2021 Wrap-up

I think I’ll go about it a bit differently this time. Not month by month, but just some highlights and books, music and pictures, of course. And only in English this time.

Starting with road trips

  • Tuomarila-Tuusula on a crisp winter’s day
  • Myrskylä and Porvoo on May Day
  • Kerimäki-Savonlinna weekend in May was a cool mini-break for us
  • Mid-summer weekend in Vesanto, visting my relatives and Kuopio
  • Hanko-Fiskars on a hot summer day
  • Billnäs on a cold November day
  • Inkoo on another cold November day

Some other major markers of the year

  • My eldest kid got a kitten and I babysitted him a couple times
  • Helsinki Book Fair
  • Late Night with Anders – my youngest kid’s fab school play
  • Company party at Lehmonkärki, Asikkala, where I also received my 10 years at Sulava award

And then some…

Corona or no Corona, most of our days are spent with the daily routines of work, eat, sleep, walk the dogs. During the summer time we routinely walked around the Tali golf course, multiple times a week. Obviously I took off to the Munkkiniemi beach a few times too, with or without a dog or two. During the summer we also visited our summer place several times.

The biggest change this year brought on us was Timmy moving to live with our youngest kid.

Also, we got a second car, an AMG V8 Mercedes Benz CLS 6.3 after I kinda wrecked our GLK (which was repaired, not totaled).

All of our three moved into their own apartments this year; eldest and youngest from shared apartments, middle kid from her mom’s. We are officially empty nesters.

Empty nesters who spent the whole autumn remodeling the house. New paint, new cabinets, new look.

Tattoos and piercings

There were a few…

Books

Read quite a bit more this year than in several decades. I guess the empty nest DOES give me more time for books 😉 63 is actually 66 for one of the books is Hobbit + LOTR bundled into one.

My top picks:

Most of my reading year was spent in different fantasy worlds, and I think that trend will pretty much continue, though there’s always some (auto)bios, detective stories etc. in the mix too.

Music

Spring time was emotionally quite difficult for me, and I ended up looping some 45 minutes of select songs mostly by Rush, Foo Fighters, Disturbed and Linkin Park. Oh, and Apulanta. That heavy rotation is clearly visible in my Spotify year, but it’s not really out of the ordinary in any way, since those + Muse are my heaviest rotation in any case.

With that, it’s a wrap

I hope for a good year 2022, despite the pandemic still going strong. It’s not fun no, but doesn’t mean life needs to suck.

Happy New Ye… sorry, JUMANJI!

Autot, joita ajattelen öisin

Silloin kun olin ihan pieni, ei meillä ollut omaa autoa ollenkaan. Isovanhemmillani niitä oli, isäni vanhemmilla peräti kolme – yksi Saab kummallekin ja Mini, jota isäni ja setäni lainailivat. Vanhempani tekivät häämatkansa isoisän vihreällä Saabilla. Matkustin paljon niin isoäitini punaisessa Saabissa, sillä kuljin hänen kanssaan todella paljon, kuin tuossa pienessä vihreässä Minissäkin, jok kai oli enempi meillä kuin sedällä, jotensakin pysyväislainassa. Vanhempani välillä nukuttivatkin minua Minin takapenkillä, kun en muuten nukahtanut; autoon nukahdin aina ennen kuin oltiin päästy pihaa pitemmälle.

Äitini vanhemmilla oli valkoinen Fiat 600, jota Topolinoksi (pikku-hiiri/Mikki Hiiri) kutsuivat, kunnes vaihtoivat sen niinikään valkoiseen farmari-Wartburg 353 Touristiin ollessani noin viiden. Haaveilin aina matkustamisesta tuon auton tavaratilassa, ja kerran tuo haaveeni kävikin toteen, kun lähdimme mökiltä käymään kaupassa. Äiti komensi pitämään pään alhaalla aina kun tuli autoja vastaan.

