Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Have you noticed the forthcoming date of interest? A magickal mystical date of note? Well perhaps it is... we shall have to wait and see if it is... You've not noticed it? What date is it? It is the 10th of October 2010. What is so special about that you may wonder... well, OK.. I'll put it another way then..


Now surely that does not happen very often does it? To answer my own question... does NOT and it will not do so again for a good many years hence.. long, long after we are all dead, our children are dead, even their grandchildren are dead. Scary thought isn't it... that is a L>O>N>G time. So, is this significant? Are we lucky to be living to see this?

Well, if you like numbers, or are spiritually inclined then you might be apt to thinking so. I remember thinking something similar on my birthday, 20th January 2001... I thought that I was lucky to be celebrating my big day on that date. 20.01.2001. It probably slipped by unnoticed by many other people though. However, 10.10.10 seems a biggie to me...although to others it will just be a number and nothing unusual.. just a quirk of fate.

What does a ten mean?

A tarot reader like me, would instantly say tens mean completion or the end of a cycle. A mathematician would say ten is one of just four 'perfect numbers' (3, 7, 10, 12) and that ten means the end of one series and the beginning of 11 and onwards. It is said to signify divine order and it creates decimals to build on.

More simply it is the stronghold of our lives.. there are ten main regions on our planet and the number ten creates our decades, centuries and even our millennia. It used to be that our year had only ten months until someone clever came along to give out more birthdays! :D We also celebrate our special anniversaries by the tens.

In the UK, the Prime Minister lives at number 10 Downing street. Did you know that the 10 used to be part of 3? Two perfect numbers! Yes, 10 Downing Street used to be three homes, but was knocked into one. (and still they moan it is tooooo small!!) Ok... I little off topic there, but it is still interesting! Ten is ever present, hey we even have ten fingers.. well, hopefully.. and those fingers complete tasks just like other tens.

Looking at the numbers themselves, the One is the perfect creation of matter being born and a Zero is seen as completion because it is drawn as a total circle, yet it is also the Void, from where all matter comes! It would seem to be a reverent number, would it not, a ten?

The Bible references amounts in ten quite frequently, the most obvious being the ten commandments, ten plagues, ten nations and the ten 'I am' statements of Jesus. Ten is a significant number.

Ten is also important in many other religions.. so many I will not go into them all.. but in Judaic traditions most notably there is the Ten days of repentance that run from the Jewish New Year (Rosh HaShanah to Yom Kippur). Upon completion of those ten days, the priest will say the name of God ten times. Yom Kippur is the day when God finalizes his Rosh HaShana decisions about who shall live and who shall die, who shall suffer and who shall prosper, in the coming year. Again with the end of a cycle and completions. Yom Kippur itself is even on the 10th day of the month. What is it about ten?

In Chinese 'Ancestor Veneration' traditions, after ten mortuary rites are given in our living world, the dead then move through ten courts of judgement within the underworld before any possible arrival of salvation. The family of the deceased have to complete rituals to ensure that each 'stay' in each of the ten courts is not too long. Again a process and completion. Again ten!

The Kabbalist Tree of Life symbol has ten esoteric points upon it which represent the process by which the Universe came into existence. The Tree of Life is often referenced to show the lineage from our human subconscious, all the way to our higher self or spirit and the matrix between them. Again a process and completion.

Even clever old Greek Pythagoras believed that ten was the number of the universe and expressed the whole of human knowledge. (Deep!) The Tetractys has a mathematical, mystical, sacred geometrical, complex meaning. The design of which holds significance for followers of the Kabbalah and Pythagoras.

In its simplicity, the Tetractys is a triangle, comprised of ten points that range from a base level and rise up in four rows to reach a point. It is a symbol of earthly man rising up to Spirit. (In contrast, the upside down triangle is Spirit reaching down into man). Symbol of triangles like these are seen on Tarot cards, for example.. the upward triangle is shown clearly in the card of Temperance. (Look at the Angels chest)

In fact the Tetractys is just one of many possible tarot layouts, with ten cards in a four row pyramid. The top apex card is the significator.

1 What you can see
2 What you can't see
3 What you can change
4 What you cannot change
5 What you can expect

Two interesting Tarot links:

Back to 10.10.10.

