One Estonian thoughts about Estonia (and Estonians)

I’m going through photos from this year holiday to Estonia. Here are just some random thoughts with some photos:

  • Until I moved to UK I never lived further than 500 meter from the sea. I always feel home, when I can see and feel seaside. Being of 2 fisherman’s granddaughter I love fish and seafood. In Estonia you don’t have to break a bank to eat fish daily and we estonians are not picky what kind of fish we eating (always have black rye bread with it! ….with everything really 🙂 )

  • You can easily find affordable meals in pubs and it doesn’t mean everything deep-fried. This big plate cost around £5 and you get 1/3 plate of different veg and pickles and 90% of cases you get sour cream-mayo sauce with your food – very Estonian!

  • My hometown Pärnu has lovely sandy beach – my favorite place, with seawater temperatures reaching more than 20 degrees and it’s shallow, which is brilliant with small kids but takes you ages to get far enough for swim.

  • Porridge in Estonia is not just your everyday oats. You get all aisle in the shop with lots of different grains. My favorite this summer was  four grain porridge (contains rye, oats, wheat and barley)

  • The market at my hometown means seasonal affordable food from local farms, gardens and forests. We are lucky to live just 5 minutes walk away from the market,  so I was regular shopper every morning. The meat counter is just amazing – you can buy every bit of animal, nothing is wasted and you can even get free fresh bones for dogs. Lonni was very happy about it!

  • I just love my home in Pärnu, it’s often full of my friends and family and there is no need to call before, just pop in, when we are home our door is always open and there is always reason to open bottle of wine.

  • Freshly smoked bacon and chanterelle from local forest – my favorite and so affordable!

  • Estonians love fresh herbal teas – they are always foraging and preparing for the long cold winter.

  • In Estonia you can buy watermelons size of a beach ball 🙂 and they are so sweet and juicy!

  • My favorite place to enjoy sunset – Pärnu Yacht club – open to everyone for food, wine or live music. And great place to see the sunset.

  • Cake for breakfast is considered acceptable in Estonia – one of my favourite kind of breakfasts!

  • Estonians are very proud of their food and you can dine in countless fancy food places in Estonia, which might not be so affordable else where. Although it’s about to change and prices seem to be catching up with UK.

  • My home town have 2 km long mole and you can walk on it- no health and safety to stop you slip on the slippery stone. You do have to use your common sense.

  • Most Estonians know places to have a wild swim, meaning it’s not publicly open swimming area. 

  • Those black rye garlic breads are must and those are only kind of rye bread my children love. Always accompanied with sour cream-mayo-garlic dip.

  • Estonians love house and flat parties. They are quite low-key but so much fun and always include lovely food and lots of drinks.

  • In Estonia you never know where you end up sending your day away. Your friends usually know fantastic secluded places to watch most amazing sunsets. You definitely wont find those places in guidebooks.

  • Estonians are very keen foragers and there are variety of mushrooms and berries you can find everywhere.

  • Estonians love music and singing and learning an instrument or singing is easily accessible and taught at very high standards from very early age. This is my best friend super talented son, only 15 (16 now) years old. 

  • Those ring donuts have been around since I went to school and the café near my school has been run by same ladies who did it 35 year ago in Soviet time (whoops, did I say 35? I’m not so old)

  • Estonians love their salads dressed richly with sour cream and mayonnaise sauce and I love it!!

  • Estonians are very proud gardeners and most of the gardens are immaculate and quite big compared to standard UK gardens.

  • Estonians love making cakes and they are very creative. This tart has been made from biscuits! It’s very original and I haven’t come across anywhere else. And it’s contains quark (lots of it!) so high in protein. Healthy pudding or what!

  • Summers in Estonia are unpredictable you can get +25 heat and then it drop to 15 degrees. So be prepared for anything!

  • Estonians might come across as serious and not very open at first, but once, when you make a friend with them, they always ready to help you.

Miss you my friends and fam! xxx

Easter Holiday – No CrossFit for few weeks :(

The Easter Holiday is over and I’m back in reality of the everyday life 🙁

I managed to extend my holiday to the week and I can’t remember, when I last could take time off to just be at home and spend time with my children, without the need to rush somewhere or actually going to the holiday. It was lovely! I slept 9 hours and more! We went to the local swimming pool, went to the cinema to see “Power Rangers”, which I actually enjoyed and almost cried!!?? We went shopping for some necessities, like school shoes and more socks – boring stuff and had lunch in Nandos. So I did nothing special but it was so enjoyable. I even had haircut! I haven’t been at hairdressers over a year now and my hair looked really sad.

