Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Last thoughts

The last of the packing is done. I think I've remembered even the things I was almost forgetting - the hairdryer, that scarf, that dress I was planning on taking with me but couldn't find... they're all in the suitcase. 

I've gotten a lot of messages from people wishing me safe travels, which is nice. This is the first time I fly alone, before I've always gone with my family or with my friends. Then again, I was always the "mom" in the group who took care of the check-in and the bookings. I was always in charge of finding our way to the hotels and finding our way around so I don't think I'll have a problem with that. And from my experience and what I've heard, people in England are very helpful. 

I have a long day of travels ahead of me. First I'll be taking the bus from Turku to Helsinki. My flight leaves at 8, so the bus I'm taking leaves in the middle of the night. I don't know if I'll be able to sleep before I have to go but I'm still planning on face-timing André and doing my hair tonight so I'll have something to do until it's time to go. I always like curling my hair when I'm travelling - I have found that my hair gets very flat and oily whenever I travel or fly, but when I curl it my hair feels "fresh" longer, if that makes any sense. My flight is to London and I'll arrive approximately at 9 local time. From there I'll have to take a train to Nottingham. I haven't bought a ticket yet, I figured it would be easier to buy one once I'm there, since I don't know exactly when I'll be done with baggage claim and so on. Lastly, I'll take a taxi to my accommodation. From what I've gathered, the taxi ride should take no more than 10 minutes. 

It's good that I'm arriving relatively early, because I'll probably need to do some shopping on my first day. Not only do I need to get some groceries, but I'll also have to buy a duvet and a pillow. I've already googled a few places to get them cheap. I figured since I'm only staying for approximately 4 months, as long as I have some sort of duvet, I'll be good.

Today has been a bit surreal, because I've just been at home, waiting for the day to pass. As the hours have gone by, gradually I've become a little more nervous but mostly I'm excited. It's also a huge relief knowing that tomorrow I'll be in the same country as André and that I'll see him as soon as Friday!

The next time I write here, will be when I'm in England! See you then!

(Although I've never been to England or Nottingham, I have been to Edinburgh in Scotland and I can imagine that at least parts of where I'm going look similar to this?)

Last day in Finland & Last throwback-post

The last full day in Finland has been pretty mellow so far. The excitement and nervousness is slowly creeping up on me but I've just tried to pack the last things in my suitcase and made sure that I'm not missing anything. I did notice that one of my flight socks was still in the dirty laundry bin so I hand-washed it, hopefully it will dry in time so that I don't have to fly with a wet sock on!

Since there's nothing else exciting to tell yu, I thought I'd do a last #tb2016 post, which will probably just be a compilation of all the other fun (and not so fun) stuff that happened in 2016!

January

In January we said aufwiedersehen to Emppu who was moving to Helsinki to become a pilot. The funniest thing about the pictures we took that night was that we thought we looked great in the them when we were looking at them on the dancefloor, but then once we saw them again in the morning we all agreed that they perhaps weren't as good as we had thought. 




In January Essi also told me that she was planning on moving back to Tampere. Initially we had decided that we would both live at the apartment at least until summer, but since she had so much work in Turku and no time to read for her entrance exams, she had no choice but to move back in with her parents so that she could study and wouldn't have to worry about paying rent. I obviously understood her decision, but I did feel a bit panicked because I really didn't want to start moving out and finding a new apartment. The first thing I did was call André and luckily he said straight away that he would move in with me. We hadn't really discussed moving in together yet, but it felt like the natural thing to do and neither of us have regretted that he moved in. It's been wonderful having someone to wake up next to every day, and I'm so excited to find a new place for us when we both get back from England!


February

In February me and André celebrated Valentine's day by having dinner at Pinella, just like the year before. This time I didn't have to work for 10 hours straight prior to the dinner, which was a relief. I also had an exam for a course which I just couldn't pass! It was the first time ever I failed an exam, and I failed it twice! In the end I asked if I could write an essay instead of re-taking the exam a third time, and the teacher was fine with that. After a lot of hard work I finally got the study points for that damn course... I think the thing I learned was that sometimes you can try your hardest and still fail, and that's ok!
Valentine's bae

The headache that course was giving me was intense
The skies were beautiful in February

March

In Mars it was time for Pampas Nationaldag which has been a tradition since I started studying at Åbo Akademi. This year it was just me, Cristel and Isa, and we din't actually have tickets to the event, but thought we'd check out the Olympiad in the day and then go out to a bar in the evening. I at least had a really fun time with the girls!


