Monday, February 23, 2004

Weekend madness

Ripa has a birthday. Maija has a fever. Maija is supposed to visit Riita and meet up with old friends. Raisa says Chris will come and collect the table and chairs and bookcases at around 12 o'clock. Twelve comes and goes and no Chris. Maija calls up Riita and says she can't come. Postponing an event that has already been rescheduled. At one o'clock I phone Raisa and ask where Chris is. He has not left home yet. I have to be at Ripa's at two.

I decide to load all the chairs into the Yaris. I can carry a couple of chairs at a time. I go out and leave the door open. Maija tells me to shut it cos she feels vunerable with the door open. I put down the chairs. I close the door. I pick up the chairs walk to the front door, and put them down again and open the front door. I pick up the chairs and walk to the car. Open the car doors and remove the car seats and put in the dining room chairs. I lock up the car and I go back to the house open the door and Maija says close it because she feels vunerable. I close the door.

I repeat this sequence of events four times until the car is loaded. I am not in the best mood what with all the lifting up and putting down of chairs, all the opening and closing of doors.

Christpher calls and invites us for a meal at his house at seven. The Emma awards are on and it could be that Juhani will win an award for the Jazz musician of the year.

Maija feels better and decides to come to Ripa's with me. We deliver the chairs to Raisa and then drive on to Korso. We have difficulty finding Ripa's place. I say it is one way Maija says it is another way. In reality it is somewhere in the middle.

We eat cake that Ripa has made and Ripa reads about Bilbo's party from the Lord of the Rings. We applaud and shout. It was moving and sincere, but I have to get back to Raisa's and pick up Chris and go back to Espoonlathi to get the bookcases and the table. Maija does not want to leave. I want to go since I have promised Chris I would pick him up at five. Maija arranges a lift with the Kalmaris and I leave. I calculate half an hour to Chris, half and hour to Espoonlahti, half back to Chris's and half an hour to Terhi. That is a couple of hours and if I am luck I will just get into Christophers for the presentation of the Emma awards.

It nearly goes according to my calculations. I arrive 15 minutes late. They have recorded Juhani winning the Emma. We have a white wine. I make a salad. Christopher cooks some peppered steak, and we drink a fine red wine with it. For desert we have ice-cream and a good desert win. I fall asleep on the sofa, while the others watch Will Smith in Independence day. I wake up past midnight and it is time to go home.

We get lost trying to get to Keha II. We come to a T-junction and one direction points to Lippajarvi and that is where Maija wants to go. The other points to Kirkkonumi and that is where I want to go. Maija says Kirkkonumi is North. I say Kirkkonumi is in Espoo and Lippajarvi is in Vanta. I take the Kirkkonumi road and hit Keha II and I feel justified though I don't say anything. It is past one o'clock in the morning when we arrive home.

I open the car door for Maija, I undo her seat belt. I hold her arm to steady her on the icey road to the house. I open both doors to the house, and we go straight to bed.

I was happy that I had eaten the best steak in the world at Christophers and drunk and excellent red wine. Tomorrow will be a new day.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Delivery day

Got up early so we could drive from Juhani's house to EspoonLahti. It was a rushed job. I thought the delivery van would be there before we arrived. Indeed when we got there a man was already at our door. He was waiting for the truck to arrive. I rushed down to the LippuLaiva shopping centre and tried to buy some strong brown paper to lay down on the floor so there would be less of a mess to clear up from the snow being trawled in off the street.

I went to Soumalainen Kirjakauppa, and they had just the stuff I wanted on a great big roll next to the cash register. The woman behind the desk was looking at some book, and I waited patiently for her to look up so she could serve me.
She kept on reading.
Come on come on the truck will be arriving and I need to get some paper down on the floor.
She sniffed and ignored me
How long can I wait for her to ask if she could be of service to me.
She licks her finger and turns a page on her book
She knows that wet snowy feet are trudging over the floor of our newly waxed parquetrey
Finally she asks if she can help me
I say I want to buy 2o metres of paper off the roll in front of her desk
She smirks and says we don't sell that paper
I wonder if I should ask her if she gives it away for free... instead I just turn on my heel very fast and walk out of the shop. I was not going to give her the satisfaction of turning me down again.

