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I had hoped to start this blog really positively although I have to share my reality of flying with a two year old who did not want to wear his seat belt for the last part of our flight from London Heathrow to Helsinki. This was my sons worst tantrum and being offered a cup of water in a pretty marimekko designed paper cup by the hostess was not going to calm down this meltdown. For me this was the final straw for my already shredded nerves since having a month of little sleep we landed with both of us in floods of tears. Not the ideal way of beginning our journey together on route to Takahuhti. We stayed for 1 night air bnb in Siilitie as the hotels in central Helsinki where incredibly expensive although the train station was just over the road from the apartment we were in. Staying in someone’s home was really enjoyable and I liked being around a well loved collection of reclaimed furniture. It reminded me of how design is so important to Finnish people’s everyday lives such as beautiful colourful prints, modern wooden furnishings, and bold graphic shapes dotted around the home. Trying to stick to any particular schedule has been really challenging as Cassius will not be strapped into a pram and has noticed the many play areas we pass wanting to take up any opportunity to get on the swings. We eventually get to Helsinki central train station and have some down time meeting up with my artist friend Anna Puhakka and her family for lunch.

The next part of our journey was to get the train from Helsinki to Tampere and I was surprised to see double decker trains in use. I was partly excited but also anxious of how we were going to get on this thing with a pram and two suitcases. Again after an hour or so Cassius gets restless on the train and wants to move around and get out of the door. We arrive in Tampere after an hour and a half with the final part of our journey ahead a short bus ride to Kirjastoauto. As the bus drove to Takahuhti we could see the residency house as we pulled into the last stop, finally the good feelings started to come back. As we made our way across to the house Cassius was smiling and giggling running along the grass. Artist and permanent resident Soile came to meet us to pass on the keys to the residency space. Finally we have arrived two years since our last visit and quite a different traveling experience with a two year old child. Varpu an artist mother who lives upstairs here with her family left two boxes of toys for Cassius to play with and he was very excited to play with them.

I am always fascinated watching Cassius play and I question if this is simply a distraction from what I am supposed to be doing or if I am learning from his freedom to enjoy the simple things. This weekend is a settling in period, getting this written and preparing for my meeting on Monday with Arja from the Artists’ Association in Tampere city centre on Monday morning.