Friday, 31 December 2010

Onnellista uutta vuotta ja myös viimeinen viesti vuoden

Translated: Happy New Year and also the last post of the year".

It's the day where everyone traditionally complains how bad the year has been. My facebook feed is already full of it. Though I don't agree, this last year has been great, of course there has been ups and down's but such is life. The down's make the up's all the more wonderful.

I have also lived here in Finland over a year now and I still think it is the best decision of my life!!! Not to mention the sacrifices Eero makes to put up with me and supports my wild ideas... mostly!

He starts his new job next week so as he can work from Jyväskylä a few days then in Tampere the others which is great!!! We also have the new car which I love and I am allowed to drive lol!!!

We also have 34cm of snow!!! Jen is coming over for NYE!!! and Ep's is coming home!!! I have no idea which to be excited over first!!!!

I am also excited about what the new year is bringing, sadly I am also excited about the Finnish grammar course which will kill any gremlin's left in my sometimes humorous outbursts! There are a lot of courses in Spring that are exciting with my course but it will be more hardwork! Suomi 3 begins too!

Hyvää Syntymäpäivää Eerolle!!!!!!

Happy Birthday to Eero! yay!!! he comes back to Jyväskylä later too!!!!!!!! Hope you have a great day and love you loads x

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Christmas in the UK

Eero flew in Wednesday before Christmas but had a 2 hour delay also but Paul took me and we waited in the airport car park.

Tuesday before I had dentist and was told the wisdom tooth I always had trouble with needed to be removed... then an old filling needed to be replaced there was no time to do it then and there so that's a job for back home! urgh, no sugar, no chocolate now and it is Christmas...

As the snow was so heavy it closed shops, shopping centers and roads so even when I went out walking to get the food shopping I couldn't always get what we needed. But the snow melted a little and the shops opened again a few days after so out we went getting the last of the Christmas food.

Thursday before Christmas, we had a little party at our house, Jim, Roz, Liz, Eero, Dean, mom and dad. Nan and granddad had been snowed in at Somerset and Donna and kids over the other side of town. The night was enjoyable and we homemade 2 pizzas, honey baked ham and some Finnish pulla. I managed to bring mom some of the favourite salmon from Stockmann so she was happy. Thursday we also went up Merry Hill in the day got the last few presents, turkey, food and I spent £225 in Jane Norman sale... while Eero waited outside the shop for 40 minutes without complaint, lol... wardrobe restocked we carried on with the day. I was upset the one thing I planned for dad they never had in stock as it was a rare coat! but he can get one he wants now.

Dad was very ill when I got there but steadily improved after the 3rd load of antibiotics and looked alive by Christmas day but I made him drink most of my stash of Ribena.

Chirstmas Eve, we chilled out. Eero and me went a walk up the town to get the last few things, we wrapped presents and Zara, Sienna, Paul and Angela turned up to collect presents. I got Zara a moomin keyring and Sienna a penguin toy which were well received. We played in the dark with Eero. Gave them some pizza, honey roasted ham sandwiches and some profiteroles and they left. Paul returned later for the presents as the car was full of stuff. Nan and granddad dug their selves out and came to visit.

Christmas Day was a lot less stressful than normal maybe because nan wasn't there yet. I helped mom, Eero peeled some vegetables, Dean carved turkey as dad was too ill, me and mom served. Turkey was Norfolk Black cost £56 but was worth every penny. I ate it as it had had a happy life and was not of battery life. We opened presents on the morning of 25th, instead of the Finnish tradition of 24th evening.

Everyone arrived and we had glöggi (Finnish Christmas drink), everyone liked it, granddad was going crazy to know how it is made and if we could get some more. Everyone ate well (every dad managed a small dinner), I had turkey, peas and rice everyone else had traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.

Boxing day was normal, family around, food, drink and talking. Dean went to fetch his daughter Eden and so we put all her presents under the tree before she arrived. Watched some tv, ate pizza (more homemade), cheese and biscuits for super for the normal people, talked and talked.

Monday the day we flew back. Nan and granddad came up to say bye and started everyone crying. Took 2.5hours to drive to Manchester, very busy. Flight had an hour delay so we went and did some airport shopping. Flight wasn't full, we read the same book... I didn't want to read mine so I read Eero's new book along with him. We got picked up from the airport and stayed at Hanna's the night. Got up the new day.. late and took Kaisa with us to Kirsti's. Eero and me went to shop, cooked some food for us and then he dropped me at the train station so I could get back to Jyväskylä.

Snow go in the UK

My flight was Friday 17th and the chaos unfolding in Europe was just a bad dream as I started traveling to Tampere on the Thursday evening to overnight at äiti's. Friday was a strange day as mom called in the morning saying that dad was ill with flu and I had to badger him into the doctor's. It also meant my lift would change but Dean said he would pick me up from the airport.

So later in the evening Eero dropped me at the train station and the journey began with the train being 25 minutes late. I arrived in Tikkurila where Hanna and Kaisa were waiting to drop me at the airport. All was looking well, the train meant I would arrive at the airport as soon as check in opened so no waiting around! There were a lot of people waiting around in the queue so it was obviously a full flight. I got talking to two older guys (50's) and it turned out they had been working in Pori doing similar things to me so we were all talking for ages.

Then no delays on screen, we were 15 minutes late for boarding but that's no real issue or difference to normal. Here is the fun part... at the time we are due to land the pilot says: Manchester airport is closed due to heavy snowfall, we are going to Newcastle." So I think, that's ok it will be on the board and I can call mom when we land and tell here everything is fine. Of course you get all annoyed inside, I was tired and hungry. But we didn't even know then that after the 2.5hour flight we would still be on the plane four hours later. We spent 2 hours at Newcastle waiting for fuel then flight confirmation. Mom and Dean were stressed as the airport said my flight had landed no mention of where. MY phone battery was on the last bar as I had been messing with it on the train...

After 2 hours in Newcastle we flew back to Manchester, landed. And thought "Yes, mom is waiting with food and drink" looking out the window there was hardly any snow... alas we still had to sit waiting to taxi in an empty airport for 2 hours... first we got the stairs, then we had to wait over an hour to get a bus... then the baggage was delayed.

In the end we sat (with the older guys) waiting on the airport floor for the bags... I was due at 10.30pm, I left the airport at almost 4.45am... got home at 6.25am... exhausted I spent my first day asleep of a very short visit. But amusingly, I meant a lecturer from my University on the same flight and it was funny that everything kept getting delayed, there was no arguing or anything. Nor was there any offering of food or water 6 hours 45minutes into being on the plane. Someone had a panic attack.

But at least I was back....

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Last Post before Christmas in Finland

Tuesday I had a seminar in Finnish all day, the one guy was great he agreed to speak more slowly so I could keep up or even speak in English. I took the Finnish option. Then the other speakers were harder to understand so 4 hours in to the seminar I gave up tired and went back home but I only missed the last speaker. The class that had been scheduled before it never happened so I had an extra hour early at school annoying as I didn't have my revision books with me! minus 24C all day with a cold wind.

Wednesday the day of my last exam, it went OK. I hope good but I don't like to tempt fate! Someone cried during the exam too... minus 26C when I left warmed up to minus 22C by the evening. I came home from my exam, ate then went to meet Britta so as we could walk to the hospital to see Marlen after his spinal surgery. We stayed and talked for just over an hour then we walked back. I walked 9.5km that day mostly in minus 24C no wonder my weight goes down and stays there! I wanted to go to bed early as I was tired after exam and all that exercise but somehow I stayed up late and was talking and texting Eero until late.

Thursday (today) has been chaos so much to do in preparation for leaving for Tampere tonight and Helsinki on Friday to end up in the UK... madness. Haven't stopped all day. Sorted the music out on my mp3 player and the PC, found all the pictures I want printed off, wrote recipes for my mom to have, shopped to get ingredients for Pulla, packed my hang luggage and over night bag for traveling. Paid a bill got some money, cooked food.

Kirsti (äiti Suominen) asked me to cook some pulla for her to freeze as use for Christmas so that's what I am doing now and almost done. Got a few small bars of chocolate too from the shop as someone has to turn up I haven't planned on!

Such a busy week, possibly quite boring to normal people. When I was at citymarket I also saw Sammie Lai and we chatted about life and we are both doing the next Finnish course! YEAH!!! Then I had to rush off as I had loads to do and bake!

Oh yeah, then the bad part, my tooth has been worse since I got it "fixed" in June. Today I brushed not to hard and it pissed blood for 20mins or so, I just kept spitting blood... disgusting but off to see the dentist next week... no doubt they will try and blame me saying I live of coke and sugar when I don't... ho hum.

