Holiday

Mostly on holiday now at our little cabin on the lake in Finland. High summer here, the run-up to Juhannus next week, the main holiday of the year. Daylight round the clock and the forecast is good, not always a sure thing here.

Water temperature at 17C now, not too cold to jump in – briefly. Will be enjoying a quiet week at the lake with our new Finnish friends. The magic number this year is five – baby ducks and swans.

Collected photos from this so far two month long, slow trip around the world post here.

Northern Lights Webcam. Sometimes.

“Enontekiö – the land of northern lights & polar night.” Click this static image for the live webcam:

Enontekiö is here:

 

Quotes: On Quality of Life

“In the Nordic countries, Bernie Sanders is not viewed as progressive – he is just common sense.”

– Meik Wiking of the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark in an article about Finland being found the happiest country on earth in the 2018 World Happiness Report.

Here are 241 photos from Finland, from EarthPhotos.com.

Fun with Translations

To help me learn a little Finnish, I read the Twitter feeds of the big Finnish newspapers and broadcasters. See this screen shot. It’s easy with the very useful translations into English.

Just remember, never try to flinp a coffee package in Finland.

Haluatko Lukea Jotain Mielenkiintoista?

It means something close to “Want to read something interesting?” This is my wobbly beginner’s Finnish.

Finnish is maybe not the easiest thing for speakers of the Latin group of languages to learn, as you can see by trying to decipher a random front page of the country’s biggest newspaper, the Hensingin Sanomat. Like this one from last week:

Finnish, spoken by about five million people, is a “Finno-Ugric” language, with vague origins in the Ural mountains. Have a look at this nice photo essay about Finno-Ugric people called In Search of Russia’s First Inhabitants.

100th Anniversary of Finnish Independence

One hundred years ago today Finland achieved freedom and independence from Russia. Hyvää Syntymäpäivää, Suomi!

Winter Weekend Reading

In our part of the world we’re getting our first blast of Arctic cold in a few days, so here is some reading to enjoy by the hearth this weekend – a little travel writing, some politics and a bit of science.

First, enjoy this as you prepare a suitably hearty stew: In honor of Finland’s 100th birthday next Wednesday, the BBC Radio 4 program, Finland at 100. Hyvää syntymäpäivää, Suomi!

And the reading:
The Damascus Journals by Roua Horaieh at The Millions
X marks the self by Thomas Jones at LRB
It’s the Kultur, Stupid by Timothy Garton Ash at NYRB
The secret tricks hidden inside restaurant menus by Richard Gray at BBC
The Nationalist’s Delusion by Adam Serwer at The Atlantic
In Search of the Common Good by Kenan Malik at Pandaemonium
Sukayu Onsen by Justin Nobel at nowheremag.com
What if consciousness is not what drives the human mind by Davis A Oakley at theconversation.com

Visit with Presidents Niinistö and Putin


We’ll be heading an hour or so up the road to the lovely little town of Savonlinna, Finland, this afternoon for opera with the Presidents of Finland and Russia. This year President Putin attends the annual Savonlinna Opera Festival  to mark Finland’s centennial anniversary, celebrating 100 years from it’s 1917 declaration of independence from … oh … whoever.

The performance, and dinner for dignitaries beforehand, will be held in this castle:

As we are no dignitaries, we will not be dining. Maybe just some maalaisperunalastu in the car over (they’re mighty good). We are just hopeful the tickets we bought online several weeks ago will get us into the same room as the Great Men.

Looks like the Russian and Finnish armies have pretty well taken over Savonlinna:

Quotes:

According to the President’s Office, Putin and Niinistö are not in sight in the Savonlinna region. President’s spouse Jenni Haukio is not involved in the visit. Presidents do not meet the ordinary people at any stage.

and: the police of Eastern Finland have distributed a newsletter where residents are asked to avoid staying on the balcony and opening the windows between 15.30 – 17 and 20 to 24 (on 27 July). The residents have been told these two slots.

  • From Itä-Savo, the local paper

We’ll be back here tomorrow to report.

2:58 a.m. Sunday

Jet lag. From the front porch near Varkaus, Finland, 2:58 a.m. Sunday, 23 July, 2017.

Finland in Twelve Photos

About this time most years, we’re busy at the lake with a rowboat and a sauna at our cabin in Finland. We’re not there this summer and I miss it! So let’s take a photo tour. Click ’em to make ’em bigger:

CabinFinland

Here’s our little cabin.

 

Sauna2.jogJust down the path, the sauna and rowboat.

 

SaunaFinland

The sauna from the lake. It’s kind of hidden.

 

DucksFinlandOur duck family changes every year.

 

RainbowFinland

And in the summer, after a rain when the light’s just right, rainbows!

 

RevontuletFinland

The winter puts on its own show. Here, way up north in Saariselkä, in Lapland, is the revoltulet (literally, “fox fire”), the northern lights.

Read on for more photos from Finland, and there are over 200 more in the Finland Gallery at EarthPhotos.com.

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