Couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine convinced me to go to Tallinn with him and his aunt. My plan was to take some pretty pictures of the lovely Old Town but I forgot to charge my camera battery and got only one shot. Well planned, Niina. Well planned. We only had 4 hours in Tallinn but we managed to eat a lovely lunch and do some shopping…
Kalev-chocolate. I always stop by the Kalev-store when I’m Tallinn because it’s conveniently on the route from the harbour to the Old Town. The chocolate is cheap and delicious, just the way I like it. I might even prefer it over Finnish chocolate manufacturer Fazer.
There’s this cheap but fantastic shop that sells cosmetics in the Virü-shopping centre. It’s not on the main floors and it’s bit tricky to find but it’s there ;) No, I’m not going to tell you where, you have to find it yourself but anyway, it’s my regular pit stop. I spotted this brand, which I think is Russian and makes 100% organic beauty products. Of course I don’t know how true that claim is but the packaging is pretty and 1.80 for a 100 ml tube is cheap! I got a lifting, moisturizing and refreshing masks. Haven’t tried them though. But that’s not all I got…
I also got a pore minimizing serum by Organic Therapy for 6.50, a sickly sweet shower gel 0.80, a whitening tooth paste, also under 1 euro, an argan oil moisturizer (it’s for mature skin but for 4 euros, I thought to give it a try) and then couple of cute vaseline lip balms. They were only 35 cents each and I couldn’t resist the packaging:
Very retro, very cute. Then, on our way back to the ferry, we stopped at a supermarket to stock up on some basics. I got some kitchen things, a bottle of wine (4 euros!!!) and socks. Glamorous. After I had paid and was re-packing my things on a bench outside the store, my friend comes to me, pushing a shopping trolley filled with booze and exclaims “I found cheap prosecco!” So what is girl to do? Get some said cheap prosecco herself:
Finally something glamorous! Just waiting for the perfect occasion to pop these babies open…
Oh my, oh my, oh my. You know. You try to love your country. See the good and participate in things that would make it even better but sometimes, just sometimes, that country of yours makes it so damn hard…
I got home about an hour ago, around 22.00 and as I always do, I got online and logged in on Twitter. What was the first thing I saw? Something, something whiskey and the hashtag #viskigate, in English #whiskeygate.
The tweets kept coming and at last I spotted a link to an article on Helsingin Sanomat and boy, did I get some information. I’m going to try to translate it here. Pardon again about the quality. And yes, this is very much true and very much happened in the year 2014…
Aluehallintavirasto, short AVI (The Regional Government Authority), banned two Finnish bloggers from writing about whiskey if it’s connected to the upcoming Beer & Whiskey Expo. Also the organizers of the expo had to drop the word whiskey from the expo name.
Now the expo, organized under the new name Olutexpo Finland (Beerexpo Finland) got their license from AVI on the condition that no links from Google comes to their site with the search word “whisky”, tells the organizer Mikki Nyman.
Due to the demands of AVI, Nyman had to ask those two bloggers to remove from their blogs all the mentions of whiskey.
Bloggers Jaakko Matikainen of Jaskankaljat-blog and Nikolas of Mushimalt-blog tells us that originally they got a permit from VALVIRA, the authority that oversees alcohol permits in Finland, to write on their blogs what kind of whiskeys the expo is offering and describe them.
“I wanted to do everything by the book, so I wouldn’t cause any trouble to anyone. They gave us clear instructions: financial compensation from the texts wouldn’t be allowed and the prices of the whiskies cannot be mentioned. Clear advertising blurbs were definitely banned”, tells Matikainen.
Suddenly this week AVI contacted Mikki Nyman. AVI disagreed with VALVIRA. According to AVI, all logos and whiskey- related mentions are banned- both on the expo’s own website as well as on personal blogs that write about the expo.
“Nyman contacted me and Jaakko. He asked us to remove the headlines and whiskey-words that are directly connected to the even or else they will lose their license”, tells Nikolas.
“My first reaction was that has the controlling of private citizens begun? I removed all the logos and mentions as per requested. Then I thought, what if I had left the logos there? Would it have proceeded to the point where the entire event would have been cancelled, because of one person who has nothing to do with the organizing the said event?” Nikolas asks.
Aluehallintovirasto’s view is that the event advertises through private blogs. “They decided that we are somehow part of it, even though we’re not”, says Nikolas.
Jaakko Matikainen agreed to clean up his blog.
“I don’t want to be the beer blog, that prevents the entire expo from happening. It wouldn’t make sense”, says Matikainen.
Matikainen tells, that now everyone has to proceed with care that AVI won’t cancel the permits at the last minute.
“I don’t want to pick up a fight with someone I can’t win. As soon as the expo is over, I can ask if the citizens right to free speech is offended”, says Matikainen.
Last spring Mikki Nyman applied and got a license from PRH (the authority for trademarks and business names) for Olut & Viskiexpo Finland, Beer & Whiskey Expo Finland. Nyman is amazed that another authority blocks the use of a legally acquired business name.
“After the event I’m contacting PRH. I’m making an official enquiry, because I want it on black and white why I’m prevented form using my company’s official name”, says Nyman.
