Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Charles (Carlo) Bassi, Finnish architect though Italian in spirit

Aske herrgård i september 2011

Charles (Carlo) Bassi is your aunt's aunt's husband's grandfather. (Geni Family Tree)

I found that I am related through marriage to a famous architect who mainly seems to be a designer of churches, at least 12 of them. They were all Finnish style cruciform churches. But he has also designed the main building of the Fiskars iron works (11816-1818), the main building of Åbo Akademi, especially the aula and the first hotel/restaurant  (Seurahuone) in Finland. Nowadays it is the City Hall of Turku.. Architect Frans A. Sjöström made  changes  to it in 1883-1885. The original style was neoclassical but the present style is of neorenessaince.
This  portrait medallion of Bassi was modelled by Thorvaldsen  in 1797 .

There's a photo of Aske manor, it is nowadays a conference centre with a restaurant. Beautiful Italian sty le. It is in Håtuna parishUpplands-Bro commune , province of Stockholm.

He was born in Torino, Piemonte, Italia on October 12 1772 and died in Turku, Finland on January 11, 1849, at the age of 67.

His sister was Giovanna Bassi (1762 - 1834), ballet dancer. She was the star of the Royal Ballet in Stockholm and was considered the most important ballet dancer in Sweden in the Gustavian period.

Monday, July 25, 2016

What one woman can do

I wanted to copy this in the blog, it is not written by me but I found it so heartening.

"Theresa Kachindamoto, the senior chief in the Dedza District of Central Malawi, wields power over close to 900,000 people… and she’s not afraid to use her authority to help the women and girls in her district. In the past three years, she has annulled more than 850 child marriages, sent hundreds of young women back to school to continue their education, and made strides to abolish cleansing rituals that require girls as young as seven to go to sexual initiation camps. With more than half of Malawi’s girls married before the age of 18, according to a 2012 United Nations survey — and a consistently low ranking on the human development index, Kachindamoto’s no-nonsense attitude and effective measures have made her a vital ally in the fight for women’s and children’s rights
Theresa Kachindamoto, the senior chief in the Dedza District of Central Malawi, wields power over close to 900,000 people… and she’s not afraid to use her authority to help the women and girls in her district. In the past three years, she has annulled more than 850 child marriages, sent hundreds of young women back to school to continue their education, and made strides to abolish cleansing rituals that require girls as young as seven to go to sexual initiation camps. With more than half of Malawi’s girls married before the age of 18, according to a 2012 United Nations survey — and a consistently low ranking on the human development index, Kachindamoto’s no-nonsense attitude and effective measures have made her a vital ally in the fight for women’s and children’s rights.
Kachindamoto, who was born in Dedza District, had been working as a secretary for twenty-seven years in another district when she was called to come home and serve as a chief. Upon her return, she was dismayed at the sight of 12 year-old girls with babies and young husbands and quickly began to take action. Last year, Malawi raised the legal age to marry to 18, yet parental consent continues to serve as a loophole to allow younger girls to marry. Kachindamoto ordered 50 of her sub-chiefs to sign an agreement ending child marriage in Dedza District. When a few male chiefs continued to approve the marriages, Kachindamoto suspended them until they annulled the unions. In addition to annulling the marriages (330 in June of 2015 alone!), this fierce chief sent the children back to school, often paying their school fees with her own money. She has also asked parliament to raise the minimum age of marriage again to 21.
In an area where girls are often married early to ease a family’s financial burden and where one in five girls in Malawi are victims of sexual abuse, Kachindamoto is also taking a stand against the cleansing camps where girls are routinely sent before marriage. The sexual initiation rites that take place there are extremely disturbing, particularly in a country where one in ten people has HIV. Kachindamoto is threatening to dismiss any chiefs that continue to allow these controversial practices. Kachindamoto has faced plenty of opposition to her efforts from parents and community members, even receiving death threats, yet she remains determined to continue changing minds and laws for the benefits of Malawi’s females and their futures. In Kachindamoto’s own words, “If they are educated, they can be and have anything they want.”

Friday, July 22, 2016

Five years after terror


 Now it is 5 years since the first terror action on Norwegian soil and it was not committed by a Muslim or a foreigner but one of their own, a Norwegian man, who hated it that Norway accepted refugees and other immigrants. But he did not attack immigrants,  he blew up a government building and attacked a youth conference of the labour movement. He wanted to destroy possible future politicians who he thought would also let immigrants into the country. He killed almost 80 on the island. He had wanted to kill all 600, but it was too much even for him.

He used a gun and though he considered suicide when caught, he decided against it as he could further inform people of his  extreme right-wing ideas during  his court case.