We also had time to hang out with Kata for a while


March was also when my parents and Andrés parents met for the first time. Despite the fact that we had at that point already dates for over a year, we just hadn't had the time to arrange anything. The best part was how my dad and André were totally matching!


We also had a girls night (+ meri's boyfriend Anton, who took the picture). The thing I remember best from this night was that my shirt was brand new and Cristel spilled red wine on it...Luckily it came off!

April

April is always the month of celebrations, because that's when both me and André have our birthdays. This year we held a joined birthday party for our friends, but also celebrated at home together, just the two of us. For my birthday André made me a delicious three-course meal. However, just as he was staring to prepare the main course, there was a power outage in our apartment. Apparently we blew a fuse, which we did get fixed rather quickly, but in the process, our oven broke. In the end we could use the stove but not the oven, which was fine since the dinner didn't require using the oven. One hour later, we were ready to continue on with the dinner, and one week later, we got a new oven!
The fun part about having your birthdays 4 days apart is joined bday parties!






















May

May is the time of Valborg which is one of the biggest student events (well, I guess it's a huge event for everybody) in Finland. Valborg is always fun because it indicates that school is almost over and Summer is just around the corner. At this point I had also basically finished my Bachelor's thesis which was definitely a reason to celebrate! This year we had the traditional picnic in the park with the other Britannicans and after going to Vårdbergs parken at 6 to officially put our graduation hats on, we stayed the rest of the night at Cristel's. 

Although Valborg is celebrated on the last day of April, the first of May is a day off for everybody. We spent the first of May with my family who had organized a lovely brunch with mimosas!

This year I curled my hair so big, that I couldn't fit my graduation hat on my head, which resulted in me wearing André's hat all night long



Summer & Autumn

I'm butting all of the summer and autumn months (June, July, August and September) into one, because I've already made a post about Ruisrock which was one of the main events and nothing particularly special happened during the summer. I was working a lot, and André was working at Viking Line which meant that he was only home every other week. Other than that I hung out with friends and family as much as I could, and watched a lot of tv.

One of the other big things that happened in the summer was that my mom took me to see Coldplay in Stockholm! She had seen them once before and I was always bummed out bu the fact that I didn't get to go, so she made a promise to take me with her the next time they played somewhere close to us! Needless to say, the concert was amazing! Coldplay just have some many hits, you almost forget about it. it was also fun to see Linda and Thomas, my mom's cousin and her husband, who were kind enough to let us stay at heir house!



We also celebrated my mom and dad on their 20th wedding anniversary by having dinner at Sergio's. 
Some other fun memories from this summer included going to Naantali with André, and showing him around. I worked in Naantali for three summers, plus I played basketball in a team in Naantali for 10 years, so I would say that I know my way around there pretty well. Also, the summer is definitely the time to visit 'cause the whole place is pretty much dead as soon as summer is over! 

My parents live very close to a small forest which is filled with blueberries in the late summer. I think we must've gotten at least 5 liters of blueberries!

Despite the fact that I worked at Arnold's for 2,5 years, I only went out with my workmates two times during those years! Luckily we did manage to squeeze in one night with the co-workers in the summer, 'cause we all had a great time!

October

October is getting it's own sections, because it's one of my favorite months, despite it usually being cold and rainy. The reason for that is that it is not only Halloween, it is also mine and André's anniversary. This year we really outdid ourselves - first we had brunch at Nick's Food Design, then we went to Åbo Svenska Teater to see "The King's Speech" and we ended the night with pizza from Pub Niska and homemade drinks. It was definitely one of my favorite days of 2016.

I already mentioned Halloween and I always love an excuse to dress up. This year me and André went as the ultimate Netflix couple - I was Eleven from Stranger Things and André was inspired by Narcos and went as Pablo Escobar. I think we nailed it.

