Saturday, June 21, 2008

The longest day of the year

Today is summer solstice, the longest day of the year 2008. From now on it´s downhill; every day is going to be shorter than the day before until we reach winter solstice on December 21st.

Back in Finland this weekend is an official bank holiday weekend. Everything is closed. In all official buildings and homes flags of Finland were hoisted at 6 pm on Midsummer Eve (yesterday) and flown all night till 9 pm tonight. Finland is full of festivals and happenings. People are celebrating the light. Traditional bonfires can be seen all over the countryside. In region Lapland people all over the world come to see the midnight sun.

I´m thinking all of this now, sitting alone here in our second home in Solingen. I came here a few days ago to work a little; Angie is on her way arriving later this afternoon.

We´ll get visitors from Finland tomorrow morning. My sister Maukka and brother-in-law Arska are coming to a late honeymoon. The wedding took place in Salo, Finland, on February 16th but only now could they take some days off from work and kids. The all-inclusive trip was our wedding gift to the newlyweds.

It is really nice to have my sister here. Too bad the visit is so short, they´ll stay with us only five days. We will pick them up from Düsseldorf Airport tomorrow at noon, staying here until Tuesday afternoon and then drive through Germany to Leipzig to show our real hometown. Thursday evening I´ll take them to Berlin, only an hour and half’s drive from Leipzig, where they stay a few days by Claudia. She´s the German exchange student who spent a year in Finland by Maukka´s home a couple of years back and is now considered as one of her own kids, sister for Aino, Venla, Santtu, Eero and Lauri. Maukka and Arska are flying back to Finland from Berlin Sunday week from tomorrow.

Claudia is by the way the only German I know who speaks perfect Finnish! She´s finishing her school this week (abitur in German, about the same as A-levels or High School Diploma, or YO-tutkinto in Finland). Maukka and Arska decided to come now so they can have a few days with us and then celebrate with Claudia.

I like my sister a lot. I think in Arska she found a real soul mate. I´m really happy to have them here.

Have to start cleaning, Angie arrives about 3 pm.

Welcome Maukka & Arska!

Hyvää juhannusta, as we say in Finland (have a great midsummer).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nice memories

"Mein Schatz" (literally: My Treasure) Angie sent a photo a few minutes ago. She left Rome yesterday evening so late she could drive only about 400 km (250 miles) before stopping to sleep. She spent night in Lerici, near Ligurian border to Tuscany in Italy.

Small coastal town of Lerici is for both of us a really nostalgic place. We met when both of us were living in Italy. On our first date we had a typical Ligurian dinner in this restaurant Angie photographed this morning.

Believe it or not, but it´s true: I still remember exactly what she was wearing that night, a hundred years ago. Clothes, jewelry, everything. I remember how she had her hair. But I didn´t remember this restaurant, until I saw the picture.

She did.

I am a happy man.

Monday, June 9, 2008

YES! Angie comes home!

Eyesight is back, a ten-day sickleave is over. Work keeps me busy. Life goes on, summer is really here (see the picture).

Angie called a few minutes ago. She´s seen enough of Rome to last a while so she starts late tonight or early tomorrow the long drive back home, arriving here in Solingen late tomorrow or early Wednesday.

I can not describe how much I´ve been missing her. And, according to her, she feels likewise. This past two weeks was ment to be a holiday for her, to let me to concentrate for my work so I could have a full week off when my sister Maukka arrives here with her husband. They´ll be here Sunday 22nd for a weeks visit.But like almost always with our plans, this one backfired when I got ill. Angie offered, of course, to drive straight back here when she heard about my eye infection, but I said no. She had plans for this holiday, a lot of friends to see, a lot to do. I had all the help I needed here. Not only my cleaning lady made an extra effort to assist me when I couldn´t see a thing, but also my friends and neighbours here helped me a lot with cooking, cleaning and shopping.

Now I can see myself. Tomorrow is a preparation day for operation "Welcome Home, Honey!". Shopping and cleaning, preparations for a romantic candlelight dinner.

Old cliché, but so true: I´m only half without my Angie!