Sunday, 31 January 2016

Weekend in woolen socks

I love wearing woolen socks,  right now I wear a pair that my friends mother has knitted for me. In fact I have many pairs that she has knitted for me. It is with the heaviest of hearts that I received the news just over a week ago, that she passed away. I have a photograph in my bedroom, on the door to my wardrobe, of her as a child, with her sisters. She was always so warm and kind towards me.

Yesterday I made another lot of hummus, I usually have hummus at home, it is good with bread as a starter or as with the dish I had yesterday, as sauce. This dish is usually served as a breakfast in some breakfast cafés in London. It is far too heavy as breakfast for me, unless it's weekend and you can enjoy it as a brunch. Fried mushrooms and tomatoes on bread with hummus. I use ryebread and I fry the lot in butter and toast the bread..

 I usually receive praise for my hummus, (yes yes, of course I am the worlds greatest cook!), so anyhow, many comment about how it tastes like in the middle east or north africa,  so I shall tell you a little secret. The secret is water. In almost all the recipes I have seen, the amount of water used is very small. I use 1½ cups, sometimes 2 cups of water, when in the recipes the amount is 2-3 tbsp. Try it and don't forget to use salt. So many peeps leave out the salt in hummus and well, it sort of is rather essential. I have been lucky to have learned to cook some arabic and northern aftrican dishes, with friends whom have relatives or have lived there themselves. I love to cook and I love to mix different dishes. 

Remember to love and be present. Take care all you beautiful people!

Saturday, 30 January 2016

A birthday

Thank you for the lovely birthdaycards, the gifts and messages!
I am a blessed soul, I am very grateful! 
Kiitos! Tack! Merci! Thank you!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016


My oh my, did the weather change drastically, from winter wonderland to dangerous iceroads. I have been skating and tap-dancing all my ways today.

I like winter, but this outcome is the stage in winter I actually I try to just think that the days seem longer already, the light has changed. Spring is soon here. There's small lovely milestones ahead. A few gigs, theatre, a romantic getaway...

Above is a flowerstand, that might have been a lamp in its previous life. It certainly provides lovely shadow play on the wall and door.

Stay upright and love!

Monday, 25 January 2016

A challenge about morning routines, hih!

I received a few questions, regarding morning routines in my everyday life, if I watch morning television and so on. Well, not sure if anyone really is interested, but I decided to give it a go, hih!

I usually press snooze a few times when the alarm goes off, and snuggle under the covers with a furry friend. A fantastic start to the day to slowly wake up to purring. I believe it should be mandatory that all humans should wake up to a warm and purring friend. I believe the outcome would be a kinder world. Or then I rush myself, wake up, wake up, there is so much I need to tell my darling and warm gentle lips to kiss.

My breakfast usually consist of ryeporridge with chopped flaxseed (linseed). A large mug of coffee with honey and milk. And vitamin D and B. I lit candles and try not to hurry.
If I wake elsewhere, I usually miss this moment in the mornings, my own mug with french roast or dark roast coffee with honey and milk, the lit candles, the silence. I think I have a lovely home and I enjoy my mornings in my house.

I don't own a tv, I can watch tv on my computer but I do not watch anything regularly. I have forgotten how it is, to watch tv daily or follow a series. I did follow Downton Abby. Or tried to. I absolutely adore Dame Maggie Smith, and her role as the Dowager Countess of Grantham was brilliant. The series did turn out such a soap after the third or fourth season, but I still continued watching.

I don't spend time putting on make-up, as I usually don't use anything else than lipstick.

I work daily and I enjoy my work. I usually cykle to work, but for the past few weeks I have walked, it has been too cold, my bike does not operate if it is very cold. But now it is mild again, I shall go back to my cykling routine.

In the weekends, my morning routine is very similar, except that I go back to bed after breakfast and continue sleep or I might listen to the radio, a pod or a playlist.  It is such luxury. 

Well. Happy enjoyable mornings to you all. If anyone feels like catching this challenge, please feel free and tell the world about your morning routines. 

Sunday, 24 January 2016


I love having traditions, things I do annually.
Making blinis is a wonderful tradition.

