I used to be active in my blogging, but not so much anymore. I write the occasional post here in SFFM, sometimes some recipes in From Kitchen, with Love. I post photos in Instagram, but not daily, and really am no influencer 😉 Still, the stats are kinda cool at the end of the year, so let’s have a look.
I wrote all of 5 posts this year (I suppose this would be number 6 then), with a total of 8312 words in them. What would that make? Like 1662 words per post in average. That’s like an average high school essay there. No WordPress likes, no comments. Not that I expect any; they’re usually spam anyway 😂 I seem to have 10 followers, though.
However little I posted this year, there’s plenty of content in my blog, 1302 post spanning over almost two decades (starting with the stuff that was in Live Spaces looong ago), so there’s always more views than the just the new posts would bring, this year a total of 915 views by 625 visitors.
Disregarding the home page views (333), my six most popular posts this year were:
It’s a pity search terms aren’t available anymore; I always had such a ball looking at what searches brought people to my blog!
From Kitchen, with Love
This food blog of mine has way less posts, all of 308, 5 of which were posted this year. The views, however were a bit more than SFFM: 11200.
Top 5 posts all had over 100 views this year, and out of the top 10, only numbers 9 and 10 had less views than the top post of SFFM. And I don’t think I’ve checked out any of these top 10 posts this year myself. Oh, maybe that feta spinach pie. Possibly. At least I made on earlier in the autumn.
Hunh. Flicker still doesn’t really offer any yearly stats. There’s all time (Pro since 2008) and then there’s the most recent month.
My most viewed photos of all time:
Somehow those leather jackets and boots keep on keeping on in the top, still gaining new views. And I can’t help thinking that people who looked at my pussy willow photos were actually looking for pussy pics (yes, those exist in Flickr too).
I shared 213 photos in @sannamarilka, and got a total of 1498 likes. Here’s the top 9 photos of the year:
In the dogstagram, @hdd_doggos, I shared 193 photos and got 658 likes all in all. Top 9 of the doggos 2022:
The year is almost over, time for the annual wrap-up. Books, music, pictures, tattoos, and highlights.
Starting with books. Muches of booksies.
I read 82 books, a total of 31 185 pages
I DNF’d (Did Not Finish) 3 books, which means that the page count there is lacking a bit, but not too much – Liam UiCearbhaill: Mother Rainbow’s Children: The Cave – I just could not with the way they spoke Yoda and recited tales like robots; made it maybe up to 10% – William Joseph Roberts: The Flux Runners – A cool idea of a book, but jumpy and scattered. I read maybe 20%, skipped and skimmed another 25% and finally gave up completely – Jordan J. Scavone: Night Warrior – Clumsy in the way that reminds you of the importance of editors. I read maybe 20% but simply could not go on.
As the new year approaches, I am currently reading 2 books that I don’t expect to finish before New Year’s Day – James Patterson: 22 Seconds (Women’s Murder Club #22) in Kindle – Sophie Anderson: The House with Chicken Legs in paperback
The shortest book of the year was a kids’ book by Astrid Lindgren: Lotta, Janne ja Minnamanna
The longest book was a re-read, one of my alltime favorites, that I have read probably a dozen times already: The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
The oddest book I read this year was The Winterset Hollow by Jonathan Edward Durham; it was a total wait, what?! Not bad, rather excellent in ways, but, well, disturbing
My most read author of this year (too) was TJ Klune. I read a total of 11 wonderful books of his in three series: – Tales from Verania – The Extraordinaries – Bear, Otter, and the Kid
Even though I mostly read fiction (and mostly fantasy at that), I also love (auto)bios and such, and read 11 of those this year: – Neil Peart: Traveling Music – Kersti Juva: Tolkienin tulkkina – Martha Teichner: When Harry Met Minnie – Johannes Lahtela: Samuli – pimeydestä valoon – Dave Mustaine: Mustaine – A Life in Metal – Virginia Hanlon Grohl: From Cradle to Stage – Betty White: If You Ask Me (and of course you won’t) – Michael J. Fox: No Time Like the Future – Madly, Deeply – The Diaries of Alan Rickman – Alvin Yudkoff: Gene Kelly – A Life of Dance and Dreams – Matthew Perry: Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing
Even though I read mostly in English, this year I read a total of 18 books in Finnish, 4 of which were translations, rest of them Finnish lit. No, not gonna list all of them here separately
My Goodreads Year in Books looks like this:
Nothing surprising in music. No new discoveries, though one new album by Muse (Will of the People). I actually listened to a lot of All Of [artist] lists, album by album, earning me the title The Fanclubber by Spotify. This year the top 5 artists list consisted of Rush, Foo Fighters, Muse, Bon Jovi, and Seether. Partly this list is just due to Spotify algorithms (sic!), as I loop through my Liked Songs list with shuffle, when not listening to a specific album list.
