Nordic Affairs


How dangerous are bears and wolves to human hikers in the Finnish wilderness?

Hard to tell, the wolves don't even leave the bones: they eat EVERYTHING right down to the marrow for the cubs. But there's always a rake of free tents and expensive hiking gear to salvage afterwards.

If you're thick enough to head out into the actual wilderness not too far north of here not appropriately equipped for the terrain and the elements regardless of the season, then you're likely natural born food for a smarter animal. Wolves don't just attack because they're hungry: they plot and plan when and how to take you as a group. Lone wolves are a rarer sight but certainly more of a threat. If one exiled elder of the den (for example) happens upon you or you walk into his assumed territory, then things happen much faster. And it's never good. Either the hiker shoots the wolf or the wolf attacks instantly, and mature wolves aren't small. They go for the neck, the throat. One giant leap. Then you're fucked.

In fact, if you're planning on heading into the wilderness at any time year in Finland, let me know your GPS coordinates. We have a drone group on the block who are looking for interesting things to film from drones. We'll find you, then film you getting savaged to tiny edible morsels for the cubs. Then sell it on some youtube gore channel for sweet money.

That or buy a decent piece before you even think of buying a one-man tent.

Guns are easy to buy - and cheap.

Especially the Finnish firearms.
Can't remember if I recommended Sam Eastland's Inspector Pekkala series of mysteries, Mowl. There are quite a few passages in the series set in the Finnish woods. Read the first as a randomer sort of selection and can't leave certain passages out of my mind. Tight good stories in it, and an amazing feat of research, with some literary passages in description of the woods that are very evocative and I suspect you'd enjoy.

Eastland is as far as I know a guy called Paul Watson, English guy but brought up in the States and living in Maine.

There's a fantastic scene that screams out to be filmed. Stalin has had listening devices placed in Inspector Pekkala's office and every Friday Pekkala and his team have a sort of picnic lunch with whatever they have managed to scrounge.

But this passage has Josef Stalin having his customary lunch in his office at the Kremlin while the drawer of his desk is open and Stalin is listening to the merriment and relaxed chatter in Pekkala's office which he can hear via a speaker with a switch in the top drawer. Like Stalin is wondering what it is like to be able to have lunch with colleagues in a relaxed and friendly way, something he can never do.

Just brilliant as a scene.



Haven't read them but I'll check with the regular and the academic libraries. We just had a new branch of the national academic library opened nearby two years back. It's an amazing collection of material which includes the theses of many Finns who went on to become the leading lights in their chosen fields.

They also stock the complete collected theses of my vocalist from The Senators Of Helsinki, who was professor of the theology department of Helsinki University. I've sourced lots of great material from there and am a regular visitor most weeks.

Pictured here in the building stage:

The area around the library heading south to the old fishing port of Kalasatama is currently being built on as part of the general redevelopment of the entire Sompasaari district which centers around the majestic Redi complex around the Kalasatama area. The three towers are currently Finland's tallest commercial buildings but they'll be trumped by another build happening now at Pasila.

Helsinki is building further and further out as the city population grows and the apartment blocks down along Sörnäinen and even further south again as the marshes are drained and recovered. There's public and private housing blocks shooting up and opening every few months. The sheer scale of the works going on defy belief, but the methods used in the planning is the same everywhere you look: the majority of the work is preparing the foundations, which go on for months at a time.But once the cornerstones are in place, the buildings shoot up floor by floor each week and they also show on my southern view along the estuary into the sea proper.

Tens of thousands of new builds which will all be opened and running within another three years. Even then more reclamation is happening as Helsinki builds further south along the shorelines. It's an amazing feat watching the speed of the works. One of my lady friend's Dads is a crane designer: he works out of his basement (in which there's also a music studio) and designs the boards for the critical workings of the cranes and although he's retired and in his early seventies, he's still the top dog in Finnish crane design.

