City oasis


One summer Sunday I made my first visit to Toimela urban allotment garden. This was the first time, but I am quite confident it won't be last, I might go again this week. The harvest markets have started early due to warm summer. This suited me fine as it was the day for groceries after the fridge contents were some preserves and light after the moving flats business.

The garden was a short walk from home, tucked away behind a small forest. It is quite central location, but I would have not found it by accident. After a road through the forest, and a small parking lot, the lush garden opens. It is unbelievable that city is right outside the area.

The tables were full of berries, herbs, flowers, and vegetables. Prices were at times on the high side (garlic or herb bunch 2e per piece), but kale was very cheap (1e per bundle), and green beans (2e) were the best looking ones I have ever seen in Finland. The produce is of course much fresher than in stores, pick just in the preceeding days, and the price level is quite close to produce market prices. Now that there is no market nearby, I can subsitute with this!

I bought quite a pile of root veggies and onion, and some herbs to try. The berry counter had the longest queue, and the berries were sold out in around half an hour. Thankfully I did not need them as I had spent the previous day picking red currants at my mom's garden.

Green stop: cold-brewed tea and veggies in a bag.

Green stop: cold-brewed tea and veggies in a bag.

Catch of the day

Catch of the day


The best part: crispy crepes with homemade jam

Half a year

Getting well is a full-time job, and along with full-time employment it takes all the time. The recovery has taken time, even though the bone and nerve have healed as per expectations. However, over time there have been some extra grievances, like nerve pain, swelling, shoulder troubles and too slowly expanding mobility. Overall the condition has improved remarkably, i am feeling so much better than half a year ago right after the operation.

Yesterday I tried to cycle first time outside, and it went sort of ok. Starting and sudden movements were more challenging, but thankfully Puistotie has almost one kilometer of straight cycle path where I can practice peacefully.

This is a good place to go forward towards the summer!


Hello from sick leave! Two weeks ago I was cycling home from work, and then I was lying on the street and my arm looked and felt weird. Despite the slow speed, I was done over by the tram tracks: Front wheel lost the grip and I fell. Thankfully the passers-by were nurses having some time off and lots of goodwill, so they helped me, called the ambulance, waited for it, and took care of my bike.

Everything else was fine - head was not hit, clothes not torn (not even tights!), no visible wounds, bike ok - my arm and elbow area was just hurting like hell. It turned out to be a broken bone. And yes, properly broken, not just fractured. It had really snapped as the upper arm took all impact from the fall. As a result of the bone snap, a nerve got stretched so my wrist and fingers are not yet working properly.

For the time being the blog will be some kind of recovery diary, as it is expected to be a long time until I am fully recovered. The bone will take at least six weeks, the injured nerve perhaps months. Welcome along for the journey!

Ice cream update!

The weather has been favourable to my ice cream tests at Kungsholmens Glassfabrik, and I can confirm that I made good progress in May. Their offering of half-scoops also helps. Sadly, the price of my regular order (2 scoops, 4 flavours) has gone up by 5 SEK. The pricing was very reasonable to begin with, so the increase is tolerable. The scale is relative, it is in the context of ice cream that is very good to begin with - any one of these I could have again.

The evaluation criteria is quite strict, mostly because the baseline quality is already so high - this is definitely first class ice cream we are talking about! I could eat any of these again, some I would just much prefer over others. In general, I like ice creams that are not too sweet, and the flavour has to be balanced and strong. Mouthfeel is also important: ice cream has to be soft and melting in mouth. 


Basilica-lemon sorbet
Mint-lime sorbet
Black currant sorbet

Passion sorbet
Mango sorbet
Raspberry sorbet


Bergamot sorbet
Guava sorbet

* no nutty flavours tested due to allergy - they have at least almond-raspberry, hazelnut and pistachio

Back to work

Holiday is over for the time being, and it is time to head back to work. I say back, because I actually started already in June and took July off. Over the holidays we also moved flats to a different neighbourhood, but more about that later. For now, the return does not feel so bad when my commute is through a green boulevard, small bay, and a forest. The distance is short enough to go by the city bikes, and it is actually faster than taking a direct bus. Way to go!


