It was late that night. He opened the Tube app to check until what time the trains were running. There was still time. Few more trains before they would shut the doors of the stations until the early morning. He had to change train in Baker Street and walked slowly to the platform. A train had just stopped but he did not rush. He had his headphones on and had stumbled upon an interview on BBC Ulster. The host was interviewing Ciara O’Neill. They were speaking about her new album. They were talking and his mind rushed back to memories of living in Scotland, to a trip he took in Ireland (though not Northern Ireland) many many years before. He remembered the winters up in the north. The strong winds. The waves in the ocean. The rain. The hills. The daily runs along the river. The warm pubs. All that came back in a matter of seconds and the distance to the train changed and there was no need to rush anymore. He listened to their nice Irish accent and then she sang one of the new songs. He thoughts about her courage to pursue her dream and become a songwriter up there in Northern Ireland and, for a moment, in Baker Street’s tube station as well.
The wind was blowing strong the day we took this walk. The radio and the weather apps where informing about this big snow storm coming which would touch more than half of Finland. People were advised to stay in for the night and the early hours of the following day. We had few hours of light and went for a walk in the countryside. The light was grey. The wind was carrying dry snow which made the air seems a bit foggy. It was not possible to take a tack sharp picture. The road followed the up and downs of the fields and its sides were one with the field nearby. The ditch that usually separates this road from the fields had disappeared under the snow. Then we saw this barn near a farm. People live here. Farmers own this land. I stopped for a second in the middle of the road. Listen to the wind. I thought about the life of those living here. How do these farmers cope with the long winter? How do they manage their farm and income? How far do their kids have to go to get to school? What do they think when they look outside the windows of their homes? I took this photograph as the cold wind from the east was taking my thoughts away with it. I put my hand in the pockets of my jacket to warm them and walked back to the cottage facing the wind.
Another photograph from Eastern Finland for the Winter Wonderland Series. I have few more to post. I will see how far I can go with these.
Pyhäjärvi is large lake in Eastern Finland. You can follow it going east and you will end up in Russia after passing the island of Havukkasaari. I think the landscape on the other side of the border it pretty similar to the one on this side of the border. Water. Ice in winter. Island. The line fo the forest at designing the horizon. At the same time, it seems to me that Russia is very far away. Almost unreachable. Unknowable.
A large lake. Frozen landscape. The sky promising more snow. No cars. No roads. Only the sound of the wind
Christmas Eve here in Finland.
Today I thought about last summer. One night when we came back home. The usual bus stop. The usual shortcut to get home. Something was different: it was the end of a nice and hot summer. There was a different smell in the air. Soon the leaved would turn to yellow and orange and make way to autumn.
In the age of fiberoptics and super fast connectivity it is still possible to find these old copper cables radiating from an old wooden pole.
The first snow of the year. It changes the atmosphere. It brings light. It softens the sounds.
Between 2001 and 2005 I lived with my family in Kampong Thom, in central Cambodia. It was my first long term project abroad. I worked a lot in pagodas and with pagoda community committees and learned a lot about how these groups can help their communities and about the recent history of Cambodia. I am greatly indebted to all the people I met during those years in the pagodas of the province of Kampong Thom
Saw on a bin near the entrance of T2 at Helsinki Vantaa airport
Kampot, Cambodia. Ca. 2001
Brighton, November 2018.