He called us one dark winter night from the cranes over the Redi blocks and said to come to the window, at which point he flashed the emergency lights three times in our direction, which was so fucking cool. He's a huge bloke, in amazing health for a man his age. But he has a great sense of humour too in pulling a stunt like that.

Helsinki is expanding rapidly, but the centre of town is being preserved and any new builds are happening around and outwards from Central Station. I like that the stations are the centre of all towns and cities built here. It's far better than having a fucking church as ground zero. Which the Irish specialize in, like they have from the early 1900's.

Redi in the construction stages with one of Penna's cranes in clear view. He climbs and descends these contraptions every day and is the best-known and highest acclaimed crane builder in Finland, Estonia, and Lithuania, all of whom use him for their control systems in the bigger cranes.

The building is completely finished since a year or two back but it was a ghost building for the entire period of Covid. All shops were open for a few fixed hours per day and manned by one assistant: they mostly just there looking at their phones. It was like Michael Palin visiting North Korea's new airport: loads of shops and restaurants, all manned, but no people at all around.

The whole idea with the regeneration of the Sompasaari/Kalasatama/Sörnäinen areas is to reclaim as much new land as possible to build more apartment blocks and shopping areas. Ten years from now these plans will be finished and tenants moved in.

Finland is rising, every passing day another floor is added, another foundation dug and another cornerstone set. It's a very exciting time in Finnish progress and I'm just so happy to be here at this time in Finland's progress towards being one of Europe's last true diamond self-sufficient countries. Ten years from now Ireland will be down an even deeper hole than she is now, so expect to be outclassed and outwitted by Finnish ingenuity. It's going to get you, every time.

The design I did for that old apartment is now in place and the last remnants of the building stages are complete and the machinery removed with just one table of basic tools for cleaning up before the grand reveal at dinner next Thursday, when the mystery investor will finally reveal himself and he picks one of the two teams for his next acquisition.

If I nail this one, I'm set for the coming winter: our team are like a band playing in haphazard uniformity: we each have a specific skills set and we play together really well. I made a point of keeping my interior design theme youthful and vibrant, as it's a three bed spread with open planning from the hallways to the lounge areas. The cleaning staff are working on it for the next two days, then on Wednesday I arrive to finish the last of my details and wait for the investor to come and see what we did with his budget.

Exciting times for Mowl: I'll have my daytime work with the kids and another job designing themes for apartment interiors in the evenings. This winter will be awesome. Can't wait to get started.


Last night we celebrated 'Kekripukki Tulessa' here at Arabianranta. We burn the straw goat at the end of harvest season and before the end of the year to bade a good harvest the next year as well as a decent winter that won't freeze too many of us to death.

A great night for the kids with free hotdogs, face-painting, costumes, and the parents on the beer while some heavy metal band set up out on the estuary on a raft and played death metal through through tiny amps with a mini-kiddie drum-set keeping time. Gas lads - they were all dressed up for a rocking show but it sounded like a cartoon soundtrack.

Today the ashes will be collected and dumped off the bridge into the sea.

And so begins the steady walk into another Nordic winter of much content.


Sanna is in the clear 👍

Of course she is, there was never any doubt among us.

Scabs like Jambo and his shitsticky crew LOVE to hop on anything that puts Finland in a dark light, and only because they hate the Mowl. Doesn't get much thicker than that. But of course they act that way: they're mortified at the condition their own country is in - run by savages, liars, horse traders, and other filthy scum who have zero compunction about sliding a stiletto blade between the spinal discs.

But look at Shitstick now?

Look at Jambo now - he's Val's toy, a plaything, a little green Irish dildo for Dan's pleasure.

A sell out gobshite who hates his own country and culture and would rather be British.

The only thing in that video that stuck is Sanna's moves: man, she's hot - and vastly more intelligent than your average Irish scumbag politician.

She's still not going to give you a blowjob

But you can get yours from Val, Dan, or any of your Arse Team.

On Arsefield's - the gay bar site.

Where you belong.
All that fuss over Sanna Marin partying with her friends just emphasises for me the difference between normal people and career politicians.

