A day in the life – Au Pairing in London, part1

southbankWe were au-pairing in London last week with Mr Kari. Our dearest two little girls live there and needed us to take care of them. The week was loaded by family matters, little girls talks and thoughts, playing, pickniques in the parks, cooking, kisses, bed times, bath times. On Wednesday we had adult program. This post is about Wednesday.


London has been familiar to me long before I first visited the city in 1978.  London was the number one place in the world for me because of the Beatles.

When I arrived in London the first time it was a sensation: everything I had seen in the magazines and in TV was there and a live performance. Only The Beatles were no more – but they all four were still alive and we had hopes to get them back.

Ladywell park


We started our day from the Ladywell Park in Lewisham. The Ravensbourne river is beautiful, clean and located right in the  middle of a busy community.

The fact that we visitors always carry our own places with us when travelling,  shows also in the pictures we take. I was exited of the wonderful spring and first observed the familiar blooming flowers: cow parsleys (koiranputket), buttercups (leinikit) and dandelions (voikukat).

opastauluThe river preserving project has been partly funded by the EU. I wonder how all would now look like in Europe without the European Union? I am going to vote for the development of Europe and I will vote Timo Harakka.


In England they welcome bikes on the train. But we took the train from Ladywell via Waterloo to Wandsworth Town to

2 bicycles

hairderssers. My sister Riitta gave me a hair cut as birthday present.


Please meet Mr Simon at the Geddes. We talked about travelling. His favourite destinations are South Africa and Argentina. We naturally also discussed the aggression in Ukraine and Mr Putin and what does he really want. Mr.Simon  thinks Putin wants back the old times, the Soviet Union and the cold war.  I think the Russians – being as patriotic as they can, are now, however, used to free travel and economy, consuming and connections to other cultures. I don´t think they would accept the Iron Curtain. Let´s see. Maybe the western parts of Russia will be part of the European Union?

Mr Simon gets clients from everywhere – but even he can not make miracles, this is how I looked after the treatment:sefie1But I am back to normal already. And the hair looks good with the new cut.

Kristin Hjellegjerde, Arteco Gallery

On the other side of the street we met Norwegian Kristin Hjellegjerde at her gallery, 533 Old York Road, London SW18 1TG. http://www.kristinhjellegjerde.com

gallery1She has a very interesting exhibition right now: Trade roots where she introduces works by:


On the window you can view this piece of art :


This is woolen handmade carpet by Faig Ahmed and called RESTRAINT. I see in this beautiful work of art a dialogue between the past and the modern trade in the Middle East. The islamic aesthetics from hundereds of years back are  turning into excel-files. My sister saw it differently though. Price for this mat is 9500 pounds.


teos1Phoebe Boswell has used charcoal and granite to complete this picture called Shwari. She has created the work in Sansibar, a former centre of trade and culture exchange on the Eastern coast of Tanzania.



We continued to the center of London to the Southbank of The Thames river. I tried to take a picture of Nelson Mandela but he kept on moving and this is the best I could manage.


Foyles Bookstore at Waterloo Station. There was a display of religious fiction. Me having read through all winter the history of Jerusalem (Simon Sebag Montefiore: Jerusalem. A Biography) I was interested in Cain by Jose Saramago and bought it. A great little book.

My sister found this:what should weand there we read this quotation:


And this afternoon back here in Helsinki, there was a great program on YLE Radio Suomi by Heikki Salo discussing the girls, the laugh and the men. http://areena.yle.fi/radio/2220898

Culture for Children

little_londonI am writing a text – hopefully a book one day – about the Finnish culture to children. This is why I always use the opportunity to industrial espionage. I found a book called Little London that was completed by a network of grownups sharing  a calendar of events and destinations the children would be interested in London. The children are interested in the same things as adults – we exprienced this again in the Hampton Court with the girls on Thursday – but that is another story.


riittaI have three beautiful sisters and this is Riitta in red in front of a red wall on the Southbank.

I joined this guy to sing Beatles with me:


southbank booksSouthbank outdoors antiquariat market, wide selection of great books.

southbank books2What do you think of these books for instance – isn´t it sad to leave these behind! Who said you can not have everything – I don´t want everything, only those that I want.

royalfestivalhallWe headed to Royal Festival Hall to experience Mitsuko Uschida playing Beethovens 3rd Piano Concerto.

and after that we had a drink:drinks