Monday, November 30, 2015

Children and the Santa

Yesterday I went to a party arranged by a Finnish organisation. It was mostly for children but others can come too. We always have rice porridge there, the first time for me this year. We always eat it with sugar and cinnamon. The Norwegians also add butter but my family, Finnish-Australian, has always used a little milk. They did not have milk, but I went for seconds.

Later we had coffee with several kinds of cake style goodies, one of them a Finnish "Christmas tart", it is usually made of puff pastry with plum jam and shaped in the form of a star or a pinwheel and they are very good.  Finns are always looking forward to them before Christmas. I had four cakes one of them the tart. I was saving it to last and noticed then that I was so full that it would be better to wait a bit. After a while it tasted fine. 

When we were leaving, a friend encouraged me to have one more. In the buss home I noticed that I had heartburn but I had left my Rennies (for heartburn) at home. I had to use two buses, taking at least three quarters of an hour. I tried burbing, but no go. Those were some most uncomfortable three quarters, it even made me so exhausted that I had to go to bed at once.

For the next party: be careful!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris attacks

I had just been in the concert hall in Oslo for wonderful Sibelius concert and after that spent a couple of hours with friends eating and talking, not knowing that  horrible events were  taken place in Paris, events that the president of France called "an unprecedented attack". One of these was in a concert venue, where most of the people were killed or injured. There the gunmen kept shooting for at least 15 minutes, reloading and shooting. The number of dead is now 128. There are some 200 injured, 80 of them seriously. The police claim that all the terrorists are killed, by the police (only one, at first they said three) or by their own hand.
The borders are closed, no-one can get into France or out of it.

The world is in sympathy, as you can see also from Twitter. The world was on the side of Norway, too, when we were struck by terror, 77 were dead then, but the deed was done by one of our own who could be apprehended and tried. This is much worse, for the extent and the number of killed.

But this is so unbelievable, that there are people who can plan such things and stand there and keep shooting. What was the main purpose, to spread fear? One shooter had implied France's involvement with Syria as one or the reasons. That is nothing ordinary citizens can do anything about. Most of target areas were frequented by young people, on the football stadium there were even young children. There must have been people from several countries, how would they know whether there might be Muslims there too?

It is reported that there were some Swedes among the dead, no Finns or Norwegians.
Like with the Twin towers incident, you see things happening, which one can hardly comprehend.

Later in the afternoon: A French senator says there are 300 injured.

Friday, November 13, 2015


This year has been the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius. There have been exhibitions, concerts and other festivities. Our Finnish church choir arranged a concert in the spring with the choir singing some compositions  of Sibelius and other Finnish songs, a pianist  playing some of his piano pieces and a soprano singing some songs of his. The Town Hall in Helsinki had an extensive exhibition of photos and videos in addition to textual information about him.

This week there is a mini-festival, on Thursday and on Friday there's a concert each day with a different program. In the aula of the concert hall there is also an exhibition of Sibelius's life and work,  photos and text in Norwegian and English, arranged by the Lahti Symphony Orchestra.

The conductor is Jukka-Pekka Saraste, former conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic, now of the WDR Symphony Orchestra,  Cologne. Yesterday was concert number 1, main features the 7th symphony and the violin concerto played by Jennifer Pike. The auditorium was almost full.

The soloist had a beautiful, metal coloured gown. She was very good, getting a standing ovation from the audience, with three calls. Unfortunately I had a seat on the right side and with problems of hearing with my left ear, did not hear very well the ending where the orchestra is playing strongly with the soloist. There are 34 recordings at least of the concerto, and though the performance was spirited and masterful, I remember listening to Norwegian Henning Kraggerud, and being more moved.

It was probably the first time I have heard Suite Nr. 1 from "the Tempest", where there was a section depicting each character, ending with the storm itself. Wow! I was hoping that there was no-one in the audience who had been close to a typhoon, as the performance would have frightened them no end. Even Vivaldi has not imitated storm like that.

Tonight I go to listen to concert nr. 2, with Karita Mattila as soloist. Last Sunday I had a sore throat and fearing getting a cold, has stayed in bed most of the days, but a cold will have its time, you can only lessen the symptoms. I only fear coughing, yesterday I had a period of an itchy throat but was able to prevent a cough.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

My explore photos up to date.

