This blue marble

– and yet it spins


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At the ironworks

stromforsA weekend in Finland: summer sun, an idyllic little ironworks village, and bluegrass music. In the style of our family we arrived five minutes before the last gig ended. Oh well, we can still claim we attended the bluegrass festival at the ironworks. Even if it was mainly for a stroll and an ice cream in the sun.

(Strömfors, Finland; June 2019)


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Bye Brande

brandemose-10For nearly a year these perfect picnic spots have been mine to explore while traipsing around the backs of my little home town. There never was a picnic, though, and I never saw anyone else on a picnic, either. Perhaps because of the shockingly high number of ticks in any grass around here: if I just sit in it for a while I can count the black dots crawling my legs.

And yet this lovely place never felt like home. I know nearly no-one outside of home, save for the taxi driver who takes me to the airport and back. And perhaps my next-door neighbors, although I never exchanged more than polite greetings with them. It is a difficult life for a natural extravert to have to leave the country (or take the train to its other coast) to be able to go to work or to meet with friends. And it has been a trying year overall. Somehow I find myself still here, now also with a Danish employment contract.brandemose-1The boxes have been nearly packed and in a week’s time it is time to open the door in a new apartment in a proper town. Hopefully it is also time to open the door to new friends and hobbies nearby. springflowers(Brande, Denmark; June 2019)


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Modern watermelons

melon-2This watermelon has nearly no seeds, a very thin rind, and barely any green flesh at the edges. Seedless watermelons exist – and who knows when one might run into an almost rindless watermelon in the grocery store?

One does not need genetic manipulation to significantly alter life: a few centuries of focused work does just as well. The watermelons in Giovanni Stanchi’s 17th century fruit stilleben look more like the oversized berry that a watermelon botanically is: a green fruit with swirls of red flesh covering clusters of seeds. My watermelon on the kitchen counter looks quite alien in comparison, almost industrially produced, don’t you think?

Image humbly borrowed from Wikipedia

(Brande, Denmark; May 2019)

 

 


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On the wing

wingsunsetOne random wing shot in my smartphone camera roll. I cannot remember where I was going, or where I came from. Helsinki, Copenhagen, Billund, London, Stockholm – could be any of them.

There is clarity up there, while I gaze out on the wing. There is time and space to think. To compose, reflect, and create. Some people are most productive in thought while walking or running. Others while taking a shower. For me it is the cramped airplane seat that works best. Not being able to leave my half a square meter space (possibly even less) for hours. This is when I review my behavior the past day, taking responsibility for the rights and the wrongs. When I walk through crucial conversations that need to take place. And it is when I revise the steps in my life plan: what to do, learn, read, and create next.

Voluntary confinement 10 kilometers in the air works for me. What works for you?

(Somewhere above Northern Europe; May 2019)


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Scilla

scillaSpring in Helsinki means carpets of blue scilla. Someone must have started importing these plants from the Middle East and Caucasus, and now they claim their own space in every garden and park.

There is no better place to sit down for a glass of sparkling wine than in the middle of spring flowers.

(Helsinki, Finland; April 2019)


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Docklands

docksIn my hotel room there is an old aerial map of the London docklands, the way they were when the Port of London was the largest port in the entire world. The Thames river winds across the land, out to the sea, and Londoners built basins between the zigzags of the river. In the late 19th century dozens of docks, basins, and ponds created a mosaic map with exotic names such as Lavender Dock, East India Dock, and Canada Pond.

Not much is left of these docks today. The Port of London was born, grew up, and then sank into poverty and disarray. Then the same thing happened as happens to so many neglected neighborhoods: someone finds them ruggedly charming. And so today much of the area is gentrified. Today a banker across the river at Canary Wharf can spend money in staying in a fancy business hotel that takes the guests across the river in its own ferry.

(Docklands, London, United Kingdom; April 2019)


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Blueberries, goodberries

blueberriesBlueberries and bilberries are the same, right? Wrong. Blueberries found in our European supermarkets all-year round are cultivated highbush blueberries, juicy and light or green inside. The blue berries found in the Northern European forests are bilberries. These are the ones that stain your fingers and tongue when you eat them straight from the bush.

And it is the European bilberry which (as far as I know) is the superior superfood of the two: loads of antioxidants, minerals, and great taste, unbeatable by the North American blueberry.

But when it is April and the Finnish forests are only waking up one takes what one finds (in the supermarket). And so today granma’s old sugar bowl is filled with cultivated blueberries.

(Loviisa, Finland; April 2019)