Tuosta Warresta tuli joskus 80-luvun alkupuolella meidän perheen ensimmäinen oma auto, kun ukkini (mummi ei ajanut) halvaantui aivoveritulpan seurauksena, eikä enää voinut ajaa. Äiti meni autokouluun vasta silloin, päälle kolmikymppisenä, ja sai korttinsa pikavauhtia niin että pääsi kuskaamaan ukkia ja mummia tarpeen mukaan.

Ehkä vuosi tai pari myöhemmin vanhempani ostivat pari vuotta vanhan valkoisen Talbot 1510:n, hienon suomalaisen auton, jonka tietuntuma oli aivan jotain muuta kuin pommpivan warren. Jonkin aikaa meillä oli kaksi autoa, kunnes warppuri jouti jo eläkkeelle. Joku sen osti tehdäkseen sen rungosta itselleen peräkärryn.

Talbotilla seikkailtiin monet seikkailut. Muistan muutamankin reissun Vesannolle tai niille main, kun Talbotissa ei toiminut lämmitys tai vinkkarit tai kummatkaan. Huopiin kääriytyneenä hytisin takapenkillä, ja faija pysähteli putsaamaan tuulilasia tuon tuosta. Muistelisin, että Talbotin loppu oli moottoripalo, mutten ole varma. Siinä vaiheessa oli isäsuhteeni huonoimmillaan.

Erään kerran oltiin mutsin kanssa Talbotilla palaamassa himaan Espoon kirkon hautausmaalta, kun mutsi, jonka suuntavaisto oli legendaarisen huono, lähti kehä-kolmosta väärään suuntaan. Päädyttiin sinne Kirkkonummen tietämille, eikä suinkaan Turun motaria pitkin kotiin, mutta siitä sitten alkoikin Espoon ajelutraditio. Vanhempien eron jälkeen oli tavallista, että lähdettiin seikkailemaan autolla pitkin Espoota, mutsi, systeri ja minä, jos ei muuta tekemistä keksitty. Niillä reissuilla käytiin monet hyvät keskustelut!

Talbotilla ei tosin noita eron jälkeisiä ajeluita enää ajeltu, sillä Talbot meni erossa faijalle, kun taas mutsi osti siinä vaiheessa Peugeot 309 sedanin. Olimme systerin kanssa mukana koeajamassa autoa ja näimme autoliikkeessä lutuisia Peugeot-leijonapehmoja, joita mutsilta aloimme kinuta. Mutsi ei niitä meille ostanut – liekö olleet myytävänäkään – mutta kun haimme auton pari päivää myöhemmin, oli auton takaikkunalla kaksi leijonapehmoa odottamassa meitä. Bless that automyyjä!

Tuo sininen Peugeot ei palvellut kuin pari vuotta ennen kuin sen viat alkoivat olla niin monenmoiset, että painostin mutsia vaihtamaan saksalaiseen autoon. Minähän olin siitä erilainen tyttönuori, että luin Tekniikan Maailmaa ja tunsin autot ja niiden kujeet. Kun Pösö jälleen kerran oli korjaamolla, ja lasku uhkasi olla melkoinen, mutsi viimein minua kuunteli ja hommasi itselleen sinisen sedan-mallisen Opel Kadettin, jonka Beauty-varustelumalli puhutteli äitiä kovin.

Kyllä se kaunis auto olikin, silloisten standardien mukaan! Kaunis ja uskollinen ja palvelikin pitkään ja ongelmitta. Sillä mutsi minua ja systeriä kuskaili ympäriinsä, sillä ajeltiin pitkin ja poikin Suomea, ja sillä käytiin konferenssireissulla aina Jönköpingissä saakka!