One of the sadder things that happened in October was that my grandfather passed away. I wouldn't say that me and him were very close, and I hadn't actually seen him in several years, but I still have many wonderful memories from my childhood with him. The funeral was small but very lovely, and I was glad that I got to be there for my mom, my aunt and my grandma. Because the funeral was in Ostrobothnia, we stayed at my grandma's house in Vörå, where I haven't been for a long time. I think we all got some well needed family time, despite it being because of a sad event. 
Vila i frid, Moffa


Kimi is the only cat I like (so far)


The winter months were pretty uneventful (apart from the things I've already told you about), so this is where I'll end this post. Wow, I guess I did way more in 2016 than I realized 'cause I've sat by the computer for 3 hours now finishing this post!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Exciting week ahead

Today was a great start to a very exciting week! It all began with my job interview, for which I got up early so that I would have time to get ready and wouldn't have to stress about getting there late. If you know me, you know I am always at least 10 minutes early, which I don't think is a bad thing although some of my friends might tease me for it. The interview went really well and the woman interviewing me was very nice. Once we were done, she told me she would call in two weeks time to inform me about the job.

Happy in a Zara dressing room, even if the shirt I tried on didn't fit at all (not the shirt I'm wearing, btw)

I had planned to meet Julle and Emppu for lunch at 12 but before that I still had some errands to run and things to buy before I leave. At noon we had lunch at Fontana which is definitely one of my favorite lunch places in Turku. Today their buffet consisted of things like couscous salad, hummus, pasta carbonara, chicken in burgundy sauce and oven vegetables. It was so delicious I forgot to take a picture, but I did remember to take one of the dessert!
My lunch dates and my dessert... Can't decide which one is sweeter

A little after I got home I got a phone call from my interviewer and she told me I got the job! I accepted the offer and we decided that I would call her when I am back in Finland in the summer. I'm super glad that I first of all even got an interview and that I was able to attend it before I leave, but also that I don't have to worry about looking for a job while I'm away. I'm also very happy that my employer is so flexible and that I didn't have to commit to a certain date as to when I'll start working, 'cause honestly, I have no clue (yet) when exactly I'll be home. 

The rest of the night has been spent on the sofa watching TV, eating home made pad thai and just spending some quality time with the family. Tomorrow will be my last full day in Finland because at 3.30 in the night I'm taking the bus to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Exciting!

My mom was making something for her kindergarten group and Maya decided to "help"... see the red letter F? That's her work

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Plätt party

This Sunday has been mellow and easygoing. I sent in my essay (finally, now I can stop talking about it) and spent the afternoon researching Nottingham. It's a bit hard trying to figure out things like which buses to take without actually having been there. But I'm sure everything will get sorted once I get there!

I've also been obsessively watching the Late Night with Seth Meyers segment "A Closer Look" and The Daily Show video clips on YouTube. Mostly the issues they address are about politics so you can imagine it's basically all about Trump at the moment. It's crazy to me how many insane things he has said in just the past few weeks alone, and to be honest, I think many of us are wondering what will become of this presidency. Especially when people with no qualifications are put in high positions. Just look at the video clip and you'll understand what I mean:

  Really, BEARS in schools is her answer? She can't be serious...

In lighter news, I went to a power class and I didn't throw up in the middle of the class like last time (stomach flu) which was a relief. I also made some "plättar" for my family. The reason I say plättar and not pancakes is because pancakes are fluffy and thick, whereas plättar and thin like crepes. Anyways, they were delicious!

The thing we learned about plättar today was that even if it feels like you could go for a third one after two, don't. It's almost always a mistake. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Preparing for an adventure

Good Saturday peeps! Despite it being the weekend I have been pretty productive. I basically finished the essay (didn't send it in yet, still have a few passages to edit but it's like 98 % finished) and started packing. It's quite challenging to pack for four months without overdoing it. I mean, I still need to leave some room for the things I will buy there and I think I've done a pretty good job. I just have a few things I need to wash and go buy but other than that, I'm pretty much set! Oh, and then I obviously need to pack this computer which will without a doubt be the heaviest thing in my suitcase!

Today I'm spending the night with the family and we're watching the finale of the Finnish Eurovision Song Contest together. There's still some time before that so I thought I'd play some guitar and take a long hot shower. Hope you have a nice and relaxing weekend!

I have one bigger suitcase and one sportsbag, there's a 20 kg weigh tlimit for each bag but I highly doubt that the bags are that heavy//I got this packing list from Julle and Emppu and it has been very helpful so far. Also in the pic is my toiletry bag which is so cute

Friday, January 27, 2017

THU - FRI

These last couple of days have been pretty chill. Yesterday I basically just worked on my essay (I know I know, but I'm almost finished! Just three more pages to go!) and went to the gym in the evening. The highlight of my day (and every day, really) was face-timing André. Yesterday especially I was really missing him and wished he was here so that I could hug him. It's been hard being away from someone you've spent almost every single day with for the past two years. Luckily he's planning to come and see me pretty much as soon as I get to Nottingham, so that's basically less than a week (yay!).

