Sunday, 31 July 2011

Itthon

 

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Someone likes the colour red…

 

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This is where I’ll be spending most of my free time!

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Our garden, as seen from the balcony…

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Part of the living room…

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Mirror, mirror on the wall…

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Vikings and Tea

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Saturday night already. The nights are definitely getting longer – it’s 10.30 pm and if I turn my head slightly to the right, I can see the last remaining traces of the sunset. I’ve been living with some strange kind of feelings lately – I feel the need to write more, to read more, to do more yoga, to push my own limits, and to somehow find that inner guiding light. I hear all these fabulous stories about life and somewhere inside me I feel like I’m missing out – it’s a stupid feeling that gets in the way for many great actions and experiences in life. Many people choose to stick to the easier alternatives in life– for whatever reason. We are responsible for our decisions: some people might live perfectly well knowing that life could have been different, better. I cannot. So I’m fumbling around in the darkness, looking for a guiding light, a helping hand or at least an ounce of courage.  I’m afraid of jumping because of doubt – I doubt my own skills, talents, even knowledge. It’s a completely irrational feeling, but yet, a very real one. Unfortunately, one of the few things I haven’t learned is how to laugh at that irrational feeling and then throw it in the bin.

Well. If I would have lived a few centuries back, my poor little head would most definitely have been saved from these kinds of thoughts.

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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Nihil.

I’m trying to write an essay about societal risk management, but my eyes are staring blankly at the laptop and my head feels sort of empty. So I thought I’d share some photos (well, the grand total of two) from the flat with you…

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..oh, it takes a fool to remain sane...

Today’s fantastic four.

 

Fabulous dish: oven-baked salmon with lemon, melon, feta cheese and basil.

Frightening thought: I’m old (one colleague said, with bright eyes, “oh, in ’86 I hadn’t even been thought of”) but graceful (at least pretending to be) and HEY… I still look like 23. Self-denial is the word of the day.

Fun idea: sociology

Fearless conclusion: in 19 minutes I can go home.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Why Norway Matters

A person I know was showing some surprise at the attention the attacks in Norway have received here in Finland. For us, these attacks were something unimaginable, and the degree of shock was high. Why? One explanation is the Nordic closeness – Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland share a long, common history. The political cooperation has been tight for decades; all the languages (except Finnish and Sami) are so closely related that we understand each other (more or less). Furthermore, our societies are based on similar values. One of these values is trust towards society, and other people around us. What happened in Norway destroyed this trust, at least partly. Another reason for the shock is the fact that the killer attacked his “own”, there is no “other” that can be blamed – whatever factors that caused this person to act the way he did can only be found in his own head and in the society where he lived. In a society where the left-right divide isn’t as strong as it used to be, where society seems to be suffering from some kind of political apathy -  it seems incomprehensible a reason to murder people – children, whose only crime was that they believed in an opposing political ideology.

Norway also matters because the discussions following the tragedy have shown that, although there is a lot of love out there, there is a lot of hatred. The worst part is that a lot of the people spitting out racist and extreme opinions don’t consider those opinions as such.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Argh.

I’m disgusted. On Saturday, in the nightclub queue, an acquaintance was joking about how much he disliked social democrats (and how happy he was that there were fewer of them now), and now I found my way to some internet forum where people were JUSTIFYING the tragedy in Norway. Apparently it’s OK to kill people because one doesn’t like immigrants. Where does all this hatred come from?

...in a world that's meant to be broken, I just want you to know who I am...

It’s Monday again with all that it means – grey skies and work. The weekend was quite OK, I haven’t slept so much in a long time. Due to no internet I haven’t been able to update the blog about all those important things that have been going on. Although – to be quite honest – life with less internet is both enjoyable and well-needed.

