Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Midsummer Day

(Cross-posted on my Jacob's Blog.)

True to form, the Midsummer Rose has bloomed in the Kampitie Garden.

Yesterday, Annikki and I went on a stone collecting trip invited by Matti (Masa) Moisa to his special place on the beach in Martiniemi. It was a fascinating experience as we had to go through quite unspoilt forest to reach the small rocky beach that Matti has converted into a rock museum.

Annikki was wild with excitement as she saw the wild flowers including the Lily of the Valley and many more that I do not know the names for. But she knew them all, bringing to the fore the immense valuable knowledge in my better half's brain.

Matti has constructed one small stone castle on the beach, which is his morning sunbathing castle. He is busy creating his second castle which will serve as his evening sunbathing castle!

Here are a couple of pictures of the stones in his stone museum.

This copper coloured stone took my fancy.

Matti has developed his own rudimentary, but obviously very effective, technique of moving enormous stones to their resting place on the beach.

The scenery from the beach was truly breathtaking.

One of the beauties of Matti's collection is the stone-age computer keyboard!

Here is the haul of stones that Annikki and Matti made yesterday. It appears to be the start of a beautiful friendship!

On our way home after a most enjoyable evening on the beach I saw my first ant-hill in Finland. I just had to stop and take a photograph of it.

Thank you Matti for such a wonderful evening in the wilds of Finnish nature just half an hour from the centre of Oulu!

This Sunday's CHAFF meeting will be very small as most people are out of town for Midsummer, but do join us at the Pailin Restaurant (Kenttätoe 9, Kasarmi Area, 90100 Oulu) at 13:00 hours, as some of us will be there, as usual!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

More on Oulu Artist Ann Pöllänen

(Cross-posted in my Jacob's Blog.)

Yesterday I featured the carving skill of an Oulu artist from Thailand, Rakchanok Pöllänen (née Phunsawat) from Kanchanaburi, wife of Petri Pöllanen, who is making history here in Oulu. Ann is not just a soap carver. She is a crochet expert as well as a designer of beautiful dried floral gifts, just as exquisitely beautiful as the artist herself.

Ann with one of her crocheted designs
on display in Oulu at the Thai Pailin Restaurant.

I have pleasure in bring you, here, a couple of her dried floral designs.

I hope to, in the future, feature several top artists from Oulu, Finland who are from the ethnic minorities. If you can give me information about them, please let me know.

I wish that there is one important forum for them to show their work from this Arctic town in the world, something the City of Oulu should do, but fails to.

Thai Artists - Made in Finland

(Cross-posted on my Jacob's Blog.)

The other day Annikki was given a present which really was unique - a carved soap.

I wonder whether she will ever use this work of art!

It was the creation of a Thai artist, Ann, Rakchanok Pöllänen (née Phunsawat) from Kanchanaburi, Thailand, who resides in Oulu, Finland with her Finnish husband, Petri Pöllänen (whom we call Patrick), who amongst other things is a volleyball referee.

Ann is truly unique in that she carves a special soap with the most intricate of floral designs. A special soap has to be used as normal soaps are too waxy and crumble under the delicate touch of the artist's carving knife.

Now Ann is launching sales in Finland of her specially carved soaps under a "Designed and Made in Finland" label.

Each of these designs takes more than a couple of hours of patient work to complete. The beautiful boxes in which they are packed also add much to their value as a presentation item.

They are indeed a valuable gift for Mother's Day, Weddings, Anniversaries, Christmas and other gift giving occasions.

A few weeks ago you may remember that I blogged a picture of intricately carved fruits and vegetables, which is also a fine Thai tradition brought to Finland by yet another Thai artist residing in Oulu, Unnop Khungrai.

Carved Watermelon

These carvings make for great show on a dining table and is yet another wonderful addition of Thai Culture into their new Finnish abode.

I do wish Oulu, which claims to want to be an "International City" will abduct these great Thai art traditions into its own and help these marvellous Thai artists living here to pass it on to Finnish children through the education system. ( :-) I can always dream! "Dialogue Today, Action Tomorrow" - The TOMORROW THAT NEVER COMES?)

Do contact me as to how you can get your hands on these creations directly from the artists or how to contact them personally.

These are valuable additions to Finnish culture.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Chaff Meeting on 4th June

I was truly astounded by the turnout and the positive tone of the CHAFF Meeting last Sunday.

Feroz at the head of the table

Besides me from India, Tingting (China), Kerstin (Germany), Ildikó (Hungary), Michaela (Slovakia), Unnop (Thailand), Pailin (Thailand), Isaac (USA / India), Andreana (Venezuela), Kamu (Zambia), Ilari (Finland), Matti (Finland), Pentti (Finland) and Virpi (Finland), were old timers who were present.

Isaac and Tingting
Isaac and Tingting

Kerstin and Ilari
Kerstin and Ilari

Andreana and Ildikó

Feroz was a newcomer, hailing fromn India.

I am sorry I cannot bring you pictures of Virpi's new motorbike as she joined the Harley Davidson exclusive club in Oulu. The revved up engine sure made it noisy at Pailin Restaurant!

Many subjects were discussed at the meeting, but above all everyone enjoyed the great food dished up by Pailin. Others coming to the restaurant were also tempted to partake of the Thai buffet, and they loved it.

David was away in Helsinki and sent his regrets through Pentti. Dr. Sebastian was in the final stages of organising the internation conference in Oulu and sent his apologies.

The next meeting will be on Sunday 11th June at 13:00 hours at the Thai Pailin Restaurant, Kenttätie 9, Kasarmi Area, 90100 Oulu.