I Ask You One Thing, Dear Readers

This blog is a book. Maybe better to read from the beginning? 🙂

 

Saturday, 9 December 2017.

 

Dear Readers,

The story will continue tomorrow – at least that’s the plan. But tonight, I just want to stop by to honor my cousin Helen.

Beautiful, always fun, always smiling, full of joye de vivre, life and love.

Helen was my close friend since childhood. She came from South America to visit us many times in Finland, last time a year ago. And this July, I was privileged to see her at her home – already battling against her rare, agressive cancer.

She bravely fought all year – with lots of pain, faith, hope, and lots of desire to survive. And the full loving presence of her mom, my godmother, as well as other close family.

Just a few days ago, she sent me and my sister “I love you, cousin” messages, like she always did, on a weekly basis. It was mutual interaction, of course.

That was who she was. Loving. Happy. And always daring.

She passed away yesterday night, in the presence of her most beloved ones, at the age of 34.

Today, hundreds of people are posting smiley pictures of her hugging them, on her FB page. She had hundreds of friends.

Helen, you will be greatly missed! You shone your light and your example will live on with us!

And to you, my reader friends, I’ll just say this:

Life is fleeting!

Let us live to love and smile and extend our helping hand.

What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? Whose face do you desire to see last by your deathbed? What legacy do you want to leave behind?

 

This afternoon, I went to Mr. Ex and Ms. Newbie’s home to have a Xmas meal with them and their baby, our teens, our James Bond and my daughter’s super boyfriend. Mr. Ex had cooked with devotion and everything was delicious. Ms. Newbie was really sweet and I’m happy she gets to enjoy motherhood.

You see, our daughter Kristiina asked for this meal as a Xmas gift, because she loves us all and wants to experience that she has lost none of us – and we can still celebrate important occasions together. It’s important to her, so it’s equally important to us. And life is to be shared…

After that, I’ve been alone at my flat, as Joey is at a party. He called me twice, though, and wanted to talk about Helen, who he loved very much, as well. Tonight, I’ve enjoyed a meditative, sentimental mood, full of memories of her – celebrating her wonderful life to the music of B.J. Thomas.

Full of heartfelt sentiments.

I’m here alone, but I’m OK. In fact, some friends have texted and are doing it right now, too.

I just want to ask you, my reader, wherever you are:

If you’re not alone in the house, go seek out your family member or your friend now. Tell them you love them! Give them a wonderful embrace. NOW! You never know how long you’ll have them. How long you’ll be around. Don’t be sparing with your love. Be brave!

I just wish I could hug certain people tonight. I wish I could rest within the perfect embrace. James Bond will have to do. 🙂

We were made to hug. Don’t be too busy to do what’s important first and what’s urgent in second place.

Glad my parents are coming to Helsinki this week and I’ll go and see my 94 yo Mummo, as well. Glad I’ll spend time with my son tomorrow! Glad I saw Kristiina and her bf today. Glad Mr. Ex is doing OK. Grateful that my beloved sister Sarah lives nearby – and her precious family.

Let’s pray for many blessings over my godparents and surviving cousins!

My love and happy wishes to all of you too, fellow human amigos. Take care! Xx

 

 

 

Chapter 71 – Tinder Date #16, Part Four

This blog is a book. Maybe better to read from the beginning? 🙂

 

Sunday, 21 February 2016.

 

D – Welcome T😊 Finland

 

Anna walks James Bond round the block to Kaisaniemenkatu. She spots a tall man standing by the tram stop with a suitcase and his back towards her.

Suspense is in the air.

Is he even who he says he is?? Be brave, now…! Jack Chi 007 will definitely sniff him and scare him off if he’s a bad guy!

 

IMG_2461

 

She approaches the man and says, “Hi, Christian?” with a careful smile.

He turns slowly.

 

Her heart skips a beat.

Oh……..! He’s just like his best pics! (See, Anna? That crazy, clueless selfie. I told you to take the risk and meet him in person – otherwise you’d never know!)

Christian is tall – good built, back straight.

