Posts Tagged ‘finland’

Ice hockey world championships 2019

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019 | Sport

I’m sure that in your house, like ours, May is all about the ice hockey world championships. It has been a superb year for both Britain and Finland.

Two years ago, Britain was in the third division. But, having won their division two years running, they found themselves in the top tier playing countries that actually play ice hockey. There are two groups of eight with the bottom from each being related and it was always going to be a struggle to stay up.

The initial scorelines were predictable: 3-1 to Germany, 8-0 to Canada, 9-0 to Denmark and 5-0 to Finland. The only people we seriously scored against were the US, who still beat us 5-3. It came down to the final game: Britain vs France. The loser was going down, and France had been in the top division for a while.

In the second period, France took a 3-0 lead. Surely it was all over? But then Dowd found the back of the net for Britain. And them Hammond. The third period started 3-2. Farmer brought us level in the third period and we went into overtime and then bang! Davies puts an overtime winner past France to keep us up.

Meanwhile, Finland easily made it through the group stage as usual. They came second, behind Canada, despite having beaten them, due to wobbles against Germany and the US. The route to the final was no easy path: there are four good ice hockey teams in the world and Finland had to beat them all.

It started with a 5-4 overtime win against Sweden in the quarterfinals. Next up: Russia, with the sole goal producing a 1-0 win for Finland. Finally, the final itself. Having beaten the 3rd and 2nd ranked teams in the world, they now had to take on the 1st.

Canada started well, taking a 1-0 lead in the first quarter. But Finland was not out: Anttila, who scored the winner against Russia in the semi-final, brought Finland level in the second period. Two minutes in period 3, he scored again! With five minutes to go, Pesonen scored to give Finland a 3-1 lead. Canada immediately pulled their goalie but it was no good. Finland took their third world championship!

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.