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.