1,82 against Anna’s 1,61.

Aww. He looks d-r-e-a-m-y. Yummy. — Inner giggles.

1 x ?

Her careful smile widens as her suspicions melt away a little bit. She can already see a glimpse of the the mysterious Englishman who’s made her laugh and feel important quite a few times in the last three weeks.

 

“There you are!” He smiles back, enveloping her in his arms. The way she likes it. Awww.

His very first embrace (Can you believe it?) is firm and nice, “transmitting human warmth,” as the saying goes in Portuguese. Christian seems to be used to hugging, and comfortable with touching new acquaintances in a natural way. A confident manner.

Score!

2 x ?

 

“Hi Anna,” he exclaims with a joyful voice, “How are you doing?

“Wow, you look exactly like the girl in the pictures!” Oh God, that sexy voice. His Queen’s English is to die for. Eurgh! She gets goose bumps all over.

3 x ?

 

Stop. This is torture! And she’s dropping her guard already.

Act cool, Anna.

 

“Really? Oh, thank you.” Anna replies.

“No.” He sounds adamant now, “You look even better!” He adds while squatting to greet James Bond, who swings his tail and sniffs him approvingly.

Surprise, surprise. This dog always loves everybody. I’m not giving Christian extra points for that!

“Hey, little one!” Christian says, patting the dog and chatting with him.

Meanwhile, careful Anna quickly scans the Englishman some more.

She checks his luggage to see whether it has recent flight luggage stickers. He could be a street bum with a smart phone, the Tinder app and a desperate need to find lodging, after all.

Good! The Finnair stickers match the story. Check. ☑️

More points? No, just relief. Same score.

3 x ? So far so good on my side of things.

 

Christian is wearing Hugo Boss glasses, a ¾ length dark gray overcoat, jeans and hiking boots. Casual and elegant. Smooth face, no wrinkles. Bald, but his remaining hair is nicely trimmed – the Karoo Desert cut, as she suggested and he promised.

4 x ? Yay.

He’s 45, but hmm, he could pass for 42.

 

“Christian, you’re so late that all the restaurants have closed down already. That’s Helsinki on Sundays for you.

“Why don’t we go to my place to have that veggie soup?” Now that he showed up. Hey, about that….. She suddenly remembers his tardiness and feels she deserves an explanation.

“Yes, it’d be my pleasure, thanks. Can we drop my suitcase at the Radisson first?”

 

“Some mysterious hotel you booked yourself there, huh?” she teases him.

“Oh. Soooo sorry. I haven’t found it yet. Please, would you show me the way?”

“I thought you knew Helsinki well, Christian! What’s happened?” she smiles, a little suspicious again.

“Oh Anna, I think I have a fever. I’m feeling pretty weak.” puppy eyes.

 

“Poor Christian. Let me feel your forehead.”

She touches him and – oh electricity, butterflies, zizzz – “Yes! Maybe you do have a temperature. Oh no! Whatever shall we do?? Talking of which…” she opens her mocca leather bag and…

“Here’s the scarf. Where are my manners. Do you like brown? It’s a gift from my mom to you!” she smiles as she wraps Riitta’s very own art form around his neck, touching his skin a little bit again. Zizzzzz.

“There you go!” says Anna, looking into his beautiful eyes. “That’s better!”

Their gaze locks for a few seconds. More butterflies. More zizzz, zizzzzz. Oh… 🎼 Tonight’s the night we’re gonna make it happen. Tonight we’ll put all other things aside…? 🎶

 

“Very kind of you. Yes. I feel better already.” English manners…

5 x ?  But what about me?? What’s my score? I must definitely be 10 points ahead, just for having been kept waiting. Ha!

“Thank your mom for me, will you? Btw……. may I buy another one of her scarves?” he asks while they walk down the path she’s leading.

“Oh, no, no. Mom has hand-knitted about 800 of them, so far. One per day. Aren’t they perfect? Her project is to make a thousand and give them away around the world.

“I help distribute the scarves to whomever wants them. Mom says she prays that the people wearing them will be blessed. You can have a few more, if you’d like.” (He later chooses a green one).

