Finland – The Finndian Way!

I apologise in advance, there will be lots of pics, but then again there are gaps in the photos, as they include my kids and nephew, and we don’t generally put them on the blog!

 

As you all know, we had our surprise trip to Finland planned for the half term holidays. The main aim of the visit was to surprise my Pops for his 70th birthday!

Things are never smooth sailing, as I mentioned in a previous post to you all, but it started with traffic before we had even arrived!

Then once we checked in, the security check was another obstacle! I had all my liquids in a little bag, and was confidently striding over to take my bag off the conveyor belt when I realised that it was on the other side of the perspex screen… erm… what have I done now?

It ended up not being me, but Hubby Dearest slipping a roll on deodorant in my hand luggage! As the security guy checked everything, he asked me whether I had ever been told I resembled anyone… Nope, not really, apart from my mum!

Apparently I am the spitting image of Shappi Khorsandi, the Iranian Comedienne!

 

Shappi

You Decide!

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Me!

 

We managed to release ourselves from there relatively quickly after the guy told me that was a great compliment, and Hubby Dearest muttered “Hitting on my wife… in from of me!” under his breath as we walked away!

The flight was as uneventful as it could be, with two kids who can’t be near each other for too long!

 

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The sea of cloud we flew across

 

Arrival and taxi to the hotel was fine, and we were greeted by the sight of several older folk literally staggering around the front of our hotel, drunk! There had a vow renewal service there, and obviously, it was a very good party afterwards!

My brother was sat inside cringing… What a first impression of Helsinki! But we loved it! Looked like a great place to be!

The room was compact but able to accommodate all 4 of us, but there was no air conditioning, and considering the weather we had there, ranging from 23-25 degree Celsius the whole time, it was pretty hot!

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I had my one and only drink there, a traditional Finnish brew called Original, made from grapefruit, that my brother introduced me too. It’s a shame I ended up too tired most evenings, as that would have been a nice end to each of the days!

 

The next day we were picked up by my brother ready for the main event, the photo shoot. Pops was speechless when we walked in, not expecting to see his whole little family in one room at the same time! I think we truly made his year!  Many photos were taken, of the family and various combinations of this person and that!

 

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This is what love is!

 

 

I snuck in and took some candid shots of the shoot taking place, and this is one of my wonderful parents!

 

It was so amazing to all be together, seeing my brother, sister-in-law, and my gorgeous nephew! Seeing our children bonding was priceless. They don’t get that chance much, but I was so happy to see it all!

After the photo shoot, we were whisked back to their flat for lunch. We experienced the Metro and walked through parts of the city too.

20160529_115043 This was when we saw Pii Poo… Sorry, I had to giggle at that name… toilet humour… runs in the family! It was a toy and Lego shop that Lil Man was desperate to go to, but it was always closed when we went there!

 

After lunch, my brother took the boys to Team Helsinki’s cricket ground, which was like a dream come true for Lil Man, who got to play in their nets! He surprised a few there too with his skills!

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We spent at least an hour a day, if not more, at various parks during our stay there, as there are these amazing parks for children all around the city. Children are given the opportunity to learn through play so much, and learn independence, and social skills through learning to share!

The next day we walked LOTS! From the hotel, we went down the Boulevardii.

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One of the main  roads in Helsinki city, it has a mix of amazing buildings and eclectic shops down it, cafes and restaurants spring up all over the place!

 

There are so many wonderful buildings to see, like the Cathedral, and various theatres, and the main station with its iconic 4 figures at the front.

We walked up the steps to the Cathedral, and my brother took an arty shot from the bottom, but I haven’t got that yet! It’s kind of ‘spot the Indians’! But I do have Pops and me helping each other down the stairs!

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We went to a park named The Plague… beautiful park, gruesome history! Basically, when the Bubonic plague hit Helsinki it lost two-thirds of its population, and this was where many were buried.

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A memorial to those that died of the Plague

We saw the Wooden Church, (surprisingly all made of wood), that was in the middle of the City.

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We crossed numerous bridges too, over the canal…

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There is also this great installation near my brother’s flat, on the dockside. Basically, a charity drive was set up called Horizons, to raise funds to clean the waterways around the city. Those that donated had their names on little metal plaques. They are all attached onto this wall, and when the wind blows they look like the waves in the sea!

I can’t forget to mention the Pissing  Man! What a funny installation!!

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The next day was a trip to the Zoo which is on an island! We walked in through the city to the docks to catch a ferry. Boy, was it hot!

I don’t entirely agree with zoos, and animals in captivity, but it was pretty amazing to be so up close to so many magnificent creatures, like lions, tigers, bears, to name a few!

Can’t forget the beautiful Peacocks and Peahens!

