Category Archives: Learning Diaries

The last week.

Had a heat stroke on last weekend, yep, not that awesome. I did a little walk to the nearest town which was about 5 km away from me and I knew they had this craft’s store that I wanted to see and also it was on the coast. Weather was nice, sun was shining and I walked listening to the soundtrack of the Greatest Showman and life was good. I popped in the Bosham walk which was a shop that was selling all the local crafts goods and I just walked there a bit. Then I walked in their “marina”,  sat down to eat my lunch enjoying the view and people watching. well it was more dog watching really, there are lot of labradoodles here and I’m alert for corgis (which I haven’t seen yet?!? Royal Corgis as they are) and any bulldogs. They have quite few French bulldogs here as well as Staffordshire Bull Terriers, if I have recognized the breed properly. After my lunch I popped into a pub and on the way there I saw these 2 kids trying to get a dog into this little stream because the dog was very muddy for running down the low tide. Well let me tell you, the dog wasn’t really that into going to bathe so I offered them my help and dragged the dog into the water. It was fun and again made me homesick. I had some ice-cream on my way back and I also popped into this other pub where I met a lovely old lady who was a widower. I had a nice talk with her and even though being homesick and ready to go home I was happy and glad that I got to know her. Isn’t this what all this I about, to meet new people, learn their cultures and everyday life even though you might never see them again. She invited me to see her again next Saturday and I might even go if I have time.  After that I walked back home, I had plenty of water but only thing I was lacking was a hat. I usually have a hat or a scarf on my head on my holidays where I know it’s hot and sunny, I just really think to pack a hat with me. When I got home I was feeling ok, but then at some point I got an awful headache and I could feel my skin burning hot. Whenever I would get up I felt dizzy and I couldn’t see properly and was feeling very sick. So not fun at all, I had plans to go to the beach on Sunday but I decided to skip it. People remember to wear a hat when the sun is up!! No kidding, it was horrible experience.

Started my last whole week in the office with light spirit and I’m planning my upcoming summer holiday, I have to say I still haven’t been to Kingley Vale and it might be that I won’t go at all. I know I really wanted to go there and I still do, but all the times we were discussing to go with my host lady the weather wasn’t on our side and then we just didn’t have the time and so on, because you would have to drive there and buses really don’t go there or it’s rather difficult and I must say I’m running out of time. I know I could just decide and go, but I’m kind of getting the feeling that I would like to leave it and do it when I would come back and have a reason to come back and do it. Does that sound stupid? I have done this before with my husband, we left a couple of things in Vegas undone just so that we would have a reason to go back.

This is my second last blog that I’m writing and I have a feeling the last one will be long one, so be prepared for that one. Until next time.

Almost home.

I have done a lot since I last wrote. As you all know my husband came to visit me, so I went to see him at the airport because every minute counts! I was so excited, that when I finally saw him walking from the arrivals I was literally jumping for joy and as soon as I could I just ran and hugged him, might have shed some tears of joy. But I was so happy! Our bus to Chichester wasn’t due till later so we got ourselves some breakfast and I saw that he had a Novelle water bottle with him which had maybe like 0.6dl of water inside and I asked him if the water was Finnish or did he refill it at the airport in here and he said that it was from Finland and I just sunk it down my throat. And let me tell you, it tasted sooooooooooo good! I have been traveling a lot and I must say, the best water comes from Finland. Period.
Weather was good and warm, but apparently really muggy and humid according to my husband, but I was glad that it didn’t rain, because the weather forecast had promised thunderstorms but luckily it only rain during night time, or not at all.  I showed him all the places in Chichester and we did a lot of walking. I showed him the wall that we have here, which was built by the Romans, we also walked through this old cemetery, well at least it used to be a cemetery and now the old tombstones where put to the side on couple of rows. I took him to the same Arundel Castle as I took my sister, but I knew he would enjoy it as he did. We also happen to be there at the same time as they had a re-enactment of a siege of the castle.
We took a little trip to the Isle of Wight. We were thinking of going to see the Osborne house which was Queen Victoria’s and Prince Albert’s summer home and rural retreat, but since we only had that one day, we knew that we would enjoy the sceneries more so we decided to see the coast line. It took us 1 change of train, 1 ferry ride and 3 change of buses to get to Freshwater Bay where we walked the coast line all the way to The Needles. Well, we didn’t walk to the tip of The Needles, because we wanted to see the white chalk rock formations. There was a chairlift down to the beach, but we decided to walk down because the lines where so long at the top and and took the chairlift back up instead. Oh, and it was a bank holiday plus midterm, which meant that the kids had a holiday week so pretty much all the families where there vacationing. There were people everywhere, even Arundel Castle was full and we had to wait in line to go inside the castle. But I must say Isle of Wight was beautiful and I think we might go there again, but definitely we must book a hotel and stay over a few days.
On early Wednesday morning my husband went back home and left me here, it was so great that he came to see me here, but it just made me more homesick. I got exactly 2 weeks left, and then I’m flying home to my family. I do have plans for this weekend though, and I’m going to make the most of the time I have left. I have a huge bag of candy of all the people I’m working with which I’m going to bring to work on my last day, I also planned baking pulla, and hoping those will succeed, I’ve had some bad experience baking stuff in foreign places and it’s usually catastrophe. Until next time, see you!

