Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Catching up..after internet problems...

Sorry that I've been on the missing list! I have had THE WORST internet connection problems over the last fortnight. There was one day recently where the whole of Finland was affected and since then, my connection has been intermittent at best!

Sonera (my provider - the equivalent to the UK's BT) said it was my modem...but that was checked twice, we also were loaned by a local shop, a BRAND NEW modem and that didnt work either! It was our line... but Oh no.. Sonera did zillions of 'ping tests' and refused to accept it was our line. And so, we have gone back and forth for days, arguing the toss with them. Each time we asked for an engineer, they said.. if the call out is unworthy then the cost to you is 85 euros. So, we covered every angle we could and eventually said.. well, its not the modem.. so bring it on!!!

Mark had a text to say that the Network Technician had looked from their end and found no fault..and miracle upon miracle at the same time he got the message, I checked the internet and lo and behold it was working again! Coincidence? I think not. Sonera still say there was no fault. (???) I've obviously been ringing them up out of sheer love for them then.. LOL... and as I keep saying to them.. 'Just because you havent found the fault - doesnt mean there isn't one!'.. its certainly intermittent...as even over the weekend, the skype online phone was on off on - in the middle of conversations! Most infurating.. so - again.. I apologise that my blogs not been here.. I hope it wont happen again.. (but Ive not counting any chickens!) I am amazed I got on line to do the last short blog.

OK.. so to catch up on just a few of the things that have happened since that all started..

Mabon, the lovely Pagan name for the Autumnal Equinox arrived on September 22nd. It brought me a great gift that Ive not seen for some while... Those of you that read this blog alot, probably know what I am referring to: Yes, the MOON! She is back!

It was a really cute waning crescent moon like this...

A Waning Crescent Moon is when the Moon view is over 22 days old.. but it doesnt get seen so much as it rises not long before the sun does...so that tells you that (as usual) I was up late.. :D

On the 23rd, the same day as the tragic shooting in a Finnish school... (SO SAD).. we had visitors.. a whole load of Reindeer... come to cheer me up a little..

Last Friday, the 26th of September.. we had SNOW!!!!!!!!! Can you believe that already? It was only light, but nevertheless it was there.. OMG... way too early for me! It laid a featherlight coating over the ground here and hung around for at least half of the day.. until Mother Nature remembered it was a fluke and went on her merry way again! Having said that we have had many frosty mornings since, roofs whiter than white, staying so for the majority of the day! "Talvi tulee" everyone is whispering..."Winter is coming"... and so it is. Quickly!

This image isnt mine, but it gives you the idea!!! Pretty, but Brrrrr.... :D

Okay, thats it for now.. I'll leave you with a few more local autumn pictures.. the trees are now virtually laid bare...

And my personal favourite that I took...

Oh.. and as you can see from the header picture...the Puolukka did make it to ripeness in time! :D

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

With Respect for the sad loss of lives today...

I am lighting this candle for the memory of those who have died today, during the shooting and subsequent fire at the Kauhajoki School of Hospitality - a vocational school in Western Finland.

Currently this stands at the sad loss of 11 lovely, bright lives. My heartfelt condolences go out to everyone affected by this tragic event...and my heart truly bleeds for the families directly concerned. You are all in my thoughts.

May the Light of this candle.. along with all those that have been lit for you tonight, guide you home. Rest In Peace.

"I'll lend you for a little time, a child of mine," He said. "For you to love the while he lives and mourn when he is dead, "It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three, "But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me?
by Edgar Guest



Thursday, September 11, 2008

Autumn continues....

We have had some lovely bright days in the last week to ten days, I've just been too busy to share the pictures with you! Unfortunately, I havent gone far to be able to show you any other views, from other areas!

This was September 5th...Lovely and bright with a gorgeous blue sky!

See how the very tip of the tree is a vibrant yellow? Lovely..

The Puolukka berries were finally beginning to ripen then too..

These pics from the 7th, not such a vibrant day weather wise...but some colourful leaves instead...

The view from behind my kitchen.. I love it when those little trees turn this colour..

Its actually been REALLY hard to capture the colours properly with my digital camera... :( Its also been annoying to find so many mosquitoes still out there!
Still, at least on the 7th the Puolukka berries seemed a lot happier!

On the 8th, we had some Reindeer around.. A mum and a baby, just next to the house..but they dashed off into the forest quite quickly.. so the pics a bit small.

The Mum

The Baby - can you see it?

The 9th was another blue skied glorious day! So, I dashed out whilst I could to snap a few more pics...still, the colours are not quite right..but the blue sky is FAB!

And finally, a pic of the entry to the forest ground next to my place.

And the lovely colourful tree there...

Hyvää Syksyä kaikille! (Happy Autumn to all...)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Autumn update... LOTS of pics...

Over the weekend, I took a few photographs around where I live and I will try to rephotograph the same spots as time goes on. Colours are changing all the time and whilst it has still been a little sunny of late, the temperature continues to feel that chill.

The view from across my road on Friday 29th August..already a difference to the last photo.

A little bit further down the road...

The top of one tree beginning its vivid yellow stage...

And closer in...

I had a little wander around, to see what other plants I could show you.. and I found some Tupasvilla..aka Hares tail cottongrass, which actually came out a long time back, lives in marshy wetland and will die away again very soon. Its also found in the very far north of the UK apparently..but being from the South, I'd not seen this until I moved to Finland.

On long spindly stalks, these are picked and dried to make arrangements in many Finnish homes and are a popular plant. They look like little cotton wool tuffs and are really cute!

There are three trees that proliferate this area; Birch, Pine and Rowan.
The Rowan are interesting right now.

In the beginning, the Rowan berries look almost 'dead' - like last years left overs.. they start from a brown rather yucky colour, go orange and then red. Later on they will serve lots of birds, especially Waxwings.

These are lovely and ripe already...

They are fun because the are all in various stages of colour...
Like this row of Rowans...

And these upclose beauties..

I also had a mooch around in the forest directly surrounding my home.

I was delighted to find more toadstools..especially this lovely red and white spotted one.. You will note that 'something' has already had a nibble from one!

Hopefully..it's not dead from it's lunch!

One of many anthills..

I also found some more berries.. this time Juniper

Today in fact...the FIRST day of September, we had a period of SNOW! Yes, already.. but thankfully it did not last long, nor settle. T'was a bit of a shock though. Probably not just to us living here - but also to the plant life!

Overnight frosts will not to do the berries any good whatsoever..so locals can only hope that this was just a brief interlude. At this rate the berry season will be ruined... and thats a major income for many foreigners who fly over to Finland in search of the big dividends that it can bring! I certainly hope this is not the case..but I guess whatever they do pick will be worth more. I think Puolukka berries are more hardy than the others, but they still need to fully ripen. So, its now Berry-Watch time!

Oh and GREAT news.. well - to ME anyway!

Saturday night/morning at 3am, I was able to greet the Plough and Cassiopea constellations, amongst other stars! Hooray! I have so missed the stars.. They disappear for so long during the summer. It was only for a short while, as the sun was already coming up on the other side of the nights sky.. but I was so happy to see them! Roll on the next full Moon - I cant wait to see the Moon again!