We sent out our Christmas postcards, I wonder if they will beat me to the UK...

SHHH, We should be getting the new car tonight!!

I am excited about everything, this is why Eero and me are such a fun match... both bouncing around like 5 year olds... but life is good! and I can't wait for him to come out for Christmas! All the stress and wrapping will be done by then as he won't like the stress of the UK crowds! hehe

Sooo excited can't wait to see my mom, dad, grandparents, brothers, nieces, friends and my cute cats... esp Ebby =)

Got to dash now, need to get the pulla out the oven and out more in, cook my bread, blow dry my hair... the list is endless!

Our Christmas tree in Jyväskylä =)

Monday, 13 December 2010

Exams, exams, exams

Life is still is exam weeks for me and to be honest I am feeling it now in the 3rd week and I still have classes and seminars... so revising, working and learning new things but this is the point of a master's degree (or so I keep telling myself). Too keep pushing yourself to see how well and how much pressure you can take (I am averaging 4's "B's" in UK grading so I am happy just exhausted)

Today after realising I got the days mixed up and missed a seminar I have the second day of it tomorrow, the whole day until 4pm. Then I have an exam Wednesday. Today I checked my timetable for next semester... I also took on another 2 classes more than this semester... I have improved time management now, better than before (now I am on scary levels of time management). Serves me better in the long run as I can spend more time on my thesis next year! mwhahaha!

Then last week on Thursday at the end of my Finnish listening exam, I felt flu like but it wore off by Friday evening and just gave me headaches. However, not happy I had to site a big exam feeling that ill but we will see! Also on the weekend I checked for my other exam that was meant to be tomorrow to find it had been moved and the lecturer hadn't emailed and had been moved in last 3 weeks to Friday... no good to me as I booked my flights after the original exam was released so I have to take that January now, not amused that I will have to revise over my holiday now...

Thursday off to Tampere to stay with äiti for the night, then off to Helsinki airport Friday afternoon to get my Flight to Manchester.

Marlen is also in hospital waiting for surgery so I hoe that he gets well soon!

Now I must eat and revise! Wish I had time for sauna! arghh! hehe.

Ohhh... Friday Eero brought us a Christmas tree! so now that is all pretty and decorated and I will add the photos when I get time... or if I get time.

It is cold this week to, down to -20C meant to be -27C Thursday... urgh and I have to walk to the train station 3.5km but at least Eero took my main luggage with him.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Independence Festivities Culminate with Presidential Ball

Independence Festivities Culminate with Presidential Ball

Hyvää Itsenäisyyspäivää (Happy Finnish Independence Day)

Today was Independence Day, so the flag flies all day =)

We watched a 1950's film on tv, I forgot what it was called but it always comes on today and was about the winter war.

Then we saw more lost. It has been a good relaxing day and to be honest I needed a day of doing nothing especially with another 3 exams this week and 2 more the week after, then a long ass trip to Helsinki to get the plane to UK. But a good day cuddled up on the sofa. Eero didn't leave for Tampere until after 7pm.

I have 2 classes this week and 3 exams so I must go study now even though my mind is tired and full but scary movie 4 is on!! and I am reading the Finnish subtitles so it is educational!!!

P.S. We have 16cm of snow outside!!!

1st post of December

Monday was the Finnish speaking exam part 1, went well... we had the most questions after our presentation and we answered all correctly so that was a relief.

Wednesday was our Renewable Energy "Tidal Barrage" presentation, we were last and that was in English! Then I rushed home ate some dinner and went to meet Britta pre our second Finnish exam. No one liked this exam it was strange as you couldn't really chat to much to "show off", we just had set topics to do and get on with. Everyone thinks they did ok but no one said they loved it!

Almost settled into the new apartment now! I sorted the boxes out on week nights and then when Eero came Friday night, we put the sofa together and by Sunday evening most things were back in their places and back together! Saturday, E took me shopping for a new bedroom light as the one we had broke on the way here. We also got some new curtains for the living room! So we got home late on Saturday and did te boring finishing touches. We also got a few more cushions.

Sunday, we went shopping and got the last few things to cook for when Jen and Britta came by for a gossip (I keep having a class over lunchtime, grr). So when we got home we had a more relaxed time, I cooked pulla (first time I adapted a recipe that I could eat) and it was good, also made blackcurrant crumble cake (hadn't made it for ages) then E made 3 pizza's and some homemade dipping sauces for the chips and veg sticks.

We had a good night and put the world to rights for 5 hours! Then they went home and we watched lost and chilled out.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Jyväskylä from Tampere

School as normal in last week.  Then  left for Tampere Thursday afternoon after the final meeting for our Renewable Energy Presentation. It was a cold day minus 14C and windy, I was glad to get to the train as the windy was making my legs cold!

The train ride was pleasant an old lady kept smiling at me, even more so when mom called and she realised I was foreign. I had a lovely train ride home, sunny and the lakes south of Jyväskylä weren't snow covered and we black and frozen like mirrors. Pretty but I couldn't get any photos of them.  I arrived back in Tampere at 4pm where Eero was waiting in the car park.  The one exit door was locked so I waited a minute to let people in from the cold. In the meantime, Eero had got out of the car, looking at me all confused. He thought I was stuck or hadn't seen him. Sometimes his impatience is so cute!

Then we drove to citymarket got some food and went to Hervanta for the last time! Friday I did the normal chores, then went to the shop to get Eero some treats for the drive and me some water.

Then we went into city on Friday to get the van and walked across the city to get the van. After getting the van we drove back and started packing. 2 hours later and when Jouko had dropped the trailer off we left at 8pm for Jyväskylä.  We finished unloading a 11.30pm, ate, showered and slept.

Up early on Saturday, ate breakfast and left for Tampere in what we hoped for the last time. We got there about lunch time and it took until 6.30pm to pack up, load up and clean the apartment out.  Saying bye to the apartment was kind of sad.

Eero was particularly chatty both trips and is very excited about the new move. Even when I was saying we have all this again when we move back in two years! He left on Sunday evening as he still has to work in Tampere every day in December but next weekend is a long weekend as it is Independence Day

I unpacked another 15 boxes after Eero left, the mess is annoying. Hopefully most of it will be sorted by the time he gets back on Friday. Then  I had 15minutes to prep for my Finnish speaking exam... 5 minutes into it, I gave up was too tired. So went to bed.

Today I woke up early as normal but we didn't set up the thermometer so I texted Eero as it was too cloudy to see the Prisma weather sign. He texted backs saying it was minus 21C outside. He made me laugh saying "wear everything you have so you don't get cold". Of course, I didn't wear everything just one more layer than normal. I was too hot when I got to school and decided not to wear my ski trousers on the way home. Big mistake. It was as cold on the way home and my legs with 2 layers were so cold they were numb.... ho hum!

I have no energy after a very busy weekend and a stupid diet thanks to allergies.  But I am back in the UK in 3 weeks on Friday!!!!

Exam weeks started again today with the Finnish speaking exam and I have two exams on Wednesday and for the next 10days or so!

frozen secret waterfall!

Mid-Winter Darkness Falls Across the North

Mid-Winter Darkness Falls Across the North. True winter begins now!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Talvi... (winter)

Here is begins, the coldest darkest months. Most days for almost two weeks now have been below minus 5C and this week minus 8C warmest and minus 13.5C coldest. I think we can safely say that winter has begun.

The lakes are starting to freeze up now and I am hoping for a sunny day to catch them on the camera.  It is a bit dark and cloudy today to get a good shot worth publishing!

We move from Tampere this weekend. A new beginning is very exciting but I love Tampere and can't wait until we move back, hopefully to a house and apartments are annoying and small. I suppose I like my own space where other people and their pets can't disturb me.  I also miss gardening badly so that's my wish... 18 months to 2 years a house.  We can probably make it if I get a summer job.  Hehe! I blame Eero for this and his driving me around new building houses seeing which I like... so really he planted this seed. But a garden would be nice! Even though the ground is frozen 6 months of the year!

I am enjoying winter, even long walks in the cold. I have a good coat for the "cold" days but I kind of want another coat to blend in better. Need some better winter shoes too as my boats although all are new let water in when they get wet but that's what you get! I don't want wet feet in the name of fashion!

My bike is sleeping in the shed I kind of miss it but I can be bothered with going so fast and my hands and face getting so cold. Also I love to walk I can see more, day dream more and listen to more music or Finnish cd's. I like to think and walk, it helps me keep a level head. I would probably fall off my bike in this snow/ice anyway cause I ride like a bat out of hell.

