dream hunter

You wonder if you should take a step to the unknown. She leaped. You wonder if you knew how. She taught you. You wonder if you could. She did. A friend who's always there. A source of inspiration and admiration. Courageous, beautiful and full of amazing thoughts. She's someone so annoyingly perfect you'd want to hate her. But you can't help but love her. by iiris

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Wrinkle. I found a wrinkle. One week before my 26th birthday I found a wrinkle from my face.

I could not stop staring at it. It is very small. It is where my face squirms when I smile. But it is a definite wrinkle.

Unfortunately, it is almost unnoticeable. I was tempted to draw a big red arrow pointing to it so that it would get a bit more attention but resisted the temptation.

Maybe as years go by it will grow. And people can see it.

But for the moment I know it is there.

My first little wrinkle.

This is so exciting. Maybe next year I will get one into the corner of my eye. Laugh-lines they are. The more you laugh, the more lines you get into the corners of your eyes. I think.

I don’t want dark circles or puffy eyes. I don’t want deep lines into my forehead. I don’t want varicose veins into my legs. But I want hard bits into my hands, stress marks into my belly.

For the moment I just have lots of scars. Some are happy scars. Some are sad scars. But they are many. And I have a wrinkle.

Did I tell you I have a wrinkle?

I think I will go back to my mirror.

Cos I have a wrinkle.

sales and vultures

I have stuff. I have lots and lots and lots of stuff. And now I have to get all my stuff out of my own apartment and into my new apartment. One that I do not even have yet.

I started going through all my stuff and realised that a lot of it is completely useless and unnecessary. I looked at my shirts, skirts, jeans, mugs, cups, lamps, books, bags – one by one. I didn’t even remember some of them. And I could not understand how I had managed to live in a tiny studio with all these items without even noticing they were there.

As I was sitting there, surrounded by piles and piles of things I realised I didn’t really live in my apartment. I sleep here. I have breakfast here. I have worked here. But I have never really lived here.

So. All my stuff. I hanged up dresses and shirts. I spread books and kitchenware on my table and non-hanging clothes over my bead, converted back to a sofa and lined up my shoes. And then I phoned my friends.

I sat down and watched people to rummage through my things. All the things I didn’t want anymore. I heard screams and laughs and oohs and aahs. I was watching a treasure hunt.

They left. But they didn’t leave much behind. In fact I had had to hold on to the few items I wanted to keep to myself. As they left they each wrote me a cheque. 10c for a t-shirt. A bargain.

Sales, summer sales, garage sales, promotion sales, all sales tell a lot about people. Some grab everything they can get their hands on to. Others look, judge, thing and weigh options. It is fun to watch. And it makes you mind fly – you imagine their homes, their cupboards, their lives – overflowing or organised?

Mine is a mess. But soon an empty mess. As if I do not know I have it, I definitely do not need it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Last week I had a job interview. In the very heart of the City. I got up early, had breakfast, showered and dressed – in a suit. In a black suit.

After having checked my appearance several times from the mirror I joined the grey mass of commuters. First train was too full so I had wait for the next one. Crammed. Could not even breath. Then, with the wave into the city line. Dark suits, stern, tired faces, silence and Financial Times. At Bank I gave up. I could not take it any longer. Luckily I was a bit early so could walk the rest of the way.

Impressive. In my suit, heels, hair tied up and a skinny take away latte (this means an espresso with some non-fat milk, in a paper mug for those who are not quite familiar with the Starbucks/Costa jargon. Often I have it with a sugar free vanilla syrup but this time I had opted for the calorie free artificial sweetener) I must have looked like I belonged there, because I got stopped twice by people asking for directions. Not a bad start.

But I would still get a bike if I ever got that job. There is no way I will ever commute by train. No way.

I signed into the building and used the spare minutes to go to the bathroom. A shower. Hmmm. This is promising. I could run to work or go running during lunch. Definitely promising.

The guy I had an interview with was not in yet. Even better. These people have a life. And they laugh. Promising. Definitely promising.