 

Norway. What happened in Norway was a terrible tragedy, a horrible political (?) and ideological statement directed at people who had no guilt. A lot has been said and written about this tragedy, and I doubt I can contribute in any way. Nonetheless – my thoughts go out to the friends and families. A tragedy like this shakes the whole society: and even though a whole society cannot be held responsible for the crazy actions of one individual, it’s up to all its members (not only in Norway, by the way) to actively fight against hatred. The world isn’t always a pretty place, but everyone can contribute to making a little bit better.

 

This weekend I also read a book about a woman who started studying Italian. And of course it inspired me – think about it, learning a language for the sheer fun of it, to develop as a person and to find some kind of meaning in life. Then it hit me – that’s what I’m doing already. All the time. Maybe one more language wouldn’t give my life much more meaning, perhaps the right thing to do would be something that’s actually challenging and different. (while pondering upon this thought I was jumping with excitement after finding a book in Serbo-Croatian at the library). Cooking could be nice alternative, or mountain climbing. Or knitting – that was such a pain in school, so I’m sure it’d be a challenging enterprise.

 

By the way – can you imagine any better way of spending a Sunday afternoon than lying in bed with your feet on the pillow, sipping on tea and reading about something interesting?

 

Thursday, 21 July 2011

...I wish I was a punkrocker with flowers in my hair...

Last night before falling asleep I though about something clever to write about in the blog. Now I can’t remember what it was. Maybe it had something to do with allowing more than two people to marry each other (apparently some green youth groups have been advocating the idea). Or maybe Obama was somehow involved. He was on telly yesterday.

 

No. That’s probably not it. Maybe I wanted to write about love and passions. Or goals and dreams and stuff like that. Things that make the butterflies in your stomach tingle with excitement.

 

At the time the thought was beautiful (or at least interesting).  And deep. Then I fell asleep and apparently forgot all about it.

 

Now giddiness has taken me to new heights and I feel like dancing. Or singing. Or hugging someone. (what’s up with this sudden need for hugging?)

 

 

 

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Never care for what they say, never care for the games they play...

A tired hello to everyone… right now I’m trying to relax (or maybe wake up) to some coffee and James Blunt (hah, that’s not really the kind of music to listen to if one wants an energy boost). Today is going to be such a busy day, and I just feel like lying down in the sofa downstairs (what a good job I have – there’s a room for resting AND a sauna – and a fridge full of alcohol) and sleep until tomorrow. This morning I woke up at 5 am to wake up my brother, I was half asleep and poking him and pulling his legs to get him up). Anyhows, tonight I’m going to sleep in the new flat for the first time, it’s lovely (although quite empty still) – photos will follow at some point.

 

Iloista keskiviikkoa kaikille! ( Happy Wednesday to all!)

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

La petite mademoiselle dit “bonsoir”

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Uh-oh…

These bags are just too tempting… well, actually it’s the same bag in different colours. Anyone has a spare 1000 (or 2000) euros to give me? Winking smile

miumiumiumiu2

 

Available at www.miumiu.com

...and I'm a little tired and I need you now...

”I’m going to throw the garbage in the forest and burn all the paper – because that’s what my neighbour is doing”.

“It’s OK to drive drunk because that’s what everybody else does”.

“Why should I care about Minority X, nobody else does”.

 

Dangerous thoughts and oh what sweet little sheep we are, just following the crowd and liberating our brains from independent thinking.

 

I read an interesting article in the newspaper. It was about gypsies in Kosovo, apparently it’s not a very good place to be right now (to be honest, most of Europe seems to be a bad place for these people right now). The conservative granny inside me almost got into a fit after reading this (the quote is more or less adequate) -  “I left school when I was twelve and got married at 15. I really wanted to get married but I don’t like him anymore so we got a divorce”. WHAT`? I know this is something cultural, and it’s not really in my right to preach… but still, that doesn’t sound like an arranged marriage, and how many people have found the love of their life at 15?

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, 18 July 2011

...you've got me head over heels...