I'm convinced that most career politicians these days anywhere in the world are just the grown up version of the kids who were never popular in school and have hit upon a way of paying everyone back for that 'mistake'.

I first twigged who these people were when Neil and Christine Hamilton appeared on the scene. It has been a succession of people quite like them ever since in the UK.


All that fuss over Sanna Marin partying with her friends just emphasises for me the difference between normal people and career politicians.

The Irish bloggers certainly showed their green backs on that one.

I'm convinced that most career politicians these days anywhere in the world are just the grown up version of the kids who were never popular in school and have hit upon a way of paying everyone back for that 'mistake'.

Men, in particular, hate a good looking and smart woman.

I first twigged who these people were when Neil and Christine Hamilton appeared on the scene. It has been a succession of people quite like them ever since in the UK.

Fuck the Brits, it's the Irish that need kicking these days.


Jambo pretends to find her unattractive because he's more into sweaty old men like Val and Dan.

Must be the lack of a proper father figure in his currently empty existence.

My prediction is that he'll eventually come out as a gay man.

With Val's cock down his throat and Dan's little willie up his arse - even if he fronts as a heterosexual:.



After a massive shift downwards in temperatures over the last week, the first snow is currently falling on Helsinki. A veritable snow-storm of rather epic proportions. Tonight we play an early evening show at the Swedish Theatre with a new band myself and a long-term chosen bassist, Lionel, were draughted in at the last minute.

Unusual sort of music, I heard just two short recorded pieces by the husband/wife duo and was told to refer to an album called 'The Something Rain' by Tindersticks for style and direction. Never listened to this dark and moody type of music much but it's a challenge for both of us and I'm sure we'll nail it down after a soundcheck and backstage exchange of chords, keys, and tempos.

First gig in quite some time, the invited audience are most from the Pop/Jazz Institute and the Sibelius Academy of classical Finnish music. So we'll be judged on our performance as a rhythm section by the noses and students, and we've agreed to not use any notes but rather to go with the flow and play 'in the moment' - which is quite a feat to surmount given the audience we're playing to.

I have several new custom made 'Medina' cymbals by Bosphorus/Istanbul that came with the kit I bought second hand two weeks back for a song. The seller had no idea what she was selling and I got in there first to secure the gear with a small deposit. Collected the kit and have worked on it over the last two weeks and she's finally ready for kicking, but not tonight. I use a hired rig of shells from the Pop/Jazz. But I'll take the new cymbals with me: they're Turkish, handmade, lathed by hand, and then hand-hammered to flatten out the edges and give an enormous dark jazz-induced roar to all four pieces: two super-light hi-hats (14'') and a dark and heavy ride (20'') with a sweet but very dark crash (16'') and all four are finely tuned to each other.

So, big boots and fake fur for the snow meets new Turkish cymbals at the Swedish Theatre for Mowl's weekender in a city where the pavements are disappearing fast under the whitening of winter coming.

Man, I love the Finnish winter.


Meanwhile, Jambo's down in the basement whacking off to some new video by his boyfriends, Collett/Moron/et al.

Jambo hates not having a life, hence his anger at anyone who does have a happy one.

Poor Jambo: when he's older he'll look back on these days and want to kill himself for being such a pathetic little wanker. Little as in tiny balls, still a virgin, never even kissed a girl by the looks of things. I'm guessing his closet is brimming over with him and all his gimp outfits crammed in there.

Naturally - this makes both Dan and Val very happy.

He's fresh meat to those old farts.


We never tire of trolling each other, Finland and Russia.

Besides, what good is a wire fence? To separate Europe and Russia? Wire? Stop already. We have more miles of moose fencing than we have of a political border. Every road north of Lahti is lined by tall wire fences on both sides to stop the moose stumbling out into the motorways. It works most of the time, unless if the moose are triggered, in which case the fence is the first to fall. Ten or fifteen angry moose will walk through a wire fence like they're walking through the daisies.

But anyway - what's the fence for?

To keep the Russians out - or in?

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