Monday, 29 March 2010

Last weekend in March

Last week went quickly but weeks blur into months here so quickly. Summertime has begun now as the clock went forward Saturday. Spring is starting but it did snow again last night (part of spring here snow melt, ice, melts, snows, melts...) temperature is at least above zero now!

Weekend was great, busy Saturday and a chilled out Sunday. Saturday was a very productive day,I ran out of space is my CV/qualifications folder so Eero brought me a new expensive one! Now all my certificates are displayed properly in a beautiful display hardback book!

We went to kauppatori (indoor market) and brought some wild salmon as my chemical/food colourings allergies hate the colours feed to farmed fish. It didn't cost as much as I thought it would. Poached it in the oven in foil and water.... mmmm and the best thing not allergic reaction so it's a winner all around. Also found loumu cow's cheese in city market and dammenburg chocolate, from mmmmmm expensive but worth every cent!

Eero's other good deed was to buy Nokia 5530 music series even got the black/red one I wanted. Thanks to symbian technology it has a talking dictionary. I spent the saturday afternoon quiet playing with my phone, language is in Finnish by choice. The instructions are in Finnish too lol. I'm still playing with it and will be for sometime!

It has been a lovely weekend, had a few nice long walks, from which I have managed to get a huge bruise on the bottom on my foot.... who knows how!!!

Poets of the Fall concert on Thursday, OMG OMG!!!! I'm sooooooo excited!!!

There doesn't appear to be any suitable language courses over the summer either, to expensive or not the right course material. Time to go study some Finnish now!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Life on Mars

Time seems to be running through my finger's since I got here. I'm sure it was only a month ago when I got here but the calendar disagrees. It's been 3 and a half months since I got here. The initial culture shock has passed. So has the longest coldest winter for a while, it was minus 15C average in the day from December to the end of February 2010. The odd few milder days but they were few and far between. I have enjoyed the 3 months of snow just as I thought I would. Breaking my toe in January was a bit of a mishap that stopped my learning to cross country ski until late season. Now, I must wait until next winter to learn to skate!

I should really now focus my energy more on expanding my own social circle as the only person here that's not a mutual friend is Irina, from my Finnish course. There's my first thing to resolve, shouldn't be too hard!

I need to find another Finnish course and put more time into learning. At least I am starting to solve this getting up at 8am and I am still motivated to learn. It's actually a very interesting language to learn. Complicated that Finnish words don't translate to English words all the time and you have to translate the meaning not the words themselves. I am quite surprised at how much I have learnt on the course, my word count is definitely a lot higher than it was and now we have a few basic conversation rules! Eero is also proud that I'm learning which is always a good motivation to learn... we also have Finglish, the language I speak when I pronounce something Finnish with English letters. I do love him teaching me stuff though, it's fun.

When I moved here, we did decide there was no need for me to rush into getting a job. So the planned 3-4 months of not working are almost up. I think that would be a good time for me to start to find a job. Just to get out the house, earn some money (my handbag collection needs expanding) and be "normal".

Around seven weeks before I find out if I bet the competition for the master's degree. For once, I am actually unsure. Normally I know if I stand a good chance but in a new country, who knows. Time will tell!

It look's like a busy weekend ahead but I'm not sure it makes interesting reading though but at least it's a record of what goes on here!!!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Ylläkselle! (6-13 maaliskuu 2010)

The yearly trip to Lapland! I love this trip as there is always enough sow to make you feel like a little kid again! Mind you, Eero and myself act like little kids given then chance but life is good and fun! This was our (as a couple) second trip to Ylläs. Frist time was December 2008 and there was only 3 hours of daylight. This time there was as much daylight as darkness which was a nice change.

I broke my toe January which hindered my learning to cross country ski before Ylläs. IT is the most funny thing you can ever do here, learn to ski as an adult. A 6 year old boy shot past me at one point looking confused to why the grown up was going so slowly. Humorous though, Eero and the Finns are lucky they get taught this stuff as soon as they can stand up! It's not as easy as it looks but what is?!?! I think I mostly took my learning in good spirits and I seemed to get a backward technique.... I fell over going up hill and not downhill. But I didn't give up and I still have a lot to learn before I'm anywhere near to compete with Mr Suominen.... I'm very trying though!!

I also managed to read the final book in the Twlight saga... was ok but I think that Twlight was the best book. The other's are all a bit predictable.

