Belfast, Belfast…

Belfast city scene

Photo of Belfast is off the Wikipedia site.

“Belfast from the Irish Béal Feirste meaning “The sandy ford at the river mouth” is the capital of Northern Ireland. It is the largest city in Northern Ireland and the province of Ulster, and the second-largest city on the island of Ireland (after Dublin). In the 2001 census the population within the city limits (the Belfast Urban Area) was 276,459, while 579,554 people lived in the wider Belfast Metropolitan Area.This made it the fifteenth-largest city in the United Kingdom.” Wikipedia

Here is a memory of days long ago: BONEY M video and song BELFAST

“DESTINATION 360” on Belfast:

”Belfast, Northern Ireland has always had a fierce, often bloody history. The Troubles of 1960 to 1994 have not faded from Ireland’s consciousness, but active negotiations and peace efforts have soothed this strong activist region. Unlike many other Irish regions, present-day Northern Ireland is a province under the rule of the United Kingdom. After decades of political turmoil, violence, and activism, Belfast Ireland has at last found some degree of peace, when a cease-fire between the British and the IRA was called in 1994. The cease-fire continues to this day, although the long-seated division between British supporters and IRA supporters still lingers.”


BELFAST PEACE LINES – WALL- to segregate the communties: ”The Peace Lines are a series of separation barriers ranging in length from a few hundred yards to over three miles, separating Protestant and Catholic neighbourhoods in Belfast, Derry and elsewhere in Northern Ireland. The stated purpose of the barriers is to minimize intercommunal sectarian violence between Protestants and Catholics.

The barriers themselves consist of iron, brick, and steel walls up to 25 feet high, topped with metal netting, or simply a white line painted on the ground similar to a road marking. Some have gates in them occasionally manned by police, which allow passage by day, and which are closed at night.

The first barriers were constructed in the early 1970s, following the outbreak of “The Troubles”. Originally few in number, they have multiplied over the years, from 18 in the early 1990s to 40 today; in total they stretch over 13 miles. Most are located in Belfast. In recent years they have become locations for tourism. Black Taxis now take groups of tourists around Belfast’s Peace Lines, trouble spots and famous murals. (Wikipedia)

Belfast is so very near to Dublin in the Southern Ireland and yet so far. What that? Well, the mentality of the Northerner compared to the Southerner is miles apart, in almost every way. Where the Dubliner and the rest of the population in the south are laid-back, witty, fatalistic and not-so-terribly efficient in whatever they do, the Northerner is uptight, serious, strong willed and highly efficient in his/her basic nature.

The very first time I went to Belfast was just four days after arriving in Ireland. There was a family funeral there. In Ireland it is of utmost importance to be there and to support the people that have had the sadness of death in the family. People go by the hundreds into the funerals and it is normally considered an excusable reason to take time out in the middle of one’s working day to attend a funeral.

Did you know that the Titanic was built in Belfast in 1912, on Harland and Wolff which had the largest shipyard in the world? And, have you ever heard of the Belfast Sink?

Tis for now. Riihele xx

Motherhood Finnish-Irish Style

MOMS
“The art of motherhood involves much silent, unobtrusive self-denial, an hourly devotion which finds no detail too minute.”
Honore De Balzac

The brilliant thing about an international motherhood is that you can take the best of all the worlds and combine them into a tasty mixed salad of varied ingredients. That is: when both the parents are from the different nations with the clan roots of each one going to a whole lot of other nations. Also, when both have lived in various nations it all adds up to a pretty interesting mixture all-in-all!

When I got pregnant with my first baby, I took it for granted that the maternity care and the whole set-up would be like the Finnish one – the previous link tells the official Finnish Government information about the topic and this one is about the system in Finland – this link tells about having a baby in Finland written by two American journalists. It was published in The Washington Post in 2005. But, oh, how wrong I was! The antenatal care of the newly-baked mother begins well before the birth in Finland as one is to register in the Maternity and Baby Clinic within a few days of the confirmed pregnancy. That is the why that the lowest mortality rates in the world are in Finland for both the mother and the baby. In the clinic there are the midwives that are main caregivers and only if there are major complications or other health reasons, such as diabetics, does the mum-in-waiting be referred to the doctor for the all the care needed for during the pregnancy and the delivery of the baby.

The brilliancy of this system is that the clinic and the parent/s get to know one another really well and the aftercare – the postnatal care – is of a much higher standard when people are familiar with the whole situation from beginning to the end. The midwife is actively involved with the mother and the baby for the first few years of the child’s life – again adding to the continuation of the care.