I have learnt to walk on the ice and gain a good balance when I slip, which is always a matter of when here there is so much slippery ice under the snow.

Here in Jyväskylä according to the current weather conditions we have 11cm of snow. Probably about right but the roads and side walks are ploughed so it is hard to estimate until you tread in some snow =)

The secret waterfall is starting to freeze up too and I am hoping to get some photos of it half frozen in the next few days. Well the weekend really and it may have frozen by then.

Back to Tampere tomorrow afternoon for a day then the moving begins! Hopefully I get to meet Britta and Jenny for lunch tomorrow but we will see and hope! I have so much to complain about NOT!


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Friday 19th Weekend

A strange weekend... the train ride was crazy as I was on the intercity in a small part that holds only 10 people and there were a group of 4 teenagers getting ready to go to party. They were all happy and doing each others hair and make up until we got to Tampere and one had a phone call. Someone close died suddenly... she was obviously hysterical and I couldn't make much more out but still somehow felt sorry for her.

Eero picked me up after we went hunting for fish in the city.  Then we went to citymarket to pick up a new batch of allergy  experiments. Not going to badly so that's something! We planned on not being busy this weekend as the previous 4 weekends had been silly moving, getting ready to move, sorting things and visiting people. We needed a day off. So Saturday we had one, day in with Jack Bauer, quick visit to the shop to cure my boredom at being stuck inside. Cook, more 24, sleep. Aaaah. Relaxing.

Sunday, we went to äiti's for coffee and to see Vesa, Hanna, Miia and the kids. I think it is quite entertaining how I am happy talking to the kids in Finnish but more paranoid with adults. Valteri was happily telling Kaisa how they could teach me some Finnish. Then we left around 5pm, I decided I should eat again before getting the train so that meant I was getting the 8pm train. Train was delayed 20mins and I had to run across city to get a bus (rare luxury but the side roads were slippery with ice so I didn't want to walk).

Father's Day (Isänpäivä)

Well, we move from Tampere the end of November so most of this weekend was taken by box packing.

The Sunday was Father's day so we went to Jouko's for dinner. *nam nam*It was good to be back and catch up with everyone again.

Then I got the 6pm train home to Jyväskylä and walk the very icy side walks home.

We were also playing with reintroducing my foods to see if and what I can now tolerate... I think I am reacting to a vitamin again and I still suspect the evil B3 that once gave me anaphylactic shock. So try and try until my allergist appointment in February.


School Dayz

School is taking up most of my time, though it is well spent doing so but it can be a little crappy knowing all I do is work, walk and go see Eero. But the return of exams grades and maintaining 4 and 5's are making all the "urgh" worth it. I suppose it is because a lot of my friends are eramus student's and keep getting to go away as they don't have much on at school, unlike those of us who study full time.  I am loving this renewable energy course though and trying to keep up with the Finnish course.

The Finnish course I love but it is the hardest for me, never learning another language I have to undo 26 year's of bending letters from being a native English speaker. Hard thing to do but most of the time in shops I am understood and natives seem happy you try to learn and speak. Alas progress is progress... I just wish I had more time to listen to my audio cd's.

Dear Santa,

I have been good all year, please c0uld I have more days in the week or more hours in the day?? these days and hours do not have to contain daylight so long as my lights work.



I leave the reindeer carrots and you cake and a drink and it's a deal, right?

Eero, has detected my distress with speaking Finnish and is starting to help me now, just hoping it lasts longer than the other attempts for him to help... one has to hope!

I have however attended all of one subjects lectures then dropped it at the last minute. I could see so me conflict impending with the lecturer and it is a bonus course so I thought I would cut my losses and run.

OF course, exam weeks are approaching again and technically start for me next week with 2 Finnish speaking exams, one is enough lol and another presentation in English... I am excited about them all sadly... I am enjoying exams which is sad!!!

School keeps me walking 8km a day or more and it keeps me busy when I am not there... I am excited about next semester when all my waste management and water management courses start! haha!

Auto Draft

Monday, 8 November 2010

Moving from Ristonmaa

So  I haven't posted for two weeks! The last week in October was exam week at school so I was busy with that.  Also I was packing up my things to move into our proper apartment in Jyväskylä.

On the 26th, I went to lunch with Jen and Britta as a late birthday lunch (Britta was in Estonia but brought me some chocolate).

The apartment is great but it was dirty and took two weekends in a row of constant cleaning to get it clean.  Eero moves here the end of November so it is not long left now on the trains going back and forth!!

I had to write up a minimum 10 pages essay in two weeks and submit a 30 minute presentation which I did on Friday... all presentations except mine where in Finnish so it was a hard but interesting 4.5 hour lecture!

It has been a work, clean and sort few weeks! Brought some new curtains so the new apartment looks like home until Eero moves here with some normal furniture!

He came to visit the weekend and had a throat infection and ran high fever, he even took his first day off work in 2.5 years but has gone back no =(

Allergies are still being a pain in the backside but appear to be calmer when I avoid certain things so that is the new plan.  The appointment came and I was in the UK when it was and the hospital say it could now be February before I get seen... another winter without vitamin D or one drinking milk and being ill... hopefully I can find a way to get it without taking vitamin B3 which I had a true allergy to a few years back.

Mom is really excited we are in the UK for Christmas and so is Eero.  It doesn't excite me as my diet stays the same or I suffer but I do enjoy the whole buying gifts, wrapping gifts thing and I have some great ideas planned! It is also nice to see my grand parents as they are in there 80's and each time maybe the last time.  I love to catch up with friends too, the ones that don't forget who you are as soon as you leave their sight! Eero and me fly to UK on different days which is a shame but I get too shop and cook for the party without him getting bored of carrying my stuff around shops... gives me and mom some catch up time and I get to play with the cats o.O

We have had proper snow in Jyväskylä a few weeks ago we had not much more than a hard frost last night but I took some photos walking to school on my phone camera today just as it looked so pretty and it was -2c and I didn't want to walk back with my proper camera.

I can't believe the time to move from Tampere is almost here properly but I know as soon as school is over we will end up back there and hopefully in a house!

I didn't get internet connection until Thursday =)


My Birthday...

A late post I know, but the 25th October was a good day even though I had school all day long!!

I was apart from both family and my UK friends... even Eero was in Tampere when I was in Jyväskylä but the day was a good one! Lots of cards, gifts and cash!

Eero got me flowers, printer, jumper... I tell you the list is endless!

Can't wait for his birthday now!! x

All saint's day

In Remembrance of the Departed.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Katen Elämäkerta


Kate syntyi Englannissa, mutta muutti Suomeen 25 vouden ikäisenä.  Hän on kotoisin Dudleysta.  Nyt hän assuu suomenkielisessa Jyväskylässä.

Kate ja Eero ovat olleet yhdessä toukokuusta 2008 lähtien.  Kate on asunut Suomessa joulokuusta 2009 lähtien.  He asuvat Tampereella, mutta hän on asunut Jyväskylässä elokuusta 2010.  Kate asuu Ristonmaalla nyt, mutta muuttaa Keljoon marraskuussa poikaystävän kanssa.

Joulukuusta elokuuhun Katella ei ollut töitä.  Elokuussa hän alkoi opiskella suomen intensiivi-kurssilla Jyväskylän Yliopistossa.  Syyskuussa Kate alkoi uusiutuvan energian maisteriopinnot ja jatkoi suomen kielen opiskelua.

Katen äidinkieli on englanti mutta hän puhuu myös vähän suomea.  Hän ymmärtää suomea hyvin, mutta hän ei puhu sitä vielä paljon.


Englannissa hänellä on äiti, isä ja kaksi identtistä veljestä.

Hänellä on ruoka-allergia ja ruoka-intoleranssi.

Vapaa-aikana hän lukee dekkareita ja katsoo elokuvia.  Hän harrastaa lukemista, kävelyä, kiipeilyä ja opettelen hiihtoa.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Life is too good!

So, after a crazy week at school I have never seen so much work! Every time I finish one piece of work there are 2 more to replace it (or so it seems). I am slightly ahead now... Finnish work done and checked by Eero, Marlen's class work completed and I have done the work for the rest of the week so it will just be posting on people's work now and that won't take long. I have an exam Friday to prep for so I have a lot to do!

I should have a little more free time this week as one of my courses is ending even though it another course starts with a very erratic timetable and gives me some more clashes.

Overall, I have had a great week! some really exciting things have happened this week which I am not willing to divulge in on a blog! but new doors open maybe and if not then I have a foot in the door to a proper career at the end of it all or the means to get there! Other good things happened this week too!

