My hidden talent # 02


You may recall one of my first posts of 2017 was a tribute to the akismet spam filter and the lovely comment that was spammed. Since then I’ve been saving the comments that the filter so generously sends to the spam folder and once again it’s sharing time.

I’m beginning to notice a bit of theme here and I think I can incorporate the wishes of my random commentators into future postings.

It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
I have learn this post and if I may just I desire to
recommend you few fascinating things or suggestions.

Apparently here I can be master and student at the same time, happily in the future perhaps.

Perhaps you can write subsequent articles
relating to this article. I wish to learn more things about it!

Again with the teacher – perhaps I have missed my calling…

Hurrah, that’s what I was seeking for, what a stuff! existing here at this webpage,
thanks admin of this site.

Yes, what a stuff! As admin of this site I say: you are very welcome.

What’s up, I log on to your blog like every week.
Your humoristic style is awesome, keep it up!

Only every week?!

I am sure this post has touched all the internet people, its really really good
post on building up new webpage.

ALL the internet people?! I’m flattered.

I will right away seize your rss feed as I can’t to find your
email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have
any? Kindly permit me understand in order that I could subscribe.

I do believe WordPress has a nice button down on the right hand side. Just click that and I will appear in your reader. Well that’s what WP tell me anyway.

I am sure this piece of writing has touched all the internet visitors, its really really nice article on building up new website.

First it was all the internet people, now it’s all the visitors. Is there are difference? Which one gives me more?!

So fellow bloggers: what’s your approach for dealing with spam that sneaks through?!

My hidden talent


I love spam.

Let me clarify. Digital spam, not the meaty treat that comes in a can. I love reading the spam.

I hate getting it. It clogs up the mail box and sends the wrong message to my server which means that my outgoing mail sometimes gets mistreated. The lengths that these ‘people’ go to get my attention is astounding. Here is one of my all time favourite messages:

you’re actually a excellent webmaster. The website loading velocity is amazing. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a magnificent activity on this matter!

How did someone ever come up with velocity for the loading of a website? Indeed, it is a unique trick – my hidden talent if you like 🙂

Side note: if you asked The Engineer what my hidden talent is he would probably say that I see the positive in just about every situation. Sadly, nothing to do with velocity or magnificence!

Erase and Rewind


Are you a Cardigans fan? I am. It’s a fitting title for todays post. Although there will be no erasing, there definitely will be some rewinding going on over the next few weeks.

Of course once the title popped into my head I had to go and find a clip to share. I used to do this a lot, share music – it’s a nice habit to get back into.

Why the Cardigans you ask? The year was 1998 and the sublime Gran Turismo album was released. Shortly before that release I was stationed in Germany for a brief while. The Engineer and I met earlier in the summer and we had been inseparable (and probably a little insufferable) up until the day my ship sailed. Hard to believe it’s been 16 years (pretty much to the day) since that ship sailed 🙂

You’ll get another post from me today – not only am I taking part in the blogging 101 programme / challenge / course, I’ve decided to undertake the writing 101 as well. Stay tuned 🙂

Where art and life meet.

Alternative titles for this post include: “Life is Swede “and “I’ll admit it, I was fooled and fell for an apparition”. Let me explain…

(Warning: Potential plot spoilers here.)

One day last summer a bright sparky lass by the name of Regan left a comment on my blog. It went along the lines of “hello there, waving frantically across the Baltic to you”. I moderated the comment and popped over to check out her blog.

Turns out Regan was another version of me, albeit with a few differences. She was American for starters and had met her Swedish other half on a Thai beach. Still I liked what I read and decided to go back to the beginning. I didn’t have to go back very far: Regan’s blog launched earlier in the summer and basically picked up from her arrival in Stockholm.

Many of the earlier posts reflected exactly how I had felt when I first arrived in Finland. There is a special type of loneliness, mixed with awe, mixed with frustration mixed with excitement when you first move to a foreign country. Especially when there is no easy road ‘home’. I wanted to help and I wasn’t the only one. Regan attracted a whole chorus of helpful voices, everyone eager to assist this young lady stuck a million miles away from the familiar.

Then things started to go pear-shaped. At first it just looked like petty stuff. Girls being mean girls. Some multi-cultural mix ups. Nothing to get too worked up about and certainly no reason to jump on the next plane out. Then the bodies started piling up.

At the same time the tagging changed. A new category was there: crime fiction. Still the penny didn’t totally drop for me. Some of Regan’s followers were quicker on the uptake than me and became very vocal in expressing either pleasure or displeasure at this new turn of action.

When the penny did finally drop, I felt very foolish and a tad embarrassed. I’d invited Regan to catch up if she ever found herself in Helsinki! What’s more, I’d given relationship advice to a fictional character!!! (Advice I stand by, in case you are wondering.)

By now, however we were all invested in the bigger picture: was Anders really as innocent as Regan believed him to be? The blog continued to its fiery conclusion. Then the author ‘fessed up. She wasn’t a completely new arrival in Stockholm, although some of the things said and done had happened to her earlier. It was a work of fiction right from the very beginning, although the amount of interaction from the blog followers had taken the author quite by surprise.

I will readily admit to being taken in by the initial idea of the blog. It was me, 12 or so years ago. Except it was a misunderstanding over the difference between päärynä (pear) and peruna (potato)that nearly reduced me to tears one day. Poor Regan had alone confused with lonely. Believe me, every expat/immigrant/what-ever-you call yourself has been here. Just when you think you have everything under control, someone says or does something that just proves how wrong you are.