Other countries admired Norwegians for their reaction. Oslo and other population centres arranged marches with torches to the honour of the victims. That proved impossible  in Oslo. The streets were so full of people  that fire could not be used. We called it a rose march because everyone held  roses instead. When I arrived to the city, all roses had been bought so I bought some cloth roses.
The march centered in front of the City Hall where  Prime Minister Stoltenberg,   Crown Prince Haakon and others spoke. People held up  roses, there were other flowers, I could even see sunflowers.  People were asked to lift  roses aloft to make like a rose garden.  Afterwards people lifted them up when they wanted to applaud.
The day people took Norway back 2

200 000 had gathered round the Town Hall, at the Town Hall  Square, spilling  on to Aker Brygge, the side streets, even  the Akershus Fortress, filling all available space.  At one stage people spontaneously started singing the National Anthem of Norway, "Ja, vi elsker dette landet." There was another song, "Til ungdommen" (To our youth), the singer was Herborg Kråkevik, this was very popular.
The day people took Norway back

"We will respond with more openness, more democracy and more humanity, "said Prime Minister Stoltenberg. "If one man can show so much hatred, imagine how much love we all can show together," said a Labor  girl who was interviewed by CNN. Prince Haakon talked about "filling the streets with love."
It was also called "The day that people took  Norway back."

After the meeting was over, people were told to decorate the city with the roses. They put them on statues, fences, fountain rims, flower pots, steps of the Town Hall, walls, on the square in front of the University on Karl Johan... I walked around for two, three days to photograph them.

Crown Princess Mette Maarit (she had also lost a relative) with relatives of the killed and other people started putting roses in front of the Cathedral, people followed. People stayed here long into the night, looking at the flowers and the candles. The Cathedral was open so people went in to put candles in the sanctuary  (chancel), there was a continuous queue. I went the again after midnight, people were still coming. It got very hot with all the burning candles.

A  sea of candles
Earlier there were books you could sign in the University Aula.

Later there was a memorial service in the Cathedral. Through TV people throughout the world could see  King Harald and Queen Sonja weep.

Knut Olav Amas, of The New Yorker, wrote : "Have the political élites and the people ever reacted in such a manner to a terror attack anywhere before? I think the absence of fear and vengeance in Norway today makes it possible to strike a new balance between freedom and security without, I hope, creating new enemies or new conflicts. Of course, it is easier to react in this way when the terrorist is already behind bars, and seems to have operated on his own, than when terror attacks are carried through by a global organization and the mass murderers are still at large."

From 3. August to September 2011 Oslo Commune collected 15 tons of flowers and 5 tons of used candles from around and in front of the church. The State Archive has preserved 4773 greetings that were left with the flowers.

The newspaper VG has interviewed some people.
"We have traveled to Oslo, Aust-Agder and Hordaland. People we met are surprisingly clear: Norway has not taken hold of the important issues by 22 July.
We have neither been a more tolerant or open society. And we have not taken issue with xenophobia.
The head of the Nobel Peace Center,  Liv Tørres survived the bomb in the government quarter .
The question many of the survivors really are concerned about is:  Can it happen again?
- The most important thing we can do is to recognize that the attack on July 22 was a political attack. And that warning signs are there for the future. Breivik reacted to multiculturalism and Islam. And there are many who share his vision. Why do we behave, as if there is only one Breivik? she asks.
It is confirmed that the network proportionality, extremism and radicalization is worse than ever.
He explains that the right extremist groups are still small, although growing. And that they lack a clear leader figure.
- It's hard to sift out those who pose a danger, from the amount of network roll spreading hate speech. Especially on social media does hate flourish.  "
There is a Norwegian net magazine, the name of which I will not write, where all the articles are about alleged atrocities done by Muslims and immigrants. That's what our world is like now

I live east of the city centre, with lots of immigrants and I feel quite safe here and happy to meet people of different cultures. In ALC we come from many lands, too.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A few days ago on Flickr Help Forum


John Frattura PRO says:
I agree. At 100% I'm not noticing what the OP mentioned. When I was on my phone, pinching and spreading, I couldn't really tell how much I was zoomed in. So if I was viewing at 300%, I didn't know.

Buddha's Ghost PRO says
     John Frattura:
."..pinching and spreading"...
Sorry, I'm dying over here. ¦^D

John Frattura PRO says:
     Buddha's Ghost:
..".pinching and spreading.".
We all have our hobbies.

Sometimes we have such fun. It is strange, but whenever I read this, "...pinching and spreading..." I burst out laughing.

Sorrow for unknown people

The photo relates to 2011 when a 26 year old mother was killed on the footpath by a driver
who fell asleep driving her car. Her baby in a stroller did not get injured. I did not know the mother
but I did cry and uttered the unanswerable question: Why?

