Thursday, 25 June 2015

Olavinlinna trailers

Here's another thing that has nothing to do with the usual themes of this blog (I have promised to digress, so... ;)). It's just something I wanted to share.
Last autumn, we (my family and I) were lucky enough to participate in the making of a short film that is part of a new exhibition at the Olavinlinna Castle. It was an amazing experience (the film is silent, so we're not going to offen- erm, dazzle you with our acting skills), and here's a small glimpse of the result. Two short trailers - to see the film itself, you'll need to visit the castle.
In the first one, our whole family appears (around 30 seconds into the trailer).

In the second one, you can spot my DH (at around 12 seconds) striding down the hallway.

Here's a look at the scene in the first video:

As you can see, we got to wear period clothing, specifically 17th Century (ooh, those gowns! I've mentioned my fascination with such things before), sit in a make-up artist's chair and wear wigs and/or hair extensions. The tower chamber where the scene was shot was icy cold, but we barely noticed; it was so interesting to see how a scene was constructed, how the film crew worked and in general everything involved in such an endeavour. Now, of course, it's great to see how it all turned out.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Sacred pages, or, Reading Quirks, Part 7

I came across this on For Reading Addicts' FB page and it immediately resonated with me.

Yes, the same goes for reading books in general; who'd want to be disturbed? Unfortunately, that does tend to happen, and unless you learn not to go berserk every time someone interrupts your reading, I predict you won't be able to read very much. Or at least you might want to choose the time and place for that activity very carefully. ;)

However, the final pages of a book (usually more than three though!) are a different matter. Something about them just requires concentration and your full attention. It's not just that it's where things come to a conclusion (for most books; at least on some level) and, if it's been a good book, you're desperate to find out what happens. You don't want to miss a thing. But it may also be that, with the sense that this is the end, you don't want that end to come upon you abruptly. You want to linger in that world a little longer; maybe you're saying your good-byes to the characters (even if you don't think about it that way). It's a farewell and you don't want to rush it. And, after, you may be blown away by what just happened and/or feeling a little melancholy. Or utterly heart-broken or overjoyed or... whatever it is, you need some time to process.

I'm calling this another reading quirk, but I'm clearly not alone with this one. I'm lucky in that my DH shares the sentiment. Thus, as it can be impossible for a parent to find that peace and quiet to finish a book, we have an unspoken agreement. When the kid comes and wants to play, if one of us is about to finish a book any minute, we look at the other imploringly and say, “I've only five/ten pages left!” And the other immediately understands, whisks the kid away and puts her up to something (relatively) quiet.

Finishing a book is an emotional experience. It's important to be able to enjoy/suffer it in peace.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Review: Lindt Excellence Strawberry Intense

Ever since I tasted Lindt's Strawberry Intense, the white chocolate version, I've wanted to sample their other Strawberry Intense product, this one a dark chocolate. And as it happened, I received some as Mother's Day gift!

The wrapping is the white and gold package typical of this particular brand (like in Coconut Intense), with a picture of chocolate and strawberry. The chocolate squares are fairly thin but rather large, which, of course, is a good thing.

When I opened the wrapping, the scent of strawberry wafted into my nose. It is quite intense... and very, very inviting!

The chocolate has the cocoa content of 47 %, so not the darkest of dark chocolates. It is intense enough, however – anything stronger and it might overpower the strawberry, and then the whole thing would be rather pointless, wouldn't it? The strawberry comes as bits of dried strawberries scattered in the chocolate. There is a generous amount of them, they're not at all dry but soft and chewy and taste wonderful! Being tart and lively, they provide a lovely contrast to the rich darkness of the chocolate. It is neither bitter nor too sweet – and, well, the combination of chocolate and strawberry is rather sensual, isn't it?

If I had to choose between this one and the white chocolate version, I'd choose this. That is probably explained by the fact that I generally prefer dark and milk chocolates for white chocolate. However, it also seemed to me as if the strawberry flavour had been more intense in this one. I don't know if that is possible... Still, I found this both refreshing and a bit luxurious at the same time.

Sunday, 7 June 2015


A little while ago, I listed my favourite flowers. Among them were forget-me-nots and lily of the valley. And today I have a lovely bouquet of both adorning the kitchen table, thanks to my daughter! (Click -> bigger pic.)

This is just something I saw on the way to the hospital... even though stupid health issues keep bothering you, don't forget to stop and admire the flowers! :)

(And I don't know what G+ did to my photos or why, but I thought they looked nice so I wanted to share them. And that is the only reason for this whole post.)

Monday, 1 June 2015

But I have nothing to read! Or, Reading Quirks, Part 6

All right, I'll admit: having nothing to read is not one of the problems I have to deal with. I always have something: books waiting for their turn on the bookshelves or in my Kindle, books I've hoarded from the library (I get a little crazy every time I see all those books I can read for free!), and of course there's always the option of rereading old favourites. My problem tends to be the good old “so many books, too little time” (but, as far as problems go, that's one of the most pleasant ones).

Still, there's always that moment when you finish a book and wonder, what next? Where do I go from here?

I'm afraid this won't be one of those How to posts, because I don't have a foolproof method for solving this “problem”. I don't really have a method. My approach, as in so many other situations, is: go with your feelings.

I look at my options and choose whichever book/story/genre I happen to be in the mood for. No listing pros and cons, no scientific methods, no logic, no reason. It's entirely instinctive. The weird thing – a bit of a reading quirk, one might say – is that I often choose something very different from what I just finished: different genres, different authors, and never (well, almost never) two books in a series one after the other. Unless, of course, I feel like breaking that pattern.

Yes, there are exceptions. If I have brought home that bagful of books from the library, I try to read them first because they have to be returned eventually. If I'm going on a holiday, it might be a good idea to choose an ebook because a Kindle is easier to carry than a heavy hardback.

How do you decide what to read next? Do you read your books in the order you purchased them? Have you ever tried those “What should I read next” quizzes and did they work for you?