October 29, 2013

Cycling in Finland

After experiencing the amazing cycling culture in the Netherlands, cycling in Finland has felt even more dangerous than before. In my new country I got used to the idea of cycling without a helmet. Very bad idea, but the cycling culture kind of sucks you into the new thinking. No one wears a helmet in the Netherlands! Except hard core mtb or road cyclists! I wear my helmet only when I go mountain biking. It's kind of interesting how the thinking changes. In Finland I used to wear my helmet every time, but not in the Netherlands. Even babies and children don't wear helmets, and that's just plain stupidity! Anything can happen in the traffic!

In Finland it sometimes feels suicidal to cycle, with or without a helmet. Things are getting better in Helsinki, but very slowly. I discovered some new bike lanes, while driving around the city, but they seem to end without a warning and suddenly you're just cycling along the cars, whose drivers don't really give a damn about cyclists. While cycling in the city, you really need to be very alert all the time, pedestrians are the most dangerous subjects for a cyclist in a city like Helsinki. They don't remember that someone might actually drive a bike, and they can just stop wherever, turn whenever, without checking, if there could be a cyclist driving the cycle lane.

If the city of Helsinki wants to reduce the amount of cars in the city centre, it would be extremely important to make the city cyclist friendly. One of the greatest things that has happened for cyclist in Helsinki, was the opening of Baana, which is a light traffic route from the West Harbor to Töölönlahti.  Baana was built in a former railway cutting once used by goods traffic to and from the port area, and it was opened in the summer of 2012. The same kind of cycling solutions would give people a reason to start riding their bikes in the city. When it's easier to get from the point A to the point B by bike than by car, people will seriously consider leaving their cars at home and start using their bikes instead.

October 13, 2013

Cute Side Table Set

I got these antique looking side tables from my friend Kristiina. If I remember the story right, her parents were moving from her childhood house, and getting rid of the things, they didn't need anymore. So Kristiina thought that maybe I could give a new life to a few things, and she gave me these tables, a few picture frames and a table lamp. Thank you, Kristiina! The frames got their new look already, now it's time for these tables to begin their journey. Literally.

I left these side tables behind when we moved to the Netherlands. But now I went back to our old house to get them from the storage, where we keep all the stuff that didn't fit into the van a few months ago. My dad did all the hard work with taking apart all the parts. Now the tables are ready to travel to their new home country. These tables are surprisingly light, so it shouldn't be a problem getting them on the plane! Prepare yourselves, all me friends and family members! Every time you come to visit me, I have something I would like you to bring me from Finland!

I don't know yet, what kind of new look these side tables are gonna get, but this golden style is definitely not for me. I was thinking about going with black and white, but after a little thought, I don't think that's for me either. All ideas are welcome!

October 12, 2013


The stairs in our house looked awful, when we moved in. Unfortunately I don't have the 'before' photos with me now, because I didn't bring my camera or my laptop with me to Finland. I only have the photos where I've already started sanding the stairs.

First I had to remove all the sticky and dirty glue, the previous tenants had apparently had some kind of stair carpet glued to the steps. But I hate fitted carpet, so it wasn't an option for us to go with the same solution as the previous tenants had done.

I made a silly deal with my fiancé: if he pays for the equipment and materials, I'll do all the work! Not a clever deal at all! Sanding the stairs is such hard work and the dust is all over the place. I guess it would be a lot easier to use some kind of paint remover, but is there such paint removers, that are not total poison? I'm very sensitive to all kinds of smells, and hate the idea of having to use crazy poisonous paint removers. I can't even wear parfume without getting a head ache. 

If you have good tips for my staircase project, please leave me a comment! Any help is welcome!