I went to Timmari and with much pulling of the forelock and grovelling I managed to buy a whole roll of paper for 5€ went back to the flat and laid it out on the floor and taped it down. The delivery man arrived and he looked just like Pat... Riina's husband. Close cropped hair with a little blond quiff at the fron just like Jimmy Summerfield. With his mate who was an off duty fireman who was doing a bit of moonlighting they had the truck unloaded in about three hours. Maija was scurrying after them picking up small stones that had come off the soles of their boots. Arrrrrggh the price you have to pay to have a wooden floor.

Maija wants to give our book cases and table and chairs away to Raisa... and there was Ilona thinking that the table and chairs would be handed down to her as an heirloom. I defrosted the fridge freezer and after a search for my tools from among all the stacks of boxes I struggled to put up our bed so we could have a sleep that night. I managed to get the bed put together again but I did not fancy staying in that mess for the night, especially when there might be a warm meal waiting at the Aaltonens. Maija and I argued about whether to stay or go. She wanted to stay I wanted to go. Finally went decided to go and I went to the shopping mall to buy some beer to have with our meal at the Aaltonens.

I bought a 6-pack of Newcastle Brown ale and paid 14€ for them... TEN QUID for 6 bottles of beer, and each bottle having only 33cl... I felt shafted at the checkout, I should have bought a couple of bottles of wine instead.

But now in the end the beer was really good with the herring, and I was happy I had bought them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Titles added to Blog posts and time stamp changed to European/Helsinki

Worked on the Template to put in TITLES and a new time stamp which is European
I mentioned before that when you move house you have to inform the local magistrate, and I thought that I did that succesfully over the phone. Well I got a call from the Espoo town council to say that since I am a foreigner then I have to go in person and inform them that I have moved. I went there on Wednesday.

They told me I should also take my passport as proof of identity, and my ETA card as proof that I have permission to be a resident, and my marriage certificate to proove that I am married to a Finn. I arrived at the office at 16:17 and they were closing up. The official closing time was 16:15. They would not let me in.

I went back on Thursday in good time and filled in a form. They asked me if I was renting a flat and it was with a certain degree of relish that I said no, I have bought a flat out-right. Though now that I think on it when I was reading through the fine print of the housing association one of the by-laws that was written there stated that under no circumstances, could any of the flats be sold to a foreigner. So I suppose that puts me on very unsure ground, if they ever want to thow me out for playing Rory Mcleod to loud.

It is strange that if you do not get full cooperation in everything you want in your life then you become paranoid. I have written to NMKY about an insurance claim for Maija's broken arm, but nobody has got back to me on the matter. Good Christians do not claim insurance they suffer in silence. Christians never make claims to insurance companies since then they become a bad risk and their premiums will be raised.

Charlie Brown got it right in the song when he said "why is everybody picking on me?"

Britania -> Harriss -> Texab -> Victor Ek

So I get an Email from Thomas in the UK. Here is what it says

Dear Mr Harper,
Thank you for the emails. I am sorry for the delayed response. I have left a
message with Ola Lundvall of Texab, to call me in the morning, to confirm
delivery of your goods for 20/21st Feb.
If you would like to call Texab, you can reach them on +46(0)8 556 975 04.
I will email you once I hear from Ola.
Kind regards
Thomas Wicks

Texab and a SWEDISH telephone number that sounds promising NOT!!! I suppose everyone in the UK thinks that Scandinavia is just one big country and Finland is really Sweden with the people speaking a different language.

Well I phoned up Texab in Sweden and they said that the delivery of the furniture would be done by Victor Ek, and it would now take place on Thursday 19th sometime in the morning. I suppose I now have to get in contact with someone at Victor Ek and find out if they know what is going on.