 

As Christian follows Anna, he explains that he had tried checking in at the Radisson on Mikonkatu, by the railway station.

“Oh, that’s where you texted me from, then?” Yes. When his turn at the reception came, he had been told that he was at the wrong Radisson.

“A person in the streets pointed me towards Ha-ka-niemi…!? Hakaniemi, is that how you say it? I walked there and back. By the time I came back to Kaisla, I couldn’t stand taking one more step. Until you came to save me.

“There must be at least three Radissons in Helsinki, Anna.” He protests.

“Oh, really!” Coughing and spluttering like a dying vagrant in the drizzling rain, an Englishman takes refuge inside a pub. —  “Your hotel is in the complete opposite direction, silly man! Come on, let me lead you there.” Anna laughs, relieved to have their earlier missencounter accounted for.

OK. The slate has been wiped clean.

 

23:45

Suitcase drop at Radisson ☑️

James Bond returned to Mr. Ex ☑️

Christian survives the walk to her flat in Jätkäsaari – uphill with no ski lift and downhill with no bicycle basket ☑️

 

“Welcome to my humble abode, Mr. Englishman.”

Anna feels just a little shy. A little self-conscious, while making that 2D to 3D shift. You never know what will happen next, no matter how many times you’ve imagined it.

And that’s fun.

“Thank you, it’s so great to finally be here,” he says as he puts down a shopping bag on the entrance floor.

She shows him around the apartment. He likes its modern architecture.

“Yes,” Anna says. “Even though it is only 59 square meters, all the spaces look huge and have been well-planned.”

“Definitely. And I love your sofa. What a great choice!”

“Thanks.”  she opens up the practical sheet she sewed the other night, explaining the whole concept to him “When the teens are here, the apartment can feel a little small. Especially if James Bond is also with us. But we are South Americans, so we love proximity. This way we can easily hang out, talk and hug!” she giggles.

“Here, let me show you something in the bedroom. My son is an artist like me, so I’ve painted him a black board directly on the wall. A DIY.”

“Wow. You painted this yourself? Well done,” he says, touching the board with his long fingers, “Can we draw? Give me some chalk. You go and draw something, as well. There. On the other end. Don’t look. No peeping!

“Uh, no peeping, Anna! Make your own drawing. Gosh.” he feigns annoyance. Funny guy. 

Zizzz.

Anna is drawing a dog and she’s feeling curious. What is he up, too? I’m the the artist, after all.

This is fun.

 

“OK, now you may look.”  He smiles, visibly satisfied with his masterpiece.

unnamed2

 

“Oh……. What is that?”

“Can’t you see the necklace, Anna? It has your name on it. It’s you!” he is laughing now.

“What?? What is that snake?? JB is a dog, not a snake. That’s ridiculous!”

“Oh, that’s your mysterious tattoo, the snake, Anna. The one you said you have on your belly!” he teases her and they laugh.

“I don’t have a snake on my belly!!” Oh, gosh! He is looking so handsome. Anna feels the urge to to kiss him, to be hugged again.

She doesn’t lose control just yet. But all her insides are going  🎼  I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it. I’m about to lose control and I think I like it. 🎶

“Yes, you do! It’s a snake. I know it.” he laughs.

“It is not.” Fun guy my ass, he’s a clever dog! That’s what he is. — “Hey, the soup is boiling. Let’s go and have that dinner now, shall we?”

 

Paracetamol and a convalescence dinner of strong homemade veggie soup ☑️

Christian is looking better already. Happy to be here. There’s so much his eyes seem to want to say, but Anna can’t tell what. There is no clear flirting during dinner.

Pleasant conversations – polite, smart, interesting. Kids, their separations last year. Work, hobbies. Blah, blah, some laughter, blah, blah. ☑️

He’s mysterious – what an intriguing guy – making her want to find out more. ☑️

You see, Anna is being mysterious, too. She is a bit competitive and loves a nice challenge. Oh, how I miss kissing. Sooooo much! And I like him…

🎼  I want to love you, feel you
Wrap myself around you
I want to squeeze you, please you
I just can’t get enough
And if you move real slow, I’ll let it go 🎶
.

