2006 vs. 2007

It's time to take toll of the past 12 months and plan for the next, I suppose. But before we do let's have a last look at Christmas. I had a lovely and relaxing time back home in Finland. I've come home to London with no black rings under my eyes, well fed and still smiling about the fun I've had. Things didn't get off to a good start though, because of the insane fog that was lingering over UK just before Christmas.

Heathrow was a mess – there were hunderds of flights cancelled, thousands of people stranded, crying, and it made me feel bad that I was lucky enough to catch my flight even though we were four hours late taking off. The flight to Helsinki departing 20 minutes after mine got cancelled so it was a bit touch and go for a moment. I was actually surprised of the amout staff and information available. It was all very un-British that we were so well-informed and taken care of considering what chaos the fog was causing to air travel throughout the country.


Heathrow is a mess on the best of days, so I was just so happy to get to Finland. Even though it was my first Christmas without much snow for a long, long time. I can't even remember when we last had such a Christmas. It felt a bit weird, but as always it was lovely just go out and me in a forest after walking about 5 minutes (to any direction :-D).


It got a bit colder toward the end of my stay and some snow appeared… but this is what is looked like on Christmas Day 2006. Pine trees are very dominant in the Finnish landscape. You could be lead blindfolded to any forest in Finland and it would look just like this.

My sister and I baked some traditional gingerbread bisquits on Christmas Eve and got to decorate them. Most of them I made into pretty snowflakes, but took requests too, like the jellyfish on the top left corner (my sister's request). "Joulu" means Christmas in Finnish. :-)

On Boxing Day I went to stay over my friend Marianne's for couple days. We got all organised and effective, and even managed to bake some gorgeous bread during my stay. It was worth all the waiting for the dough to rise (about 4 separate times). I often forget living on my own how much fun cooking and baking is, because it is so much easier to do when there are at least two of you. And especially when you get to do it with someone else.

Less fog in Finland as you can see. Somehow my flight back to London managed to be 30 minutes late anyways. Just my luck… It was probably the coldest day of the whole week on the day I returned back to London. Good timing! Coming to +13c temperature in London felt like coming to a proper tropical climate – oh well, almost! :-D

It was great to see that Heathrow was back to its usual mess after the fog…

So, what has 2006 been like for me. Mostly I remember a very hot summer with my allergies making life really difficult during the heatwaves. I also suffered really bad (customer) services this year. In the lead by a mile are the Royal Mail and TalkTalk. Royal Mail messed me about with my mail and didn't manage to deliver my post to me during all of December (minus two days). The second shining star of shit is TalkTalk, who never managed to connect my broadband (after three months waiting) and caused me extortionate phone bills subsequently with their "free" calls abroad. (I'm back with BT now and have a super great ISP!)

Best things this year include spending more time with some of my friends and family regardless of the the distance. Both my parents and my sister visited me in London (separately) this summer which is a rare treat. Actually my sister was over twice in 2006! I also visited Finland in the summer and learned that by keeping touch with friends and family they will also make the effort keeping in touch with you. One of my best friends got married this year, which was such an amazing day. This year no one too close to me had babies, but a few friends are expecting to give birth in 2007, which is really exciting! :-)

Most of all the year seems to have gone very very quickly. I turned 30, celebrated in Norway and noticed I'm none the wiser being this old. :-D Work has been busy-demanding, maybe more so this year due to my year long family therapy course which ended in June. I did try to balance things with taking good care of my free time by going to the theatre a bit more, but didn't see anything worth mentioning here. I joined the London Independent Photographers and did the Tate Modern course on City and Photography, which spurred me on to quite a rich period in my photography, street-wise especially. I also won a photography contest, shot my first studio session and had my first exhibition in London which all were very good experiences.

