Whilst cleaning out my personal e-mail account this morning, I stumbled across a message imploring me to check out the new and improved “WordPress for Android”.

So I downloaded it and it’s already passed an unofficial test. I left a comment on a blog post earlier this morning and when Andy answered me, first came a little pling and then the WordPress logo was in my notifications area. 

Now apparently the photo / media posting is improved. Seeing as I wasn’t using the app earlier I’m not sure what will be better. 

Here goes!

Motonet spare parts guy

This happy guy is imploring me to buy jobs for Finland.

Certainly adding pictures seems to be easy enough… just not sure how to get the text under the picture easily.

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Caught at the right moment

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There has been an abundance of birch pollen this spring. Our balcony has a fine layer of pale yellow covering everything, including this new arrival. Looking upwards it’s almost invisible, only when I stood up and looked down into the neighbour’s lawn did I spot the web.

Sunday lunch by the sea

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The Engineer and I, along with our hosts K & M, enjoyed a lovely lunch of freshly caught* and smoked siika and sparkling white wine yesterday.

We joined our hosts at their mรถkki by the beach, and watched M get the smoker going. In the meantime The Engineer took up the axe and chipped a couple of wood chunks to lie under the fish. After a short while the chips were generating a very fragrant smoke. Then the fish went in, the lid was closed and we chatted a bit longer.

Our Mr. 12 and their Mr. 12 were running back and forth dressed in menacing looking outfits and waving their air-soft weapons about. Yes, spring is definitely in the air.

20 minutes or so later the fish was examined and declared ready to eat Sublime, melt in the mouth, delicate smokey flavour that didn’t overwhelm the fish. Yummy!

* M caught these three in his net Sunday morning.

Tuliaiset *

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The Engineer has returned bearing gifts (and dirty laundry).

English newspapers, foodie magazines and Harrods goodies.

My weekend is complete!

Enjoy your Sunday ๐Ÿ™‚

* Tuliaiset are gifts either when you visit someone (hostess gift) or returning from a trip.

Decisions, Decisions

Mr. 12 heads to upper primary school next autumn. * Yesterday the guide-book for the Helsinki school district came home, along with a second guide-book for grade 6 students. Now we have to work out from the myriad of options, which school?!

First some language background. Mr. 12 is bi-lingual. We operate the one parent one language model at home. The Engineer speaks Finnish, I speak English. The common language is mostly English, although maybe Finnglish is a good description. Finland also has two official languages: Finnish & Swedish. Depending on your mother tongue, instruction in the 2nd ‘domestic’ language starts anytime between 3rd and 7th grade. Our Mr. 12 started in 4th grade, and although it hasn’t been an easy experience for him, his pronunciation is quite good as is his comprehension.

Anyway, back to the decision! Do we stay with the bi-lingual schooling? Along with the rest of his friends? The upper school actually offers 100% Finnish, bi-lingual and then 100% English. The catch: aptitude and skills test to be admitted. The 2nd catch: there are not enough spots for all the students who want to do the bi-lingual line. The third catch: Mr. 12 doesn’t do tests well. Now I hear you say ‘no one does tests well’! Unfortunately Mr. 12 does them REALLY BADLY. Luckily we’ve had a lot of support from his teachers working with this. Still there is no getting around the test.

The Finnish system is such that in urban areas the local school should be within walking distance. Here in Helsinki, the city covers the trip to & from school on public transport **. We have a really efficient network, so Mr. 12 gets lifts to school very rarely. So, we could of course, just go to the school that is our closest or local school. This school offers extra tuition in art, which is something that Mr. 12 enjoys. The catch: there’s a test ๐Ÿ™‚

This one is a really tough decision: stay bi-lingual? Do we go 100% Finnish? Do we go to the local school without taking the art test? With the art test? Right now all we can do is mark a heap of dates in the calendar for the first three weeks of January in order to attend the information sessions for prospective students and families. We mark the last day of submitting paper work. We discuss with Mr. 12 (he’s stated his preference is the upper school), we look at the schools and read up on anything we can get our hand on.

What other criteria should we examine?

* Grades 7, 8 & 9.
** if your school is outside your local area and the door-to-door journey is more than 2 km.

Christmas Decorations

Despite living in Father Christmas’s homeland, my decorating efforts are generally minimalistic

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and

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A timeless floral decoration (amarylis) and a modern twist for a glass tree ornament (I hang mine from the curtain rail with red & white twine).

This year we’ll spend a few days with anoppi (MIL) and enjoy her tree. Mr 12. will have a fun time decorating with ornaments, candles and flags. Generally trees are decorated in the last few days before Christmas and the market squares are already filling with sellers spruiking their spruces! Fresh trees have such a wonderful smell, even if cleaning up the needles can be a pain…

Maybe I have come back and edit this post to make it look pretty. My first mobile post and I just wanted to see how it goes ๐Ÿ™‚

(Edited to make it pretty: justified text :))

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