Siinä kuudentoista vanhana jo istuin ehkä kuitenkin enemmän hopeanvärisen vuoden ’86 Mazda 626:n kyydissä enemmän kuin mutsin Opelin. Olin jo jonkin aikaa toki ollut mukana porukassa, missä oli paljon nuoria aikuisia ja heillä autoja, mutta tuo Mazda kuului kundille – eksälleni, lasteni isälle – jonka kanssa aloimme seurustella ollessani kuudentoista. Siitä alkoikin toistakymmentä vuotta kestänyt Mazda-aika elämässäni.

Tuota kyseistä Mazdaa en itse ikinä ajanut, sillä minulla ei ollut ajokorttia vielä naimisiin mennessämme, ja siihen mennessä kun se ajoin, olimme jo vaihtaneet tuon vanhan hatchbackin uudempaan, niinikään hopeiseen vuoden ’91 626 sedaniin.

Tuo auto meillä sitten olikin kunnes esikoinen oli parivuotias ja odotin tosikoista. Silloin, alkuvuodesta 2003, päätimme vaihtaa farmariin, sillä onhan sellainen paljon sedania käytännöllisempi kahden lapsen ja rattaiden ja whatnot kanssa. Silloin ostimme ensimmäisen upouuden automme. Tehdastilaus sekään ei ollut, mutta näyttelyauto, joka oli ehkä 5000km ajettu meille tullessaan. Yönsininen Mazda 6.

Seuraavakin automme oli vielä Mazda, vuoden ’98 Madza 626, hopeinen hatchback. Olimme muuttamassa Helsingistä Klaukkalaan ja tarvitsimme toisen auton. Mies, tuo eksäni, ehdotti, että minulle voisi ostaa pikkuauton, sellaisen kauppakassin. Kysyin, että miksi minulle. Ostetaan kauppakassi hänelle, niin minä ajan sitä farmaria. Suivaannuin todella moisesta ajatuksesta! Niinpä haimme sen sijaan Saksasta toisen Mazdan kakkosautoksi kesällä 2005.

Samoihin aikoihin alkoi mies haaveilla tehdastilatusta uudesta autosta, dieselistä, joka kulkisi vähän paremmin kuin Mazda 6 – se nimittäin oli sen verran painavampi auto, että 1.6l moottori, joka oli ollut ok edellisissä Mazdoissa ja oli ok meidän toisessa autossa, tuntui vähän liian pieneltä tuolle autolle. Tilasimmekin lopulta viininpunaisen Toyota Avensis -farmarin, jonka saimme sitten vuoden 2006 helmikuussa, kait.

Saksasta haettu Mazdamme palveli erinomaisesti aina vuoteen 2008, jolloin se alkoi oireilla vanhuutta. Siis ihan niitä tavallisia juttuja, mitä nyt autossa saa siinä vaiheessa tehdä, hihnanvaihtoja (se katkesi Hämeenlinnanväylällä) ja sen sellaista. Lopulta loppukeväästä 2009 se alkoi olla siinä kunnossa, että remppojen hinnalla sai jo uuden auton. Sellaisen siis ostin.

Se oli ensimmäinen ihan ikioma autoni, sporttiviritetty Honda Civic hatchback 1.8l, hopeinen sattumoisin sekin. Rakastin tuota autoa! Siinä oli kaikki vimpan päälle, vain peruutustutka puuttui, mutta sen sain autoon synttärilahjaksi. Kolme vuotta sillä autolla ajoin, kunnes firma tarjosi mahdollisuuden leasing-autoon ja päätin vaihtaa sen myötä uuteen.

Se oli vähän huti. Tai no, olihan se Honda Insight -hybridi, graffitinharmaa hatchback, oikein hyvä kaupunkiauto, jollaiseksi sen olin tarkoittanutkin. Siinä vaiheessa olimme juuri muuttamassa yhteen nykyisen mieheni kanssa, ja hänellä oli ennestään “väyrynen”, hopeinen vuoden 2000 (kai) E320 sedan-Mersu, jolla luultiin ajavamme kaikki pitemmät reissut ja kaikki ne kerran, kun kaikki kolme lasta piti saada samaan autoon.