Once again, I also got a few new tattoos during the year:
Flames on the side of the left calf, to accompany my Phoenix
Vines on the right wrist, continuing from the old ones, and twisting aroujnnd the wrist
Sun on the right hand
Love She Wrote – a quill drawing a heart on the left hand
Ravistettava Ennen Käyttöä – “shake before using” the title of an Apulanta song, theme song of my life
En usko että saa yleistä hyväksyntää Näkemykseni kieroon kasvaneet Voidaanko määritellä rajaa sellaista Kun hassusta tulee pelottavaa
Ei saisi ajatella näin, näin, näin Mut se ei oo ainoo mitä teet väärin
Minussa on ongelma Jokin virhe ohjelmoinnissa Puutteita koodissa Korvaan arvaamattomuudella Tuntuu että tekijät unohti otsaan kirjoittaa Ravistettava ennen käyttöä
I don’t think I’ll ever be commonly accepted My views all grown askew Can one determine such a line When funny becomes scary
You shouldn’t think this way, way, way But that’s not the only thing that you’re doing wrong
There’s a problem in me Some sort of bug in the programming The lackings of my code I substitute with unpredictability Feels like my creators forgot to write on my forehead Shake before using
March: I guess the highlight of the month was Ace turning 2y old.
April: Nothing special went on in April, either, but Meggie turned 10yo and the youngest kid 19.
May: Spring got finally into full speed. We got a Panasonic Lumix S5 and went out taking photos with that and my few years old Canon PowerShot SX70, e.g visiting the Cherry Tree Park, Lauttasaari, and Häme Castle. Timmy turned 10yo. Our bathroom renovation started.
July: I was on vacation, H was not. Our bathroom renovation was going on all summer long, so we didn’t go anywhere. I watched movies and read books. Once H and I went out to eat at Restaurant Töölönranta for a “date night” to use a gift card I’d won in an FB lottery.
August: I visited Tallinn with a bunch of friends (the 20y anniversary for our group of moms).
September: FINALLY, our bathroom was ready (except not sauna). H and I went out to have dinner at Farouge one Friday evening and they actually had belly dancers there 👌 H turned 56yo, oldest one 22, middle kid 21. Lots of birthdays in September for us.
October: Bath. I really enjoyed having a bathtub. WE really enjoyed having a bathtub.
November: Lots of snow already in November. We visited Inkoo for a day, had some coffee and tea in the harbor coffee shop, and walked around the old manor area. I flew to Oslo, Norway, for a couple days’ business trip.
December: I was sick most of December, on antibiotics with a sinus infection at Christmas time, but our offspring came on day before Christmas Eve (midlle kid and oldest one) and Christmas Day (oldest and youngest ones, and the latter’s boyfriend) for some Christmas celebrations and food 💕
All in all, 2022 really wasn’t too bad of a year, despite being pronounced 2020 too. Corona is still raging, but has lost most of its force and mostly can be treated as its cousins, the regular colds. Last bits of regulations were canceled in the spring and life is relatively normal. Most people who can, have stayed to work at home, and I hope companies won’t start trying to change that just because.
I fully expect 2023 to be good year, too. I don’t think I have any real reason to think differently, although life does have this annoying tendency to throw shit in your face when you least expect it.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 😉
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!)
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.
I think that wraps it up for this year, with 5 hours to go until the Mad Max year of 2021.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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).