I didn't make any new year's resolutions for 2006, unless you count my personal mission of writing in my journal every day since turning 30. I think this far I've missed (read: forgotten) write on only 4 days, which is not bad going I think. I will continue with my personal daily diary until my next birthday and see how I feel about continuing. I have written a diary quite actively since I was 16 anyways, so I might return to more ad hoc entries… but who knows. :-)

So the next twelve months… During 2007 I would like to exercise more, exfoliate more, read more professional books and articles and go to cinema once a month for special me-time (read: popcorn). More than anything I'd love to have a holiday in New York. I've also decided to start to blog the books I'm reading during the next 12 months. I've always loved reading, but have not been able to commit to any book group or club offered. I've come to miss reflecting and talking about what I've read. I suppose what I'm almost taking for granted is continuing with my photography, which might be worth mentioning, too. And maybe I should also bake and cook more this coming year. Yes. And now before I make this list any longer I better stop.

I wish that 2007 is a happy, exciting and rich in every way year for you all!
See you on the other side! ;-)

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hey ho and off we go

My early Christmas present to myself was a Kodak Coloursnap 35 camera I bought last week from the most drunken man I have ever met in this market at Archway. He had a nice little collection of old/antique cameras, but not so nice banter or salesmanship. Must have been the booze. :-D He had mostly Brownies and Kodak automatics, and the coloursnap caught my eye. I bought it for £10 and had a bag and a roll of Kodak 120 film that expired in 1962(!) thrown in. I am such a sucker for old analogue cameras. But at least Santa (umm…) got me one present I will love and use.

I actually shot a roll of film to test it out after some intensive cleaning on Saturday, but the week's been so busy I haven't had any time to post the stuff anywhere. Until now that is. (If you click on the image(s) on the left it'll take you to the larger version online.) I think the focus is a bit off, or then again it could be me who's off with the focus. I'll have to see what I can stretch it to do in January. But I have to say, running an old iso100 film through it and getting these few successful shots, I was quite happy.

The lightleak in the bottom photo is my fault. I didn't close the back properly, but I know now how to secure it. :-)

In other news. Holy mother of all London fogs! The traffic and airports in UK are in chaos due to really dense fog which is said to last over Christmas. I rang my airline this morning to check their status and they told me none of their flights out of Heathrow have not been cancelled… yet. They advised me to call in tomorrow morning to check again. I'm due to fly tomorrow night. The fog out there tonight is quite scary. Wish me luck getting home to Finland for the holidays!

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas holiday wherever you are and whatever you're up to!

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JPG street

I'm taking part in the JPG Magazine theme "street"!
If you like my photo(s), please vote for my submission (seen above) HERE !

Thank you! :-)

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it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

I'm taking a little break from wrapping my Christmas presents today to blog the recent photos. They are Christmassy, you have been warned, but as said last weekend, I just love this time of the year. And really, you can't go anywhere without bumping into something to do with Christmas since it's fast approaching. :-) I went to Trafalgar Square last night to deliberately take some photos of the Christmas tree. Every year the Norwegians donate a magnificent Christmas tree to London. The lights were switched on by Princess Mette-Marit of Norway on Thursday 7th December this year. The square looks so lovely now…

You really can't get away from the Christmas anywhere anymore. :-)

Getting as close to Nelson is very touristy thing in London. But it's a classic London photo to take. :-)
I just love the shadows in this. There isn't much light around the tree and the column actually. I suppose it's to emphasise the Christmas light effect. But it also makes it hard to take sharp photos. :-D

Most people use flash, but I don't blame them.
It's all about recording your memories the best way possible isn't it still?
It was very kind of these people to pose for me too. ;-)

Another classic pose…
There were quite a few opportunities to take any other type of photos around Nelson.
Sorry! :-D

Well, if it wasn't people posing, it was people taking photos.
It's a funny contradiction; photographers taking photos of other photographers taking photos…
Maybe I'm thinking too much into it? ;-)
I love that little girl in this. She made this photo for me.

There is something very symbolic in this for me.
The whole idea of the concept or time when you're a child, and how you look at life and time the older you get.
Also the motion suggests something else too… What do you see in this?

In this I see Animal from the Muppets waiting for the bus…
Well, almost. :-D I have a thing about light at the moment.
How it works, how it falls on people and objects. How to use it to my benefit…

Like in this case I was trying to work with the light generated by the cars and buses going by to capture this lady.