Things I’ve been bothering my little head with lately. Yes, it’s time for you guys to dig the notebooks and pencils out of your pockets because the following is très important.

 

1)       How is it possible that I own three versions of The Stranger by Albert Camus and haven’t read a single one? I also found about five different versions of Crime and Punishment among my books. At least I’ve read that one (and I can deeply recommend it, too.).

 

2)       Next time I’ll try to convince someone I’m a secret agent from the KGB, I’ll need to recite Pushkin in my beautiful Muscovite Russian. That must have been the reason for studying the language of the great, mighty neighbour – to convince drunken people that I’m a Russian spy. (and yes, apart from that one very badly tasting rum & coke, I was completely sober at the time).

 

3)       British Wallander is almost as OK as the Swedish version. But why oh why do they use the Swedish names of people and places when they do not know how to pronounce them correctly?

 

4)       Green sausages do not taste good. I’m seriously considering becoming a vegetarian.

 

5)       Speaking of Russian literature – how many of you have read War & Peace? Hands up! (I haven’t…)

 

6)       If I’d have any spare time, I’d watch Sherlock Holmes over and over again so that their lovely accents would stick to my brain.

 

7)       I still need some cuddles, so there is nothing new under the sun where that aspect is concerned.

 

 

Saturday, 16 July 2011

This boring granny is going to paint the town red.

Even though I’m 95% satisfied with my life, one cannot exactly call it eventful. So tonight I decided it was time for a social experiment – I’m going to try to behave like other people my age and squeeze myself into skimpy clothes and go out to look for some adventures.

Skimpy clothes = a transparent top and a ridiculously short skirt. Oops, that didn’t sound very flattering. Anyhow, this is the result. Oh, please don’t mind the mess. I’d like to blame it on the fact that I’m moving tomorrow, but it might well be the result of some less than flattering personality trait.

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Friday, 15 July 2011

kávé és magyar zene

Over here Friday fun consists of coffee and Hungarian music.

How are you spending your weekend?

Survey Junkie

…and Señorita saves the day again, whoop Smile

1. Which would you rather do and why?
a. yard work or house work
House work while sipping on some wine and listening to great music.

b. hike or run
running because it feels so great afterwards

c. outdoor sports or indoor sports
the gym

d. fast food burger from the drive-thru or sit-down salad
salad, I don’t care much for burgers…

e. yoga or aerobics
yoga because it’s one of the few activities that relaxes me.

f. ice-cream or cake; what kind?
I don’t like cake so it’d have to be ice-cream… and the kind… well… vanilla with fresh strawberries and some chocolate sauce.

g. ice cubes or hot wax; where? why?
Let’s just not go there. I’m a lady but my mind is behaving in a very unladylike manner at the moment Smile

h. beneath the sheets or on top?
I prefer to sleep beneath the sheets.


2. What was your favorite subject in high school/secondary school/upper school?
What’s upper school? In high school I enjoyed all language and history classes. At university I’ve only been picking subjects that fascinate me, e.g. foreign languages and social sciences. Maybe the one (or two) class that really turned me on was IR theory and Ethics in IR… Crazy? You bet.

3. Do you get a full 8 hours of sleep a night? Why or why not?
No time for sleeping. I need to prioritize, and right now, sleeping is at the bottom of the list. I sleep about 6 hours a night, which is odd for a person who used to sleep at least 9 hours.

4. What is your favorite comfort food?
Sandwiches Smile and COFFEE!

5. Do you match up your socks after washing and drying them, and before putting them away?
I usually don’t even wear matching socks Surprised smile

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
I’d be…. yellow like Señorita. I like cheering people up, and according to a colleague I always shine like the sun...

Wishes

Natalie wanted to see my pink nails…

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Satu wanted to see me in glasses…. (yeah, it’s about time to get a new pair)

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…and the song that made me smile today:

Follow the Moskva, down to Gorky Park...

