13 June 2018
Bugsy came rushing into the kitchen with a cheery “Good morning!” looking all gorgeous and sleep-ruffled… only to be told that the sun was in fact just setting, not rising, and it was night time. Hilarious! She looked rather baffled, but went to the loo and after a cuddle in bed, settled back down for the night.
I had a bad night’s sleep, waking shortly after 3am, and I wasn’t able to go back to sleep until well after 6am. During that time, I did plenty of googling for various things that were occupying my mind, such as backpacks that open up like suitcases, changing my email settings on the server… stuff like that, that should not be keeping your mind busy at such hours! Ian was brilliant, getting up for his run, then coming back and booting me out of the door for mine. I would’ve happily crawled back into bed, but after the run, as always, I felt a million times better. I am in love with this part of Helsinki – we are just a mile or so from the sea, so I ran down there and along the various bike paths, stopping to take photos of the Sibelius monument tree (a Finnish composer) and the sparkling sea. It was a perfect morning for a run – nice and cool, with a light breeze – and I felt so much better than I had the other day. (I had done some glute activation exercises and yoga stretches while Ian was out, so perhaps this made me feel “lighter”!)
Cornelia was (unsurprisingly) still asleep when I went for my run, but on my return, she was half-dressed and tucking into a bowl of cornflakes. It was 10:30 at this point, and by the time I’d had a shower and managed to dress Cornelia, it was gone 13:00 as we headed out of the door.
One of the top attractions in Helsinki is Linnanmaki, an amusement park, which you can get into for free. There are eight rides that Cornelia could go on for free, or it was a €39 fee per person (including Cornelia) to access all of the rides that she could go on, being a petite 100cms. We decided that eight rides would be plenty, and she was just SO happy to be there! She’d had her hand stamped with a “100” to prove her height, and proudly showed this off as she chose her first ride: the wagon wheel.
We had lunch immediately after the first ride, and watched all of the grown up rides around us. I can’t believe how much bigger and scarier they all seem now, compared to the days when I was at Alton Towers!! She can’t wait to be big enough to come back and try them all out apparently!
After lunch, we found all of the other rides, and she waited her turn patiently, saying “Kiitos” (“Thanks” in Finnish) with a bright smile to the staff. The only thing she didn’t want to do was the tunnel slide, which wasn’t actually one of the eight rides anyway, but a small playpark within Linnanmaki. She is funny about tunnel slides, and says she is scared of them! It’s such an odd thing to be scared of, and I don’t know where it comes from – she’s otherwise the most fearless toddler I know! Ian braved the teacup ride with her, and I accompanied her on “Pilotti” the little aeroplane ride. It was all utterly brilliant! The best one was the Lookout Tower, which is a donut shaped cabin, rising slowly up, up, up, about 75 metres into the air. It then turns slowly around, so you have a complete 360⁰ view of the city. It was fabulous!!
Cornelia had earned herself a chocolate ice cream, on the promise that she didn’t have a sugar rush meltdown afterwards, and she stuck to her word, being completely bloody brilliant all afternoon. She even managed to blag a ride on Ian’s shoulders on the way back from the tram to the apartment! (Speaking of trams, the system here is excellent (and remarkably, rated as the number 1 attraction in Helsinki on Trip Advisor!) but we managed a bit of fare-dodging on the way back, unintentionally of course. I tried to buy the tickets from the parking meter, as I had done for our outbound trip, but it didn’t sell them. Instead, as per the website info I had researched, I approached the tram driver to purchase our tickets, only to be handed a leaflet with a gruff “We don’t sell them on the trams anymore”. Anyway, she didn’t kick us off, and we enjoyed a slightly guilty ride back!)
I nipped off to the supermarket to get supplies for dinner, and when I returned, Ian and Bugsy were playing schools (I think Cornelia may have been the teacher!), and carried on while I cooked. (Salmon, potatoes, broccoli and mange tout, in case you were wondering!) She took her time over eating, in between singing along to The Lion King, but ate the whole lot, before taking her dancing to another level – gliding on pieces of kitchen roll around the room, as if she were ice skating. In fact, she had us all it, and who doesn’t love a good dance around the kitchen?!
We took advantage of her good mood, to get her bed at a sensible time again, so Ian took her off and I set to work at our expenses for the trip so far. I spent a long time yesterday on it entering formulae to convert cash expenditure into £, and today I was reconciling all credit card transactions. I wish I’d been doing it from the start, then it wouldn’t have taken so long, but I finally managed to get it all done and looking good. But all it’s really done is let us know that we are slightly overspending, so we need to just rein it in a bit. I’ll give that a go, once Ian’s birthday is out of the way…!