You don't get what you deserve.
You get what you take.

-Nemi

Friday, 6 December 2013

Happy Independence Day!

There's snow on the ground and only two weeks before I'll be back in Finland enjoying the real winter. So you guys over there better keep the snow on the ground!

Anyway, everyone have a great day and enjoy the awesome country we have in the North!


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

2&1/3rd London this autumn.

I've been silent so long that I don't even know what to write about anymore. I have few ideas but I just can't seem to get myself to blogger long enough to actually write anything. Anyway, as I have one more weekend in London to open up, let's start with that.

There were few confusions by me on the weekend so I ended up a day before Rob in the city, but luckily my cousin got there on the same day with his girlfriend. However, I was there so late that I just ended up going to my hotel, having a nice bath and then sleep. I have to say, I booked my hotel via lastminute.com and it was one of the fanciest hotels I've ever been to (besides the one my family had in Mexico)! And the location and price (£90/night) were amazing, next to the Kensington Gardens, 5 mins to the closest  metro stop.

Anyway, on Friday morning I met my cousin and his girlfriend for breakfast in Paddington area and we then proceeded for the basic walking tour, Hyde Park-Buckingham Palace-Big Ben-London Eye-Trafalgar Square and then took the underground to London City, from where we walked to Tower of London and Tower Bridge, which I hadn't seen before myself. From there we made our way to Piccadilly and walked to Oxford Street through Regent Street, and I walked my visitors to their hotel next to the Marble Arch as they were going to the We Will Rock You-musical, and I went to chill to my hotel, waiting for Rob to arrive.

Saturday we spent walking around a bit more, then going for a lunch before Spamalot!-musical. I never realised how hard it is to find a lunch place in London on Saturday afternoon, but I guess I had it coming! I really enjoyed Spamalot, being a huge Monty Python-fan, but the first part I was a bit disappointed because it followed too strictly the movie, but the second part was hilarious! After the musical we went to find a place to eat and had few drinks, before Rob's friend joined us, followed by more drinks.

That's pretty much that weekend, I'll try to come up with other posting ideas soon. Only one more week of deadlines and I might be able to do stuff for fun again.


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Survival of the fittest.

I got a sudden realisation today at class that I would have never thought 4 years ago that I would be sitting in a class talking about war as a necessary feature of world politics and that I was being genuinely interested in the conflict aspect over peace. Especially when in-class discussion someone points out that unnecessary killing and murdering happen all the time in conflict despite it being against the international law (that's another thing, 4 years ago I thought international law actually meant something) and everyone just accepts it without contesting the thought. What happened to the idealistic semi-hippie girl?! I don't know which person I prefer, this overly realistic suits better my sarcastic and cynical way of thinking overall. I guess both ways of thinking have their pro's and con's but Finns love saying: "The pessimist never gets disappointed".

To take this even further, I actually recently thought about joining the Finnish army after my Master's to gain some more leadership experience, but then my girly side kicked in and I realised that there's no way I'm doing a week or two weeks long field exercise in the Finnish winter. Nae chance. But to even consider this is a huge step from the teenager Noora who thought that she couldn't go out with a guy that went/had gone to army. And look what my boyfriend is doing.

It's amazing how all these ideas come to mind when you're the busiest. Last week was extremely intense for both studying and work. I didn't even realise how exhausted I actually was before my friend had a horrified look on her face on Saturday evening when she saw me and asked if everything was alright because I looked so tired (or "absolutely horrible" as she later cleared her expression). One of my supervisors said thing two days before that he had never seen me look so stressed, so I took it as a sign to slow down a bit. On Sunday I got my first over 6,5 hour sleep last week and it felt so good!

On the plus side, I think that I have managed my stress quite well recently. I got over my previous stress reaction which is that I stop eating (an issue I've talked so many times here before) and when I get to go to bed, I do sleep well (as long as I can). I have also managed to finish all my school project reasonably well, I even got 18 from my in-class essay! Yay!!

I haven't taken any pictures recently so this is quite dull catch up post. But I'm going down to London this weekend again, so I promise some more London shots next week!

Also, does anyone have experience from Birchbox? I'm quite interested in trying it out but don't know anyone who actually has ordered their boxes...

Friday, 8 November 2013

Another weekend in England.

I never thought that having time for blogging would be an issue but apparently it can be. Anyway, last weekend I got to spend again with my silly English boy. I flew down to London, where we met up and had a Halloween night out with the army folk. We ended up somewhere in Covent Garden and for the first time in such a long time I got ID'd! I felt so flattered :D Overall it was really nice night out filled with champagne and g&t's, but at the end we kind of got lost from people as someone thought that it was brilliant idea to change the night club to another one in Chelsea at 1 am. We got there 10 mins before closing and weren't allowed in, so we just got taxi to Rob's friend's house where we were staying that night, had some nightly munchies and then nest.