Is it a time for us to aspire to spiritual or just overall growth or 'perfection' in ourselves? Are we going to be cast into a new time, a new cycle where everything is fresh and we learn from our past efforts? Is this a call for our own personal evolution? Is it nothing at all? it has been on my mind.. as you can tell!! (*Ten times over!*).

Several years ago, I lost a friend on the 10th of October. I remember saying to him at the funeral parlour, 'Ten, Ten till we meet again'. Every year on that date, he is especially remembered. It is a date that always calls out to me. So, what of this year? More than any other year perhaps?

So in conclusion... we have many types of tens... and many more I have not mentioned! What can it all mean that ten is used in so many ways and so profoundly? Does it indeed mean anything at all? I am left to wonder what 10.10.10 will mean for me, for you, for mankind, for the planet.

Let's see... let me know!

Copyright InformationAll 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

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Moving house....

Well yes.. but not how you think I meant it!!!

My husband called out to me the other day.. 'Quick, get your camera!' So, I dashed over to the kitchen to see what the fuss was.. expecting really to see some Reindeer or something ambling around out there.... and what was going past?

A HOUSE! Well, that is a new one... that certainly does not happen everyday!

It was of course, holding traffic up a bit.. not that we really suffer with lots of traffic here! I don't know where it came from.. or to where it was going...but I do know it went past my house...S.L.O.W.L.Y.  


Copyright InformationAll 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

Thursday, September 16, 2010

An amazing blogger! RESPECT (off topic)

I just viewed this article on the BBC

It is all about one of my fellow bloggers in the blogosphere. I have never met her, she doesn't know me, she lives half a planet away.. and she is double my age. Yes, she is NINETY! How fantastic is that?

Meet Phyllis Greene, who is in hospice care in Ohio.....

Her blog is at

Copyright InformationAll 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, September 12, 2010

A slideshow of Autumn 2010 Sodankylä Lapland Finland

It has been the colourful season! I thought this was the best way to share the amount of pictures I have taken. I hope you enjoy it. The colours continue... but many leaves are now shed.

Copyright InformationAll 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

Friday, September 10, 2010

The cost of food shopping in Finland

Many people ask me about the cost of living in Finland. To me, everything seems expensive. Not only because of high VAT, but also because things just seem to be given a silly price tag in Finland.

For example, I was looking at mattresses and beds lately (a blog for the future) OMG! Horrendously expensive!!!

I have though, been meaning to run a blog of the price of food for ages.. but just not got around to it. Last week, I did a small food shop and remembered to take a few photos. *It just goes to show that my husband is so used to my weird ways, when he did NOT think I had lost the plot, taking photos of our shopping!!*

I am curious to know how these prices relate to that near you. I know they seem a lot more to me than I would be paying in the UK ...and I have not lived there for six years. I may be out of touch. Realistically, I did not buy that much. I also used up a variety of vouchers and saved 6.90€ against the bill, which was 68.81€ as a final figure.

Reductions are quite common in the shop I shop at, which is the Valintalo in Sodankylä. I think it is a really good shop and whilst it doesn't have everything I need...and I have to go to Lidls or KMarket to buy other bits and pieces.. we do do the vast majority of our shopping there. The staff are good and very friendly. We know them well now.

My first reduction was 1.30€ for pullonpalautus (bottle returns). This is quite usual all over Finland, but something that stopped in the UK, many years ago. When buying a bottle of something, (fizzy drink or alcohol) you have to pay a bottle excess charge, but you get this back, upon the safe return of the bottle, as long as the barcode label is still on it. It used to be that the machines gave you back cash, but now it prints a receipt which you hand to the cashier. I think it is good to have a system like this, it is a much greater greener initiative. The only downside for me, is that it does not extend to all bottles and containers, like shampoo bottles, squash/juice bottles etc.

Large coca-cola sized bottles are worth 40c back, smaller bottles 20c, glass bottles 10c and tins, (beer, guinness etc) vary. As you might tell, with just 1.30€ for returns, we do not drink a lot of alcohol! In fact, most of our returns are on fizzy drink bottles.