Phoned Victor Ek and they say the delivery will take place tomorrow. There is 70 cu metres and depending on how much help we need unpacking it could take from 4 to 8 hours to get everything in place. Maija is worried about the wooden floor that it will get spoiled by men walking in with wet and snowy boots. I guess I will have to find some roll of brown paper from somewhere and tape it to the floor. Etola in Tapiola should be the place to go and get stuff like that.

Received an Email from Riina today saying I worry too much.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Where's my stuff

Still no word from the removals company in the UK. will our stuff arrive at the weekend. I have not a clue. The company do not reply to my emails ans I can't get through by phone. Bad vibes on this one.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Give me a break

At the weekend Maija sliped and fell down the stairs at a seminar. She broke her wrist and now she will need to go for an operation. Here are some photos of her getting patched up at Marian hospital we are staying at Terhi's mothers place at the moment and have not been able to get out to the flat in Espoonlahti. We have not heard again from the removals company in the UK so we are still not sure when the delivery of our furniture will take place.

I have to dress and undress Maija. Take off her undergarments and put on her nightdress. Help her to shower, wash her hair, squirt toothpaste on her toothbrush etc. Her wrist was shattered in a few places and the operation is needed to pin her bones together again. At the moment her fingers have swollen up to be twice as fat as her normal fingers. It looks nasty, though she herself seems to be coping well. Today I asked if NMKY had insurance to cover the hospitalisation and the fact that she will not be able to do anything for a couple of months. I don't suppose they have.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Hot Shit

Porcelain from the Ukraine, has a wonderful ring to it, don't you think. So I decided to find out more about Korosten the place where it is made. Here is one small snippet I found from the web.

At the finish of XX century this idyll was troubled. Because of its proximity to the Chernobyl the city is contaminated with radiation after the nuclear disaster occurred April 26th 1986. Korosten is qualified as a “zone of voluntary evacuation”. Besides, the economy of the city was affected by the crisis after the disintegration of the USSR. The habitants are very preoccupied for their health and future of their children. Many of them have to abandoned this marvelous land.

So I wonder what would happen if you passed a geiger counter over the plates that we have bought. Safe as milk no doubt.

Becoming a recognised person

Needed to make a new electricity agreement, and I contacted Espoon Sähkö to open an account on the 9th. The governing body of the house also wants proof that we have paid tax on the Flat so I will have to print out something from my bank statement and hope that that satisfies them. Maija has a whole list of things to do and people to contact before we can move into the house.

You are supposed to be able to inform people about address changes over the internet at Maistraatti or Väestörekisterikeskuksen but it looked too complicated so I justed phone up 0203 456 456 and notified them of the change of address there.

Yesterday I got my residents permit from the police station. It is a small card about the size of a credit card and on the back of it it says I am an Employed Person. It is valid until 21.01.2009

It looks like the Finnish goverment is very keen on knowing where you are living and wheather you are employed or not. Nobody gave a damn in England, or perhaps it was all done in secret.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

The taxman cometh

Looked at the bank statement today and saw that we had paid 1056€ twice to the taxman. I suppose they split it between Maija and myself. Then there was 157€ paid to the sellers of the house since they had already paid one months rent in advance, and since they are moving out on the 9th they were looking for a refund.

We will move out of Lautasarri this coming Friday and go and stay with Terhi's parents over the weekend, then we move into an EMPTY FLAT and it will be another 2 weeks approx until our stuff arrives from the UK.

Maija has found a shop in Lautasarri that sells Russian stuff. She bought some strawberry cups for Hilja's graduation present, and now she has bought a 36 piece dinner service for us... white with gold trim around the edges. I asked if it was dishwasher proof. She said no. She will wash them by hand.

Porcelain from the Ukraine, whatever next.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Tossed out in the storm

Car was snowed in this morning. Almost impossible to drive in these conditions. Came into work to collect my camera and happened to read my email. The delivery company in England say they can not deliver until the 20th or the 21st. So that will mean sleeping on the floor if our stuff does not arrive, since we have given up our rented flat in Lautasarri.

Things can only get better.