Saturday, 26 May 2012

Friday, 25 May 2012

Pirate Hamster Barbarossa

Practicing her acrobatics. If it wasn't the top of the cage, it would be on the ship's rigging.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

In Red

 Do you remember that skirt I started on months ago? I finished it a while back, and I wore it on Easter Sunday. I wore it again today; I piled my hair on top of my head and read a book in a cafe, feeling very much like Anne of Green Gables.

A case full of paints

The flamingo shirt was a present to my sister--I gave her a pink scarf and pink feather earrings as part of what I found to be a hysterical 'flamingo set' to go with her flamingo earrings, but she didn't much appreciate the gesture. I didn't mind, however, as it makes a nice addition to my own wardrobe.

While Waiting

When I move in to warmer climes, I will sadly have to put aside some of my more impractical outfits, but before I do, I thought I'd share them with you.

Monday, 21 May 2012


Towards the end of the karate lesson, we--the members of the adult group and the older members of the children's group sparred in a series of punch-punch-kick combinations, at which I failed rather miserably as it was a level or two beyond my abilities. Midway through the exercise, someone's phone begins to ring through the fabric of his bag--I recognize the tune as it floats across the dojo: the Adventures of the Gummi Bears.

You see, that's the great thing about karate. It inspires such confidence in fourteen-year-old boys they feel bold enough to pick ringtones from the golden years of Disney 2D television animation.

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Tiny Gray House by the Sea

Mother, father, Sofia, and I all went to my uncle's tiny gray house by the sea to spend the afternoon with my cousins. It was a rainy day, overcast with clouds, which shortened our would-be longer walk to a gambol through the woods. 

A turban always brightens the day. 

Sausages and marshmallows

Zita finds a tranquil moment to ponder the meaning of life.

Cousin Amelia

Like mother, like son

Games of Yatzy

 and vertical Ludo

 All in a day by the seaside

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
- Mark Twain

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Vi ska ut på rövarstråt

Spring is here at long last. Today was the first full warm day where I haven't felt the need to cover up or wear a hat or put my fingers into wool mittens. And it's the middle of May! Brother Joel and sister Sofia are here as well, though Joel leaves tomorrow morning. At least I will have Sofia until Saturday.

Too cool for school

Siblings three

Saturday, 12 May 2012

To Bring or not to Bring

I have only been absent for the past few days because I have done little more than catch a cold and fill out grammar exercises. All this work for the future turns my thoughts toward it: I have a great many things to plan in preparation for my move in late July. I lack space to bring all my few but beloved possessions with me. As any international will tell you, the process of editing out the superfluous from one's life must be ruthless. We do not ask the question 'what do I want?' but 'what do I need?' But despite this, I still want to bring my books, flying them over oceans and continents, if only to line them up on a shelf and watch them gather dust. They are old friends, and there is something wonderfully weighty about the feel of a book in hand.

My friend Natalie is a like-minded book enthusiast, but has recently bought a Kindle out of sheer necessity. She finds it ever so hard to pursue her Academic Course when she must either lug tomes from the library to her home or be barred from the classic works by geography. (Some of her texts remain elusively tucked away in London.) Taking up the Kindle, however, has not been easy, and she describes her struggle so well.

 'When I went to read it, I was appalled. Which lines were continuous?'

 "It comes down to me being a snob. A filthy, self-righteous book snob. I get frustrated when I buy real books that are not up to scratch. My poetry must be set by the line, my medieval texts not translated, my penguin paperbacks published between 1958-64, my favorites in hardback editions. I don't think I would ever buy a classic on my kindle that I did not already own a copy of. There is something so painless, immediate, esoteric about the "whispernet" delivery service that these books don't seem real or permanent. I don't give a toss about an academic essay or a popular Terry Pratchett novel on my kindle. Those I can read and delete with no compunction. But it feels wrong to download pieces of literature that have been treasured, translated, studied, memorized, in a matter of 20 seconds, to delete it once finished, like it's ephemeral and fleeting, and doesn't have the potential to a change a life, fell a country, spark a revolution, demonstrate selflessness, enact a love story, refine one's personal views, and encounter worlds beyond one's own.

Perhaps it's just me and I'm kicking up a huge fuss about nothing. After all, the argument could go, it's still the author's words and that's all that matters, surely? We've evolved to transcend the printed text. I think it was Aristotle that made an argument about physical beauty leading to spiritual revelation.  The beauty of a woman (he says) can lead one to know and understand other beautiful things, slowly moving from physical beauty to more intangible concepts until you are suddenly encountering the divine. I find it easier to read and understand what the author says when it comes in gilded edges and a 1920s copyright.

The Kindle finds its place in my home when it comes to old works that are often out of print. While not my first choice, I need it to read the books I study. It's a necessary evil, a Catch-22. But I can't help but think Amazon and its competitors have paved paradise and managed to set up virtual parking lots, allowing ease, immediacy, and popular demand to dictate and immensely reduce the first-love encounter with literature to a word on a screen which disappears and blinks every time I "turn a page."

 -Excerpt from Kindle Resolutions and Revulsions, Natalie Jayne Moore

Monday, 7 May 2012


I had a long and eventful day that began with the purchase of a watch (I thought I had better buy one seeing as I am now a teacher and must keep better track of time), a study session and health plate salad at Cafe Station, karate after three weeks of nothing, and finally an episode of I Love Lucy with my mother at the kitchen table whilst the church committee talked in the living room.

Did I tell you I am taking a TESOL course to supplement my teaching credentials? It's proven fun but time-consuming; in my last unit, I reviewed parts of speech and had to demonstrate my mastery of the subject by completing the worksheet at the end of the chapter. I thought I'd share some of my work.


He enjoyed fleeing for his life.
Bearing the brunt of the cost for her extra scooter cast him not only into bankruptcy, but also the pools and eddies of low self-confidence.
Abusing proverbs was her forte.
She took great pleasure in misunderstanding everything.
He admitted stealing away her heart and selling it to the highest bidder.

Adjectives Demonstrated in a Sentence 

Lord Tristram was bored.
The bright lights and the big city barely stirred the slow and steady pulse of his cantankerous heart.

Adverbs Demonstrated in a Sentence

He rose rather awkwardly in the morning.
He wildly flailed about in his knotted-up sheets like a man dangerously close to madness, and then quite hastily flung himself out the door and down the stairs for breakfast.

Mother says I have too much fun.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Day of Dance

The 29th of April was International Dance Dance where dance in all its beauty was celebrated by sporadic and sometimes improvised bouts of dancing. My brother, sister, and I have all danced through different parts of our lives. In high school I danced swing under the tutelage of Ms. Vogt, sister Sofia danced bhangra, and Joel, starting small in high school with breakdance, outdid us all by attending dance college in the far reaches of frozen Finland.

As my brother married a dancer, the Day of Dance could not slip by unnoticed in their household, and that afternoon Joel donned his high school sweater and took his wife by the crook of her arm, and they set off together for Central Station with a few friends to perform contact improvisation in the open square and, obviously, to amaze and astound the passersby with their lithe acrobatics. Photos courtesy of Petrus Hyvönen.

Natalie once said, "Joel makes growing up look cool."


I have to think my own thoughts in my own way.
- Bridge Carson, Green SPD Power Ranger

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

I Found Tintin in Tibet

I seem to find Tintin wherever I turn, and I really don't mind.


Hey, everyone! Check out how cool I am.
- Ziggy Grover, Green RPM Power Ranger