Mom seems sad this week as it will be my first birthday from home without her, bit of empty nest syndrome I think. Eero has always come to the UK before to see me.  Instead this time he has brought me more things than I care to sit here and list... proof he listens heehee

Thursday, Eero drove to Jyväskylä after work, we had late lunch with Pekka and Katri in the city.  Then we went to view the new apartment! Which is great, very different to the one we are in now but it is good! We have a sauna which beats the sauna turns we currently have! Then he took me back to Tampere...

Saturday, I had to work on finishing some university work, then we went to city... were they didn't have what I wanted so we went to äiti's (Kirsti's) for coffee and cake. Had a good gossip then went to the shop to find some new stuff for the apartment (any excuse). However, we didn't find anything we wanted so we went home and ate.

My bike in Jyväskylä also has a flat tire which is annoying as it slows down doing anything but I do enjoy the walking! It snowed in Jyväskylä the weekend but we had none of it in Tampere.  I have a few things I need to go and sort in city next week too.

K <3's E


Monday, 18 October 2010

Autumn Days

As exam week's fast approach again, all I seem to be doing is studying or on the train... Saturday's I am doing as little as possible but nothing is never achievable! All is going well though I have 4 presentations to do, 1 essay, 3 exams... and whatever else I get from the course that hasn't started yet. Then I have my Finnish reading, grammar, speaking and listening exams... then 3 final exams in December.

I am excited to be going home with Eero for Christmas. Excited I go first so I can decorate the house and hugely excited that I get to see most of my family but not all with the short time I will be there.  With luck I can go home again Easter and see everyone else though it is anyone's guess whether Eero will go then.  I am also happy that I will get to do a bit of Christmas shopping. Also hoping to set up a ox or two to be shipped to Finland as I am running low of supplies here! lol

I am hoping to get a letter to see an allergist and be referred to a dietician by the end of this month.  During summer and autumn I planned to drop around 9kg through exercise and healthier eating as much as the allergies would allow.  However, my allergies are wreaking havoc and my diet is heavily restricted without trying I have lost 7kg... whoopes. I am far from wasting away though but I am sure my mother would disagree. I just can't get good enough replacements for some of the things I had in the UK and appear yo be having problems with milk and milk products here.

Winter, is close here by feels but a month away still calendar wise. November here direct translation is the mud month so it will be cold and wet by definition.  The clocks go back next week so it will be dark at 5pm.

My birthday is a week away and I have had some textbooks and some boots that I am aware of =)

Eero is coming to Jyväskylä so we can see the new apartment on Thursday and that means I get a free ride back to Tampere but have to get the train back... cant have it  all ways xXx

I have been here almost 11 months and it is scary as it doesn't feel like that long! but I am happy with progress. I don't have time for the job I would like I hardly have time to sleep and eat but I still will try for a internship for my dissertation, I think... Language is coming along nicely... we are now advanced beginners which is good. I understand a lot more than I did before August and finally I am starting to learn how to learn anther language!



Winter Speed Limits in Force

This has to be the sign that winter is upon us =)

Winter Speed Limits in Force.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A post of First's

So yesterday was a very productive day for us we had the apartment confirmed so at least am I not homeless and sleeping on Jenny sofa. This has brought a whole new world of excitement to Jyväskylä for me. Probably the opposite for Eero unless it goes well with getting transferred... but it is far from bad at the minute so we smart to enjoy the good times!

Eero also booked our flights to the UK last night, we fly there separately but come home together as E can only get 3 days off as he has no holidays left =( but still he seems excited about his first Christmas in thee UK and my first Christmas there for three years... Hope I don't miss the snow too much but it will still be here a good while when we return =)

E is still looking at what car we should get next, I like VW and ford focus but we will see what we end up with... just hope it is not white! lol As I don't have anywhere to drive anymore it is not that much of an issue for me =(

Today (12 Oct) we have seen the first snowfall of this "winter" here, it is still snowing now and my proper winter clothes are in Tampere... but I have enough to improvise and I have my waterproofs so my jeans don't get wet... I can live with looking like an idiot so long as I don't have to sit in 4 hours of lectures cold and wet =) .  However, it is still snowing quite heavy here and there won't be any let up in it either, clouds are low, dark and full of snow!


Sunday, 10 October 2010

Musical Post (youtube)

Well, as normal whenever I walk my headphones are possibly deafening me I don't trust myself enough to ride my bike and listen yet! but I have been listening to a lot of older music this week! Poets of the Fall and Apocalytica are the two best bands out of Finland and neither are as big as they deserve to be!

First Snow Falls in Lapland

First Snow Falls in Lapland.

My first Finnish taught class and Eero's second visit

It's still so very pretty here and the trees in the UK don't go so many shades of orange but you can feel winter biting at autumn now, night frosts and cold days.

Last week was chaotic first four hours of my day were in a Finnish taught class, though I wish I could tell you I understood  perfectly I probably only understood 40% but lecturer was happy that I was using the lecture to improve my Finnish... it worked somewhat as  I have more confidence speaking even knowing that what I say isn't always correct but people seem happy that you are trying to learn so I continue. My Saturday lecture was a mistake on the system I found that out on Friday...later on Friday evening I also found that all my Monday classes had been cancelled and I have no classes on Thursday.  I wished I could be excited about this free time but there is too much to do in it to enjoy it!

I walked to the train station on Friday to get Eero but I went early hoping to buy a jumper a little thicker than the one I have now as it's a bit cold in one lecture room.  I also went to the post office as I had 3 parcels to collect (that's right my waterstones books have finally started to arrive and mom sent me some chocolate!) then I went down to the train station to wait for Eero, his train was delayed.  Then when we got home we found out about all my cancelled lectures.  I am used to being alone now and have made some more friends over the last few weeks which is all good.

The weekend has been great though we have played around as normal, looked for some more apartments as I move out of halls the end of this month! yippeee! Also got some warm socks, jeans and other fun things.  Eero being all stressed about my allergies playing up got me some magic vitamin concentrated cranberry juice which to be fair is nice!

The doctor's is Tuesday and with luck I get a quick referral to an allergist and then we can fix me again and life can return to normal!

If all goes well this week I can leave for Tampere when I finish school at 6pm on Wednesday. So much to do yet to make that a promise but Thursday eveni[gallery]

Thursday, 7 October 2010

This is my favourite from simon's cat... most of our four cats behave like this... but the closeness of the box and my fluffy cute Ebony... it's unreal!


Sunday, 3 October 2010

Blog moved

I have moved my blog to another site. As it is currently a site i have to use for one of my uni courses so i am just keeping them together.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Search, find, learn

We have been lucky with the weather last week, though it has been cold in the day (damp cold that aches your bones) it has been sunny.

Tuesday after school I went for an 8km walk to explore a few places around Jyväskylä I hadn't been to. Mainly because I go back to Tampere after school Thursday and don't return until late Sunday night. So now I spend my Tuesday afternoon's walking around looking for new walks and places while taking photos. I found two new nature walks and still haven't got to explore Harju park properly yet. Hopefully the good weather holds out as next weekend Eero comes to visit me in Jyväskylä so we can explore a few places.

I have an intensive course next week so I have lectures on Friday and Saturday until 12.30pm. Then I will eat and we can go explore some more! Friday I also got the call from Eero to terminate my student lease and we applied for a few apartments in Jyväskylä. Now we have to wait and see what we get as I am out of student halls from 1st November =) yay! Yes I did terminate my lease on the last day in the last few business hours but it saves us paying three rents in one month!

So from 1st November we should have an apartment here but Eero may not get here until late November or December but I will have my own space to clean, wash and do as I please. I am actually very excited about this change, it means it is real again. Then we can see about changing cars =) somewhat exciting even for me (secretly I like cars).

I love my course but it is intense even without the extra course running. Into the deal, I am actually picking up another book exam next week when I can meet my lecturer to discuss terms. I also have my first exam Wednesday afternoon... chemistry calculations it will hurt somewhat I think!!

Oh, I also started taking Marlen's class for academic writing, aim of the class to get yourself published. I am actually loving this class and wished it lasted longer than a few weeks.

Suomi class is going well though it can be a little frustrating as my other classes push for so much time and effort, I have less time and energy for the Finnish but good progress is still being made and I understand a lot more of what people say. Quite handy around town, banks, shops and even on the train. Also be happy when Eero moves and he can start helping me too.

Waterstones are trying for the 3rd time to deliver my books I ordered in May, I hope to anyone or thing that the third time is lucky as my patience is as dry as Antarctica (driest place on Earth).

