Coconut oil

I found a new moisturiser, one that is organic and affordable and smells sweet... Actually besides a moisturiser, it could also be used as a cooking oil, a lip balm, a leave-in conditioner for hair, a deodorant, a massage oil and a sunscreen, according to the Finnish blog Kemikaalicocktail. No explanation on how it works as a sunscreen though, so I wouldn't count on it to provide any protection from UV.
Po-zu, who make ecological shoes also have an edible shoe cream made of organic coconut oil. So I guess plain coconut oil can be used for a light shoe cream as well.
For skin it takes a while to seep in, but doesn't leave it sticky or oily. I'm not all crazy about smelling sweet and coconutty from head to toe though, so I plan to add some essential oils to my moisturiser. Maybe lavender.


Treasure hunting

I returned from Helsinki yesterday. This was waiting in my mailbox and it's good to be back home.


More nostalgia

I find myself wanting to go back to Prague and that is actually a bit puzzling. I have good reasons to think about Prague with fondness. But it does seem like a bizarre idea to want to live there again.
Prague is a city with too many tourists, herds of them everywhere. Better to avoid some places, but all of them you don't want to miss. I spent days waiting for this and that behind a closed office door. After I returned to Finland I was inexplicably moved by the nice and friendly cashiers here. The customer service in Prague is mostly horrible and the shops are crammed with long queues, as are the subways and buses. The behaviour considered polite by Czechs is slightly hostile. I hardly learnt any of the incomprehensible language.


10 +more places to visit in Prague

Some more of places I love in Prague.

Cross Club
Plynarni 1096/23 (Prague 7, near Nadrazi Holesovice)
A club worth visiting just for the interior decoration. A former squat, they have let loose an
interior designer here who loves old pieces of metallic scrap and has covered every surface with
them. The old flat irons and citrus juice squeezers also have lights and they move. The music has
some edge. The best night I had there was to a very playful type of drum'n'bass. Don't get lost.

Modern art at Veletrzni Palace
Dukelskych hrdinu 47 (Prague 7)
I admit! The very best reason for a visit is not the 4 floors of art but the see-through glass
elevator in the middle of the gallery.
Museum Kampa
U sovovych mlynu 2 (Prague 2)
A modern art museum in the centre of Prague. Has a changing exhibition as well as a permanent
collection. Also has an attractive sightseeing floor on the roof.

Petrin lookout tower
An Eiffel tower lookalike on a smaller scale, 60 m high. A lovely place to visit. You won't be the
only one who has the same plan.

Vegan / vegetarian restaurants:
Lehka Hlava
Borsov 2 (Prague 1)
Try the huge bowl of salad with smoked tofu, or some fresh sage tea with honey in this lovely
restaurant with fun decor. Maybe you should visit the blue room that has a ceiling with
glimmering fake-stars. Then go and hug the round oven that, according to one of my sweet
family members, looks like it should be hugged.
Country Life
Melantrichova 15 (Prague 1)
A good place for vegan luch in the Old Town, very close to Mustek. Also a good place to balance
your diet with fresh stuff if you've accidentally been eating the only vegetarian option of
traditional Czech reastaurants, the fried cheese.

Yaxi Taxi (Legii most, Praha 5)
Fun and inspiring handmade clothes and jewelry.

Anagram (Tyn 4, Prague 1)
A small English-language bookstore just behind the Old Town Square. Friendly atmosphere and
an inspiring collection of books. Also beautiful notebooks made of recycled materials by Deaf

Krepsko (Shows mostly in Roxy NOD, Dlouhá 33)
This Czech-Finnish group has experimental, bizarre and beautiful plays that include music and
some circus-style elements. No language barrier.

iercings or tattoos:
Tribo (Klimentska 2, Prague 1)
A good tried&tested place.

Letna park on the hillside facing the Old Town with deep shades of green and free-running
dogs. Vast Stromovka (Holesovice, Prague 7) for long walks.

Expats.cz is good for finding any practical inside information about Prague in English.

The weekly newspaper Prague Post has an excellent guide to next week's culture and

Should I also mention the Herna's... Or not... Oh, you might find out about them on your own
also. I won't admit I have favourites among them.


Won't Stop

Seriously, how many pairs of gloves does a woman need? With this weather two at the same time is fine. Altogether perhaps 9 pairs, yes?
Luckily I have friends and they have birthdays so I don't just drown in all the fingerless gloves and mittens and wristwarmers that demand to be knitted.
The pink, brown(ish) and blue yarns are dyed by hand, blue and brown with plants. I don't know which plants though, I got the yarns as a gift.


