Sunday, December 9, 2007

Finland 90 years 6.12.2007

Last Thursday was the 90th anniversary of an independent Finland. I was invited to reception at Riihimäki. This is a tradition of my very dear long-time friends Pikku-Markku and Kalle.

Very common scenery of the season.

Weather for the independency day was also very traditional, very wet and rainy. I drove to Riihimäki in the afternoon and the festivities slowly started after 16.00. Familymembers and good friends of Pikku-Markku and Kalle all came together to toast for the occasion.

Kalle and Pikku-Markku

Around six o'clock was time for yeat another tradition; to sing the national anthem, all together accompanied by piano. Little after that the broadcast from reception at presidential castle began in the tv and some of the guests settled down to watch it. This is very popular thing in Finland and also this year the program collected nearly three million spectators. I just wanted to catch a glimpse of couple of my friends who had gotten the invitation to the presidential party.

"Oi maame Suomi, synnyinmaa, soi sana kuuuuultainen..."

All together...

Presidential reception

Lively discussions

Later on in the evening the abundance of prosecco and champagne showed their impact among us and singing was very wholehearted, -no matter what neighbours should think about that. Some of the guests even got into dancing... All and all, it was a very nice party and I got to meet some people I haven't had a chance to meet in many years and made some new friends also. Thanks PM and Kalle!!

National-romantic themes and tunes; "Sininen ja valkoinen"

So charming...

Bubbles in all shapes and sizes

Something in the air...

Smooth maneuvers of Lauri and Heidi.

Kalle taking it easy.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Snowy scapes

I'm back in Finland for a while again. I had to come over for some official stuff. For example, my passport just fell into pieces some time ago and now I had to come to pick up the new one. The schedule is pretty busy, but in a way, I don't mind soooo much. It seems to be quite ok weather now and in two days it's gonna be the independency day of Finland. For that I'm going to Riihimäki to attend a reception held by my very dear friends Pikku-Markku and Kalle. So nice to meet them, it's been really long time! Last time was when we gathered together to watch on tv the Eurovision Song Contest 07 =O

I attach here some pictures I took this afternoon. It was pretty much perfect winterday in Häme, southern Finland. You've seen this same back yard in the very first pic I uploaded here.

Couple of details of snowy pine branches.

Two Far-Outs, too far out..?

We have an art-room in our basement in Basel. Some folks would call it a bar, but anyway, Sergey and Manuela, who did the interior, covering the whole floor with mirror-mosaics, prefer to call it art-room. It's our living room and quite fancy place. There is a photo-album in the net, where you can check out more pics. --> Far Out

Down there we have all kinds of recreation, pool-table, one-handed bandit, video-beamer etc. We also used to have a pinball-machine, which Mitch got from a french guy called Lardon (?!!) already long time ago. He wanted to have it because it's called Far Out, same as his company and the art room too. This mechanical machine from 1974's is super fun to play.

Recently I saw that there was similar machine on sale in Ricardo, Swiss online auction and I mentioned that to others. After thinking about it for a while, Sergey decided to buy it. It arrived just couple of days ago and was placed next to the first one. Now it looks really cool and sort of crazy to have two identical machines next to each other in the basement.

It's actually funny. The machines should be identical, but there are big differences between them. How they sound, how they feel to play, how they give points ( new one is much more generous =)... Anyway, now there is more options in the art room than before: you can play Far Out, of you can play, wait a minute -what was it- oh yes, -Far Out!