Why Not Party Like It’s 2022 #finland #beingbonkers

The (young, female) Finnish Prime Minister came in for some ridiculous flak for being filmed letting her hair down with some friends. I can understand people wondering how at the point of filming Michael Gove giving it some some, but, hey good luck to him too.

The thing about the Finnish, though, is I was rather disappointed. I’ve visited many countries around Europe and beyond and there’s one thing that stood out for me about Finland. It’s nationally bonkers. A nation that invented and codified the sport of wife carrying has to have had a screw loose but if goes beyond that to a studied and bone deep daftness that no other country has, in my experience embraced. Perhaps it’s the half year they spend in the dark or the 800 kilometre border they share with with Russians. Whatever it, it delights me. So when they become prissy and bit English, the world loses something. We all need to be a bit more Finnish.

This is a post I wrote from a family holiday there a few years ago. It might give you a flavour of what I mean.

Oct 6, 2016

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Why is it that, miles into a Finnish forest my phone had 4 bars of signal, 4G too whereas at home in south London it has nothing, nada, buggerall, zip? Are we rationed? Do the Finns have something we don’t? Maybe, I mused, as yet another email buzzed in my pocket, it’s the Nokia legacy. Not that we noticed much of that once huge company. Well, other than one of the two national sports being phone throwing, as long as it is a Nokia. Prescient really because I often wanted to toss my Nokia as far as I could.

(The other sport? Wife carrying.

Naturally)

We drove south from Kuppio and Eevantalo, intending to enjoy a couple of days near Mikkeli, on the shores of Lake Saimaa, the largest lake in Finland.

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It was a decent drive, the roads aren’t bad – there’s little traffic in truth – though there isn’t a lot to see beyond water and trees.

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But one thing stood out on our route – The Museo Mekaanisen musiikin (mechanical music museum) near Varkaus. Believe me I’ve done weird but this is up there.

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Partly it is the exhibits, these extraordinary machines that produce mechanised music using normal instruments but mostly it was mine host, a cracked German expat with a deep antipathy for Germans, Brexit and anything politically correct.

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We laughed – a bit – we cringed – a lot and we had a quite splendid two hours.

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If you do wander into this part of the world then do visit.

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Just make sure you take a thick skin with you.

https://video.wordpress.com/embed/BoNL883T?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=1&loop=0&preloadContent=metadata&muted=0&playsinline=0&controls=1&cover=1 https://video.wordpress.com/embed/nwTT7Bgo?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=1&loop=0&preloadContent=metadata&muted=0&playsinline=0&controls=1&cover=1

It seemed wrong to leave, oddly disloyal but the eco lodge we had booked into called us so off we set.

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The lodge we were allocated was perfect. Idyllic really. On the lake, with trails and bike paths everywhere it promised lots.

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During our first day we took time out to drive to Suomenlinna which is a chocolate box of a castle that sits in a lake and once guarded the Swedish-Russian border.It was worth the detour though, once again the fact we were out of season even in mid August threw us rather with a number of cafes and restaurants already shut.

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At least, we thought, we had the eco-lodge and the promised fine food.

the wall of the restaurant in the eco lodge: yep, plastic ducks as decoration – you need to be Finnish to understand.

Hmm, we hadn’t banked on a storm, nothing particularly wild, that took out our power. Goodness are we dependent on power. And how are we spoiled in the UK with the sanctity of our supplies. I can’t remember a power-cut longer than two or three hours. Here it lasted 27 hours and was still counting when we left.

On the upside the toilets flushed. On the down we had four meals by candle-light with an increasingly frazzled waitress. We lost the boat that was tied up to our private jetty before the storm hit. But we did take some lovely shots of the 6 of us as couples.

In the end, despite the lovely scenery and plentiful time to read, it was good to set off south again and hunt out some power to recharge phones and ipads. If I didn’t know it before I am now fully aware that on a self-reliance scale of ten I barely make first grade.

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Still I do appreciate my good fortune. It was a lovely holiday, especially with the whole family and other halves in tow. Now they are all in their 20s that is something of a treat.

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About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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47 Responses to Why Not Party Like It’s 2022 #finland #beingbonkers

  1. Sadje says:

    I think I will visit it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. tootlepedal says:

    This comes into you learn something everyday category of posts. Thank you, it was most interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well worth repeating

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Absolutely stunning photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. joylennick says:

    Despite its eccentricities…Finland certainly looks peaceful. I’m so grateful to have travelled years ago – there’s always somewhere pleasant to mentally visit from our settee… xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We seem to demand our politicians are “on the job” 24/7 and that they have no personal life, whereas we really need them to have experience of work, family, and social life. We get what we demand and look where that has led us!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think a sauna would be in order. Of course, in August it might be too early.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. JT Twissel says:

    I loved Finland but then I’m strange. The countryside is a lot like upper state New York – which also closes down in the fall!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. willowdot21 says:

    Jälleen kerran ilo lukea
    💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Erika says:

    I have always been a south lover. I rather was too hot than too cold. But for a few years, I found my love for the northern countries. We went to Sweden and a week ago we have been to Iceland. Simply awesome! Norway and Finland are next on my list. Your post is so inspiring and makes me want to go there even more. Thank you for that, Geoff!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lovely photos. I did notice that all the wives were on the small and fit side – no porkers being carried about. Finland is a lot like Maine – closes down early for the winter!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Many Finns settled on the Oregon coast and fished and sawed trees. They established public baths, unheard of until then.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. They are a quirky bunch, the Finns, aren’t they? Beautiful pics–love to see them again.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jennie says:

    This was delightful! Your holiday had some quirkiness, but aren’t those what become the stories we remember and tell? Great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

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