Appearance on Live TV
Helsinki Book Fair
Series Rebrand and a New Book
Becoming a British citizen
While I was away, a letter had arrived informing me that my application to become a naturalised British citizen was accepted and that I was to attend a citizenship ceremony on 20 November. Whoop, whoop! The ceremony was at Islington Town Hall, and it was a joyous occasion, even if the whole (costly) process was forced upon me. The worry about my future in this country since the Brexit vote in June 2016, was finally gone; I now had a guarantee that I’d not be turned away at the British border or refused medical treatment by the National Health Service after the UK leaves the European Union. I talk about my concerns about my future and about feeling very foreign in the country I’ve grown up and called home for the past 33 years in a previous post here.
And by the way, although I have now become a British citizen, I still feel absolutely disgusted by the UK government’s failure to guarantee the future of the 3 million EU citizens who have made their home in this country. And, naturally, I think Brexit is crazy on so many levels, and I will continue to do everything I can to make my fellow Brits who voted to leave the EU, understand how misguided they are, and how they were (and continue to be) lied to by certain politicians.
Loss of a Loyal Friend
Only three days after the joyous occasion at Islington Town Hall, as a family, we suffered a terrible loss. Our 15-year-old terrier, Jerry, was put to sleep on Wednesday. He had been going downhill for some weeks, even months, and we couldn’t let him suffer any longer. Anyone who has lost a pet will understand how devastating it is to say goodbye to a loyal friend. For our daughter, who had grown up with this clever and active terrier, it has been very difficult, as it has for me and the Englishman.
Jerry was my little muse. He made me get up and finish work at a sensible time because I had to take him out; he kept me company while I wrote and gave me an excuse to take a break and scratch his tummy or throw a ball for him. He was always happy to see me when I came home – however late, or after however many cocktails … I loved walking him in the woods; the number of ideas for a book, plot twists or character traits that I found during those walks is impossible to count. Simply put, he was my best friend.
Only the next day, I was interviewed and photographed for a forthcoming story in the Finnish daily, Helsingin Sanomat. (I wanted to appear happy in the photos but you can imagine smiling for an hour only a day after such a loss was a challenge). Hesari, as the paper is colloquially called in Finland, has written many times about Brexit and how it’s affecting the Finns living in the UK. I’m delighted that they have included my story in some of the articles. The next piece will appear within a few days – keep an eye out for my social media posts.
Finland 100 Ball
The week ended with a glittery ball to celebrate the centenary of Finland’s Independence. On 6th December this year, it will be 100 years since Finland gained its independence from Russia. Us Finns have been celebrating this anniversary year for all of 2017, but my London celebrations culminated at the Finnish British Chamber of Commerce ball at the Savoy on Friday. I was lucky to be joined by good friends as well as my family, and in spite of being so very sad about the loss of our furry friend, we all had a good time.
Have you had weeks, or months, when you feel you’re on a roller coaster ride and the ups and downs of your life are just a little too deep? Comment below to start the conversation!