Saturday, 4 September 2010

We made some earrings

Here they are on the drum I bought in Ghana. We went to the craft store and got feathers and earring hooks. We also used some wire on the bigger ones. I love feathers! I have been wearing these to school.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Teacher's first day

I wrote this poem for my first day teaching Kindergarten at my new school in Finland.

First Day.

You gather the dirt that collects
At the bottom of puddles
With a yellow spade, and drink it.

Four of us spend an hour
Drawing sea spiders, though none of us
Are sure that they exist.

Happy Birthday Israel, you say.
I love every Jew. You make me a cake
Of blue salt, which I pretend to eat
Though you insist it’s actually for you.

I wish my belly sparkled, I say,
Almost to myself. I wish it shone
Like sequins and glitter

You do your best to grant my wish.
I throw it away, ashamed,
Shimmering, covered in glue.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


I've been busy with all these creative projects. I painted this stripy painting using acrylics. My acrylics are starting to run out and I find it funny because I am not a painter but a writer. I would like to paint a big version of the stripy picture horizontally onto a wall.

A little mushroom

My second ever little crochet project, pictured here with our new orchid, taking a drink in the sink.

More paper animals!

We made some more paper animals. Now there are twelve!

We're moving to a new home soon, because I am moving to Finland properly for a year or so. The plan is to save for future adventures. I'll teach young children at a very creative school. Everyone wears slippers and chooses what they will do.

The new home has a silver bedroom and a golden lounge. And all these animals will move with us. Perhaps we'll need an ark.

I made my first ever spanish tortilla

And it was delicious! Enjoying my time away from Cambridge.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Oh so quiet

It's so quiet in these Finnish forests that I can hear the snow melting.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


Dubbed 'The Manchester of Finland', Tampere is a more industrial, though perhaps less industrious city than Helsinki. Cold and refreshing! Lots of old factories and teenagers dressed outrageously.

Walked around, took pictures, went to a nightclub and to church, to a planetarium and a poet cafe, to second hand shops and to the top of Finland's tallest buidling. The more I see of Finland, the more I realise it's sort of the same all over. Perhaps the world, too.

Also, we saw dolphins:

Five dolphins, some older than me. Beautiful and very splashy. We got wet.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Silence and Snow

A silence greater still
Than this minus twenty silence; desire
Heavier than the snow stacked up
On roofs of schools
Which have to close because of it

You come over with sleds, blue and red
And say nothing, refuse tea.
3 pairs of trousers and 4 sweaters and
I’m squeezing into the buttons of my coat,
Pushing your car when it gets stuck in the snow.

We slide across the ice hockey pitch,
Pull ourselves up the hill
The wind throwing itself
Through the gloves and socks
I’ve stacked up on my hands.

Sitting in our sleds, looking over the city
I think we’ll never make it down alive,
And I’m glad we’re here regardless
But you pull my sled-string from the snow
Wrap it around your hand, and take off

The speed and weight and thin plastic
Pushes the snow out and away before I feel it
Instead I feel the ice beneath, speeding us on
I feel the scrape and dip of every curve
We are caught in the whoosh against the wind

The snow pushes its way between my layers,
Our sleds hit against each another,
Urging us steeper, faster, steeper, faster,
We scream into the rush, rush, rush-
I’m alive, and in conditions such as this.


I tell you, imagine my love as a fish-food pellet
The kind that people keep fish alive with in their absence
A sturdy grey lump you can store in your heart
For these winter days, every day dispensing a thin layer
Into your bloodstream, aiding your survival
Until these thousand miles get smaller and less cold.

Sunday, 21 February 2010


These last two weeks, in Cambridge and in Finland, I've been teaching myself to crochet. I have finally finished this peapod. I got the pattern from a book called 'Amigurumi Two' by Ana Paula Rimoni.

Paper animals

Still very cold outside, so we made these paper animals. I like them.

Finland again!

Pretty cold out here. -21 degrees c. We went sledding. Wore three pairs of trousers and four sweaters under my coat, and somehow the snow still got in my pants. The wind is the coldest part. All very beautiful, blue skies and big piles of snow. Snow everywhere:

Saturday, 6 February 2010