Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sleepy Sunday

15 of the past 24 hours have been spent sleeping… in between naps I have eaten something (a lot, in fact), done some reading and entertained my mother. In a while I’ll be back in bed. The only thing I need to do now is prepare my stuff for tomorrow morning so that I can get up at 6.30 and then walk to work in the snow. Normal behaviour? Maybe.

Quite frankly, I think my body (and my head) needed a day of inactivity. The week was filled with a lot of everything- from hard training at the gym to loving the world. I don’t think one can have too much of the good thing, but once in a while it’s a good idea to rest.

Today I also took my measurements for Beach 2012. I’ve decided to ignore the scales because staring myself blind at my weight would probably drive me straight to insanity. Measures should be more reliable anyway.

Waist: – 2 cm

Chest: +/- 0 cm

Right arm: – 1 cm

Left arm: +1 cm (omg, I’m disproportional!!! Smile)

Hips: – 2cm

Right thigh: – 1 cm

Left thigh: –0,5 cm

Both calves: + 0,5 cm.


So, ok. I ‘m satisfied, this is going in the right direction. On Tuesday my friend K and I are going to have the Great 5K Race. Basically, each month we will increase our distance and at the end of the month the goal is to beat a certain time we’ve set for ourselves. January has been all about 5K. Let’s see how fast we will make it.

Friday, 27 January 2012

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it..

It might have something to do with the fact that it’s Friday. Or maybe getting up little past six has messed me up because I’m not an early bird, but I’m feeling SO EXCITED about everything. It’s like I’m in love with the world.

Friday Inspiration


In Swedish this time Smile Good morning to you and enjoy your day, it’s Friday again!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Duck Has Returned

Hi friends, greetings from the ice age.


Yesterday I engaged in too much exercise, so today I would happily have stayed in bed. Here are some thoughts on Beach 2012.


  • I feel like an elephant. Can exercise make you fatter? The answer is probably no (if you eat as before), so I need to check up on either my eating habits or the mean voices in my head.
  • My improvements in running are excellent. It’s really rewarding to see the improvement in speed and stamina. I’m still quite slow, though, so there is plenty of room for development!
  • I’m hooked on Bodycombat. It’s so much fun! For the ones who don’t what it is: Bodycombat is a form of exercise that belongs to the Les Mills-family. Basically it mixes different forms of martial arts and brings them together to form an efficient cardio workout. There is a lot of kicking and punching against invisible opponents -> perfect stress-release. This kind of training has awoken my interest for martial arts.
  • Resting is not overestimated. The body needs rest sometimes, and my day of rest is today. The plan? To do laundry, watch Sherlock Holmes and get some reading done for my dissertation.
  • I’m very glad that exercise has become a part of my life. It’s a lot fun and seeing the change (except for the part where I feel like an elephant) is both inspiring and motivating.  


What else? Well, it’s sunny outside, which means I’ll walk home.

And soon it’s weekend again, yay!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Thoughts On Week 3

Firstly, it didn’t go according to plan, but I’m quite satisfied anyway.


Monday: morning walk + strength training (triceps + biceps) 40 mins.

Tuesday: bodycombat

Thursday: walk, 5 km/45 minutes

Friday; running 5 km/31 minutes, 30 seconds + abs 15-20 minutes

Sunday: pilates (emphasis on back and shoulders) 1 h, running 4 km/25 minutes + lots of walking


My goal for next week is to keep it simple, but do strength training 3 times and running 3 times. I also need to go to yoga because my body feels extremely stiff. We’ll see how that goes because I’ve already signed up for HIT and bodycombat: they are both very useful (and fun!) forms of exercise, but I don’t exactly have too much time on my hands. 

Today I also discovered a good song to run to. Come on, don’t tell me you don’t feel like running fast when you hear this Smile 

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Cravings pt. 2


Valencian red.


After I decided to start eating more healthily, my cravings have become pretty healthy, too. Instead of burgers, chocolate and pizza, my brain and body call for oranges, yogurt and nuts. One thing that I haven’t eaten in ages, but which is one of my absolute favourites is tzatziki. Today my friend K came over for lunch/dinner, and since she’s as much of a tzatziki-fan as I am, we decided to make a big bowl of this wonderful Greek meze.