I made the root to the dough on friday evening and yesterday we fried blinis. We topped them with smetana, roe, red onion, cold smoked salmon and dill. For starters we had pickled gerkhins with smetana and honey. So wonderfully delicious. We enjoyed a bottle of sparkling wine.

We finished off our delicious dinner with a cheese-cake made by darling L.  White chocolate and mascarpone cheese were among the ingredients...yummy!

What a wonderful evening we had!

Oh, if you have a chance to see the swedish film, en man som  heter Ove, I warmly recommend.  We saw it a few weeks ago, and my goodness, I laughed and cried so so much.

This lovely song by lovely Laleh, well, it's the title song of the film. Enjoy!
And love, plenty and crazy and wild!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

A lovesong for M. Chagall

After writing my post yesterday, I immediately thought of Chagall. That I ought to sing my lovesong for Marc Chagall here on the blog.
I find his work very sensual, very romantic and quite often very funny. I saw a large exhibition in the beginning of the 90's at the Retretti artmuseum. I remember not liking the artmuseum itself, but the paintings were wonderful.

Here is a favorite Chagall painting called The Acrobat in my kitchen. I have a few old prints of his work. Dried rowanberries on a wire next to it...

Well all you beautiful peeps reading this, take care, stay warm and spread love.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Amedeo Modigliani and romantic wabble

I've loved Amedeo Modigliani since, well, it seems like forever. I think I can recall one of the first paintings that I fell for, but my love for his art, has never faded.
I even felt a heartbeat when I saw a small painting of his in a small museum in London.
Well, today I read it in the newspaper. The Ateneum artmuseum in Helsinki is going to host a large exhibition of Amedeo Modigliani next autumn. I am so excited! I shall spend a day, no many days at the museum. It is a wonderful museum, if you ever visit Helsinki, I warmly recommend to pay a visit.

The next exhibition is for the work of Auguste Rodin.  When I lived in Paris for a while in my youth, I used to frequently visit the Rodin museum, and its' fantastic garden. At the time, the garden was more like a small park with a small garden café. Apparently it has been under renovation, I hope they have saved the garden, because it was sort of an oasis in the huuuuge city. I believe I can still find my way there, even though I haven't been there for so many years. The adress is 77 rue de Varennes.
I know the city has changed, I no longer speak the language, well, I can follow a very slow french film, but to engage myself in a conversation, well, it would probably feel like climbing the mount Everest. I was once very happy there, but I have also been so completely heartbroken that I swore I should never return. Well, my heart has healed long long long ago and I shall take my darling L to visit the city of love, one day.
Of course, I have changed. I am as romantic as ever, and hence I am going to end with the words of Ernest Hemingway, in his book, a Moveable feast, a romantic novel of the years he lived in Paris. I recall they often ate. Anyhow, it is years since I read the novel, but the conclusion has stayed with me ever since; "This is how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and very happy."

Here is a small vintage postcard of one of Amedeo Modigliani's halfnude ladies. I have it framed. This picture is from the beloved shoebox, some years ago.

Happiness is...

...all Anna Ahmatova's poems translated to finnish by Anneli Heliö. Finally!

Friday, 15 January 2016

Poems on the underground

I have for years planned to do this again, as I made a similar piece back in 2009, it was sold.
This is one of the first poems that appeared on the London underground in 1986, and I remember falling for this poem by William Carlos Williams. Later I have bought compilations of the poems that appeared over the years and this still remains a favorite. Each letter is cut out separately and glued.

Here is the original I made back in 2009:

I had a small vintage frame that suited the poem so well, pardon the bad quality of the picture:

We are enjoying fantastic winterweather, powdersnow and beautiful sunlight. Yesterday we kicked off our thursday game of badminton, so much fun!!! We've had a break in our hobbies too over the holidays. A certain someones mister even dragged himself to the gym this morning! That is way too brisk for me! But we train at the gym on tuesdays, but in the evening ;) Life is very good. 

