5 days in Finland

I'm back in work after 5 glorious days in Finland last week. I'm happy to be back at work, diving into some design work, feeling refreshed and re-energised from my trip, but I'm also missing Finland once again. We spent most of our time in Espoo catching up with friends and family and enjoying obscene amounts of cinnamon buns, coffee and, of course, enjoying sauna. We crammed a lot into 5 days, here's a brief overview of our 5 days in Finland...

1. Wednesday So we arrived late Thursday night. After a midnight feast of macaroni box, we headed off to the 24hour Prisma to buy a few bits and pieces, mostly tasty snacks to scoff before we headed to bed. The following morning we took Gapu for a walk around Espoo, calling at the local Alepa for more tasty snacks! In the afternoon we went to Helsinki University where Tuomas was giving a lecture. I sat in the back with his parents trying to understand extremely advanced mathematics. The post-lecture pizza and drinks helped me …

Autumn in Finland

Last night we arrived in Finland for a short break and to catch up with friends and family and just enjoy being in Finland during Autumn. I can already notice a difference since we were last here in July. We missed seeing the first snow of the season by a day, so we've arrived in a wet and windy Finland. I can't wait to take in the beauty of this country at this time of year and take lots of photos! I've been in desperate need of a break from work and the every day routine that can take over life. 5 things I'm looking forward to doing in Finland... 1. Visit Tampere We stayed in Tampere, the 'Manchester of Finland' last January and had a great time eating munkki and exploring the city.
2. Eat Cinnamon buns and drink coffeeWe plan to visit some of our favourite coffee shops and indulge in some cinnamon buns and musta kahvi whilst in Helsinki. Cafe Succes and Carousel are top of our lists! 3. Go for long walks with the dogNothing beats a nice long walk in the fore…

5 things... I liked about Halloween 2018

It's finally here! Today is October 31st. Halloween. With the John Carpenter film Halloween being my all-time favourite film, it has been a long-standing tradition for me to watch that film (and occasionally the somewhat great 1981 sequel, Halloween II) on this day. This year I finally got to see the film on the big screen and the following week, I saw the 2018 Halloween movie, the latest sequel to the original film. 
When it was announced that they were making another sequel, I had mixed feelings. The two Rob Zombie re-boots were as far away from the feeling of the original film as possible. It was just gore and violence. Neither of which I like. Halloween is about suspense and fear. The last time Laurie Strode was on our screens was 2002's dreaful Halloween Resurrection, which despite being directed by H2 director, Rick Rosenthall, and featuring Jamie Lee Curtis, was an abysmal film filled with annoying characters and cheap scares. The last Halloween sequel I really enjoyed…

How I'm learning Finnish

Last year I enrolled to the Manchester Suomi school and started to learn Finnish twice a month. The class was mainly filed with English people with Finnish partners. I'd picked up one or two phrases from my partner and his family but still struggled with the language. I decided to try a new way of learning. Using post-it notes and a sharpie, I decided to label everyday household items to try and learn a few words around the house. So far, so good. I'm getting there and starting to remember words. I'm going to change the words every few weeks and try and expand my Finnish as much as possible. We're heading over to Helsinki in a week's time so hopefully I'll get to practice some of the words and phrases I've learnt.

John Carpenter's Halloween ...on the big screen!

My all-time favourite film is the 1978 John Carpenter horror film, Halloween. I think I was 10 or 11 when I first saw it and I can remember the fear I felt as I watched psychopath Micheal Myers stalk the teenage babysitter Laurie Strode and her friends around Haddenfield on Halloween night.

Over the years, I've bought many editions of the film (and it's many sequals) on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray but I had never experienced it on the big screen. Last Wednesday it was shown at The Printworks in Manchester City centre and I finally got to see it as it was intended.

The film was introduced by a short 20 minute film where John Carpenter gave some background information on how it was filmed and a brief history of the film's legacy. I think this was from 2016 as Carpenter said it was Halloween's 28th anniversary (it was released 40 years ago this year!) The trailer for the new Halloween film was also shown.

The thing that I've always loved about Halloween is it's subtlety…

Review: Ingrid Chavez | Touch Of Love

Ingrid Chavez Touch of Love (Limited Edition CD review) Ingrid Chavez was signed to Prince's Paisley Park Records in the early 1990s and starred in his 1990 movie Graffiti Bridge. She was also the co-writer of Madonna's 1990 hit 'Justify My Love.' After releasing her debut album May 19 1992 and the singles 'Elephant Box' and 'Hippy Blood' on Paisley Park, Ingrid married David Sylvian, of the group Japan, and left the industry to focus on home life.

In 2010 Ingrid returned to music with A Flutter And Some Words and went on to record an album under the name Black Eskimo with Marco Valentin.

Ingrid recently took part in the PRN Alumni event at Cafe de Paris in London where a limited edition CD Touch Of Love (only 100 hand-made copies were made) was sold, that served as a 'Best Of' before the release of her upcoming album, Memories of Flying.

Featuring songs from both of her solo albums and also her collaborations with David Sylvian and Black Eskimo,…