Venus is by far the brightest “star” in the sky these days (nights). Its magnitude is a whopping -4.5, compare that to the -1.5 of Sirius which is the brightest star in the northern hemisphere. In February they can both be seen in the evening sky for comparison, but for now I was just stunned to see Venus right after sunset. The picture is taken about 1.5 hours after sunset though.
The sunset wasn’t otherwise special, but a few mother-of-pearl clouds were a nice surprise.3 comments
I spent the Christmas week in Finland this year, came back last night. It was quite nice, photographically a bit of a downer but I was expecting it and only had the Canon G10 with me and it turned out to be the right decision.
I had been most anxious to see my mother. She had her spine operated two months ago and now she has to wear a special back support and walk with crutches and the doctor gave her a long list of other complications to normal life. I was happy to see that she was coping fine now, but she’s obviously frustrated with the situation and she’s only half-way towards recovery, provided there’s no setbacks. And we can still only hope that the surgery fixed the problem. Fingers crossed.
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This visit confirmed one thing that I’ve felt for a few years now. Every time I visit Lappeenranta, something has changed there. For one thing, the city is growing, and secondly, the Russian tourists are taking it over. There is very little left from the time when I lived there, it seems like our house is the only thing holding steady (minus a few trees in the garden). Everything’s changing – houses, shops, streets… it’s not my home town anymore. From now on, when people ask me where in Finland I’m from, I’ll tell them that I’m from Savonlinna. And it’s also true – I was born there, I spent all my childhood summers there, and it was also my home for five years when I studied there. The best part is that Savonlinna won’t change in any such extent that it would feel alien to me. Its geographic location makes it impossible! So Savonlinna will be my safe haven in Finland, unfortunately this time I didn’t have time to visit the town other than a quick cup of coffee at my aunt’s but she lives outside the centre and a visit to Savonlinna without seeing the Olavinlinna castle doesn’t really count.
All these years I’ve lived abroad are really starting to show. It’s not just Lappeenranta, but it seems like the whole country is changing. The most familiar thing left is the language, although some new words have cropped up of course, like the skräppääminen word monster (from “scrapbooking”) that I came across in a book title. The language is shaped by the people who use it… the Research Institute for the Languages in Finland can’t keep up anymore!
No, I can’t see myself moving back to Finland anytime soon. I’m proud to carry my Finnish passport, but moving to Finland would be like moving abroad all over again. I’m at home in Sweden now.5 comments