I also had collected some stickers from a gift collection that the Valintatalo had been running, but had chosen not to buy the 'supposed reduced priced' items that were on offer. For each row of stickers you can claw back 0.20€ and a whole pamphlet full of stickers, a euro. Not a lot really.. but it is all money after all! So, I surrendered those. I had 5.60€ worth. I always ask for the stickers. I think the staff know me as 'sticker woman' or better still as the '30% off sticker woman'! :D

Valintatalo is quite unusual in the fact that more often than other shops, they do use an orange reduction sticker on goods if they are running low on dates and oftentimes, items are not even close to useby dates, they just want to clear space. It used to be a 50% sticker, but these days it is 30%. I guess even big companies are feeling the pinch. I am not ashamed to say that I buy most of my meat that way. Even if I do not need it at the time, it goes into the freezer until I do. It all helps a budget. Meat is a horrendous price here, so it makes sense to do that in my book! :D

Here is the list of what I bought last week.

Jauheliha mureke (This was a type of meatloaf I was actually quite surprised at this price - most unusual - plus when we baked it, it was very nice...although I did wrap it in bacon slices first!) You can see this on the left hand corner, in a black box. 3.79 €

Fazer Maitosuklaa
200g (essential chocolate!) 1.69 €
Fanta Mandariini 1.5L (on special but excluded the bottle charge) 1.29€
Coca-Cola 1.5L (excluded the bottle charge) 2.19€
Pullopantti (bottle charges) 2 x 0.400.80€

Päärynä Guyot (fresh Pears) 583g 2.19€ @ 1.99kg 1.16€

Sitruuna (fresh Lemons) 0,546g @ 3.79kg 2.07€

Paikkakunnan Peruna (fresh local potatoes) 776g at 1.25€ per kg 2.22€

Pall Mall Blue 30g (loose tobacco) 3.25€
Pedigree Pal Kana (tube of dog food) 1.79€
Taloussokeri 1kg (granulated sugar) 0.99€

Quaker Ruis Fras (cereal) 3.39€
(actually this was supposed to be on special with 30% off, but I have just noticed whilst doing this blog tha we didn't get the reduction on the receipt!) It should have been 2.37€ .... just goes to show I need to check my receipt better!

Atria Broileri Paisti (fresh chicken breasts) 700g 4.49€
In Finland, manufacturers like to pre-dress the breasts with some kind of sauce, but you can wash it off if you prefer!

Perhekalkkuna (turkey slices) 250g 3.09€ /30% off / 2,16€
Rypäle Vihr (fresh green grapes) 500g 1.79€
Maissi (frozen sweetcorn) 450g 1,29€
Kevytmaito 1.5L (semi skimmed milk) 1.19 (x4) 4.74€
Meira Curry (curry powder) 25g 0.95€ (x2) 1.90€
Meira Inkivääri (ginger powder) 22g 0.99€
Meira Minttu (dried mint) 8g 1.69€
Marli Vital Puolukka 1L (Cranberry type juice) 1.39€
Airam Vakiolamppu (lightbulbs) 1.39€
Ranksanleipa 350g 0.89€ /30%off/ 0.62€ x 2 1.24€ (a supposed French style bread unsliced but cheap by Finnish standards!)
Pehtoori leipa 2.19 /30%off/ 1.53€ x 2 3.06€ (a country style slice loaf which makes up for the price of the french style!!)
Valkpapu Tom (Tinned baked beans) 420g 0.75€ x2 1.50€
Tomaattimurska (crushed tinned tomatoes) 400g 0.49€ x2 0.98€
Liha maksa (Friskies dried cat food) 2kg 5.89€
Energizer Hightech (4 AA batteries) 5.49€
Powerlife Micro (4 AAA batteries) 3.59€
Bio Luvil 1.35kg (soap powder) 5.99€
Flora (Margarine) 400g 1.49€

Total 74.41€, which when less the vouchers was 68.81€. All items are showing in the photograph other than the soap powder, tobacco and spices - which had already been put away and I had forgotten about! :D but the photo gives you a good idea of what the money is worth here. 68.81€ roughly equates to £57 UK pounds or $88 (US Dollars). Could you buy more or less with that money?