1. Untitled, 2. Sunset and blackness, 3. White stripes, 4. Holmenkollen, 5. Holmenkollen, 6. Many directions, 7. Detail, 8. Feeding the ducks, 9. Village of Pechory, near Pskov, Russia, 10. Waves Spjutsund

There was an interval of some seven years before I was again in explore. The funny thing is that the same photo was explored twice on consecutive days as I made some corrections to it and re-uploaded it. Those dates happen to fall on two different years, 2007 and 2008!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pertti Koivula ~ Kylmä Rakkaus

I like this composition a lot. Somehow the music fits the words very well. The lyric talks about cold love and mentions that it is like winter and ice, and this coldness is felt in the music.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


"From the Middle East, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, hundreds of thousands of people spontaneously leave their home areas with any risk forcing the run in Europe. Experience of countries which constitute the main target in the ongoing exodus proves a disturbing reality. The assimilation policy adopted after the war meant a collapse evident. Inability but deliberately refusing to align with European standards of coexistence of newcomers is a challenge to which European countries have not yet found a solution.
Lately, on the background of rapid growth of the influx of immigrants and in the interest of keeping at least relative stability, Western policy on emigration receives coordinates. The solution, at least for the moment is giving up termenulde ASSIMILATION by replacing it with a new one yet fully incomprehensible: multiculturalism. According to this principle, under the umbrella of Europe there in terms of social and religious place for all: Europeans, Arabs, Africans, Muslims, Christians, atheists, ie a kind of "Babylon" social, cultural, religious, linguistic and economic .
Considering the fact that the final destination of the great migration phenomenon is just beginning, but it is primarily Germany and France and England, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called a special committee to analyze the phenomenon of migration.
Presenting the report to the German Bundestag stunned the entire European community: by the end of this year (2015) between 800,000 and 1 million immigrants are expected to lay only in Germany. The report is more alarming projections coming years. Psychosis of huge masses of people mostly from sub-Saharan African countries Muslim and Arab but to emigrate and settle permanently in Europe then catch unimaginable dimensions. It seems to be a phenomenon in development and will be conducted over a period of several years.
In the face of this phenomenon of migration is just beginning, reality demonstrates unequivocally: European countries were taken by surprise. Some measures and statements by governments of the European Union confirms that. On August 20, 2015 according to Radio DW, Macedonia was forced to institute a state of emergency throughout the territory, with the ability to use firearms in order to keep population."

Of course this is getting even worse as countries like Finland have no recourse to have very large numbers of people settling in,  especially of vastly different cultures, there's often very little sympathy or pity to be found in what people write in newspaper comments for example. The most common attitude is: we already have so many poor people of our own that they would have to be taken care first. So everything would stop there as that's utopia.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It only happened once?

Crown Princess

Couple of years ago I started taking photos of cruise ships. First in berths next to the Akershus Castle, then at the end of Tjuvholmen when the ships were leaving. The photo on top has been taken there.

Then I found that a place called Huk in Bygdøy has a high rock, though not as high as when one is standing on the Akerhus Castle grounds. So I can take a different kind of photos there.

In the harbour I could sometimes get a video of a ship leaving and using her horn. I have a collection of those. One cannot usually hear those in Huk. One day, though, a ship was leaving the harbour a bit later, so she met one of the incoming Danish ferries,  not far from Huk. I heard one using her horn and quickly changed the setting of my camera to video. She used the horn three times for a greeting, got an answer of two horns and even answered that. I was so happy! But then I realized that I must have thought I had not got the video going and pressed the camera a second time, which of course turned it off!

I don't think this is likely to happen another time. I bit later two ships met but not close enough for that to happen.

I have not yet tried to take a photo of a ship leaving from the castle, that would be something new.

Emerald Princess

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Travel in Oslo

One can find interesting efforts on YouTube. A woman seems to make travel videos on different cities, I just happened on one when looking for videos on Oslo. The commentary is in English but I do not know her origin, as her English is not easy to understand and the sentences are halting and have mistakes. Someone asks whether she is from Madagascar and she just answers: Nope.