Kävi kuitenkin vähän toisin. Erinäisistä syistä elämä heitti häränpyllyä taloudellisesti, ja päädyimme pistämään mersun seisontaan siinä vaiheessa, kun se olisi tarvinnut uuden akun ja jotain muuta pientä laittoa, ja ajelimme Hondalla kunnes sen liisari päättyi. Asuimme Helsingissä, emme tarvinneet kahta autoa. Kun Honda lähti takaisin leasing-yhtiölle 2015, laitettiin väyrynen kuntoon ja ajeltiin sillä seuraavat kolme vuotta vielä.

Mersu on mersu ja kestää ja kestää, mutta tuo malli oli tunnetusti koriltaan susi. Se alkoi ruostua pahasti ja kattoikkunasta tuli vesi läpi niin että eräällä rankkasateella vaihdelaatikko kostui ja ongelmiahan siitä tuli. Kesällä 2018 ostimme uuden Mersun – kyllä, vaihdoin Mazda-miehestä Mersu-mieheen – mustan AMG-stailatun GLK 350 3.2l diesel citymaasturin ja myimme väyrysen pois.

Se oli tuo kyseinen citymaasturi, jonka minä puolitoista kuukautta sitten ruttasin. Auto on yhä korjaamolla, odottelemassa varaosia Saksasta, ja mies puolestaan odottelee autoa takaisin käyttöön, jotta pääsee hakemaan laattoja ja vesieristelevyjä ja mitä nyt kaikkea rautakaupoista.

Nyt meillä on siis yhdeksän yhden auton vuoden jälkeen taas kaksi autoa taloudessa, kun maasturin päädyttyä korjaamolle ostimme väliaika-autoksi AMG-Mersun, joka ei jää väliaikaiseksi, vaan ehkä noista kahdesta autosta jopa pysyvämmäksi, miehen harrasteautoksi jos ei muuta. Vuoden 2007 musta sedan CLS 63 6.2l V8 AMG, ihan ehta urheiluauto siis. Ei mikään uusi, mutta erinomaisessa kunnossa.

Olisihan noista autoista tarinaa vaikka kirjan verran. Siis kaikista elämäni autoista ja muutamasta muusta, jotka jätin tästä pois. Kaikenlaista sellaista kuten se yksi vuokra-auto, joka hajoili pitkin mökkimatkaa, ja Saabin legendaariset puskurit, joiden päällä tennarinikin pysyivät kymmenen kilometrin matkan pomppuisia hiekkateitä pitkin, ja kaikenmoiset avainten sisäänlukitsemiset ja mitä nyt kaikkea. Sitä sellaista, mitä tapahtuu ihan tavallisessa elämässä.

Auto on ehkä vain kulkupeli, tapa päästä paikasta toiseen. Ne ovat kuitenkin niin kovin monessa menossa mukana nykyihmisen elämässä, melkein kuin hevonen ajalla ennen autoja, että niihin kiintyy ja niihin kiinnittyy muistoja. Minä en ole koskaan antanut autoilleni nimiä, mutta tiedän monia, jotka ovat. Autokin on monella tapaa tunnejuttu. Ja nyt, noihin nopeisiin mersuihin tottuneena, minusta tuntuu, että millään muulla enää ikinä halua ajaakaan 😀

Saksassa Mazda 626:n ratissa

Life 2.5

Throwback to March 19, 2010, via Facebook:

I pushed the red button. It sort of formatted my whole life. Now re-installation in progress, upgrading from Life v.1.0 to the new and enhanced Life v.2.0. Hopefully it is a bit more bug-free software. Wonder how modifyable it is, since there are quite a few const-type fields with set values. Nah, so far so good, the software seems to have quite a lot of possibilities. Been tapping all them radiobuttons during the installation wizard but still I feel that a lot is left to be modified later on along the way.

