Jean Sibelius – Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki in Finland was one of the destinations on our recent Baltic cruise. We decided to walk out to see the structure which commemorates the composer Sibelius – we walked and walked – and ‘better’ walked as the Scots phrase for too much goes, thinking we would never get there, but we did, just as three bus tours full of Chinese tourists descended on it. They all wanted an individual photo of themselves standing beside the monument for some reason, so it was quite some time before we could get an image of it on its own. Meanwhile I wondered if any of them had even heard of Sibelius, but for all I know they may have been a Chinese branch of his appreciation society!

Sibelius, Helsinki

I’m wondering if the designer got mixed up between Sibelius and Mendelssohn as it really reminds me of Fingal’s Cave which is the cave on the uninhabited Scottish island of Staffa in the Inner Hebrides which inspired Mendelssohn to write his best known piece of music of that name. you can see images of it here.

Below is the man himself and yes they did all have to have their photo taken with him – individually.

Sibelius, Helsinki, Finland

I found the video below on You Tube, it’s his Finlandia, Op. 26.symphonic. Apart from beautiful music it also shows amazing scenery and lots of animals as well as the northern lights.

Garden Birds

I’m always reading that the common sparrow is getting to be very rare but in my garden we are swamped by them, and it was just the same in my old garden. Not that I’m complaining though, they are dull compared with most birds but they do have cheery personalities and I’ve noticed that the sparrows here are a lot less argumentative than the Kirkcaldy sparrows who often got into noisy chirping fights with rival squads of sparrows.

garden birds 2

Look a bit closer and you’ll see that there are well camouflaged sparrows in there, it’s an old wash-hand basin covered by a black bin bag. The birds use it a lot and I probably won’t bother to make a pond for this garden as I noticed a few weeks ago that there was a lot of midge larvae in the basin. I don’t really want a big pond full of them.

garden birds 2

I remeber being told as a child that robins only got their red breast feathers in the winter but in Fife there are red breasted robins around all year. This cheeky chappy stood on my garden bench surveying the place for ages last Saturday.

Garden birds 3

In fact the bench is used by the birds far more than it is used by me. I occasionally flop onto it to have a rest from weeding and to straighten my back out. But as you can see it’s a favourite spot for the sparrows too.

Garden birds 7

Sparows and robins – not very exciting I hear you say but I swear to you that I saw an eagle circling around and calling in a high pitched tone today on my travels, but did I have a camera or binoculars? Did I whack. I’m going to have a look for it tomorrow though as you never know your luck!