Salad: chicken with garlic and chili, lettuce, avocado, tomato, red pepper, cucumber and a couple of spoons of bulgur. Add lots of tzatziki.

Tzatziki, as you know, is made of Greek (or Turkish) yoghurt, grated and drained cucumber, garlic, salt & pepper.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Now. Not Tomorrow.


”I don’t even know if I’m going to be alive 555 days from now”, said the boy to the girl and gave her a kiss under the streetlight, on the icy street. This morning while waiting on the bus – on an equally icy street, under another streetlight – a girl was hysterically crying to a friend on the phone. She was afraid of failing a test they were going to take later on during the day. I wanted to hug her, tell her that “really, it’s just one test. It has no importance for anything. Few things in life are so important that you should cry about them, a test is not one of these things”. Oh, youth! Listening to these young people brought back a lot of bittersweet memories – and a conviction that things did turn out quite well in the end.

Public transportation has a special meaning to me – not only is it the perfect place for people-watching, but it’s also a place where I’ve traditionally made up some pretty hardcore decisions. Therefore I’ve been spending lots of time on the bus lately – trying to convince my brain to come up with some creative ideas. Even though things turned out quite well, it would be silly to say that they couldn’t be better.

A lot of friends have received good news lately: there have been new jobs, babies, school… This is great: seems like 2012 is the lucky year – for everyone except my brother who recently put his (fairly new) iphone in the washing machine. Turned out it’s not waterproof.


Alright, folks: it’s Friday and the weekend is just around the corner. What are your plans? My plan is to vote, write an essay on flow and have a couple of glasses of red. The library can also expect a visit.


Here’s something to ponder upon during the weekend:


“When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take the step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for us to stand on or we will be taught to fly.” – Patrick Overton -

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

On How To Overcome Defeat

Bad news (sort of) -> turn on Russian radio -> feel instantly better -> come of with a multitude of strategies how to do things even better.


Many people find languages sexy. I do, too, and Russian is one of the hottest languages I know. Other make-your-knees-go-weak languages are Irish English, Finnish (as spoken in the eastern parts of the country) and German. Actually, all Slavic languages are very nice.


What languages do you like?



Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Ears open, eyes open. Open up to the world, and you will have plenty to think about.


Interesting (and worrying) developments are taking place in Europe. Hungary is facing a situation, where one party is gathering power and happily using it to appoint leaders, limit media, revise the consitution and change the laws according to the party’s nationalist and populist ideology. I need to read more about this before giving a more profound opinion, but there will most certainly be one appearing here soon.

The readers of this blog will know that there is a presidential election coming up in Finland. The first round will take place on Sunday. Although there is one candidate enjoying overwhelming (but possibly diminishing) popularity, it seems plausible to assume that the candidate in question will not get over 50% of the vote, which means that there will be two rounds. The speculation about the second candidate is interesting, but it’s not the object of discussion here today. Instead I’m wondering: what do we really know about politicians and politics? A Swedish commentator wrote an interesting piece about this in yesterday’s Hufvudstadsbladet. Actually, she mainly discussed the election debates from a foreigner’s point of view. Of course, depending on interest and personal experience, some voters are able to make a more enlightened decision than others. This enlightenment is probably an illusion: from debates and earlier actions we can deduce something, but the common voter, however interested, will never get all the facts. We live in a democracy where every vote has equal value, so basically the degree of enlightenment, illusion or not, behind the vote has no real importance. Whereas some people (like yours truly) is facing agony in order to make the right choice, some people just scribble down a random number on the slip, and others shrug the shoulders and say that they can’t be bothered to vote. Donald Duck also seems to be a popular candidate year after year. Yes, this is democracy at its very best.

In order to understand the political debate in a given country, one must be familiar with social structures and norms in the country in question. For instance, I can have a lot of opinions about the electoral campaigns in the US, but since my knowledge about the country is strictly theoretical (and most probably* biased); I don’t really have any idea about what’s really going on. Now, this leads us to Åland, the island where I live. It’s an autonomous region, whose population in general shares very few ties with the rest of the country. The local political system is different (even the majority of the parties are different), traditions are different, language is different. There are many people who have no contact whatsoever to the mainland. The question is: is the average “Ålander” familiar with the social and political context within which this election is taking place? How much does s/he know about national politics (and the candidates) in order to have enough information on which an enlightened decision can be made? At least one can assume that the main question for Ålanders is the role of the Swedish language whereas other matters haven’t been discussed so widely. Interestingly enough, surveys show that the Ålanders’ preferences differ from the ones among Finns, and to a lesser degree from the opinions held by the Finnish Swedes.


