A delightful sampler from Finland

While on a recent holiday in Helsinki, Finland we visited the National Museum where I discovered this beautiful sampler made by Johanna Charlotta von Knorring (1758-1829) when she was 25 years old in 1783. The workmanship is lovely, but what I liked best was the unusual inclusion of a lobster in the animals decorating the piece. Living near the sea I guess it made sense for her to add creatures she knew well.

Helsinki for Christmas 2018

Spent a week in Helsinki, Finland this Christmas. It was quite dull with cloudy skies for most of the time but we did get a little bit of snow here and there. The people are very friendly and the food was amazing. It is a much quieter, more sedate Christmas than we are used to and they celebrate the event on December 24th with a family sauna, rice pudding for breakfast, going to church and giving presents in the evening. There were quite a few people complaining of having a hangover on the 25th!

Christmas Day for us was very quiet and we went to a Finnish restaurant for dinner in the evening. Thought there’d be lots of Finnish families having a meal out, but the majority of the clientele were tourists some of whom spent the entire meal on their phones even when sitting with a group of people – very strange!

Also visited the Helsinki Christmas Market, saw Helsinki and Uzpansky Cathedrals, saw the magnificent Rock Church and the National Museum with it’s gorgeous ceiling and stained glass, went on the Helsinki Wheel, took a dip in a 27 degree C pool (it was -11 degrees C air temperature), visited the Helsinki Zoo to see the Snow Leopards and walked around Suomennlina Island on the ice!