New haircut

Haven’t had so many compliments very long time.

We did go away on Good Friday to have a mini holiday at the Kent coast.

cousins at seaside

We had walks at seaside, met up with family and had a good laugh, visited Margate, which was big surprise. I haven’t been there since children were small and I kind of remember it being quite run down place with the nice beach. For my surprise it was lovely, great seaside atmosphere, nice antique and retro shops, lots cafes and pubs, it was especially nice on the pier. We even found one Scandinavian café and had compulsory Cinnamon bun.

Margate

Only negative side of the holiday was – I haven’t been able to do CrossFit for almost 2 weeks. I have done something to my “good” leg/knee few weeks ago and I can’t train properly. I did try carry on and even managed to PB my back squat, but decided not to do CrossFit for few weeks in order to get back to it quicker. It seems I got tendonitis after doing workout, which included over parallete burpees and I was actually quite proud myself doing so well. But following day I felt pain in my knee/around the knee and actually my another”bad” knee become suddenly the “good” one. “Oeh!” old people problems 🙂

I felt quite down because of it. CrossFit is my therapy and it keeps me happy or exhausted so I don’t care about s**t and not many things can annoy me then 🙂  But looking to the bright side, I had week off from work and spent lots of time with my children and I was quite active other ways. My leg feels much better now and I have planned to go back to the training tonight. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very good with doing some mobility at home so my knee feels still bit stiff. I just find really hard to take 20 minutes at home to do it, I usually have to choose either doing exercise or getting full 7 hours sleep.

I wasn’t pleased with the “Project 30” development beginning of the months, so after complaining over it in the last post lovely Lindsay from LJL Coaching urged me back to join her FB group and record all activities/food/moods over the next 2 weeks and this really have helped me so the weight goes in right direction again. Thank you, I really needed that! Only the few days away from home and indulging with some ice cream and chocolate eggs hasn’t been kind to me and I got a bit of a shock on the scale this morning, but I’m back on tracking my food today and feeling determined again so hopefully I will see more pleasing result from now on 🙂

 

2016 – what a year!

Another year has gone. It feels like only yesterday I wrote about our 2015. The 2016 has been emotional roller-coaster, not personally, but for the world and I think lots of decision made in 2016, will affect us all years to come.

January

Like always the biggest event on the first month of the year is our dear son birthday. Other than that I can’t remember much going on. Just recovering from the Christmas, getting back to the school/work/Crossfit/tennis/football/scouts routine with all family.

February

I have managed to save photos from my lovely cousin visit to somewhere secret, so only picture I can find is the one in the Facebook 🙂 How did we manage before the Facebook?? It’s weird, how you see the place you live through eyes of your guests, when you showing around. We just don’t notice, how much history and interesting places there are around us. We went to London, visited Tower Bridge – first time in 14 years, I have been living here, only an hour trip from London 🙁 We also went to Cambridge and the weather was unusually warm to February.

Rare occasion of Collins family playing tourists in London!

March

Getting more difficult as I have no idea what’s happened in March??  Oh yes, we had Timo’s birthday party, because it’s really hard to organise anything straight after Christmas, so it’s not so unusual to have his birthday celebration just before Keitis 🙂 The Easter was really early this year and we were stressing over the Timo’s Secondary School options.

April

Ok. For April I can find lots of dog and cats photos in my phone. We really have to get our act together and be more creative with our diaries 🙂 🙂 Keiti was only one, who actually did something exciting and went to skiing to Austria. On 25th of April I had one year from starting the CrossFit, dragging everyone else in the family into as well 🙂

May

May is birthdays month (Keiti and Simon) and our anniversary month as well and we so lucky to have 2 Bank Holidays in May. There were cricket matches in village green, which are so British and I have finally got hang of with the rules of the game now. There were beautiful sunsets and our first meals out in the garden, which almost feels like being on holiday. There is the Eurovision, which everyone hates but still watches 🙂 We had night out in London for Simons birthday, went to see QI recording, which was real treat. Our lovely daughters birthday, just can’t believe I’m a parent of this lovely young lady – how did it happened? We found duckling in our garden, who we tried to get back to his home, running around the village and knocking to the neighbours doors, carrying him in the plastic box. He got finally rescued by Rosina Animal Centre, with the help from my lovely neighbours and duckling was named Terry! 🙂 Terry was released after the month, back to the bond, where he hopefully found family or at least new friends. We went to our annual camping trip to the border of the Devon and Cornwall. We were blessed with the best weather with lots of sunshine.