The system in Ireland – the links tells about the Irish point of view into matters of maternity care and delivery of the baby – is not like that, but one has to go – as in my case – privately to the special doctor, that is the obstetrician – the link explains what is all about – to ‘get the show on the road’ – to have the baby-project going to its final end for the entire nine-month period of expecting the baby. Also, in Ireland you do not see neither meet the midwife until on the D-day. Some people do the home delivery-thing but for me the reason that the birth mortality rates have gone down in the west and elsewhere is the very fact that there are the modern hospital facilities at one’s disposal right then and there. In my case that is the only reason we – the babies and I survived – there would have been no change of survival otherwise!

These people at the La Leche League of Ireland were of great help to in my early days of motherhood in the alien land. One time I had some difficulties with Becki crying all evenings for days on end so that this new mama was absolutely shattered, through the grapevine of this organisation, a person living locally was dispatched to see what the situation was and she had it sorted out in a few minutes. The trouble was that Becki was sucking too greedily and getting a build-up of excess wind in the tummy which caused the crying. The remedy was to let her suck each time for 5 minutes only, then taking her off the breast and winding her and after that she could suck as long as she wanted. That was it. It stopped then and there for good.

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.
Meryl Streep

This for now, Rii xx

The photo is off the net.


My Frame of Mind – Autumn 2007

Autumn Collage 2006

© Photos: By Riihele. All rights reserved.

Last year around this time this was my entry with the Autumn 2006 Photos- collage of mine. I am on the recovery after the gallbladder operation so have not – yet – got this year’s autumnal pictures. Wait Finnish Nature, this Paparazzi Blonde is about to strike!!

This was the second ever autumn in me life that I have liked and actually looked forward to after a relatively good summer and toasty August BUT THE WINTER, the winter, is so l-o-o-o-n-g here and COLD! Says the Frozen Finn turning the oh-so-in fashion this year- again purple which is me favourite colour, of course – thinking positively ere now like, you know…

Michelin-man look is Go!!

In Ireland there is the rainy season and the not so rainy season and in Israel the weather is only roasting, toasting still. I have survived -44*C in Lapland so suppose I will survive the days of -30*C to come!!!

Keep warm – if You are living in temperate climes;

Keep cool – if You are living in hot climes!

Rii xx

On A Wing and A… Slide Show

 

The slide show is a story of the flights which I took in May

on the way to & from Israel via Vienna

– the first few photos with the evening sky –

then leaving Israel in the morning haze

and landing on again in Vienna midday.

The next flight is totally un-photographed simply

because a concert cellist sat besides me all the way to Copenhagen,

and the cello had the window seat. Ahem – though, it was booked for me.

From Denmark it was off to Helsinki landing there late afternoon.
Tis for now. Riihele xx

© Photos: By Riihele. All rights reserved.

The GOOD LIFE: GALLSTONES

The Good Life

“Lack of pep is often mistaken for patience”

Kin Hubbard

There was a BBC comedy called ‘The Good Life’ – that was about two couples who were direct opposites to the other, and that is what made the comedy, comedy, and so very funny, but what I am telling now is not comedy per se, just about the Good Life that causes illnesses such as Gallstones.

The populace at large in the Western World is eating better and richer food than ever in the history of mankind. Yes, we are eating like the kings and royalty were in the olden times, every day. We were talking about this the other day with friends and I mentioned that not so long ago there were foods that were considered to be special treats for very special occasions which were consumed only ever a few times a year; what I mean is the rich fatty foods — the kind of gallstones and other illness building nosh. People used to eat simple dishes most of the time, only eating rich foods in the events of joy and merriment such as weddings, feasts and such like when the buffet table was laid out in great abundance and variety.

When I was working in a hospital in Sweden, to see if I suited and wanted to be a nurse, the thing that surprised me the most was, that when the patient had been registered in, the first person even before the doctor to meet him/her was the dietician, who would chart the eating habits, the foods eaten and diet of the said patient. And, without an exception, everybody’s eating habits and the foods they ate were drastically changed. The dietician would put together a schedule of the recommended foods for the patient with the right amounts nutrients and other health promoting factors taken into account.I changed my own eating habits and what I ate, dramatically, from that time on. Here is a link to very interesting study in WHO Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases.

