Sunday, 27 February 2011


Definitions of crazy:

adj. cra·zi·er, cra·zi·est

1. Affected with madness; insane.

2. Informal Departing from proportion or moderation, especially:

a. Possessed by enthusiasm or excitement: The crowd at the game went crazy.

b. Immoderately fond; infatuated: was crazy about boys.

c. Intensely involved or preoccupied: is crazy about cars and racing.

d. Foolish or impractical; senseless: a crazy scheme for making quick money.

n. pl. cra·zies

One who is or appears insane: "To them she is not a brusque crazy, but 'appropriately passionate'" (Mary McGrory).


And a quote by Anthony Robbins that is quite convincing: don’t feel bad if you’re slightly mad, it’s OK, it’s cool, it’s the thing to be:

Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.


Do you consider yourself crazy? Smile

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Spring Signs




Warm weather, freckles and fresh strawberries – don’t you dare tell me it’s still winter!

Friday, 25 February 2011

Maybe it’s not that bad after all…

Today was not a good day. Right after getting out of bed I made the one great mistake. I weighed myself. Don’t stare yourself blind at the scales, they say. The mirror and your clothes are better tools. So they say. And I agree with them, most of the time. But not today. Not when the scales showed a number far too high (it’d be a great pleasure to throw them off the balcony, in real rock n roll style), when my jeans felt too tight in the wrong places (silly me… and stupid shops that don’t sell pants for people who actually have  a pair of hips) and the mirror was showing a pale freak show (at least the sun isn’t too far away). I don’t care if it’s because my mind is playing tricks on me (it always does. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself so that I won’t have to face the disturbing reality). I don’t care if it’s because all those liquids always to come screaming at that particular time of the month (is this true or a myth made up by suffering women?). I don’t care if it’s because I’m a lousy shopper who always buys trousers meant for people with thinner hips than mine.

The thoughts that have been invading and taking over my mind today were far from pretty: actually they were quite disturbing, and I ‘m thankful that these days only occur once or twice a month. Otherwise I’d rapidly be turning into a rabbit, only chewing on carrots all day long.

At least my hair was shiny and nice. And thank heavens for that little glass of red that is sending soft and tasty vibrations to my mind and body.
Tomorrow will, probably, be a better day.


Even though I love potatoes, I had forgotten how tasty a jacket potato can be… not to mention easy and versatile; you just bake the potato and fill it whatever if you wish. Yesterday my choice of topping was cottage cheese, a slice of melted cheese, a bit of butter and lots of oregano.

The result?


Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Almost March!

Omg! Kääääk! Last night while I was staring at the ceiling and thinking about all the things I’d do if I were a millionaire, I realised that March begins next week. That is kind of stressful because I have to start planning yet another trip to Sweden/Finland, organize some Swedish classes (apparently we are about to create a colony of Spaniards fleeing to Scandinavia), finish assignments and…. try to make sure nothing of it coincides with the Fallas Smile I’m also hoping for all kinds of projects to happen, so fingers crossed March will be a great month! Until then you’ll probably find me a) in the sofa translating random things, b) analysing whether it’s possible to rank countries according to their level of “goodness” like Newsweek did a while back, or c) trying to survive in the gym.


Hi from the sofa…

This morning I finally made it to the gym for a date with the treadmill after a few days of illness. The date wasn’t a particularly pleasant one but I managed to do 45 minutes before having to sit down or dying (at the time those seemed to be the only available options). Now I’m all cuddled up in the sofa under my blanket, drinking hot beverages and doing some “window shopping” (although I should be writing on an assignment), as well as looking for information on races (I wonder if a 16K in May would be plausible?).

Tick, Tock…

It’s almost 2 a.m. and I can’t sleep so I’m trying to get some of tomorrow’s work done.

Interesting, isn’t it? Smile

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Semmi művészet

I have been delightedly occupied with reading books lately , and there isn’t really anything else I could tell you about… so let’s talk books. (the other option would be “let’s talk Hungarian Studies… but really, how many of you would be interested in that?)

Do you know what love is?  Love is to find the book you stared at so longingly on the other side of Europe in your own house.

