Finnish Football Show #20: Veikkausliiga at the 1/3 stage & Huuhkajat

Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@EscapeToSuomi) and Mark (@FCSuomi) for monthly episodes, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

In episode 20, we look at how the Veikkausliiga season 2018 looks with 33% of games played, and we discuss the June 2018 friendlies for the Finnish national team. Add-in some short news stories, Finns Overseas and ramblings about Rich’s shirt, and it’s another high-standard Finnish Football Show.

 

Download an MP3 of Finnish Football Show 20 – Veikkausliiga at the 33% stage & Huuhkajat

Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Show #19: Veikkausliiga 2018 preview, Suomen Cup & Huuhkajat Continue to Impress

Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@EscapeToSuomi) and Mark (@FCSuomi) for monthly episodes, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

In episode 19, we preview the Veikkausliiga season 2018, marvel at the continuing impressive form of the Finnish national team and discuss the past week of Suomen Cup action (Quarter- and Semi-finals). We also dive into Academy teams in the lower divisions and an interesting closed-season transfer.

 

Download an MP3 of Finnish Football Show 19 – Veikkausliiga 2018 preview, Suomen Cup & Huuhkajat

Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Shorts Episode 6 – 10th Anniversary of SJK’s Klopit


FINNISH SHORTS
As a supplement to the live recorded Finnish Football Show, Mark W speaks to Lari Paski, Supporters Liaison Officer and leader of the Klopit; Seinäjoki FC’s supporters group. It was recorded on the coach to watch SJK vs KPV in the Suomen Cup in February 2018 – so there’s a little background noise.

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Download an MP3 of Finnish Football Shorts 6 – 10th Anniversary of SJK’s Klopit Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Shorts Episode 5 – January 2018, Dubai Friendlies Preview


FINNISH SHORTS
As a supplement to the live recorded Finnish Football Show, Mark W and Mark H preview Huuhkajat’s upcoming training camp in Dubai including one (or two) friendlies

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Download an MP3 of Finnish Football Shorts 5 – January 2018, Dubai Friendlies preview Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Show #17: End of Veiikausliiga Round-up & More Goals for Huuhkajat

Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@EscapeToSuomi) and Mark (@FCSuomi) for monthly episodes, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

Download an MP3 of Finnish Football Show #17: End of Veiikausliiga Round-up & More Goals for Huuhkajat

Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Show #16: Summer 2017 Catch-up – Huuhkajat victories, Veikkausliiga & Another Manager Leaves SJK


Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@EscapeToSuomi) and Mark (@FCSuomi) for monthly episodes, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

Download an MP3 of Finnish Football Show #16- Summer 2017 Catch-up Huuhkajat victories, Veikkausliiga & Another Manager Leaves SJK

Show Notes & Video

One Week Holiday in Finland: Putting The Podcast Into Practice

Similar to my summer 2016 post, in summer 2017 I had another opportunity to put what I learned in the podcast into practice. Whenever I have visitors staying with us, I always try to give them the ‘Finland Experience’, and it was no different when my parents came for a one-week holiday. It seemed that we had a different activity for each day, an ‘ideal week in Etelä-Pohjanmaa’.   I thought I’d share our week with you along with some photos, from a small sweet factory to live sport to a music festival.

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Finnish Football Show #15: Veikkausliiga, Huuhkajat, Finns Overseas & All-change at SJK


Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@EscapeToSuomi) and Mark (@FCSuomi) for monthly episodes, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

Download an MP3 of  Finnish Football Show #15 – Veikkausliiga, Huuhkajat & all-change at SJK

Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Show #14: Huuhkajat in Action & Veikkausliiga 2017 Kicks-off


Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@EscapeToSuomi) and Mark (@FCSuomi) for monthly episodes, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

Download an MP3 of Finnish Football Show #14 – Huuhkajat in Action & Veikkausliiga 2017 Kicks-off

Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Show #13 Bonus: ‘Finland Identity’ Project and U19 Euro 2018

FINNISH FOOTBALL SHOW
Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@EscapeToSuomi) and Mark (@FCSuomi) for monthly episodes, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

Download an MP3 of Finnish Football Show 13 Bonus – ‘Finland Identity’ Project and U19 Euro 2018

Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Show #13: Friendlies in the Desert & Suomen Cup

FINNISH FOOTBALL SHOW
Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@EscapeToSuomi) and Mark (@FCSuomi) for monthly episodes, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

Download an MP3 of Finnish Football Show 13 – Friendlies in the Desert and Suomen Cup

Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Shorts Episode 4 – Interview with new SJK Seinäjoki Manager, Sixten Boström


FINNISH SHORTS
As a supplement to the live recorded Finnish Football Show, this is an interview with new SJK Manager, Sixten Boström, recorded at the SJK press conference on Monday 20.2.2017.

