this cute historical, pretty touristy town...  there we visited a viking center and museum and enjoyed the historical breeze...  i even booked a hotel with a pool, but due to covid it was less than deal, u had to prebook a 20 minute slot and arrive in your swimwear as they didnt allow use of the changing rooms and...it was not maybe not worth it? 
 
the pub with a train track up in the air, u put a 50p coin in a box and the train would make a round. Hull life. 


the smallest pub room in england (or was it UK?)
our guides to York (kindly offered at a stand at Hull train station.

Viking center.


??



a cute easy puzzle, i love puzzles like this.

ive been GREATLY enjoying dinners indoors. especially while the weather was still poor. when restaurants opened 3 weeks ago i booked dinners indoors 2 nights straight and have been going to pub too. here i am with jess in a local african restaurant.

finally a photography reality show!! BBC has The Great British Photography Challenge. what a pompous name. oh well. BUT, i am really enjoying it. it kinda helps its judged mainly by Rankin, whose book i still have on my shelf although my photography years are long gone. they really discuss cropping and the feeling and all these elements and its a kinda inspiring to look at something so familiar from so 'close'. 

ive never been big on cocktails but lately im really into pornstar martini. aperol spritz has also been a big facourite especially since our trip to italy. 

HS is doing a vote on the best finnish song lyrics of the century, the playlist is on spotify, and ive been enjoying it. personally i didnt vote as there were many of my favourites, i just cant pick one.


May 17, 2021

fresh air does me some good

the terraces and outdoor seating opening did miracles for me. sitting out, eating food while watching people and the sun shining... made me euphoric. going to my favorite bookshop where the cat was laying on the counter and they were playing CCR. magical. we have enjoyed some meals out with doctor and ive also had brunches and dinners with friends here and there. Avner, Elmor, jessica, Samantha, Evelina & Mikko...   althought its been a bloody cold spring so sometimes i was eating and shivering simultaneously. we even had an anniversary dinner at one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants and it happened to be a cold evening.


i love the street libraries...


i got my vaccine on April 22nd. and yesterday was my first headache free day. soooo...thats 3 weeks of headache, not 24/7 but especially in the beginnning like most of the day. also weird dizziness and brain fog on/off to a point were i couldnt work, and that just really ruined me. i hate to take time off sick. not that i enjoy laying on the sofa under a blanket with my frontal lobe crushing me on a day off either, but lagging behind on my work was just the icing on the cake. plus, because i got the AZ, the GP sent me twice to tests to make sure i dont have the blood clot. even though i knew dont (after the tests), it was just still quite stressful to have the head hurting. i dont usually have any headaches and find them scary. and this one did not obey painkillers very well either. my mental health just suffered. had UK followed the original vaccination schedule, my second dose wouldve been this week... lol. i cant really see myself getting another shot while i was still trying to survive the first one! even thinking of it 8-9 weeks from now makes me uneasy. i know its unlikely to have bad side effects twice, but its also unlikely to get a 3 week headache - yet here i am.i should just focus on how grateful i am to feel normal again now, i have new found appreciation for people who suffer from migraines...  

to celebrate a non-aching head i started a new puzzle yesterday. easy feel good stuff. i love Heye's puzzles.


another blow was UK's travel green list being so short. green list being countries from where u can return from without a quarantine. the country opens for travel tomorrow and theres practically just one or two countries where u could head for a warm holiday, but both would require a visa from doctor (which there was no time for).  Portugal and Israel. the others are either closed (NZ, Australia...) or just... (Faroe Island, South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands...) ... and unsurprisingly, turkey ended up on the red list cos the situation is so bad. sooo we will go do some more british sightseeing in the near future. and when we have more holiday in july, i pray we are luckier. i really need to get out a little bit. also i want to go to finland. i am so hopeful that finland will be added on the green list, i already bought flights for june. Finnair allows changing the dates up to 3 days before, so i will just move them forward if not. i cant really quarantine at home for 10 days in the SUMMER. and they check on you occasionally too. i dont want a 1000GBP fine. so i wont go until i can avoid a quarantine. but i REALLY want to go. i want to see my friends, my aunt, my coworkers... i want to go to the office.