Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The 69 Eyes

Somehow it seems that I have gone to rock concerts ways more often here in Basel than I ever did back in Finland. And even more curious, I've seen mostly finnish acts =)

One of the reasons might be Z7, which is a cool venue with excellent program located just outside Basel. Last time I saw Sonata Arctica there and last Saturday it was The 69 Eyes' turn. We went to check the band out with Mitch and Regi. I was really excited about that, since I hadn't seen the band playing live in a long time and it's also always cool introduce my swiss friends to something that comes from Finland.

-And of course, it works the other way also. It's always nice to meet people from hometurf and show them something about Basel. This time we took some visitors to Gleis13 to get the feeling of the local atmosphere and to celebrate birthday.

The 69 Eyes.

The main act, Tiamat from Sweden.
Bit dark for me, perhaps.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tiitiäisen Pippurimylly

Tiitiäisen Pippurimylly (the Peppermill of Tiitiäinen) is the new dance performance for children of Dance theater Raatikko. It opened on 6th of February in Vantaa and is based on "nonsense"-poems of Kirsi Kunnas.

In the story we meet little girl called Lilli, whose father is too busy to read stories to his daughter. Lilli falls asleep while waiting for her daddy and is taken by tiitiäiset ( sort of hobgoblins or trolls) to their magical forest. In the forest Lilli encounters many of the strange characters of Kunnas's poems.

At home, waiting.

Mysterious forest in the night time.

Tiitiäiset are coming.

Day is dawning.

Iki-tik, tiki-tak. A story about counting time.

Jaakko-Vaakko Vesirotta.

Lilli meets a sneezing muskrat, who has serious problems with his health, caused by the lousy working circumstances by the water. In this scene I used the very old-fashioned mechanical wave-grills to create rippling-effect on the whole stage. I was very happy with the outcome.

Ville and Valle.

Two brothers who have opposite intrests in life and always end up quarrelling about everyday functions.

Mister PiiPoo.

PiiPoo is a magician who faces a problem with Vespa, because his magical skills don't stretch all the way to motors and mechanics.

In the end a storm takes little Lilli back home, where his father finally has time for her.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Aliens in Tikkurila?

It felt sort of surreal to go to work yesterday morning. The whole universe seemed to be frosted and thick fog embraced the scenery. One could imagine having been teleported to eerie and silent Siberia or something. Or perhaps to some distant planet... Even all the sounds seemed to have been muffled through the fog. I nearly missed my exit from the bus because my stop was preeetty difficult to spot :-)

Below is a picture taken from a big empty space just next to the Raatikko theatre in Tikkurila, Vantaa. Those construction site machines look really alien in the fog =)

Aliens in Tiksi?

Frost also created some quite pretty things, like these frost flowers on the surface of a bus-stop wall.

Frost flowers on Tikkurila railway station...

...Platform 4.

Here is more artistic approach to the subject of the first photo.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Flashbacks from the childhood

Today was a day that reminded me very vividly of the winters of my childhood. I didn't even realize how long it has been since I was in Finland when it was really winter!

Nowadays it seems that the winters are mostly only wet and windy without real snowy scenes, at least in the Southern Finland. I do believe in the green house-effect, there really isn't any other explanation for this. Something has changed... I can still recall that in winter '84 it was -30'c in Häme region in Southern Finland for couple of weeks in a row and the kids didn't have to go to school since it was too cold. Cool -literally, doesn't happen anymore. It's been said that the kids don't learn to ski anymore because there is rarely enough snow in the south. It's a pity, -some of my strongest memories relate to skiing-competitions in the school and hot black currant juice afterwards or skating on a frozen lake etc.

Ok, end of sermon... I woke up to a perfect winter day in Helsinki. Sky was crystal clear and sunlight washed all the buildings so blindingly bright it almost hurt my eyes. One could tell already from indoors that it was crisp day and long-johns would be needed =) But, nevertheless, Helsinki was very friendly today, since the weather was calm and dry, no any kind of signs of aggressive windy wetness that this city so ofter delivers to you. Temperature was hovering somewhere around -15'c. I'm so happy that the weather is on it's best behavior so far since I belong to those people who don't like wet toes. I still have another week to stay here and I hope that the weather will also stay the way it is now.

I set out to go to visit my mum in Hämeenlinna around midday. Even in Helsinki there is relatively lots of snow at the moment and it made this crunchy sound when stepping on it.


This sound of walking on frozen surface reminded me of the daily journeys to the school during the first years of my education. Me and my best friend Leila used to explore all the possible things along the route and arrive very, very late most of the times...

I also remembered the fact that I used to quite like cross-country skiing when I was still able to do it voluntary as a kid (gym-teacher I had when I was fifteen or so managed totally to kill this phenomen in me). I used to set out to the snowy surface of the nearby lake, equipped with a thermos bottle (red one, with Garfield picture printed on the side) of hot chocolate and some sandwiches to return only when it was already getting dark.

Below couple of pictures I took both to entertain you my dear readers, and also to test my cell phone's capabilities.

Blue skies over Linnanmäki.

Hard contrast of light and shadow,
late afternoon in Parola.

Long shadows, low angle light and puffy white pines.
- The real Finnish winter time!

Even the bird-feeding cottage on my mom's
backyard is loaded with snow.