the day we crashed a Finnish school

Well, last week was pretty crappy but today was a complete 180. The sun was shining. I got to sleep in without being nagged by a high-pitched voice to getupgetupgetup. Lucas got up with Raspberry and fed her breakfast (the first time in forever! The getting up with her, I mean, not the breakfast). He also seemed to be feeling better. Raspberry was being remarkably pleasant. We had plans to hit up a craft show. In short, from where I was sitting this morning, life was pretty damn good.

We went to the craft show, the first one I’ve been to here. It was at Camp and Furnace, and I’m not sure if I was more excited about the craft show itself or finally getting to check out the location. The craft show was small and it was just all right. I guess I had high expectations, that it’d be like City of Craft, which in my opinion, is one of the best juried craft shows I’ve been to. At least the decor of the location did not disappoint. Raspberry didn’t seem too much into being there. She said she saw lots of things she liked but her body language said differently. I think it was when Lucas told her to look with her eyes and not her hands, that her mood shifted. I find that lately he’s been more authoritative with her, especially with her recent exasperating behaviour (the conventional parenting styles I mentioned before) and I think we need to change that because it doesn’t work for us as it’s doing little to change Raspberry’s behaviour and sometimes it just plain upsets her.

Raspberry didn’t feel like doing any crafts at the gallery today (often, our usual Saturday afternoon routine), so we went on our way to run some errands. We passed a Chinese grocery store and stopped in to pick up some food for dinner — dumplings (an alternative to the spring rolls Raspberry wanted) and some nasi goreng sauce (although we used it for noodles instead). I tried to find baking soda there but was unsuccessful, possibly because Asian cooking doesn’t really use baking soda? [On a related tangent, baking soda is ridiculously expensive here and I have no idea why, but I guess I’m just going to have to suck it up and invest in it.]

We went by a Scandinavian church that we happened to pass way back in December. Lucas has been wanting to locate a place to get some Finnish baked goods and he thought that the people at the church might know. As we paused to read a sign on their door, someone inside happened to open the door for us, asking if we were there for the Finnish school. Lucas asked about the baked goods and the guy didn’t know but went in to ask the Finnish people inside.

We went up to the second floor and discovered all these kids, evidently learning Finnish and having a good time doing so. I was quite amazed to hear all of them speaking Finnish. They had a table with all these Finnish treats that got Lucas rather excited. He found the mustard he likes and bought that. We talked with a couple of people and learnt that unfortunately there’s no real place to get any Finnish food in Liverpool. Lucas asked about the school and they invited us to stay and check it out. Raspberry watched for a bit until one of the ladies asked if she wanted to write her name on a slip of paper and offered her a chair so she could join in. Everyone was speaking Finnish so she had no clue what was going on but she seemed to enjoy it, probably because they got her involved — she got to put up pictures of what the weather was like on a board. The older kids went out to the garden to play some traditional games and the younger ones stayed behind to do songs. Raspberry stayed and Lucas sat with her as they ran through Finnish versions of songs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or If You’re Happy and You Know It. It didn’t really help that Raspberry didn’t remember the English versions of the songs, so I don’t think she could really follow it in Finnish. But they did give us a sheet with all the songs and lyrics for future reference. I felt a little weird about joining in so I stood back to watch and Lucas says I just looked plain awkward. I suppose that’s me. I get rather awkward, especially in new situations. It’s like when you’re talking to someone and you don’t know where to put your hands. Yeah, that’s me. I’m like the hands.

Anyway, there was a craft and Raspberry was all over that because doing crafts is just her most absolute favourite thing at the moment. While she busied herself with an immeasurable amount of glitter , Lucas and I talked with some of the people there. They all seemed interested in finding out how we stumbled upon them and Lucas discussed his heritage with them while I mostly stood beside him, smiling and nodding and marvelling at all the interesting things in the room. The people there all seem so warm and friendly and welcoming and initially, I was amazed that they let us sit in on the school. After meeting them, it’s not as surprising that they let us do so, as they all seem like such nice people. Raspberry was getting tired and moody near the end and wouldn’t thank the people but she said she enjoyed her afternoon and would like to return. She said she wanted to learn Finnish anyway, so it works out perfectly, since we’d been thinking about sending her for some Finnish lessons but hadn’t really researched where to do so. The school runs biweekly and it’s £2 per session so I think it’s something we’ll be doing. Plus, they said they run Finnish meals about once a month and I believe I heard them say they’re doing pea soup next and Lucas is quite excited about it, so we obviously have to go. I think it’ll be great to get to know the Finnish community here and I’m excited that Raspberry will pick up some Finnish (and possibly, I just might too).


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