Monday, 29 March 2010

Twinkle twinkle little star

While I was at work today the boss sung this song to our daughter. We decided to see if we had the chords in either of our two books of nursery rhymes as the baby seems to enjoy my guitar playing (at least for a while). The first one featured a tune which was not twinkle twinkle little star and the chords clearly did not work with the melody we know. So we tried the second book which came up trumps.

However it seemed to be in an unnecessarily fiendishy key (which on a guitar isn't so bad) and on top of that it featured some outlandishly complicated chords. I tried the usual trick of sending them back to their root but somehow it just didn't sound right.

So I started with Am7b5. This is more correctly written as "A minor seven flattened fifth" which isn't something to inspire confidence. Then on to the E° (or E diminished). Once I could play these chords fluently enough so the song could be sung and played simultaneously I was amazed at how beautiful, calm and generally tranquil they made the song. The baby seemed unimpressed but hopefully she will be one day.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Kanteleen kutsu

We took the baby swimming for the first time today. I have to say I had a great time and it seemed that our little werewolf also enjoyed herself. She kicked her legs and smiled and then decided it was all so normal she started sucking her fingers. She didn't quite understand what was going on when I went under water but that will come as we learn to enjoy it. However as a starting point it was an excellent half hour.

For us parents learning to sing the welcome to swimming and bye bye songs in Finnish is a more immediately pressing challenge but that will come. Luckily our instructor spoke excellent English and we got the idea so I have a feeling that between all of us there will be muddling through resulting in the little one having an enjoyable time swimming!

Dinner tonight was salmon and lentils which was very tasty and quite made up as I went along. I'm not even sure I could write a recipe even if I wanted to. The thing is my menu planning seems to be being dictated by what we are feeding the little one. She needed some salmon poaching so I followed suit for us adults. Luckily I managed to make it tasty! We followed it up with some chocolate ice cream which I bought the other night on a whim. Very naughty but very nice!

Finally we hung some fabric in our stairwell this afternoon which looks amazing. The design is based on the Finnish national epic the Kalevala. You can see the full pattern here. The picture above is of our stairwell looking up. The boss is convinced the photo would have been better from the landing looking down, and she maybe right, but as the little baby has gone to bed I'm not about to start blundering about up there.

At this point it is worth while mentioning that we have been baby proofing the house. The strange thing is that I seem to be bumping into everything, whacking anything vaguely likely to give me a bruise and generally lumbering about the house like a blind cyclops. However today has (so far) been accident free. Now if I can only make it to bed in one piece...

The other good news is some friends of ours have asked if they can come and visit at Easter. It will be great to see them. We lived next to them in Helsinki and were occasionally known as the "Champagne Elves"...maybe Easter and good company would be a good excuse to open a bottle of bubbly?

Monday, 15 March 2010

Al Andalus

Apologies for light blogging recently. Work has been busy, so has raising a family and we have been in Spain on holiday. We took the heir to the empire to Ronda which we found to be very impressive. Her verdict was to fall asleep in her pushchair. She was more impressed with the sea in a kind of, "hmm what is this?" kind of way.

The highlight of the trip was that she loved being with Grandma and Gramps and to see how they all played together was great. There were many shrieks of delight from Daddy's little werewolf (long story don't ask) which were lovely to hear. I hope when she goes to visit her Grandpa and Nanna in England next month that they all have as much silly fun together.

We shall start taking her to swimming classes this weekend which I am excited about, and a little nervous, mostly because I would like her to enjoy it and because the course comes with two pages of instructions in Finnish detailing what to do, when to do it and who to notify. It honestly seems more complicated than my tax return which can't be right. Our first challenge is to find her a pair of swimming shoes. Although as work is about to be super silly for the rest of the week with 3 commercial reviews and a day of meetings culminating in one about my future, when I shall have time to help in finding said swimming shoes is something only the almighty knows.

So it does mean that blogging will continue to be light for a little while.
Please do keep coming back, there will be more soon. I promise!