Weekend again, wishing you a lovely one! Take care and love!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Reality check

So I woke up this morning to it beeing rather cold in the kitchen. I have an airheating-pump, but when it falls down to -25 degrees Celsius, it stops producing warm air. 
So I sort of forgot about it last night and during the night it stopped producing warm air. So my waterpipes in the kitchen froze, they are drawn along the floors and it is so cold, they froze. I managed to defrost them using a hairdryer. Thank god one has invested in such,  though I cannot use it for drying my own hair, I have such hair it goes so electric, even the cat is frighten of me. This was perhaps not one of those better ways to start the day.
When I eventually left for work, it was -28 degrees Celsius. My bike did not work. Of course not.

L's first wife, lovely M-l wrote, "Today is not the day I'm jealous of your life in the house Nina!" I replied that nor am I, and I do not pinch myself in the arm to check if it is all a dream.

But this too will pass. The weather will be milder soon.
I bought an extra heater and it is getting so much warmer in the kitchen. Plus there are several ways of making sure they do not freeze. The best way is to let the tap drop. 

So, just to let you know it isn't just a sweet pretty bed of roses to live in this old house. Most of the time it is, but not when it is this freezing.

Keep warm. And love.

Above are some glasses I purchaised at the  local flea market. I had a few similar from before and I thought these will be a nice way to burn tea lights. Plenty of tea lights.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Well hello January!

Thank you dear ones for asking, yes, I am still here, just enjoying my holiday.

Happy New Year dear dear friends! 

 A small travelicon by Tarja Juusontytär.

We had guests over the new year.
The weather turned more winterish as the year came to a close. We enjoyed a glass of sparkling under the spectacular fireworks, provided by the city down by the shore at 6 p.m.

Before the fireworks, there was programme for families. As one of our guests is a a little toddler , a 2½year old, she got to ride a wagon with a pony. Very exciting.

We then headed back home were we prepared dinner. We had toast Skagen (made with crawfishtails) and a salad with cherry tomatoes, smoked salmon, roasted nuts, soft goats cheese, home made vinaigrette sauce topped with pomegranate. We then made lots and lots of waffles with whipped cream and raspberry jam. Until we just could not eat any more!

At midnight we stepped outside, stood on the terrace and we were spoiled yet again with remarkable fireworks, this time by people living in our neighborhood.

Now onto another topic.

When we have guests, I don't want to be the first one to place a mobile phone on the table. Some studies say that the presence of a phone, or the fact it is in mere sight, changes the level of conversation and presence. That we keep the topics as such, so it doesn't matter if we are interrupted. I have noticed the same.
It so seems that our guests and friends seem to be alike, not sure if it is because we prefer to spend time together over documenting every single move. I love taking pictures, but I don't want to loose out on the actual moment.We did talk about this phenomena, that sometimes you get a feeling that certain people do things mainly in order to be able to show pics on social media, rather than enjoying the walk or the dinner or the travels...

It is similar to what it is to be present. I've studied mindfulness for many years and use it regularly in my work. It fascinates me. And it is something that we need to practice even more now.

When I go through what it means to be heard, with my students, many actually reflect upon having been asked the right and correct questions, but that there seldom is a situation where the other person really listens to the answer. Or is even remotely interested in the answer. Meaning, asks follow up questions related to your answer. It is easily done, not because we don't care, but we're too busy doing other things simultaneously, or are in our minds elsewhere...
Ask yourself, do you know what your spouse or your mum or your sister dreams of? Or is it something you just think you know. To find out what they really dream of, you can't just ask directly, because then the answer will be of the sort that could be easily predicted by anyone, you know, a new phone, a new house, a trip abroad. What they really dream of, you can only find out with time, when you stop trying to figure out what to answer, when you show that you really are interested in hearing. It may take a long time, but slowly the outcome of words, the pauses, the gazes, the hmmms, the looking for words, will be of most genuine sort. I also think it has to do with self esteem to a certain point. That you can forget about focusing only on yourself and paying a bit more attention on hearing what your near and dear ones are saying, what they think about, what they wonder about.

The travelicon above is by a lovely artisan Tarja Juusontytär. It is made of tin, she makes the most beautiful articles of tin. I have a cornerlantern of hers aswell and a few other small bits and pieces. Here is a picture of the cornerlantern, from the beloved shoebox. Tarja can be found on facebook or here.