|These are the last shots I have yet to post from Marseille. And it's been less than a month that I've left, I think this is really a record! And boy, oh, boy, do I miss the weather! I've mentioned it already but ever since I've been here it's been monsoon season, all the locals (real locals, I should say) agree that they can't remember ever seeing an end of summer rainy and windy like this. I've given up on trying to stay dry on my commute to and from work, quick drying clothes are the new "in" thing so that they get a chance to dry a bit while I'm at work and before I have to put them back to cycle back home. |
So a huge arse "effffffff youuuuuuuuu!" to the current Helsinki weather.
So yes, sunshine. That was around a month ago.
( +6 - including peas for peace )
|Some higher up commuter train gods must have heard me and now instead of my usual morning train being announced as late after it was supposed to come, it's shown 5 minutes late by the time I get to the train station. That kind of makes me feel a tad better, even if the 5 minutes turned into 7 yesterday. But really, yesterday morning, this morning, train late - two out of two for this week so far and this, kids, is known as the joys of taking a commuter train on the busiest line in the south! Not to worry, yesterday's evening was also fun as SNCF graciously cancelled my train (the gracious part I guess is that they updated the site in time for me not waste half an hour at the train station) but didn't think that since it is rush hour, they should add extra wagons for the next train. We were packed like sardines! |
In other sadder local news, yesterday morning, pre-late train, there were some firefighters on the Gineste that were stopping cars one way then the other because there had been an accident. At the time I didn't really think anything of it because it just looked almost like a car engine that had caught fire. Alas it was actually a guy on a motorcycle who hit the rock wall on the side of the road and everything caught fire. He probably died on the spot as his body was on that bike in his riding position till the end. At the time I passed the accident there was no blanket covering the body as the police hadn't arrived yet, just the firefighters. Since it happened rather early in the morning there were no direct witnesses as why he hit that stone wall, there weren't even any signs that he tried to brake. I guess things like that happen, it is a rather dangerous road after all.
|Corsica is trying to get closer to the mainland! Oh noes! That would have made a great headline, right? I'm not quite sure if it actually moved any closer last night but I do know that there was a 5.3 earthquake somewhere between the island and the mainland. The quake could be reportedly felt all over the coast but I can say that I did not feel it at all, seeing all the "I didn't panic but it was really scary for a second or two" stories floating in all related news articles makes me think I must have missed something. Shame.|
But hey, nothing was reported destroyed, no tsunami, no nothing. The coast still stands as always.
( +4 - watching over )
|Please prepare for an onslaught of posts as I catch up with some photos... I still to post photos of some cherry blossoms when everyone knows by now that we're almost done with picking all the cherries!|
And so here is some Marseille and the boat from the day of the regatta!
( +4 - flags and umbrellas )
|While being totally OCD about some travel things, I went to check the bus schedule in Braunschweig on Sunday and the site was giving me problems.|
Please inform me, are there usually buses on the 1st of May in Germany (more specifically in places like Braunschweig)?
(Just FYI, in Marseille public transport doesn't run on the 1st of May, so in the end some things would not surprise me. Still, the buses do run in Helsinki on Vappu, starting very early in the morning too as we made it to the Kaivopuisto picnic before 6am last year.)
|Just heard about Sarah Jane, or rather I should say Elisabeth Sladen. In terms of Doctor companions she's one those I remember liking almost right away, there are some really amazing episodes with Three and Four. |
Strangely enough for me the death of an actor who played the Doctor is different from that of a companion. Perhaps wrongly and sadly my head assimilates the actors to the characters and the Doctor doesn't die, he just reincarnates... but the companions, they're gone - forever.
And on this rather not so cheerful note, some good news! Remember the entry about the Gineste and the local way of doing road works? The part of the road that had been left without markings is now finished, as of Monday night. The part closest to Marseille has still not been redone but perhaps they've run out of time (and resources) for that bit and it will get done next spring.
Still, dangerous road. Last Friday there were two accidents about 200m or 300m apart, rather serious ones at that. But then what can we expect when I see how some people drive there on a daily basis.
|Oh, I am quite easily pleased sometimes. News that my annual LeVelo pass is now activated came yesterday, I do have to say that the system is rather efficient, I sent the paperwork in just over a week and a half ago! And the best part is that I can use my regular bus card, no need for an extra card to carry around!|
And in Marseille, the city cycling program is one of the cheapest around. 5e for an annual pass, the first half-hour is free and then it's 50 cents per half hour. Even the weekly pass is a good deal, it's a 1e fee and then the first half-hour is free, 50 cents per half hour afterwards. Compared to the systems in Paris or Toulouse it is extremely cheap.
Now time to enjoy the city cycling and exploring opportunities in the sun! It's less hot these days, perfect for an afternoon week-end stroll!
If only they could build a "station" closer to where I live... the closest one is still almost 2 kilometers away. If I could have a station down the street, it would be the most amazing cherry on top of a lovely cake. I really shouldn't complain, apparently those city bike rentals aren't working everywhere, they decided to close down the one in Aix.
|The photos of the amazing road repairs done in Japan in literally a few days after the first quake have been all over the media and I even posted two a while back. Let me tell you about another kind of road works - the French kind. |
Last month a few signs went up around the Gineste (road connecting Marseille and Cassis through the col de la Gineste, famous road taken during the Marseille-Cassis semi-marathon for which people have to wake up at 5am on a March morning to sign up otherwise the 12000 spots for the run are gone before mid-day... when the race is only at the end of October), these signs said that from the March 30th to April 8th there will be some road works and that traffic could be bad. Today we are the 15th of April and a part of the road has been redone fully, a part has a new covering but has no markings and a part of the road has yet to be redone... and it doesn't look like anything has been done for over a week. Obviously I've never actually witnessed any of the said road works even though I do drive along that road morning and evening and given that the state of the road doesn't seem to change at night I'd like to say that no road works were done at night. That means they have a couple of hours between my morning and evening commute (with a proper break for lunch, I'm sure) to work and now they're not working at all. And this is how road works are done over here!