I installed Life v.1.0 quite a few years ago. It was good, can’t say it wasn’t. I made my choices while installing and they sort of set the path and the direction. Sometimes I felt like a passenger in my own life, drifting along the river drawn by my earlier choices. I was basically happy, though sometimes longing for somtehing I just couldn’t make happen, but for most of the time, very contented with my life.

Up until the river became murky and muddy. And my Life software began to corrupt and crumble from all the bugs in it. For a time there I tried to patch it, run service packs and install accessories. My harddrive became full and I needed more RAM – but it seemed to be out of stock for couldn’t get any. My Life became more or less dysfunctional since it could process only a limited amount of operations and kept crashing with certain ones.

It was time to reboot. And not only reboot to the old Life v.1.0 with all them bugs, for it didn’t fix any of the problems. I tried that too, but operation failed over time. Just like after any reboot, things seem to work fine for a time but then eventually after running buggy operation after another, all the old problems return and the system starts to fail and crash all over again.

So came the time to press the red format button and re-install and upgarde. The installation is still in progress, but one by one the configurations fall into place and Life v.2.0 will be up and running. Hardware is the same old, so some memory problems probably occur still. And the installation in itself does use up quite a lot of the available RAM so it really goes one configuration step at a time. It’s a slowish process when you look at it on a daily view, but as for the big picture, not so slow actually.

Sometimes this whole upgrading business feels like speeding head on to the unknown on the highway of life. Even though I can and need to make choices every step of the way, I can’t really know what each different configuration choice does and means in the fully installed Life v.2.0. But I believe in my future and cherish the good in the past. I’m not formatting my Life database, ofcourse not! Life v.2.0 needs it to build the basics of the system.

Leave it to a nerd to describe major life changes like divorce, new relationship, new home, new job… with an IT analogy.

In recent months my life has again been in a sort of a turmoil with winds of change blowing and often times I’ve been engulfed in a fog, not able to see the way. All of it is just part of the process of a life upgrade again, to Life 2.5. I’m not changing jobs or getting divorced or anything like that, but there’s new features to install.

One of the major changes was last of the kids moving out. In the beginning of September last year, we became empty nesters (with three dogs). This in itself forced new dynamics upon us. I admit that I like it this way. We are all a bit broken and fare better with our own spaces.

Some of the stuff that’s been going on is of such a personal nature, that I will leave it out. It has, however, had great impact on our lives and even though a lot of it is for the better, even that is a stress and causes anxiety and the need to adjust and learn new ways. Especially mixed with the stuff that wasn’t exactly positive. A lot of things, a lot of emotions. When it rains it pours.

The upgrade process is a lot of recalculation of old features, installation of new features, cofiguration of it all, and making choices of what to keep, what to remove, what to install, what to leave out. Sometimes anxiety takes over bigtime, when I feel I need to be making all these decisions right now. Like playing chess with life, trying to guess its moves five steps ahead in order to make my own move. It’s a little bit easier, if I remember to take it one step at a time and see where that takes me before panicking about the steps that are still days, weeks, months away.

Finding myself and especially updgrading my life, means more tattoos (and piercings) for me. This process so far has already resulted in three new tattoos: two orchids on my back and a bracelet on my right arm. My tattoos are all heavily symbolic, some more easily deciphered, some less. These orchids hold a promise of blooming, a memory and a hope. The armlet’s dreamcatcher hold a dream caught – one of the new features in my Life v.2.5.

Year 2020 stats and tops

Spotify was the first to release the year 2020 stats and top lists, so I’ll start with that. Oddly enough, Rush rushed to the top of the list, having been the band I hadn’t much even listened to, ever, until late last year (that would be 2019). During this year, however, it has become one of my favorite go-to bands, right there with Foo Fighters, Muse, and Linkin Park. And Morcheeba, the mellow moody music.

