Autumn

This post was due already a couple a weeks ago, but because of technical difficulties, a lengthy post that I wrote on a cold October night never saw the light of day i.e.  never made its way onto the world wide web. Sometimes my life feels rather hectic, even though when observing from a far, it isn’t, perhaps it is just my own mind that makes everything so difficult and complicated in my small world, but at times I feel that I need to unwind.

I often clear my head by going for long walks during chilly autumn nights, thinking about the past, present and future. One evening as I headed out, a scarf around my neck, a beanie on my head and a camera in my hand, I reminisced about a lot of things as I took deep breaths of  the fresh air outside. It’s funny how climate can bring to our mind our own past sometimes, as if those things had happened just yesterday.

As I walked in my local park, that had gone silent for the winter, inhabited now only by small bunnies running mindlessly through the leaf covered scene, I remembered how I always linked autumn to anticipating something. I remember how as a small kid I waited eagerly for the leaves to fall and the colder weathers to come, because with cold weather came ice and with ice came ice hockey. Even though I have had periods in my life when hockey hasn’t been that important, as a kid it was. Partly because that was where all of your friends also were, on the ice. Only now as I’m a bit older I’ve noticed that in fact my oldest and most trustworthy friends were indeed my line mates as I was 6 or 7. Some of my friends continued to play hockey, I didn’t, I moved onto skiing, downhill that is.

When I started to ski and film my friends for snowboard videos and stuff (LINK), I got into new fun circles for which I am to this day still damn grateful. Every autumn as the weather started to get colder, we watched ,nearly non-stop, the webcam of our local ski center, to see if the snow-cannons had started to paint the slopes white, and when they did start to cover the hill with what was more Ice than snow, we headed to the center to film something. Waiting for the ski season to start was for a long time a part of my autumn, but that changed once I moved to Helsinki, and especially now that I live in Berlin.

Sure,I could have continued to ski in Helsinki, but it would’ve been way too much of a hassle to travel to the nearby towns, with public transport, not to mention not having the familiar faces of my “crew” there. As if by accident my road started to lead back to my former hobby, although this time to the rafters. A good friend of mine started to lure me into going to see the hockey matches in Helsinki, needless to say it didn’t take long for me to be hooked again to ice hockey. As the hockey season starts usually around September, this “spectator sport” started to be the new thing that I awaited to begin during autumns, we even went to see my team’s (IFK Helsinki) training matches in August, because at times it felt that the season couldn’t come quick enough. Needless to say, I haven’t been to IFK’s games in a while having moved to Berlin.

I have tried to follow both my team’s games and the local Berlin team’s games here, but it hasn’t felt the same. I do still watch the Finnish league (and the NHL , if they didn’t have a lockout season), but nowadays I’ve noticed I enjoy spending a lot of time with my camera. Even on that cold October night, as I was kicking the maple leaf piles with my feet in the empty park, I had my Sony with me. I perhaps lacked the anticipation of something “seasonal” but I have a continuous hobby now, which is surprisingly chill and allows me to clear my head as well. Dwelling through the park, snapping photos and enjoying the lack of noises is just bliss at times. That night I spent a good few hours walking around, stopping now and again to sit on a bench to observe the wild life that had still stayed in the park for the upcoming winter.

I believe Nietzsche once said ” All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking” and I do believe he is on to something there, since at least for me, when I walk alone in the evenings I am able to clear my head of the  less useful thoughts and focus on the good ones, which is something that for me is hard to do at times when surrounded by people. I might have walked out that night out of the door, with a big stressful mess of different thoughts, but returned with a much calmer mind and even a couple of nice photos, all thanks to a “sleeping” park and a late evening walk. I also know now that I do not need to have anything to anticipate during the autumn anymore, sure skiing would be fun, but in the end, taking pictures or writing nonsense isn’t a bad hobby either, and you can do it anytime of the year.

Summer in March

We Finns love Saunas, partly because they work as a sanctuary for the ever quiet Finns to speak about their feelings, worries and other issues, however we are also attracted by these “human ovens” because of one simple thing : Warmth. Yes, if you haven’t lived your whole life out of the reach of media coverage and information on my beloved native land, you probably are well aware that  Finland isn’t found on Google searches made with keywords such as; hot climate, warm climate,  beach holiday destination. Nay, Finland is only given a short time of warmth during the year and this period of time is usually referred to as Summer. Since this so called “summer” usually starts around late May in Finland, I have never before in my life had to ask myself the question in the morning ” shorts or slacks?”