I have also been forced to book a doctors appointment as my allergies are having random fits and I am sick of trying to second guess what the problem is and my diet is restricted again now (not healthy). Hopefully I can then get referred to an allergist with some speed. Doctor isn't until 12th October as the original appointment clashed with my intensive one week course *ho hum*

Dad also got another all clear with his cancer check up so nothing is spreading. Granddad also got his all clear on his cancer in the beginning of the week. Life is good. Though nan had a very bad fall and has bruised her face and hips but all is normal apart from that.

More Finns Tying the Knot with Foreigners

More Finns Tying the Knot with Foreigners

Waste Bill Aims for More Recycling

Waste Bill Aims for More Recycling

Research Grant for Project to Convert Sunlight into Fuel

Research Grant for Project to Convert Sunlight into Fuel

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Lost in thought (long post)

Even though like most people here I own a bike on the whole I have spent my time walking around as it allows me to think without ending up in the woods, in the lake or on the roof of a car. The only reason I wear a bike helmet is I like to ride fast, so loss of concentration could hurt.

But the last few weeks I have to admit on the whole of my walking I have been lost and completely consumed by thought. Not to much university related really just reflection on life here so far, ups, downs, wants, needs and where I think we will be in the future.

Of course being female (whether or not we openly admit it) most of us still carry the childhood dream of weddings, family, house, cars but that doesn't really consume any of my time. I know we will marry, I think we both have an idea on what kind of place, when (I'm not in any hurry though I would like to before my old granddad parents leave this world), home will always be around Tampere (after we are done studying with Jyväskylä), the rest time for me solves. I have access to cars but no real need for one of my own even though I could probably justify it still in my own mind! Though in all honesty it is more present things that take my thought.

The new start in school of course starts people asking why you move and all kinds of questions. I mean take for example, it is quite common here amongst Finns for partners to come from different cities sometimes even different parts of the country, people commonly separate for school and met back up weekends and holidays. Don't get me wrong here, we were long distance (UK to Finland) for 18 months and all though very possible it puts new strains on relationships but gives great strength to other areas. There is also a higher number of my UK friends in long distance relationships now so maybe it is the "modern way" (to quote the Kaiser chiefs). Currently we are long distance again as I live in Jyväskylä and Eero in Tampere, for as much as I know the arrangement is working and fine, I still count the days until he moves to Jyväskylä. Life is more fun when we can share experiences, when there's always someone to help carry shopping and even when I have to spend ages cooking allergy friendly foods its much better when someone else can eat some of it so I don't have to live of the same thing for days.

Maybe the difference was working properly for 15 months, I suppose it changed a lot things in my life and made me want the proper life rather than the stereotypical student life. Mind you, I can't wait for the day to live in our own apartment again, i need more space that we have in the student flat and more furniture.

I was also bemused as from the start of the intensive course I have been waiting for the sports stickers to come out so as you can go to the gym, do hobbies and sports supervised. Then I get my timetable where Monday, Wednesday I don't finish school until 6pm and Thursday not until 5pm, finish early Tuesdays at dinnertime though I use the afternoon to revise and make course notes, do homework and study Finnish. Currently I go home to Tampere every Thursday evening, so I am not impressed that currently I am struggling to fit in sports.

Into the bargain sports place where the new gym is is 4km away so 8km to get there and back on top of the 6km minimum I do every day. Most classes I want I have classes when they are on. And I can't do my own fitness DVD as the PC with the CD player on here in Tampere! But I am in quite good shape at the minute and the shape isn't round! I just want fitness DVD's as I love to do them.

I ordered some course books off the internet last week and they have all arrived. The waterstones books have declared as lost for the 3rd time and have been resent again so they will have taken 5 months to deliver...(amazon all the way from now on).

Finnish class is coming on leaps and bounds, though I got paranoid after speaking with someone at the bus stop the other weekend and checked in English that I answered right in Finnish, I did the guy seemed bemused but still! We have class 3 times a week and it is really exciting and we learn a lot each lesson but not as much as the intensive course. Mom said she wanted to learn too so as a surprise gift we sent her a good book and CD for beginners, she is now a happy bunny that gives random Finnish words on the phone.

Last week I got another humorous job as a great work experience post was advertised the catch fluency in Finnish, everything else I had so maybe next time! Not that I actually have the financial need or time for a job but work experience is always handy, plus I like to practice what Finnish I do know.

Alas, my allergies have started to cause trouble again and I have no idea what is triggering them. I have my suspicions (tomato, butter) I even stated to drink bottled water to check that it wasn't a change in water that disturbed them but it appears not. So I guess I have to go to the doctor next week and see if I can get referred to an allergist here (Tampere or Jyväskylä). Until then I guess I eat like a sparrow and hope for the best!

Eero has gone to the summer cottage today, I wanted to go but allergies wanted to be stupid as they have been for a month now, seems it is not a glitch but something has changed after that last allergic reaction to the bug bite or sting.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Mun tyypillinen päivä

This is something that the first course touched on but we didn't have time to study it on the course so now we did it!!

Arkipäivänä mä herään puoli seitsemältä, viikonloppuna tietysti myöhemmin. Mä juon vetta tai kofiinitonta kahvia ja mä yritan lukea päivän lehden. Mä en yleensä syö aamulla mitään. Sitten mä lähden yliopistolle. Mä menen pyörällä mutta kun sataa tai on tosi kylmä mä menen kävelen yliopistoon.

Yleensä kahdeltatoista mä syön leipää ja Englantilaisetta juustoa. Mulla on ruoka-allergiaa ja intoleranssi Suomalaiset maitoa.

Sen jälkeen mulla on melkein aina joku toinen luento. Iltapäivällä mä luen sähköpostit ja teen jotain opiskelutehtäviä. Jos on hyvä sää mä käyn kävellen mun poikaystävän kanssa.

Joskus seistemältä mä menen syömään. Kotana mä teen nopeasti jotain ruokaa. Melkein aina mä laitan pitsaa tai lasagne.

Mä käyn suihkussa illalla. Aika usein mä juttelen kavereiden kanssa Facebookissa tai baarissa. Melkein aina illalla mä en tee mitään erikoista. Jos telkkarista tulee joku hyvä elokuvia, mä katson sen.

Usein mä valvon aika myöhään ja olen netissä tai luen jotain. Yleensä mä menen nukkumann joskus ykdeltatoista.

Any mistakes are my own!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Week 1 of Uni

I didn't get the start I had hoped for thanks to a bad tummy bug which is still causing issues a week later... but I attended most lectures of the week =)

I really enjoyed my first week at uni even though most of my lectures are master's degree level chemistry (This semester), homework is mostly calculations =)and it has been a while since I have been at school! Part of me misses the way the world of work is but school is also very exciting and getting the chance to learn new things!

Suomi class is also going very well, things now make a lot of sense and I am trying to get as much practice in as possible and trying to text Eero as much as possible using Finnish which works quite well. There are only 11 people in our group so we are hoping that we are allowed to keep that class size or I may get lectures on Friday's

I currently get to come home on Thursday evenings then go back to Jyväskylä on Sunday evenings.. it's quite pleasant!

Friday was a nice day after Eero finished work we went shopping and he brought me a new beautiful coat! So I was happy... now I keep trying to find reasons to go outside so I can wear the coat =)

Haven't done much today though as this tummy bug has made some of my food triggers more annoyed than normal and I wanted to go walking with in Lempäälä!!! So we must go next weekend!!!

Back to Jyväskylä Sunday, then school Monday to Thursday 8am to 5pm... then back to Tampere Thursday evening x

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Evil bug

Ok, so there is never a good time to be ill. Even though I can't remember the last time I had a tummy bug so bad that I couldn't eat or drink much for two days. At least today, day 3 I am starting to be able to eat a little.

The most annoying part is my course started full time this week and here I am ill in Tampere, alas these things can't be helped I know that but it is still frustrating when illness alters plans. So tonight hopefully I can return to Jyväskylä and walk 3km home and go to school tomorrow... if I can eat more and regain some energy.

I do feel more alert in my mind today but my body doesn't agree, I have no strength at all and my legs feel like jelly. I know that's its all from being so ill and not being able to eat... I am just glad I seem to be improving. Hopefully the few hours before my train is due to leave I will regain some strength or I could be forced into staying here another day which is not what I want to do!

Eero has been a god send to me this weekend while I have been ill. I started to feel ill Friday but thought it was down to eating so much food... Saturday evening I knew something "bad" was coming but assumed it was an allergy I had annoyed with mass consumption of goji and blueberries... but when the sickness started and illness carried on for two days we knew it was a bug. E has been great he has looked after me and cooked for me, even when I couldn't eat what he could or drink the water he brought. He even stayed up with me most of Sunday night and went to work very tired on Monday.

