Sunday, 4 December 2011

Work, Uni and a broken hand

From the 1st of December, I started my new job as a Research Assistant at my university!! The job is only temporary for 4 months but it's great anyway... office, keys and cash! what else could anyone ask for?!?! I have to update and make new course material, good practice and enjoyable work!!!

Then comes the bad news, a few weeks ago I fell off my bike and tried to knock out my front teeth, luckily I only knocked half of one front one out but exposed the nerve, very painful, and cracked the other... as well as that I broke my hand and have two fingers in cast which goes all the way to my elbow!!! I get it removed before Christmas though!!!

We had 8cm last Sunday and then it got warm and it all melted again!!!

Uni has been hard as I can't type with 2 hands and it takes ages!!! Apart from that we go to the UK Friday!!!!!

Sunday, 13 November 2011


It is that time of semester, where the end is in sight but the pressure is immense, yes it's exam season!

So, I was looking on facebook and found some inspirational images! Have fun!

Friday, 28 October 2011

27th Birthday, Best day by far!

So Tuesday was my birthday and I didn't expect much from it as I had classes 8.15am to 4pm with no break unless a class finished early! The day started well, I meant my new lab partner Navdeep who brought me chocolate as a gift! A great way to start the day! We finished the experiment quickly, which I was glad as I still felt like something the cat threw up from the antibiotics. The day before I had planned to meet Jussi about a few issues and questions and he said he maybe able to tell me about the job I applied for short notice the week before. 

Knowing the job offer went on a group email to the school, I wasn't particularly hopeful as it was a paid offer which always inspires people to apply, money talks where we admit it or not! I was quite amused walking to Jussi's office as Navdeep said "before you go in, tell him you can only get good news on your birthday", but I didn't say it when I got there I was too busy making sure I remembered all the questions I needed to ask. So, I got there and went to see Jussi, who offered me the job, so shocked to hear I got the job, I forgot all the questions I had planned to ask. Instead, I was told about the job and what I would be doing for the next 3 months. Basically, it involves re-planning and updating a course which is a nice job for someone now planning to teach at university! 

Happy, then after calling mom, dad then nan and granddad about the job... Even texted Eero who called back! I went to my course assistant class! I was there for my normal two hours and just as I was leaving Marlen and the class sang "Happy Birthday", somewhere between shocked and embarrassed it improved my day and off I went to my final class!

After, I got home I waited for Eero to come home as on Wednesday, my final wisdom tooth was being removed (good riddance!!) When he got home he had flowers, so Mr Romantic struck again! He waited until late to post on my fb wall so he would be at the top of the list! (boys... my boys I mean him!) 

I was also quite shocked that I had over 150 fb messages?!?! That's not normal even with my friendship group!! 

Wednesday, was an early morning... we had to be at the dentist by 7.50am. Tooth extraction was OK, bleed heavy for a few hours then it stopped! I look forward to the weekend when I don't have to eat mush! 

On the topic of food, I have received so many emails on fb and people asking me how to cook certain things I am starting a food blog for allergy people, like me with a lot of adapted recipes and experiments that I like. So watch this space!!!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Sewing, dentists and bad news!

 Sewing for mom, 24 hours in

Ear healing nicely

It has definitely been a week to remember... the original plan was to celebrate my birthday this week, as my last wisdom tooth extraction is the 26th, the day after my birthday... I was happy with that, seemed a nice way to end 3 weeks of intensive courses.

Tuesday, I woke up 3am, problem tooth, felt like it had fallen out, so painful I couldn't close my mouth, or sleep after. So, I lay there, counting sheep trying to sleep, it was so painful I didn't sleep but just thought it was another episode of it being "sensitive" as the UK dentist told me that was the problem with this tooth. hmmm. Anyway, Tuesday was a long day at school, 9am to 4pm no breaks, no set time to eat unless one class finished early. I took some paracetamol and left for school. Pain got worse, swelling started so I knew I had to go the dentist, annoyed as I didn't have any time for it in my week but no choice, pain and swelling something was wrong. So, after Tuesday evening still the same, I knew 8am when the dentist opened I had to call. I got an appointment at 12pm, emailed my lecturer said I would be late... I knew from June when the UK dentist replaced the filling after the same thing happened there, a root canal was coming. So in I went, I explained 2 years of agony with this tooth since it was filled in UK, and the swelling  I got June when UK replaced the filling.  Seems then it was infected and should of been root canalled and me given antibiotics but it wasn't picked up on and how was I to know? 