Since that time I have eaten daily vast amounts of fresh fruit, berries, vegetables and eating a mixed diet of varied meats, fish at least twice to three times a week. I began to use good quality olive oil and less salt and sugar as well. Although, how pure & clean the nature where they grow, is particularly after the Chernobyl ‘accident’, another matter altogether! That nuclear incident is still affecting Europe very much. It’s rarely mentioned in the media these days but the affects and the consequences of it are very present with us still. Isn’t it rather odd that all this so-called healthy foods – fruit, vegetables, et cetera – are so very expensive everywhere, and yet, they are the foods that are promoted and advised by the health ‘experts’ for the populace to eat in huge quantities! Mind-boggling as to why then they are so costly even in the countries that produce them.

Stamina or pep, whatever one calls it, is most necessary in order to keep one’s vitality in the art of living & life as is also to have an attitude of courage, contentment and guts. I am saying this as there since a few weeks back I seemed to have been suffering from something that I just could not put my finger to. I thought, maybe, it is the tail-end of the hay fever with the last of the weed pollen before the autumn sets in? But no, not that either. I do have love/hate relationship with the nature.

The what?! I wrote about it in this entry: ’Nature of the Nature: Hay Fever’. And the reason for my lack of stamina, which is so unusual as it rarely happens – wheat sensitivity – at present suspected, but to be confirmed. I know that the Wheat Intolerance – affects among other things: the gastro-intestinal tracts = stomach and the Wheat Allergy – affects the lungs etc., and can lead to an anaphylactic shock. So I know it’s not the allergy definitely, but most likely the first mentioned. Although, to what extent I am to avoid the wheat and/or other grains. I have to sort this out and get me menu corrected.

It may be it is the nasty thingies that are put aka sprayed on wheat to make the harvest to be huge, makes it so that people do become allergic to the whole thing more than the ‘wheat‘= the grain itself. I just wonder with all these sensitivities which are so common world over nowadays that, you see. People have been eating wheat for thousands of years and now suddenly, we are getting so highly sensitive to it!

Hmm… makes me ask questions.

I think also that the pollution, the fertilizers etc., and whatever GM- Genetically Modified stuff are done to the food we eat, is causing a build-up in our bodies and hence the feeling of unwell, ill-health and so on in the populations round the world. Hmm…

Interesting.

I think that the feeling of unwell last autumn that I thought was wheat that caused it, was a kind of prelude to what was to follow in these past few months. It was the food poisoning in June this year that set the show on the road – so the say – with the most horrendous pain and agony-ivy, and then the rich & fatty meals eating out other times that put the finishing touches on this Finn’s gallstones!! There is a whole selection of them in me gallbladder apparently – the ultrasound showed them, you see. I did ask the doc doing the ultrasound what the inside view was like in me guts and he said that it was jammers with a row of pepper-sized gallstones!

Quite galling really – innit?!!

Tis for now, Rii xx

*I think that a lot of the time when there is a lack of stamina or pep, it is food related and not depression per se; so really the patients should be given allergy/intolerance tests by the dozen and then as the last resort the pills!

Some Handy Links:
Wikipedia Portal: Health

NutritionData.com online

Bloodindex – Find nutrition values for common foods

WORLD HUNGER online site

Bitter-Sweet of Life – Poem

Bitter Sweet


The
bitter-sweet
of life.

Life is
a combination
of the two
in varied
doses and degrees.

Sometimes
more of
the bitter

– sadness;

other times
more of
the sweet

– gladness.

Whichever way
it may be,
the two sides
are there
to balance

each other out.

Poem by Riihele.

Tis for now. Rii xx

The pic is off the net.

NOTE:

Bitter is never pleasant
– but it is needed at times as it has a ‘sobering’ effect on us.

Sweetness can be sickening, too
– ever eaten too much honey or had too many candies…

It is like the ingredients for a cake:
the only thing that is sweet, is the sugar,
the rest are bland or tasteless!

But the end result of all of them together,
the combination of all the ingredients,
is a most delicious cake
– fresh and sweet tasting to the palate
and cheering to the heart.

Last of the Summer Flowers

It is the final showtime, showdown
for the flowers and plants
before the onset of autumn…

Hydrangea with a tinge of Yellow & Pink
Hydrangea with a tinge of Yellow &Pink

All Pinky!
All Pinky!

LACE & GREEN
Lace & Green

STILL PINK
Still Pink

VIBRANT GREEN with WHITE LACE
Vibrant Green with White Lace

Nostalgic? Yes, very much so. I am looking forward to autumn but tis the winter, the winter, that chills me right down to me blonde bones and even blonder marrow!!

Tis for now. Rii xx

© Photos: By Riihele. All rights reserved.

More of My Photos on Flickr are in this link.