Today I met up with Cristel and Henny in the city center for lunch. It was nice just to get out of the house and hang out with some people and not just a dog (don't get me wrong, Maya is pretty much my best friend at this point but playing with the chewed up Homer toy get's a bit boring, ya know). Me and Cristel also hung out at her place and just talked, before we went to Saaristobaari to meet with Julle who's shift started at 6. That was the plan at least, but when we got there it turned out that Julle was on cleaning duty, so we didn't really see her that much. But we still stayed for one drink and then I took the bus home. I also made some delicious taco pie for the family, 'cause I'm the queen of pies!
Before the dance class at the gym//Me and my best friend//Facetime-time

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Clueless phonecalls

Sunshine selfies
The weather today was actually pretty nice - it was pretty warm, the ice and snow was melting (which also meant it was very (!) slippery) and for the most part of the day it was sunny. Of course, now it's 4 in the afternoon and the sun is already setting... but hey, each day we're getting more and more daylight and summer will be here before we know it

Speaking of summer, I got a job interview today! At first when I got the call I just kinda missed the first part of the phone call all together. The conversation went a little bit like this:

woman on phone: Hi this is *I couldn't catch her name*
Me: Hi!
woman on phone: Yes, I'm calling about the job you applied for, can you come in for an interview on Monday?
Me: Yes! *thinking to myself "which job is she talking about? I've applied to like 10!"* Sooo, when and where is this interview?
woman on the phone: Well, you just come to our front lobby, you know at *says the name of the place*
Me: Oh, right! Yes, see you there!

She must've thought I was dumb or something for not "knowing" the quite obvious meeting place but I didn't even at first know what job she was talking about. This isn't actually the first time it has happened to me, for some reason I just have a hard time hearing the beginning of a phone call. One time I went to a job interview not really knowing what kind of job they were offering me. And when it comes to job interviews, it feels a bit embarrassing to ask them after a few minutes where they're calling from. But the main point is that I have an interview and it's on Monday and I know what job it is too. I'm super pleased that I got at least one interview before I leave on Wednesday - I don't know how many work places do skype calls when it comes to summer jobs, but I'm guessing not many!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

#tb2016: Florida (2/2)

I'm back with my last throwback post (I think, there are still some other stuff i haven't mentioned but I might just compile those into one bigger post) and it's about our latest trip which was in December 2016. This time we had rented a house in Hollywood with another family, so it was our first time travelling with them and visiting this particular area. I think we were all very happy with out house, everybody got their own room with a TV and we had a pool in the backyard!

The first two days were a little bit cloudy, but we still went and chilled by the beach which was a 5 minute car ride from our house!



The boardwalk was very pretty!


One new thing I got to experience was an American football game! I've been to NHL games a couple of times but I've never been to NFL game, and even though I'm not a huge american football fan, it was definitely an experience I recommend for everybody. The whole event is just larger than life and the players are truly treated as superstars. Plus, the crowd is very high energy throughout the game and keep on cheering and dancing and screaming, even though the games are like 3-4 hours long. It's not cheap though - tickets were close to 100 dollars and parking was 40 dollars! At least the Miami Dolphins won!
Before the game with my "little" brother... we're the same height, eek! 


It was just me and the boys at the game!





We also made a short trip to Key West which is the most southern point in the United States. I've been there once before many years ago, but it was still fun to experience it now that I'm a bit older (especially 'cause Key West is known as a bit of a party place). We also drove through Key Largo which is where we stayed last year. 

At this bar you could write your name on a 1 dollar bill and staple it somewhere in the bar. The whole ceiling and all the walls were covered in bills and now there's a memory of there us as well!
If you stand here, you're closer to Cuba than Miami which is pretty insane to think about. 



The only picture of the whole crew we have!

The rest of the pictures are just random ones from the trip:

These pictures make me miss him :(

A couple of years ago we visited this crazy Christmas house and I really wanted to go back and see if it was still there, and it was! It was still pretty crazy,  the whole house is literally covered in Christmas lights.

South Beach is a must!


This is the view we said goodbye to. It is quite depressing to go from this to grey and cold Finland!