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!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

365 days in Jyväskylä, 599 days living in Finland

Well, August is here! It means from today I have been learning Finnish for a year! and progress is good but I still wish it was faster! slow and steady win the race, I suppose!

I just can't believe I have lived here in JYK for a year and tomorrow is 600 days in Finland!!!

Today, we went on a celebratory walk to Oravivuori, we walked upto the tower, then back down to a view point by the lake then back up and down to get to the carpark! Had a great time and the weather was BEAUTIFUL. I had a bad headache this afternoon seems I haven't eaten enough for the exercise I am now doing... ??? who knows or maybe it's just a random headache... time will tell! I was all annoyed as I wanted to go on a bike ride but my head says that is a bad idea! so just do my workout dvd later and call it quits for today!

Oravivuori, from Tower

Oravivuori, the tower

View point by the lake

I also got all annoyed this morning as I finally got around to cutting and turning up my trousers, I was annoyed that I threw the other pair out and wished I hadn't now, alas I have more than enough pairs of jeans to mourn the death of a pair of trousers.

Mom sent me my birthday present, 2 months early, 8 pairs of earrings! so I am wearing them now as she said I could and tomorrow I am going to try and get my ear pierced as one hole has healed on one ear but not on the other... typical behaviour for my ear!!! I have a tutor meeting for summer school tomorrow morning then I will go meet Jenny for lunch. Then go to city and see how much ear piercing will set me back! Maybe I can make E buy it me for my birthday haha! =P or not!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

School Destress *deep breathing*

Well, I'm not sure what's up with me this month. I have taken to being really hard upon myself and somehow set some unachievable things to do, which I didn't do then got angry with myself because I didn't do what I knew I wouldn't be able too.

Silly things too, like keeping my hour and half daily exercise to destress with mom and dad here, there was no time for this and luxury food resulted in weight gain, both I knew would happen but I was still angry I let it happen. And it isn't like I put a lot of weight on, it's coming off again now I'm eating normally and exercising again. Sometimes, I just move the frustration of not learning Finnish as quickly as I would like to other areas, unfortunately sometimes it snowballs there... but as the old saying goes "one snowflake never feels responsible for the avalanche".

Then mom and dad left us some money for staying! I got mom a new Halti coat and she got me my new blue coat! When they left, Eero and me went to look for my new coat, rubber boots and a school bag.

Rubber boots were torture, the two pairs I loved didn't fit, one size two small, other size so big my foot came out the boot when walking... then I ended up having to get the same boots as a friend as it was the only damn pair that fit in the shop... o.0

I loved my bag from last year but it just isn't very practical so many zip separation areas in it the inside is quite small which is no good for the long days I have next year and the food and drink I need to carry to eat at school. New bag cost me 50€!!!! then we came home and I put all my badges and brooches on it so it's shiny and I'm happy.

Eero, has seen my stress with Finnish and has actually stepped up, seems he can actually see how stressful it can be being foreign sometimes when some people won't use English even when they see you ran out of sensible Finnish lol. He is also very pro me taking these extra Finnish courses with the other school and as many as possible with my school. Hopefully, there will just be one more advanced course to do back in Tampere but that all depends on cost.

Saturday, was my granddad's birthday. We got him a £65 bottle of whiskey and a card. Sending them a photo card of mom and dad's time in Finland. Nan is still really ill awaiting her hip replacement which is being prosponed due to anemia! One the plus side, dad and granddad's cancer's are stable.

Also Sunday, we went berry picking with Jenny, we found an awesome spot at the last minute and ended up with almost 5kg of blueberries and some raspberries. Great day!!! Later, I made some Finnish blueberry pie... yummy.

Also I got into zumba tone up dvd's before mom and dad and was doing them daily, they did nothing for me. Last night I tried some of my new dvds I put away when I got zumba and this morning I ache like a B*?!*?! so I have 5 of those dvds to rotate through during the week, and I am one of these weird people. I LOVE DOING THE DVDS!!!

Biking with Eero again, he is so much fitter than me though but it's good fun and we don't stop so its a good workout. He has found me some good 8km routes I can do in 35mins during the week when I am pushed for time as some days I will be. I am hoping that I will have time for my workouts everyday and I am very motivated again which will only increase when results are starting to be noticed =)

School Stress RARRRRHHH!!

It's THAT time of year and the Finnish system makes you plan the entire two years as soon as you start which is good but doesn't allow for lecturers altering class times, some courses not being repeated, clashes, then of course for people like me, who are staying in Finland permanently the option to study Finnish which is always seen as ADDITIONAL and so it doesn't matter to my school how many of my normal lectures clash.

Ylistörinne Campus, JYK

Of course to me, it matter's this degree has little use here to me without the Finnish as the industries I wish to work in all require Finnish or Swedish language and are not necessarily "English" speaking companies.

It took a day to sort my timetable as first there was a technical problem I reported, which I had to wait to get fixed before I could plan it out, then I write it all on paper to see the problems, then when it's sorted and I have decided which clashes to avoid and which classes are the most important. I put it all in my diary and colour coded everything for the entire year.

I have two very busy semester's as my Finnish studies don't actually count toward my degree, they are additional studies for my own benefit and interest but I am still taking as many courses as possible. Suomi 4, grammar course 2, speaking and writing course. I doubt I will take Suomi 5 as there are two many lecture clashes with it. But I am taking classes in the evening, twice a week until March 2012 with a course that is in the city.

I have 2 study days in this next Semester and I need to research for my thesis during this time, time is going to be tight and my social private life won't exist. But when I graduate May, it will all be worth the struggle!

Summer school starts for me Thursday with my tutor meeting, I get to go to all the events free and I have to go to most of them. Unfortunately, I'm not going Sunday as I am going to Tampere then down to Espoo the afternoon to a party and back to JYK in the evening. The final party I also can't attend as I have to go enroll on these new Finnish courses.

Most days, especially for the first 6 weeks classes start 8am and I am there until 6pm... then two days I have evening classes 5-6.40pm and 7-8.40pm.... not to mention the homework I have to do too. Alas, no pain, no gain.

I am also helping out as a class room assistant for one course in this next semester and need to get all the preparation for that course sorted out, I have a presentation and a report to do for that.

I also have one course in limbo as they are not sure they have funding for it yet! =( I hope they do, it look's awesome!