I had a short weekend break in Helsinki. It was time enjoy the last days of northern summer. It was also time for Helsinki Design Week that is all over the city with quirky happenings and art works, like the umbrellas above Fredrikintori.
I paid a visit to one of my favorite places in London today, the Highgate cemetery. It is a Victorian cemetery dating back to 1830's and the London cholera epidemic. The place itself is a magnificent and peaceful sanctuary with big mausoleums and beautiful grave stones that the nature has now taken over with. If you plan a visit remember to go there well in advance as the guided tours are easily sold out.
As the evenings get darker, it is nice to light a candle. I am just having a visitor from New York who brought me a new kind of candle from US designer DayNa Decker. The candle is in a glass cup and it is made of gel and it has a subtle floral scent to it. The magic of candle happens when it is lit. It makes same kind of noise as burning wood in a fire place. I am already a fan and I just found out that DayNa Decker candles are sold in London too, at Liberty, Harrods and Space NK.
My most avid readers must be aware of my love of patterns and symmetry. It has been a life long love and it is still blooming. My love got only deeper when I recently was introduced to Philip Glass' music. I like its minimalistic sophistication. It reminds me of the Bauhaus era that I adore.
Today I found out that Philip Glass has composed music for Sesame Street's Geometry of Circles in 1979. I could stare these shapes for hours and get hypnotized of the music.
During my last visit to Finland I got overdose of Moomins. They were simply everywhere in Helsinki and other towns too (there are no cities in Finland). Every possible shop sold all kinds of Moomin adaptions from postcards to fridge door magnets and pajamas.
I thought that I would get away from them in London, but no. Last weekend the UK version of Financial Times had an article about Moomins, this time a Moomin cook book. Maybe it contains good recipes how to make tasty dishes out of Moomins? :)
I just wonder what Tove Jansson, the creator of Moomins, would say about this kind of exploitation of her beloved characters if she still was here.
A relief on the wall of the house where Tove Jansson lived in Helsinki.
According to Newsweek's recent survey, Finland is the best country to live in the world. Newsweek measured education, health, quality of life, economic dynamism and political environment of the participating countries. Finland scored 89.31/100 and became the winning nation (details below). UK scored 14th and Singapore number 20th in the overall results.
It is nice to see my home country to in these rankings. Not very surprising, though. Small homogenous and well developed nations always score in this kind of surveys as they are easy to manage and rule. For example all Nordic countries were in the top 10. But I was a bit surprised that Singapore ranked only 20th. It is the political environment that holds it back and especially freedom of speech. Once and if that chances they will be number one.
See the full story and interactive infographic here.
Picture from Newsweek