The book in question is called Semmi művészet ( “No Art” in English- as far as I know, there is no English translation available, and Ingen konst in Swedish, the language I'm reading it in) and it’s written by one of the most influential Hungarian writers (we are talking contemporary literature here), Péter Esterházy.
This book is about the writer’s mother: a beautiful creature who adores football and was friends with a certain Ferenc Puskás (one of the best European footballers in the 20th century). So, almost automatically it becomes a story about football. To such an extent that the book was chosen the “Football Book of the Year” in Germany in 2009. Set in the 1950s and onwards, it’s also impossible to escape the obligatory glimpse into the Communist regime.

Most of all, though, it’s the touching story of the relationship between a son and his mother.
The writing is jumpy, the sentences are long. It’s funny and warm, sometimes a bit eccentric, but definitely worth a read.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Записки из подполья

Fyodor Dostoevsky is one of the greatest writers of 19th century literature, and he was also my first contact with Russian literature back in the day. 

There is, however, one novel of his that I’ve never managed to finish. Actually I haven’t read more than a few pages of it. I have started reading it several times but always gotten stuck somewhere in the very beginning, not being able to continue. 

But from now on it will be my running companion… I need to incorporate Russian into my daily life, so what better way than listening to existentialist ramblings - конечно по-русски!

Oh, and the book is Notes from the Underground.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Waiting for Tuesday.

By then this common cold will have moved on to a better place, and I will be fit for fight again.

Sunday Maunderings

Sehr guten morgen! It’s Sunday, a day that I don’t particularly like but which has to be lived and survived anyway… it’s always too quiet, too Sunday-ish, if you know what I mean. Last night we went to a Moroccan Tea House for dinner and it was actually quite good: the food was mostly delicious, the wine (and also the tea) was flowing and the company was better than best. Prices were also OK and I liked the atmosphere of the place, but unfortunately I cannot tell you where it was because I simply have no idea. There was also going to be bellydance-show, but the music didn’t work so it got cancelled at the last minute. What a pity!

There’s something else that I’ve been wanting to write about, but I don’t know how to put that thought into words without sounding too harsh… Let’s try it anyway.

OK, I’m not a person that you could describe as moderate: at quite a young age I decided on a principle that I have been trying to live by ever since: “do what you love doing”. Now, life is not always a dance on roses, and of course there are times that I have to do things that I’d rather not do… BUT: 95% of the time I keep myself occupied with wonderful activities, which means that I like doing them a lot and well. (I also have a crazy need to constantly test my limits).

So, where does this lead us? I have some interests and passions that my friends do not share with me, and most of the time they probably think I’m going overboard, even if that really isn’t the case, because everything is always relative in life. 

And that upsets me! Situations where people divide the world into neat little boxes and judge everything according to their own level of moderation. I can understand that there are people who aren’t very passionate: they enjoy their lives without the need to test their limits or achieve something “great”. And that’s absolutely marvellous for them, but a little understanding from their side wouldn’t hurt.

Just let me do my thing without questioning whatever it is that I’m doing, or the way I’m doing it. Deal? Smile

Friday, 18 February 2011

Spring Is Here!

The surest sign of spring arriving is… the infamous sore throat. Nothing some Ben&Jerry’s can’t fix, though Smile I’m also hyper-excited about the weekend because we are going to eat some real delicious food with good friends tomorrow.

Anyhow, I know that quite a few of you readers are following a vegetarian diet, and I have a (silly) question for you: what do you eat to make sure that you get enough protein and not too much carbs? People who exercise a lot tend to be wild about protein (chicken, chicken, chicken!!!) which, in my opinion, actually makes sense, but this protein madness doesn’t seem to go hand in hand with vegetarianism (unless you want to eat ten eggs a day). Are dairy and eggs the way to go, or are there other interesting options?

I had this strange revelation last night at about 1 a.m: there is nothing wrong with being a nice person, but you have to be nice to yourself, too. Living according to other people’s preferences and expectations just doesn’t work in the long haul, you end up hurting yourself. 


