This blue marble

– and yet it spins

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Interlude: primroses gone wild

springflowersThis is what happens when you buy a couple of yellow primroses for your garden and leave them to flourish over 20 years, remembering each year not to mow the lawn until their bloom is over. Among the primroses are white wood anemones, blue scillas, and the offspring of a few purple corydalis that I planted as a kid. I found them in the local woodland and knew they were endangered – but I wanted them anyway. Well guess what, they are far from endangered in the garden of my parents.

(Helsinki, Finland; May 2018)

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Waiter, there is a bath duck in my minibar

bathduckI know it is late in the day and my brain is probably not at full capacity, but why is there a bath duck in Tirolean gear wedged into the shelf in my minibar?

I sincerely hope this duck has not been in a bathtub. According to a recent publication, the insides of bath ducks are happy homes for astounding amounts of bacteria, not all of them good for our health. While I am aware that our own bodies have larger numbers of bacteria than human cells, I do not favor any additional bugs in the minibar of my hotel room.

(Did some research. Apparently they are collectibles for charity. Points to Hilton for creativity, though.)

(Munich, Germany; March 2018)

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The red lounge

redloungeWhen one walks up the steps to the Atelier Relaxium lounge at Copenhagen airport there is an entire explanation of how the colors work: choose a space according to your energy level and needs. The explanation is needed to blunt the colors that hit the visitor at entry. All the food and most comfortable chairs are in the Red space, which is seriously RED. Hurting-my-eyes red. Actually, so is the yellow and the orange. After my initial shock I went looking for calming blue and green – and noticed that instead of calming down on a couch or chaise longue I would need to sit up straight on a blue or green dining room chair. Not much Relaxium going on there. Whoever painted this lounge did not quite get the intuitive effects of colors on people.

The Apartment lounge which Finnair uses is closed for renovation, so they shunt us here.  My brain, used to the bland Nordic minimalistic color world, can’t cope with these uber-enthusiastic colors. Especially not after a busy day. Thank goodness there is a Yo Sushi at Copenhagen airport. I much prefer that as a lounge, even if I have to pay for the food and drinks.

(Copenhagen airport, Denmark; January 2018)


A room of one’s own

loviisa-1In this charming, century-old country house there is not a room of one’s own for one person, but for three. The house belonged to my paternal grandfather, who might smile knowing that it now contains the desk and chair of my maternal grandfather. loviisa-2Three rooms, three colors, one wallpaper pattern. In the cold winter light the ambiance in each is different. Which one is your favorite?loviisa-3(Loviisa, Finland; January 2018)

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A cake surprise

cakesOne of the perks when staying in the same hotels long enough: you begin to find surprises in your room. Or upgrades in your room booking. The petit fours were absolutely lovely, but did not beat the Valentine’s Day present I once got in a hotel in Stockholm: a rose, a hand-written note, and raspberry jelly boats.

(London, United Kingdom; December 2017)