*One of the first things you learn when studying decision analysis and decision theory: many things are probable or possible, very few things are certain. Therefore the very active use of the word probably.

3rd Cup of Coffee

Yesterday, at 7.25 am I passed the library. And I remembered many good moments. It’s funny that the library should be a person’s feel-good-place, but that’s exactly what it is for me. It’s the place to go to feel better, to absorb all the knowledge and inhale all the stories that are fighting for space on the shelves. Being surrounded by books is the best thing I know. I haven’t been to the library for a long time now; there has not been any practical need for it, nor time. But now I feel that I need to go there soon: randomly pick a book (or three), sit down in a corner, somewhere near a big window, and just read while sipping on some coffee/tea/battery.   


At the moment the following things make my heart skip a beat:


Ambition, Art, Accents, Adventures


Coffee, Cooking, Challenges


Energy, Equality, Exoticness
Friendship, Fitness, Fruit
Gym, Goals

Honesty, Hungarian


Joie de vivre


Languages, Laughter


Novelty, Novels


Politics, Psychology, Projects

Running, Respect, Russian

Sunshine, Summer, Solidarity, Society, Sherlock Holmes

Travelling, Tea






The good thing about lists like this one is that they remind us of all the things we enjoy. Tip: on a bad day - check your list, pick an activity and DO it.


Monday, 16 January 2012

The Walk

Beach 2012, here we come! My plan was to start morning cardio (in the form of good ol’ walking) when it’s light enough in the morning – but instead of waiting until March/April, my first morning walk took place today. I must admit that it felt very good during the walk, and even better afterwards. It was quite surprising, since I’m known to hate the winter and the cold. Usually I hide inside the house and refuse to go outside unless someone pushes me out through the door. The weather was wonderful this morning; a couple of degrees below zero and it wasn’t snowing until the very end. I will definitely continue with these walks whenever the weather permits them, because they are so good for both the body, and the mind.


This week’s exercise plan looks like this:


Monday: morning walk + strength training (legs + abs), possibly some running/walking.

Tuesday: pilates + running

Wednesday: strength training (chest + shoulders + triceps) + dance class *help*

Thursday: yoga

Friday: strength training (back + biceps + abs) + running

Saturday: DAY OFF *smile* (or maybe to the swimming pool with TT?)

Sunday:  strength training (triceps + biceps), pilates + running


Morning walks: at least three, ideally four or five, times during weekdays


And then the running plan, which is quite simple: 5K each time. I have a time from the beginning of the month that I want to improve as much as possible.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

New Toy


…for days when the gym is too far from home.


For the longest time now, I have been craving for goulash, which is one of my absolute favourite dishes. So, when I stumbled across this easy (and quick) recipe, I decided to satisfy my needs.


This recipe is from Swedish food magazine Laga lätt, no. 1, January 2012. I did modify it a little bit, though. The ingredients I used were: pepper, onion, garlic, chili, pork, tomato, potato, a lot of paprika, caraway and some olive oil. At the end I added some cilantro to give the soup a twist.


As TT doesn’t try my masterpieces, I now have the fridge/freezer filled with this delicious comfort food.


Friday, 13 January 2012

It's Alright

Long time, no see, dear friends! How are you? I hope life is treating you all well, wherever you are.


Here it’s snowing, and for the first time this year I slipped and fell on my face when walking from the bus to work. My colleague and I both started laughing like mad, it’s obvious that it’s Friday – the atmosphere is so cheerful. Yesterday I took a day off from studies and the computer. It felt nice doing NOTHING after work, just existing (well, going for coffee, taking a nap – very important!, filing all my papers). To be honest, though, lazy days are fun (and necessary) once in a while, but I very much prefer doing something “intellectually stimulating” in my free time!