Thursday, 17 February 2011

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The Perfect Life


Before drifting off to sleep this afternoon, I was trying to imagine my perfect life. What would it look like? Where would it be?

In my mind a painted a picture of a small house, a cottage maybe, near the water. Coming from an island makes water important. The windows were big and the house was bathing in sunlight. There were piles of books everywhere, and the wooden floors were covered by colourful rugs. In that life I was working with words, and I think I was into healthy living, being a vegetarian and annoyingly active. That life had nothing to do with nine to five, or pressure, or stress, or any other negative aspects that was dragging me down. My perfect life would be simple, sunny and filled with books.

How about you, what does your perfect life look like?

Cardio + studying = how is that possible?

“People” (a very unspecific description of some blog writers) write on their blogs about studying while doing cardio. Apparently they take a book to the gym and read it while doing their cardio. Yes, it sounds pretty simple, but… how do you do it? I mean, do you remember anything of what you’ve just read? Don’t you fall off the machine? When and how do you turn the pages?

Someone, please enlighten me. Or maybe I should just take a book with me next time and do a little experiment. I promise to tell you about all the accidents afterwards (if I survive, that is)… Smile

Monday, 14 February 2011

Happy On A Monday

Many things made me smile today…

  • Today I was spoilt with a book by Péter Esterházy and a delicious tortilla de patatas. Yes, I have been blessed with a great boyfriend.
  • The sun was shining today and for the first time in months I walked outside without a jacket, while finding interesting things in the neighbourhood.
  • Great run.
  • Apparently I have a good pronunciation when speaking Hungarian – I try to remember to read it the way I’d read Finnish, but sometimes I forget.
  • I finally sent some important papers.
  • Things seem to be going well for some people who are important to me.
  • Work was also good! Smile

Dwie minuty. Two minutes.

It’s strange how two minutes can feel like an eternity when you are running (especially on a tm). Suddenly your step doesn’t feel so easy, you are no longer flying- you just want it to be over as quickly as possible.

Yes, I went running today. And it felt great all the way to the two last minutes. All in all I ran for 28 minutes, as fast as I could. My body was feeling stiff (some yoga would probably do some wonders) and my face was red as a tomato at the end, but it was goooood. Running can either be paradise or a complete nightmare, but it always feel great afterwards Smile What I love about running is that it blocks out everything: no worries, unwanted thoughts or stressful ideas are allowed to pop up in my head, all that matters is the sound of my feet hitting the ground.

“Ma jó napom-pom van, ma pom-pom-pompás napom, pompás jó napom...”

Monday again, and I’m back in Spain. Sweden was nice, I could have stayed there for a while. Our friends who live there are always very inspiring… they represent a way of life that I admire a lot.

But on the other hand, if I have to choose between this (Stockholm on Friday morning) and the sunshine of Spain… Well, I’m thanking my lucky stars that I can have both every once in a while Smile


Now I’m listening to random Danish music, while having my morning coffee and getting ready for the week. There are lots of great things to look forward to!

Have a nice week and an interesting Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Little Things. Good Things.

Tomorrow it’s time to head for Stockholm again, and I don’t know what to think about it. Going to the university is exciting, but I’d also like to do something out of the ordinary, something slightly crazy. I want to feel alive! and usually a big city is good for such endeavours.

I have mixed feeling about these few days here in Finland, I ended up not doing the things I wanted to do, I didn’t manage to meet everyone I was supposed to meet and I feel sluggish.

The bright side is that I’ve had plenty of time to cuddle with the pets and eat well.




Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Cосредоточить внимание на хорошие вещи в жизни!

That is Russian for “to focus on the good things in life”.

There are days that I must force myself to be happy, to avoid falling into that dark pit that is staring at me with its wild eyes.

Lately I have been feeling a bit blä, dissatisfied, disappointed, bored. Now I’m asking myself the essential question: why? After all, negative feelings do have a purpose – to improve your situation SmileAnyway, I know myself, and I know that days like these I just need a big cup of coffee and time to think and be on my own.