Oh, and I got attacked by a Canadian Goose! I unknowingly went to close to its nest, and it flew at me and pecked at my head! I still have a sore spot there!

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This is not the crazy duck, but one with two gorgeous ducklings!

 

 

I also caught Pops and Mum strolling romantically through the enclosures!

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And we can’t forget the giant mosquito!

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That was also the night Lil Princess suffered heatstroke (told her to drink plenty and keep her hat on, but would she listen?!) so we dealt with vomit and all sorts, thanks to a great hotel staff!

The next day meant that I had to stay in with her, as she wasn’t right, but the rest of the Finndian contingency went on a boat ride courtesy  of my Sis in Law’s brother. Lil Man got to steer the boat too, he was so excited! And they went to one of the numerous islands on the coast to paddle in the sea!

 

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Lil Man sailing!

 

 

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My Family

 

 

Popped for a coffee with my Pops, Mum and Brother, while Hubby Dearest had the kids at a play centre, and sis in law took my nephew for his nap!

 

It was a wonderful trip, all in all!

Here are a few other random shots from the trip…

 

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Dog parking anyone?

 

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Breakfast fit for a Queen!

 

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Egg Box Lego! How cool!!

 

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Good indicators!

 

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A boat Lil Man insisted I take a picture of!

 

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Row upon row of Nakki – or Sausage to you and me!

 

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Luggage packed, it was time for home…

 

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Helsinki cried as we left…

 

And to top it off on the plane, Lil Man had a pocketful of change so wanted to buy something from the Dutyfree… he found Jellybeans for five Euros. Then he promptly spilt half of them on the floor. As he was eating some of the surviving ones, this happened!

 

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Yup, that’s his tooth! Luckily it was already wobbly!

So now we are home, my piles of laundry are done, and it is back to the real world… one more day before school starts back…

I only wish I could share the video of Pops being surprised… I was just sent it today, but it has the children in it… Still this whole holiday has been a time to create priceless memories, and to cement relationships for the kids with their other family.

It was wonderful! I hope you enjoyed a little stroll through Helsinki with me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#SoCS July 15/17 – Book Title

Thank’s Linda for a real doozy this week!

The #SoCS prompt this week is…

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “book title.” Take the title of the book you’re currently reading or the one sitting closest to you when you’re ready to write your SoCS post and base your post on the title only. I’m not asking for a book review or a synopsis, just whatever the title itself brings to mind. For example, Gone Girl makes me remember the first time I left home to live by myself. Or Lord of the Rings makes me think of all the rings I’ve owned in my life. Enjoy!

Ok, so the book I am currently reading is called My Dad Wrote a Porno: The fully annotated edition of Rocky Flintstone’s Belinda Blinked by Jamie Morton, James Cooper, Alice Levine and Jamie’s dad, Rocky Flintstone (Author Name obvs!)

Wow! So what came to mind when I thought of ‘My Dad Wrote A Porno’…

Noooooooo!!!!!!
OMG! That just could not happen!!!!! I can only think of my Pops as a spiritual, loving dad, with Yogic tendencies, not that Porn, or suchlike would ever be exposed to him!!! (literally, figuratively, EVER!)
And I am not even going to think any more about it lol!
I know they did ‘it’ at least twice, and my brother and I are proof of that, but apart from that… *fingers in ear* singing “nah nah nah nah nah nah nah! I can’t hear you !”

Sorry, Linda, that’s my lot, I feel a little disturbed now lol!!!!

71! It’s Pop’s Birthday!

Today is the birthday of a man who is very special to me. In fact, without him, I wouldn’t be around today, literally!

It’s Pop’s Birthday Y’all!

Now if you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you will know the importance that my Pops has in my life. He has been a tower of strength, a teacher of positivity, a provider of stability, a fount of love. And my brother and I are so lucky to have him as one-half of our amazing parents!

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I have always been a total daddy’s girl, and he has always doted on me.

Over 40 years ago, when I was born, a woman came to see me. My mum’s mother had come over from Kenya. This woman came over and practically started to mourn the fact that the grandma had come over and a girl, rather than a boy, had been born.

My Pops was disgusted, and said, straight to her face that she should be ashamed, being a woman herself, and saying that. When I was born, he actually distributed sweets to the family. At the time this was only done when a boy was born. But from the beginning, my Pops had a strong belief that we are all equal. Boy or girl, your baby was a blessing from above and we should be thankful for our child.

We were able to give Pops the surprise of a lifetime last year, when it was his 70th birthday, by arranging for the whole of his family to be in Finland, for a holiday to celebrate his big day. If you want, you can read more about that fantastic trip here.

I only wish we were able to give him that kind of surprise every year but alas, it is not always possible.