I do.

Did you watch the wedding? Yep, in here it was on everywhere. My local Tesco had a display of the royal wedding stuff from tea mugs to grocery bags, and then couple of days before the wedding when they had clearly sold all the memorabilia they made this huge display in front of the entry with Union Jack pennants, strawberries, sparkling wine, BBQ stuff, disposable grills etc. Basically, everything you need and should have to celebrate the happy couple. On the day, I had a nail appointment at 12 ‘o clock and I had booked that 3 weeks ago, not realizing that it’s on the wedding day. I went to the nail salon and there they were watching the royal wedding via iPad and crying. Oh my, I thought but sat down and this lady did my nails while watching the wedding. I enjoyed it, it was fun to interact with the locals while going through the wedding which obviously was important to them and I felt I bit of jealously towards them and their royal family and its traditions. I spent most of my Saturday in the city and I noticed that almost every shop’s windows had congratulations to the happy couple or they had decorated their shop windows with red, white and blue. They also had these block party arranged for the occasion and I thought that was just brilliant. I got 2 requests to bring home some Harry and Megan memorabilia, something with their faces but unfortunately haven’t found any, and I’m afraid they might have sold out. I only wish I would have known this beforehand and I would most definitely have gotten them.

 

 

 

Couple of things I have noticed while being here, is how people talk to one another. I knew that the Brits were polite and that they have good manners, but it has nice to notice that it’s true. I wish us Finns could be as polite as the Brits. For example, I think I have heard people say my name more times than my entire life; “Good morning, Netta!” “How was your weekend, Netta?” “Is everything alright, Netta?” “Netta, how are you doing?” “See you tomorrow, Netta?” “Are you alright, Netta?”. Well I think you get the point. For me, this is very weird. I have been trying to be polite, as I’m leaving from work I say to my coworker; “Bye, see you tomorrow!” And I feel very proud, but then she says “Goodbye, Netta, see you tomorrow, have a nice afternoon!” And I’m like, damn, I still couldn’t be as polite as these people. Of course, there is the thing where I don’t know everyone’s names, but I do know some of them and it still feels weird using people’s names. 

 

 

 

Before I finish this week’s blog, I must say that so far, I have enjoyed being here, it has reaffirmed me the fact that one day I wish to live somewhere else, and hopefully I get to do that for more than 2 months. The only thing it requires is my husband and my dogs. I don’t, and I won’t regret this journey I took upon, but what I do know now that it’s not just my life, it’s our life and there’s no point going through it without my family. So, I must doff the hat to those who lead this kind of lifestyle where the other half is working abroad and the other is waiting home with possible kids. I couldn’t do it in a long run, I don’t even have kids, just those 2 dogs, and I miss them like crazy and I can’t image how much I would miss my own kids if I had any. Anything that doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. At this point, I just want to get through with this week and see my husband again.