So, the Finnish dentsit, said 2 teeth are now infected, and both need a root canal to prevent infection coming back, we will do the most painful tooth. So I selected "problem" tooth, after the root canal she told me the tooth was dead, it had no blood, I know it did before they replaced the filling in UK, I remember her mopping the blood from my tooth a lot.  Alas, now it is dead, apparently it doesn't mean too much, well its not falling out so it's all good for now. I was so annoyed that the UK dentist didn't spot the infection, and didn't give me a root canal when I needed it as they said the filling they gave me wouldn't last. Then Finnish dentist gave me some peniclin, I was so tired and annoyed I didn't read the allergy ingredients and after riding 5km home, I noticed I couldn't take the tablets. Next day, I went back and explained and we found out 95% of penicilin contains mint, which I am allergic. It was sorted and I had expensive antibiotics and went home. It was a bad infection, I felt like death, cold but sweating, not energy and spent 3 days on the sofa with a douvet. Saturday, the antibiotics had kicked in, I am alive again!

Today, I made some coco cookies as I'm not allergic to coco but can't find any chocolate I can tolerate. Yum, they are awesome! This afternoon, we went to see Contagiion and it was a great film!!! Eero and me went to the book shop and we got two new cook books in Finnish, one on pasta and other baking. No points for guessing who picked which book!!!

We also picked out Alex's present after we brought the girls 6€ worth of reflectors and sent them, we got him a pig toy. It's so cute!!! 

Dad is having his first week of chemotherapy this week, so as a get well soon present, Eero and me got him a new jumper to give to him when we go back to the UK in December. Nan had her emergency prolapse womb surgery and now everyone is ok again. For me, the problem is not that they are ill, it's the crushing guilt surrounding it all, not being able to be there for mom when she needs me. Still makes me swallow hard to be honest. The week previous, I just shut down, still went to uni but the week was a blur, I missed one deadline that I didn't really need but then I got annoyed that it had affected me but then, it was going to.

I have also made huge progress with mom's sewing she wanted me to do! that's what 24 hour's of cross stitching looks like. Nan wants me to do her the same pattern too. It is beautiful though, but I am not making us one, I don't think my sanity could stitch three of the same pattern!!! I will keep adding photos when I make some progress!! =)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Ähtäri Zoo

My birthday came early and one of my early gifts was a trip to Ähtäri zoo! It was awesome, go if you get chance!!! We are going back in the winter to see the animals in the snow and I am excited already!!

 Wolverine 1.10.2011 Ahma
 European Bison 1.10.2011 Visentti
 Reindeer 1.10.2011 Poro
 Wild Boar 1.10.2011 Villisika
 Owl House! 1.10.2011 Pöllöjä Talo!
 Elk 1.10.2011 Hirvi
 Pine Martins 1.10.2011 Näätäelämiä
 Wolves 1.10.2011 Susi

Bears!!!! 1.10.2011 Karhu 

Later in the evening, I went to see Victor and Graham in Muurame, it was a forest and lake summer house and I left after dark but found the place OK! I had an awesome night, gossiping and eating =)
Must be done again soon!

Languages, Finnish and Swedish

Finnish... so it has been 14 months of learning. I got all pissed off with uni teaching at Suomi 3, basically I was told I didn't understand and needed to resit the course (which was rubbish). Well, I didn't believe this or listen and went on to the next level course, at a paid course from another school... I got grade 4... so my stubbornness overuled and it seemed like carrying on was a good idea. I know have a lot more confidence in Finnish again so whohooo! I have these extra evening courses until June 2... exams every 5 to 6 weeks so we are tested often in exams that are not easy!

