Monday, February 20, 2012
I tried to follow a recipe for coconut flour pancakes this weekend but the batter didn't quite turn out as it should have. John said it wasn't thick enough and added more flour to it, but what we were left with was a thick puré-like consistency. I didn't want to simply bin the remainder of the batter/puré, so today I thought I would try my new silicone cake mould and see whether the mess of a batter would make a nice cake.
The mold features medium sized gingerbread men, Christmas trees and Christmas stockings. I got the mould at a sale the other week. I love Christmas and I couldn't resist a tool which would enable me to eat festive baked treats the year around.
I think we ruined the batter beyond any point of rescue: it didn't make a nice cake. They're undoubtedly irresistibly cute though!
It seems that most, if not all holidays have lost their original purpose. These days Christmas is all about gifts, Easter is all about chocolate eggs and Valentine's day is all about commercial hysteria for anything remotely pink, red, chocolate-y or romantical. I like the idea of Valentine's day, but I think that any good relationship should have more occurrences of romance than an annual only peek-a-boo. This does not mean that I am cynical and that I don’t like receiving gifts on Christmas, chocolate eggs during Easter, nor that I wouldn’t appreciate being romanced on Valentine’s day. I think the thought behind the day should, however, not be forgotten. I think Valentine’s day is for showing your boyfriend or girlfriend that you care for them. I also think that Valentine’s day plans which include gestures/plans/gifts should have a bit of thought behind them, and do not have to be expensive to hit the perfect romantical soft spot of a girl’s or boy’s heart.
My Valentine’s day with John felt very unplanned and abrupt, almost as it fell over us. I knew it was on the 14th of February and I knew that it would be on a Tuesday and that I would be off from work and spending the day with him. I thought he had mentioned to me that we would have ours on the following Sunday, because he had an appointment on Tuesday which would cut the day very short for us. Apparently we were both thinking of different Sundays, so it didn’t quite go as planned.
On the actual Valentine’s day we had a lie-in. At some stage I sneaked out, supposedly to make coffee, but returned not only with said coffee but with a dessert which I had made for him. After a brief moment of detective work on the internet, we found a romantical movie which we had planned to watch cuddled up together. Instead we wound up dashing out of bed after only 10 minutes of romantical cinematic viewing and headed into town, as we wanted to visit a few shops before they closed. We casually strolled up and down the streets and had a quick look in a few. I was surprised that the streets were rather empty and the lack of red/pink and/or heart shaped decorations.
After some time we headed back home and I got stuck taking a lot of pictures of the river, as I liked the lights and the patterns they cast on the water. John waited “patiently”. We had dinner when we got back and were able to spend a few more hours together before I had to pack my bags. John walked me to the bus stop with me clinging to him as I didn’t want to leave. I always hate leaving him. Sometimes I make evil plans of kidnapping him, but I haven’t quite figured out how I would be able to manoeuvre the tied up body of a 6’ 6’’ tall man into the trunk of the bus unnoticed. Oh well.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
I came to Ireland over three years ago. I had never travelled alone, I had never been to Ireland before and my knowledge of the country was minimal, I came alone and I didn't know anybody in Dublin. My most useful contact during the first few days was the Irish receptionist in the hostel I was staying in. There were a few receptionist, all of different nationalities, and they would work different shifts. I quickly learnt that the best way to get good tips quickly, was to save all my questions and ask the Irish receptionist. He didn't have to google or ask around in order to be able to answer me, like the others did. I mostly understood what he said as well as his Irish accent was pretty friendly on my ears, although he did say "notice board" in an unapprehensable way. Que me exlaming "OH, notice board" to which he muttered something under his breath.
People tell me I'm brave for coming over on my own, at such a young age. A "mere" twenty when I arrived, I wasn't particularly scared or worried as I had a job waiting for me and the first few days I kept busy getting things sorted: getting a SIM card, buying a duvet and a pillow, buying tooth paste and finding somewhere to live. I walked around so much that I got a big gaping hole on the sole of one of my shoes.
While it wasn't very scary to move to a new country on my own I did manage to get lost on my first night and it took three hours of frantic running around until I found my way back to the hostel. It was dark and getting late and as for all I knew, it could have been dangerous streets I was walking around on (it wasn't) so I was scared.
Sometimes I think back on my first few months here. I have a lot of memories and everything was so new and exciting. If I could go back and do it all again, I would. Ireland is a great place and I like Dublin. I don't know what I'll be doing in the future, but I don't think I'll ever move back to Finland.
On a related note: My younger brother should be in Dublin at the moment. Last time I spoke with him he said that he was flying over on Friday as he's starting his new job on Monday. My mother must be feeling separation anxiety as two thirds of her children are now located in Ireland. At least she can feel a bit safer knowing I sent my brother an email with a list of dangerous streets and places to avoid. I think it will come handy, in case he gets lost too.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
My new shirt I got today. <3
My Valentine's day was mostly spent in bed. I don't think I've ever had such a relaxed and cuddly Valentine's day before. More on it will follow, it's getting very late and I'll have to retire to bed as my lotto winnings from this weekend (six euros) will unfortunately not enable me to take an early retirement.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
The other day I revealed that I had received some news which had me bouncing up and down in excitement.
I got a new job! YAY!! I haven't been happy in my current job the last six-eight months but I have to admit that the thought of getting a new job and diving head into something unknown scared me. I staid, thinking things might get better but each morning when I dragged myself into work I grew more and more convinced that something had to change.
Finally, what made me realize I could not postpone the inevitable any longer, was when I came back from my two week holiday in January and I realized how utterly unhappy I was at work. The hunt began.
