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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