Thinking of getting a hot water bottle…

Last time that I wrote I was expecting my sister to come and visit me, so on this blog, I’m going to tell about our weekend and upload more pictures than usual. And yes, I have my phone!! I had a wonderful weekend with my sister, we went to Brighton and did some shopping, and we just love Primark! We walked to Brighton pier had a drinks by the ocean, it was lovely even though it was a bit windy but the sun was shining. 
I showed my sister the city of Chichester and went to the Cathedral and saw the Cathedrals garden and then we just walked around the city center and I got to show all the places that I’ve been. It was really nice, I also showed her the place where I worked and we did a lot of walking. Also when my sister was visiting it was the Eurovision song contest weekend and we decided to watch it, because it was raining. First we thought we could watch it in pub somewhere, but apparently the Brits really aren’t so into the Eurovision anymore so we decided to watch it at my place.  It was nice, especially that Graham Norton was hosting it and me and my sister both love him, he is so funny. Only thing that was kind of bad was the fact that we were freezing. I always thought that when people say that it’s cold in Britain and you have to use hot water bottles in the beds I somehow thought that it’s an urban legend.  But let me tell you, it’s no urban legend, it really is cold. The funny thing about it was that I forgot to mention this to my sister, because she wanted to pack super lightly so all I said that you won’t need that much. Oh well, then again I didn’t expect us to stay in the house, but that’s English weather for you.
 We took the train to see Arundel Castle, it only took us 20 minutes to get there from Chichester, so it was nice and close. The castle was such a spectacular visage, when we walked into the city from the train station and walked towards it.We did this river side walk, which was over 5 km long, because we walked to this pub at the side of the river. We got the gold plus ticket, which got us inside the castle plus we got to see the castle bedrooms.  It was so amazing, all the narrow steps to the guard tower and all the amazing furniture in their bedrooms and it was just so luxurious. The castle grounds were also a sight to see, the garden was big and beautiful. Sadly almost all the tulips were dead due to the weekend before that with all the heat, but still it was gorgeous.  It was Sunday when we went to the castle and on Sunday most of the pubs serve Sunday roast and we wanted to try that. We walked to this pub that had a beer garden and we just wanted to sit outside and enjoy the sun because it did rain on Saturday. Then we ordered the roast but it was all gone, they had been super busy that day and they had none left. We were fairly disappointed but luckily they had other stuff on the menu as well.
 
On my sister’s last night I wanted to take her to this nice pub where I had been twice before. First time was the time me and my host got soaked in the rain and mud and this time it was nice to walk there. Of course we had done pretty long walk that day already but I knew this pub was something I wanted to show her and I knew the food is great and they had this huge beer garden ( in Finland we’ll call that a terrace) and the weather was nice and warm so I wanted to take her there. When we arrived at the pub they tell us that they are closing due to staff training. And there we are, hungry and tired and options are to walk back that same route we came, which was 2.5 km in pretty bad terrain, or go even longer way, where the ground is better but cars are driving next to you, or we could order Uber. Guess what we did? Let’s just say that we had to
wake 4.30am next morning to go to the train station so it made the choice a bit
easier.
It was just the best that my sister came and see me and all of a sudden this place that I have been calling home started to feel home, but now she’s gone and let just say that I’m a bit homesick. I’m missing my husband and my dogs!!! I have been literally stopping people who have dogs and ask if I can pet them. Now I have a week and a half to wait before my husband comes! I hear it’s nice and warm in Finland, enjoy you all, go to the beer gardens and have one for me! Cheers!

 

Oopsie daisy.

Where to even begin? First, I’m going to apologize for not having any pictures on this post, there is a very good explanation. I threw my phone into the toilet. I have no phone, going the get a new one, which my sister is bringing me tomorrow! Best part is that I am so well covered by my school that the insurance will cover this loss of mine.

I have been busy at work, people are starting to realize that there is a intern who can actually do stuff and not just look pretty. I have been mainly doing some writing and working on spreadsheets, and I must say my listening comprehension skills have improved as well as my writing skills. My vocal skills could be better though.  Somehow, I feel I have taken a step back because it seems it’s even more difficult to talk to people than it was in the beginning. I’m hoping this is just some phase, because I’m thinking in English and I have started to dream where I speak half Finnish and half English. For example, I saw a dream where I was showing Finland to Robbie Williams and I was speaking Finnish to him when, suddenly, I realized he might not understand me, so I switched it to English. I think my brain is starting to process this.

The weather was hot in here this last weekend and I mean really hot. This Monday was a bank holiday, because in here people celebrate May Day as well, but to them it’s Early May Bank Holiday and in Finland we celebrate it on May first, whatever that day might be, but in here it’s the first Monday of May and this year it fell on the 6th of May. So, people had a long weekend in this very beautiful weather, and apparently it was the hottest day over the Early May Bank Holiday weekend since the holiday was introduced in 1978. The highest temperature was 28.7 Celsius. The traffic was awful because everybody wanted to go to beaches etc. Even I wanted to go to the beach but the bus which went to the beach was over 45 minutes late, so I decided it’s not worth the wait. Then I heard from a co-worker that she was on that beach because she lives near it but her friend who went to meet her at the beach waited that bus for 3 hours! She said the beach was packed, people just kept coming and coming.

Unfortunately, after the Bank Holiday the temperature is going down which is sad because my sister is coming tomorrow. We are going to have fun anyway, we have planned to go to Brighton and do some shopping, we also wanted to go to this castle and maybe see some Eurovision song contest if some good pub might be showing it. I have a very good weekend ahead and I can’t wait to tell you all about it and next time I will hopefully have some pictures to show as well!

