The Easter break went by quickly and is just a memory now. As expected it flew by in the garden and on the boat.
We planted two new flowerbeds which sounds like a breeze but in reality surprisingly difficult and time-consuming! Our yard has been completely renovated two years back and the flowerbeds that were then assembled were planted by a gardening company who had machinery to help them. I started digging near our entrance and was shocked to find out how stoney and dense the ground was. Ah, what I would have given to have a digger help me! Making three holes for my plants was quite an achievement and caused my right hand to turn red and swollen (maybe I overdid it in my enthusiasm). Truthfully, I was only able to dig two holes and had to leave the third to hubby. The second flowerbed is underneath a maple tree and I have doubts wether the plants will withstand the competition for water as the maple’s roots are very near the ground. Also, the brown hares (and deer!) that frequent our garden every single day are quite a nuisance as they love to munch on our plants. For now both flowerbeds look fine.
I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my car lately as it starts to malfunction every time I have something repaired. You could say I’m in a kind of service-loop with it. Maintaining the car in driving condition is getting very expensive!! But at the same time the thought of scrapping it just as I’ve paid for yet another repair seems impossible. Now I’m hoping it will last at least till the end of summer. The car looks really good on the outside which is misleading as it’s actually 17 years old!
The week’s highlight was meeting a dear friend for a “ghost walk” in Helsinki after work. We met at the Cafe Esplanad as it was adjacent from the starting point of the tour. Cafe Esplanad has a very central location and is quite iconic but the it has not withstood the test of time. The cafe could do with a total renovation. The decor, plates and cups are all very worn and my friend even heard one of the waitresses commenting to a customer that they were out of tea!! All this did not stop us from having a grand time as we had a lot to catch up on and in the end, the company makes the moment, doesn’t it!
After nourishment and laughs, we joined the ghost walk. This particular walk was part of the 2019 walking festival. The City Museum also organizes similar walks. You can join the Finnish walks by booking a place in advance and paying a small fee but I think you need to book a private tour for your party if you want to have a tour in English.
On this particular day, we were lucky as the weather was sunny albeit chilly. The walk took us across the Esplanade to the Senate Square and we heard many interesting tales of the ghosts in Helsinki and the encounters people have had with them. You could see that the guide had a personal interest in the matter as she shared her knowledge with passion. I was interested to hear that the building across from my old office in Kruununhaka used to house a headless ghost. He was captivated by the women who lived in the building and showed his affections by knocking on their doors. However, the building has been recently renovated and it seems that the headless ghost has vacated elsewhere. Other places of interests (among others!) with ghost stories to tell are the restaurant Kappeli and the theatres in the city center (Aleksanteri Theatre, The National Theatre, Svenska Teatern). Our guide, Karolina Kouvola, has actually co-written a book about the ghosts in Helsinki called “Helsingin henget” which even has maps to help you tour the places by yourself. I just reserved it from the library. Unfortunately, I don’t think you can find this book in English.
Speaking of books, I have just finished an astoundingly beautiful book – Tin Man by Sarah Winman. This was the 13th book I’ve read this year! I can’t recall how I found it as I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere since I downloaded it to my Kindle. Has anyone read it? I devoured it in one morning but I have a feeling that I want to re-read this book at a slower pace, relishing the words. The book is a hauntingly magical tale about love and loss. I admit to having a bit of a cry after I finished it.
I’ve been a bit under the weather lately as I’ve had a cold that I can’t seem to shake for a week now. It seems to be getting better but as it is a bit difficult to rest with so many chores to do in Spring it’s taking long. My own fault entirely!
How are you? Any fun plans for the upcoming May Day next week?
These photos are from Helsinki from way back in February when the thought of Spring was just a dream.