He loads the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. “My job!” he gently pushes her away “You did all that cooking for us. No, don’t help me.”

“OK.” she retreats, putting the leftovers in the fridge and the French baguettes in a plastic bag.

“Btw, I bought the champagne I promised to. At the airport, Anna. To celebrate finally meeting my tattooed mystery! Shall we have a glass tonight?”

🎼  I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it
And I know, I know, I know, I know, I know I want you 🎶

“Yes! And, Christian…?”

© 2017 rf

Obs. Day too happy to count.
.
I’m So Excited lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
.
.

Chapter 70 – Tinder Date #16, Part Three

 

Sunday, 21 February 2016.

 

D-WTF!?

 

Exhilarated Anna smiles. She’s got a positive gut feeling about their encounter tonight. I’m single again…

No.

Let me rephrase that: I’m single and hot and full of energy and life. Cute! Fun. Playful. Kind.

Single and ready to mingle – she giggles – with a big heart…

 

…And my date is here. Yay, yay, yay!!

 

20:49   OK. Almost ready. Will give you a call soon. 😊

 

Gonna meet charming prince Christian any minute now. Yahoo! (Hmm. Hope he’s not too much of a frog).

Game on?

The Love Game. One can’t win if one doesn’t dare play. Try, Anna, try! Risk it.

Game on!!

 

Anna is standing outside Christian’s hotel, and her body is singing… 🎼 I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it – I’m about to lose control and I think I like it… 🎶

Yay!!

She literally can’t wait to see him anymore. Big smile, bubbly heart and many bouncy butterflies flying in her stomach. Hopefully in his, too. They’re flying everywhere. Out of control. Haha. YOLO, yeah! That’s what I’m talking about, babe.

They’ve agreed to meet around 20:30.

She looks at her watch and…

...21:15? Seriously?! Where is this man?? I thought Englishmen were punctual.

Interesting…?! Hmmm.

 

21:20   Hey there, I’m outside your hotel with my son’s dog. James Bond also wants to meet you. 😊 Are you almost ready?

 

It’s getting a little cold in the drizzling rain for little 007 – but no reply from Christian. What’s going on?

 

 

21:37   I’m so sorry. I got lost!!! I’m at Oluthuone Kaisla.

 

WTF?? I thought he was dying to meet me! What is he doing in a bar instead???

 

21:38   Weren’t you at the hotel?

I got lost.

I’m in front of the Radisson Blu Royal. Is this your hotel? I was going to pick you up from here, wasn’t that what we planned?

I’m so tired and ill. I’ll get a taxi.

 

Oh! He’s feeling ill? Oh.

We’re gonna lose each other if he starts moving around.

 

A taxi. Where to?

 

He doesn’t have my address. And I’m not at home.

 

Can you pick me up, please? So sorry! Everyone I asked pointed me towards the wrong hotel.

I can come to the bar – but if I come there, will you be there?

I’m not moving. I’m lost. I’ll be waiting for you here. Please! And, sorry again. ☹️

 

Anna walks a km down to Kaisla and waits by the door on Vilhonkatu. She can’t go in with the dog, so she tries calling him.

Line busy.

??

She starts feeling suspicious. Almost irritated. Not quite, but almost. Sigh. I’ll give him the benefit of a doubt. He can probably explain this.

 

22:03   Are you at the bar? I’m outside Kaisla now, with 007. Can’t see you from here.

 

He calls her and says he’s coming outside in a minute.

But still nothing.

This is too weird! Eurgh!?!?!?!!!

Is he even where he says he is???

 

About five minutes go by before Anna asks some people who are coming out of the establishment if there possibly is another entrance to the bar. “Yes, there is,” they answer with a friendly smile.

Ahhh. That explains it. Phew.

Well… maybe!

 

She walks James Bond round the block to Kaisaniemenkatu. She spots a tall man standing by the tram stop with a suitcase and his back towards her. Feeling feisty now.