Still, I wanted to take this time out to say Happy Birthday Pops! I love you very much, and feel blessed to have a father like you! ❤

Happy Birthday

 

Thursday Thought – #Meditate

“Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess, just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best.” – www.dailyinspirationalquotes.in

My mum told me last night to have a chamomile tea to relax myself.

I know it’s meant to help, but what won’t help is the need for me to rush to the toilet in the middle of the night, ruining the full night’s sleep that I hoped to get! Especially after the last few nights!

And so I did what my Pops always tells me to do.

Sit back, empty your mind and breathe.

Inhale through the mouth, and exhale completely, slowly. If you wish to make it a meditation, you can chant something that calms you. Breathe in this way for 5-10 minutes and empty your mind of everything else. Concentrate on the breath entering and leaving your body. The vibrations of the chant will sooth your brain.

Many people automatically use the word “Om”.

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Image from Google

We say, “Waheguru”.

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Image from Google

And so before bed, that is what I did.

I have woken up fresh, ready to handle the dreaded observation today. I know what my capabilities are. I can only hope my team are on side and able to support me and the children in the way I really would like them to. It’s all in the hands of ‘Them’ now!

Who knows when I get my feedback. but I’l be glad when this afternoon is over, I can tell you that!!!

Thanks for all the good wishes though, your words have given me more confidence!

Luck and Love Peeps!

Finndian Update!

Moi all!

That’s ‘Hello’, for those of you that aren’t familiar with Finnish, or you could say ‘Hey’!

So far we have had a fantastic time!

The journey to the airport could have been a bit better, we got stuck in traffic… thank you M25! But we got there in time, checked in, and had a few rushed moments to get to duty-free, then on to the flight.

It is not fun travelling with two kids at that “I HATE my brother/sister” stage, and that is exactly what we were dealing with here!

But we managed to land without bloodshed and the promise that Hubby Dearest sit in between them on the way home!

In the taxi, Lil Man was practising his Finnish, or the one word he knows… Moi. If said twice, Moi Moi, it means bye.  He asked the driver if, because we say Moi for ‘hello’, and Moi Moi for ‘bye’, is ‘bye-bye’ Moi Moi Moi Moi? That got a few giggles!

We arrived, and the hotel was great, though the room really HOT!  We had been upgraded from a family room to a superior room, though I struggled to tell the difference… still, we got a balcony and a sea view!

My brother snuck out without letting Pops know and popped over to see us, to make plans for the forthcoming surprise then left, so we could get unpacked.

The next day was the surprise photo shoot.

As we were eating breakfast, I got the following message from my Pops…

Sat Siri Akal everyone.
Just had breakfast.
Talking to your brother, I told him it was always in my mind, I wish we had a whole family photo so that I can see the whole family as I get up in the morning, rather than loooking at individual pics.
He says when they come to the UK in July we will do something.
May Guruji make his idea and our wish true.
Wish you were here today.
Don’t get upset, I love my whole clan dearly.

That’s it, he knows. We were convinced. The surprise has got leaked…

We were convinced. The surprise has got leaked…

The surprise has got leaked…

My brother came to get us. And he reassured me that no, Pops has no idea, but he was just very emotional this morning, wishing we could have all been together.

Mum, my sis in law, nephew, and Pops were at the studio and we arrived 5 minutes after them.

It was a good thing Pops was sitting down when we came in.

His face just dropped in shock, then he gave me the biggest hug, and said, ” I have no words…”

There were tears, many hugs, and lots of love flying around, as he came to terms with the fact that his wish was going to come true!

The photo shoot went swimmingly, with whole family shots, individual family shots, all the combinations you could imagine, and some individual shots too… My brother thought it could be a good shot for when I finally get that book out there, and can say I am officially a ‘Writer’!

Since then, we have walked lots, been to many of the numerous parks for children littered around the inner city of Helsinki, And Lil Man got to go to the Team Finland cricket stadium, which he loved! We’ve been to the Cathedral, markets, the Wooden Church, and the kids saw the giant Weeing Man too!

It was soooo hot today too, 23 degrees celsius, which , though pleasant, I wasn’t prepared for!

Still, walking lots, in slightly warm clothes, may do wonders for my weight loss!

Tomorrow we head out, on the ferry to the zoo! It’s on an island!

It’s been wonderful, building special memories for us all, with Pops and Mum, and my brother and sis-in-law, my own little family, and most importantly, my lil nephew. We don’t get to see him enough, so these few days are even more precious so that his little 18 months self can remember us all too. Those little giggles, the cheeky monkey faces and hugs are so amazing!

I will post photos when I am back at home, but it has been wonderful so far!

 

 

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