Suuri Seikkailu ja elämä nyt!

Hyppäsimme käsi kädessä! Olemme saanet aitoutta, pysähtymistä, heräämistä, hetkeä. Nyt elämme hirsiä ja pellavarivettä, banaanilaatikoita, teinejä ja taaperoa, koiranneniä ja lampaita, kaartelevia merikotkia ja huikaisevaa halua merelle.




We have survived the winter!

My father belonged to the partisan-troups - though never been to a war but trained in the army as all men in his youth. He once told be that if I am left in the nature to survive I should remember to cook the seagull for at least 3 hours to kill the worms... It didn't really sound my piece of cake but it awoke a survivalist in me. I decided to rely on a hamster.
Lokkia ja varista pitää keittää kolmatta tuntia, ennen kuin madot kuolevat. Se on pitkä aika, jos muuta ruokaa ei ole. Aloin ymmärtää selviämiseen tarvittavan paneutumista, kun pioneeri-isäni palasi kertausharjoituksista. Mitä teet, jos sinut lasketaan helikopterista autiolle kalliosaarelle mukanasi vain puukko? Pieni sissi oli herännyt minussa. Päätin strategiassani kuitenkin satsata hamsteriin. Saanko ylpeänä esitellä – maitokamarini!

My hamster hole: the milk room - where the Pellas women used to preserve the milk and butter -  where I keep my cans, dried food, hard bread, matches, water bottles... It was exceptionally many storms this winter and we were often without the electricity.
Siellä missä ennen keittiön kupeessa hoideltiin meijerihommia, on nyt säilykepurkkini ja pussimuusirivistöt. Tulitikkuja, pattereita, vesikanistereita. Tapani, Hannu ja ne muut yrittävät mullistaa elämäni ja väkisin sisään, mutta minä odotan heitä.

When the news promised hard winds to the sea areas we knew we had to prepare us. Our biggest head-ache is the water: the pump doesn't function without the electricity - we must install a hand-pump, too.
Kun länsitaivaalle alkaa kertyä pilviä, ja rätisevä radio lupaa haipakkaa merelle, olen valmiina. Heikko lenkki puolustusketjussani on vesihuolto. Pumppu ei käynnisty ilman sähköä, ja kanisteri on äkkiä tyhjä lampolakäynnin ja pottujen pesun jälkeen. 

Dry wood and buckets filled with water!
On varustauduttava käsipelillä! Pakastinkin surettaa, mutta entä jos siirtyisin kuivaamaan ja säilömään? Muuri, joka ei murru ja jota ilman tämä olisi alkeellista priimuskeittelyä, on kuitenkin Kotiliesi. Vanha uskollinen puuhella lämmittää tuvan, pussimuusin ja kylmät varpaat. Tumppuarmeija kuivuu, ja kymmennen litran kattilat ovat sen päällä täydessä latingissa.
But our best defense is our old wood-stove in the kitchen called Kotiliesi, Home Stove...

It warms up a large part of the house thanks to a hole upstairs above, dries the wet clothes and cooks our food. And the 10-litre-kettels are full of warm water. - And the hole, it is practical when yelling kids down for the supper...
Keräämme pressukatoksen riekaleita kylätien ojista, kannamme puita ja tiivistämme ujeltavia ikkunanpieliä pellavalla. Huomaan vanhan saunan räystään lentäneen. Haen murtumia puolustuksessani. Jospa ne heikkoudet ovatkin meissä survivalisteissa? On haettava ystäviä, ei vihollisia. On tuettava, ei torjuttava. Parhaita myrskymuistojani on tapaninkirkosta. Kirkko pimeni kesken Kauneimpien, mutta laulu jatkui ulkomuistista penkeistä. Tosisaarelaiset kaivoivat taskulamppunsa esiin. Katsahdimme hymyillen ja vähän liikuttuneina toisiimme ja jatkoimme.

