Sunday, 20 March 2011

Spring has Sprung

I have just returned from a lovely weekend at a mökki (summer cottage) on the river Kokemäenjoki, some 200km (120 miles) West of Helsinki.

And it was springtime! Apparently.

It was a balmy 3C (37F), and some 40-60cm (16-23in) of snow still lay on the gound. In the night of Friday to Saturday, a further 7cm (3in) of snow fell. The river was still frozen to such an extent that cars were able to drive across it.

Did I say springtime?

Well, according to my Finnish host, it did feel like spring. Everywhere, people are apparently planning what to put in their gardens, thinking of the pleasure of taking a swim in the river after sauna, etc.

Now, I am not claiming to be Sherlock Holmes here, but it seems to me that all this is still some way off. So whereas daffodils are already flowering in the UK, my guess is it will take them a little while to make it through the thick layer of snow in Southern Finland.

Finnish Spring Sandals
Clearly though, if you live in Finland, you have to be both optimistic and very patient with the seasons. You have to wait an eternity for the very short summer to arrive, and some years you have to wait until January before snow finally falls properly bringing some brightness to the bleak winter.

I asked my companion for the weekend whether Finns were indeed patient people: “Not particularly, but we just don’t show our impatience, like we don’t show any other emotion!”

Oh well, at least I will only have to wait a matter of days before I see green grass and daffodils again.

1 comment:

  1. ha ha ha, so true. Sadly the patience with the seasons is something I've still not learnt