Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mammon, move over!

Yep, move over, I've been shopping.. window shopping.. does this mean I've bought a lifetime supply of windows? Nope. It means I've given myself delusions of grandeur about what I might just have to get up to tomorrow...

The Scandinavian influence in home furnishing design is so strong, and so familiar. All that Arabia-ware and Ittalla especially resonates with me, from items (mostly crockery and vases) I know well from childhood households (in Australia, I mean). The updated styles are still very school-of, too.

We spent today like this: M took 8 kg of stuff to be posted home (ahem, that was the Sami museum, a collection of papers, and quite a lot of our cold weather gear). I lay on my heatpad to try to quell spasms in my back... I lay there, channelling Ella (hi babe!) (my physio), and did some icky sinus wash stuff as well. Then it was all bombs away to be ready to meet Tuomo by 12 o'clock. He came in to the hotel beaming, because his second grandson was born this morning. We spent four hours with him; walking, driving, having grilled salmon and dill potatoes at the Harbour Market (and me being driven mad by stall after stall selling raspberries, cloudberries and the most highly scented strawberries I've ever had me nose near..), seeing cathedrals Finnish and Russian, various civic centre piles like the President's Palace, the Town Hall and National Theatre, the Opera House (which looks like an old post office, very dreary), and then a marvellous half hour in the Rock Church. This church was built in the 70's, by excavating a huge rock not far from the city centre, and re-using the granite rubble and walls to build a very space-ship like structure. The ceiling is a huge dome, with a copper circle floating above a strip of glass which draws your eye up, up to the rock wall inside and out. The chapel is quite starkly modern, cement floor and lower walls, grey metal seats with cerise fabric covers, and a long slice of copper panelling running horizontally around the top of the 'ground floor' walls. The colour clash of the copper and the cerise, reflected by and in the copper in the afternoon sun, had me reaching for the camera to try to record the colours.

Tuomo dropped off two fairly replete tourists at about 4.30. Our last stop with him was at the Sibelius memorial sculpture and wind-pipe sculpture - this is made from many steel pipes, all different diameters, and clearly resembling organ pipes. You can stand underneath and put your head up the pipes, and hear them 'singing'. Mostly fairly deep tones, and kind of breathy, like whale music. Wonderful!

M needed a break from facts, figures, wonders and wife. So I charged off to do a few chores and then reward myself with a visit to the Stockman department store, which I am assured is THE place to go to buy everything in central Helsinki.

Well, I tried. I cruised the ground floor, standard highly tempting shiny things for women department - purrfume, makeup, accessories (Prada sunnies, darling), belts and bangles and baubles and silly socks and sexy stockings and all that. I succumbed, but only to the socks. Two pairs of purple knee-high socks, to go with the fabbo purple suede boots I bought yesterday.

I cruised up several floors of the store, mooching and being amused by what was familiar and what wasn't, and the behaviour of the people, until my feet started yelling at me. A shop assistant pointed me to the cafe (just round from the skinny-girl's knickers, if you need to know). I fell into a blueberry strudel and a coffee. I pulled out the English newspaper I had with me and tackled world news, smarmy superior English columnist writings about the Olympic fervour and how it would never be done HEAH, my DEAH. Gee, I dislike snotty writing like this...I don't mind opinions, but why so rude?

I tackled the crossword and was just about to take my revived self off to the home furnishings and textiles, when a familiar face appeared at my table - Terttu! And her partner, who is a Viking. Another coincidence in a day of them (next blog entry will detail this bit). Lovely to see her again and assure her that I am feeling better and ta-da! up to touristing again, etc etc.

Now I must leap off the puter and go to eat dinner before M dies of diet. Friday night in Helsinki, the beeyootiful people are out, the Helsinki Festival starts tomorrow with a city marathon, and anything, just ANYTHING, could happen with my Visa. Yippee!


Jenny said...

Dear B and M

Sounds like you're having a fantabulous time! Hope your health is on the mend :-) Good vibes your way.

We got your amazing present in the mail today, THANKS!!!! It is extremely practical yet aesthetically pleasing and inspiring! For those who are interested, it's a funky smiley face lime green "stradle" (ladel and strainer spoon thingy) with an awesome tongue hook suction unit to hang on the wall.

Still don't have a visual? I'll take a photo and put it up on my FaceBook site ;-)

It's just so totally me! I may have to make it a sparkly fluffy jacket to complete the outfit :-)

Thanks also for your postcards from Bangkok and Stockholm, what adventures you're having!

We are recording a demp/E.P. album this weekend - very exciting! It's sounding good, but it's very tiring and repetitive!

Love to you both from Jen, Ben, Chai, Fluff and Taj (we have a dog!!!!) See FB for pics.


BJ said...

dear Jen,

good to know the postcards and parcel/s have arrived - we haven't had much news from Oz about things actually getting there. and I'm delighted you like the green tongue thingy, I did see it and IMMEDIATELY think of you!

we're a bit gob-smacked about the DOG - DOG????!!!!! we demand an explanation!

glad to know you are both (all) well and busy and getting famous. M sends daddy-love, and the usual evil step-ma lurv from me!


Jenny said...


Did you check out the photos of me with the stradel? Surely a sight to cure a naughty nose!

YES we have a DOG! He is the cutest mellow-est dog in the world and Chai and Fluff are slowly tolerating him! He's very good with them and is learning quickly not to bark at them or chase them. He is so little that they know he isn't a threat, and it's a bonus because they get to steal his food!

He is looking forward to meeting you both when you return! (Although he may not get up from his position in front of the heater - he's an addict - very cat-like really).

Have a great day!

Luv Jen