I wonder if they have a similar camera as mine, as it does not seem to have zoom, either.

The video starts by explaining what it is about, the problem is that she is in the camera and they shot her face so close that it is too much "in your face", which is uncomfortable.

They show lots of the centre of the city, but stay very long on the square enclosed by the National Theatre and the National Metro station. She calls the area for 'park', though there is no grass and hardly any trees visible. I wondered why they could not spend more time in the real beautiful Oslo parks. Later we see nice scenes from the central fountains.

They go into the Egon restaurant but stay too much in the close-up mode.

One sees good scenes from the central street, Karl Johans Gate, but she pronounces the name as if it was English. 'Gate' means 'street' in English, not 'gate'.

They call themselves 'JiVie Channel' which sounds very official. They have even an official Facebook page.

There is a good section showing the palace guards and their movements. Also they show Aker Brygge close to 9 o'clock at night, which tells people in more southern countries about the light nights of summer.

A company called Expoza Travel has an older travel video on Oslo, very professional, though containing a few mistakes, with a flowing commentary. It has only some 550 views compared to 25 thousand of the JiVie one, though it has been longer on YouTube. I wonder why?

Well, I have a funny video of a kitten chasing his daddy's tail, which  is not popular, either.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Late swim

In 2013 I heard Arkadij Volodos play the Brahms Piano Concert nr . 2 with the Oslo Philharmonic. He certainly is one of the leading pianists of this decade. After the third call he sat down again and played something quite opposite to the fairly boisterous concerto. Was it Bach or Handel, I'm not sure, gentle, fairly slow, but his pianissimos are magical.
We also heard the 5th symphony by Sibelius, my favourite. The director was Jukka-Pekka Saraste. I love the ending by cords. It also has the famous 'swan theme'. You can find the 5th on YouTube by many conductors. I loved the interpretation of Bernstein, partly perhaps as it is a DVD, not CD, so you can see him. Especially the end, where he,  after thanking the orchestra with his hands held palm to palm, folds them in front of his face, seemingly overwhelmed. the camera moving quickly away.

There are some fine remarks on the performance:

"Surely every performance of any work has its merits unless played utterly contradictory to a composer's wishes. This is Bernstein's performance and who has the audacity to argue with him? Sibelius is not here to defend his work and who is entitled to say that he would NOT have approved of Bernstein's
, Karajan's or anyone else's interpretation? Great orchestra and fantastic sound. Thanks."

"Thank you for posting this. It makes me homesick for Finland- and I'm not even from there!!"

"Epic piece...played it in San Vito Lanciano (Italy) 1989 with german conductor and the Orchestra Interazionale...last movement especially really emotional. Best interpretation I have ever heard! Bravo!"

After this some criticism:
"Leonard Bernstein was a true genius one of the greatest musicians, composers and conductors EVER so stop picking nits ! He COMMANDS this orchestra as if he's playing each instrument personally ! I once felt sick when I heard a 'Classic FM' DJ called Henry Kelly refer to him as 'Lenny' as if he were a personal friend and worthy of anything more than doing up his shoelaces !"

"Surely every performance of any work has its merits unless played utterly contradictory to a composer's wishes. This is Bernstein's performance and who has the audacity to argue with him? Sibelius is not here to defend his work and who is entitled to say that he would NOT have approved of Bernstein's, Karajan's or anyone else's interpretation?
Great orchestra and fantastic sound. Thanks."

"Of all the versions of Sibelius' 5th, I must say this is the most perfect.  Which is a lofty thing to I heard this very performance on SiriusXM and had to hold back my blubbering tears as I sat in my car during lunch."

"When Raymond Leppard was music director of the Indianapolis Symphony...he had a weekly program on our NPR station. Called this 'the most perfect symphony'. It is. Yet, the 2nd symphony is still my favorite."

He was answered by: "The face of Bernstein following the end of the Fifth and the end of the Second says it all. I think Bernstein would agree with you"

These probably followed Bernstein's interpretation of the 2nd.:

"Two geniuses made this symphony breathtaking, it leaves me in tears of thanking God' grace on this rainy day in northern California."

