Posts Tagged ‘finland’

Finland running

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 | Sport

Going on holiday has always been a tedious chore, but now that I have a training schedule, it’s even more of a headache. What’s wrong with home, where there is an adequate supply of toilet roll in a brand that you have tested and trust?

That said, it was nice to run somewhere other than the Leeds Liverpool canal. As beautiful as it is, a chance is often welcome.

I did two runs while I was other there, one up to Lake Lahti, and one to Soukainen and back. It was so warm that I had to be out the door at 6:30am for my first one and wait until gone 9pm to start my second one.

Even then, I found it hard going. Despite the second run only being 10 kilometres, I couldn’t hold a 5:00 per km pace, and something about the heat or the extra hydration I took on to compensate for that upset my stomach.

Importantly, though, I didn’t get eaten by wolves. Which I found out afterwards that Elina’s mum was quite worried about.

Gluten-free cookies

Friday, August 3rd, 2018 | Photos

You can go all the way to Laitila, but Tesco are still following you around.

Finland swimming

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018 | Life

During our recent trip to Finland, we spent some time at the lake and in the sea.

When I first went swimming at the Blue Lagoon, they asked me if I had done open water swimming before. Because I said yes, they assumed I knew all about wetsuits, acclimatisation and how to get rescued. I had to explain to them that in Finland, we just jump in the lake and swim. Some drown, but that must be what god intended.

We went to the same lake we’ve visited during previous trips, which makes sense because it has a nice beach, changing facilities and toilets (both just huts) and a pier to jump off if you so wish.

We also tried to find a nice beach around Uusikaupunki so we could swim in the sea. The beautiful beaches of Pori they were not.

The first one had so much plant life that whenever you swam, you ended up getting caught up in it.

Meanwhile, the second one stubbornly refused to get deep no matter how far I waded out. Venla had a good splash in that one, though.

Next time, I think it is worth the drive up to Pori. Or just swim in the lakes, which is always a pleasant experience.

Finland trip 2018

Sunday, July 29th, 2018 | Travel

Not content with simply having a picnic, we also jetted off to the country itself earlier this month to attend the wedding of Elina’s brother, Henry.

It was Venla’s first time on a plane, and her first trip to Finland. She was mostly fine on the flight (a toddler is going to get bored anywhere after three hours) and very much enjoyed spending the week with Elina’s mum.

We did the usual stuff: swimming in the lakes, swimming in the sea, pottering around both of the shops in Laitila and, of course, eating plenty of ice cream. Nothing beats tar flavour. Apparently. I stuck with suklaa.

The wedding was nice. A brief ceremony in the village chapel and a party at a lakeside summer house, including copious quantities of big being served.

It also gave Venla a chance to meet her cousins.

I did, as usual, get eaten alive by biting insects, though. I think they lie dormant waiting for me to make my semi-annual pilgrimage.

Finnish picnic 2018

Saturday, July 28th, 2018 | Events

July means the annual Finnish summer picnic in Leeds. Last year was Venla’s first and this year she was armed with new skills, including walking and talking.

Both Elina and I failed to do particularly well in the molkky tournament, but better in the welly throwing, with us both coming second in our respective gender competitions.

I’m pretty sure we won the wife carrying by default when I was the only person physically able to lift their partner.

And, of course, we filled out boots with Karelian pasties.

Finland’s 100th birthday

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017 | Events

Finland turned 100 this year. It’s fun walking around Helsinki because many of the buildings and companies have their incorporation date above the door, and many of them are before Finland was officially a country.

We celebrated the anniversary with Illallinen taivaan alla (dinner under the sky) back in August. However, Finland’s Independence Day is 6th December. Too cold for a dinner outside, but an event that we wanted to mark none the less.

So, we invited some friends around and cooked some Finnish food.

If you saw my post on Nordic food, you might recall that Finnish food only comes in one colour. And that colour is brown. It’s a cuisine of permanent autumnal themes.

For the starter, crayfish filo tartlets, Karelian pasties and homemade gravlax. They were so popular, I only managed to snap the last tartlet.

For the main, Karelian stew. With a British stew, you would typically pick a single meat and stew it with a selection of vegetables. With Karelian stew, you pick a single vegetable and stew it with beef, pork and lamb. Ideally for a couple of days.

Finally, for dessert, pinwheels and a ginger cake.

Finnish Christmas Carols 2017

Thursday, December 21st, 2017 | Life

The Finnish Christmas Carols event is betting busier. It was standing room only this year. And the number of children seem to have multiplied, too. Venla still isn’t really old enough to know what is going on, but I took her to the front to dance in the children’s bit anyway.

Illallinen taivaan alla

Thursday, September 21st, 2017 | Events

Finland turns 100 this year. In celebration, events are taking place around the world. They’re called Illallinen taivaan alla or “Dinner under the sky”. Tiina organised a Leeds event which was a big success.

There was loads of Finnish food, including a selection of cake so big that I don’t think I managed to get around everything. Despite trying really hard.

Finnish picnic 2017

Monday, July 24th, 2017 | Life

Summer means time for the Finns in Leeds to get together and enjoy the shade. We were lucky with the weather again this year, enjoying a sunny day throughout.

It was Venla’s first Finnish picnic. Though she is otherwise a bit of a veteran of them already.

This year’s event was a little sparsely attended. There were six of us in total. This had the advantage of massively improving my odds in the wife carrying competition, but, alas, Elina opted out.

Other results were mixed: I picked up gold in the welly throwing competition, but my mölkky performance was mediocre. I came last in the first game, before picking up a second place in the second game. Like last year, I was pipped by Martin.

Finnish Christmas Carols 2016

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 | Life

Finnish Christmas Carols are held in Leeds every year, on the last Saturday in November. Lutheranism is the main brand of Christianity in Finland so appropriately, it is held in St. Luke’s Lutheran church in Headingley. The same venue as the Finnish [language] Saturday school takes place.

This is the first year that we took Venla (obviously). Did she enjoy it? Who knows, because she slept through the entire thing.

finnish-christmas-carols-2016

Despite the fact that she was sleeping for most of it, she did dance along to the children’s song. I was not going to let her miss that, unconscious or not.

There is always a bring-and-share supper after the service. We brought cake. This year it featured a lot of people looking at our baby and saying things like “that is a nice baby”. Or, commonly, “that is a very calm baby you have there.” Because, like all babies, she is remarkably calm when other people are around, saving all the crying up for when she gets home.

Unfortunately, I was from singing along for the same reason as last year: my Finnish is not good enough, nor is my knowledge of English carols.