I am happy again, practicing where possible, I have a class, well intensive course taught in Finnish for two weeks so it is cool!

Swedish, is coming along very quickly! Already we try to speak as much Swedish in class as possible, it's very promising and I am happy at the rate of learning. We have handed in two letters yet and we have a mid term exam tomorrow. Haven't had much time to prepare anything but this is about practicing and finding out what we need to learn for end of term exam!

me = happy bunny =)

VTT course, Increase Forst Fuel Supply

This course was awesome! We don't normally get to see any theory in practice and this course had fieldtrips every afternoon so I got to see things people don't normally!! I was the only student on this course which was a training course for foresters... interesting! I remember, that once upon a time I loved forestry but courses weren't so popular in UK so I turned to environmental protection technologies.. not a bad move.. but it did have those "what if?" thoughts...

Also networking is something hugely important with an impending thesis, maybe PhD or work! Jobs are hidden market in Finland, so here it's not always what you know but also who. Being social, I find this networking easy... I love to talk and I am pushy. You gotta walk the walk, if you can talk the talk!

This was a long course, started 8.30pm on Monday, was often after 7pm when I got home, Thursday was after 8pm (but I did get a lift home), Friday was the final day and we left around 12pm. Such a good course, very interesting lectures and good sites to visit. GREAT!!!

Wished I could take this course again! or work for VTT... still we will see if one day dreams can come true!!

 Prepared earth for replanting
 Chipping in the forest
 Storage a year to two under waterproof paper
 Plant in Muurame
 The furnace!
 These two small pipes are the district heating pipes!
 Thinned woodland
 Woodland waiting to be thinned
 High quality wood chips!
 Residue harvesting
 Stump harvesting

Piles of stumps

In the path of the skilled, barriers will disappear?
So, I haven't posted for a while, basically as life has been busy and uni has been annoying to say the least. To be brief, I had a course cancelled 5ECTs, was told for one subject I couldn't sit the exam as the course was done, even though I had wisdom teeth extracted on the exam days, wasn't like I couldn't be bothered to turn up... another 5ECTs gone- bad thing is this subject only runs every 2 years and is a must on my course so graduating could be a bitch now but I am taking a similar course to replace it. Hell shall have no fury if they don't accept it... I mean, come on... who puts must take courses every two years... bad planning, in my opinion anyway. I have so many clashes again, even within my own major.

Last 3 weeks, have been rough just like I am banging my head against a brick wall and wasting my own time. But I did half complain by writing a review of my course, that was very honest and I felt a lot better after handing that in. My tutor has been great trying to help me plan and cover my timetable as I originally planned to graduate with 20ECTs extra, now I am just about going to break even. Not at all happy about that... I also agreed with my tutor, that as a native English speaker, I would take some writing courses in Finnish to prove competence of another language, of course everything clashes with these courses and I know have an intensive course for 2 weeks which clashes like a MOO cow with my other subjects.

I hate clashes, I hate missing classes unless I am ill. Enjoy lectures and it causes me great stress that I can't study the course I want completely as I have to miss something. Also, I was lucky that one course a core subject that was only running in Finnish this year, I got an intensive week course from VTT to compensate. So that didn't annoy me as I got an awesome course but it worries me that others who only speak English are missing out... alas the problem is not mine and these people should learn to complain or just stick with bad choices and situations.

I also have had great frustration with a research course, it took like almost 3 weeks to reply to me by email. Just to say people have to apply and one person will get the course when it gets offered. So now I have to compete to get ECTs... Gradation is now delayed from May until September next year. As with my thesis next semester I have 52ECTs... it is going to be hard, I know almost near impossible but I have faith in my own ability to plan and conquer the near impossible. To me, impossible doesn't exist, there is just the things we succeed in and things in which we fail. I will not fail this course therefore, I will succeed.

