Monday, November 23, 2009

Is it really that time again?

Well, I hope that you are healthy and happy out there.... I am getting over a cold that has been through the whole family and I now have the mother of all tickly coughs left to show for it. I don't have my tonsils anymore, so I often have that problem. That and losing my voice. (That's when the flags can be seen flying from our roof!)

How is it where you are? There are lots of bugs and supposed piggie flu here. There is actually supposed to be more up here in Lapland than down south. I don't know how true that is as in reality 'they' are not actually testing for it, just happily giving out the vaccines and the tamiflu. Someone I know recently had the vaccine, got ill with it then had the tamiflu afterwards to sort it out! I know of a few teenagers that have had a rough ride with the vaccine too. I've wondered about why there is more swine flu documented up here and have considered that it can't be helped by the amount of awful spitting that people do up here - personally I find it disgusting - but its a big thing here - especially with the younger generation - I'm sure it can't help!

So....I've elected NOT to get a) the flu - any kind of it - LOL! b) the H1N1 (swine) vaccine c) or the tamiflu - no matter how pretty its chemical formulas pattern is . I don't believe in it personally. I suppose it is a difficult call for parents of young kids though. However, I myself still would not give it to my child. I do not believe it has been tested enough. I have had the regular vaccine for flu though - many weeks back.

It seems to me that so many here call a good old fashioned cold the flunssa (flu) when it's not. Flu (to me anyway) is totally debilitating - something you cannot continue with, everything aches and you have a heck of a temperature too. It's waaaay different from the common cold and even that is bad enough. (That's why it kills nasty invading green aliens in the movies! LOL)

OK, enough of that... I just hope you ARE well.

At work the Christmas Tree has been up for the past week or so, decked out with lights and a lush amount of snow :D The external doorway has candle lanterns hanging from it - sorry the picture didn't turn out well, so I don't have one of that to show. It's actually quite hard to photograph in dark snowy conditions and still capture 'the ambience' without it all going fuzzy. There is a lot of talk about seasonal get togethers and the time ahead of us. I actually MISSED the works do when I was ill - which really miffed me as I organised the whole event! Oh well.

If you are wondering what the grey unit is next to the tree it is the battery warmer that cars can plug into on a timer - ingenius.

Yes, people are full of that merry seasonal word - the big tree is down in town again, set in the middle of the roundabout awaiting its decorative lights and the village's opening ceremony. This is the link to last years blog!

.....Anyone would think it was CHRISTMAS! :D

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All content, unless otherwise noted, is © ArcticRainbow and may not be reproduced in any form without express permission from the author, except for credited links directly to articles or to the main site. (I don't bite...just ask!) :D

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hyvää Halloweenista Happy Hallowe'en...

I hope that you all had a nice and safe Hallowe'en/Samhain! :D

I was making and baking most of the day and wore myself out - not having the time to blog this yesterday!

It is obligatory in this house to carve a pumpkin lantern, although in previous years here, I have had to make do with a melon as pumpkins were not in the shops! I made pumpkin cookies - a firm favourite in this house and pumpkin pie. I used up the last of the pastry by making jam tarts and some beefy dog treats for Dexter.

Jakes girlfriend Minna said it was the first pumpkin she had ever even held, let alone seen cut into a lantern in the flesh, although she had seen it on TV. It goes without saying that she hadnt eaten the cookies or pie before either. It is interesting how cultures differ.

More and more Hallowe'en IS being adopted here though. The Tiimari store has endeavoured to include a Hallowe'en range, although I dont think it has taken off very much - up here anyway. (Question to my Finnish readers - What is it like down south?)

Having said that, I am really pleased to announce that after five and a half years of living here in Lapland, we got our FIRST ever Hallowe'en witches this year! As you may have read, Witches fly at Easter here... So it was actually quite a shock to have these three girls, two - sisters perhaps - dressed in Tiimari red witch outfits and another cute little devil! Overall a totally different feel from the Easter Witch outfits and thankfully - for me - very much like Hallowe'en should be! Granted they arrived the day before Hallowe'en LOL.. which was part of the shock, but they still got rewarded with plenty of sweets for their trouble and their daring in coming out in the cold dark snowy night to ask 'Karkki vai kepponen?' (Sweets or trick? in Finnish)

Don't they look great? They made my day!

I've heard of some people refusing kids anything - telling them to just come back at Easter instead, that Finns do NOT do Hallowe'en - but I would not be so harsh - they are kids after all and just out for a bit of fun. In the UK it really is trick or treat and the tricks are NOT nice! So, they are lucky to be refusing in Finland - or they might find their bins turned over or their windows egged and floured!

We also had three lads on Hallowe'en itself, but they were not really dressed up apart from a painted on moustache (?) and purely opportunists in my book - probably heard from the girls that this was a good place to visit! Still, they were not to be refused some sweets. My eldest son had answered the door and said, 'Oh we dont have any sweets' - the rotter! So the kids ran off and when he came inside and told me what he had done I was really quite cross, so much so that I made him go out into the snow to find the boys and make them come back! (LOL....'Big Witchy Cackle!')

In actual fact, I think my pumpkin looks more scary today than yesterday... LOL...

Ok, so what else.. Oh yes, Dexter, our Husky had his second birthday last sunday. I meant to blog this then, but time just escaped me. I cannot believe where the year has gone since I blogged his 1st Birthday images!

He got a couple of new toys one rope bear, which no long looks like a bear..LOL.. and a squeaky mouse with a long tail, which actually is still intact - as he has fun tossing the tail up and making it squeak. We bought that because he has a wicked fondness for hunting voles in the forest and doing the same to them! Poor things...

Oh and of course he had his birthday dinner and candle - when we sang 'Happy Birthday' to him.. all the time he was just looking at his dinner thinking 'Cant I just eat it???' :D

I am glad to say that it is back to being pretty in Lapland. We have had some beautiful sunrises and sunsets this past week or so. It truly is one of the things I like most about living here. These photos I took when we were driving home, so please excuse the mucky windscreen! Beautiful colours, almost sci-fi ish and showing us the arc of the planet - up here at the top of the world... lovely!

The other images I have taken, I have put together as a slide for ease. Enjoy and have a nice week!

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All content, unless otherwise noted, is © ArcticRainbow and may not be reproduced in any form without express permission from the author, except for credited links directly to articles or to the main site. (I don't bite...just ask!) :D