I do still have to point out that the Gineste is one of the finest roads in the area, it's redone almost every single year, clearly a very necessary step to avoid more accidents as in the end it is quite a dangerous sinuous road. So you know, at least hats off for that although I'd love to have the markings back on that middle stretch!
Completely changing subjects, discoveries that go awry. In my life there are a few local-ish stores where I know they will have some stuff for me to discover, one of those stores is Monoprix, they seem to be everywhere in Paris (or the MiniMonop' or some kind of version) but in Marseille I know of two and they're awkwardly placed so I don't drop by often unless I'm in the city center. But when I do drop by I usually come out with something I haven't seen before. One day back in February I came with a small can of "Frelon" drink. Honestly I thought the name sounded kind of like "freon" (you know, the good old CFCs and all that). It probably tasted the same.
Just looking at this almost makes me gag all over again two months later. Supposedly the taste was pineapple with some other stuff added but this time curiousity really had killed the cat and nailed the coffin in.
( +2 - the texture and the can )
|There have been these low clouds over the sea for the past couple of days, makes running in the calanques all that much better, at least aesthetically.|
Looking one way and then the other at our usual "18-minutes into the run-let's admire the landscape spot" but I'm beating all kinds of records and got there in under 17 minutes yesterday.
( +2 (or 4) - but there are mountains to face! )
|You guys! We've been in the dark for all these years but now we can know the truth - the Moomins are one step away from being Satan's concubine! |
Here are the best bits from the "truth" behind those evil Moomins:
Moomintroll is a bastard son of Moominmamma and Moominpappa. Has openly sexual relationship with Snorkmaiden. Sometimes they live in sin together in Moomin house. Troll is malevolent being out of Scandinavian mythology, originally referring to Finnish people.
Yes! Can you imagine?!? Those bastards live in sin together in Moomin house! The horror! And it is self-evident that Finns are related to trolls, why didn't I know this all these years?
Moominmamma & Moominpappa - Guardians of Moomintroll, not married, relationships are unclear. Let Moomintroll share bed with harlot Snorkmaiden under their roof.
The Hemulen - Maybe the most deviant of all creatures in Moomin valley. This seemingly harmless elder chap is truly a libertine and abomination. He lives alone, wears a purple dress, collects butterflies and stamps and like frolicking with younger males of the Moomin valley. This lewd sodomite goes constantly on sex vacations.
Oh hell no. Sex vacations and a purple dress? There is never an excuse for a purple dress!
And the list goes on... Little My is a "thieving anarchist", Snorkmaiden is a "whore", Snufkin is a "revolting freeloading hippie".
If you've never read the books, written by a "worst kind of openly lesbian feminatzi", here is a short description of Exploits of Moominpappa - "Self-explanatory. Stories of young Moominpappa indulging in world of crime, booze and gay sex." I think I'll have to go back and reread the story, I must have missed all the gay sex the first time around.
Ah! The whole thing is just trolling at its best. The whole forum actually takes trolling to a new level.
And remember kids, never touch anything Moomin related without gloves because there is great evil right there!
On a more serious note though, my lentils sprouted beautifully but my millet is taking its time. Apparently millet can be a tricky one, certainly not the one-day easy sprouting that you have with quinoa. But these things need to be learnt, no doubt.
And speaking of food... still the Zenit/Kodak 200 roll from the city center!
( +2 - out and about in the street )
|Day 01 // 02 // 03 // 04 // 05 // 06 // 07 // 08 // 09 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13: a list of all the places I’ve lived.|
I guess there is a list of sorts in my profile but it doesn't show the fact that overall I've moved even inside cities. So there is L'viv, the Parisian suburbs, the Bostonian suburbs, two locations in Marseille, three locations in Toulon (I've done east, west and center there), the Franco-swiss border, Espoo and two locations in Helsinki, I was at each address for six months or longer. Not bad, not bad.
In other news, here are some shots from a few weeks ago when I went close to the lycée where I spent three years. Still the Zenit/kodak 200 combo.
( +4 - exciting school times, exciting. )
|Argh. Temps de merde. Not only is windy but it's also supposed to rain all day today and tomorrow.|
And by "windy" I mean "windy with terrible gusts". I went running this morning and it was just impossible to run at some parts because of the gusts, while both feet are up in the air you're going backwards! And even worse were the sideway gusts, at one point I was running along a road and I really thought that eventually they will push me onto the cars.
But still, think of how fast clothes might have dried if put outside (so far, not much rain)... too bad we didn't have much to wash today.
Time to think back to sunshine!
( +6 - and just what kind of flowers gave those shadows? )
|The stupid borderline migraine is back. Back with that horrible almost-want-to-throw-up feeling. I blame the weather. Seriously, what's all this grey?|
Let's remember some sunnier times (it's supposed to rain all this week-end, I did not sign up for this when I moved back, dammit!)
|(Chinon. Agfa 400.)|
( +6 - Prado and the beach )