We stayed in an apartment this time was nice for a change but it had no oven so it made life quite difficult and we kept visiting Jouko's cabin to steal the oven =D

Next time we visit Lapland I think that we will visit somewhere different as most of the other have skiied most of the routes in Ylläs now.

We got to visit Kemi snow castle and ice hotel on the drive home. €8 each but it was a nice place to go visit. Minus 5C inside at all times in the hotel, now that would give you cold bits!

Katri and Pekka's wedding ( 20 helmikuu 2010)

The excitement of a wedding! Even more so when it's in a new country with new customs and a different language. The day itself was cold, minus 20C but i still wore a dress and didn't freeze to death. It was a great day a lovely ceremony, different to British ones but better as you didn't have to sing! hehe. Churches here are much prettier than ones back home to. Then food, speeches and dancing... and alcohol for everyone else!

A great day to remember! Also we got to see Johanna and Jarmo too! I also made friends with Otto that day! =D Eero still continues teaching me dances for Johanna and Jarmo's wedding in July 2010.

We then went on a celebratory cruise to Stockholm!

A New Life

So, my ticket was booked, Eero was coming to get me from England (I feared it would be too much crying for me and mom but neither of us cried!!) I enjoyed my leaving party from my friends at our local bar (Ye Olde Foundary) and even the extra Christmas party hosted by my lovely "aunty" Jayne! I was so excited about that party Emma even made us a suitcase leaving cake which mom wanted to devour as soon as she picked up Eero and myself from the party!

Lucky for some, 13th December 2009 we landed in Tampere city airport and forever began! I came to a new city with no job just a plan to enrol for a master's degree, language course and then get a job so as we could afford more luxuries (and I could get a car too!!).

It was a busy few weeks in a brand new apartment block, I spent the first 3 weeks just sorting boxes and moving things around. You would of thought it was a family of five in here not just us! I spent Christmas 2008 here so I was quite excited about being here 2009, even though I missed being with my own family. I guess we get to go back to England some Christmases.

After Christmas, I started asking around for some language courses. We found one and I enrolled a 3 month beginners course. I was so excited!

In the beginning

I suppose I should start from the beginning. My first visit to Finland was 7th March 2008, it was an international studies module for Neptune (Network for Environmental Projects in Technology UNited in Europe). It was held in Mikkeli but of course the initial excitement was that there would be snow and the work would be easy!

Mikkeli would be my second international study module so I knew they were a good experience and a fun way to learn! The rest is mostly educational and boring. I met Eero on this course, he was unfortunate enough to be put on the same group as me! He was somehow made responsible for being my translator to make sure my food got cooked without someone triggering my crazy allergies. After a week of playing in the snow and doing a little work, Finland felt more like home than England did. I had always dreamed of living somewhere else that wasn't England but I always thought Canada would be the place (English speaking =D)... My parent's however thought it was a phase I would grow out of.

I spent a lot of the summer of 2008, coming back and forth from Finland and finished the summer nicely with a trip to Cairo and Luxor. After that summer I think it was then i decided that I seriously wanted to move to Finland. A scary choice considering that from both official languages none of them were English. Then of course follows the shame of being English, we rarely learn another language we expect the world to speak English. At some point in the Summer, possibly for my birthday (Eero will tell you my memory is terrible) he brought my Lelia White, from start to Finnish. A really good beginners book! Anyway, after a frustrating year a found it almost impossible to learn Finnish when i couldn't practice speaking with anyone properly... msn, skype, video calls weren't good enough and phone calls were to expensive to waste on learning there was always to much gossip and random things to chat about.

I graduated from my Environmental Science and Ecology degree in June 2008. This started some serious thinking of how I could fund a move to Finland. Of course, I had just finished my degree and they are an expensive hobby in the UK. I had no work in my last year so I could concentrate on my studies. I knew I was a good saver but I knew it would take a long time to save! So i decided that September 2008, I would look for a "proper" job and would save from there and stay living home with my parents as it was cheap.

I must of been a cat in a past life as I tend to land on my feet, within 3 weeks of sending more job applications than I care to I got an interview and a job. I was so happy at graduation as I was starting my new job the next week. I loved my job working as a landfill technician for 15 months. It was a very educational time both learning about landfill and office politics. Wisdom is earnt not given. My job had a company car for private use so I made my first buck selling my old car and not having to pay out cash to keep it going. I was intending to transfer to Finland to keep experience and loyalty with the company, unfortunately it didn't happen that way and I booked a one way ticket to Finland 13th December 2009.