Three sneaky interviews later (one with the recruitment company, one with two senior team members of the company, and one meeting with two managers) and I was told by my future Team Leader that they want to offer me the position. I had to keep it a secret as I had not yet resigned from my current position.
I'm nervous about my start date approaching so fast but I have a feeling it will all work out for the better.
I have a definition of being old that is not supposed to be taken very seriously but that I still think is true to some extent. You're old (or starting to get there) when you find yourself saving up and purchasing certain items that younger people would never dream of saving up for. As a trusted example I always use a couch. When you're saving up and gladly spending 1000+ euros on a couch, you're no longer a teenager nor a young adult. When was the last time you saw a 15 year old saving the money they get from their summer job, only to splurge out on a couch and squealing enthusiastically on Facebook about their new purchase?
With that in mind, I'm finding myself becoming very excited at the idea of decorating a place and making it my home with my own touch on it. Never before have I felt such an itching in my fingers for buying things I never before would have thought I would have wanted to buy. I was not even a big fan of buying candles before, nor receiving them as a present (it's a candle...ehm, thanks...) but now I genuinly get excited if I get a candles. As long as it smells nice, that is.
It's inevitable I guess. I should prepare myself for wanting to save up and buy the perfect couch as well, I guess.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Weekends are great for lie-ins and for catching up on missed sleep (I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't go early enough to bed). Sometimes I wake up and realize I've wasted most of the day in bed, as happened this morning (*cough* afternoon), but I like to think that the weekends are for being lazy and not feeling guilty over it.
This morning I woke up with a whirlwind of hair across my face, as I went to bed with wet hair yesterday. Sometimes it can be quite fascinating with the scary bird's nests you wake up with if you went to bed with wet hair.
The t-shirt I'm wearing is John's. It's pretty handy to be the girl in a relationship as your wardrobe is suddenly doubled in size as you have all of your boyfriend's clothes at your disposal. Even if it is mostly for sleeping in, it is still pretty handy.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
There will be a few hours of sleep tonight, one more day's worth of intellectual brain twisting at work tomorrow and then I will have a long, lovely weekend. I'm not in for work on Monday nor Tuesday, so I will be spending the weekend with John at his place. I still need to pack clothes and other things to last me for these few days, hang up my laundry and take a shower though. I seem to have a problem with getting things done earlier in the evening, right after I get home, and I tend to stay up later doing them, meaning I feel like a wreck the next morning. Mental note: Stop self-torture, get organized and get more sleep.
Mmmmmm, sleep. Mmmmmm, Friday!!
Sunday, February 5, 2012
While I can see people I know from all over the world (well, the Scandinavians are, at least) complaining on Facebook about the terribly cold weather they are experiencing in their countries, it is rather expected that it has been raining in Dublin.
Last night my lovely red moccasins, in which I feel like a colourful Pocahontas, got thoroughly drenched. As they are made of suede, they should not have been exposed to water, but what can you do when it starts lashing down and you don't happen to have a spare pair of Wellingtons which you can change into?
I do have to agree that it has actually been very cold lately. The other night I was left waiting for 25 minutes at the trainstation, as the train was late, and I was quite distressed as I feared my toes were going to fall off if the train would not arrive very quickly. It has been unusually cold here, but it has not been anywhere near as cold as in Finland, for instance, as I hear they have had -30 degrees Celsius. Brrrrr!!!
Pilvi has decided that she will make all of her friends sad by going to New Zealand for five months. The trip will be in relation to her studies and we are all cheering her on but we are still going to miss her. She's leaving next week and had told me that she wanted to get together with "the gurlz" before she left, so she invited me out for coffee yesterday. It was a bit painful to get out of bed at noon (which is early on a Saturday) but that's what you do for friends.
Sini and Pilvi - funnily enough - under a parasol inside the café.
Anni was also with us, but she didn't want to partake in the paparazzi activities we were carrying out at the table.
The café we went to is called Foam. I've never been there before but immediately fell in love with it. It has two floors with tables, comfy chairs and couches. It's got a very distinct and quaint charm to it as I'm sure you can see form the pictures.
There were fringed lamp shades in different colours and size, a piano and a picture of Iggy Pop.
Vintage looking wall clocks and a counter with flowers, cups, water and straws. The counter had a print of leafy green vegetation!
The ceiling was crowded with banners in different colours. Palm trees!
I loved the golden horses on the window sill in the corner, as well as the plastic mushrooms and the glowing eggs in the egg carton.
When we first arrived we had gone over to the corner to sit down as there were two couches and only one girl sitting in one of them, but the girl told us that she was waiting for somebody, after which she gave us a meaningful stare. We went over to another table instead.
A bit later we saw that a guy arrived and sat down opposite Menacing Stare Girl. We concluded that they were probably on a date and it hadn't been so rude, after all, to ask us to leave. We kept a running commentary up on how we thought their date was progressing, and thought it would have been funny if we would have been sitting next to them, as we could have embarrassed them by loudly starting to discuss sex.
At some stage a group of five or so Spanish people went over and scrunched in beside them. We agreed that we would have made nicer company, sex talk and all as we had been one person less.
I realiced with amusement that Menacing Stare Girl's date looked just like John from behind, and that John actually has a similar blue plaid shirt.
There was a Christmas tree by the stairs, that had Marilyn Monroe lights. Of course!
I loved these colourful garden gnomes. They actually look delicious. Note the cute cards which have been used to wallpaper the stairway. I noticed with delight the one which said The Snowman.
A hula girl table lamp, glittery deers and striped rainbow zeebras...
It's got everything you'd want to find in a café!