Then there was the murder of British Labor politician Jo Cox who was stabbed and shot on the street, she was only 41. She was very much liked, I don't think I had even ever heard of her, but again
I cried seeing a photo of the sorrow of a colleague of hers. They think the killer was mentally unbalanced, but I still think you must come quite close to use a knife, you must see their eyes, your mind must be very confused or full of hate to take the life of a person you do not even know.

Often when I hear about a murder I think how could he/she think they had the right to take a life.

People often write and wonder why the death of a single person and often a well-known one, seems to cause more sadness and expressions of sorrow than the killing of a large number of people, through terror action or war or disease like Ebola. I doubt it really is so but  it is more personal when you see the face and learn to know more about them.  I believe people are equally horrified but you might even get numb, there is just too much death, almost every day nowadays.

In United States they examined for 11 days round America how many were killed in a domestic and other dispute, mostly by gun. There were over 1100 deaths. And there are people who do not want better gun control!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016


 It is easy to get to Hernesaari, one can take the bus 14 to were you can see the ships.  I was surprised to see Costa Luminosa, based on Genoa, I had taken photos of it in Oslo. It looked even bigger in Hernesaari as one could see it very close.

I could also see Emerald Princess berthed on the other side. At 12:30 one of the Tallink ships was supposed to arrive, but I still did not know that they came  straight from the south and not from close to Suomenlinna, so though I had also watched straight on, it was suddenly so  close that I just had time to take a photo. The Superstar is almost completely light green with some other colours.

The Princess was supposed to leave 3.30. There was a strong cold wind, so I walked to "The Sauna", a fairly new restaurant on the Hernesaari beach. It is strangely shaped wooden structure, with sauna on one end and the restaurant taking most of the room, on the other.
Outside, close to the sea you can also eat, there are two parts, one with tables and the other, next to sea, with deck chairs. You can also walk to two higher levels.

The Emerald Princess did use its horn leaving the harbour, which pleased me, I always try to catch  the horn, some use it  when they start to leave, some when they are further away.      
I went back to the  Sauna restaurant and had a croissant, sitting on a deck chair, it was nice sitting there looking at the sea. Oslo is far from  the sea, at the bottom of the long Oslo fjord  so we never sea the horizon, but in Helsinki we see lots of the "wide horizon".   I went to the highest level and the wind was so strong I had to tie my hair with the scarf so I could take photos.
When Luminosa was leaving there was also another lady taking  videos. The ship  never used her horn at all.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Missed a bag again

This happened in Helsinki in June. The photo is from Kalasatama, where there's lots of building activity.

I have always tried to keep even my shopping bag hanging from my arm, so as not to forget it, One day  I let go of it trying to attach a side part of the frame of my glasses, the bus came, I started running to it and a young man asked if something was left behind, I looked towards the place I had left and saw nothing. He did not say anything about a bag and only inside I noticed there was no heavy bag . I run back from the next  stop but  the bag had already been taken! Fortunately there were no library books, but a pair of sandals, my most comfortable ones, biscuits, some drink, a good plastic coat from Linnanmäki and annoyingly,  an  exercise book where I had written all kinds of things. Usually I keep it in my handbag, and just today....! The sandals were there in case of rain, so my good shoes would not get spoiled.
 I cut a plastic bag open to get some protection this morning with lots of rain and bought an umbrella from a shop called Tiger, quite strong looking for just 4 euro, in most places they cost at least 16 euro.
Annoying actually that my keyboard has no sign for the euro, must find and copy it from online.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Sibelius and his most popular pieces

This took place in November, 2015, but was left a draft, and was saved in the wrong place.

Friday was the day for concert number 2 in the Sibelius Festival. There were even more people than on Thursday, even the seats behind the orchestra were almost full. I had seat 4 of the 5th row on the left. I should have bought one on the right, that would have been closer to the conductor and the soloist, Karita Mattila.
The concert started with "Finlandia". The hymn in the middle was tenderly played and the end was rousing as always. Next music from "Death" (Kuolema). The middle part, " Scene with  Cranes" I do not remember ever to have heard. I fell in love with that, it is quiet and beautiful.
Karita is especially natural and spontaneous. A couple of times she stopped singing after she had finished a piece and started explaining what happened in the next one, there was also some humour. People of course wanted more and I think she sang something. Her voice is not quite as bright as years ago but she is a great performer. After the performance she hugged and kissed the conductor and even the concertmaster. She knew Saraste of course very well. When you watch her concerts (isn't YouTube wonderful how much classical music you can hear?), she mostly kisses the conductor but not always the concertmaster. The whole audience of course got to their feet.