One other benefit of Valintatalo is the Ukkosbonus euro - point/credit reward system which runs from 1st Sept to 1st Sept annually. Every December I get a wonderful bonus cheque back, redeemable in cash at the supermarket. Generally I get back about 200 euros or so. :D Very handy, just before Christmas! in my opinion, it is much better than occasional vouchers off in the post that come via other schemes. Herra Sentti (Mr Cent) is the cartoon like figurehead of the promotion and there are also several Herra Sentti 'stretch the cent' weeks when there are special offers available for anyone presenting their Ykkösbonus card upon transaction. In fact, that is on right now, until the 15th.

VAT in Finland, is currently 23% on food and 13% on non foods.

Copyright InformationAll 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

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bearing up to the Autumnal Lapland

So, this year's Lapland Summer has come to an is always short...and we are now in Syksy (Autumn).

In fact, August is partly Summer and partly Autumn.. and Autumn will be over in a couple of weeks time in all likelihood.

Lapland is the region that has eight seasons of the year you see... YES.. Eight! They are Autumn-Winter, Winter, Spring-Winter, Spring, Spring-Summer, Summer, Summer- Autumn and of course Autumn.

In August the berries popped up to say hello and 'Pick me! Pick me!' Autumn is the harvesting month when many Finns go off into the forests..and many foreigners also come to earn money from picking berries in the wild. It's not easy work though..the mosquitoes are around until mid August at least..and it is also back breaking when done for hours on end!

The much missed Moon also came back to our sights... and I for one was so pleased to see her! Yet she also indicates that a coolness blows on the wind and Winter beckons from just over the hill. Then came the cold snaps at night, whilst we slept...(in the beautiful darkness). That has made for the colourful changes in the leaves around us. It really only takes a couple of nights to see the change! The Autumnal leaves display beautiful colours in Lapland. It depends on how cold the temperature drops as to how colourful they are. Many visitors visit Lapland now...especially for this seasonal change.

I've had a full month during August, as you can see by the fact that I have not blogged. Amongst other things, I've taken time out to have a bit of fun and have got back into face painting... which is something I have not done since the lads were small. The main thing though, has been that our sons have moved out - so we have had a lot of arranging to do with regards to that and lots of travelling back and forth - fortunately all on beautifully sunny days!

They are both in Rovaniemi now, 130kms away.. (week days anyway).. at two different places of study. They are growing up and our way of life is changing again.. just like the seasons. Here are a few of images from Rovaniemi.

The beautiful Church in Rovaniemi

The Kirkkolampi pond next to the church, with its delightful fountain. I miss things like this in Sodankylä! Whilst Rovaniemi is more busy.. it does seem more cultured!

The main thing that I do not like about this season is that it is the start of the hunting seasons. As a non Finn, I was not brought up to hunt and I do not like the culture of it .. at all. On day one of the Bear season, 24 beautiful Bears minimum were killed. HIDE Bears HIDE!

74 Bears have be taken overall from this region, as 'allowed' by government permit. Total amount however will be a whopping 198. It makes my heart bleed.

You can drop this page into Google to translate it!

Anyone that knows me, knows just how much I LOVE this season really pains me deeply. It annoys me intensely to see the photographs of hunts-people in the newspaper, proudly displaying their kill. They have the look of pride on their face.. as if it say.. "Look at big brave me, I have killed this Bear, this BEAST!" .. all I say is Yes, big brave you, with a GUN! Try it without, then see what you have to say about it! I appreciate the Bear is a dangerous animal in the wrong scenario.. but they still, in my opinion, deserve to live.. and they were here first!

How could anyone hurt this gorgeous creature?

Then it will be the Wolves and Wolverine, the bird/game season, the Moose season... For me, it is one big downside of Finland. Just as well we don't have Whales here!! OK.. rant over.

On a nicer note.. Last week I went a picking berries from outside. Literally outside my house are Puolukka *Cranberry family, Blueberries and Juniper berries. Yummy. It certainly makes for some nice cakes! :D

As you can see, I have a special berry contraption that acts like a big hair comb. It plucks the berries from the stems and they fall into the container. Mine was filled in just ten minutes. It is however, the sorting out of the berries afterwards that takes up most of your time! It is then that I wish I had a friendly berry elf. LIKE THIS FELLA!

Copyright Information

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