Archive for January, 2010


#31 on the edge

031/365 on the edge, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

“Wherever there’s an edge, there’s energy. Make a photo where two things meet: land-water, land-sky, etc.”

This Sunday Challenge made me drive to the sea today. I was lucky to catch a glimpse of the sun, which only came out for about 5 minutes this afternoon! The temperature was up a bit, so the seashore was thawing, and people stayed safely on land. Some energetic winter swimmer ladies were our on the jetty – you can just about see them in the distance.

I started thinking about water and the sea, which are very important elements in my life. I prefer living near some water, whether it’s a river, a lake or the sea. Turku, my present home town, is perfect, since there is a river that flows through the town, and the seaside is only 5-10 minutes away, too.

Nevertheless, I miss the infinity of the sea sometimes. You see, off our coast is the unique archipelago with thousands of islands, so we never see the vast open sea here. Naturally, the archipelago has its own magical charm, especially in summer, but the mystery of the great beyond and the roaring sounds are missing.

I love the Channel coast in Eastbourne, my husband’s home town in England. I could sit for hours there on the pebbly beach, and just listen to the sound of the waves and let my mind be carried away. It’s quite hypnotic! I always start imagining what’s on the other side of the sea. In England, on very clear days, you can just about see the coast of France in the horizon. The Pacific holds cherished memories for me – looking out in Santa Monica, California and picturing distant, exotic, totally unknown Japan back in 1997.  And then being lucky enough to stand on the Japanese shore in Hokkaido, in 2004, looking out towards America. I must have been an explorer or a pirate in my previous life!

My longing for the sea has also made me particularly enjoy seeing @colemama’s pictures from the Gulf coast in Florida. They really inspire all my senses, and I can almost hear the wonderful sounds of the sea just by looking at them. Just look at this one from today, for example!


#30 hearts to the world

030/365 hearts to the world, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Today I went to the largest Finnish educational fair in Helsinki, EDUCA 2010. Apart from looking at the hundreds of booths of different vendors and educational organizations and voluntary groups, I also had the pleasure of listening to Professor Andy Hargreaves from Boston College. His talk on educational leadership and ‘The Fourth Way’ was truly thought-provoking and inspirational in terms of the future of Finland’s praised educational system.

The global and intercultural issues booths interested me the most. In one of them, I placed my pink heart on the world map, with a promise of setting my heart on global awareness issues in all my teaching. I really liked the symbolism of the world map covered in the pink hearts – as if it was love spreading all over the globe. It could also be seen as a symbol of all the dynamic networks and collaborative efforts of educators from all corners of the world.

This time my heart was placed in Singapore, where wonderful students and teachers in our partner school are getting ready to welcome our group in only three weeks’ time.


#29 sweet memories

029/365 sweet memories, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

“Sugar, spice, and everything nice. Make a photo of something sweet today.”

This was the Daily Shoot assignment for today. I ended up with this seasonal cafeteria shoot of traditional Finnish ‘pulla’ – cardemum spiced buns. We Finns are amonst the keenest coffee drinkers in the world. And an almost inseparable companion for a cup of coffee here is a ‘pulla’ of some sort. There are different varieties for special celebrations, like these ones for Shrove Tuesday in February. On that day, the tradition is to go sledging, and then have a hot drink with these filled buns afterwards. First you cut the top of the bun off, then fill it either with almond paste or jam and lots of whipped cream, and put the cut-off piece as a ‘hat’ on top. Heavenly!

The art of ‘pulla’ baking is passed on from mother to daughter. My sweetest memories from my childhood are about grandmother visiting us. She would bake buns while we kids were at school, and entering through the front door in the afternoon, we were greeted by the deliciously tempting smell in the staircase. For our working mother, Saturday was ‘pulla’ baking day – almost weekly. She was the real ‘pulla’ master! She knew how to bake the most scrumptious buns I have ever tasted in my life. Luckily, I managed to learn the skill from her, phase by phase, and write it all down. Over the years, I too have mastered the process, and now it’s my turn to teach this tradition to my daughter.

All through my life, the smell of freshly baked buns has equalled ‘home sweet home’, and it still does. It’s amazing how strongly smell sensations can evoke memories that may go back many years – even decades.


#28 interconnected

028/365 interconnected, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Just a quick walk through the shopping centre in town today, since it was too cold to walk outside with the wind chill and minus 17 Celsius! I wanted some pictures for the Daily Shoot:

“The economy is in the news all the time. Make a photo that illustrates the economy or its impact on you in some way.”

Everywhere in town I am reminded of global economy and our interconnected world. Gone is the era of isolated nation states – like it or not. We can’t afford to hold tight onto yesterday’s dusty old values when we are in the slump together, and the sustainability of the whole world is at stake. Innovation and global collaboration is called for instead.

More and more business sign are in English, emphasizing the importance of foreign language skills for our youngsters to be able to function and be active contributors in today’s world and in the future.


#27 the colour of life

027/365 the colour of life, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Our green lava light gets used a lot in the dead of winter. The bright green bubbles floating up and down have a really calming effect on me. The colour also gives me hope for rebirth again in spring.

Today was particularly dull. A strong wind made the minus 17 degrees in the morning feel extra biting. The tabloids this afternoon had headlines of us being trapped in Siberia till the end of February at least. Dismal! For us, Siberia is the coldest place we could possibly imagine!


#26 up, up and away

026/365 up, up and away, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

From the Daily Shoot’s bird’s eye view to a human eye vies, longingly looking upwards.

It was teh first bright sunny afternoon for weeks. A plane up in the blue sky, no doubt heading somewhere exciting and warm, instantly gave wings to my dreams.

I really love travelling, and I could watch flying aeroplanes and the white trails they leave behind for hours on end. I know flying is really harmful for the environment, so I have decided that next month, when I fly to Singapore, I am going to buy carbon offsets for the miles travelled, probably with Climate Care, or a similar system, to reduce my carbon footprint.


#25 exploring our new town library

025/365 exploring our new library, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Once again the Daily Shoot assignment led me to have a closer look at something.

“Right (90-degree) angles can help define a composition. Make a photograph involving intersecting lines.”

Straight away, I thought about the new, modern extension to our 100-year-old town library, which was completed just over a year ago. I just love the long row of big windows along the street, offering interesting reflections at different times of the day. And from another angle, you can see people sitting inside, immersed in their reading. Fascinating!

Looking for 90-degree angles and straight lines, and then seeing the reflection of the tree in this window, made me think about how practically impossible it is to find straight lines and angles in nature, at least on the surface. Interestingly, though, Finnish architecture and design are often dominated by very straight and simple forms, in a country that otherwise is blessed with so much forest and untouched nature. It’s as though we humans need to bring order and structure into the wild, natural world around us.

I also started thinking about libraries in general. While more and more of the small, local brances are sadly being closed down, I am happy about the revival of this main one. It’s the favourite place for my daughter and her school friends to go and study, bringing their own laptops with them.

I have uploaded some more photos from today’s library visit in this Flickr set.


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