Download an MP3 of FFShorts Episode 4 – Interview with New SJK Seinäjoki Manager, Sixten Boström Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Shorts Episode 3 – SJK Launches an eSports Team


FINNISH SHORTS
As a supplement to the live recorded Finnish Football Show, here’s something slightly different, a selection of interviews from the SJK press conference to launch its new eSports team.

Download an MP3 of FFShorts 3 – SJK Seinäjoki Launches an eSports Team

Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Show #11: 2016 Review – New Veikkausliiga Champions

FINNISH FOOTBALL SHOW
Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@EscapeToSuomi) and Mark (@FCSuomi) for monthly episodes, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

Download an MP3 of Finnish Football Show #11: 2016 Review – New Veikkausliiga Champions

Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Show #10: October World Cup Qualifiers Review

FINNISH FOOTBALL SHOW
Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@escapetosuomi) and Mark (@FCSuomi) for monthly episodes, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

Download an MP3 of Finnish Football Show #10: October World Cup Qualifiers Review

Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Show #9: Suomen Cup Final, Stadin Derby & Veikkausliiga

FINNISH FOOTBALL SHOW
Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@escapetosuomi) and Mark (@FCSuomi) for monthly episodes, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

Download an MP3 of Finnish Football Show 9 – Suomen Cup Final, Stadin Derby & Veikkausliiga Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Show #8 – World Cup Qualifying starts & Veikkausliiga update

FINNISH FOOTBALL SHOW
Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@escapetosuomi) and Mark (@MaHa_FCSuomi) for monthly episodes, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

Download an MP3 of Finnish Football Show #8 – World Cup Qualifying starts & Veikkausliiga update Show Notes & Video

Exploring Finland: Putting The Podcast Into Practice

Podcast Into Practice

During summer 2016, I had the opportunity to visit the wilds of Eastern Finland, near to the town of Kitee.  I was invited to join Satu at her Grandparents’ old home, right on Finland’s border with Russia. During this trip, I found myself saying ‘yeah, I know about this, I covered it in the podcast’, for example; sauna with vihta, foraging in the woods, the eveacuation of Karelia and Finnish ice cream.

I thought I’d share with you some pictures of these activities, and the podcast episodes they came from. Read more

Finnish Football Show #6 – An upturn for Huuhkajat? And Veikkausliiga so far.

FINNISH FOOTBALL SHOW
Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@escapetosuomi) and Mark (@MaHa_FCSuomi) for monthly episodes, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

Download an MP3 of Finnish Football Show #6 – An upturn for Huuhkajat? And Veikkausliiga so far. Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Show #5 – The Worst Time to Start a Podcast About Finnish Football?

FINNISH FOOTBALL SHOW
Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@escapetosuomi) and Mark (@MaHa_FCSuomi) for monthly episodes, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

Download an MP3 of Finnish Football Show 5 – The Worst Time to Start a Podcast About Finnish Football?

Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Show #4 – ‘Cupsets’ and Finns in Action Overseas

FINNISH FOOTBALL SHOW
Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@escapetosuomi) and Mark (@MaHa_FCSuomi) for monthly episodes, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

Download an MP3 of FinnishFootballShow #4 – ‘Cupsets’ and Finns in Action Overseas

Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Show #3 – Football In The Desert & Pre-season Transfers

FINNISH FOOTBALL SHOW
Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@escapetosuomi) and Mark (@MaHa_FCSuomi) for monthly episodes, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

Download an MP3 of FinnishFootballShow3 – Football In The Desert & Pre-season Transfers

Show Notes & Video

Finnish Football Show #1 – Veikkausliiga 2015 Review

FINNISH FOOTBALL SHOW
Join Mark (@explorefinland), Rich (@escapetosuomi) and Mark (@MaHa_FCSuomi) for the first episode of the Finnish Football Show series, where 3 old blokes sit and talk about football. In Finland.

