Funny how whenever there’s a pressing deadline for some essay, article or thesis, things like doing the dishes suddenly become pressing, enticing and critically urgent. I never get so much everything done as when I’m supposed to be doing something else.
Unfortunately for this drawing of Fiona, I already met my deadlines, so it’s back in the box for her. If you wish to see some sketches of Fiona Apple that have achieved completion, feel free to visit this post.
A little while ago I posted about the snow graffiti that seems to have sprung up around town. One day walking home I decided to add my own contribution to a small wall that was as yet untouched. A couple of days later, I went to see if someone had wiped it off yet…
Surprisingly, it was still there, and appears to have collected some friends – contributions of peace, love and smilies. And they say it’s not a good neighbourhood.
It’s no secret that the sun doesn’t get too high in the sky during winter in the Nordic regions, but just how low it really hangs can be surprising. I captured a quick snap of my shadow in the height of the midday sun to illustrate. As long as it’s light outside, the height of the sun doesn’t usually warrant much attention, unless of course you’re driving.
That bright, flaming ball sitting low, low, low and hitting the frosty fog straight on may not be the most conducive to your ride. If you’re on foot however, you’ll be more inclined to enjoy the glint of those horizontal rays bouncing off the crisp, white snow.
There aren’t currently too many ducks at Duck Park in Tampere, but you might want to stop by anyway. Situated in the city between a university and a high school, you will most likely spot some students – they’re the ones sauntering through the snow in their canvas shoes with their jackets undone, flapping in the wind that provides a chill factor of -19C (-2.2F). Some will be wearing hats, you can always spot those ones at school, because the hats don’t come off even in the balmy 23C (73.5F) of the centrally heated classrooms.
Duck Park is a nice stop for a little auditory and visual relief. The sights are nothing short of inspirational, as I’m sure the designer of the kelohonka print must have had their sights on similar views when creating the design.
Driving through a country that boasts forest cover of 73%, the highest percentage in all of Europe, as well as 187,888 lakes, it’s pretty safe to assume that most of the views on your voyage are going to be… trees and lakes. But not just any trees and lakes. If you’ve previously travelled through countries such as New Zealand or Russia, you will notice a distinct difference when rolling through Finland.
Considering the incredibly vast area of forest cover, it is all looks remarkably well taken care of. Thought has been put into this landscape. You won’t find any wild and untamed bush. Trees are carefully spaced and placed in groups of species.
Of course, there is only a limited variety of species that are hardy enough to survive the harsh conditions of the arctic, but then again parts of Russia share these conditions and still manage to provide a very different looking landscape. The reason for this may lie in the fact that most forests here in Finland are owned by ordinary Finnish families. It makes sense to maintain your assets.
This seasonal graffiti, while less permanent or colourful than traditional mediums, has a fleeting nature that adds to its interest. Like Buddhist sand paintings that are destroyed shortly after completion, this graffiti may disappear at any time through melting, snowing, or most likely the swipe of an errant arm.
Cold hard concrete slabs painted with a combination of neutral and brash colours are a popular architectural feature in Hervanta,
Images: Eriika Ahopelto, Moro/Aamulehti
but evenly dispersed between these slabs you’ll find enough trees to constitute a forest. The water tower is perhaps the most recognised construction, and it gives a good view over the rest of the suburb,
A suburb of mostly uniform buildings that house over 26,000 people, construction that perhaps contains a shade of hammer and sickle, but looks a little different on the grassroots level,
A little serenity between the pigeonholes. I think we can call it successful planning when they’ve managed to accommodate some 26,000 into an area of 13.8 square kilometres (5.3 square miles) and still found a way to retain these views,