We try to find breaks in our defence, scope for enemies, try to be strong. But should we instead concentrate on finding friends instead of enemies, helping instead of tackling? My best memories from the worst storm was from church where the islanders had gathered to sing x-mas carols. Lights went off, the organ became silent, it was dark but people continued singing the familiar song to the end by heart, smiling to each other and then picking their flash-lights from their pockets.


Foggy days with democracy

A whole day debating and voting?

We were gathered in Korpoström - only five minutes by a boat but not yet...
Sounds weird but it was quite fun. Everyone on our island was invited to an arcipelago meeting. The aim was to give us a chance to say our opinions and try out the fine equipments in voting - the idea was - I think - from Bologne, Italy and without computers and on-line-connections used in 17th century America and in old Finnish local meetings, käräjät!

Archipelago Center of Korpoström
We discussed issues of living in outer archipelago, of ferry connections, of importance of own schools, doctor, even cinema and library. We were eager and concerned although found some of the questions badly written or focused.

We had a lunch of fish soup and continued until late in the afternoon.
I wish I had taken our own youngster with us to get some fresh opions. I hope the town of Parainen will arrange a similar meeting for the pupils of our schools - that they get used to saying things aloud and to act instead of just complaining or learning to ignore.

The nature outside by the strait was awakening from its winter sleep, it was quiet but if you listened carefully you could hear the birds of the small island across and the ice melting beside the pier.

In two months the first boats will arrive to this pier - the summer is so close...


Princes on the Ice

It is almost the last days to enjoy winter and outdoor-life on snow and ice - if we don't get mr Winter back that is...
To be on the safe side we decided to try the ice rink in the centre of our island by the school and only enjoyed the view to the sea behind the trees.

First time with skates on was exciting! And challenging! And a lots of fun!

And tiresome...

But we all learn by doing - and it doesn't have to be so serious!

Now we are waiting for the biking season to begin...


Spring Green on our Sandwiches!

Just a bowl of soil and some dried peas - that first had a long bath in water - and a miracle! Peas that were meant for our soup are now enjoyed fresh on our morning bread.

Only after a week of waiting and they just keep on growing longer. First taste of spring and the amazing sun.

Our favourite Arabia's blue and white bowls


The Winter Date

I attended again an inspiring Winter Date of the Biosphere Area of our archipelago - and this year here in Korppoo at snowy and glittering Korpoström - on Friday. We were many to listen to speeches of sea and nature, tourism and small-scale food producing, and writing down ideas and new ways to see the life here.

Equally inspiring is always to meet other people from all over the archipelago, see friends and notice how many there are who have the same kind of thoughts about the environment, our beautiful archipelago and every-day life here.

We had a dinner together and sat in long tables while the evening light outside on the icy sea was darkening. We tasted the menu of ContemporaryArt in the Archipelago - CAA -  from last summer made of carp bream sandwiches and forest mushroom kornetto - a risotto made of barley.

During summer time it is only a short boat trip from our village harbour to Korpoström, you can almost see it behind the trees on the right...

The culmination of the evening was a short-film made by Lotta Petronella about everyday life in the archipelago during winter-time. She had interviewed a female ferry pilot, children who travelled to school by a boat  two hours every Monday and returned home again on Friday, a local baker, a farmer etc. And they all had their own view about life in here but had in common a deep love for this place. I was touched - because I knew many of them and because I admired their guts and because I recognized their thoughts. 

What is my everyday life like in the archipelago? What do I  need to know and what skills do I need to be able to live here? Or you...?  I'll continue thinking of the questions, but the special feature of living here is that 
you don't want to leave...

People and places from our archipelago - pay a visit:

Janne Gröning -Moving to the archipelago was the best that has happened to me. 
Lovely Nötö and - partners of the PAN Parks organization - about the Baltic Sea in Finnish
and also in English: 
And the beautiful photos underwater: 
Korpoström, an ancient harbour and a modern centre of the archipelago: 
and Katja and her work at the: 

and come then to meet us alive - 
maybe you want to stay, too...