Is he even who he says he is?? Be brave, now.

Jack Chi 007 – good doggie – will sniff him and scare him off if he’s a bad guy!!

She approaches him and says, “Hi, Christian?” with a careful smile.

He turns slowly.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. D-WTF – it really happened like this, folks!

I’m So Excited lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

 

Chapter 49 – Christian 1/ Tinder Date #11

 

Sunday, 14 February 2016.

 

Day 56

 

Anna is getting used to sending messages to Christian, Englishman #2, first thing every morning.

8:45   Morning! Slept 10 hours. Gosh, couldn’t take it anymore. My body even started to hurt from the discomfort! Going to work out soon.
For how many days are you staying next week?

Just a rough idea, because I’d like to organize my holiday week. The thing is, the teens will be with their dad. And since I’ll be on holiday and they’ll be on holiday, I know they’ll ask me to do something nice with them. It’s a pleasure for me. But, if I have an idea of the days when you’re available, I can plan special things for my teens, too.

In case we do want to hang out a lot! But having said, let’s feel free not to meet me again after the first time (though I’d love to at least make a friend). Happy Friends’ Day again! It’s today. ☺️

hook – kopio

 

10:44   Good morning and Happy Friends’ day to you too!
10 hours? You really do like sleeping! Beautiful hook! 😊

I’m going to let you know my movements a little later. Still figuring out a few details. Don’t want to take time away from your kids.

10:51   Of course not. Just let me know about your movements this week because then I can plan. My kids care a lot about my needs, and they know I need my own time. As long as I’m also there for them during the week, no problem.

Just yesterday my son was so loving. We were hanging out alone at home and he was leaving and then he stopped everything and said: “Mom, I love you so much! You’re so wonderful. You totally deserve an awesome boyfriend and you will get one in the right moment.”

   They know I’ve been on Tinder dates. At first they thought it was hilarious/ embarrassing, but then they started to get it. They support me even in this. Great teens! 😊

11:27   Wow. Special kids. That’s really amazing. 😊

13:36   Off the top of my head, I am free evening 21st, then all day Tue and Wed. Poss free Wed pm, then business trip 24/25th. Helsinki again, so free morning of 26th.

Back to Germany from 3rd-8th, then back to Helsinki for a week or so. China prob April now.

Hope you’re having a nice day.

15:59   Good to know! I’ll try to make plans around that. ☺️
Just finished watching The Revenant with son. So bloody. But well made.
How’s your day coming along?

16:10   Don’t you feel like you could use an extra warm hearty hug today? I’m kind of more emotional. Valentine’s mode.

But strong girl here, though.
Looking forward to finally meeting you in person on Sunday.  😊

16:28   One more week. I will give you that hearty hug. If you let me. 😊

If you don’t, I may just grab you by force. ☺️ Beware.

17:02  Please do. ☺️ I’m coming on 21st with no plans to work. I’m coming to meet you. 😊 Work starts late Wednesday.

Great.

Need to get to bottom of the tattoo mystery. Among other things. 😉
Any ski lifts nearby? I’d love to see that.

18:09   I mean you on/off one. 😉 Remember you told me how you can’t get off? How you slide backwards and fall?

Hahaha. We could make a day trip. Would be fun!
But are you sure you want to risk me dying before solving the tattoo mystery?

18:10   I’ll solve that one quickly. Then we’ll move on. 😊

Good one! I have to go out now. Speak later?

18:12   Enjoy! Talk soon.

Good to have company on Friend’s day! Especially being a bit emotional today…

What are friends for? Exactly.

I would totally hug you today. You wouldn’t have a choice.

Oh. That would be nice.

Women and their cycles.  😊

18:14  Choice or no choice. 😊 I’m coming at the wrong time then. Anyway, enjoy your day!

 

Anna goes out with another Tinder date – one of those she had booked days ago. Another Christian (but American, this one). Says he’s an ex-police officer, now a counter-terrorist agent lending services to the Finnish government.

He’s strong, good looking and pleasant enough.