"Pinch yourself if you don't feel moved by the closing 15 minutes.  Have to be dead."

"I played it with the Longwood Symphony. It was hard not to weep during the string unisons.
My brother in Seattle heard this done by their Symphonic Orchestra and turned me onto it...can't help but be pulled into the emotion and, fun, fun."

"Thanks for this!  I love watching Bernstein conduct, & he's especially wonderful here.  Those last few seconds totally melted my heart."

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Countries I have visited

Make yours @
Make yours @

Four of these I've lived in, not counting England, where I just lived for two months.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Problems, problems, help!

Monster plant

(The photo has nothing to do with the subject, Some kind of aloe grew on our lawn, reaching high, my husband had to steady it with rope. In the end we had to cut it down, it had hundreds of babes which started to grow, took ages to pick them up.)

This is Flickr nowadays. Extractions from the Help Forum:

"Uploading is messed up again. Only tried to upload 2 photos, both timed out. Location Norway.

Click on a picture and it comes up momentarily - then a black screen. This is not a lot of fun. I also agree about very long upload times. It takes longer than when I was using a dial up connection.

I have honestly never used a site that has this many issues. It's not the least bit surprising anymore when something goes wrong. I mean, something goes wrong literally every few days.
I've pretty much given up all hope that Flickr will ever be usable for any sustained period of time.

Same from Belgium when viewing (or scrolling) a picture. Upload was OK.

I have a weird problem... The images flash up quickly and then disappear (the page renders completely black and nothing is visible). this is after I have click on a picture on the main feed of other peoples pictures...

I have the same problem here in Alabama/USA- the page loads, you can see the photo for a moment, and then the whole page just goes black. I have cleared the cach, dumped all .tmp files, looked for unwanted extensions in Chrome- none there, rebooted and run two different malware programs which report all clean. Intermittently, too, I get the Bad Panda page. Mostly just the page that loads then goes black. "

It is just terrible. I read all these problems and maybe I shouldn't. My Flickr behaves quite well, and if something does not work, I usually clear my cache and it works again. What can it be! I get frustrated for the others. People saying they will leave. Things not working for weeks! Even a Norwegian complaining.

The staff has not said much, maybe they have not a clue. Is there something wrong with people's computers, routers, broadband or what?
When are things going to be fixed, people ask. How does the staff know what to fix, if their equipment for ex,  works ok?

Certainly things happen even to me but then it is usually something they know how to fix.

Just now Magic View would not come, clicking for a photo gave me Bad Panda. I cleared the cache and things worked again!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Follow, follow!


Khun P  kevin.sezar   Keraban Aga  Kenneth Houseal  keith midson keith_fannon kegronamy keffermark_mendoza k wandering

It is possible on Flickr to "follow" people whose photos you like, usually you click on the "follow" button on the person's photostream
and they get a message: "So and so is following you!
If you don't know So and so, So and so is probably a fan of your photostream or wants a bookmark so they can find you again. There is no obligation for you to reciprocate, unless you want to."

They used to be called "contacts", which many still think is a better term, some tend to feel follow has overtones of being stalked.
People used to have under 500 contacts. Last year for several reasons it became easier to add lists of people as contacts. The limit of their number used to be 3 000, some time ago Flickr raised the number to 100 000! That is mostly because some people started following even that many people. It seems that some even delete those contacts so thy can then add new people.  I still get these messages and they are usually from people who follow at least 30 000 people. Some people block them, I just do not reciprocate. I do not know my reasons, maybe I'm jealous of them as they usually have huge numbers of views and faves :-) That is supposed to be a joke.

At the top is a section of somebody's list of people they follow, as you can see they are all people starting with the letter k. So I just wonder if they have even seen any of the people's photos as they have just copied the list from somewhere.

The idea was to see and enjoy the photos you like, how is that possible if you follow 100 000 people, it would be impossible time-wise even to see one photo of each!