And in this one I was trying snap her using the interior light of the bus before it moved away.
I love when people are in this bubble of their own in public places, oblivious to what's going on.

This ends the technical talking in this blog entry. ;-)

She looks like she's had enough for the day,
and getting dragged by her husband to the next shop reluctantly. :-D

Other things that were dragged around last night. :-)
Someone is getting the best Christmas present ever!

I'm sorry to disappoint, but I didn't spot any people lost last night! So there are no photos of lost people to blog today! Shock horror! :-D Instead I popped over to the ice rink again to snap some more people tumbling on ice. Hey, I gotta get my kicks from somewhere! :-D Well, one thing I got confirmed as well last night was my theory of "concentration faces". You know when you're doing something that takes all your concentration? I believe this generates a unique and individual face being pulled at the time. Please let me state my evidence:

I rest my case! :-D

And look, this was just too cute:

Aww, isn't he just the cutest? :-)

In other topics, I'm trying to make my way to the London VOX meet on Wednesday 13th December. There are more details in the London VOX blog if you're interested. I've got quite a busy day at work ahead of me on that Wednesday, but I will try my best to make it at some point in the night to the pub. :-) Let me know if you're planning to go too!

Otherwise I'm not sure if I will have time to take photos or blog before Christmas. I know it's only the 10th December, but my days are getting busier at work the closer we get to the holidays. Then there are the Christmas parties and lunches and drinks I've promised to meet different groups of people and friends for (any excuse for mulled wine and mince pies!). And then I'm off to Finland on Friday 22nd December to spend Christmas with my family. It's going to be a white Christmas for me! :-) I'm so looking forward to it! I do hope I'll have time to do something here and photography-wise before I go, but don't hold you're breath. :-)

Until then hope to see you on Wednesday (if you're in London) and hope you're well!

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it’s the most wonderful time of the year…

What a lovely Saturday in London! The rain stopped by lunch time and I went to Covent Garden to do some Christmas shopping and some street photography. This is my favourite time of the year, and I love Christmas. London has been dressing up for the season very respectively.

The cutest nativity display in the cutest shop in the world (Cath Kidston).

Everyone was in such a great mood today…

… and everyone was so cute!

People were getting in to the spirit of things. :-)

Insert your favourite quote here:
[I'm the king of the world!]

Christmas sweeties from the Covent Garden Market,
nothing better to prepare you for the chocolate marathon in a few weeks time. ;-)

Lunch time was busy in Covent Garden…


Couples were getting all sweet and romantic, too…

Trust me he was flirting, but badly. :-D


She was very glamourous, and standing in a very glamorous light.

Speaking of glamorous, if anyone wants to put a good word in for me to Santa…
Aren't they gorgeous?!

It's quite amazing that you can still eat outside, if you want to, in December.
He was the only one however, and really struggling to get the service in this restaurant.

I didn't have the lens for the optimal shot of this.
However I found the scene very amusing.
And that bar must have changed names and owners more often than I change my clothes! :-D

Lots of people were choosing to "eat out" today actually…


The scariest mime in London! :-D

I just loved their reflection…

And now for the obligatory photos of people lost in London:

Are you getting bored with people lost yet? :-D
(I know I seem to spot a lot of them these days…)

In the end of the afternoon I was walking home, but decided to pop in to the Somerset House. It hosts an ice rink every winter for anyone daring enough to try skating. I find British people on skates amusing. Coming from a country where everyone learns to skate at a very young age since moving to London it has provided me the biggest belly laughs ever. One year I went ice skating with friends to the ice rink at Bayswater in West London. There was a group of young adults there, including a 6'4" big black guy. He was going around the rink holding to his dear life to the railings and shouting "Man is made to walk! Man is made to walk!" :-D Somerset House didn't fail me this afternoon either:

Poor little soldier! :-D
He did really well, regardless of all the wet patches on his trousers from falling.
It has been unseasonally warm the past few weeks and the ice rinks have actually had to close due to melting.
I'm glad the Somerset House was open today though it was quite soggy.

This scene really puts a smile on my face.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

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