Apparently Europe (or mainland Europe to be precise) gets a head start on the Summer and believe it or not I am not complaining! It’s a pleasant change to see on the thermometer a “+” instead of a ” – ” in front of the 20 degrees.  Waking up to the sunlight blazing through my dark blue curtains, I cannot but feel that it’s a sign from mother nature saying to me ” get up and go out you lazy kid!” (somehow I always hear that with the voice of Howard’s mom from The Big Bang Theory http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaeY8N4T7Do ) . The fact of having +20 degrees, sun and plenty of free-time on my hands has lead to me making some small urban ventures within the area of Berlin.

One of these Indiana Jones- like ventures took me even so far as a couple of kilometers from my home in Schöneberg. Initially I had great plans for this particular day, but probably due to the pleasantly shining sun taking away all of my energy, I stepped out of the S-Bahn already at Yorckstrasse, a relatively nearby stop on the trainline, and decided to continue my day by walking around the area of Kreuzberg, in search of something cool to see or capture onto the memory card in my camera.

I walked for roughly an hour without seeing anything worthy of taking my camera out of my backpack and gathering attention by being the ever stereotypical tourist taking pictures of seemingly non-enthusiastic objects.  Even though, I thoroughly enjoy the whole city of Berlin and especially Kreuzberg, as one foot went in front of the other for another kilometer, I began to think  if today I couldn’t actually find anything that would spike my enthusiasm for taking photos. Just as the 7th kid in line for a soda from a 6-pack I too started to realise that I might not get what I wanted today.

As I continued to walk, still with a smile on my face ( partly thanks to a new mixtape going through on my player), I saw a large shadow on the pavement in front of me. I glanced to my right and realised that there was a rather large hill with some sort of monument on top of it. Water ran from top to bottom and everywhere I looked, there were people chilling and enjoying the weather. This was a place I too wanted to relax at and took out my camera and headed up hill.

I walked straight up to the monument ( to be honest I was too excited about the nice view and the weather to pay any attention to what was written on the monument)  and took my time to take in the sights, after which I  started to slowly descent back  from the top to the street level. I followed the water running down the hill, in order to see whether I could take some pictures of these “waterfalls” in the midst of Berlin. I was able to capture some simplistic but satisfying enough moments to quench my thirst for pictures. I can only imagine how touristy I must have looked, as I nearly went in the water in effort to get a better photo.

Having taken photos of the same spots by the water for nearly half an hour I decided to call it quits and perhaps  start to navigate back to my humble home in Schöneberg. I packed my stuff, hopped happily down the tarmac leading down the hill and decided to make one more necessary detour before treating my photoshop with some new photos: enjoying a Kebab at Mehringdamm.

Here are some of the pictures from that day, rather repetitive but hey, I did say I spent nearly half an hour at the same spots.

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Me and my “best friend”

Last night I was again bored. Running around within the four walls of my room, without a destination.
I decided to make use of this “extra energy” that I had and enjoy the company of my camera in the form of a short walk around the borough of Schöneberg.

As often with my trips, this one got extended as well and went quickly from being a short walk around the corner to a full blown sightseeing tour, spending two full hours walking around Berlin to the beat of some fresh drum’n’bass songs.

Luckily, at least the weather was on my side this time and I didn’t have to seek cover from rain or snow. I played a lot with the shutter of my camera to make some use of my walk, other than the obvious health benefit of walking for kilometers at a good pace. Mr. Self-timer was also with me during this random tour of Berlin and it makes me wonder if I’ve gotten too used to using a self-timer, when I even tell passing by pedestrian that I do not require assistance whilst taking photos, as they offer to take a picture of me. Perhaps it’s just the simple fact that I don’t trust them to do a good job ( as if I was a professional, right…).

Having come home around midnight, I was already able to edit some of the shots, but left most of them for today, since I was a tad tired and didn’t have the energy to focus on editing. At least now I can say that I’ve seen the “siegessäule” statue up-close, since before yesterday I hadn’t had the energy to drag myself to take pictures of it.

Here are a couple from last night the rest and much more can be found in the IamMoments section.

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