On the radio – and my thoughts fly back to those endless walks in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I used to live a 5-minute-walk from the Moscow River, near Park Kultury.

By the way, a Russian cruise line is going to start with cruises between Helsinki, Stockholm, Åland, Tallinn and St. Petersburg. And apparently they offer up to three nights without visa in St. Petersburg. Now that’s what I call interesting… One can say a lot about Åland, but the truth is that we have ferry connections with three different capital cities, and soon also with Russia. Amazing!

 

What else is new? Well. I desperately want to hug someone. Anyone. Really, I want some cuddles NOW. (and no, being licked in the ear by Sasha or scratched on the back by Tomi is not enough, I doubt you want further details…).

 

 

Natalie, bright pink nails rock!

Sebastian, I work for a logistics company, and since I’m doing neither invoicing nor human resources, I’m stuck with the boys.

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Taste Of Coffee On My Tongue

Oops… seems like I promised someone to update my blog often this week.

Anyway, anyhow.

 

Right now.

I am surrounded by a lot men. (we are speaking about a 10:1 ratio)

My nails are bright pink and match my dress,

Various muscles are sore after yesterday. But ohmegod, the gym is such a fun place – I love all of it except lunges. Lunges are an evil invention by evil people.

The coffee machine spits out quite delicious lattes. (or maybe I’m not a very picky coffee drinker)

My head feels a bit blurry, even after four cups of coffee.

On Saturday I will go out. The plan is to enjoy some… ahhh…. Cold Freixenet. Long time no taste. I’ll also want to laugh a lot and run in high heels.

Between one and two p.m. work is a bit slow. I’m waiting for F-boy to drop off a huge pile of paper on my desk, but usually he hides it all.

It seems like there will be 2 of us studying Hungarian in the fall. 2 people in the whole country! I hope they’ll let us do it because I don’t want to part from my beloved language-learning :D

It’s sunny outside but I’m freezing and I want a hug. Anyone want to hug me?

Finnish-speaking men have the hottest voices in the world. The only ones who could possibly compete are the Irish.

 

 

Now I dare you to tell the readers (and me) about the best thing that has happened to you today!

 

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Dream Home

My dream home has a lot of red and navy blue, as well as massive, ancient furniture. There has to be space for a lot of books. The corners will be reserved for comfy arm chairs and beautiful lamps. A touch of Japanese and photographs in black and white. Lots of candles is a must for those long, dark winter nights. It's a place where people can enjoy a cup of hot tea or a glass of wine.

Home

Google!

Today I like google for this:


Did I just commit a cardinal crime?

One of the more interesting aspects of both Finnish and Swedish is also an orthographic finesse. This phenomenon seems to be quite difficult for some (native) people to grasp (although they should have been brainwashed about this since pre-school). Word-compounding is a fairly common occurrence in both Finnish and Swedish, and really, it’s not all that difficult to master either. You pick two or more words, and then you stick them together. (ok – sometimes you might need to add some extra letters between the words… )

Examples:
(Fin) saippua + kauppias = saippuakauppias.
(Swe) tvål + försäljare = tvålförsäljare

Now, interestingly enough, this does NOT work in English

Soap + seller = soap seller


As you can see, in English the words remain apart, do this in Finnish /Swedish and you’ll give the person reading your text an enormous headache. It seems to confuse a lot of people, who have spent too much time learning English and forgotten how to spell in their own native tongues.

Another example

(Fin) äidin (mother’s) + kieli (tongue) = äidinkieli

If someone would write äidin kieli instead of äidinkieli, they’d be talking about their mother’s actual tongue.


But, as the blog title implies, nobody’s perfect….

