Weekly Photo Challenge: Names

Noa & Perry / Perry & Noa

Noa & Perry / Perry & Noa

Two dogs.
Two leashes.
Two collars.
Two tags.
Two names.

PS: Can you guess which dog belongs to which tag?!

BTW: I’ve caught up on all the weekly photo challenges for 2017 and from now on I’ll be only posting one photo challenge per week 🙂


Weekly Photo Challenge: Ambience

I always have trouble with any challenge that talks about mood. It always involves lighting and I just don’t get lighting at all… so I thought I’d turn this challenge on its head and post one little corner of the house lit many different ways. After you’ve flipped through all the shots tell me which one is your favourite and why!


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all photos taken with camera phone. Nothing fancy here today.

via Photo Challenge: Ambience


Another trophy for the case!

Long long ago in a blogosphere far far away there was a trophy case.

The idea was to collect all the WordPress achievements in one place – starting from the very first post and gathering steam from thereon. From everything that I’ve read, the trophy case was a virtual tracker of blogging milestones. The more blog posts, the more likes, the more follows etc. meant that the trophy case would grow.

Sadly the WordPress trophy case seems to have gone the way of the dodo. However the trophies keep coming. Happily my most recent achievement (on top of 200 posts) is… drum roll… 200 followers – well actually 201. WordPress wait until you go over the 200 and then award you 🙂 Thank you each and everyone of you for sticking around – it’s an honour to share my bits with you (you know what I mean!).



The other trophy that I didn’t share earlier – mainly because I hadn’t logged on during the latter months of 2016 was my 5 year anniversary badge. So as I am in a ‘look at me, I’m so good’ frame of mind I’ll share that one also 😉

Happy 5th Anniversary

Happy 5th Anniversary

Here’s to another 200+ followers and another 5 years – who knows where we’ll be by then!


Tuesday Tastes 01/2017

Sweet potato 'chips'

Sweet potato ‘chips’

A new (hopefully) regular posting on food – it might be what we’re eating, or things we’re not eating anymore or anything else food related that takes my fancy.

As a parent I believe one of the most important roles we have is to ensure our children have the tools they need to face the world. Mr. 17 has mastered cooking – as tonight’s offering clearly shows.


Monday mutterings 03/2017

It’s only taken me 5 years and a couple of months to post … 200 blog posts.

The world’s greatest blogger I am not – and with this post now I have posted more in 16 days than I did for the whole of 2016. I’m not sure if this warrants tears or laughter (or both!).

So let’s see if I can double up this achievement within the next twelve months 😀


Stopping distances at 80 km/h

Monday mutterings 02/2017

or ‘stop cutting in! I left that gap for a reason!’

Upon our return from holiday, the dogs needed to be collected from their holiday home. This entailed a 3.5 hour drive one way and then because road conditions deteriorated so much, the return journey home stretched to 4.5 hours.

The main freeway that connects Helsinki and Turku was 80 km / hour for the entire 150 odd kilometres. (Usually it’s 100 in winter and 120 in summer.) I knew we were in for an interesting drive, when at the beginning of the freeway I was passed by buses, tanker trucks as well as the usual speedsters – generally driving German cars – although that could be a generalisation 😉 The road speed signs all clearly indicated 80 km / hour. There was no way that you could mistake the numbers for anything else.

Never mind that all the road speed signs showed 80 kms per hour. Never mind that the road / air temperature signs showed slippery conditions (air and road both hovering around zero). Never mind that it was dark and a little foggy. Never mind that Mr. 17 and I couldn’t agree on the music to listen to.

I try to drive for the conditions – I really don’t want to drive into the back of someone nor do I want someone to drive into me. So, I set the cruise control to 80 and the gap between my car and the one in front to be the longest. I can do this because my (our) car is super smart. It can adapt the speed I drive at (when cruise control is set) to maintain the gap no matter what the speed of the car I am following. When they speed up I speed up (to the limit I’ve set), when they slow down, the car slows and the gap stays the same. Brilliant. Imagine if every car on the road had this. It would be almost impossible to rear end anybody.

Except there are currently very few models that use this radar technology. So in the mean time I just have to keep my distance. Except cars pass me and then slide into the gap that I’ve purposely left – my turvaväli (safe distance) becomes not so safe. I know I’m not alone having this complaint. It seems that some Finns like to drive really close behind you and then when they pass they leave the bare minimum when coming back into the lane. Needless to say, I was quite happy to arrive home that night. You might wonder why I am so worked up about my turvaväli. Read on – icy roads make for lousy stopping conditions 😦

Traffic safety have great infographics on their page for all manner of road safety topics. (Remind me to talk about reflectors one day!). The infographic below shows how stopping distances increase as the road surface goes from:
dry (3 seconds / 50 metres) to
snowy (8 seconds/ 105 metres) to
icy (16 seconds / 187 metres) when travelling at 80 kms and having a one second reaction time.

Stopping distances at 80 km/h

Stopping distances at 80 km/h – note the difference ice makes! Picture credit: Liikenneturva /

It’s almost enough to make you not want to drive – except I quite like driving 🙂

In the meantime, please stay out of my turvaväli!

If you are not used to winter or difficult driving conditions and in the interests of keeping our roads safe please have a read of this article: and then play the animation (in Finnish) for stopping distances
First select your speed and road conditions and then press Aloita (start).
Your car starts moving and then stops (the driver notices that ahead there is an obstacle ahead) press Jatka (continue).
Now one second passes and the car travels x metres at your chosen speed before braking commences Jatka (continue).
Your car will stop and then you’ll see how long it took and how far you travelled to stop Jatka (continue)
The last information is total time and distance including your reaction time. I tried this at 120 km per hour on an icy road. In 23 seconds my car travelled 404 metres before coming to a stop. Scary.

What’s your biggest beef with other road users?

Well out of my comfort zone

Vegan options

I made a bet that I was sure I was going to win. Namely that The Engineer would not utter anything in Thai whilst we were in Thailand. Mr. 17 bet against me. At stake – our dinner options for a week. I figured I was safe, and we would eat normally – a bit of meat, fish, pasta, vegetarian, pasta etc. I try to keep it mixed up, although I know we could eat more fish than we do.

I was on the home stretch – quite literally. Walking down the jet way about to board our flight back to Helsinki and out of his mouth pops… Sawadee Kap (hello). Mr. 17 started beaming and I was standing there gobsmacked – I mean he never ever says anything in any other language than those he is fluent in (at least 4…) but anyway I digress. The deal was one week of vegan dinners.

The Engineer has missed out on the very nice week we’ve had. I’ve discovered that the (trendy) alternative proteins on the market (Härkis – bean products and Nyhtökaura – pulled oats) sell out really quickly and tofu has come a really long way – cold smoked tofu anyone?


I did get a bit disappointed when I went online and at one of my favourite ‘recipe banks’ requested vegaani (Finnish for vegan) dishes. The first one I opened was for vegetable crepes. The ingredients included… eggs.


The good news though, the vegan options are here to stay.