Thursday, May 28, 2009

Countdown... 1 day to go... and simple pleasures of today!

Here are some simple pleasures that I have experienced today.

1. First thing this morning, during the drive to work... I saw my FIRST baby Reindeer. Now, I have seen oodles of Reindeer roaming, but never a tiny baby! It was really very, very young, a day or so old - if that I would think. Unfortunately I have no photograph as it all happened so fast. It was pouring down with rain and the twee thing was stood protecting itself from the rain by curling itself under its mothers belly. A really lovely sight! It looked a little like this fella, but it was very light coloured, almost white. Really cute!

2. At lunchtime I was reading the local newspaper, the Sompio. Within it's pages was an article about an educational visual arts competition, held between schools all over Finland. There were categories for various years, but the theme of the competition was broadly related to Finnish history and it's autonomy in the era of the 1800's. In the first age range of years 1 to 3, the first and second prize was awarded to children that go to our local school, Aleksanteri Kenan koulu in Sodankylä. How great! Out of all the entrants, first AND second for that age range!

The pictures, really were lovely. I especially like the colourful, descriptive and imaginative winning entry (shown above and below) by Leni-liisi Huikuri who is apparently a 2nd grade student, but I also liked the faces on the runner up picture, by Jenni Alatalo. Well done to them both!

1st place. Leni-Liisi Huikuri, "Miten Suomi syntyi?" (2. lk. Aleksanteri Kenan koulu, Sodankylä) "How was Finland born?"

It also came with a delightful story!

"Ilo oli ylimmillään! kuningas Igor Venäläinen ja kuningatar Sophia Ruotsalainen saivat tyttären nimeltään Lenisabeth 1, vihreähapsisen pienen lapsen. Silmät loistavat, kuin taivaan siniset tähdet. Ranteissa päivän kakkarat, kaulalla helmi nakki makkarat. Nutussa raitoina virtaavat kosket, mansikan punaa hehkuvat posket. Suuna Sirppi kuu, hiuksilla kruununa kuusipuut. Hameessa leimuaa revontulet. Lapsen hoito oli rankkaa. Yhtä pissaa ja kakkaa! Kiukku linnassa yltyi, Kuningas karjui ja Kuningatar kirkui. Siitä seurasi avioero! Lenisabeth Suomalainen vaelsi suruissaan Lappiin. Hän rakastui Sampo Lappalaiseen, meni naimisiin ja sain ainakin 5 miljoonaa lasta. Tänä päivänä Lenisabeth Suomalainen on jo vanha viherlapsi, ja minä Leniliis Huikuri 8 vuotta, olen hänen rakas lapsenlapsi".

Which roughly translates as:

"Pleasure overflowed! Russian King Igor and Swedish Queen Sophia had a daughter named Lenisabeth 1st, a green haired small child. Her eyes shone, like sky-blue stars. Around her wrists were daisies, her necklace beads were of frankfurter sausages. On her jacket were flowing stripes, strawberry buttons reflecting red smoldering cheeks. A mouth like a sickle moon, on her head a crown of six trees. Her dress was marked by the northern lights. Caring for the child was hard. *She was equally nasty and nice! It was an increasingly spiky castle, the King was a pig and the Queen yelled! It was soon followed by a divorce! Finnish Lenisabeth walked sadly in Lapland. She fell in love with Sampo in Lapland, she married and got at least 5 million children! Today, the Finnish Lenisabeth is an old person, and I Leni-liis Huikuri am 8 years old and I am her beloved grandchild.

*=(Finns will recognised that I softened that particular sentence!)

This is the 2nd placed entry.

2. Jenni Alatalo, "Minä ja pojat kansan urhokkaan" (1. lk. Aleksanteri Kenan koulu, Sodankylä) "Me and boys in national bravery"

Which one is you Jenni?

You can see all the entries here.. click the link marked voittajat to see all the category winners!

3. The final pleasantry of today, was finding a shop I didn't know existed... well.. I did - sort of, but I'd not really worked out how to get to it before. I've been putting in a new border to my front garden. I've bought lots of seeds and have been bringing on all sorts of flowers and vegetables including runner beans. I needed garden canes, to support them as they grow.. but could I find any? I was just getting blank looks from shopkeepers! One person even told me that growing runner beans in Lapland was exotic! Hahahaha! Exotic?? Hmm... It comes to something when friend in Spain has to offer to send you beansticks!...(thanks Sophie)..but its hard to get some things here..

Anyway.. I asked someone today at work where they thought I might find them. She described somewhere I had seen, but I had to go round the back. Inside there I found a great little gardenwares place.. that I have seen every summer for a short period of time, but thought it was part of another shop. It backs on to it you see, I'd been inside the other shop which has household wares and presumed that was all there was for gardenware! So didn't realise there was a separate part. Derrr... So, today I was joyful at finding garden canes. (Welcome to life in Lapland!.... simple things eh?)

Just one day left...!

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