Friday morning we decided that staying in London would be too expensive, so after doing some shopping on Oxford Street we decided to hop on a train and stay at Rob's house in Coventry for the rest of the weekend. For the rest of the day we were chilling, went for few pints with Rob's parents in the evening and again called it a night early.

Saturday however was a day for new experiences for me, as Rob needed to some more shopping (MEN...) so we headed to Birmingham. I've never been there and the only things I know about Birmingham is the fact that Black Sabbath is from there, they have HORRIBLE accent that I can't tolerate, and that my friend Jamie is from there. We were mainly focusing on the centre of the city as that's where the shops seem to be, but the thing that had gotten me there was knowing that there's a statue in the city centre dedicated to the father's of Heavy Metal.

Me: Hunny, it's the IRON MAN!
Rob: Sure, if you say so...
Iron Man!!
I guess the Victoria Square was named like that for some reason...
Jamie had kindly agreed to meet us with one day notice, and took us to an Aussie pub to see the England-Australia rugby match (as some of you know, one of the few sports that I can focus on watching), which England luckily won. After the match I was introduced to Birmingham's "Walk of Fame" which wasn't that impressive, but still something! I didn't get to see all of it, but I got the main points.
!

!!
On Sunday we headed back to London, had a nice lunch in the Green Park and then it was time to fly back to Aberdeen.

This week has been one of the most stressful weeks of my uni life, I might write about it in more details when I get time (might be in December). I've quite rightfully named this month as No-Sleep-November.



Failed couple-photo to finish the well delayed entry.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Can you feel my heart beat? (London vol. x)

Last weekend was Rob's first weekend off from Sandhurst, so I went down to London to spend the weekend with him. My first impression of London was again horrible, as I hate the transportation there, but I did make it after all to our hotel that was definitely not the easiest thing in the middle of the night. People, when flying to London, don't fly to Luton airport. Especially if it's in the middle of the night and you're in a hurry to get to the centre of London.

Anyway, Rob had sorted us out a nice hotel in Chelsea, where we stayed for the weekend. On Friday we spent in the city centre as Rob had forgotten all of his civilian clothes, so he had a lot of shopping to do. Basically the whole day we were running around in the pouring rain trying to find this and that "Ooooh, I might need a Superdry hoodie" etc., you know how men are like when they're shopping...

Although maybe the highlight (obviously after seeing Rob..) of the trip was when Rob was browsing in Selfridges and I suddenly realised that the person in front of me was NICK CAVE. You don't have to go too far behind in my posts to know that he's A HUGE DEAL  for me. So there I was hyperventilating in the men's underwear section while he was calmly browsing for new pants. I'm not usually too bothered when seeing a celebrity and definitely don't want to bother them, but he's no ordinary celebrity. He's NICK CAVE. After calming down myself and because Rob was pushing me, I got the courage to briefly go say hi to him and thanked him for the Helsinki concert. He was really polite and thanked me and shook my hand. Seriously, my knees were shaking for like half an hour afterwards. Oh man, I was such a hysterical fan girl :D

For dinner Rob took me to a nice restaurant in Chelsea called The Waterside, where the food was amazing, and fairly reasonably priced as well (around £15-20 for the main course), when considering that we were in a bit fancier part of London (or so I was told, but who knows? I'm not too bothered about these things).

On Saturday we went to the Imperial War Museum, and I can definitely recommend that museum for anyone! Not only is it free admission, but it had amazing exhibitions, from national security and intelligence to the Holocaust. I think we spent almost three hours there, and it was definitely worth visiting. It shouldn't be surprise to anyone that I'm interested in conflict and war, but I think it would be interesting for any history geeks like me who get their kicks from museum and historical sites. We then proceeded to see couple of our friends for coffee (or so we meant, but ended up with pints). Then back to the hotel and change of clothes, then back to Covent Garden to meet Rob's friends for dinner in Jamie Oliver's Union Jack-restaurant. Mmmm, amazing pizza! And again, reasonably priced for London prices.

Unfortunately I didn't take too many pictures during the weekend (I still need to learn how to use my new camera...), but maybe I'll take more next time in three weeks.

Also, I only now realised how amazing the Oyster Card is. I've always cursed the prices of London transportation as well, and as I usually take the 2-3 day pass, which is around £20 (someone correct me if I'm wrong), I only spent £10 on my weekend travels (not including getting to London from Luton). Single metro ticket is £4.50, and for that price you can use metro all day with Oyster card. You have to pay £5 deposit for the card, but you get it back when you return the card and all the unused money uploaded you didn't spend. And not to mention, the transportation from Chelsea's Imperial Warf station to Heathrow (which took almost an hour) was only £1!!!!

