Maiju’s Teacup 24/4/2017

Ginseng oolong in the pot earlier today.

I’m actually already lying in bed and thinking about Hogwarts houses and how there’s a word missing from language. 

I escaped Twitter because there’s some sort of tweevent going on at the Pottermore Twitter in which the Forbidden Forest plays a big part and also big hairy spiders. I’m phobic about big hairy spiders. I don’t mind little hairy ones (unless I see them in a photo where they look huge) or even big hairless ones. When I worked in a bookshop, there was a children’s book about animals that had a tarantula on one edge of the cover. I startled many a customer by screaming and throwing the book across the shop. I do it instinctively, before my brain kicks in.
At the Warner Brothers Harry Potter studio there was Aragog in the ceiling and my friends warned me about it but it was next to a hippogriff so I went and peeked  and ran to Diagon Alley in panic. It seemed like the staff at Diagon Alley were used to calming hysterical arachnophobes.

I digress. As I was still dodging Pottermore tweets I had a short conversation with a friend just about to which Hogwarts house we belonged to. I’m a Hufflepuff. I love being a Hufflepuff. I’m very proud of it. When Pottermore changed I took the Sorting Hat quiz again and it put me in Slytherin. Luckily I remembered my old username for the old version of the site so I could claim back my Hufflepuffity (Huffelpuffance?). About a year later I took another quiz which claimed to be the ultimate foolproof Sorting Hat quiz. It would have put me in Ravenclaw.

I am a big fan of Oh Witch Please podcast. It’s a podcast that looks at the world of Harry Potter  (books, films, irl Quidditch, games etc) from the point of view of narrative theory and feminism. It’s so good and so much fun. If you haven’t listened to it, do yourself a favour and do it now. Or rather after reading this post. 

On the podcast the hosts (or whaddoyoucallem) discuss the different Hogwarts houses and point out that if you sent your own kids to school, you’d only want them to be in Hufflepuff. Because, let’s be real, who wants their kids to learn that you only get into the in-crowd if you have a certain personality trait defined by a conjuror a thousand years ago. Like really. 

So yeah. I’ve been thinking about this and though Hufflepuff doesn’t discriminate anyone, I feel like that’s the feature that sets it apart from the rest of the houses.

‘Suvaitsevaisuus’ is a Finnish word that could be translated into ‘tolerance’. But tolerance has that nasty tang of there being something to tolerate, someone who decides, someone who is the authority and who says: you’re different but I will tolerate that and that somehow raised me above you.

I wish there was a word that suited it better. I guess ‘acceptance’ is another with more neutral connotations.

I’m not explaining this very well. Anyway. Accepting and appreciating people as they are has always been the most important thing for me. The only kind of people I do not appreciate are those who are not ‘tolerant’.

So. To conclude. I guess what I’m getting at that this is why I’m a Hufflepuff. Forever.

I’m going to go to sleep now.

Maiju’s Teacup 23/4/2017

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This photo is a few days old *audible gasp*. I’m drinking peppermint infusion from that cup in the photo.

Today is Shakespeare’s Birth/Deathday, World Book Day, St. George’s Day, and the day of the book and the rose, which is basically just the Finnish version of World Book Day.

I decided to honour World Book Day by giving up reading a few books that just weren’t doing it for me. Muriel Barbery’s The Life of Elves was just plain confusing and uninteresting and I was lucky to give it up, because I checked the ratings later and found out from reviews that it’s the first book of a duology. Which means that had I struggled through it, the story wouldn’t have finished.

Yesterday I picked up Anthony Trollope’s The Way We Live Now. I’ve had it for years, and I remember watching the BBC mini-series, but I don’t have much of an idea what happened in the end. I just felt like reading something from the time when George Eliot was writing. I don’t know… This one’s so obviously written by a man. And I don’t like any of the characters. But I guess I’ll finish it to see whether Sir Felix Carbury (I always read the name Cadbury in my mind) will get his comeuppance. I really hope he does.

The photo above is actually from Friday when the weather was abysmal and I was reading Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology and the book about Hygge. It’s all the rage apparently. Not sure if it’s that anywhere else but in Finland. Oh well. Anyway, I took it upon me to try hyggeing and I guess I succeeded. Tea, book, blanket, storm outside, good food.

Yesterday and today the weather has been much better. It’s still not very warm, but the sun has been shining. The house I live in has a huge, and I mean HUGE yard. It’s just enormous. At least for the fact that it’s almost in the middle of the town. No one really takes care of the yard, so yesterday when I went to the store to get milk, I bought a rake. I’ve spent several hours raking the yard yesterday and today. It’s just the best workout there is! Outside in the sunshine, doing something that has a wider effect, letting the suffocated plants from under years of dead leaves. And last night when I went to sleep, every one of my muscles ached. Today it’s been a bit better, but still. It’s nice to get excercised so sneakily.

Here are some anemone’s I found in the yard.

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Maiju’s Teacup 11/4/2017

I’m spending the day on the kitchen sofa. It’s not as soft as the living room couch but I can hear the rain better from this side of the house. I have a blanket, a pile of books and Gingseng Oolong which I got for birthday.

I’m progressing in Middlemarch into the more dramatic events ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜“๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Maiju’s Teacup 5/4/2017

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Today’s special for me because it’s my birthday. I actually don’t have any friends who share the birthday, so I have it all to myself.

I celebrated by eating a bit of ย ice cream, opening the present my mum gave me (a teapot, surprise surprise) and shopping a bit. I got myself this organic sencha from the local tea shop. It’s really the only place around that has a wide selection of loose-leaf teas, sold by the gram. But now the place has recently changed owners and I immediately noticed, that the new owner is a coffee guy… I’m so sad about that.

The materials etc he uses for packaging are so much more suitable for coffee. The place sells coffee beans as well and there’s a small teacorner, where the old owners served delicious tea, steeped to perfection at a fraction of a price from anywhere else. And this guy has changed it into a coffee bar… I’m sad.

Well, I must rally. I also got some lavender essential oil. The horrible eczema I have in my hands has been acting up lately. I added a few drops of the lavender oil into coconut oil and after half an hour, my hands were better. It’s just something totally amazing. I went to dermatologists for years (my hands occasionally turn into pustule filled sausages and then into raw meat and then back again) and no one could find any reason, nor any solution. It just went away when it went away. Until I tried a bit of lavender water on them.

My cat is well again. She’s been really active and playful and eager for the last few days after I stopped giving her medicine. That has made me very happy.

I’m beginning to be so tired I can’t form sentences. Well… Time to go to bed and read some Middlemarch.

Here’s my birthday “cake” (it’s oat ice cream) and the new teapot.

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Maiju’s Teacup 1/4/2017

Today’s pot of red Oolong is Feng Huang Dan Cong. In its second steep. It says on the package to last 4-5 steeped but the second one was already a bit weak. Maybe I’ll increase water temperature….

I had a terrible case of the NOs today. Apparently it’s PMS… Camp NaNoWriMo started too and after a shaky start, I made it to today’s word target.

After I’d written I made pizza and found out Finnish national tv had Planet Earth 2 on their service. It’s just beautiful!!!  We should show it to  Vogons before they destroy the planet to make way for the intergalactic freeway…

Now I’m off to bed to read some Middlemarch even though the vet pronounced that the cat is healthy now. I’m just associating the book with the sick cat…