2 weeks left

In past two weeks we have done nothing special. We have just chilled in our homes and been in work. Our normal day in work starts at 7am, so we have to wake up little bit before 6am that we can make ourselves to our buses. In work we usually pick up orders from shelves and sometimes after our lunch break or our second break we go to pack those orders to different kind of cardboard boxes. Here is again some pictures from past two weeks.

 

I got this.

My time here has been wonderful and painful at the same time. I love going to work, it gives me something to do on weekdays. I also started to train for a 10K run this fall, but last weekend was my first weekend after the high of my arrival and I felt sad. Now things are normal, everyday life stuff which is okay, but my normal life includes my husband and my dogs. I was miserable last weekend, I did some shopping, had my nails done, went out to eat alone, which sucks. It’s no fun when you’re all by yourself. I know that this is a new thing for me, since I’ve been together with my man for 17 years, I have somehow forgotten to how to be alone. I’m sure I’ll manage though, and I know things will get better as the time goes by.

What’s been happening at work? Well I have been attending a corporate induction, where they tell the new staff members of all their values, health and safety issues and all the stuff you should know as a new employee. I got the chance to participate in that and it was interesting, and I quite enjoyed it. We got to do some group tasks and people asked me how many years I have lived in UK, and I just laughed and said well I’ve lived here for a week and they just can’t believe it. Then I would explain that I’ve started to learn English when I was 9 years old, and then they are stunned by that, and I have to say that I’m thankful for Finnish education system. Oh, and I knew this beforehand but got the chance to witness myself that the Brits really are punctual. They gave us a schedule of the days agenda and it was spot on, I was really impressed by it. 

I have my own desk now, I have my logins and my ID badge, and  people are giving me tasks to do and I feel good that I understand the tasks given me and I feel that I can work as a part of the group.  I still don’t know everybody at the office but those of who I have met and talked to and whose names I almost remember seems lovely and just as weird as me. I have a good feeling about this place and I finally feel like I’m fitting in.

Weather hasn’t been as good as it was the weekend I got here, and it has been raining. It’s funny how it looks grey when it rains even though the trees are green, and the cherry trees has their blossoms, but it’s like you can’t see the colors when it rains. In Finland in the summertime when it rains, it still looks green and bright, so this is just something I have realized while being here.

I must mention this one thing that’s been an annoyance really and that’s the traffic. We all know that the Brits drive at the wrong side of the road and I am aware of this just because I have visited London few times. In London it’s written on the road beside the sidewalks which way to look; look right, look left. It doesn’t say that in here though! So, there I am crossing a street and turning my head like an owl and I swear if I survive without a car hitting me I consider this work placement as successful!

 

Pigeonhole??

Oh, my what a week I’ve had. When I went to bed on Sunday evening I was pretty sure that I would toss and turn because that’s what I normally do if something new and exciting is happening the next day but no, as soon as I put my head on the pillow I was out. It must have something to do with the fact that I’ve been talking English and listening English that exhausted my brain, so that I literally had no energy to worry about the next day. I started Monday morning at 9 am at Chichester College and I was due to wait at the reception and because this is me, a person who is on time pretty much all the time. I was there sitting and waiting at 8.30 am. I must have looked lost, confused and nervous because the ladies at the reception asked me if I was alright. So then they called to see if somebody could  come and collect me, meanwhile they took my picture and gave me a visitors card, I even showed them my ID so that they would get my name right on the card, but it ended up reading; Netta Anniina 😀 Anyway, so finally somebody came and picked me and we went to straight to HR (human resources) to see if I could get I proper staff badge but unfortunately they didn’t have all the information to do that.

I was taken to the Business and Management department where I would be working for the next 8 weeks. I was introduced to this lovely woman who would be my “tutor” and she took me through the office explaining what they did and who everybody was and it all was so much that I couldn’t remember the half of it. The office was real British, full carpeting and fire proof doors everywhere and instant coffee. 😊 I must say that I was overwhelmed of all the information I was getting, but I was still very excited. Before I realized the time had gone by so fast that it was lunch time, which in here starts 12.30 am. I was told that they really don’t serve healthy food, so I had packed my own lunch, but I still went to the cafeteria with everyone else because apparently that’s where people eat. I could have bought salad, or a sandwich and a bag of crisps which seemed to be very popular here or I could have bought something from Subway. Yes, they have Subway, at school. I know it’s unfair, the aroma of it every morning is almost intoxicating. In the cafeteria there was also a Costa, where you can get coffee and then the real diner which servers different kinds of food. I haven’t even checked out what they serve, but I saw that you could get at least pizza and Mexican food.