The interview was long  - interview, exam, interview. I was getting pretty nervous. I had no idea how to answer most of the questions and I definitely, definitely did not like their reactions to my answers.

Two hours later I handed in my visitors’ badge, with a job offer in my hand.

Next time I go there, I will no longer be a visitor. And will have a bike.

Friday, July 18, 2008

18th of July

I was supposed to be born on the 18th of July. I didn’t. As it was one of the hottest summers in Finland I decided to wait another 2weeks to make my mother feel a tiny bit more uncomfortable. And I doubt I have made her job any easier since.

But the 18th became my name day. It is the day that begins the “women’s week” in names, which means that all the names celebrated in that week are for girls. Maybe that is why I have grown up to secretly be a feminist. Who knows?

So, for the past twenty odd years the 18th of July has been a day of strawberries – not a bad day at all. But it also appears that for me, there is more magic to that day then to any other day of the year. Three years ago, on the 18th of July I stepped on to the train in England and crossed the canal, thinking my life on the little island was over for good.

A year later, on the 18th of July I finally got the results for my French test, with which my acceptance to the school I have been going to now for several semesters, was confirmed. That little figure in the corner of the paper also decided that I was going to stay in Paris.

Today, on the 18th of July I will graduate. 19 years of schooling will today be finally over, for good. I will be getting my second degree, which is supposed help me to achieve my career aspirations. 

Excited? I am. There is always a risk that something unexpected or expected and meaningful comes to my way on this day. And if I did believe in horoscopes I would indeed think so, as the stars seemed to be on my side today.

And I think I might, I might just have to soon become superstitious. 

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I have been in need of a haircut for a long while now. Even long hair should, apparently be trimmed occasionally in order it not to look like a dead haystack.

Yesterday I was walking to the pool when I passed bio-hairdressers. The place claims to use only natural, organic, plant based products, which are not only goo for you but also good to the environment. Don’t take me wrong – I am not an urban hippy, I don’t necessarily always buy organic products and I don’t order carrot juice in a restaurant (even if I should because that could be good for me) and I have re-started eating meat. But still, I thought the concept was interesting so I would give it a go.

They had an empty spot in 15minutes, or the next day. I decided to postpone the trip to the pool. After the cut I was very happy. He had maybe been a tiny bit too greedy with this scissors but he had made my hair look healthy and nice so I had no reason to complain.

Then the colour. I said I would like to stay blonde. He made a mixture of herbs and what have we, turned my head into a pile of mud and placed me under a heating cap-thing. A long while later I was freed from the comfortable warmth, my hair was washed and I was given a head massage. Lovely.

I sat in front of the window. I was a brunette. I could not believe it. I was no longer a blonde, I was a brunette. It looked ok, rather nice even but it was not what I wanted. I was speechless. The guys were very pleased with the result – it was so natural. Indeed.

I left the place, smelling earthy and still – brunette. Puzzled I continued to the pool. On the way back I still was not used to my new mirror image. I liked the look I had. I was comfortable in it. I didn’t want to turn into a brunette even if I have been one before.

At home I searched through my beauty potion reserves and found a chemical blond hair dye. On. To be time conscious I decided to tint my eyebrows and do a facial mask at the same time. With green face and colourful paste covering the rest of my head I sat there, hoping to turn back to that me I was when I woke up that morning.

Luckily the mud-dye was not too strong and washed away rather easily. And I guess thanks to the plant extracts in my hair the blond turned out to be more even that before, by far more natural and more healthy looking. 

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


I visited a friend of mine in London. For some ”get away” time, to relax and solve the problems of the world – or at least those surrounding our little lives. For me the eternal question was my future – my life, my loves, my career, my sports. And somehow the sun, starbucks and words flowing nonstop seemed to be offering some guidance.

When walking from the tube to my friend’s flat, I was greeted with a Swedish flag. Grocery shop. With liquorice. Salmiak. Marabou. Fazer. Not to mention all the other Nordic goodies a little blond mind want in her life – porridge in every shape and form and colour and rye bread and extortionate prices.

