Oh no. It's our final Saturday. Our final weekend.
We wandered into town this morning, via the Blue Cafe, picking up some necessaries (including adding to my Golla bag collection). Back here, I've been doing some photo editing. There's now a Finland - the final month album. And a Kuusamo album. I also had some reflections on the last ten months....
Things I will miss about Finland
Clear and distinct seasons (although to be fair Scotland does quite well, except that sometimes it seems to forget about summer except on one Wednesday afternoon).
Walking on the ice.
“Midnight sun” (not quite true in Helsinki, of course, but near enough).
The view from the 10th floor.
Clean air even in the city and the sharp quality of the light, not doubt helped by the proximity of water.
The proximity of the sea and other forms of water such as lakes and rivers
Food prices (because they are so high we buy carefully and waste less).
Doing all of our shopping on foot (although we are still guilty of going to the supermarket more than we should do).
The variety of places to walk to/visit from home, including Seurasaari, Sibelius Monument and Park, Suomenlinna, Töölönlahti, Hietaniemi beach, Arabia, Old Market Hall and Hakaniemi Market. And right on our doorstep the many joys of Taivallahti. Overall, great urban walks.
The tram system (don’t tell me Edinburgh has one…), tram cards, and the boat to Suomenlinna as *public transport* (i.e. it's €2.20 to get there from here).
The general simplicity of life here for us.
Korvapuusti and other related treats from cafés and bakeries.
The choice of wine in our local Alko, and in some respects the quality (not price) of Finnish beer.
That my “local” airport is Helsinki airport, accessible by excellent public transport, plus flying mainly Finnair.
Unisport (going to have to see how I can replicate the access to sports facilities and classes in Edinburgh; hopefully should be possible, but not at 100 euros for an entire year).
Some of our favourite restaurants such as Pizza Alfons, Aito and Kuu.
The friendliness of the people.
The distance from Brexit and the car crash that is British politics engendered by being away.
Arkadia bookshop and especially its friendly and intimate concerts.
The Finnish health service.
Being able to pay everywhere by card - being more or less cashless.
Libraries (see above, here, here and here).
The art nouveau and modern architecture of Helsinki.
Things I will not miss about Finland
Hazardous pavements in winter and dusty and gritty pavements in spring until they do the big clean up.
“Midnight sun” (impossible to get our bedroom dark enough to sleep unless I’m absolutely exhausted).
Food prices (you just have to close your eyes sometimes and do it).
Filter coffee (frankly I prefer espresso based coffees, or cafetieres, and these are hard to find and/or very expensive).
Töölö Towers (the place is lovely, but I’m done with being a bit institutionalised in where I live, and in particular I’m fed up of collective laundry facilities and a poorly equipped kitchen).
The cost of beer (even quite prohibitive in the supermarket) and the cost of wine in restaurants (it’s ok in terms of the price/quality ratio in Alko).
The temptation of spending too much money on Finnish design (my bank needs me to leave).
Having no clue what anything written or said in Finnish means even after 10 months.
Moomins (nope, never got it, although I appreciate they make other people happy).
I'm sure there's other stuff. But that's enough to be going on with.