Shiva got her first taste of snow today! I took her out this morning, and snow had blanketed the ground during the night, coming stealthily to catch us unawares. She came off the stoop and sniffed around at the white stuff, not touching it at first, until she determined that it wasn’t anything to be concerned with. She did try to roll it in it once, like she does with grass, but as soon as her shoulder touched it, she was back up like a shot, and didn’t try again.
She looked quite stylish in her sweater, but unfortunately, was not going to stay that way for long. We would have walked to the dog park this morning, but I had no interest in trying to navigate that steep path with the snow and slush on the ground, so we just walked around a different way. Along this route, she went exploring amid some trees, and eventually something in the underbrush got her attention. She got her leash tangled in the branches, and as I was trying to untangle her, she was digging like crazy after something (probably a hedgehog, I figure). When I finally got her away, she was a mess!
So home we went, and straight into the bathroom for a shower and her first bath since coming to Helsinki! She spent the rest of the afternoon napping, apparently.
I only know from tales, as I was gone shopping at some of the local markets with a friend. There’s one in the Forums, called Ilo Joulu, and there are two places for it, on the second and on the third floor. Lots of independent vendors set up inside with their tables and wares. I simply don’t have enough money, I can tell you that! I wanted so many things, but finally settled on a few small gifts for family and friends. Still, items of just 1€ or 2€ tend to add up quickly when you are buying for a half dozen and more people!
I want to pause here and give a shout out to my rain boots. My mom bought these for me from Amazon, and they are great! With a pair of wool socks, they are warm, they fit well and they are pretty comfortable to walk in. Even better, they seem to have decent traction in the ice and snow, and they definitely get through the slush very well! And the price is phenomenally better than most I’ve seen!
We left there and walked down to the Senate Square, where I had been last night. She was looking for a particular books dealer, which we found. She concluded business with him, and then we were feeling a bit peckish and cold, as it was drizzling a bit while we were out.
We decided to head in to Stockmann’s, experience the Christmas rush, and head up to the 8th floor to the Fazer Ravintola, and grab some coffee for her and hot chocolate for me. I was glad to do it, as my feet were finally starting to hurt. We had to wait for two cars of the elevators to come and go before we got there, and then afterwards, you should have seen the line for the ladies room!
Afterwards, she went on to a third market, but I was worn out, so we parted ways and I came home to meet my Wellu and Shiva, and tuck in. Except…it was only like 4:30pm, and I still need to take Shiva out for her evening walk! This getting dark at 3pm is for the birds!
On my way through the Rautatientorie to get to the bus, I passed a small group playing classical Christmas music right there in the hall. It was nice to stop for a moment and enjoy the music, and they played quite well, too. I’ve seen several street musicians (I think they call them buskers?) playing around the city. I tend to have a coin or two for the good ones. And most of them are quite good. (see video at the end of post)
Day 13 Challenge: How do you feel about the holiday season?
Because I don’t have to shop for anyone, I don’t feel the crushing weight of that responsibility on my shoulders. That means I can get in to the fun and joy of the season–the colors, the music, the lights, even the crowds. I’m not pressed for time, really, so the time is what I make of it, and I really enjoy looking at this time of year anew…almost like a child again, with no other responsibility than to enjoy it.
Enjoy a snippet of Christmas music!