what else, lately

Been to Nice, twice. Part Sealed Air sales meetings, part fun with the lads. Promenade des Anglais never fails to perk you up after a Finnish winter of shit and despair. I always buy Hediard tea in Nice, makes any Karis breakfast into Paris brunch. Sat next to Keke (there is only one) on the flight home, but was so intimidated by his god-like aura that I did not dare speak to him, never mind cutting off a lock of his hair. All I could think of was, “why is he flying economy like me…”

Nice1

Nice2

Nice3

What else? We took Scarlett to Junibacken in Stockholm. A lovely place for a child. In fact, we all had a great time inside the head of Astrid Lindgren. Are her characters not truly mindblowing? Frankly, I realized I’d been taking all these stories for granted, when in fact a huge – h-u-g-e – part of my childhood comes from her imagination alone. Ah, bow before the glorious unlimited power of fiction, still and always smoking plain old reality, exposing it for what it really is; a bit blurry and largely undefined.

Junibacken1

Junibacken2

the poser

Sometimes sweet as sugar, sometimes a rebel without a clue. I like both. But painting her lips with blue permanent marker… well, it wore off. After awhile. Quite awhile…

Poser1

Poser2

Poser3

Poser4

Poser5

the market

When I say “market”, chances are you know what I mean, if you’re from around here. It was common practice. When we were small, my family took us there once every fall. Rode the carousels, the ferris wheels, ate the colored liquorice, felt sick afterwards. I hadn’t been there for 20 years, and I had almost forgotten about it… but here we are. Again. Or for the first time, if you ask Scarlett.

Merry-go-round. That’s fun 101.

Choo-choo.

Hey. I am my father. Well over thirty years ago we were here, riding these very same bumper cars. And when I say the very same, I mean they have not changed the bumper cars since. But what matters are those dimples in Scarlett’s cheeks. This is quality time!

Helicopter pilot. Of course.

And in the backseat of a jeep, with two boys driving. Well, I’m going to be watching. Forever.

birthday bike

Babies grow up, they turn 3. Scarlett was no exception. Here she is posing with her shiny new bike, black-and-white Sparky. For now, and to her, the most interesting feature on this vehicle is the bell that, when you ring it, not only does it make a sound, it also flashes in flashy colors. I certainly never had that. When I rang my bell back in 1977, it went “rinnnggg”. Being three and ignorant of future tech, I thought it was wild.

I’m being transported through time at the moment. Altho I had an orange plastic three-wheeler called Snoopy before the age of three, my first bike was a spectacular thing and the first taste of freedom. Oh freedom.
It was very much red, had a white seat, and I ditched the training wheels while still three years old. My dad had to run behind – and I was not just going around the block, I was going far out into the brand new world. It was magnificent. It still is.

Scarlett goes to Moomin World

For summer retrospects, look no further. Instead of bemoaning the fact that autumn is already here (how did that happen?), now, as silent rain is falling on our new (unbelievably awesome) tile roof, is the time to cosy up in front of the fireplace with summer in mind.

Scarlett loves the trolls. She’s been brought up on a diet of white fluffy aliens. So, we (and half the Japanese population) went to town…

Grandma and Scarlett, posing in front of one of the more known buildings of the world. Hint – it is blue, round, and there is lots of jam in the basement…

Hugs aplenty. We hugged them all. I mean ALL. No one, particularly the white and soft and fat kind, escaped our hug-hungry arms. A great sport! Ah, imagine a world without the Moomins. Children would grow up with Teletubbies, horrible things would ensue.

Dad trying Moominpappa’s hat. It is a tad big. But superbly stylish.

Many adventure novels have been created on Moominpappa’s old writing machine. Here’s another one in the making. Keys were pounded in passion. Oh, this will be one of those you can’t put down.

Hat testing continued; the Moominmaiden classic was made for Scarlett.

Ahoy me Scallywags, rascals and people from Turku. Captain Scarlett at the rudder. Sadly the ship is anchored… or we’d be in the Caribbean by now.

Every girl and woman and bra-burning being is Lilla My. But I’ve got the real one.

bye bye winter goodbye

It now seems as though spring has finally broken out of winter’s belly. There are still huge mountains of white junk everywhere, but the tulips are beginning to peek out, and the roads are dry enough to thumb the start button on the Ducati. Chugga chugga chuuuu!

This winter lasted for half a year. Half a bleeding year! What the muck? Just to twitch the blade in my mind, it was colder, and snowed more than ever. Vicious torture. I hate winter. I hate cold and snow.

Yet, when I look back, we all seemed not only to survive, but to blossom;

Mr. Snowman, the biggest baddest dude in town.

Scarlett celebrated her second birthday with a bag full of foodies. It was an intro to her considerably bigger christmas gift to come.

Illustration of concentration. We all baked gingerbread cookies…

A lot of gingerbread cookies.

We ate christmas porridge at grandpa’s.

Scarlett and grandpa, they go together like a horse and carriage.

All wrapped up and ready to be whipped off…

Scarlett’s Kitchen, the best cooking in town. I eat here at least twice a day! You should taste her omelette. Divine!

Eventually, there was so much snow that it was actually hard to find places to dump it. Big hills and snow bridges started to appear all across the garden. Scarlett loved it – what a playground it became! Yeah, that little red dot in the middle, there she is.

I love seeing it melt, on the other hand. Bye bye winter goodbye. Don’t you come knocking on our door again. Or at least not until December. Maybe by then we are already looking up towards the sky, how we wonder where you are?