There are 24 hours in a day and I don't need many to eat, wash and exercise! On the plus side, Eero has be awesome last 3 weeks as I doubt I have been in a good mood with all this stuff in the background. I am glad he is my port in the storm. I am annoyed that I had to juggle my timetable a bit more than I wanted too and now I have a heavy load of studying this semester and it gets worse as it goes but let's face it, it's a master's degree and no one ever said it would be easy! but all this stress will be worth it this time next year!!! *end rant*

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Nordic Bioenergy Conference, Jyväskylä

I could hardly believe my luck, while I sat on the train going through my emails from the week at Aalto, working so long into the night on tasks meant I hadn't checked my email all week and figured nothing that couldn't wait would be there.

At lunchtime on the Friday, I received an email from Jonna, asking me volunteer at the Nordic Bioenergy Conference the next week, so I did. A free 600€, 170€ worth of tours, chance to get to listen to the speakers, networking with professionals and get a letter of reference. I could hardly believe my eyes.

Naturally, I jumped at the chance to help out, the days were long 8am to 6pm, then Finnish classes in the evening. Two technical tours on Thursday and Friday (Friday I left the house at 7am and didn't get home until 10.30pm, thanks to electrical fault on the railway tracks in Helsinki).

The week was quite unforgettable and I have made some contacts that may become very useful for my future thesis and career. So let's watch this space!

Information about the Nordic Bioenergy Conference

And a final thanks to FinBio for giving me a lucky break!

Stands in one of the halls

Roses and wood pellets at the FinBio registration desk

Kalimari Biogas Farm, Jyväskylä

Kymen Biogas Plant

Neste Oil Refinery

I also went on another technical tour where 8 companies explained what they did for bioenergy and the future for themselves. We also got to drive around the new biomass Keljolahti plant! but couldn't look inside as they were doing some maintenance work

We also got free conference bags, flash drive and a lot of information on companies and bioenergy. We also had the chance to go to 3 formal meals and had all food free all week! I took allergy food of course!

Aalto University, Espoo and Helsinki!


Urho, the famous ice breakers!


Track 6's presentation

The week mostly in Espoo, at Aalto University and us staying at a hostel in Helsinki. It was a good week overall, my track was a little disappointing seeing how much fun everyone else was having while we had lecturers. The week was a great experience, we had a lot of fun, made new friends and shared ideas.

We got to do some good things, like a cruise around Helsinki talking about the issues for a sustainable future and the cities plans. We have 2 different talks that were broadcast live on line by people from the government and a lot of experts.

The live webcam shows should be updated on here soon

On the Friday, sat on the train on the way home, I checked my email and the excitement for the next Monday unfolded, an invite to the Nordic Bioenergy Conference!

Monday, 29 August 2011

I run, therefore I ache

So, Friday I decided to start a new hobby... running. Everyone seems to do it here in Jyväskylä, so I decided to give it a try. First few weeks my route is 3.5km, half run and half walking to get used to the exercise... not bad as I am still running just over a kilometre. To keep motivated I am hoping to get fit enough to run the Helsinki midnight marathon next September 2012, it's around 10km so not so bad. I need goals to keep motivated and plans to keep me driven,so here's to hoping!!! =)

Image from

Eero, is even currently running with me but I am unsure if he will want to full time even though currently he is enjoying it!

I am hoping to keep running over winter if only around by the lake where it's flat. My current route is not around the lake and is even part uphill!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Yay for degree title!
Well, I read all the details on my courses the other day and realized I was studying on the sustainable energy technology track and so rather worried sent a email to the program leader making sure I was still covering the right track.

Here is the reply
Thus, when you graduate then you will be "Master of Science in Environmental Science and Technology with specialization in Sustainable Energy Technology from the Master's Degree Program in Renewable Energy".

YAY!!! It's what I wanted completely!!! =)

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Weight, what's going on?