I have lately added very few followers as they all follow 30 000 to 80 000 at least! It just makes me wonder, if I followed 100 000, would I also get huge numbers of views? I only follow 322 people. That's not easy either.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Are we just lucky? I woke up today in Helsinki hearing loud thunder, but I guess I was tired as I seemed to have fallen asleep again quickly.
When I got up and looked at the news, I found out that Friday was supposed a very thundery day, somewhere else it had rained so the streets were awash. But what I heard was the front passing Helsinki. There was also hail, so big that it broke peonies in a garden in Heikinlaakso.

It,s about half past 1 and the sun is shining, but maybe I'll take the umbrella!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Poor Flickr!

The "Five elements" building , Statoil, Fornebu
Statoil building, Fornebu, Oslo

Flickr just rolled out most of the extensive changes it has been preparing for months.
Some are happy about them but of course there are huge numbers of people who dislike them. Except that the word is too mild for most of them to use, it is usually: "I hate it!""Remove it immediately!" "Go back to the old one." I understand that people have different opinions and tastes but do some really expect that after so much work ( and I really think most new things are good) Flickr would just abandon all because some of probably 8 million members demand it. Immediately!?

One new thing is the Camera Roll. I think it should have some other name as it has already been the name of an extension in iPhone, I think.

The Camera Roll can only be seen by the owner of the account, You need not use it if you  'hate' it. One problem is that it has been put in 'You', a  drop-down menu. I usually hover over it and just click on whatever I want, but some have to click on it and then they get the Roll, which is in the first position. The  first used to be  photostream, which most people want.

The Camera Roll has all your photos as thumbnails, in the order they were taken. That way it is easy to delete duplicates, which you easily get if you have many photos.

Here are some dissatisfied customers, The first one had not noticed that he should himself have disabled it in the beginning. It is a bulk upload that many people had asked for, but it uploads everything on your phone. He can control it with no problems.

"I discovered that Flickr was automatically uploading photos from my iPhone to the Flickr Camera Roll. I have disabled uploading to Flickr on my iPhone and deleted the photos that were uploaded yesterday (most of them were duplicates of photos that i'd already posted to Flickr and put in Albums).
I use my Flilckr page to show photographs that I want to show, not as a dumping ground or backup for every photo that I take"

The next one has a way with words, though there's some  tautology.

"Perhaps you should check if anyone wanted this rubbish im looking for somewhere else I can put my photos Flickr is total rubbish" 

I'm happy someone is thankful.

"I like the new Flickr! It was amazing that I found today my photos also in views (collections) of e.g. buildings, flowers, weddings, winter, frost, sceneries, trees and birds. I also know that you are working hard there to meet all the needs every critic is giving you. Well, that´s good since people think differently. 
Keep going! 

This was the worst story I saw, just shows you must know what you are doing and be careful.

Camera Roll confused me and I ended up deleting most of my photos. Dunno what to do. I'm thinking of quitting altogether. I thought this was something my phone autouploaded through the Flickr app.(Please disable this!!! It's like stealing people's phone photos. This is horribly invasive and disappointing. Reminds me of Facebook privacy stuff in the past which hurt their reputation.) I never saw it before so I thought it would be safe to delete it. Boy was I wrong! Deleted all my photos. No thanks for the freakin layout change. I'm so pissed off right now.
 Who made these stupid freaking decisions??? And like most websites, this should have been a tester not a forced roll out. Did I not see the option to not go beta? I am kicking myself and crying in pain for doing so.

That was really bad and I feel for him. But of course it had been tested, but just in a smaller group.



"2 million homosexuals flooded the streets and performed a mock crucifixion of Jesus. A transgender actress played the part of dressing up like Jesus, being whipped until she bled, and then being crucified. - See more at:"


I wrote this in the 

  • It does not make me angry, but very sad. I cannot find an article that would tell me what was her reason to do this, why is it called “mock”. How could anyone mock what Christ has done! He died for all of us! Jesus is not the same as Christians. No-where in the Bible does Jesus say anything about gays, the only thing he mentions there is about marriage and divorce.
    People usually felt love and respect for Jesus, does this mean something else? I wont mind if you mock Christians, but why insult Jesus, if that was the idea? At least there seems to have been other people who insulted Him with their behavior.
    There are some Christian communities where they have enactment of the crucifixion but it is done to honour Jesus.

