Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Back in Korpo(o)

Alas, there is no snow here. Each night the frost has provided a white coat on the roads and a glinting sheen on the rest of the ground, but it is mostly gone by morning. In town there was some ice on the pavements I felt very much like a foreigner as I gingerly made my way across the paths. But I did go for an ice-clear ramble in the woods today feeling far more like a Finn again.

Who travels by car on an island at 2am? And where are they going? The curtain-twitcher in me was curious as I noticed some cars going past... I guess my idea of an island is still very much dominated by Iona. If I didn't know that we had taken two ferries to get here I'd forget that we're not just in the middle-of-nowhere. We drove out here on Christmas Day and the ferries were running on the Sunday schedule - so merely every half an hour rather than every fifteen to twenty minutes. This is truly incredible! Only last week I tried to get to Mumbles/Newton and found that there was only one (1!) bus an hour after 5pm. Utterly disgusted I abandoned that trip. I'll never be convinced, at this rate, that Swansea's public transport system is any good...

A few of my friends are obssessed with list making and ranking things in order. I tend to think this passtime is...well...silly, but perhaps it's a seasonal hazard for while I was musing over this habit I found myself with an urge to create a list too. (I've generally observed that you have to be careful when making fun of something as otherwise you'll end up doing it yourself!) I decided to write a list of 10 things I didn't know about Touaregs (not too sure why either), but when I found out that they've got a great festival each January near Timbuktu - Festival au Desert - it was a short step to be distracted further by the Forbidden Purple City (what a great name!) in Vietnam and WWOOFing in Mexico. So I never ended up with a list afterall. Although I now have another festival I'd really like to go to...

There may not be any snow but we have had stunning winter skies as the sun sets by 4pm. It is very, very dark here. It is Finland afterall.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Virtual fridge magnets!

While my fridge magnets languish in one box or another I've stumbled across a substitute... What fun!!

Here's a hasty poem of pure nonsense I wrote.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Dude abides

What an ace film... And a reminder of the cyclical nature of things. I watched for the first time 4 years ago in St Thomas, and then again yesterday - in St Thomas. This time it was my turn to introduce it to a friend!

After 15 hours of travel I have arrived in Finland to watch the sun go down at 3:30pm! Not much snow to report, though I faithfully carried th Christmas pudding here in one piece as requested. Now I wasn't allowed to bring a 500ml bottle of water (100ml would've been fine), but noone batted an eyelid at the pud. Where's the logic in that?!

Happy solstice folks! It only gets lighter from here - hurray:)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Hats, bags, and badges

In the spirit of this consumer season I've rediscoved the joy of the above mentioned items. I recently saw a bag that got me drooling, but I did manage to tear myself away and walk out of the shop without shelling out £5. Now that may not sound like much, but when the sum total of your earnings is not even considered worth taxing by our lovely government £5 represents quite a huge chunk... Actually, I've been quite happy rediscovering my said hats, bags, and badges that I had packed away before going to Iona and it's been like an early Christmas pulling them out of boxes:)

Today I've gone a bit over board and am wearing not one but TWO badges... But one is tiny, so it can't really count, right?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Landed! (Said in a Welsh accent for full effect...)

I am now no longer homeless, but have taken up residency in St Thomas of Swansea. Plus I'm living with a friend (hooray) who knows I'm poor as a churchmouse and isn't charging me as much rent as he really ought to be (hooray). It's a "proper house" and everything too...

It's on the east side of Swansea which I'm finding stranger than I thought. I've spent all of my Swansea life on the west side so things really do seem different. It's great being this close to the town centre though as I can finally do my shopping on St Helen's Road and the market. I walked into town today along the river - again a totally new experience for me. And once I get my bike back I'll be able to cycle to Pontardawe and Neath all along the cyclepaths that are by a canal/river.

I've been frequenting the local corner shop to establish myself in the neighbourhood and I hear there is a good bellydancing class in the community hall... Our neighbour on the right keeps pidgeons that he races. One day when I'll get up early enough (like 8 or 9 am) I'll be able to see him "excercise" them. Apart from living up a huge hill 'tis all most exciting!

I'm doing my utmost to take advantage of the best bit of being unemployed: time. I did a lovely walk to Pwll Du via Caswell Bay and then through Bisphopston Valley and a foot of mud, and I've been reading lots again - what luxury! For those of you out there who have been fortunate enough to spend any time in Wales I HIGHLY recommend "Aberystwyth Mon Amour" by Malcom Pryce.