What We’ve Been Up To

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Hello there! It’s a sunny and summery day here in the Porvoo countryside and I suddenly felt it’s about time I write something on my neglected blog. A little update, long overdue.

When I last wrote, Matthew had just started his new job and I was still in the midst of my digital marketing course. Matthew’s job is going fine, but he’s been working from home since the beginning and will probably do so until the end of the year – which means he hasn’t met his colleagues in real life.

I finished my course online and I’m now working for the same active wear company, Gymnation, three days per week. I’ve actually become an entrepreneur (kevytyrittäjä), which means I basically work for myself – even though it doesn’t feel like it since I’m doing the same job still. I’m thinking about trying to get another client too, but for now I’m just going to enjoy the summer and work a bit less. And let the girls stay home from nursery on Fridays. Hopefully next year Gymnation can afford to hire me as their employee. Fingers crossed, because I do like working there!

Matthew is still working from home, and will be for the foreseeable future. I think our home office is finished now <3
Since the girls went back to nursery I’ve been going to my office, which is huge and has no people in it apart from me and my boss at the moment.
Lana has learned how to cycle, but still needs practice before going for cycles amongst people.

In a few weeks’ time we will be getting a new family member; a little black kitten. Matthew has been begging for a cat for years, and according to him I promised he could get one when we move to Finland and get a house. I’m not sure I remember this, but I’ve said to him that if we get one, he needs to be in charge and will have to take care of the cat. So he went online and found a kitten for 350€. It’s a mixed breed kitten that’s been dewormed and had it’s check-ups with the veterinary, hence the price. Since everyone we’ve told this seem to think you get kittens for free! (Or then we’ve been conned, who knows.)

Since Matthew is getting a kitten I’m getting a new camera. Finally. The camera we have, a Panasonic Lumix DMC G80 is in no way a bad camera, but the lenses I would like that are compatible with it are so expensive that it makes more sense to get a new camera (a Canon EOS 5D) so that I can buy more affordable lenses for it and take the kind of photos I’d like to. So I’ve swapped my used camera for another used camera and bought a new lens. This camera + lens is huge, so need to get used to that. But the photos are amazing, so it’s worth it!

Maya the bunny whisperer at Tykkimäki amusement park in Kouvola. Great place for younger kids and no queues!
Lana’s second candy floss and Maya’s first one. They didn’t finish them – and I can totally understand why!

So glad I got my new camera before our two week holiday that starts next week! We booked a flat in Tallinn, where we’ll be staying for 3 nights. Since we live in the countryside it’s nice to have a wee city break. The Covid situation has died down in Finland and Estonia, so feel like the risk is small enough to travel. I’ve been to Tallinn many times, but always just for a day and always just explored the old town. So this time I want to explore outside the old town too and see what Tallinn has to offer! The following week we will have to go visit Moominworld (or Lana and Maya will get really upset), and perhaps continue to Pori and Yyteri beaches. Will have to see what the weather is like!

If you’re near Porvoo and want to buy good plants to plant in your own garden (flowers, herbs and veggies) I recommend Lindbergs Trädgård. Everything we’ve bought from there is growing like crazy!
We somehow managed to build a greenhouse (with the help of my dad). Still can’t believe I have a greenhouse!
I love the view from our terrace. And we’re not sharing this view with anyone!
I finally got some furniture for the terrace and brought some decorative stuff outside to make it look cosy. I’m actually sitting here right now writing this 🙂

What else can I tell you? Oh yeah, our garden is flourishing and it looks like we’ve done something right! We have loads of zucchini and tomatoes on the way, the basil and parsley we sowed from seeds are doing well, the broccoli is getting bigger as I write this and I noticed today that there are peas on the way too. The carrots have grown really tall, and there is so much lettuce that most of it will go to waste. Next year we’ll plant a different type of lettuce, one that is crunchier and doesn’t grow so big. My aubergine plant is also starting to produce fruits, which I’m so excited about! Yesterday I took I some photos of the garden, so will do a blog about that.

During the recent heatwave we had to get a pool, which needless to say, the kids loved.
We celebrated Midsummer at my brother’s place. Here’s Maya tucking into ice cream and not giving a damn about anything else.
We visited Arboretum Mustila – Finland’s oldest and biggest arboretum. It was great for kids and only an hour away – don’t understand why we haven’t visited before!
We went to the beach a few times before the rain started. Might go today as well, since the summer is back 🙂
As is tradition in summer, we have eaten our fair share of ice cream. We have to contribute to the stats so Finland continues to be the country that eats the most ice cream in the world haha.
We’ve picked blueberries a few times. Maya just eats them, but I guess that’s ok from a two-year-old 🙂

What is also flourishing, are all the damn weeds – which have taken over parts of the garden. In September we have a guy coming over with a digger to prepare the ground for a lawn, because at the moment we can’t use large parts of the garden because it’s so overgrown with weeds and it’s just quite uneven. We do have a couple of grass trimmers, and I’ve really enjoyed using the smaller one – probably because you can see the results straight away when you chop down all those damn weeds. I’ve actually noticed that I enjoy gardening and find it really relaxing. Especially in the evenings after a day at work – which is a relief as there will be plenty of work with a garden the size of ours!

Lana dresses herself these days and always manages to look cool whatever she picks – I’d love to know how she does it!
Maya is in the midst of her terrible twos and her mood can be quite volatile…In just over 3 months this girl will be 3, which I just cannot believe. (Really need to get her potty trained asap!)

The garden is also full of life; lizards, frogs, grasshoppers and all sorts of bugs the girls love exploring (and accidentally killing…) I do find this environment has a calming effect on me (or all of us) and when I’m here I don’t miss the city. But when I’m in the city (Helsinki) I do get a bit nostalgic to be honest. But not much. I also miss Edinburgh and can’t wait to be able to visit. Matthew’s brother and girlfriend actually booked flights for September, fingers crossed they will be able to visit!!

Today my friend is organising a party in her garden, can’t wait to see all the girls! Might bring my new camera and annoy everyone by taking close-ups of them…:)

Have a great weekend and enjoy the last two weeks of July!

x Nina x