Books get to be next. Did not read quite as much this year as the year before: 35 books/13,424 pages (2019 46 books/18,919 pages), but last year was exceptional due to the binging of Harry Potters. This year was more according to average. If I had to select the best and the least liked book of the year, the least liked one is an easy pick: Berlin Poplars by Anne B. Radge. The best one is more difficult to pick, but I think if I had to choose only one of this year’s book to take with me on a desert island, I think I’d take Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea. Or maybe Kate Morton’s The Secret Keeper. It’s a tie.

Photos next. The Top Nine’s from Instagram are kinda bs, for depending on the app you get a different set of nine. Best Nine app creates collages without watermarks (unlike the Top 9 app that wants you to pay a few euros to remove the watermark), so we’ll go with them. Flickr, unfortunately, doesn’t give a yearly recap, not even yearly stats.

Lastly, blog posts. I still have a bunch of blogs in Blogger, even though all of them get updates rather infrequently. The Happy Dogs Diary was the most active of them this year, mainly due to Ace, and me writing quite many posts about him during his first months. The most viewed post was Ace’s first day at home.

https://dogs.marilka.net/

Artzy Bunny had some new posts too during the year, since I did do some painting and other art projects this year too. The most viewed post was my painting of Ace, go figure 😉

http://artzybunny.marilka.net/

From Kitchen, with Love had a few new posts during this year, too. It is my most viewed blog, for sure, even though I don’t add much content there anymore. The most viewed post of this year was, in fact, a recipe from 2013, that of a feta and spinach pie (a very delicious pie, I can assure you!)

https://food.marilka.net/

This one, the home of marilka.net, had 2,113 views this year, with a total of 20 new posts (not including this one) and five new pages published this year. The most read post is still that one about the busted OBHNordica blender 😀 There’s a few other posts that keep on keeping on in the top list, like the one about sulphate free shampoo and the one about a snowy winter’s morning.

Top 15 – pages and posts alike

I think that wraps it up for this year, with 5 hours to go until the Mad Max year of 2021.

Looking back on 2020

I almost wrote something about the “Corona year”, but truly, it hasn’t defined my year, even if it has had its impact on my life just as everyone else’s. Life has continued through it all, things have happened – both good and bad – and now it’s time to take a look at all of it.

January

Corona was distant world news only, nothing bigger than the SARS everyone had already forgotten about. More important things were those like going to the IMAX movie theater to see the latest Star Wars movie with daughter, and starting the remodeling of our studio/office. Daughter and I started dance lessons again after a few years’ break.

Quote of the month: I think they’ve gotten it all wrong here at the airport. We actually need to board the plane, get in the air and fly to our destination. NOT enough to just gather people to the gate and turn off the lights. (Me)
Book of the month: Garber, Stphanie – Finale (Caraval #3)
The finale of a series that in many ways resemble The Night Circus. A world of magic and illusion. The battle of good and evil, not only in the world but inside of individuals.

Pic of the month:

Poor frozen bunny

February

There was the Ypäjä open doors, daughter’s school production, our new bed, and an ear infection. Nothing major going on.

Quote of the month: To expect something greater after life was to forget that life was the greatest thing of all. (Nina George, The Little Breton Bistro)
Book of the month: George, Nina – The Little Breton Bistro
Seek and destroy. Escape and find a new life. A book about finding oneself, one’s selfworth, the essence of life and family – not necessarily of blood but of friendship.

Pic of the month:

Staying warm

March

A day trip to Tampere, and Bryan Adams in concert in Espoo right before the Corona shits started for real in Finland. No more dance classes, stay at home working, stay at home school. Just, stay the fuck at home.

Quote of the month: My life just changed when I realised that Bon Jovi sings “let it rock, let it GO”, not “let it rock, let it roll!” My life has been a lie (Me)
Book of the month: Itäranta, Emmi – Teemestarin kirja (Memory of Water)
A dystopia where water is restricted, owned by the government and used as a means of oppression. A young Tea Master still has a secret water source and she tries to help the villagers inconspicuously. She also plots her escape, to go to her mom. A rather fascinating read.

