Friday, 30 December 2016

Fairytale bridges

This yuletide, the town has been treating its residents with a new festive event. Every evening since the first Sunday of Advent, the two pedestrian bridges crossing the river Aura have been turned into a fairyland of colour and sound.

The Theatre Bridge was converted into an enchanted forest with 200 spruce trees, 6000 LED lamps, numerous colour-changing lights, spotlights – and speakers echoing farytale forest sounds such as whispering of elves and howling of wolves.

I went to shoot the bridge on the first Sunday in December when the river had been frozen for a while and we even had some snow. The ideal winter weather was carrying a constant stream of strollers to marvel at the show.

The above photos span half an hour or so. The performance at the Library Bridge (below) is more low-key: just colour with the addition of a few speakers playing Christmas carols and other season-related melodies.

The evening acts will continue until Epiphany, the so-called Three Kings’ Day on January 6. The views have been less wintry for quite some time now. According to the latest forecast, our New Year’s Eve may be record mild (around 6°C or 43°F) but colder weather is expected to return after that.

Happy New Year to you all! Let’s make it a good one, colourful and bright for the young and old alike.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Short-lived snow

A temperature slightly below the freezing point and a few flakes of snow will make quite a difference, at least for the Nordics and other people living in this part of the world.

Saturday was frosty but the joy was short-lived. All the whiteness melted by Sunday. I wonder how many more comings and goings we will see before winter will finally overtake if at all. According to the forecast, once again our holiday season won’t be “just like the ones we used to know”. Which means will be free to concentrate on the merrymaking indoors! “Always look on the…”

You too, I hope. I might be too busy to post in the next few days – even the no-nonsense-present-giving mom will have some extra kitchen duty this time of the year – so my best wishes to you all! May you have a most happy holiday with lots of special time with the ones you love!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

First ice

It has been mostly below freezing point recently, especially at nighttime. As the days are at their shortest right now – the time between sunset and sunrise being here some 18 hours at the moment, although often it feels like there wasn’t any sunrise at all – we hopped at the cottage to see whether there would be any ice on the sea yet.

Indeed, the cove had a thin ice cover with delicate curvy formations sweeping as far as ‘our area’ reaches, that is as far as the strips of land with the reeds are stretching on both sides of the little bay. The heavy ribbon of ice on the beach revealed there had already at some point been a bit thicker layer of ice next to the waterfront.

When we last visited the site a couple of weeks ago, the sea was still completely open and the only ice found was on the hollows in the solid rock by the sea. Now the holes were probably frozen to the bottom. It’s starting to look promising I might be motivated to get out of the door every once in a while just to record the rest of the winter from this perspective.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Getting festive

Last week, we visited the local weekend Christmas market at the Old Great Square. The hint of snow cast a delightful sparkle on the event and everything felt quite cheerful and festive. Now that the artisan and farmers’ stalls are there again all is back to the grey and dark scale. But as long as it stays below freezing point I don’t mind. The little frost we had helped me to find the right vibes for the season.

We bought ourselves a present: two sheepskins to cover the seats of the leather sofa in the living room. That was just my kind of a present as Christmas shopping couldn’t get more local and ecological than that!

Talking about sofas and festivities, I do hope all my friends in the UK will sit back by the TV at 8pm and give their votes to the Finnish girl with the most beautiful first name in the world, not because I ask you to but because she is such a phenomenal singer and entertainer. As to her name, I’m a bit biased. My dear daughter, who by the way has a great voice too, is also named Saara.