They go to the Nepalese restaurant in her neighborhood, the same where she’s been with Riku, her blind date.

She has a small soup and he a full-course meal. It’s nice to have company. He gives her a nice French kiss at the end and promises to invite her out for dinner tomorrow. She says she’ll think about it.

 

In the meanwhile, Christian sends Anna a montage and a recording, finally:

19: 43   🇩🇪🇬🇧 + 🇺🇾🇫🇮 = 😊😊☃️❄️🍴🍴🍾🍕🍰⛷️🍷🎲🎲💋

“Hello, only me. Just want to wish you a Happy Friends’ Day.  Hope you’re having a nice day with your loved ones. And, can’t wait to see you seven days from now. Ah, it’s crazy. One week from now. Yeah, really can’t wait. So, have a nice night and get lots of sleep. See you soon!”

19:58   Almost forgot:

20:07   🔥🔥🔥 and 🎆🎆🎼🎹🎬💤💤

21:34   My montage was not as creative as yours.

 

His messages feel more interesting than her date.

 

21:42   Yes it was! 😍

Earlier today, I went running with James Bond, my son’s dog (6 km).

22:15   Loved the montages, especially the double everything.

Great to hear your voice. Really lovely! Tell me more about your German side.

Love and miss this little friendly, playful dog! Look at this picture – how cute!

jb
23:36   Ahhh. He’s cute.

Wonderful. I never had a pet as a child. Apart from goldfish. It killed itself. Love James Bond – what a fun name! You had a good active day, I can see. I walk a lot. More in Helsinki.

23:36   Hopefully you can show me more.

Here’s a tiger I drew with color pencils:

IMG_2402

 

And some more of my art:

Had a box of leather leftover pieces. Created this bag with glue and scissors and sewing, and gave it to mom.

23:39   Wow. I am impressed. Love it. You should be a designer. Our designer!!

 

IMG_2393

So cool. I can see your future.

P.S. I love hugs too.

😊 Wonderful. This one’s not mine, but I love it:

IMG_2395

That’s quite funny. I like it.

It’s very creative, isn’t it?

Yep. Do you know who did it?

It says Terry Border was the artist.

23:44   May I flood your phone with pics like this? You can delete them soon. Otherwise I’ll eat up your memory space.

Please. Flood me. 😊

IMG_2397

This is my daughter’s kind of art!

23:49   A proper baker. 😊 Getting hungry. You are killing me!

She should totally bake wedding cakes.

I wouldn’t resist that.

 

IMG_2398

I love taking pictures, as well. And I love Finland!!

Beautiful!

IMG_2399

I have a nice camera, but have no idea how to use it.

Nowadays I just use my phone.

Yep. Like me. New iPhone takes great pics.

My favorite place in Majorca:

IMG_2400

Looks familiar. V Spanish.

Favorite game (it’s called Ingenious):

IMG_2401

I want to play. I’ll probably win. 😊 Maybe we can play? You have to teach me. Is that in your flat?

No, not my flat. A game night I hold at church, sometimes.

I hope you win! I like to play against smart, competitive people.

Otherwise it’s no fun!

00:01   I always play to win.

After midnight, so 6 days to go. 😊

And the art of selfies. Here you go.

 

Anna sends him a couple of good ones.

 

00:03   Beautiful. 😊

Teach me. I need to learn how to take good selfies. Night night. Thanks for all the pics. 😊 Sweet dreams.

00:05   I’ll teach you. Ah! Where is that smile selfie I asked for? (Sorry for the flood).

I loved the flood.

Had a kind of nostalgic day today.

Keep flooding! 😊

Looking at the kids as small babies, etc.

Lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Ah, yes. Here is chubby me as a baby!

00:07   OMG!

Me. Then my son.

HOW CUTE!!!

Haha.

I told you he looks just like you!!

Definitely mine. 😊

I love all your pictures.

And I guess you have an older sister?
Send me as many pics you want as well. Love them.

Sleep tight! X

00:12   Night night x

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 56 since moving out… And 6 days to go!