Saturday, November 24, 2012

Random Photo Catch-up

I'll have a big post to do soon so I thought I'd just put some photos to show what we've been up to lately. Nothing exciting, but the usual silliness. 

Most of these photos are Bump, but I'm spending a lot more time with just her now that the boys are off being edjamacated. 

This week we visited Annantalo for the first time. We made some new friends and played around a bit. Actually the mums were so busy talking we forgot to go to the Art Lab bit until the end, but Bumpshie and her new friend has a blast messing around with the prehistoric sculpture stuff that we'll have to go back with the whole Clan some time. 

They were so excited by what they had made that they were just a blur from jumping. 

Bump was also given her first Barbie by a lady in a cafe we frequent while Foo is in OT. It's a little Happy Meal one, but she's very chuffed. At least it's not the stereotypical blond blue-eyed beach Barbie. She's a dark haired and skinned vet with a pink medical bag and stethoscope. Heavens help me. 

Same cafe a few weeks ago, she was so cute I couldn't resist. 

The boys discovered the glasses that Mormor left here on her recent trip. Mouse looks particularly handsome, I must say. 

And the Wean's usual pursuits of dancing, eating ice cream and ninja training must be remembered. A busy life they lead. 

Have a nice weekend, hope to update with some fun soon. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The House the Clan Bodged

Sorry, things have been a bit quiet. Feeling a bit meh in general. Things are ticking along steadily, so can't complain.

Have you ever seen those internet memes which have one picture of a beautiful cake or handicraft and then the next picture is an absolute disaster of an attempt with the words 'Nailed It'? They're funny because not all of us can be great at cake decorating or arts and crafts and it's good to admit that and good that we try these things anyway. And sometimes things fail spectacularly. 

I'm always trying new stuff whether it be crocheting a cardi for Bump which went wrong somewhere and is unwearable or making new dishes that no one will eat. I'm also what the Brits call a Bodger. My good friend Wiktionary says it's a person who works in a rough and ready, slipshod manner. I do my best, maybe cut a few corners when things get difficult, or don't always have the best skills or tools for the job and have to improvise. But I usually always enjoy what I'm doing. If I'm not, I stop. 

I was worried for a while that some of the Weans would take after the Chief who is a bit of a perfectionist. Ok, a very impatient perfectionist which is sort of deadly in itself, but he likes things done right and just so. How we manage to do anything together is beyond me, but we no longer do DIY together, let's put it that way. 

But after years of careful tutelage even my pickiest Wean now seems happy to bodge his way through an activity where there's fun to be had. 

I decided for some mad reason to try to make a gingerbread house this week. I thought we'd just do a little one for practice, to see if my ideas of how it should go would work. Then we could maybe try a bigger one for Christmas. 

I didn't make my own gingerbread, just used the ready to roll ones you can get here. Working with 1 or all of the Weans is complicated enough without making extra work for myself. I also didn't bother to get a template for the house. Fail one: if I was to attempt this again I would definitely download some blueprints or hire an architect or something. 

So, I, who has no visual accuracy when it comes to judging distance or length, decided to cut the shapes by eye. LOL. They looked good on the cooking sheet, but I didn't take into account shrinkage or warping by the heat and cooling. 

I found a recipe for the frosting, but I just looked at the ingredients. If I had followed with the measurements my frosting glue might have been a better consistency. 

So you can see two of my problems here. Glue too liquid and house parts not matching up. But I eventually got it glued together, even though there was a large gap where the two roof pieces should meet. 

But who cares, let the fun of decorating commence. 

Another point to remember, never let Foo 'sprinkle' on the sprinkles. 

So we bodged and had fun and who cares what the house looks like. Now I just have a fight on my hands to keep them from eating the house in one go. I had two of them picking off marshmallows this morning after breakfast. 

Oh, in case you wondered, we won't be making another for Christmas. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Autumn Catch-up

After two weeks of trying to get the Weans to go to the a leikkipuisto that a friend has recommended they finally gave in. Getting them out of the door is nearly impossible at the weekend, especially Mouse. He just wants to stay inside to play with his toys and watch telly. Once we're in the real world they're fine, but getting them dressed and out the door is excruciating. 

So we discovered the Angry Birds playpark in Espoo. 

Next week Mouse is attending his first Karate Birthday Party which took a lot of gentle persuasion to convince him it would be fun to go to. He is very resistant with the new. But I'm sure he'll love it. 

Last hints of autumn.

Halloween is a bit of a non-event here in Finland. We tried to go to a expat-party but it was overbooked and we couldn't get tickets. I made costumes for the kids anyway, ninjas for the boys as they are obsessed with Ninjago currently and a tutu for dancing Bump. It was a good excuse to eat cake. My cake decorating skills have not advanced any. 

Enjoy the last of autumn, we've had another bout of snow, so I think we're in for a long winter. 

Friday, November 2, 2012


Going through old posts here and I don't think I've actually said on here that we are officially staying in Finland. 

Late in the summer, the Chief was offered a permanent job at his company, a different role to what he has been doing, but something he's been wanting to get into for a while. The post required no previous experience, so he has a chance to learn by doing and get plenty of experience, so if we want to go back to Scotland in the future he'll be able to step into a better role with more opportunities. Working for the European Commission is a great way to get considered for better jobs with other government agencies, all over Europe as well as the UK. The post starts with a 5 year contract, but it's considered a permanent role. 

After the initial shock and regret, we have pretty much accepted it now. We came on this journey thinking it would only be for a year, maybe two. It would be a fun adventure that we could look back on and tell the kids about when they were older. Returning home to Scotland was always the light at the end of the tunnel. 

But it's now been two and a half years and Scotland has become the fairy tale, the holiday destination. It saddens me as I wanted my children to be raised Scottish, but for all its warts and all the difficulties of settling in here, Finland is now our home and for the most part it works. It is the best option for us right now and we plan to make the most of it. 

Now if I could only learn this bloody language. Toivotan meille onnea.
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