I hope I don't see another bug like that for a good few years and that Eero doesn't catch it =)

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

What to do or what not to do?

A culture shock maybe that degree programs are very different here to at home. In the UK, our degree was mostly decided from the second that you signed up for a course, it's destination and road set. You got a few limited choices to advanced courses but 80% of the course was compulsory study. So you made friends and they were with you 80% of the way.

In Finland, this is not the case the destination of course is set but the road you choose to get there is limited only by the major and minor departments you choose when you enrolled. So I have a few courses I have to take but they were ones I wanted to do so that's no loss!

The other strange thing is you plan the entire two years of your course from the first few weeks of being here. It has taken me two days to build my degree the way I want it too be and to reflect what Renewable Energy and it's future are to me. You also have to take some culture studies which is fine by me as I have 4 more Finnish language courses, some speaking courses (autumn semester one does not fit my timetable)

Today was a proud day for me (also for Eero, he seemed really happy about it) as I sat in a Finnish only lecture for two hours and understood 70% of what was said... not bad I don't think for only a month of the intensive course in speaking and listening practise! I also have a goal to be taking Finnish courses next Autumn so far it's looking promising!!!

Also got to know quite a few lecturers who I have studies with. One even remembered my application and was very happy to talk to me, ask me questions about life, my degree past and present. I also enquired about internships which I don't have time for now but I plan to write up my profile and letter to try to find something by December for a spring/summer post. I am hopeful about this working out, I normally get lucky with these things.

Tomorrow is my last day off until Christmas so I am going to take some more photos out and about, recycle my bottles and then hopefully go see Marlen, Jenny and Britta tomorrow for dinner =) Finish learning my Finnish before the language school restarts on Friday

Life is so chaotic at the minute but it is so worth every second of it!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Eero's first overnight stay in Jyväskylä

Eero studied in not so far away Mikkeli he had been on a few drunken student adventures to Jyväskylä... most bars we passed in fact he had been in =)

Friday we walked back from the train station and went to citymarket on the way home. Anyway Saturday we went into city to meet Jenny (American friend who now works here at uni) and Britta (German exchange student here until Christmas, then we will miss her). We choose to meet at Sokos unbeknown to us there was a fashion show on just outside Sokos but eventually we all found each other. We had a little shop, went to Jenny's, had coffee and a great time! then home for more pizza *nam nam*.

Jenny, Britta and me

Eero and me by the university sign

Eero had a really good time and left early on Sunday morning as Pekka and Katri were driving through Jyväskylä and Tampere. Outi went to a wedding so I spent the day alone but I enjoyed it, cleaned my room, did my laundry and then watching internet tv later reading my book. I guess I enjoyed not being in a train station.

I talked with Eero and now Jenny and Britta are coming to stay the weekend with me in Tampere (I am so glad I have company on the train ride for once) and I can't wait to show them around as neither have been there before!! whoohoo. Wished I had room to put Marlen (American friend also working at uni)up too but I am sure we can all plan an adventure somewhere together soon!

Eero also showed me some apartments he had been looking at for us, so it was an exciting few days!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Orientation/ Induction Days

Image above is the campus my studies are based on

Ah, orientation the time of the year we love or hate as new students. I'm on the garden fence this year a lot of what we got told as yet I knew from being here so long or we found out from summer school but it has still been a very good few days.

The view from the physic's building cafe is out of this world, looks from the top of the hill over the lake and trees! so pretty!

The timetable itself for induction has been crazy 9am until 4pm daily on Thursday and Friday but note by the time I am blogging I didn't stay all day today... I hit a brick wall trying to concentrate so came home to read and chill out. Monday is the last day of induction and I will finally find out what subjects I can take and which are optional... though I have signed up for a few! =) I am looking forward to that meeting on Monday afternoon and it will be the first meeting of my fellow degree students (I don't think there are many of us). The current orientation days we are grouped together as "international students" so most of us from Suomi 1 just hang out lol.

Today was the official start day for the new Finns too so there was a fair on... Britta and myself checked it out got some pens, badges, bag, calendar, our student cards... Britta got to eat the candy, doughnut and could of had a coffee (the joys of allergies meant I had to go without but had some dark chocolate in my bag *nom noom*). The weather today is horrible wind, rain and it is cold.

Today's lectures were mostly enjoyable though I need to register myself to see if I can get an internship (seems like fun, I know I am sad). We also found out about all the Erasmus trips to Lapland, Åland and Russia... The latter being my only interesting one. However, I don't want to go to Russia in Autumn I would like to go next Spring/Summer and it costs €450 for week... so that's my luxury item for next year I think... who knows as mom wants to go so I may wait for their visit and take them with me.

Eero is coming to visit tonight and we are going to meet my friends in city tomorrow! so sooooooo exciting. I am also riding my bike everywhere now, I still dislike the huge hill we live on and can often be seen pushing the bike up it heehee. I also may get gym membership if the university gym is on the main campus and not Kortepohja which is like 4.3km away from where we live!

I have also started my exploring bug and keep going up different streets and places looking for things of interest of apartments we could live in... I found some really cool houses but nothing that would be for rent!! I also found a really pretty waterfall by accident so I hope it is not raining tomorrow so I can take some photos around the place. Didn't take any in summer as I have so many summer photos and none of Autumn.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Exam Results

The Finnish system of grading is different to the UK system. So 5 here is the highest (best grade) 1 is the lowest pass grade and 0 is fail.

I was very happy with getting grade 4 in all four exams but at the same time a little sad I missed grade 5 by a few marks, only one on one exam! But that's good considering the evil cold i sat 3 of the exams with! yay! I am glad though...

Tomorrow I have the day off and it will be nice to have a day to chill out and do whatever, whenever! A nice walk to prisma, baking and I would say take photos but it has forecast rain so I will be doing that the weekend =)

Suomi 1 is over and now i have to practise for suomi 2 which starts next week, along with proper university!

Monday, 30 August 2010

Kuuntelutentti ja kurssi tentti 30.08.2010

Today, was the day of a lot of exams. Ironically I also have a really bad head cold and can barely think in English let or lone a foreign language I am just becoming familiar with.

So this morning was the 45 minute listening exam, this is the hardest of all exams. The dialogues they pick always seem to be people speaking quickly and not clearly but such is the way of real life. the first dialogue was easier, though I got one question, the trick question wrong... 50/50 chance I knew it was between two answers. The other answers I think were ok, no real feeling one way or the other but I am just happy to pass to be honest! with this cold all I did all weekend was sleep and eat then sleep. Revision was impossible I couldn't do anything!

The written exam was this afternoon. It was hard to know what to expect as we had learnt so much but you couldn't possibly digest all we "learnt" so quickly. Though I am still learning in my book for a few hours a day until I know it all... shouldn't take too long as I know a lot of it. There were two exams. One was grammar based and the other was reading and answering questions. Reading was quite good and you have to answer in English to make sure you understand and don't just copy the appropriate lines. Grammar was a little harder with a writing a basic essay about what options are given. I did enjoy the grammar paper best but it has room for the most spelling mistakes! hehe

Still they are hoping to have marked all the tests by tomorrow so we will see! Whatever happens I know I put the time and effort into the course and sat it without complaining with an evil cold...

Tomorrow we have a class evaluation and then a party lunch!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Puhetentti 27.08.2010

Friday was the day of both Finnish speaking exams which were great fun I have to say.

The first part of the test was to act out a scene of our choice in Finnish... it had to be 3 to 5 minutes long and understandable by the whole class. So Jenny, Britta and me grouped up and got to work on thinking up a scene. Thursday was the day where we were in school all day then went back to school to work on our acting and speaking at 4pm. We finished for the night about 6.20pm. Then I walked to Prisma to get some milk and bread... 12km walking that day but it gave me time to think about my Finnish.

Friday, judgement day. We also had a no time specified 15 minute exam for speaking. We were shown a picture story and had to explain it in Finnish. We finished that and then we had to answer some more questions on what we liked to do, what we ate, what we were doing the weekend, etc. Jenny, Britta and myself were together for this and it was actually really nice as an exam. We could interact with each other so it was nice, if we needed too!

I have never looked forward to or enjoyed exams until this course so it's a new beginning!

So Monday is the grammar, writing comprehension and the listening tests... busy day but I am looking forward to testing what I know and what I think I know.

Tuesday morning is a course review and party so that's all good!