A couple of days ago someone asked me about my plans for the next 5-10 years. Coming up with a satisfying answer turned out to be far more difficult than expected: despite my little goals and projects that push me forward, I pretty much am where I want to be. By surrounding myself with people and activities that I love and enjoy I’m able to seize the day. Carpe diem! This was a very important moment, and I will do my best to keep it with me, these moments of self-reflection and great conclusions are often forgotten in the midst of everyday life that’s often so far from glorious.


Here’s what some famous people have said about seizing the day:



Life, if well lived, is long enough.  ~Seneca, De Ira


We do not do what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are - that is the fact.  ~Jean Paul Sartre, Situations, 1939


Life is not long, and too much of it must not pass in idle deliberation how it shall be spent.  ~Samuel Johnson




Conclusion? Act, don’t think too much! Follow your heart! Follow your passions! Know yourself!



I would like to wish you all a pleasant and eventful weekend! Do you have any special plans?

Sunday, 8 January 2012





















Almost Home


Waiting for Spring!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Things That Annoyed Me Today

I’ve been feeling  grumpy since I woke up at 6.45 am. The prospect of going to work wasn’t all that fun – the countdown for my time there has begun, and even though I’m looking forward to it, I’m in a moment where most of thoughts are revolving around a very disturbing “wtf am I going to do next?”. Almost all available jobs on this island seem to be in health care, nobody needs a wannabe-polyglot with a couple of academic degrees. Riikka wrote about this, she said: “Enhän minä ole oikein mitään….Tällainen joka ei oikein vielä osaa mitään mutta haluaisi kovasti tehdä kaikkea.” (I’m not really anything … one, who doesn’t really know how to do anything yet, but who’d really like to do a lot of things). If I knew what to do, I’d just start my own enterprise and get it over with. However, I’m relieved by the fact that I’m not alone. My best friend is in the same situation. Maybe we should combine our skills and talents and energies and motivation and do something great together. Hell yeah, all of you can join us!

Another thing that annoys is me the attitude some people have in political debates. Evelyn Beatrice Hall wrote the famous words (sometimes attributed to Voltaire): “"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it". It’s some kind of a basic rule, for me at least. Opinions can be debated, but not people. And it’s just so annoying when someone throws a “you fu**ing communist” (or even better, Stalinist), when you voice your opinions. Yes, you can disagree with me, but don’t assume you can categorize me and put me in a box, just because you’ve heard an opinion or two on some specific issue. 

On the brighter side: tomorrow is a public holiday, so TT and I will be going to… dada… Estocolmo.

Dreaming Away


Sunshine, beaches, warm air, bathing in the sea, delicious food and that hot, southern atmosphere.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Motivational Monday

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Winston Churchill

Sunday, 1 January 2012


Many bloggers make summaries of the past year – in pictures or in words they tell us about their feelings, experiences and adventures.

I’m not going to this, because – let me be completely honest – I  feel far too lazy to even think about 2011. Instead I want to focus on the new year, and all that it will bring. I think that attitude determines the outcomes of many things, and right now my attitude could best be described as motivated. There is so much I want to this year, there are places I want to go, people I want to meet and things I want to explore.

There are some things I want to focus on. Travelling is important for the soul, but unfortunately it has recently consisted of ferry-hopping between this island and Stockholm. I’m at least hoping for three “big” trips this year. Beach 2012 is still on. What drives me is mostly the curiosity to see what I can achieve. I also want to run a half-marathon this year. It’s something I’ve talked about for a long time, but never really taken the thought much further. Another aspect of fitness is food and nutrition. Trying out new cuisines and testing new recipes is a lot of fun! Work is on my mind – I will have my current job until mid-March. The situation worries me slightly, but at the same time I see this as an opportunity to find something that is closer related to my own field. My studies will continue as before: the subjects really fascinate me and I feel lucky that I have this opportunity to pursue my interests. Spirituality is important: I spent a fair amount of time on spiritual questions in 2011, I hope to be able to dedicate more time the spiritual and philosophical schools that are close to my heart. And why not explore other ones: there can never be too much knowledge.

The keywords for 2012 will be: adventure, knowledge, kindness, balance, compassion,  laughter, passion, curiosity, fitness, simplicity, spirituality and optimism. These are the words I want to be actively apparent in my life.