Monday, 11 July 2011

Thank You, Mr. Mailman

 

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Lately I’ve been bumping into e.l.f. products in various blogs. My curiosity was awoken, and today I finally received my own parcel. I haven’t tried the products yet, but at least they smell good Smile

The e.l.f website tells us the following:

e.l.f.'s philosophy is that beauty comes from within and it's our goal to enable every woman to look and feel her personal best through the perfect blend of both the inner and outer person. With that goal in mind, e.l.f. cosmetics was born - a line of simple, luxurious, problem-solution tools that allow you to showcase and believe in your unique, personal beauty. Our cosmetics are designed to improve and accentuate the individual, not hide her away.


We at e.l.f. believe that innovative technology, quality ingredients and superb delivery systems should not be limited to prestige retailers. Every woman should have the opportunity to participate in innovation, without sacrificing her budget. We hope you agree and invite you to experience e.l.f.'s revolutionary, value-priced cosmetics and the proven results they offer.

Mais oui, she said.

It’s Monday again and this week there will be a lot of things to look forward… guess who’s moving out this week? Moi! It’s about time because no matter how much I love my family, I need my space. And TT will be here in a week and a half. (Finally – I need cuddles to relieve my grumpiness). The most exciting part about moving, almost as exciting as cuddling, is sorting books.

 

 

Runaway train never coming back….

 

On the ferry the other day my faith in men died a little bit. A group of blonde vikings with rings on their fingers were hitting on three giggling Asian women. When the words “having fun in the sauna” were uttered, I almost choked on my food. OK, toughening up a little bit might be a good idea, letting people mind their own business…

 

 

I’ve got my mind set on youuuuuu….

 

Travelling 22 hours to get a pumpkin… can that be considered normal?  (now, the pumpkin was not the sole reason for the trip… there’s still an ounce of sanity left. maybe)

 

 

So, I don’t hesitate no more, no more…

 

Sometimes I wish I was braver. Like those girls who don’t hesitate for a moments. Like those girl who wear red dresses with polka dots and can charm everyone around them with their laughter. That would be nice.

 

 

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Most.

Drinking tea, dreaming, planning, making calculations in my head, feeling inspired. BUT, what I really should be doing is this:

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The Daughter Of The Baltic Sea

The best ingredients for a truly fantastic weekend? Sunshine, amazing people, no internet, good food, small treats and some sort of physical exercise. Yesterday I enjoyed lovely, sunny Helsinki – at times it is my absolute favourite place on the planet – with great company. Today has been more about spending time with family and friends… and some exercice – great!

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What I Wish I’d Known When I was 8

No matter how much they talk about you, or laugh at you, one day you will be loved and respected for what you are.

If I would have known that then, I probably wouldn’t have decided to get myself into an endless crazy quest where the only limit is the sky and the stars beyond it.

When I was eight years old, one short moment shaped my life. That’s when I swallowed my tears, held my head high and decided that I was going to be better. Unfortunately, “better” is a rather vague concept, so achieving that betterness turned out to be a long process, one that will never end. Because once you’re stuck in that quest, you won’t get out of it.

But it’s OK. What’s done remains done, and this life of mine has turned out to be pretty great.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Snapshot, so into you.

what are you into… right now? The following things are making me very, very happy right now.

1. Polka Dots

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2. Things that smell like lemon…

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3. Delicious tea

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4. Petöfi rádió at www.mr2.hu

5. Sleeeeeeeeeeping.

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Chasing Fishes

Ever wondered what I do for a living? Well – today I’ve been trying to track down some lost fishes (ones that are still alive)… apparently they’re nowhere to be found, not in this country, anyway. In other words, I’m a detective! J

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Survey Time

 

I “borrowed” two surveys from Señorita since I’ve been missing doing these so much…. Now, she saved my life, that wonderfully funny lady from the other side of the world!

1.) You have been asked to give a 10 minute speech to teenage girls. What is it about?

I’d tell them to love and respect themselves, because if they don’t, nobody else will. Also, we only have one life, and it’s up to ourselves to make the best out of it – our life and happiness are our own responsibility.