June

Our camping trip continued in June, only to get back, when the rollercoaster started. We learned, what BREXIT means – maybe not, as we still don’t know, how it will actually happen, but it definitely have shaken up the world politics. I even have BREXIT flowerbed in our garden 🙂 I needed to channel my frustration somewhere, I weeded and dag and it actually looked quite decent in the end. 🙂 I baked cakes for the Antique Roadshow at Ightham Mote and cook huge paella for 150 people at the Ightham music festival.

July

July was all about Timos last month in primary school. We had mums night out at the school summer ball. Our children primary school has been such big part of our lives past 10 years, so it is very different now, not to drive up the little village lane to drop off or pick up our children. There were lots of parties for mums and quite few for children. I have met so many lovely ladies during those years and I was sad, when it draw to the end. We also went to the local farm strawberry picking picnic with live music.  I must say I didn’t pick any strawberries 🙁 but enjoyed the crowd and live bands. We spent day at Whitstable, when children did waters sports with scouts.End of the July, when children finished the school they were off to scout camp to Jersey, so we had 10 days without children – first time since we become parents! We had mini holiday in Poole and met up with my friends from the volleyball days for my friend’s 50-s birthday at Wiltshire. We visited Chilli festival at Dorset. I love summers! We get up for so much more!

August

August is our usual holiday months, but we didn’t go to Estonia this year. Instead we spent some time at Deal, found fantastic sandy beach in Broadstairs and first time ever in UK, I went to swim in the sea! The waves were amazing and we all really loved it!

September

Back to school! Both our children are in the secondary school, which has started new era in our lives. Keiti completed her first ever mud race and she did incredibly well. Very impressed with her. As I said before, Crossfit has changed us all 🙂

October

There was some baking but most importantly there was mini break in Milan, with my bestest friends. We laughed 4 days in a row and I love my friends dearly for that. We had lots of delicious food and wine and we chatted for the years we haven’t seen each other. Also, we are selfie queens 🙂 Thank you girls – I love you!

November

Watching football in freezing cold, trying new recipes, lots of Crossfit and tennis, dog walks. Just the everyday routine. But I didn’t mind it 🙂 and of course the world shocker – Trump became American president – oh dear!

December

Finally, end of the year! lots of rushing around to get ready for the Christmas, shopping, cleaning, organising. Oh! Had great Christmas party with my CrossFit buddies, lovely family Christmas, beautiful walk after festivities. What I like overall – sitting in my dining room, TV entertainments are on, fire roars, candles flickering, I haven’t bothered with make up, I have comfy leggings and top on, chatting with my far friends in Facebook and writing summary of my year. It’s best place to be.

I wish you all Happy New Year! And I really hope that 2017 brings us more clarity and common sense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fromages de Normandie – Our French holiday.

Even the Christmas is already on our doorstep and I should feel all festive and hope for some snow, instead,  I found some pictures of our summer holiday, which my son said was best ever. We rented the cottage in Normandy for our extended family, which we found from the French webpage,  it wasn’t orientated to English tourists , so it was real French holiday as French doing it.  :).. at least we thought so.059

Lonni took her responsibility to guard us very seriously 🙂

French Holiday1308

She also made friends with Romeo, the pony, who came with the cottage and we were responsible to feed him with carrots.French Holiday0395

That’s why, Timo said, it was best holiday ever – their could spend 24/7 with their cousins. Lesson learnt – no need for expensive entertainment – friends, board games, local swimming pool and family – that’s all you need for have a good time.French Holiday0114…and we had chef in hand 🙂French Holiday1282

and I spent lots of my time doing this 🙂French Holiday2153

One of many our holiday culinary highlights was local cheese testing, which I carefully planned and kept everyone excitedly waiting the grand degustation.115

French have established AOC (Appelation d’Origine Controlee) system, which helps them  preserve and protect centuries of cheesemaking. The rules are quite strict:

– the area where cattle may graze

-the origin and type of feed provided

– the breed of cattle that furnish the milk

 – the cheese must be made in season

-how the cheese is made

– the shape and size of the cheese

– how the cheese is stored

In Normandy they have world famous cheeses produced from milk by wonderful brown and white cows you can see everywhere on a road side munching away.

