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A (nother) Year To Remember

Winter Sunset in Edinburgh

Sunset in Edinburgh. I love the chimneys against the sky – you’ll find them on most houses here.

Awrite! (Scottish for ‘hi’)

As the Christmas holiday is becoming just a distant memory and everyday life taking over again it’s starting to sink in that we’ve entered year 2014. When thinking back about last year, I realise that, once again, it’s been a year of changes. I like change, which might be a reason I, since I turned 18, haven’t stayed in the same place, school or job for a long period of time. 2013 was no different.

Aye, it was a good year…

The New Year 2013 was welcomed at a friend’s friend’s NYE house party in Finsbury Park, London. At the end of January Matthew and I decided to go up to the hotel in the Scottish countryside we went to for my 30th for Burns night (25.1) – but ended up not going because of bad weather and too much snow. Instead we spent five days  with Matthew’s parents in Edinburgh, and started thinking about moving up here. We wanted to move in together and to be able to afford living in a nice, big flat – which isn’t easy in London.

London jigsaw

Bye bye London. Forgot how much I like jigsaws – will do more of these in 2014!

Two months later I handed in my notice and left my media relations job (and my amazing colleagues) in London. A month later we were on the train to Edinburgh with all our stuff. I think it took me a few weeks to understand what we had actually done, as it was quite a quick decision in the end. We stayed with Matthew’s parents for a month (thanks again!) – which made the transition a whole lot easier. Matthew found a job fairly quickly, whereas I could enjoy the freedom of being unemployed for 6 whole weeks. It gave me the time to finally start my own blog that has become a dear hobby to me. It’s also gotten me more interested in photography and made me take more photos in everyday life.

It took us both around one month to find jobs and that nice, big flat we’d been dreaming of, so on June the 1st we were able to move into our own flat in south Edinburgh. Yay! Paying only a fraction of what we would’ve been paying in London made us think we’d made the right decision.

Edinburgh castle stormy day

You can’t deny the beauty of Edinburgh. (The weather is a whole other thing.)

Matthew and I attended two weddings in Finland last summer: a friend of mine’s and my twin brother’s. Such good fun! We managed to visit Brighton by the sea as well before leaving London (where I ate a whole fish for the first time! – definitely a milestone worth mentioning.) We also took the ferry to Tallinn with my parents and spent one day in Oslo. This year I’d also like to travel to other places than Finland, but with three weddings already scheduled for this summer it looks like there will be more Finland on the menu.

Eating a whole fish in Brighton

Eating a whole fish in Brighton – don’t know why I look so scared though.

The summer went by really quickly, not a bad one at all weather wise (apparently it has been an exceptionally good year though…) I had a good friend visit from London during the Festival, which was great fun. In October I celebrated my 30th birthday (still find it hard to tell people my age) in a luxury hotel in the Scottish highlands – thank you to the bestest boyfriend <3

Monachyle Mhor Hotel Perthshire Scotland

I was spoiled rotten at this beautiful Perthshire hotel for my 30th.

In the beginning of November my little nephew Antonio arrived. After much anticipation I finally got to meet him right after Christmas when we spent a very lazy week in Finland – almost made me want to have a baby myself! (Note: almost.) We welcomed the New Year watching ‘the Hobbit’ with my parents – the first time I haven’t been at a party somewhere since I was a teenager! And so the circle closes – a whole year in a few paragraphs.

2 month year old nephew

Here he is – again. <3

It’s been a year of getting to know a new city and new people. I never really used to make a difference between Scottish and English people – but now I would never make the mistake of calling a Scot English or vice versa. Moving away from London has opened my eyes to the real UK; both in good and bad. London (at least zones 1-3 on the tube – don’t really have experience of anything else to be honest) is a city full of young, beautiful professionals in a constant hurry – after a while you start forgetting about the “real life”. I love London, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like I’m only now starting to understand this country and its people. (Having a British boyfriend might have helped me to get these insights as well :)) At the same time (and the longer I live abroad) I’m starting to appreciate where I come from more and more. When I was younger I just wanted to get away from Finland and thought everywhere else was a lot better. Now I’m proud to be Finnish and appreciate that many things are really good back there – and many things are better here. I think I might do a pros and cons post about Finland vs the UK…


There’s nothing I like about mushrooms; not the earthy taste, the texture, the smell or the way they look. But I’ll try!

This year has also been a culinary year for me. Since becoming a vegetarian when I was 13 I’ve been quite a fussy eater (guess I still am to some extent), but with Matthew pushing me to try new things I’m definitely becoming less picky. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to eating meat, but I’m exploring the fish scene more and more. What I still need to (or wish I could) incorporate into my diet is mussels, mushrooms and coriander. It’s also been a culinary year in the sense that I’ve been to more nice restaurants than ever before, cooked a lot at home and watched a lot of Masterchef. 🙂

I’m very curious to see what 2014 has in store for me, but I have a feeling it will be a more settled down year. But who knows?!

Last but not least I want to thank everyone’s who’s taken the time to read my blog, liked it and commented on my posts. It really means a lot to me.

See ye efter! (Scottish for see you later – ‘efter’ actually means ‘after’ in Swedish)

x Nina x

Nina Äikäs

<p>I’m a Swedish-speaking Finn who left Finland for the lovely and thrilling London town in 2011, but after meeting an equally lovely and thrilling Scotsman I somehow now find myself in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. In February 2015 our gorgeous little girl arrived and made us a happy family of three. Follow my blog and get to know us!</p>

  • annika b

    Great post! You had a wonderful year indeed. Both your and my years have, up until now, been full of many big positive changes and we have experienced great things that will be jammed on the walls of our arteries forever. The biggest things that made my year 2013 perfect was my first real job which I love very much, I quit smoking cigarettes and I explored Asia. This year, I just want to chill and relax. Fore a while now, I’m done with big changes and happenings. I really enjoy a life with routines, having time and peace in mind to just sit in the sofa and to sleep alot. I know this will be the first year in my life when I will experience 365 days of peace in mind. Peace in mind to me comes when I don’t have a truckload of things to achieve, like finding a job and finishing my masters. Thank you for this wonderful blog. It is important for me to know z’up with you. Keep on writing forever.

    January 23, 2014 at 4:01 am
    • ninaaikas

      Thanks for the comment Annikki! Sounds like we’re both growing up, settling down and liking routines and all 🙂 It must be entering the 30s that has worked is magic…

      January 24, 2014 at 10:28 am
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