Pic of the month:

We will survive

April

More of stay at home. Except that we didn’t entirely, but went for an outing or two, out into the nature, just to get away from the four walls closing in. Ok, once. Once we drove to Linlo. Other than that we had walks aroung here. And we went to see a lady about a puppy ❤

Quote of the month: Quarantine ups: teen’s room stays clean when she wears her jammies day and night (Me)
Book of the month: Riley, Lucinda – The Shadow Sister (The Seven Sisters #3)
Perhaps my favorite of the Seven Sisters books, perhaps because it travels in the booky world. I read them all – except for the seventh one which is to be expected next year. I fancied them all what with the mixture of contemporary and historical all over the world. Not all stories ended well – actually quite a bit of them didn’t – but life always wins.

Pic of the month:

Who’s the fake?

May

I suppose the month could be just as well named Ace. First impatiently waiting for him to come, then our life revolving around the little meatball. Though, we actually got a whole lot of renovation stuffs done in our hallway while waiting for the little dude, and I did go to the hairdresser too.

Quote of the month: Deep down we all want to be twelve years old again. With all the innocence of childhood still lingering, with all of of our life still ahead. We all have that one thing that took us over the bridge. (Me)
Book of the month: Mujunen, Salme – Pentuaapinen
Puppies for Dummies or so. The beginner’s guide to caring for a pup. We’ve had dogs for years, but neither one came to us a puppy. It was ok, lot’s of tips and stuff.

Pic of the month:

Stop to smell the flowers

June

Oh, glory! I turned 45! Went kayaking with some colleagues, swimming at our summerplace, and just, erhm, stayed at home. Oh, we ventured out to the public enough to enjoy a sunny evening on the terrace of Torpanranta (in Munkkiniemi). I lauched my new FB page Mama Loves Bully – all about dogs.

Quote of the month: You know it’s summer when there’s no socks of mine in the laundry (Me)
Book of the month: Barker, Pat – The Silence of the Girls
Interesting different approach of the legend of Achilles and Troy. Really. It’s not so much about the war heroes, more like the ugly side of it all. Told by the women in the camp of those so called heroes. The only thing I missed in the book though was that there was no Trojan horse. I mean, how was there no Trojan horse!

Pic of the month:

Come rain or shine…

July

Vacation month. Zippy ziplining with daughter, day-trip to Hanko and Tammisaari, a weekend at our summer place, a few days at a cabin up in Vesanto picking up daughter who worked for a week at our relatives’ dairy farm. Stuffs like that – in addition to reading in the sun on our terrace, whenever the sun decided to warm our days.

Quote of the month: I KNOW you KNOW how to [use a knife, drive, do whatnot], it’s just that you’re so absent minded. Like, driving down the road, you’re like thinking of unicorns and other universes and such. (H)
Book of the month: Morgenstern, Erin – The Starless Sea
An adventure between worlds. Who is good, who is evil, who is right, who is wrong? And why, and does it even matter? Morgenstern knits a dreamlike world full of intrigue and danger, but somehow this book is just not as dreamy and amazing as her first one, The Night Circus.

Pic of the month:

Just let me spill my coffee so you can fix me a new one

August

Back to work. Actually back to work at the office, at least a couple days a week. We spent some time outdoors in Linlo and Luutalammi, visited some friends in Labböle, ate crawdads at our summer place, and whatnot. Hunted for an apartment (actually a room) for daughter, prepared for her moving to her own place at the beginning of September. Had my last drop of alcohol for the rest of however long time.