We went out for brunch to one of her favourite places. I knew the sign  - I used to go to the original one, when I worked in Brussels. It was my treat. And my last morning in the EU capital.

On the way there we walked past a bakery. A very familiar one.  A very French one. One you can’t miss when you live in Paris.

Snack time. Smoothie. My friend new an excellent place. Best and hopefully the healthiest smoothies in London. Or central London. Or on that street. Opposite it – Marimekko. A new shop of the Finnish designer whose bag I have been carrying around for years now. Or one version of it. Usually they tend to wear out after few years of daily use. But still. And I always have one of their spotty shirts. And their pensile case. And make up purse. And a little purse. And oven gloves. (even if I have no oven). And their bed sheets. And towel. And….I used to have to travel to Finland to restock.

At London Bridge they have opened a new South African food store. A smaller one than the on in Richmond. But still.

In the evening, over a nice drink, launching on a comfortable sofa we had a passionate conversation about sports and politics and everything else that could ever be considered interesting.

I wonder. I cannot but wonder if someone is trying to tell me something. I wonder.

But will see…

Saturday, July 05, 2008

good byes


Last night was complete debauchery. Exams were over and the summer night was hot and beautiful. There was a random band playing on the quay of the Seine and all the worries of the world were temporarily wiped away.

This morning then, was tough, for some of us. My phone rang few minutes after I had climbed out of bed and prepared breakfast, which was consumed at a time, that would be considered suitable for lunch by most people.

I was to rush to the train station. My friend had just finished packing and would be at Gare du Nord in 15minutes. I jumped into my jeans, grabbed my handbag, hoping my purse was there, slipped on a pair of flip-flops and ran to the metro, while tying my hair. It was pouring down.

I got to the train station. My friend phoned to tell me he was going to be a bit late. Luckily his train was delayed.  I realised that I had had no news from the other one, who was supposed to be catching his train not much later. Phone. He was getting a taxi. At least he was awake.

I had never thought I would not be able to find my friend from a crowd because he towers two heads above everybody else but this time there was a team of basketballers taking the same train. Excellent. He came. No time for a quick coffee. We walked slowly to his car. A quick good bye. And he was on his way.

I ran from the Thalys to the Eurostar, where my friend should be by now. I looked around but could not find a familiar face. Just as I was ready to give up, he appeared, looking scruffy but on time. Tickets. A quick good bye and I watched him go through the security.

Having watched my friends to get on to their respective trains, I walked towards the exit and then my phone beeped. And for a second time. I smiled.  

As I left the station I felt a chapter of my life had been closed.

the final exam

I had my two last exams on the same day. First it was the Grand Oral, the most feared exam of the Master and in the afternoon I would have my Language Oral – in English.

I knew that by choosing English over French was a lazy thing to do and an easy way out but I felt that after having struggled through two years of French schooling and all together 19years of education I had the right, for once to take it easy.

I was late. It was raining. Pouring down. I was soaked. The professor told me that I would now be left with just under 20minutes to prepare. I sat down and tried not to drip water all over the article. 2minutes gone. I had finished reading the text and was not quite sure what I should do. I read it for the second time and tried to scribble down some notes. 5minutes gone. I was done.

We were not allowed to start the exam early so we started chatting. I had never met the professor before but he was extremely interesting. Time was up.

The professor took out his pen and a note pad and I had to read a paragraph. I answered a question.  He put down his pen. He had not written a single thing. The next question led us back to our previous conversation which we continued until he realised that the time was up. Again.

Shame. Just when it was getting interesting.

I got up to leave the room. The professor walked me to the door commenting on the appallingly low levels of English of the French students. Apparently I had nothing to worry. And apparently he too, had found our conversation very interesting and thought it was a shame we could not finish it.

True. I kind of like a proper debate.

I left my final final final exam ever (never say never but I don’t see myself going back to school any time soon) feeling glad and relieved.

Taking the easy way out? Maybe. But at least I finished 19 years of schooling happy having done it.