mid winter

As my friends and family celebrated Juhannus in Finland, with practically no night at all, here in down under we had the shortest day of the year. It didn’t feel too unbearable (in fact I didn’t even know about it): yesterday was the opening of my new job place, Laneway Greens. After the opening shift I was ‘pretty’ tired and decided to indulge in a bubble bath, followed by 11hrs of solid sleep. Oh boy I needed that sleep!

I have finally managed to find myself a home, one where I don’t have to share everything with 6 Italians or go to my closet of a room through someone else’s bedroom. Getting here a week ago was an interesting adventure, one I hope will never have to happen again. I am happy in Southbank, within walking distance to the city, to work and to all trams and trains. Couldn’t have asked for more (besides a jacuzzi and a gym with free weights, but the outdoors pool in the courtyard will make do).

Shortest day of the year, view from the balcony.
Shortest day of the year, view from the balcony.

Usually midsummer is the time for de-stressing and relaxing, and I must admit that after the past few weeks’ of homelessness and uncertainty with the new work, life is getting on it’s tracks. I have felt way better and more relaxed because of the lovely people and excellent classes at YogaXTC. If I still lived in South Yarra, I would definitely not let go of this gem! Now I need to find new exercise routines, luckily I have some options lined up already.

The best mat sessions.
The best mat sessions.

This winter (HA!) has been the easiest of my life. This afternoon after going grocery shopping in South melbourne market, we had a cup of coffee and laughed about the fact that it is the dead of winter, and it’s 13 degrees and sunny – Better mid winter weather than mid summer weather back home! I can totally handle this. Finland makes one tough.

City view from Northcote, Sunday strolling to my favorite foodstore.
City view from Northcote, Sunday strolling to my favorite foodstore.
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Midsummer festivities: How to Open a Watermelon

As I have posted before, Midsummer or Summer Soltice is one of Finland’s biggest celebrations. Last year in New York I missed all the traditions: summer cottage, new potatoes, dunk people and whatnot, so this year was my opportunity to take it all back!

Guess what? I decided to stay in the city. Apparently I was not the only one, since there was (still is) a rather big city festival in Pyynikki. No summer cottage (though we do live next to a forest and have a nice view of the lake, which to me is the point of the whole thing), and no new potatoes with fish, but a lot of drunk people at the festival. It all evens out, right? The sun was shining, I even managed to  burn my back on the beach(!), and it was almost full moon, though still light outside at midnight. I “forgot” to collect 7 different flowers to dream of my future husband or the love of my life, nor did I do any other magic tricks and hocus pocus that is traditional to this feast ofthe inevitable: the days are getting shorter, and the winter is coming.

Midsummer midnight swim. Not me, though.
Midsummer midnight swim. Not me, though

With this long intro to the whole deal, I will now reveal to you how to deal with the uncomfortable situation of making a watermelon edible without a knife. A fast youtube search suggested banging your head to the fruit, which I was not that keen on trying (wonder why…) As smashing it to the ground would not have been cost-efficient, I wanted to find an alternative solution.

Battle of strenght
Battle of strength

At this point, you already have the solution. It is suggested to start off with the equipment.

The most beautiful melon
The most beautiful melon

To open a melon without a knife, you need a friend -or someone random- who just happens to carry around some nail scissors or a sewing kit. Just poke holes and cut around the whole damn thing, then start pulling with a friend. Or use karate moves on the cut line, which ever you fancy. The result is much greater than the boring triangles you get with cutting with a knife!

Getting at it
Getting at it

And as a bonus, after scooping the flesh out with your plastic forks and spoons (reserve few extra cause if you’re like me, you’re gonna break at least 4), there’s juice left for making punch drinking.

Sweet juice
Sweet juice

An idea: the left over bowls can be used as helmets, or hats.

So…that was yesterday, there still is today of everything-being-closed-and-drunk-people-wandering, we’ll see if I’ll get the courage to get out of the house and to the city! So far, I have just been devouring on chocolate sauce I made because I didn’t have enough patience to make actual chocolate. Recipe would be coming up in another post, but it’s ridiculously simple and I have no pictures of it besides my chocolatey mouth, so here goes: basically just mix melted coconut oil with cocoa powder and (raw chocolate) honey, then add some lechitin and toco (/other “superfood stuff” or just skip the powders, they’ll add creaminess and vitamins and stuff but who needs those, anyways) and bee pollen to the mix. No need to freeze, scoop it up (with sliced apple, for example) and smile!

The winter is coming, but who cares – it’s summer now!