Quote of the month: Kuoleman läheisyydessä pelkäämme meluamista, aivan kuin viikatemies ei olisi vielä poistunut vaan etsisi seuraavaa uhriaan ja voisi kuulla. (Indrek Hargla, Apteekkari Melchior ja Olevisten kirkon arvoitus)
[Freely translated: “In the vicinity of death we are afraid of making any noise, as if Death was still lingering nearby looking for his next victim and could hear us.”]
Book of the month: Hargla, Indrek Apteekkari Melchior ja Olevisten kirkon arvoitus
Humhumhum. I did even get the next book in the series. It’s kinda like the C. J. Sansom Shardlake books. A bit slowpaced, like I suppose life was back hundreds of years ago. Much doesn’t really happen, the main character just goes about noticing things and finding the culprit with sharp-witted deduction. Not bad, but not my favorite style of writing either. Intriguing, though.

Pic of the month:

If I’m very still…

September

Daughter moved to her own place, a room in a dorm-like apartment. Son turned twenty and is not a teen anymore. I went kayaking with colleagues, and downhill biking with colleagues. Kayaking was all good despite the rough waters, but the biking ended in a broken arm and surgery. Gotta get some new experiences sometimes, right? So then, the rest of the month I was on sickleave from life.

Quote of the month: Consultant is a machine that turns coffee into speech (No one and everyone)
Book of the month: Lipasti, Roope – Jälkikasvukausi
How does one translate a word that is not really a word even in Finnish but more like a mesh-up of two compound words? Maybe it’s unimportant anyway. The story is that of a completely normal family with teens. It’s all about growth and pains and mistakes and learning from them. Written with warm humor.

Pic of the month:

Sure I can just lie here day in and day out not doing anything

October

Yey! Back to work again, feeling like a human again. We built a whole lot of cabinets in the room vacated by daughter. There was even a dinner with my dad and kids, and 69 Eyes gig at Tavastia. Kinda like almost like normal life.

Quote of the month: The wave harmonic theory of historical perception, in its simplest form, states that history is an illusion caused by the passage of time, and that time is an illusion caused by the passage of history. (Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
Book of the month: Radge, Anne – Berlin Poplars
I can’t actually recommend this one really. I think it was the worst book I read all year. Quite boring, going into seemingly unimportant details forever before getting to the beef – which really was the last 3 pages of the book. Yes, intriguing in a strange way, enough for me to not stop reading halfway (or fourthway or thirdaway or… I did consider!) with crash boom bang at the end. I guess it was worth it. Maybe.

Pic of the month:

Yes, I needed these boots, why?

November

November was actually a rather good month. It started all sorts of good new things in our life. Nothing special or major events, just good times together with and without our offspring who visited us every so often.

Quote of the month: Humor is looking at the broad picture, and then finding the incongruous detail. Humor is another word for looking at life from a slightly different angle. It means not taking yourself too seriously. In addition to all that, it adds a bit of fun to the process of living. (Elaine Cunningham, Elfsong)
Book of the month: Jones, Terry – Douglas Adams’ Starship Titanic
One of the lesser known Adams stories. While Douglas Adams was busy creating the video game, Terry Jones wrote the story into a book. Very much a Douglas Adams book, if not entirely written – or maybe finalized into novel format – by him.

Pic of the month:

You can still see my eyes

December

Oh Christmas tree…! No Christmas tree in this house, except for a tiny non-real one. Like 40cm tall. Surprisingly enough dude has left it alone, at least mostly. There was Christmas time, teens and the non-teen visiting. There was Cards Against Disney, puzzles, good foods, and just good times together. And then the year came to its end.

Quote of the month: “My life is such a mess,” I said to Lula. “Maybe,” she said, “but your hair looks good.” (Janet Evanovich, Fortune and Glory)
Book of the month: Adeyemi, Tomi – Children of Blood and Bone
A magical fantasy built on Nigerian culture. As is true in most fantasy, the main characters are barely out of their diapers – actually most of the characters are – but if you don’t let the naivety innocence of them bother you, the story actually flows rather nicely and I truly enjoyed the read. Way more than I did the sequel (and still I definitely will read the third one once it comes, for the second one left off on such a cliffhanger).

Pic of the month:

“Do not disturb”