Well, when mom and dad came, I ate all the wrong things for 3 weeks. That alone is not so bad, 3 weeks a year too eat a little more unhealthy isn't bad as I always behave over Christmas. So, as I posted earlier, I learnt how to make damn good flapjacks, they quickly learnt how to make my weight increase... alas I put 4.5kg on when they got here.

Funny, I thought, "OH. This should come off again when they have gone as I won't be eating junk and I will be exercising normally". Silly me. Start of August, I started a new fitness regime which I am actually loving, couldn't do the dvd part of it for 2 weeks with summer school but I did bike a lot and was on the go so that's ok as I didn't veg out the entire time.

Credits too picturesof

Here, is where my body goes into a world of its own... I don't eat sugar anymore really, 8g a day in the 3 oat cookies I take with me, to give me a bit of concentration when I'm at school... that's not much. Rest of my diet I can't touch with my allergies, I can eat a lot of fruit or eat a salad so I am screwed there. I have a few more alterations I need to experiment with when I get back from Aalto but I don't want to risk making myself ill before then. I rode 76km in the week (50miles) and did 2.5 hours of my dvd... weight loss nothing.... my body is so stupid! lol

This week, I'm not doing the bike so much as I have started a new high impact aerobics dvd, which ached my legs until today and I don't want to pull a muscle! Tomorrow, I am going to start running, should be fine to run by the lake all winter as it's the only part of JYU that is "flat"!

I want to get to 61kg or around there, currently I'm 70kg. I was 65kg for most of the summer so this shouldn't be impossible =) No rush, directly. In 2 months, I will reassess and see where to go from there! My BMI is now 23, I am aiming for 20. I got to 21 before =)

My dad lost 4kg while he was here... lol and mom didn't change or Eero!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Best Summer School in the World, quite possibly!

Last week, was the long awaited Biogas Technology for Sustainable Second Generation Biofuel Production course, it was the most exciting course for me or all the three weeks! It didn't disappoint. It was the week for my main tutoring too and was scheduled to be a big group.

Our group, plus lecturers

Introductions went well, then the evening was our group induction social even, sauna and barbeque. One reason or another I biked to Kortepohja and waited for the students to show them the way. Few people turned up but the night was yet young. Strangely only 6 students turned up but most lecturers turned up. The night was very good we got to know the lecturers very well, always a useful thing just before thesis writing and designs. I show Michael back to the hotel on the bikes, turned out his wife was Finnish but she wanted to like in the UK, I can't imagine why but I suppose it wasn't as bad then!

During the day courses were lively and interesting, I finally have a stable direction for my thesis and maybe a slight turn on my degree after discovering another program at school but we will see! nothing to report on that yet! Day two, we have a field trip to Kalmari's farm.. to see a working small scale biogas plant.

I also planned the unofficial leaving party for Friday night, and took Jenny along to help me set and chill out!! It was a good party, Eero dropped us off by car, and then came back to walk us home later. =)

I had to miss the official leaving party on Thursday to go enroll on some additional paid Finnish courses in the city. Thanks to googlemap we ended up at the wrong school but wasn't far way! We found 2 women teachers at the other school and I asked them directions in Finnish and they took us in the car (was great as it was raining heavy), I asked a woman by the park and she didn't know where the place was. Anyway, the kind ladies dropped us off and after saying our 100th thank you, we went inside to enroll... omg, you have never seen so many people in your life for limited spaces, most people seemed interested in the Finnish courses. They told us, there was a wait on letting us know and it would be next week! It has been the longest week of my life as I can't take suomi 4 from university until at least Janaury, as I had too many clashes.

I also changed my thesis and now have 30ECTS and 22ECT's to take in Spring 2012 so I am not pushing to graduate until September 2012, but that's fine! Just need the summer to write up my thesis, then I can start applying for work!

