Friday, March 30, 2012

Finnish Month Names

I'm trying to learn the names of the Finnish months. Partially because I really should know more than 6 of them by now, but also because I love the descriptive names they have. 

For years I've been working on a series of poems based on some old names of the various moons of the year, Owl Moon, Moon of the Long Knives, Harvest Moon, etc. The Finns have named their months after the moons. Some of them are beautiful and very apt. 

tammikuu – January, heart of winter, oak moon, axis core
helmikuu – February, pearl moon, snow melting on trees refreezing look like pearls
maaliskuu  March, earth month, when the earth becomes visible under the snow
huhtikuu – April, burn-beaten area month, this is the month where you cut down the trees, the huhta, that grew in the area you planned to cultivate. They were left to dry until summer and then burned which would the fertilise the field. 
toukokuu – May, sowing or seeding month
kesäkuu – June, summer or ploughing moon
heinäkuu – July, hay moon
elokuu – August, harvest moon
syyskuu – September, autumn moon
lokakuu - October, mud moon
marraskuuta – November, dying moon
joulukuuta – December, Christmas moon

I'm now working on a series of poems based on the Finnish month names. Slowly. 

We're now leaving the Earth Month, with the ground finally making a strong appearance from under the snow. Snowdrops and crocuses are sticking out their inquisitive noses to take in the sun. We're heading into the time to prepare for cultivation, a time to make plans and set foundations for new beginnings.

It's a good feeling. 

Monday, March 26, 2012


We had mildly ill Weans this weekend, so most of our time was indoors. We made rainbow cake, watched too much telly and played around. 

It's been a tough week of trying to find a house, with the market being very slow. 

But a sudden heavy snowfall on Sunday followed by blue skies and warmish weather lifted our spirits and sent us out to play. 

Foo getting a face-full.

 Two feet forward into the next week. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

And then there was 3

Years, that is.

The Chief has just signed his contract so we're staying in Finland at least until the end of the year. I'm figuring that he'll get another extension or the permanent job, so just settling in for the long haul.

Now we just need a house.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Proof of Spring

Sometimes it's easy for me to forget that we've had a short winter this year, compared to last year's 5 straight months of snow. We've only had snow since the beginning of the year, but have had more fall in this shorter time. 

But the recent days of constant above zero temps has finally started the thaw. 

Some proof from the Chief and I: mainly for ourselves and it's hard to believe this country will ever be green again. 

Hope you all had a nice St Patrick's Day and Mother's Day, if you're in the UK. I fancied a bit of American-style Corned Beef and Cabbage, just because I haven't had it in about 20 years, but it's impossible to get here. So with the wonders of the internet I found a few recipes and decided to corn one myself. I even made Irish Soda Bread. They actually turned out pretty good. Even though the beef wasn't pink, due to the lack of salt peter it tasted just right. 

Ok, my presentation wasn't up to much, but who has time to be pretty with 3 munchkins. I was the only one crazy about the beef, but everyone liked the bread which is a good thing as I have a ton of it. 

Enjoy what's left of your weekend. I've got some chocolate and 100s of photos to wade through, so that's my Sunday night sorted. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Stuttering In

It's doing it's best to arrive, but it's not finding it easy. 

The temperature is jumping about 10 degrees a day from about -5 to 5C so we have a mix of ice, slush and a gritty sand-like snow, depending on the shade and location. The sun is brilliant and makes up for a lot. A couple days now I've been able to sit in the park and soak up the late afternoon sun while the kids mess about in the snow. Makes a change from standing, shivering in the dark. 

News flash: The Chief's contract is slowly wending its way through the various levels of bureaucracy and unless my Fairy Godmother gets him a job in Scotland in the next week, we're staying in Finland, at least until the end of the year, more likely until next summer. 

17-3 Update: Chief got his contract, but isn't happy with it, so it's gone back for further debate. 

So we're house-hunting. We have until the end of May, but would really rather be out sooner. We haven't been able to find anything in our current area which is a shame as we do like it here, but the places we're looking at aren't too far away. I'm hoping we'll find something as nice as what we have, but with some of the kinks ironed out, but that may be a pipe dream. 

Keep your fingers crossed for us. 

Haven't got any pictures of the dripping world, will remedy that this weekend, I hope. 

Here's some from last weekend, the Weans enjoying the snow, still a couple of feet left out there. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Splash of Good News for March

Beginnings of a poem for an anthology on newborns. 

how many woollen layers
can I bury her
against growing up too fast?

encase her smile in amber
before teething cuts into its perfection

I allow my fingers
to gather her cornsilk curls
before they are shorn away
and she skips off,
a lamb to the wilderness

the dark morning hours
when she cuddles into my side
I want to whisper charms over her
secrets that will keep her safe

Hard to remember Bumptious when she was a newborn. She seems to have always been here. She is full of new phrases lately, 'I don't want to', 'Give it back'. Asserting her independence as only a little sister can. 

I had a couple poems accepted for publication today. Such a strong light feeling only matched by the sun streaming over the frozen landscape today. 

Another bit of lovely news, Foo has had his first Occupational Therapy appointment confirmed. Such a relief. 

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