Construction and bad reputation

I interviewed today an English professor who told me that people all over the world have a really negative view about construction. It's often typified as confrontational, lacking vision, risk averse and engaged in "cut throat" competition, exacerbated by a lack of trust, inappropriate contracts and poor communications. He thought that we should begin to think differently.

He might be right - without construction I wouldn't be sitting here in the posh open-plan office or have a nice home to go to.

I had nice weekend, met my friends, but I did't accomplish all the things I should have. I still have a lot to do before my holiday on Wednesday. Mainly washing some clothes. I watched two films, Amelie and Laws of Attraction with Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore.

So, I quess I won't be writing this blog for at least two weeks. Instead, I'm in Provence enjoying beautiful landskapes, tasty wines and relaxing in country atmosphere. We are going to visit Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Arles, Nimes and Montpellier. It might be that we have time to go to Marseille as well.


First names in my family

My grandmothers: Elmi Helena and Helmi Sofia
My grandfathers: Viljo Johannes and Unto Johannes

My great grandmothers: 2 x Maria, Hilma Sofia and Sanni
My great grandfathers: Juho, Sameli, Matti and Eino

My grandparents' grandmothers: 3 x Susanna, 2 x Hedvig, Hedvig Sofia, Anna-Lisa, Helena
My grandparents' grandfathers: 4 x Juho (Johan), Salomon Henrik, Niilo, Tuomas (Thomas), Jaakko (Jakob)

It's funny that Susanna and Hedvig seem to be quite popular in my family, also Juho is very common. You might also notice that the name Sofia as a second first name is a sort of a tradition in my grandmother's family. Helmi Sofia's mother is Hilma Sofia and her mother is Hedvig Sofia.


Brother and maples

My brother stopped by today to get the maples from our garden.

He couldn't take them all because the roots were already so deep, so he only took some of the younger ones. It will be fun to see if they grow in the forest 350 kilometres north from here. But well, why wouldn't they.

The maple that grows here in Finland (Acer platanoidesis, in Finnish metsävaahtera) is not the same as in North America (Acer saccharum, in Finnish sokerivaahtera).

My husband travelled to Scotland for a conference and I asked him to bring us some single malt whiskey. He complained that we haven't drunk the whiskies we already have. This is because we very seldom drink any strong alcohol. Also the beer will be left untouches these days. We have become wine people, but not very sophisticated ones. I prefer warmhearted South African wines to elegant Bordeaux or Bourgogne wines.

So maybe he just brings some tea and lemon curd.


Gossips and Cleaning

Today at work I did a story about one CEO and his views of the future, but I quess most of my time I spent cleaning my desk. You couldn't imagine the piles of papers that are trying to collapse over me.
There was of course a good reason for this cleaning mania. I will start my holiday after one week and one of those "summer people" is going to invade my desk when I'm gone. I don't want to be responsible for the accident with heavy year reports.

I also had lunch with a friend of mine - and oh, the amount of gossiping! Anyway, it was very nice to see her and have a chance to talk freely.

Pretty soon it's time to go to the French lesson again, this will be the last one. The course is very short, yet intesive. Suggestopedia has meant singing, sitting in armchairs and a lot of interaction with other people. I still feel that I should learn more. I think I will continue next fall and take the same course as my husband.


My Finnish Lapphund Jekku and his water bowl on our balcony Sunday 5th June Posted by Hello

French lesson ahead

My French lesson starts after half an hour. I took my grammar book with me, but I quess it's useless because they are using the suggestopedia as teaching method.
I wonder what it's going to be like. Maybe we learn the phrases.


Our dog has more toys than a normal child

Some of our dog's soft toys Posted by Hello
(Photo taken by RK - 5th June 2005)

Dinner with the cook went fine. We cooked salmon lasagne for him and his family. The weather wasn't too great - it has rained a lot. Beware of the snails!

The dog has brought all his soft toys outside to the garden. He really has a huge number of them. His darling is an orange coloured cat, he also likes the yellow duck that squeks. Now they all lie on the grass soaking wet.

I'm starting my French lessons tomorrow. It's been years since I've spoken any French

Stupid test - but nice results

Your Birthdate: September 30
Your birthday on the 30th day of the month shows individual self-expression is necessary for your happiness.
You tend to have a good way of expressing yourself with words, certainly in a manner that is clear and understandable.
You have a good chance of success in fields requiring skill with words.

You can be very dramatic in your presentation and you may be a good actor or a natural mimic.
You have a vivid imagination that can assist you in becoming a good writer or story-teller.
Strong in your opinions, you always tend to think you are on the right side of an issue.

There may be a tendency to scatter your energies and have a lot of loose ends in your work.
You may have significant artistic talent and be very creative.

What Does Your Birth Date Mean?


Little friend in my mother's garden Posted by Hello
(Photo taken by RK / May 2005)

The amazing thing is that the dog doesn't even bark at him. He just stares - what's that funny creature with those spikes...


Weekend plans - inviting a cook for dinner

Weekend is just one hour away. It's going to be interesting.

Tomorrow we are going to visit a dream house our friends have bought in Espoo near Helsinki. It's an old so called Terijoki villa with over 200 squere meters and three floors. It's going to be a nice home for them, their three children and two dogs.

Terijoki is a former Finnish town - nowadays in Russia, 50 kilometres from Saint Petersburg and called Zelenogorsk. It was famous sea resort before the war and it was known with its beautiful wooden villas. When the times got a bit restless after Russian revolution 1917 the owners started to take them (villas) down and set them up again in other towns in Finland. I could say this was fortunate, because later the most of the villas in Terijoki were destroyed in the winter and continuation war.

Friends' house in Espoo Posted by Hello

Sunday we have invited a cook and his wife for dinner. The cook is an acquaintance of my husband. It's sort of funny to cook for a cook. Let's see how it turns out.

My brother called and he is going to stop by. I promised to give him the four maples that grow in the wrong place in the middle of the rose bushes. He has his own forest, so he can plant them there.


My husband reading one of his favourites Posted by Hello

My first meme ever

You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
"Surfacing" by Margaret Atwood

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
A handsome prince that rescues her princess. This was when I was very little and my beloved grandmother told me a lot of fairytales.

The last book you bought is?
Quino's comic book Mafalda 2

What are you currently reading?
Hongan tarina by Heikki Turunen. The book tells a story about Honkarakenne company.

Five books you would take to a deserted island:
"Satayksi" by Ilmari Turja (to give me some laughs)
Etelä-Pohjanmaan historia III (a history book, to remember my roots)
"Etruscan" by Mika Waltari
The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (just to remember where I am)

Who are you going to pass this stick to and why?
I don't like teasing my friends, so I quess to nobody.


Raincoat or umbrella?

Which do you think is better, raincoat or umbrella?
I prefer raincoat, especially when I'm walking with my dog.
And besides, Helsinki is a windy city and I hate it when the umbrella turns upside down.
Today you really had use for them. We have had rain for hours. Well, the good thing is that the plants don't need watering.

I sense a problem . It's not there yet, but it's coming if this rain continues.
I'm talking about the snails (ariantha arbustorum). I'm pretty sure they are going to invade my garden.