The first day was very overwhelming and I don’t even remember much of it, I was just so tired, my brain was so tired that when I got back home I just sat down and stared into nothing like a half an hour. I was so tired that I just had something to eat and went to bed and fell asleep immediately.

I haven’t yet gotten my login, so that I would get a computer and really start doing my job, but I was told that I would get it on Friday. I don’t mind thought, I like an easy/slow start and it takes time for me to get the hang of it. I have been doing some archiving, and getting the mail, laminating, photocopying and scanning and answering phone calls and all sorts of things. I’m sure that I will enjoy working there.

Besides being super tired (I’m so hoping it’ll pass because it’s rather annoying) I literally haven’t done anything interesting. Well I did go to gym with Kim Wednesday morning before work (I know, I wasn’t clearly thinking!!) and then running today, I’m really liking it here and I could see myself living here, all I would need would be my husband and my dogs.

Tomorrows Friday and I’m so thrilled! I cannot wait to let my brain take a time out. I’m just going to explore the city, get to know the buses and find a nail salon to do my nails and I might pop into a pub. Oh, and I learned a new word. Pigeonhole! It means those letter boxes that some offices have, when I first heard people saying to me; could you pop that into my pigeonhole, I was like what, where, whose hole?? Anyway, now you know it too!

 

Have a nice weekend everybody and see you next week!

So, here I am and what can I say? I love it!

The goodbyes were awful and horrible and got me regretting this whole thing, but once I got into that bus inJyväskylä I was ok. Then at the Helsinki-Vantaa I was fine and finally at Gatwick I was doing great! I had booked a bus ticket from Gatwick to Chichester and just the bus ride confirmed my opinion that I did the right thing coming here. The scenery was beautiful and just the greenness of it all made me into a better mood since back at home it was plain gray. Here the weather was warm and lovely and apparently very unusual for this time of year.

 

At the Chichester bus station a lovely lady name Kim was picking me up, and I would be staying with her for the next 8 weeks. She is very nice, and I love her home. It’s a little white cottage and I love my room and my comfy bed, and it feels good to be here. Pretty much right away Kim took me to Tesco to get some food and my tired brain couldn’t really think straight so I just got something and decided to come back later. Back at the cottage I unpacked and took a little nap. After the nap I did a little stroll around the neighborhood and it was so lovely and beautiful. When I got back Kim suggested to go for a walk to this nearby pub and I was happy to go, and the walk was amazing, just so beautiful everywhere. The little walk turned out to be over 2 km long and finally when we got to this pub and ordered our drinks it started to rain! The rain didn’t stop and we had to walk back. We walked through the fields which at this point were all muddy! So, we got completely soaked. When we finally got back to the cottage Merve was there with her parents.

 

I forgot to mention that Kim had another student living with her, a girl called Merve and she is from Turkey and her parents were visiting her. So, we get back at the cottage soakin wet, and I must have made a good first impression! After we had gotten ourselves dried up we enjoyed a nice evening with Merve and her lovely parents who didn’t speak English at all, so Merve had to do some translating and she did a good job. We tried some Finnish candy and they all seemed to enjoy the Fazer chocolate. I didn’t bring any too strong licorice, just Hopea toffee and Sirkus Aakkoset and they liked those too.

 

Next day was Sunday and I wanted to walk to the school where I would be working so I turmed on Google Maps and was on my way. I did make a couple of wrong turns ( I blame Google) but I managed to find it, from the school I walked to the city center and got my bearings. I didn’t really stop to go and see anything specific but just walked around so that I would know where to go.

 

This evening was a last one with Merve’s parents and we had a nice time. Merves mother gave me a souvenir from Turkey and I gave them Fazer chocolate. They were so thrilled to have met me and I was happy too. I didn’t think that I would get to know another culture besides England, so I consider myself very fortunate to have met them. I even got an invite to go and see them there and knowing myself I might just take up on that.

 

I went to bed early because next day I had to wake and go to work! I can’t wait to tell you all about it, but that will have to wait until later, see you!

 

 

Halfway thru

The time is running too fast only 4 weeks anymore. Almost basic week except that Wednesday to Friday we had these finnishboys at work whit us. We teached them how to pick items from the selves. I had much fun whit them i think that santeri had too.  On friday there was our friends 20 b-day party and it was lots of fun except i broke my phone xD.  On saturday we had this finnish night whit other finnish people. And on sunday we did just sleep and i eat the best pizza i have ever eaten. It has been super hot here almost every day +20 degrees.