Archive for May, 2008

May 27th, 2008

Visited Oulu and Hailuoto

I visited Oulu last weekend, to meet a few acquitances, reunite with my family — Sanna and boys were in Taivalkoski for a wekk — and attend a wedding in Hailuoto.

I ran through various activities on Friday; meeting people and developing some customer HTML in the hotel room, to name a few. I had some time to visit the shops in Rotuaari, found one book and the giant Lego Technic mobile crane that I’ve been craving for (for Aapo, of course) since last Father’s Day. Didn’t get permission to buy it, though.

The hotel room was equipped with sauna, so I spent some time in rather slowly heating sauna room and then lounged in the sitting area — a generic tip for people visiting Finland: check whether you can get a sauna room in Sokos Hotel. They cost about 10-20 euros more, but are more spacious with sitting space and of course they’ve got sauna.

Saturday, Sanna and Niilo joined me in Oulu and we prepared us to wedding taking place in Hailuoto — an island about 50 kilometers away from Oulu. The ferry departs once an hour or once every 90 minutes, so we hurried down to the pier not to miss it.

We were tenth in the queue and the ferry takes 50, so no problems. There was one later ferry that we could have used and still be on time, so we had plenty of time to explore the island.

Time has been relatively still there. The main village was small and distributed, and suddenly we had driven past it. The wedding party was in the western tip of the island, about 30 kilometers from the ferry. We spent our time there, had a cup of coffee in a smallish café near the shore, and finally found our way back to church.

I was named as the main photographer and fortunately I was able to shoot some decent frames in the ceremony and the party.

The island itself is quite beautiful by itself and I found myself drawn towards the nature many times during the evening. Not that the party was dull or anything, but the light was just so magnificent, as you can probably see from these images.

We left the island on the second to last ferry and were back in hotel half an hour before midnight.

Next morning, Aapo was brought to Oulu by grandparents and we started our journey to south. That took the whole day, and as usual with children, the trip was not exactly quiet or eventless. We were finally at home around seven o’clock, after eight and half hour drive.

May 20th, 2008

Living suite life in London

I was once again in London last weekend, again in business. This time I flew in on Thursday morning and returned on Friday night — you know, the refreshing kind of schedule.

The trip itself was quite eventful, yet busy with all kinds of tasks that spilt over from the beginning of the week. The only exception was the hotel; I stayed in Radisson Grafton that I frequented last year. Usually I’ve reserved a single room that are a bit bigger than a normal closet. This time I booked a double that was only ten pounds more expensive. When I was checking in, the clerk told me that I was upgraded to a suite. Nice.

Maybe the hotel was full and I arrived in a good time, or then I’m such a good and frequent customer that I was upgraded before arriving. I’d like to believe the latter, but probably first is what actually happened.

Suite livingroom in Grafton Hotel in London, UK

As you can see from the image above, the room was huge. The living room had a good working space, sofa and a couple of chairs. The bedroom was equipped with extra-large king size bed and for once there was enough closets. The bathroom was the size of my previous single room.

Inexpensive sushi

If you are looking for good and cheap takeaway sushi, consider visiting one of the Wasabi shops located here and there in London. They have a few shelves full of sushi that is sold in packs of one or two, depending on the size of the pieces. You select those that you like and make your own combination. They have priced the pieces by pairs, but you can buy just one with half the shown price.

Wasabi sushi store in London, UK

The selection depends a bit of the location and the time of the day, but usually there is enough variety to enjoy a good mix of different fishes. There are also some preselected boxes for those that cannot make up their minds. Wasabi, ginger and soy sauce are picked from the counter, too.

The sushi is tasty, but of course not that fresh as in restaurants. The size of the pieces are decent.

The only thing that irks me is that the pieces are wrapped in plastic — after eating the table or trashcan is filled with plastic scrap., 127 Tottenham Court Road, London, United Kingdom, +44 20 7383 7772

Designed Asian eatery

The surroundings of Carnaby Street are filled with designed restaurants, to allure workers from the nearby advertising agencies and media companies. Cha Cha Moon, a recently opened Asian restaurant, is no exception to the rule.

Cha Cha Moon on Ganton Street in London, UK

The restaurant has been open for a week when we visited it, and it showed in the level of servide. Waiter lost part of our order, so I got to eat mine before the rest arrived. Further, we had to remind them twice before they brought it.

Besides that, the restaurant was a nice experience. All portions were £3.50 that explains also the huge queue we saw when leaving the restaurant. I’m under impression that the pricing will change later, but that might or might not be the case — better check yourself.

Cha Cha Moon, 15-21 Ganton Street, London, United Kingdom, +44 20 7297 9800

May 11th, 2008

Being busy and travelling

It has been a while that I’ve written something here. My apologies. I’ve been busy, sick and travelling — in this order.

After my last post, I’ve been working like a dog; pulling strings inside Exove and within our customers, running errands and so forth. The most hectic times seem to be over, but the summer will be busy.

I was going to go to London at the end of April, but fell sick instead. I had the word sickness since I was child; can’t really recommend this spring’s influenza to anyone. I had high fever for three days and then lingering fever for two more days. No chance of using computer, reading or doing anything intelligent. I was still quite weak for a few days after the experience, and of course there was a huge backlog of items waiting for me.

Fortunately, I got better in time to have an excellent first of May celebrations. We had a family picnic in Kaivopuisto and then drove to Polvijärvi to spend a few days with my parents. Really relaxing family time.

This week I’ve visited London for a few days, had a few business meetings there. I flow in on Thursday afternoon and back on Saturday, being home at 21.30. Very nice schedule compared to the usual one that involved getting up before five in the morning and arriving past midnight. I had also some time to shop, and found all the things that I was looking for. The weather was nice, too.

Today is mothers’ day in Finland, and I made breakfast to Sanna and served it on the bed. Niilo woke me about seven o’clock and I needed to drag Aapo out of the bed before coffee would be cold. Usually it is the other way around; Aapo demanding to watch Winnie the Pooh half past six or so.

We bribed Sanna with Wii Fit, a really fun exercise game from Nintendo. Wii has provided the best gaming experience that I’ve ever tried — for the record, I’ve played with Amiga 500 and Playstation 2 mainly, so I might not be an expert in the field. I’m anyhow amazed with the intuitiveness of the games and the excellent user experience Nintendo is able to craft into the playing.

Our traditional celebration (third year in a row) is lunch in Savoy. The place was not that packed as usual, maybe due to excellent weather, and the cakes were not as good as they have been. Hopefully this is not a sign of gradual downhill…

Next week, I’ll be gone to London for two days and then on Sunday Sanna will drive with boys to Kuopio and then to Taivalkoski. They’ll be there about one week. I’ll fly to Oulu on Friday to meet Sanna and Niilo on Saturday morning; we are going to wedding. Aapo will join us on Sunday, brought there by grandparents and then we will drive back home. Complicated? This seems to be the life of entrepreneur and father of small children.