This was my story. Except I didn’t have dead bodies piling up at the mökki (cottage) after a weekend away! Still, I awaited every post and wondered what twist would unfold, where we would be lead… I commented as time and circumstances allowed and marvelled at the very loyal fans that contemplated, commented, forecasted and tried to solve the mystery for the rest of us on a post by post basis.

The best thing about those that took the time out to comment was that they all brought their own perspective of being Swedish, being an expat, being an expat in Sweden into the equation. I learnt plenty from my fellow commentators 😉

That story is over and we’ve all moved forward. Claire peeked out from behind Regan and introduced herself. Along with her plans of world domination. Plan one is to be on Amazon’s best seller list for a day. Life is Swede is now an e-book and already collecting some rave reviews. It’s a great read and if you follow the link this Friday, it’s at an extra special ‘Life Is Swede Day’ price. How cool is that. You too can have a piece of ‘art meets life‘ fiction.

As a bonus, there is a new series to follow and this one (IMO) is even more gripping. On my Blog Royalty list over on the left you’ll see Identity The Series. Check out the prologue and tell me you are not hooked immediately. Happy reading! Hope to see you in the comments section soon 😉

February, from Leunig


I thought I’d share February, as per Mr. Leunig! His February illustration reminds me of a summer day or tropical rain forest, quite a contrast to the dumping of snow that we awoke to yesterday.

He goes on to explain what makes cartooning so interesting and how personal expression is a very precious gift from the artist.

Aurora hunting, in either hemisphere

We were tasked with visiting and commenting on previously unknown blogs as part of the zerotohero challenge day 11.

I typed in one word to see where it lead me, and in the 24 hours since I’ve ‘chatted’ with three new bloggers. All three had totally different posts sharing the same tag.

I arrived at Two Clowns Tripping where the author (Andrew) described how he spent his time waiting (almost in vain) for the aurora australis to show up. At the end of his post he asked for feedback on our favourite photo. This is the comment I left on his post.

The barnacles, followed by the silhouettes. Nice you could see the aurora. Unfortunately we’ve had too much cloud cover in Helsinki to see anything. It’s a real shame, as we don’t get to see them so far south very often. Excellent shots!

If you follow the ping-back, you’ll see that we continued the conversation a little. Andrew presumed that because I was so far north, that the aurorae would be a common sight, even in Helsinki. In the 12 or so years of living in Finland, I’ve seen aurorae once! Even then, I initially thought that it was one of those big spot lights shining in the sky. I missed one of the better shows in 2013. It was the end of a really hectic day and I’d crashed. I woke up to see comments from just about all of my Helsinki friends oohing and ahhing over the great show!

It seems that in Finland, to see aurora borealis at its’ best you have to travel north. There are plenty of websites and groups that post regularly when there is an increased likelihood of aurora activity. Due to the geomagnetic storm activity last week, we were promised the likelihood of aurorae in the south. Promising the likelihood of something is very vague! Due to heavy cloud cover we didn’t get to see any aurorae. Instead all that heavy cloud cover delivered long overdue snow. Can’t win them all now, can we.

Growing up in Tasmania, we saw aurora australis fairly frequently. At least to memory, it feels frequent. While I know time and age play tricks on the memory, I know that I’ve seen more aurorae in Tasmania than Finland.

Why is that though? Where I grew up in Tasmania is approximately 43 degrees south, where I live in Helsinki is 60 degrees north. You would think Finland would be the better bet. Especially as they say that activity is most likely to be seen in the auroral zones (in other words, quite close to the magnetic poles). Even to see as far south as Helsinki, on the 60th parallel is quite rare.

I’m not even going to try to figure it out, although it is feasible that aurorae are quite possibly more common in the southern part of Finland than we realise. Perhaps there is too much light pollution, the cloud cover is too heavy or I don’t get out often enough on cold dark evenings. All are equally plausible in my book!

In the meantime, there is a new blog for me (and my followers) to check out. Enjoy 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

I’m going to do something today that I rarely do: share a little piece of myself 😉

This weeks challenge is Joy and while I’m guessing most posts have concentrated on Christmas / Holiday / New Year joy, here is mine.

At the top of the mountain

At the top of the mountain

Some background. My brother told of a great walk to the top of a mountain by the name of Pigeon House on the N.S.W. south coast. It was close to where we were staying and the weather looked pretty good (as in there would be a view from the top!).

It’s a pretty decent walk, not very long in distance. Instead you go up very quickly. I traveled very light this holiday – one pair of sandals and one pair of dress-up shoes and so did the walk in my sandals. We probably passed in the region of 50 plus people on the track that day and only one commented on my unwise choice of footwear!

I was extremely happy to make the top: let me just say that bush-walking in sandals is not something I recommend.

The Engineer took this on my camera.

Please Help Find Nichole

I’m not usually a reblogger, yet when 3 blogs I follow post the same message, it’s time to take action. Where ever you are in the world, you could have followers from Nichole’s part of the world. Please reblog.

Blogging from school!

Today I’m sitting in room 302 at Helmi-Liiketalousopisto taking part in a blogging class. So far I am a little ahead of my classmates, if only for the fact  that I already have a WordPress account and an active blog. My neighbour just asked why I am here, to which I answered that I am always looking to learn new things!

I’ve just created a new blog, however I’m not ready to share it with you just yet.

In the meantime, let’s examine my spam that has arrived in the recent days:

In response to my tongue-in-cheek Hat post came this little gem: Wow! This can be one particular of the most useful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Wonderful. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work. Glad to know that I’m not the only specialist in this area!