I have had and have gay friends that I respect and like, so I will wait for the Lord to tell me the reason they exist, but I only know that God has also created them, so I will not hate my friends.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


A couple of surfers

Photo  taken in Bondi  in 2007 when I had an even weaker camera, could not take any kind of photo from  a distance.

This is test as I read on Flickr that the HTML does not work on the compose page. If it does, I will continue.

Another,as I love Bondi. I visited it several times when I stayed in Sydney in 2007 It was May, so it was getting close to winter and there were few people, except a bit more in the weekend. All the time there were surfers in the water, I even saw a group of people with a teacher.
One day in the city I saw two girls wearing  a sloppy  joe,, with the text: Bondi Rescue, of course I had to buy it when I found it.

The Norwegian TV has a documentary  series on Bondi, of course I try to watch it every day.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Video a point of contention on Flickr any more?

I looked for groups opposing the introduction of video to Flickr in 2008. I only found two. One hardly had any  discussion. The two last photos on the other one had been sent to Flickr in April 2008. Opposition seems to have crumbled during the time that has passed or is not so important any more.
In one discussion somebody had written that they hated YouTube. It certainly has a lot of hateful stuff, but it a great source of music, especially classical, I've found so many things to enjoy there.

This interpretation of Cohen's Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley is one of the most beautiful ones I know. The fact that it is not a religious song in spite of the word does not matter. Christians can still enjoy the wonderful melody and be uplifted by their faith by listening to the word.
Somebody wrote:"This can be a lovely song but this dude sounds hollow and has no range. Which actually might be good because his lifeless shit doesn't need to range anywhere." I do not understand him: 'hollow'?

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Taking photos

 "Never forget that all the great photographs in history were made with more primitive camera equipment than you currently own." ~Brooks Jensen

From Kaisaniemi gardens

This is true of course, but it does not work like that. The demands nowadays are different. You look back at those great photos and admire them, the photographers did wonderful things with the equipment they had, they took them at a place that is famous for some reason or other, like the gold digging areas  in Canada, they are historic photos. 

Nowadays you have equipment that gets you close to any subject, catches a bird in flight, you can photograph the eye of an insect or snowflakes. A good camera takes extremely sharp photos. I came to a photographer on Flickr who had taken photos of the end of a glacier. To me they looked great, but a commentator complained they were not sharp enough!

I cannot afford a systems camera. I have a couple of small point and shoot cameras that really take scarp photos only outside in good light conditions, I have trouble taking close-ups or macros, sometimes it works, other times  it doesn't. 
No-one now accepts a photo as great if it is badly focussed or not sharp (unless intentional). 

Whatever reason, I have not been successful on Flickr, I have only a few photos with views 4000 to 6000 or over. There is a new trend at the moment of getting thousands, even over 140 000  contacts, nowadays called followers. In that case, 
if those contacts click on their photo or even see it, they get thousands of views.

I certainly will not try to do that  :-))

Kaisaniemi gardens

Saturday, January 03, 2015

This is what it looked like on the 27th of  December 2014. There was still snow on new year's eve but by late  night it seemed  very wet and the snow was melting. I was not going anywhere to watch fireworks . Closer to the midnight when I wanted to take photos, fog was really thick, you could just see the closest trees.  I could hear fireworks, but they only showed as flashes of light in the fog, you could not see any individual fireworks. About 10 past 12 when no-one fired them any more, the fog started clearing but then it was too late, I wondered what it would have been like in Helsinki, I think they had no fog.

On the photo you can see some of the crowd last new year. When all that mass starts to press on you...

37 people were trampled to death in Shanghai at new year.  Somebody slipped at stairs with lots of people, there was a panic and so it happened. 47 were injured, 13 dangerously.

Tight crowds can become dangerous. One year ago I was in Helsinki where New Year is celebrated in a square in front of the cathedral. Because of the warm weather  the place was packed and when the ceremony was over, people turned to go to see more fireworks. Even on the edge of the square where I was, there were many rows of people in front of me. They could not go fast and the pressure from the rear, where most of them were was very strong. I felt that if someone happened to fall, it could have been dangerous and shouted to people to stop pushing.