Camembert – light and soft, with delicate bloom and probably most well known and loved cheese in England. The true Camembert is made from untreated cow’s milk, is not less than 10 cm across and contains at least 45% fat. Ripe and ready Camembert should become soft and smooth in the middle and turning from white to creamy yellow.

Livarot – creamy inside its orange crust. It’s heavy in the mouth, it leaves spicy taste on the finish and it’s slightly larger than its relation Camembert. It may well be the most ancient French cheese.

Pont l’Evéque – again, one of the oldest cheeses of Normandy. Nowdays only about 2% of the cheese is farmhouse made, the majority comes from just 2 large producers. The milk for Pont l’Evéque must come from the local area and should ideally be absolutely fresh and still warm from the cow. The curd must be kneaded before it is drained. Unlike Camembert it is not imitated outside France.

Pave d’Auge – it’s a creamy cheese with reddish rind. The flavour is earthy and spicy. Can be little bitter.

And here are our opinions about those cheeses. Some of them are quite funny – too much wine me thinks. 🙂342

We also had some lovely time on the beaches, it’s not a holiday without going to a seaside. Growing up in summer resort, summer holiday = beach for me.047

Another culinary highlight was breakfast in the fish market. French Holiday0666Peter introduced me to oysters and I think it was most decadent breakfast I ever had – loved it and I’m hooked 🙂French Holiday0727

And our French holiday came to the end in the lovely town Honfleur – lovely port, sweet shops, picturesque streets. What else could you wish for.French Holiday22911 French Holiday21510 French Holiday2149

The End

Year 2013 – gone for good!

 See postitus tuleb nüüd eesti keeles kuna … ma ei teagi miks, aga tundub kuidagi ôigem.

Nii et, mis juhtus kaua oodatud 2013 aastal, mis oli vast emotsionaalsemalt üks raskemaid viimase 10 vôi ehk isegi 15 aasta jooksul.

Jaanuar

Algas suure lootustega nagu iga uus aasta, lubadused teha rohkem sporti, süüa vähem, kasutada rohkem aega oma sôpradega suheldes, veeta vähem aega TV ees. No tôepoolest ma ei saa uhke olla ühegi lubaduse täitmise eest, istun siin detsember 2013, söön shokolaadi, joon veini, vaatan poole silmaga telekat kui samas kirjutan seda postitust, kindlasti kohe ei higista ma hetkel mingit füüsilist tegevust tehes, ainuke, mis mind päästab et olen FB kahe sôbraga juba üle tunni vestelnud.

Nii et mis siis toimus pea aasta tagasi:

  • Aasta esimene päev sai juba traditsiooniliselt veedetud Simoni venna perel külas Londonis.

IMG_20130101_141423

  • Timo sai 8 aastaseks – jummel küll, kuhu see aeg küll kaob?

IMG_20130113_120154

Veebruar

  • Aasta jubedamaid hetki – ma sain neljakümneseks! Tean, tean kôik üle neljakümnesed  ütlevad nüüd, et elu alles algab, aga ainus mis mind masendab on mitte need uued kortsud ja suurenev keskkoht,vaid arvutused järelejäänud oletavast ajst siin maamuna peal. Ma olen juba 40 aastat eksisteerinud ja fakt on see et, ma ikka veel ei ole seal kus ma olla tahksin ja aiinkohal ei räägi ma materiaalsetest eesmärkidest.

IMG_20130201_123931

  • Samuti mahtus veebruarisse väike puhkus Bristolis ja külastasime Cheddarit (kust on pärit meie igapäevane juust)

IMG_20130209_125412

Märts

  • Märtsikuu suursündmuseks oli meie väike reis Prantsusmaale.

730

1075

 

579

 

314

285

 Aprill

  • Suht igav kuu, ma ei suuda leida ühtegi märget et midagi huvitavat oleks minuga juhtunud aga tundub, et lastel oli lôbu laialt.

