Letters of my life, Part 2

The midsummer is now past us, and the northern days start getting shorter again! This year’s midsummer featured all the traditional elements required from a proper Midsummer celebration –family and relatives, cabin, sauna, lake, smoked fish, barbecue sausage, Finnish tango, fun and relaxation all in one package. Even the mosquitoes were there to guarantee the authentic experience!

Jaurakka sauna

And now let’s get back to continue the issue of my previous posting, letters of my life:

N is for Network such as INTERACT, which stands for “The International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic”. Other than network, the letter stands for Nice. I went to this beautiful city on French Riviera first time year ago for a summer holiday, and the next trip is already booked. Absolutely fantastic location for a combination of a beach and city break!

O is for Oulanka Research Station, which is the station operated by my home institution, the Thule Institute. The station is well known for its beautiful surroundings next to the Oulanka National Park, and for its possibilities for variety of research such as stream ecology, limnology and land use studies.

P is for pancakes that I often prepare for breakfast during the weekends. Super yammy served with fresh strawberries, syrup and ice-cream!

Q is for…this is a difficult one! Let’s say Don Quijote. I’ve never read this novel by Miguel de Cervantes, but I guess I should since it’s a classic.

R is for reading, that I absolutely love! No matter how hectic my life gets, I try to steal at least a bit of time every evening to read couple of pages. Lately, I’ve been reading Riikka Pulkkinen’s novel entitled True, and Danielle Trussoni’s novel Angelology. Both books are so good that I have difficulties to decide which one to finish first!

S is for skiing, namely cross-country skiing, my favorite wintertime sports. I love the combination of fresh air, look of the snowy forest or lakeside, and breaking a good sweat. Workwise, S represents “Support” which is the activity type of Transnational Access.

IMG_1690 IMG_1697

T is of course for prof. Terry Callaghan, our project’s main Coordinator and leader, with whom I have had an honor to work with for two years now.

U is for UV radiation, something we lack during the winter months but overindulge during the summer.

V and W are both for Water (Vesi in Finnish).  Not only is the compound necessary to sustain life, it’s also one of the most calming elements I know. What could be more beautiful than a Finnish lakeside during a summer evening?!  At least I cannot figure out many things that would beat that scenery -but then again I am from the Kainuu region where we certainly aren’t running out of lakes and forest surrounding them!

X and Y are for algebra. I recently saw this funny posting circulating in Facebook: “Dear Algebra, please stop to asking us to find your x. She’s never coming back, and don’t ask us y“. Seriously speaking, I need algebra at least weekly when I am checking some access calculations by making equations. Most of the time, mine only include x though, so the equations are not very difficult ones!

Z is for Zedd, who is an electronic music producer and DJ. We’ll be going to listen him, and other world famous DJ’s, live at the Weekend Festival in Helsinki in August.  I’ll do my best to train my knowledge over dubstep and electro-house to the max before the festival to match my son’s expertise in this field….luckily I have the Spotify playlists (mentioned in letter “D”) to help me in the process, as I have a lot to catch up….

Å is for Åland Islands, the autonomous Swedish-speaking area of Finland, located at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea. Would be interesting to visit there and bike around the archipelago to learn about the local culture and sights, but since my holiday plans are already set for this summer, I might have to leave the visit to the next summer!

Ä is for äiti (mother). There’s a good mother behind every successful woman; at least mine has supported me tremendously throughout the years. She’s my idol!

Ö is for Ölövi that is Oulu dialect and means someone who pretends not to know something. I must admit that when I first moved to Oulu, the dialect sounded very weird, even ugly, and there were so many words that I did not even understand! Luckily, in twenty years my ears have got used to the sound of this distinct dialect, and sometimes I even find myself using these local words ….

Until the next time, and enjoy the summer meanwhile!

-Hannele

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