Moving from Isle of Man to Finland – epilogue
Avid readers might recall me blogging about my move from Isle of Man to Åland, Finland (read part 1, part 2 and part 3 here), and how I safely arrived and rejoined my family after much travel and adventure*.
This post is not about travel or adventure, but rather about settling in, adjusting to a new place to live, a new job and new home.
Having arrived to Åland, we stayed for a few days at my mum’s place while getting things in order at our new flat. (By the way, the new flat is really nice! It’s spacious, bright and modern, with two big bedrooms, a huge bathroom and a big kitchen filled with cabinets and drawers. Awesome!)
Taking Lydia the dog for a walk late one evening, I ended up in a patch of forest near my mum’s house. It’s simply called Lund (as in Grove), and it’s a spooky place. You know that scene in Blair Witch Project with all the weird things hanging from the trees? It was like that, except without any weird things hanging from the trees. (Unless they’d temporarily been taken down to be repaired or something. That’s quite possible.) There was a palpable sense of evil about the place that made me shudder. No birds or other animals could be seen or heard, and in the distance I could make out the ghostly silhouette of the ancient church of St Lars with its thick black tower against the pale sky. Evil.
Anyway, against all odds I made it safely home and the next day we went into Mariehamn to order a replacement mattress for our bed (the old one had been smoke damaged during the fire and had been discarded). This is when it turned out that they didn’t really sell mattresses in imperial measurements in Scandinavia. It would have to be special ordered. To an astronomical cost. Goddammit! Luckily, we were able to borrow a mattress from my dad’s summer-house for a while.
Once we’d gotten all our stuff into the new flat, it started to feel like a proper home. Granted, we didn’t have much furniture set up yet and no internet connection, but the new telly was nice and big. And having that spacious kitchen all to ourselves was pure bliss!
However, one of the first nights we spent in the flat we were woken up in the middle of the night by the unmistakable sound of Finnish tango coming from the next room. “Whatta hell?!” I muttered (in Swedish) and staggered out of the bedroom, bumping into walls and stepping on toys in the darkness. Peering into the livingroom I could make out Assar the cat lying on the beanbag with the remote for the telly sticking up from underneath him. “Bloody cat! Listen to tango during daytime, if you absolutely have to!” I scolded him and switched the telly off. “There’s a time and place for everything!” Getting back into bed, Fiancée wondered what all the commotion had been about. “Bloody nocturnals.” I responded. “They just don’t show any respect for decent proper people who need to go to work in the morning.”
The new job
I also started my new job as a web developer for an online gaming company. The first week was a blur of new people, new routines and meetings. Lots and lots of meetings. And quite a lot of darts**. I was also shown around the two offices, meeting all the people and shaking a lot of hands. I can’t honestly say that I remember everyone’s name or what they do (it’s quite a big company), but they seem to be nice, decent people with a good sense of humour.
Overall, I must say I really enjoy my new job; my role looks like it’s going to be both challenging and interesting and my colleagues are friendly and welcoming. (Also, it turns out that I know quite a few of them from before, which is always nice!)
My old battered MINI Cooper has also caused quite a stir. Not only is it right-hand-drive, but it’s a make of car not often seen over here. Also, the fact that I had driven it over here from Isle of Man made one of my colleagues consider bringing his own car over from the UK, especially after I told him that it wasn’t really all that hard and actually quite enjoyable.
Nature on our doorstep
So, having settled in, life quickly fell into a new routine. Work, sleep, play with Baby girl and walk Lydia the dog. Oh! Speaking of which: the other morning I took Lydia for a walk, exploring the neighbourhood. Only yards from our flat, I found a path leading off the road into a meadow. Following the path, it soon split into two – one trailing along a wide open field and the other going straight into a dark threatening forest.. It was like a dualist choice between light and dark; good and evil.
As soon as I was inside the dark forest, I noticed it was a proper troll forest, with murky old fir trees, fallen logs and plenty of pale white flowers***. It was very quiet and my own steps were muffled by the soft moss-covered ground.
I must admit this is what I’ve missed the most living away from Scandinavia: the forests. It was so still and peaceful in here, with no distractions or.. Oh, look! An ant hill! What do you say, Lydia the dog? Shall we call on them? Let’s call on them and see if they’re awake!
They were awake, but not particularly happy to see us, so Lydia the dog soon retreated to a safe distance. But I do like a good ant hill, and where there’s one there’s always another. Oh yeah, there’s one, over there. And a third one! Cool!
Walking back home, the sun rose above the tree tops, its bright warm rays piercing through the dense forest. It was very beautiful, almost magical, and I suddenly felt both happy and content. Yes: I’m glad to be here.
And so end my blog posts on my move from Isle of Man to Åland, Finland. Hopefully, my life will now be free of any more dramas and adventures and take on a more peaceful appearance of everyday routine. I’m quite looking forward to it..
* Not much adventure really, but quite a lot of travel. And interesting none the less!
** My new employer believes in a creative workplace, and provides a recreation room with a dart board, a pool table and a selection of games.
*** OK, so they were just Wood anemones, but still..