Blog Archives

The snow banks are high, the snow drifts deep

Christmas is almost here. Deep snow drifts is what we want, but will we get them? At least we can sing about them. My choir sang this carol by Jean Sibelius at our Christmas concert this year. We do not

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Posted in Christmas, music, translation

Come into the story

I’m on the way home from Gdańsk, from the choral festival which my choir achieved silver in the equal-voice category yesterday – we are thrilled. For the competition we had to sing two songs in our own language and two

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Posted in international, music, poetry, translation

Maresi’s Power

Maresi is home from the abbey. She has left her sisters behind. She has left the horror of death behind too, it seems. It isn’t easy coming home. The journey is hard, and long. And when she gets there, the

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Posted in books, gender, translation

Oh, to be in Finland, now December’s there

It’s too warm. It should be colder – a lot colder. It’s unseasonable. It’s beautiful, delightful, but it all feels wrong. It’s just all a bit too much, not cosy enough, not delicate enough, perhaps? Things should be the same,

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Posted in Christmas, music, poetry, translation

They know not what they do

When Jussi Valtonen’s book won the Finlandia Prize for the best novel of 2014, my friend recommended it to me. Her husband had loved it, I would find it really interesting. But it looked so weighty, and back then, my

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Posted in books, translation

Secret passages under my hometown

When someone writes about the streets where you live, you feel immediately predisposed towards them. You want to like everything they say, and even if you don’t like it, you will certainly have an opinion. The woman who translates many

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Posted in books, translation

My Cat Yugoslavia

The cat walks by himself. He is beautifully presented, and can be utterly charming – or utterly not. He accepts loyal and attentive service, but gives nothing in return, and leaves when he is ready. The comparisons to Bulgakov seem

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Posted in books, Dublin Literary Award, translation

The Fox’s Carol

The year is about to turn – it is the shortest day. From here on in, the light returns, the days get longer. But when it’s this dark (for 19 hours a day, where I live), you have a better

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Posted in Christmas, Folklore, music, translation

Finland 100: The Core of the Sun

Finland turns 100 today. Although it’s the darkest and coldest time of the year, consuming the hottest chilli you can get your hands on might not be the obvious way to celebrate. Until you read this book and understand how horribly

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Posted in books, Finland 100, gender, translation

Finland 100: Unknown Soldiers

This is one of those books you start reading because you feel you ought to, because everyone tells you you really should, which is actually rather annoying, and you’re pretty sure it’s not your thing, it’s the sort of thing

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Posted in books, Finland 100, history, Suomi 100, translation
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