Well it is hard to believe that it is coming up 8 months since Jimmy and I arrived here back in Finland to begin a new adventure together. Jimmy is settled into his Finnish school and has a pretty good grip on the language now so can tell me a bit more about what is going on around us…. I have also started regular language lessons and am slowly working out how bloody crazy I must be to think I will ever master a language which has around 30 ways of saying each number alone…. At least now though I am starting to recognise some words that aren’t construction related which does make life a little easier at times. While the Finn’s generally have a good knowledge of English and can instantly switch from their own language to perfect English in an instant, when they see you staring at them with that dumbfounded expression on your face (or even that wry smirk when the pretty checkout girl offers you “pussi”…), it does make it hard to actually learn the language. After defaulting to speaking to me in English within the office for the first 6 months I have noticed that there is now a concerted effort NOT to use English which while challenging is slowly helping me to understand the language a little better.
We have enjoyed a “good” winter this year with plenty of snow and even a reasonable snow fall as late as Friday after a few spring days. This has allowed us to enjoy ice skating, hockey, walks on the sea ice and sledding down tracks near our apartment, all things we never dreamed we would have enjoyed 4 years ago.
Christmas in the land of Santa Claus is also pretty magical and Jimmy is pretty pleased that he met the REAL Santa at the Helsinki Christmas market and not some imposter….. We also enjoyed a pre-Christmas weekend together in Tallinn which is by far our favourite city in the world so far.
Along the way my cricket team has managed to win both the National 40 over Competition (Top division) as well as the inaugural Finnish Indoor Cricket Championships which were televised live on National television immediately after a Finland vs Sweden Ice Hockey match. It was an amazing experience after having started playing indoor cricket 30 years ago to be a part of such an ocassion with 7 cameras on the match and a live commentary. If you are in Finland you can view the live telecast here
We have also been lucky enough to enjoy some completely new sporting experiences like a soccer match at the end of summer and on Friday night we were lucky enough to be hosted in a corporate box for the first quarter finals playoff match in the Liiga between HIFK and Lahti. Jimmy was lucky enough to score himself a HIFK hat and scarf from some generous supporters in the box so is now a proud HIFK fan….