maanantai 29. syyskuuta 2008

Korean delight

And so another week has started. I had a fun Friday evening with few other Finns who live in The Netherlands. We had a "Korean evening", including Korean food (cooked by a Japanese lady, funny that), drinks and music. Even got to try on a Korean national costume, which was beautiful. I have to admit Korean food was a complete mystery to me before last Friday, but it was a delicious surprise. If you like Asian food, I can fully recommend it. I felt quite fragile the next day, but I reckon that was due to too much Korean rice wine... oops.

I forgot to take my camera with me, so I can not share any pictures with you, sorry. But here are couple of snapshots from our dinning room. We found the old English typecase from our local antique shop (we must be one of their best customers!).

torstai 25. syyskuuta 2008

Nocturnal activity

Our house smells and looks fresh and clean. The sun is shining and birds are singing. It is quite a beautiful day. Shame I can not fully enjoy it... I am utterly knackered today as I slept really bad last night. Woke up around 4 am and could not fall back asleep anymore (don't you just hate it when that happens!). I kept tossing and turning, punching my pillow, until around 5.45 am I gave up and got up for a while. I sat in our dark quiet living room, listening to clocks ticking, hoping the sleep will come. I dozed off for a while after 7 am, but that was about it *yawn*
I hope I get better sleep tonight. I want to be perky tomorrow as I am suppose to go partying to Amsterdam with some other Finnish expats. I am sure it will be good fun, as usual with that bunch of more or less crazy Finns. The pale blue is gone from our living room and now autumn colours rule.
My Buddha mask, which I found from London's Portobello Road few years ago. I like the touch of orient here and there, spicing things up.

tiistai 23. syyskuuta 2008

Step back in time

My partner had been eyeing this old (most probably Victorian) writing slope at our local antique shop Hoets Antiek for a while already (he even dreamt about it once, awe). Last week he finally went and brought it home and now it has pride of place on his desk. It is complete with ink bottles, secret compartments and all. It might not be one of the most elaborately decorated writing slopes, but we like the simplicity of it and it just looks spot on in its new environment. The main thing is you can store surprisingly lot of home office clutter inside it. And the reason why we are so keen to get rid of extra clutter... Few weeks ago we finally managed to find a cleaning lady who comes to clean our house once a week. It is SO fantastic. During the past weeks we have been clearing the house a bit, making sure there are not too many odd bits and pieces lying around, so it is easier to clean. As long as she stays happy and keeps coming back, making us happy :-)
This old postcard from 1929 was inside the slope.

sunnuntai 21. syyskuuta 2008

Impulse purchases

What a gorgeous sunny weekend it has been, and so warm. Yesterday we hopped on a train and went to Leiden for a walk. We popped at t'Gemakje and did not leave empty handed, but more of that later. On one of the intriguing pretty side streets we encountered a small art gallery. We liked what we saw through the window, so went in to check it out. Everything was by the same artist, Rien van der Nat, and he was there himself. A real character. We ended up leaving with two etchings (talking about impulse purchases).

I said to my boyfriend we better go home now before our wee walk gets even more expensive... But no regrets, we really like what we got and I have a feeling we will visit his gallery again.

Some autumn colour from our garden. The plant on the left is called Firethorn, especially blackbirds love its berries. I have no idea what the other one is called, it was planted by the previous owner, but it has pretty red berries.

tiistai 16. syyskuuta 2008

Rambling thoughts

It just dawned to me that in three month's time we will be on our way to Finland again. This time to spend Christmas there. It is sometimes scary how quick the time flies. The past 20 years went in a blink, not to mention the past ten years.

I still remember so clearly when I packed my belongings and moved from Kotka to Turku, that was in 1996, 12 years ago. I remember how horrible it felt to leave my hometown, including my family and friends. In 1999 I packed my stuff again and moved to Scotland and I have never regretted that decision. Ironically that move was much easier than the previous one, though this time I moved to another country. Suppose I was already used to not seeing my family and friends on a regular basis. You get used to things and modern technology helps of course.

After Scotland I made couple of more pit stops (London and Helsinki) before I ended up in the Netherlands. It feels like yesterday, though I have been here almost four years already. Now I am not planning to pack my belongings and move for the next 20 years or so. Our retirement plan is to move to Finland, but until then we are staying put.

I guess my approaching 40th birthday is to blame for this trip down the memory lane...

perjantai 12. syyskuuta 2008

True blue

Oh I am so glad it is Friday and the whole weekend is ahead of me. Time to recharge my batteries, so to speak. And finally time to update my blog.

I was hoping to go shopping with my boyfriend tomorrow, but I do not think that will happen. During the past week he has had a very bad lower back pain, so he has been hovering around the house like a Neanderthal man; grunting (out of pain) and not being able to straighten his back. And of course I am still battling with RSI. So what a couple we make; I am half crippled from the waist up and he is half crippled from the waist down. And we are not even 40 yet! Oh golly. We should get a family discount from our physiotherapist.

Few pictures from our living room. Pink cushions and candles have been tucked away again and only blue remains as an accent colour.

I am quite a big fan of glass paperweights. I like them simple and not too colourful. Here are few examples I have managed to find.
Oh and good news; our heating is working again. Hurray!

torstai 4. syyskuuta 2008

Boiler problems

It is cold, windy and rainy over here. I suppose the Autumn has officially arrived to The Netherlands. Yesterday evening it got so cold we decided to put the heating on (we have not used it for months). I re-programmed the thermostat, but nothing happened. We even reset the boiler couple of times, but STILL nothing happened! Pipes made few cracking sounds, that was all. Our radiators stayed stone cold, and so did I. ARGH! At that moment I really wished we had a fireplace... Only way to get warm was to wrap a throw around me and have a glass of single malt whiskey, which worked. We need to get the heating fixed as soon as possible, and buy more single malt of course, heaven knows how much of that liquid gold I am going to need during the weekend... bbrrrr...

I have already showed you few pictures from our holiday in Finland. If you are interested in seeing more Finnish scenery, please go and check our pictures on the Flickr website.

Tomato success

Our cherries were eaten by birds, but thankfully they are not into tomatoes. We grew tomatoes for the first time last year, did ok, and this year we decided to try again. What a success! We planted five plants and now we are getting so many tomatoes we are hardly able to eat them all. Homegrown veggies taste so much better than the ones you buy from a grocery store, mmmmh munch munch. We will definitely do this all over again next year. And perhaps next year we will also get few cherries...

And last but not least, I received this nice award from Valloittava Valkoinen. Thank you very much Anu.

I will pass this award to the following two entertaining blogs:
Mijn rondrommel plekje
Talo Metsän Reunassa