I'll get back to my mint tea now, the good thing about making tzatziki is that there's always plenty of fresh mint to make tea of. 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Postgraduate vs. Undergraduate

Now that I've been back in Aberdeen for few weeks and since I have nothing else to post about, I decided to gather some differences between my life as postgraduate compared to my life as an undergraduate.

First of all, since I actually had to pay for my postgraduate degree, I feel much more motivated going to the classes. Though I did go to all of my classes during the honours years, I know actually have the motivation.

I have become way more arrogant with pretty much everything. it took me couple of years to get out of my shell when I was undergraduate and I was always so modest when it came to free stuff, now I'm totally going for free stuff whatever organisation etc. offers it to. On Freshers Week I got my tummy completely full because I kept on going to the free food stalls that offered pizza, sandwiches, ice cream, crisps, you name it, for the new students. I had quite a few bonus rounds and I was rolling back home afterwards. On my first year I hardly even went to the fayre, now I even had a cup of coffee. I don't like coffee. But it was free!. Now I'm fully embracing all "free X"-occasions for if nothing else, to get my tuition fees back in free food and drinks ;)

I've also started to go to all events by the faculty, for example Monday night's Business School's Department's Welcome night, since I'm kind of part of the Business School now with my degree. But they had free wine so it goes more into the previous category. (Though I'm quite sure all of my points relate to that category)

Relating to my newly found arrogance, I've become maybe a bit too outspoken. I seem to have lost my inner filters and I just go ahead saying exactly what I think even when not really appropriate. I went to one "welcoming" event to some society and I remember the horrified faces of Freshers after I let them know what I thought about Aberdeen and UK. It's not that bad really, (except sometimes, like now when the roof of our house is leaking. Luckily it's only leaking from one spot. Unfortunately, that spot is right on top of the middle of my bed. Fuck Aberdeen) but I just had a weak moment and Gin&Tonics were too cheap. 

On the other hand, I've become a lot more involved and active, and I'm even social! Can you imagine, me, talking to people?! I have also so much energy to do stuff and get involved in uni that I'm starting to think that maybe I should start backing off a bit and see what I actually have time for... Oh well, I'll figure that out later. I did decide on summer that this academic year I'm spending on boosting my CV. And having so much time on my hands might have something to do with the fact that my SO is in the other side of the island and he has only three weekends off before Christmas. And I just booked my tickets for next weekend to London <3 p="">
On academic note, it's quite clear that MSc will require a lot more work than undergraduate, but I have a good feeling about this year, and I'm superexcited of two of my courses (which is quite good considering that I only have three courses)

Since I've been writing this post for like a week now, I'll just post this and maybe continue it later on when I actually get on with my postgraduate-life escapades. If anyone wants to know any ACTUAL issues of postgraduate studying in UK/Aberdeen just go ahead and ask. I'll try to tone down my candidness.

My current favourite.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The perfect day.

Now that it's been two weeks since my birthday, it might be about time to write about that day. As some people might now, I haven't celebrated my birthday in about 4 years (getting drunk with my brother doesn't count) and I really felt like doing something this time. On the night before I tried to organise my friends together in Helsinki for some drinks but because it was in the middle of the week, understandably not too many had the time to show up. Luckily I prefer small crowds ;) We did have a great night anyway and it was great to catch up with the people who showed up.

On the actual birthday I slept in properly and had a lazy morning. We then took the bus to Helsinki and Rob treated me with a lovely brunch at Fazer (probably my favourite cafe in Helsinki, but a bit too expensive for too frequent visits). I've never eaten as much there and it was all just too amazing. I was on proper food coma so no wonder that we missed the first ferry to Korkeasaari Zoo and the bus as well, but digesting for an extra 30 minutes wasn't too bad option either. I had given Rob the choice between Linnanmäki amusement park and the Zoo and since Rob chose the Zoo, we went for that. I really didn't mind since I hadn't been there in over 10 years and I really wanted to see the snow leopards...
Food coma <3 br="">
We started with the cat section and as many of you might have guessed, I could have easily just stayed there all day. BIG FLUFFY CATS! ^^ Rob eventually dragged me out after promising that we can come back after the rest of the tour and hopefully those lazy bum leopards would be awake by then. The bears were quite cute as well and the new monkeys, and I'm quite happy we didn't miss the rain forest section either with the reptilians and even smaller monkeys! I'm so easily amused...

The elephant shrew! I laughed so much for it's name :D
After the bonus round at the cat section (one of the snow leopards had woken up and was impatiently waiting next to the other one's cage for him to wake up, hihihii! ^^) the zoo closed so we had to start moving back to the city centre. We had decided to go for dinner in the Hard Rock Cafe Helsinki, because we both love their burgers and it was nice seeing what the new restaurant looked like. Obviously, the dinner was amazing. I just love the food and drinks there, though they are a bit too expensive for your regular student budget, but since it was my birthday I didn't really mind.

