14 March 2006

Few quick points off of my head

It is freezing cold in England. Not freezing like it is back home but cold enough. I reckon this is mainly because the buildings were built when the whole concept of insulation was not even invented. So the trouble is cold inside. No doubt the energy consumption will not decrease anytime soon if the wind does not even slow down on the windows. Enough of the weather chat.

I went to Manchester last weekend. I have been there once before but only for an afternoon, so this was a first proper visit and even this was very short one. City looks much more vibrant than Birmingham although it is slightly smaller. Maybe it is far enough from London. I do not know but it certainly seemed to have much better infrastructure and many new buildings seemed to be rising all the time. Those were just for normal flats, unlike in Birmingham where the few new buildings seem to be luxury apartments. I do not know why, but all in all Manchester seemed to have more business than Birmingham. I may be wrong but I had a nice weekend.

New African magazine has been my favourite read for some years now. While reading the February issue it struck me that an American lady had sent a letter to the editor saying that the magazine should give more positive image of her country in its articles. In the latest issue (New African March 2006) they have published a three page response to her saying practically that their articles are based on facts and that she should shut up (not with those words) as although Africans are posed as sub-humans by “western” media and even if it is completely based on prejudice they cannot really do anything to stop that as press is always, at least supposedly, free. So she should respect the African media in the same way. I wholeheartedly agree and although she probably just made a mistake and did not mean to make a big deal out of her letter, I hope she learned not to make this mistake again. I just love this magazine.

Last week I was talking about the music I have been listening lately. It was mainly Hip Hop and that kinds of things but I must admit the EP by Swedish guitar band Kent is fantastic and I have been listening to it for a few days now. They are one of my all time favourites anyway so nothing new on that front but this needed to be said.

American talk show host Conan O’Brien has been having his Finland jokes on now for a while and he even ended up going to the location earlier this year and as far as I understood this trip was a bit of a media event. The one hour Finland special aired last Friday in the United States and will be on in Finland this Wednesday (watch the clip from NBC website). I am sure that enough people will be watching as the first, and often the only question, we are interested in, is what do they think of us. It is nothing short of a national obsession but quite frankly I can understand it as I had lived some years abroad now and noticed that hardly anyone knows anything about my country. That may have a fair bit to do with the fact tat British people do not have the best general knowledge but it has been the same story wherever I have been. I am just from one of those countries. No news may be good news but I want to see this episode and I have asked to get that taped so I can see it later. I am so Finnish sometimes but I want to know what they think of us.

Lastly I must mention that I am looking forward to the weekends St Patrick’s Day. That is such a fun night out. In my neighbourhood it seems to be more like a St Patrick’s week though. The funny thing is that when I lived in Ireland I never even got to celebrate this but here in England I would not want to miss it. Maybe I share the same frustration for this place or then I just enjoy having few drinks with the ones from the right side of the Irish Sea, sing their drinking songs and try to avoid the fights.

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