DSC_3081

 

DSC_3112

St George päeva tähistamine

Mai

  • Selle aasta numbris ühinesin fotograafia klassiga, mille raames sai ette vôetud mitmeid väljasôite. Üks toredamaid oli Rochesteris Sweep Festivalil. Kahjuks pole aega oma uut kaamerat nii tihti kui sooviksin kasutada (jällegi üks uue aasta lubadusi tuleb siit)

539

 Samuti käisime jälegi Prantsusmaal sedakorda siis Pariisis Simoni sünnipäeva puhul.

  • Eiffeli torn.

104

  • Ja saime kokku oma toredate sôpradega

236

  • Ja muidugi kôige tähtsam maikuu sündmus –  kallis tütreke sai 11 aastaseks

129

 

Juuni

Suvekuu algas kohe fotoklassi väljasôiduga Rochesteri sedakorda siis Dickensi Festivalile.

558

 

  • Tundub et juuni mööduski pildistamise tähe all, siin siis klassiga Maidstoni piiskopi palee juures pildistamas. Seal pandi ka meid Simoniga 11 aasta eest paari.

156

  • Ja klassiga pildistamas linde 🙂 Leedsi lossis.

164

070

 

Juuli

Juulikuu möödus Keiti algkooli lôpetamise tähe all.

  • Nende klassijuhataja lavastas fantastilise Oliveri muusikali, mis oli tôeline elamus.

119

  • Ja see oli Keiti fantastiline algkooliklass

1070242_10152349952211490_1179605385_o

  •  Juulisse jäi ka Collinsite pere üli lôbus telkimise-möllamise nädalavahetus Simoni ema suve majakeses St Marys at Cliffes.

179

 

497

 

August

Nagu alati on august Eesti kuu ja sellest vôiks eraldi postituse kohe teha. Kuna oleme paar viimast aastat autoga kohale vuranud on uusi elamusi palju.

  • Selle aasta märksônadeks on kindlasti Poola – täielik avastus mulle, fantastilised vanalinnad, toredad inimesed, palju vahvaid hetki..

1102444_10151770739599836_986095066_o

Poznan

  • Collins & Co kohvik minu kallite sôpradega Augustiunetusel.

1172902_10151770974199836_1445195030_o

  • Hilisôhtune ujumine äikeselises Pärnu lahes kôige kallimatega

922429_10151771034669836_1071344103_o

 

  • Ja muidugi kôige tähtsam sündmus 2013 aastal – meie Lonni.

104

 

 September

  • No ei leia ühtegi ürituse pilti, ma usun et September möödus kutsika kasvatamise tähe all 🙂

134

Oktoober

  • Selle kuu suursündmus – kooli kokkutulek, nagu alati on vanade klassikaaslastega tore kokku saada ja kindlasti oli kaugelt Inglismaalt ekstra kohale tulemine seda väärt. Kuna tegemist oli spordiklassiga siis sel pildil üritab igaüks oma sporti imiteerida, vaata kas arvad ära 🙂

1412747_648058125265897_1409933489_o

November

  • Aasta suursündmus oli reis Tenerifidele mu kallite sôbrannadega. Lubasime seda teha 11 aastat tagsi minu lahkumise peol Eestis, rebisime isegi selle kinnituseks 5 kroonise katki ja jagasime laiali 🙂 ja tänu kalli Kädi tahtejôule sai see reis ka tehtud.

1479521_10152003495324836_1188362135_n

Aitähh mu kôige kallimad.

181

Detsember

Jôulukuu algus möödus kiirelt cateringi tähe all koos mitmete magamate öödega, aga see oli seda väärt. Kahjuks ei ole mul kunagi aega roogadest pilte teha kuna pole piisavalt tunde ööpäevas, et kôike aegsalt valmis saada. Loodan et parandan end selles suhtes.

Jôulupuu sai tuppa, kaarte jälle ei saatnud – sorry! Mitmetel jôulupeodel käidud (isegi Lonnil oli oma jôulupidu) ja suur jôulusööming 10 kg kalkuniga Collinsite perele korraldatud….kuid pilte pole tehtud. Simon ja lapsed käisid aasta lôpus Pariisis tuuritamas, kui mina korralik tööinimene kontoris kükitasin. Kuna piltidega on see kuu kehvasti siis jääb siia postituse lôppu meie pere värskeim ja ka väikseim (mitte kauaks) liige.

510

 

 HEAD UUT AASTAT!!

Lugu uueks aastaks, et ôigele lainele end häälestada

Pharrell Williams – Happy