The impatient kitty.
Overall, the day was really simple, but I absolutely loved it. It was a perfect, relaxed birthday with a hint of speciality in it and Rob definitely made me feel like million dollars with all the spoiling. A good day start panicking of next year's 25th birthday!
Second food coma of the day <3 br="">

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Finland travel tip: Koli.

While Rob was in Finland we spent a day at Koli, probably the most famous national park in Finland. Since Rob had enjoyed the park so much last year (and I love the place as well), I tried to think other things to do other than the most basic hiking routes. Luckily my cousin had been there filming a tv-show the previous winter, so he was able to recommend Koli Activ and their services he'd tried.

My cousin organised us Cave Adventure -program, which was about an hour (for larger groups it would take 1-2 hours, but it was just the three of us then so we got through quite quickly) guided tour inside the caves near by Pirunkirkko at Koli. I had no idea really what to expect, except for some crawling in a cave, but I had no idea that it would be such a work out! After 15 minutes I was already sweating like a pig, and it was incredibly how small hole one can actually squeeze through! The tour was about 30€/each but I think it was definitely worth it. The guide was real professional, helping us both in Finnish and English, giving us also great tips for the rest of the day.

After the finishing the cave labyrinth we briefly visited Pirunkirkko as I had never been there before and people kept talking about it. I must say, after the caves I was a bit disappointed by how small the place was but it was still nice place to see (I wouldn't hike there though, but as we had parked nearby it was worth visiting). Then back to Alamaja for lunch and then some more walking around in Koli, including a walk up the Lomakoli skiing slope. Not my favourite part of the day, especially as I was already completely exhausted and Rob just kept skipping on like a mountain goat (I might be a bit bitter of not being as sporty). But the view was amazing I must admit. On the way home both me and Rob pretty much fell asleep immediately while Sami had to drive us home. Anyway, a great day and just reminded me more why I love Koli so much.
Pirunkirkko.



Feeding time.

Tarhapuro, the fountain of youth.

Picture by Sami Jumppanen at LomaKoli.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Wedding and a quick trip to Tallinn.

Last Saturday my brother go married and I couldn't be happier for the lovely couple! I had been waiting for that day all summer with excitement and the day was just beautiful. Both the bride and the groom were looking at their best and they venue and weather were just wonderful as well. Since I'm a big cry baby, I was obviously crying the whole day because my brother just looked so happy and especially when the bride walked down the aisle and I could see how both my brother and his (now) wife looked at each other and started tearing up, I couldn't help but follow the trend.

The wedding party was a traditional Finnish party, with lots of music, drinks, food, drinks, dancing, chatting and drinks. I'm happy that Rob enjoyed the party as well, and luckily there weren't too many "So will you two be the next? ;)" -enquiries, which we have gotten way too many this summer anyway.

On Sunday, after waking up with quite dry mouth and making it to the nearest place that provided food in pouring rain (McD, for the first time in over 10 years and I definitely remembered why I stopped eating there) we started packing our stuff and waiting for our ride to the harbour, as we left for a mini two-night vacation to Tallinn! I've been to Tallinn countless times, but Rob hadn't, so with the price of a overnight cruise to Stockholm, we decided to go for a two hotel nights in Tallinn package.

We stayed in Tallink City Hotel, located right next to Viru Centre, so pretty much the perfect location. Since we were at Tallinn quite late on Sunday evening, we just changed at the hotel, went to have dinner at the amazing Olde Hansa -restaurant and then for a night cap at hotel and sleep.


Mmm, that dessert was divine!
Next morning we were pondering our choices for the day and Rob caught a Tallinn-guide from BBC website, that mentioned KGB-museum. After deciding that it would be ideal choice for the day, we realised that it was located at the Viru Hotel, right next to us! No further search, we booked ourselves for the next English-language tour and we were on our way. I can highly recommend the museum tour, it took about an hour, was 8€ for non-hotel guests and the tour guide had many hilarious anecdotes about the history of Viru and how KGB was involved with it. Obviously as a Finn most of the stories had more context for me than for Rob and most of the stories also involved Finns as we've been probably the biggest source of tourism for Tallinn.

View from the top of Viru.

KGB room.

Apparently I got approved stamp from KGB.

Trying a "spy" camera.

After the museum we went for a stroll in the Old Town for the afternoon. We walked up to Toompea, got some of the amazing almonds from Olde Hansa and just enjoyed the city. We also walked up to the city wall, which I hadn't done before.



View from Toompea.



I also fell in love with honey beer.

"Well if you insist on getting dessert I guess I wont object..."
For the evening we ended up for dinner at Peppersack and at hotel Rob spoiled me with some champagne and chocolate.




On Tuesday morning we got the ferry back to Helsinki and then train to Kirkkonummi, from where we headed soon back to Helsinki to meet up some of my friends for my birthday drinks.