Part 16 - 17.5.09

Oh yes! This is the life! It's half past nine in the evening and I'm sitting out on the patio, in the sunshine writing my blog! Oh okay, I've got a blanket round my shoulders and the temperature is due to drop to zero tonight, so it's hardly the middle of summer. Seriously though, the Finns get very excited about summer and daylight and the like. Life is totally geared up for living outdoors and they do. Sadly, everybody in our neighbourhood seemed to like the same garden furniture set that K-Rauta were selling for 99 euros, so it looks like they only have one make, but everybody has a different BBQ so that balances it out. There is just one thing we are really struggling to understand - During the day, the sun is shining and the temperature is warmish (about 15C). We generally go out in trousers, a t-shirt and a thinnish jumper and we sometimes end up taking the jumpers off. The Finns are mostly still out in snow-wear. Salopettes appear to be normal attire in the summer, along with hats, gloves and boots. It's particularly noticable in little kids. The only people who dress to the weather seem to be teenagers and I get the impression that adults are looking at them with scepticism.

We've had some fab days out this week. Highlights were fishing on Friday and tennis/beach on Saturday. The boys finish school quite early on Fridays, so last Friday we decided to take them fishing when they got home. We drove to a place called Lemmenpolku on the Sanginjoki (joki=river). We had a map and Neil drove. According to the map, we could drive along a main road near here and then take a smaller road down to the river. Simple? Not quite! We struggled to find said 'smaller road' and eventually realised it was a forest track. Well, there was nothing for it but to take the road and hope it wasn't too far. Far is a relative term. It wasn't far compared with a drive to Helsinki but when you're in the middle of the forest (which is a bit wildernessy) it felt pretty far. It was full of potholes and had us praying that the suspension would survive. There was also a wooden bridge about half way that crossed a stream. It looked like it would go well as part of an assault course for very light people. We prayed some more!

Lemmenpolku is a stretch of the river where you can park and there are several clearings in the forest where you can fish. At each clearing, there is a fireplace and a hut full of logs. Over the fireplace is a grill so you can build a fire, catch your fish, fillet it and cook it. Either that or you can build a fire, cook sausages and eat them whilst standing with your line in the water, wondering if fish swim in rivers. We did the latter. Neil nearly caught one but it got away, taking the hook, bait and almost the reel with it. You should have seen it! It was this big!

The trip to play tennis and dinner on the beach was great too but you can read Andy's blog for that one.

I can't sign off without a brief mention of Eurovision. It had never occurred to me before, but which burk decided to show it at 8pm UK time? It didn't start here until past my bedtime! I've never missed it though and don't intend to start now. So all of us, including the boys, stayed up until half past one in the morning to see the UK come in 5th. Well done Jade! Sadly, we seem to have brought the Eurovision curse with us, as Finland came last. BOO!!!. Personally I didn't think they were that bad. They were better than France and Russia. What were they about? For us though, the main disappointment was the lack of Terry Wogan. I know you didn't have him either but at least you had Graham Norton instead! Well, time to go. Miss you all!

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