Getting homesick for Prague, writing this.

In case you had no idea, drinking in Prague is not only about beer... There's much more tearooms in Prague than you could expect. And the best thing about them is that they serve tea. To make it clear, we are not talking about teabags in lukewarm water or about coffee or about sodas, or beer, or, yes actually many of the tearooms have beer in their list also. Of course.

These are my favourites:
Dobrá Čajovna
Vaclavske namesti, Praha 1
The oldest tearoom of Prague is located in the very center of the city but is lightyears away from the busy shopping streets. It has a peaceful courtyard and a smooth, soothing interior that has empirically been found to appeal to Nordic taste. The teas are taken seriously here with a tealist the thickness of a novel (also in English) and descriptions about the different types. There's loads of specialities and some snacks on the menu. Have some Pu-ehr so you know how it tastes like. Or try the Kukicha type green tea. The customer service might be the best in Prague.

U Zeleného Caje
Nerudova 19, Praha 1
The green tearoom is a great place to stop near the castle. It has a big window/door opening to a the idyllic Prague street. The rustic, Middle European style tearoom has also coffee and tempting cakes on the menu. If you're into warm milky drinks, there's one with spices and rice. I've forgotten the name, sorry. Very soulful around dusk when the lights of the cobblestone street are lit.

Ruzova Čajovna
Ruzova 8, Praha 1
A quiet, meditative tearoom great for long teabreaks and getting stranded in for long afternoons when a summery thunder shower surprises you. The downstairs has a wine cellar feeling to it and then there is an upper floor. Ruzova Čajovna also sells tea and a serious collection of gorgeous teacups and -pots.


Under my feet

I do enjoy telling people about my favourite places in Prague. Since I've been asked so many times it seems practical to do it here.
The pictures are from the Letná park in Prague, just the other side of the river from the Old Town and the city center. It is a lovely place to sit, from the stone wall you can see over the gorgeous city and the river Vltava meandering through Prague with it's bridges. The park is dimly lit so the moon and the stars, and the fireworks over the city on many unknown occasions show well. The warm summer winds sweep over the place and you can see the whole sky.
The park has a terasse and on top of it a modern art piece from 1991, by David Černy. It is a metronome as you can see and it moves. Before this piece of art there was the biggest Stalin monument of the world, built in 1955. The statue was 30 m high and had a queue of other communist figures behind it. The Stalin monument only stayed there until 1962 when it was blown up by dynamite.
The more bizarre thing still is that the terasse has a huge underground space of 7000 square meters. I was actually thrilled to the point of being silly as I found out about it in Prague Post, in an article by Zach Blaue. Have you read the book The Tombs of Atuan? It's written by Ursula Le Guin. The heroine of the book, a young girl wanders her days in an unmapped, unlit underground labyrinth of the temple she is the priestess of. Approximately, since I don't remember the details that well. It was the labyrinth that captured my attention when I first read it. It still does, the idea of labyrinths and secret passageways and empty houses and such undiscovered places.
In Letná there was a huge underground space under my feet all of this time and I didn't know! The doors to the chamber are very visible and it never even crossed my mind to wonder where they would lead. The whole space is 7000 square meters, and the biggest chamber is 5 m high. Part of the Stalin monument is still inside it.
Since being built the space has mainly been closed. During the communist era it was used for storing potatoes. For one year, from 1989 to 1990, it was a squatted and used as an art gallery, concert place and a radio station.
No one knows what all of that underground space was built for. Maybe it was just needed under the weight of the 14000 t Stalin monument. In the article of Prague Post an architectural historian, Zdeněk Lukeš, offered the theory that the place had been intended as a crypt for the Czechoslovak President of the era, Klement Gottwald. They could have kept him in a glass coffin after his death, as with Lenin and Stalin in Moscow.

Picture 1 by Anni Putkonen, 3 and 4 by Heini Granberg.

Art by the Metronome also here.


A proposal for action

Beautiful cards by Cris Rieder available for downloading&printing here. The theme is floral / delight and they are wonderful. This time of the year, or any time most likely, you do know what to use them for. Scroll down to "download zone" and "cards", download and gasp with delight.


Style Edition: Winter

My friend Miss H. has handmade shoes from Lappland. They are made of reindeer, by Saami handicraft artists. If there's snow the shoes are very warm and comfortable. During summer she has to keep them in the freezer, otherwise the fur will fall. I'd really like to trick you into believing that around here everybody walks in this sort of shoes. When not wearing neon skiing shoes.