Do you know what the difference between winter in Finland and Morocco is? Well, here’s the answer: colour.
In good years, winter in Finland is white with a dash of blue – the ground, the lakes, the sea, the trees and the houses are covered in snow and ice, and the sky is a magical, clear blue (if you don’t believe me, have a look here and here). In bad years, winter is a uniform, dark grey. The colour palette is as discreet as the lives of plants and animals during the same time.
Winter in Morocco, on the other hand, is a marvellous mishmash of colour – deep and light green, red, orange, yellow, blue, there’s even the occasional rainbow! It’s almost as if Morocco stole all the colours from Finland for a while.
To be fair, I’ve spent many more winters in Finland than in Morocco, so take my truth with a pinch of salt. Or snow, if you have any.
Our roof cover is especially beautiful this time of the year, and the colours unusually vibrant right after the rain.
Let’s start December with some kittens, shall we? I guess I’m not giving you very much choice, but you can always leave if you hate cats. If not, get ready for kitten-fest! These cats share the farm that I also live on. I’ve posted about kittens (different ones, of course) from here before.
This is also my 100th post, apparently, so I’ll use it as an opportunity to celebrate the creatures who, after all, own the internet.
Stella, who is turning out to be a master hunter!
Exactly a year ago today, I arrived in Morocco with my partner, our cat, and our stuff. It’s been and continues to be an adventure – experiencing a new culture, a new language, a new climate. I keep learning everyday, and sometimes it’s a bit tiring; but at the end of the day, I’m getting exactly what I came for.
We’re hoping to stay here for at least another year, and by that time, I hope I’ll feel a bit more comfortable with the language, and a bit more settled. For now, here are some of my favourite photos from my year in Morocco.
A view from my roof.
The other day, I noticed that I have quite the collection of wall pictures. As in, photographs of walls. Strange, huh? It even surprised me. I’ve never made a conscious effort to photograph walls. After all, what are walls? They’re often part of a structure, but can also make a structure in and of themselves; they can protect the people behind it or the people outside it; they come in a marvellous variety of shapes, sizes, colours, and materials. I guess they’re quite a presence in our everyday lives.
Walls can signify division, or unity. They can be used as an artist’s canvas, a dog’s bathroom, or a climber’s training ground. As all structures humans build, walls are an expression of people’s imagination (or lack thereof), of historical accidents, of our need to boast or survive, and of the different styles preferred throughout the ages. Maybe I do find walls interesting. Imagine that – I never knew.
A stunningly beautiful wall in an old, small mill town in southern Finland, called Fiskars.
You walk in through a large opening in the nearly 1000-year-old wall. There’s a square, but that’s the only other thing than the colourful, homely-looking houses that seem to completely fill the place. Between the houses there are small alleys, and sometimes a narrow street. At most one car could fit on those streets, which is fine, because there aren’t that many of them anyway. It’s possibly the best-preserved medieval city in Scandinavia, and it’s calm and quiet. Well, at least in early June – later in the summer, it’s run over by tourists from all over Sweden. This UNESCO World Heritage site is Visby, the only city on the large Swedish island, Gotland.
It was Autumn, and I was visiting family and friends in Finland. I kid I always used to hang out with in elementary school, but hadn’t seen for at least 10 years, contacted me and asked if I could come and photograph her children – she clearly wasn’t a kid anymore. Nor am I. Through the magic of the internet, she had found out that I take pictures, and that I’d be coming to Finland. Naturally, I said I’d be happy to come over with my camera.
There was a bit of shyness in the beginning, but soon enough the camera became overwhelmingly interesting!
One day, the sun burped. It was just what I had hoped for! We were visiting Finland, far enough north that the collision between the solar particles travelling at a high speed towards us and our shield against such burps, the magnetosphere, could give birth to something beautiful.
Aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights.