Summer in Finland… The countryside, the lakes, sauna… Clichés for sure… but also true: when I think of summer I think of childhood memories. I used to spend my childhood summers at my grandmother’s holiday home by a lake…. and I hated every moment of it, and haven’t been to the countryside since the mid-seventies. The countryside and me, we’re just not a good match. For starters, I’m allergic to just about anything growing there, so you can imagine how much fun it is…. And sauna… I have one in my flat. I use it to store dirty laundry.
Well, maybe I’m not a ‘typical Finn’ (if that even exists)…
However, when Sacramento, Rosy and Elena invited bloggers to put together outfits and blog posts evoking summer for the share-in-style link-up, I thought we could have some fun with these clichés about summer in Finland…
The cliché / public opinion states that summer in Finland is very short, therefore you must not waste a moment of it. And it always rains. Except when it doesn’t. And it’s usually cold… except when it’s very hot. A hot day is considered a good one, and must not be wasted (because tomorrow it might be raining… and even if it isn’t, there’s always the long, dark winter just a few short weeks /months away…). The hotter it is, the better, and only tourists seek solace in the shadow.
|This little island is located between Helsinki market square and Suomenlinna, the location for this photoshoot.|
The clichéd way to spend your summer holiday
(or vacation for my American readers) is at the family holiday home / summer cottage: a rustic, preferably old wooden building located by a lake or the sea, and as far away from other people as possible. As there are a bit over 5 million inhabitants and almost 200 000 lakes and the Baltic sea around, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a suitable location.
And what do you do at your holiday home? Well, nothing… A summer holiday is the time to de-stress, relax, chill out… get away from the big, bad world and reconnect with nature, listen to the birds sing and watch the midnight sun…
|bag: Coach / trousers: Marks & Spencer / cardigan: Gina Tricot / T-shirt: Pepe Jeans London / sunglasses: Miu Miu|
a ratty, old T-shirt and shorts (who’s going to see you in the middle of nowhere?) for both sexes, although for men the shirt is optional. This sort of conditioning during our formative years may partly explain, though not excuse, the appalling dress sense of some Finnish tourists visiting Spanish holiday resorts…
So, what do snobbish city dwellers like me do to recreate the summer holiday experience /cliché that is so intrinsic to the Finnish psyche? Lucky for me, there are several places in and around Helsinki where countryside-phobic residents can go to soak up the sun, with SPF “as high as possible”, of course… (I did mention that the summer is short, and only tourists hide from the sun, didn’t I?)
|Photos by Professor M|
Maybe I’ve been living in a big city far too long, hiding under my sun umbrella (which I left in Homebase 2…): a few hours outdoors on a hot day (30°C / 86F°) make me feel uncomfortable and red-faced (even with SPF 50). Then again, you’ve heard me complain about the hot weather all summer… Feel free to remind me of that in winter, say, around early March or so when my moaning about the never-ending winter reaches its peak…
Those of you going on holiday: enjoy the summer,
and those of you (like me) who are back to work: keep cool, by whatever means.