Orientation for my Master's degree starts on Thursday but I have signed up for a few courses already! I need to wait for Friday to choose what Suomi 2 class I can enroll for (there are three classes a week!).

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Suomi 1

In 17 working days... so intensive is the key word for sure with the course!!! We learnt to speak using slang so we don't sound like talking books, to read, write and listen to people. Below is the official course list of what we have learnt;

basic information about yourself
letters and numbers
verb conjugation
asking questions
typical features of Finnish

at the cash machine
ordering in a resturant, cafe or other common places
partitive case
expressions of time
i have structure

Suomalaista elämää
free time
different verb types
genitive case
describing people
body parts
t plural and consonant change
asking the way

Tyypillinen päivä
more expressions of time
spoken language and verb conjugation
making an appointment
i have to structure

Tulossa ja mennossa
where, where from, to where cases
buying train, bus tickets
past tense
and grammar

It has been a very intensive course but it has been very well taught and structured. If any of you get a chance to take the Finnish language courses at Jyväskylä university then do so! Even if you have to pay for them they are well worth the money!

Suomi 1 doesn't make you fluent or able to understand every word people are saying but it helps you break down the basics and ask for simple things, order drinks and food, tell someone what you want, or that you are busy and need to do something else. It is a great course! I can't wait to see how much I learn from the second one. Nor can I wait for the conversation courses in January =)

I have exams Friday and Monday. Then over a week to digest the work in suomi 1 I haven't remembered completely. Then bring on Suomi 2, which is over 3 months =)

Also on the huge plus side, Eero has been shocked into how much Finnish I know and is now actively helping, texting and speaking in Finnish =)life is good!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Opiskelen ja puhun suomea!

Friday Eero met me at the train station, he waited armed with a variety of things I could eat. Being the best boyfriend in the world he knew I would be hungry so he came prepared. We got him some mc donalds and I ate my cheese sandwich and a banana.

We got the bus home and cleaned up a bit for the arrival of Hanna and Kaisa. We then made pizza my favourite weekend trea, completely allergy friendly but not at all waistline healthy. I figure I now walk a minimum of 5km a day so if I cant have something good now and then, I will never be able too! My weight is dropping to so it's all good!!!

Saturday we moved, I stayed with Hanna and Kaisa as I had discovered I don't tolerate egg at all. I felt like death warmed up but discovered I spoke enough Finnish now to play with Kaisa all day long... we both enjoyed it! the allergy kids playing happily! made me realise how much I missed going to play with my nieces but I have our kids to look forward to one day and now I know my Finnish will be good enough to teach them it as a first language.. =) not that those days are anywhere near!! It was 8.30pm when we got home... I was hungry but didn't eat much as I didn't feel well and feel asleep just after 9pm.

Sunday was a chill out and catch up with my Finnish class work. Then the train back to Jyväskylä and I chat to my mom or eero the whole 3km walk back =)

6th and 7th August (Nakkila, Pori, Espoo)

So I need to backtrack a little bit as I have fallen behind with my blogging as I have focused on learning as much as possible for my Finnish intensive course finals.

Saturday we went berry picking to Nakkila to a relatives house. We picked the red currants, black currants and a small amount of gooseberries. It took us a few hours to pick 2 and a half buckets. Then it started to thunder and tried to rain. Eero decided on which bike he wanted and we took it to pieces and put it in the car. It was then I noticed that evil bug had bitten me, not only was evil bug not happy with one bite it got me twice!!!! So it was then I accepted my ankle and foot would swell up again.

We then drove to Pori (now cloudy and trying to rain so we didn't go on the beach) then we drove to Reposaari... you know you have the best husband ever when he takes you somewhere to show you a windturbine as he knows you will think it's cool! I did think it was cool... or I wouldn't be reading my master's in Renewable energy but I was pissed that my camera wouldn't work.

Then we drove home, rained a little but saw no real signs of the bad storm that tore Sonisphere festival apart that same day nor anything of the bad storm in Tampere that tore off a school roof.

We made pizza, watched tv and slept.

Sunday we went to Valterri's birthday is Espoo and after getting back Eero dropped me off at the train station at 8pm and I ran for the train to get back to Jyväskylä. My ankle started swelling badly on the train and by the time I walked 3km home, it was huge and burning hot. It showered ignored it and went to bed.

Next morning I got up, leg was sore but it didn't look as angry as the night before so I walked to university (2.2km) well actually I biked so I wouldn't put as much pressure on my leg. When I got to school 10 minutes later, the bite had once more gone from 3cm across to 12cm across. I called my tutor and text my Finnish tutor saying I had to go to the doctor. So another allergic reaction to a bug... doctor thought it was probably a wasp or a horsefly... I think the latter as I didn't feel a thing. She gave me some cream and cortisone tablets to take and told me to be careful when outside.

Newsweek: Finland World’s Best Country

Newsweek: Finland World’s Best Country

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Ok, the homework we had a while ago was to write a little about yourself in Finnish... basic but necessary when meeting new people.

So I will write in spoken language as this will mostly always be spoken...

Päivää! Mun nimi on Kate. Hauskaa tavata. Mä oon kakskytviis vuotias. Mä oon Englantilainen. Mun äidenkeili on englanti mutta myös mä puhun vähän suomea. Mä ymmärrän suomea hyvin mutta mä en puhu sitä paljon vielä! Ma oon opiskelja. Mä opiskelen uusiutivaa energiaa. Mä asun Tamperella. Mä nyt asun Jyväskylässä mutta mä oon kotoisin Englannista. Mä oon avoliitossa ja mulla on avomies. Vapaa-aikana luen ja katson elokuvia. Mää harrastan lukemista, kävelyä kiipeilyä ja opettelen hiihtoa. Mä on rouka-allergia.

Scary thing is we are a lot past this level now and all in a week but I am trying to keep my blog up to date with this intensive course! =)

Monday, 9 August 2010


Summer school is going very well, I feel. I am a lot more confident with Finnish even speaking it! So progress is being made.

The course is very intense we have to work through a huge booklet in just a month, well actually 3 weeks when days off have been taken into account. Then we are tested on four things; speaking, listening, reading and grammar... for the first time ever I am excited about an exam, I actually want to sit the exam... (weird)

We get to go to the language lab and having never learnt another language apart from English this is a new thing where you copy Maaria (teacher) and you record your own voice and then listen to yourself to see if you are pronouncing things properly. We do a fair bit of speaking and we are spoken to in Finnish (so it makes you listen and helps you understand all at the same time... something the first course lacked on). This course is great though it all makes sense and is very well taught and explained.

New friends are also a great bonus from this course, both long and short term I have met some wonderful people!

We get bonus things on this course lectures on Finnish culture; music, art and design etc. We get to watch three Finnish films to in Finnish!!!!

I am also riding my bike to school now too which is good. My fitness is improving I can't wait until the end of August when I have more time to walk and jog even bike around the lake, city and all of Jyväskylä!!!!

Lecture start at 9.30 and end at 1.30pm and we just get a hours lunch for a break. Then a few pages of homework due the next day. I am loving it though with so much to learn!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Mä asun nyt Jyväskylässä

Tuesday afternoon when Eero came home from work we packed up the car and the trailer of my boxes, bike and furniture. Then we headed out for Jyväskylä. We got here around 7pm and unloaded everything. Eero put together the bed for me and carried all the heavier stuff upstairs. Then we meet Outi (my new flat mate. She is a Finn and also comes from Tampere and on the good side she is really very nice! She then took me for a late evening walk to city campus and the others to show me around so I wouldn't get lost tomorrow. Personally I thought it was great! we talked and talked and talked... hehe!

So we went to bed late but I was excited and didn't sleep too well, I woke up to thunder about 2am and it was still (??) thundering when I woke up at 6am and got up at 8am (lie in first day!!). Omg, you have never in your days seen rain like what was falling this morning, Less than 30secs outside and you were soaked to the skin. I wore my waterproof coat and took a spare pair of shoes... for the walk to uni with Aino (my tutor). Aino is also really nice, very helpful and shows me where everything is!

The campus was bigger than I expected it to be and I walked in to building P expecting to see around 30people for this course. Instead there were around 100, 3 groups of around 30 people. It was walking to class that I met Britta (I hope that's spelt write) she's from Germany and she's very nice too! We talked a lot and learnt somethings too. We made a few more friends during lunch. Then we went to the how to cycle safely talk and we got a free reflector!!! mines a football, I wanted a dog or ghost but what can you do!

I came home around 2.25pm, it was sunny and soooo hot! Outi went back to Tampere today (Wednesday) but just before she went there was another almighty thunderstorm and heavy rain. I have never heard thunder so loud. So I'm home alone until I go back to Tampere on Friday... Eero is calling and texting loads too which is great fun, I think he misses me too!