Last week, I also started to learn Swedish which is going well, quicker than learning Finnish =)

Next Tuesday, is 4am get up to get down to Helsinki then Espoo for my last summer school, 4 long days but all expenses paid!!!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Piercings, Summer School, cooking, languages and meh

The 4th August, I decided that after 6 years of procrastinating, I would just go and get my tragus pierced. So, off we went into the city to the tattooist (underground) and went into the shop to find the piercer wasn't around for 2 hours. Disheartened and not wanting to spend two hours killing time in Jyväskylä city center we rode home. Friday, I decided to try again before I could think of a better way to spend 20€, which Eero ended up buying me the piercing as a birthday present... I couldn't think of anything else after buying all the things I needed for school last week!

They advise different things these days to what they did with all my other piercings. Alot of people have trouble with tragus piercings and they get infected really quickly. I washed with advised water for 3 days until I felt it getting sore then switched to good old fashioned salt water and it has been perfect since. I didn't think logical though for once, normally I plan all tattoos and piercings I have ever had, first practicality then looks. Alas, I missed the former with choosing the ear and now I can't lie on my favourite sleeping side! It is funny too, I always wear my headphones and I can't wear anything in that ear at the moment, infection risk and I have a banana bar in so it would fit =( it's not so bad though! 6 weeks time, I have ear phones again, well or 3 if it keeps healing as quickly as it is now, I can get a labret put in it!

First week of summer school was a long and hard week, 4 days of quantum physics and 1 days organic chemistry... o.0 heehee Good job I love physics!!! It was enjoyable, now I just have to do the assignments and hand them in! I felt really ill on the Friday lunchtime and had to go home, dizzy, sick, headache. I was so dizzy I actually lost my balance while I was just starting off on my bike, somehow I didn't break my neck and regained control and balance but rode carefully home, glad to be wearing my helmet.

Tuesday, was opening ceremony at Aalto museum, being a tutor I had to go there but I am glad I did, alcohol was free and food, none of it for me just my water. I hung out with Mathias, Oscar and Henrik, phD students from Turku mostly physics phD's. My face hurt we laughed that much. I biked home just before ten, worked out and showered.

After, feeling ill Friday, Saturday my legs didn't feel like they were going to hold me standing but I spent the day baking so as I would have a bit more free time next week for Summer school, or try to as I have 4 nights of activities next week, all in Kortepohja which is a 15km from our house, plus the 5km to school and back, then knowing I'm out of the house 8.30am to almost 10pm! Bad thing, this next week is examined too so I need to find time for that so I will be working too on my tutoring activities! Also annoying how dry it's been in summer and we have a field trip Tuesday and it's forecast heavy rain all week *grumble*.

Anyway yesterday was useful for baking after starting to tolerate egg again and made 3 quiches (2 to freeze), scotch pancakes (Eero has summer cold and loves pancakes), and some vegetarian Cornish pasties with garlic, onion, sweetcorn and sweet potatoes. I spent 6 hours cooking but time will be saved next week and it's more efficient for energy to use the oven while it is hot and I only cook what I need! =)Next week I can make some jam, juice and ice cream then that's done for a while!

Cornish pasties, not pretty as I have long nails and can't make the top part properly

Parma ham, sweet corn, onion and garlic quiche. Eero ate half of one in 10 minutes. So they are back by popular demand!

Last night, there were meant to be a lot of shooting stars, alas the moon was full and very bright so we could not see anything but I took a few pictures

Playing with lights and moon light

Camera didn't want to play last night so photo is not great quality!

I have had a revolution and have been texting Eero in Finnish a lot to practise and reading my notes as much as I can, not as much as I would like but I have been working on my Finnish studies. I also decided to start learning Swedish, German and Russian which I started today just looking at German and Swedish. It's not so bad and they seem easier already, maybe as they are related to English! Russian I am leaving until I have a hold on Swedish and German. Every job I have seen has been Finnish plus English "with any other language as a bonus", so I thought, why not? I can do this!!! Figure after learning a few the world is my oyster!

Today, I was meant to go to Tampere for the litter pick and was ill with a stupid cold and bug, I'm not hot anymore but my legs still feel like they won't hold me! So, I am using the rest of the day to read my Finnish and plan the next week in my head!