So. I’m a bit disappointed with the system. Politicians are infuriating me at the moment, and so is the complete lack of security in contemporary society. Or actually, society itself seems to be going in the wrong direction. The option? To jump on the barricades and start a revolt? Probably not. However, I do believe in the possibility to find alternatives. Life doesn’t have to look the same for everyone.


I don’t believe in boredom: in my opinion it’s a feeling that we use substitute other negative (and maybe more difficult) feelings. When I figure out what those are, boredom will be extinguished. That’s the plan anyway.  The driving force behind all negative feelings is probably fear: fear of dedicating my life to things that I love and then fail, fear of becoming what I despise, fear of losing myself.

I have also been thinking about serious questions lately, about life and passions, dreams and hopes. By adding some of the things that I love to do in my life, I’m hoping to increase the overall satisfaction. One of the things I’ve been missing in my life is Russian, as well as other Slavic languages  It’s odd how some completely random things can make you happy, and thus be considered “the good things in life”.  So, I added yet another “Life Resolution” – to dedicate more time to studying Slavic languages. Russian is by far the most useful, and I think it’s a huge advantage to know it, but Polish is just as important to me personally. I also keep talking about learning Czech, but as everyone knows, it’s more of a passive learning-thing. My Czech friends keep sending me music and films, so maybe I’ll surprise them one day Smile 

Another interest, hobby, passion on the rise… I don’t really know how to classify it, is some kind of mix of politics and sociology. Actually, “on the rise” might be the wrong expression, since I’ve spent most of my academic “career” on international politics and I loved it, but this time it feels different.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Tomi (and her new friend)

Name: Tomi, named after Finnish ice-hockey player Tomi Kallio.
Age: 8 or 9 years old
Breed: partly Norwegian Forest Cat, partly godknowswhat.
Hobbies: being cuddled with, climbing trees, chasing birds and sleeping in warm places (preferably on top of people)
Favourite food: fresh fish
Special skills: can support the Finnish ice-hockey team to victory.
Random facts: prefers to enter the house through the window instead of the door.

Today I also became an auntie, and Tomi has a new playmate (whom she still hasn’t met).  The new baby loves to bite people’s toes, is fast like a hurricane and also likes to cuddle. She also seems to have a passion for eating innocent teddy bears.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Purple Boots And Lots Of Snow


Those boots are like the coolest ever. Not. But really, there’s nothing wrong with wearing bubblegum-boots as long as they are warm and comfy.


Saturday Goodies

One of the greatest things about visiting “home” is the possibility to eat all sorts of “local” delicacies…


“Runeberg's torte (Finnish: Runebergintorttu; Swedish: Runebergstårta) is a Finnish pastry flavored with almonds and rum and it usually weighs about 100 grams. There is usually raspberry jam in a sugar ring on the tart.

The torte got its name from the Finnish poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804–1877) who, according to legend, enjoyed the torte with punsch for every breakfast. Runeberg's tortes are typically eaten only in Finland and are generally available from the beginning of January to Runeberg's birthday on February 5. “ (

Add to that delicious chocolate and sweets from Russia and Poland, and you’ll  have my current menu.



Friday, 4 February 2011


Guess where we are!


And even if Tomi is as wild as a chickpea, her picture is here too, because she wanted to say hello to all her admirers…


Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Time To Pack (and then rest)

Tomorrow at 7.20 a.m. the train will leave, and I have nothing ready yet. The good news is that I don’t really need to bring anything with me, just a few pairs of clean socks and underwear, as well as a huge pile of books and papers.  And vodka and tequila for my brothers. Tomorrow will be spent on the road (and in the air), which is a good thing, because my body needs to rest.

Today was the fifth day in a row that I worked out, and I can really feel it (the left side of my back is hurting quite badly). Even if it feels nice to exercise, the rest day will be enjoyable, too. Speaking of working out, I think I’ve figured out a good schedule for myself. It still needs some improving, though, so I’ll write more about it some other time.

Anyway. Now I’ll continue listening to (I can recommend it to all who like dance music, it’s a Hungarian station, which mainly plays international dance music. At least they squeeze in some talking here and there) and finish packing.