We got our course material today there's a €9 charge on it though but it's a lot of work and handouts... quite the bargain! Tomorrow we have a cultural lecture before class so we have to be in school by 9am, classes then 2 hours solid, then hour lunch then another 2 lessons to Finish around 1.30pm... that's 3 hours a day learning Finnish. We also have an oral and written exam at the end of the class so at least I will know how good I am or how good I think I am!!

Monday, 2 August 2010

August Begins

I am not at all sure where this year has gone... It's two-thirds through the year and it feels like it should be April. Summer has been phenomenal more hot days than cool, sunny and hot. Perfect summer to be care free and having fun.

We had a really relaxing weekend, chilled out and relaxed (it's not happened for a while and it weekends are busy again until mid September). I packed up most of my things over the weekend to move to Jyväskylä tomorrow. It's really exciting and I can't wait for Eero to move up too! until then I'm back in Tampere every weekend and spare day I have.

All-Time Heat Records Broken in July

All-Time Heat Records Broken in July

Friday, 30 July 2010

Granddad's 82 today!

Would love to wish my Granddad a Happy Birthday! I hope the weather is sunny in the UK today! xxx

Last week in July

It has been a busy week. I move to Jyväskylä early next week and Kesäyliopisto (Summer University) starts next week for the month. So as you probably guessed I have spent most of the week packing up my things, first they went into a maybe pile, then the definitely pile. I am in halls until Eero moves up so space will be very restricted until we move up there properly.

I only have 3 days off from Wednesday to the start of my master's degree so I have no doubt Christmas will be upon us before we even know it!!! Hopefully we go back to UK this Christmas... mom and dad are coming to Lapland Christmas 2011.

Even got a new contract phone connection so life is good!!

Last night Eero brought me a new bag for university, it's great, I love it and have started to put all my brooches and pins all over it!!

We also put the new bike bag and light on my bike... almost ready for the little move!

Powerful Storm Leaves Tens of Thousands of Homes without Electricity

The aftermath of a hot and humid day... we didn't have much of a storm here but the little bit we did have was very powerful

Powerful Storm Leaves Tens of Thousands of Homes without Electricity

Mercury Hits All-Time Record of 37.2 Degrees

Some like it hot!
Mercury Hits All-Time Record of 37.2 Degrees

Monday, 26 July 2010

Mom and Dad's First Visit to Finland (part 2)

Monday 19th July
We exploded the rest of Hervanta in the afternoon. We did the washing and chores in the morning. Then went to Tampere Ikea... mom found some things they want for their new kitchen so they maybe importing stuff from Finland =) We brought more things we didn't need but I wanted =D

Tuesday 20th July
We went to Ahvenisjärvi and saw baby ducks, mom and dad enjoyed walking around the small lake we did it whenever they wanted too. We went into the shopping centre and spent sometime in there. We got shopping for dinner and made 4 home made pizzas. This is a meal I worried about with dad as he's not a lover of tomato sauce but he really enjoyed the pizza!

Wednesday 21st July
Mom, dad and me went into city to explore the rest of what we hadn't finished yet! We spent 3 hours looking around the city. We went into Kauppatori mom got a cake and dad got a potato cake (forgot the name at this minute). We came home and got changed and went to Perti's summer cottage. Another wonderful night, barbeque and more fish. Sun set on the lake was so pretty and mom sat on a rock watching the lake and talking most the night. We then left the summer cottage around 9pm and Eero took mom and dad on a little tour around Lempäälä.

Part Family shot

Sunset at Perti's summer cottage, Lempäälä

Me looking windswept

Thursday 22nd July
Tonight we are going to the 3rd summer cotttage and barbeque of the week. In the day we walked around Hervanta and Ahvenisjärvi. Baked two more cakes to take to the summer cottage. This summer cottage was a friend's and was in Valkeakoski (white rapids). Another nice night mom and dad got to met Eero's brother and sister's and the rest of the family. We talked into the night... We all had sauna and a swim in the lake. Mom and dad didn't go in but regretted it later.

Sunset at Valeakoskii

Eero resting <3

Friday 23rd July
Jouko came by to fetch us and we went to Viikisaari with him and Kati. This was an excellent day... we got to see and do lots of things and places I didn't know about. We had lunch in the resturant and had a little walk around the island. Then we went to Pyynikin Näkötorni, we went to the top of the observatory and took a few photos. Jouko drove us around some old houses to show mom more homes. Then we went back to Jouko and Kati's house and had doughnuts and coffee... Kati got me some bread I could eat =)

yes, this is photographic evidence of mom on a boat...

This was one of mom and dad's favourite days. They loved meeting Eero's family and seeing them so much.

In the evening we went to Ideapark, I got a new Halti bike bag and a new Halti coat that cost €200! whoohoo. Mom, dad and Eero had chinese takeway.

Saturday 24th July
The penultimate day, cloudy and cool matched the mood of the holiday almost over for me at least! We got up and went to Jyväskylä. We showed mom and dad the area where I was moving too in August and probably where Eero and me move for the next 2 years before we return to Tampere to settle. Though we did some house shopping while in Jyväskylä but there was nothing we wanted to buy! lol so rent it is! hehe mom and dad even did some summer house shopping.

We then showed mom and dad the university buildings I will be in then to the city centre campus where my language course is. We then parked up and went for an explore around city. Mom, dad and Eero ate lunch in Amarillo, looked lovely but they had nothing I could adapt to be allergy friendly. I also discovered Stockmann is only in Helsinki, Tampere and Turku... so I now its a certainty we will settle permanently in Tampere now! but I am excited about our two years in Jyväskylä.

Sunday 25th July
Home day for mom and dad. We were going to Helsinki but we decided not to bother. We talked all morning then went to get some kotipizza. Then in the evening we drove to Helsinki. Mom managed to cry, who knows why but I can't see her cry without crying so that was the goodbye. Mom managed to cry in the airport again and Eero was trying to wave to her but I told him not to cause she wass crying enough. There flight home was delayed by 2 hours, which annoyed me as delays can leave a bitter taste in a holiday's memories but next time they fly with another airline!

Mom promised Eero they would visit a month next year and also come for Christmas 2011... so the excitement begins. They loved their trip more than we thought they would. They loved to see so much to Eero's family and how welcome they made them here.

Mom and Dad's First Visit to Finland (part 1)

Wednesday 14th July
We have had such a hot summer here but today there's a thunderstorm. It lasted a few hours mostly just fork lightening with a the odd rumble of thunder. It did rain but not really for long just a very heavy shower.

We left for Helsinki around 6pm and stopped off at Hanna and Antti's in Helsinki. Then we went to the airport to fetch mom and dad, it was cloudy but still 30C! tropical almost... While we were waiting for mom and dad I heard a man say "Go, I wished it was this hot at home but it was raining when we left"... I smiled, happy we were getting the best weather! We didn't have a long wait until they left the arrivals door. We had a 2 hour drive home so we put the suitcase in the car and started for the services where mom, dad and E could get something nice to eat. It was a quite ride home with mom just looking at the amount of trees and lakes (she thought we exaggerated I think!).

Thursday 15th July
So on their first proper day we decided to stay local, show them Ahvenisjärvi and get a little something for lunch. We brought the ducks some bread and we all went and feed them later on in the evening. Kirsti and Perti were coming for dinner Friday so we baked two cakes for the occasion. It was hot and sunny.

Friday 16th July
Another hot and sunny day. We had another walk around Hervanta then we cooked two quiches and homemade a pizza. Early evening and Kirsti and Perti arrived, it was a great night and everyone got on great and talked and talked and talked! Went so well they planned their next meeting for a few days in the holiday.

Saturday 17th July
Hot, hot, hot! We went into city on the bus. We walked around Finlayson and the library side of town. Dad and Eero had an ice cream, Dad had pear flavour and Eero had mango. We then went into the Kauppatori (indoor market) I had some wild Finnish river salmon and dad got some smoked reindeer. In the afternoon we went for a swim and sunbathe in Suolijärvi, the lake was full of people but the water was warm too. Even mom went in!!!

mom in Suolijärvi

mom and dad on Suolijärvi beach

Sunday 18th July
Jouko came to fetch us to take us to the summer cottage. They then met Kati when we got to Orivesi. Today was warm but cloudy, threatened rain but it never came. We ate reindeer and goats cheese burgers (omg food heaven)herring in sauce, smoked perch fresh from the lake. It was the start of moms eating week (she doesn't normally eat much like a sparrow!)