Download an MP3 of Finnish Football Show #1 – Veikkausliiga 2015 Review

Show Notes & Video

Christmas 2014, Finnish-style

I don’t know how Christmas is celebrated in your country, but in Finland it is a peaceful, reflective time. People send greetings like “Rentoa ja Rauhallista Joulua ihan kaikille!” (A Relaxing and Peaceful Christmas to everyone!), or “Levollista joulua teille” (A Restful Christmas to you all”). This attitude is reflected throughout the festive period. Also, Christmas is celebrated on 24th December in the Nordic region, which is presumably to fit in with Santa’s busy schedule; he starts with the closest countries on the 24th and finishes on the 6th January in Spain 🙂

This is how we celebrated Xmas 2014 in Seinäjoki…

The family were all awake by 9:00 and had a quick breakfast. It was a chilly minus 12 degrees outside when we took Boris the Dog out for a walk in the nearby woods, while the sauna was warming-up for our return. The Xmas Eve sauna is not compulsory but many families do it and I wasn’t going to miss out. I couldn’t convince everyone to get involved but Evie joined me.

Leena then made sure she watches the ‘Declaration of Christmas Peace’ at midday. This traditional announcement dates back to medieval times, 1320, and is made from Turku the former capital of Finland. It is read in Finnish and Swedish and is considered the beginning of Christmas;

“Huomenna, jos Jumala, suo, on meidän Herramme ja Vapahtajamme armorikas syntymäjuhla.”

“I morgon, vill Gud, innefaller vår Herres och Frälsares nåderika födelsefest.”

(Tomorrow, God willing, is the grace-filled celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour.)

You can read more on the YLE News site here

Leena was also preparing the first of the traditional meals of the day; Riisipuuro (rice porridge, or rice pudding) is a traditional way to start Xmas, with an almond or two dropped in to bestow good luck on the person who finds it in their bowl (similar to the British tradition of sixpence in the Xmas pudding). We ate this at midday rather than for breakfast, and I was lucky enough to get two almonds in my bowl – the kids complained bitterly, then declined to eat those found in their bowls! After eating and getting dressed we set off on the trip to Mummilla (Grandma’s home).

Xmas dinner is something of a feast in many countries and Finland is no different. What IS different is the food that is served. The most ‘Finnish’ part of the menu are the various ‘laatikko’ dishes – literally ‘box’ dishes, these consist of various mashed or pureed vegetables baked in trays in the oven – we had carrot, potato and swede, along with a liver & rice combination, all of which are quite sweet and very more-ish! The main meat served is a roasted ham, plus boiled potatoes, green salad, pickled herrings, coleslaw, and a seasonal, spiced bread ‘Joululimppu’.

Dessert was served two hours later allowing everyone to make a little room for various cakes, biscuits and chocolates as well as the mince pies and Xmas pudding from the UK. In the meantime, we all took a short walk to the nearby cemetery for the tradition of lighting candles in honour of our ancestors. The sight is quite something to behold, with hundreds, thousands(?) of lit candles, the photos really don’t do them justice! It allows you a time-out from all the feasting to think a little about previous generations, and maybe what they would have thought about the concept of a blog or a podcast.

When we returned home the kids found out that ‘Joulupukki’ (Santa Claus) had been. Evie wasted no time putting her ‘tonttu’ hat on, a red elf-hat with a bell on the end, and attacking the pile under the tree. Many Finnish families arrange for someone to visit dressed as ‘pukki to give out the presents, with the children singing songs for ‘pukki. This could be a family friend or someone raising money for their sports club (you can see the photo from our Xmas in 2013) – that said the younger children often find this a little scary and Leena has bad childhood memories of Santa being a little too merry at the end of a long day delivering gifts! We didn’t have anyone come this year, but that didn’t dampen the excitement – those presents didn’t stand a chance!

After the presents came dessert, after dessert came wine and board games. Neither were compulsory, but we tried a couple of the new games that Olli & Evie received, Splendor (Olli) The Magic Tower (Evie). Sadly though, it was soon time to head home and light the fire, the kids promptly fell asleep in bed, and Leena and I promptly fell asleep in front of the TV – well some things never change…

Hyvää joulua / Merry Xmas

◊◊◊ Mark ◊◊◊