Archive for February, 2005

February 28th, 2005

Going to Oulu

I just booked air tickets to Oulu for a short business trip. I’ll spent Wednesday and Thursday in the capital of northern Finland.

I also reserved a room from Sokos Hotel Arina that is just in the middle of the town, on Rotuaari (if that says anything to you) walking district. As this week is winter holiday season in schools in central Finland, all rooms with sauna were already booked — too bad. Fortunately I got the room with outrageously cheap price, and I’ll try to upgrade it when I’ll be there.

The days will be filled mostly with working, but I do hope to see a couple of friends and maybe take a few photographs — if the light permits. Oulu has several picturesque old wooden buildings near the market square that would be magnificent subjects in proper evening light. The other end of the same market square looks horrible in every lighting condition except dark.

Charming Old Café

Café Helmi is an intimate and cozy café in middle of old town of Porvoo. The place makes you return back to the times when horses roamed on the streets. The old town provides a great backdrop for this illusion.

Café Helmi

Otherwise, the café is quite an ordinary coffeehouse. The selection of cakes and other sweet things is ok and the prices are not bad, especially compared to cafés in Helsinki.

www.cafehelmi.net, Välikatu 7, Porvoo, Finland, +358 19 524 5165

Poshy Manor

Haikko is a manor converted to hotel, spa and conference center. The place is located near town of Porvoo, some 40 kilometers east from Helsinki.

The old manor house has some hotel rooms and the restaurant. Most of the hotel rooms are in an ugly ’70s building near the main house. Nowadays such brutal concrete cubes would not be allowed to be built so near a beautiful manor.

Haikko Manor

As we are in Finland, there are plentiful of saunas — some next to the Porvoo river. The spa has the basic spa treatmens and a Japanese pool section.

One perk is cold room that is frozen to -110C. This ultimate coldness should alleviate pains.

www.haikko.fi, Haikkoontie 114, Porvoo, +358 19 576 01, hotelli.haikko@haikko.fi

February 27th, 2005

Scared s**t out of myself!

We painted one wall in our bedroom yesterday. The paint job was part of a renovation series that prepare our apartment for the child.

The painting itself went okay — in fact I’m extremely satisfied with the outcome and the bedroom looks just magnificent. Yesterday evening I was finalising the job, putting electric socket covers back to their places on the wall. I had, of course, removed them earlier while painting to avoid messy results.

One of the covers was not co-operating with me and I had to push it towards the wall with both of my thumbs — and suddenly I felt strong tingling in both thumbs. I immediately let go of the cover and mixed feelings raced through my head. I’d been part of 220V electric circuit, am I in risk of heart problems?

I frightened Sanna by yelling as I felt the electricity and looking very pale when coming out of the bedroom. I asked her to check the symptoms and while I was waiting our Mac to boot up and Sanna to use Google, my head was filled with morbid thoughts. I had a very peculiar feeling being on a loaned time and that the symptoms could kick in any second.

Fortunately enough, the current was weak enough to cause only tingling. I’d be in real danger, if I the muscles in my hands had locked due to the current. Still, I was anxious for the rest of the evening and this morning I was glad when I realised that I’m still here.

Fine Italian Dining

Sasso is quite new restaurant near Helsinki Market Square. The place is sort of a combination of fine dining restaurant, café and wine bar. The place is owned by Palace Restaurants that have several top-notch restaurants in Helsinki.

Food is very good and service is extremely swift, a unique feature in the Finnish restaurant scene that normally has a sloppy attitude towards paying customers. The portions are not big, so if you are hungry, consider having all four courses. The place is pricey, so prepare with a thick wallet or let somebody else pay…

Try to get seats from the left corner from the door, as the seating is more intimate than in the main restaurant hall. The noise levels are down, too.

Sasso, Pohjoisesplanadi 17, Helsinki, Finland, +358 9 1345 6240

Inexpensive Clothes for Kids

Buying clothes for a child can be a costy and frustrating experience. FF Kids and FF Baby stores come to rescue, as the clothes both look good and don’t cost a fortune. The range is from the newborn to the early teens.

The quality of the clothes is good, and there is a lot of variety in styles and colours. Most of the clothes are, however, strongly coloured with the plumbing of the kid. There are a few unisex garments, but these are really an exception.

FF Kids & FF Baby, #03-02 Raffles City, 252 North Bridge Road, Singapore, +65 6337 8628

February 25th, 2005

Going to have a child

Sanna and I will have a child in a couple of months, and I’ve been warned by several friends with children that our life won’t be ever the same. I’m both thrilled and terrified waiting our first child.

The big day is at the beginning of May and after that you may see less about travelling and more about family… Or all my entries are sort of groggy due to lack of sleep.

Inexpensive Maternity Clothes

Have you or your spouse struggled to find decent pieces of inexpensive clothing when pregnant? Most of the stuff is either baggy or overpriced. Enter Mothers Work in Singapore.

The shops sport good quality clothes for future mommies. All aspects of life are catered; work, leasure and celebrations. The prices are excellent, compared to those in Europe.

www.motherswork.com.sg, #01-17 Forum, 583 Orchard Road & #03-11C Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road, Singapore