Cherry blossoms

Spring and blossoming trees have been inseparable features ever since I moved to UK. Magnolia and cherry blossoms are a sure sign of spring! Kungsträdgården in the city centre has many cherry trees, and since mid-April I was pondering if I will miss the short blossoms while I was away for couple of short trips. To my surprise the blossoms were at their best only after I returned from my latest trip in early May. That day though the weather was very miserable, rainy and cold, nothing like last year's blue sky and crisp temperature.

The warm weather over last weekend brought out the blossoms in other places too, and I saw those both when I was out running and cycling. Kungsträdgården's trees are a sight since they are so many in one place, but during the blossoms there are lot of people and the surroundings in general are not so attractive apart from the trees themselves. Haga park also had blossoming cherry trees with no crowds, and the lake backdrop was very nice.

This weekend I also spotted some magnolias. They are very common in UK, but here in Nordics I haven't seen (m)any apart from Marimekko's Keisarinna print. As I stopped for a little break during my cycle ride, I noted that lilacs might be in blossom already next weekend should the warm weather continue.


Kungsholmens Glassfabrik


I have always been a fan of ice cream, but my taste has changed and refined over the years. In Finland the small-brand ice creams have really taken off in the past couple of years with Jymy, 3 kaveria, and Suomen jäätelö. This has lead me to explore other small producers as well as I travel. In Stockholm I have mostly stumbled upon the ice cream places as I move about town - that happened also with Kungsholmens Glassfabrik (Kungsholmen's ice cream factory). 


Pipersgatan 4, on Kungsholmen as the name suggests. Closest tunnelbana is Rådhuset, opening hours are somewhat limited.

Ice creams, to have in or to take away in cones, cups or tubs.

2 scoops, approximately 4e. 


- The selection was good and more skewed towards actual flavours than just making an ice cream out of a candy or cookie.
- When I had hard time choosing just two flavours, the lady suggested she can do four half scoops! This was fabulous.
- All flavours I tried (bergamot, passion, cardamom, chocolate) were good, balanced taste with not too much sugar. 
- The space is simple but nice, it is ok to sit and enjoy the ice cream but less nice to spend longer time.

Would I go again?

Yes! I have to taste more of the selection, there were some that I would definitely want to try still. Additionally, I think the pricing is very reasonable.


Country life

Last summer cottage trips were rare as the sudden and surprising moving hassle took a lion's share of the time. I didn't have summer holiday eitehr - university started already at the end of August. I made do with some long weekends instead. Because of this the relaxion part of cottage life had to be skipped, but at least I could partake in the essential part: labour camp! The darkening autumn nights added to the challenge level, as all outdoor work had to be stopped much earlier than during summer. By six-seven in the evening the shadows were really long and the sun was setting, making it impossible to continue work safely. 

The main agenda was wood chopping. The trunks had to be moved, cut, chopped, piled and covered. After Saturday's work there would be sauna, and Sunday was for finishing up and preparing the cottage for the coming winter. And of course this all was topped by a drive home. There was much to do on both weekends, as our neighbours had fell their forest, leaving some of our trees exposed. We had to fell some trees and make sure that they are appropriately handled for the winter so that they will not rot away. 

Thankfully the work camp left some time for other activities too. On the first weekend I made traditional Finnish thin crepes with barley flour, and on the other one there was a village market. It is not a big market, but more like some local farmers coming together to sell their produce to the people who live or have cottages nearby. It all started years ago from cinnamon rolls and other bread things, but now the offering has expanded to cover meat, crepes, jam, vegetables, and this time there was also a sheep farmer with some yarn! I also got to enjoy a wood-burning sauna (it is different to electric one) and admire the last butterflies of the season.

Occasionally I return to these memories in the midst of the Stockholm greyness, and wait for the summer to arrive again. 

This tractor was a life saver for us! With its hydraulic chopping attachment we managed to go through much more logs than would have been possible manually. As the task was huge, quantity went over quality and some firewood is quite roughly sized :D

This tractor was a life saver for us! With its hydraulic chopping attachment we managed to go through much more logs than would have been possible manually. As the task was huge, quantity went over quality and some firewood is quite roughly sized :D