{2} Do you have a pet? Tell us about them. No pets? Why?
I have a cat, plus I’m the auntie to two dogs and one cat. Tomi, my cat, is the cuddliest, most wonderful creature on earth. Sasha the puppy loves to eat toilet paper (and she also goes under the nickname Maanvaiva). Narya the dog is my best bed companion and Mimi, Tomi’s mother, is just very, very independent.

{3} What is the biggest inconvenience about the place you’re currently living?
I’m staying with my parents for two more weeks. They drive me crazy at times (today my mum and I had a fight over RASPBERRIES at the supermarket) – I love them, but I also value my privacy. Enough said.

{4} What do you think is the single best decision you have made in your life so far?
The best decision I’ve ever made, as it’s led to a lot of great experiences, is the one where I decided to follow my own path instead of doing what I was told.

{5} What are the THREE "nevers" of your life? (things you would never do or have never done)
                - I have never drunk Tequila.

- I’d never participate in a reality show.

-  I’d never put “bold” pics of myself on Facebook (or anywhere else for people to see)

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1. Everyone seems to have a quirky family situation-- what is something unique about your family dynamic?
Are you sure you want to know? Well, I’m the “black sheep” because I was the second person to get a university degree. Apart from this we have some religious nutters, junkies, racists and alcoholics in my family. And then there’s the girl who had three kids with three different men before she turned 22. (Geez, I hope none of them reads this). But all in all, they are all kind of adorable despite their flaws.

2. What is the most stressful aspect to blogging (aside from the network going down)?
Reading blogs written by people who can’t spell – that’s very stressful indeed.

3. We all end up on a blog at some point in our day, but name your top 3 favorite websites you flock to daily (non blog)
1.) yahoo.co.uk

2.) Facebook

3.) the Economist and www.hs.fi

4. What’s your sign? Believe in it or not, does any part ring true to you?
I’m an Aries, and quite a typical at that: active, impatient, combative, energetic, pioneering, naive, assertive, positive and ambitious. Especially this sentence from Wikipedia rings very true: “Aries females like to be noticed for their brains rather than their looks”.

5. Ice Cream!! ICE CREAM!! We all scream for icecream! Name your favorite flavor/brand!
Mango-melon and licorice from Valio.

Abortion In Poland

Yesterday Helsingin Sanomat reported that the Polish parliament had decided to continue the process of preparing a controversial abortion law. Poland, a Catholic country, already has the strictest abortion laws in Europe. The current law states that abortion is only legal in the following cases:

  1. When the woman's life or health is endangered by the continuation of pregnancy,
  2. When the pregnancy is a result of a criminal act, or
  3. When the fetus is seriously malformed

The new law, if and when it comes into effect, stipulates that abortion will be illegal under all circumstances.

As a woman, my first instinct was to find a man (any man would do) and hit him over the head. (very constructive, I know – but this must be a man’s idea!). In my opinion, there is nobody who has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body. I doubt that the process that eventually leads to the conclusion that abortion is the best option would be easy for anyone – it’s probably a long, complicated and ethically/morally exhausting process for any woman. Just imagine what it would feel like for a woman whose pregnancy is the result of a rape, or a woman who knows that her child can never live a good life.

There are also two strong arguments that speak against this law. Firstly, a majority of Poles support abortion. Secondly, according to some sources there are 180,000 illegal abortions carried out in Poland every year. This tells us that the ideas of some politicians do not represent reality very well.

Сейчас я очень люблю... лето и красивую музыку

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It’s July!

Hello July! There will be lots of things to look forward to this month – next weekend, for instance, I will meet a very important friend AND go to Helsinki. June was a tough month for me: getting used to work and trying to survive some bloody awful abdominal pains. Work feels a lot easier now and after radically changing my diet (say goodbye to both lactose and glucose - that's pretty much what I've been living on for the past 20+ years), I’m (almost) on top of the world again. Now it’s time to have fun and enjoy summer!

Happy July, everyone. Make sure to enjoy it as much as possible!