According to Nyman, the license to serve alcohol was granted yesterday after the two bloggers had removed the whiskey-mentions.
“If Nikolas would have continued call the event Beer & Whiskey Expo and wouldn’t have changed his writings, I couldn’t have done anything about it. The license to serve alcohol would have been evoked and I would have been driven to bankruptcy”, says Nyman.
No one from the Aluehallintovirasto was reached for an interview.
I don’t know about you but I see plenty of problems with this. Aluehallintovirasto expects one person in Finland to moderate entire Google’s content. They also specified two bloggers and decided that they are somehow paid employee’s and/or owners of the event without any basis. And then they proceeded to put those two people on the position of responsibility, effectively blackmailing them. Does this know mean that anyone can be put in this position? If someone starts a business and I write about it, can I be forced to change my text under the threat that the person I don’t know will lose their livelihood if I don’t?
Finland has one of the most insane alcohol laws in the world. We have to buy alcohol from state-owned stores, which opening hours are very much restricted. Starting from January 2015 ALL alcohol advertising is banned in Finland, however I pretty much doubt that Alko, the state-owned store has to abide by that rule.
Scottish whisky maker Glenmorangie was quick to react in the decision and has blocked their site for Finnish IP-addresses.
I can’t even right now. Anything.
Edited to add… Blogger and producer Martti Lindholm of blog.themartti.com gathered some interesting Twitter-data regarding the #whiskeygate:
Collective 7000 tweets about whiskey. Well done, Finland. Well done.
-Thrifty Finn, exceptionally exasperated today-
P.S. Seems that this whole fiasco is the work of one woman, Anneli Taina, the director of Southern Finland’s Aluehallintovirasto.
Technology hasn’t been my friend lately. True, part of it has been my own fault. How hard it is to save your work every once in a while? Apparently too hard. For me at least. Anyhoo…Autumn is here although not a very cold one yet. Trees are changing colour and at least up north, the first snow has fallen too. Here are some of my latest pins, inspired by winter and autumn.
The photographer is a Finnish guy I know via Twitter. He posted a link on Ello this morning and I immediately proceeded to pin several of his images. He is quite talented and if you are a Finnophile, you should get a kick out of his nature photos. The link to his Flickr is HERE. From my board Finland Things.
I’ve only once seen mountains up close. I was on the first grade and our school (together with two other schools in the area) took a class trip to Norway. It was lovely. My aunt, who was one of the guardians, got exasperated with me because I wanted to take a picture of every single mountain and collect every single sea shell from the beach. I didn’t get everything but I got enough. When I got home, I filled an old plastic chocolate box with sand and lovingly paired the correct shell halves with each other and presented them in the box. This lasted for about a month till the next Grand Cleaning by Grandmother. To trash they went. I was furious. From my board Moods & Atmospheres.
I’m my most energized during autumn. For me, spring and autumn are the seasons for doing things. Summer and winter are static seasons. Nothing ever happens then. This banner would be a fantastic daily reminder to be an adventurer, to be a person that makes things happen. As a craft, an inexpensive too. Leather scraps are easy to come by and there’s always at least one horrible 80s leather jacket for sale at any flea market at any given time. The banner would be quite nice as a gift too. From my board Crafty Things.
Some time ago, I binge watched Parks & Recreation on Netflix. I <3 Leslie Knopes and Ron Swanson. Yeah, yeah, I’m about million years behind in the accolades but that show is the best! You might wonder what a cabinet by a German interior designer has to do with Parks & Rec. Well I’m glad to tell you…You know the wallpaper they have in the department? With the ducks? At first I thought it was hideous but I grew to like it as the show progressed and now I kind of want to bring something like that to my house too. A complete wallpaper would be a no-no (I’m still dreaming of the gold polkadot one) but how about covering a chest of drawers or a cabinet with it? Ah-mazing. Any kind of pastoral scene would work, don’t you think? From my board formerly known as My Dream Home, now a boring Home & Style.
Is it just me or does anyone else want to hoard layers of fat around themselves when it gets colder? Just me? Great. I pinned this some time ago and am amazed it didn’t get any more re-pins. Just look at it? Imagine eating this with some vanilla ice cream and wash it down it mulled wine. Mmmm. Wine. Wine is delicious. From my board Sweet & Sweeter.
And last but not least…Since the winter IS coming after all:
Arya. Everyone’s favourite Stark. From the board Game of Thrones. Question…Is The Hound dead or not?
P.S. Now I know where my tendency to hoard craft supplies comes from. I can directly trace it to that traumatic event when my grandma threw my precious sea shells away. Dammit, grandma!
P.P.S. The link to my full Pinterest-profile is HERE and all of my related blog posts are HERE.
Nighttime in Finnish summer. Taken on 29th of July with my Samsung. I posted it on Instagram back then and it’s my most liked photo. I think it’s my personal favourite too. And no, there’s no filter used on this.
This is the part where you can call Finland insanely beautiful ;)
If you are interested the rest of the interpretations of this week’s photo challenge theme ‘Nighttime‘ can be found HERE and my other challenge photos are HERE.
This summer I visited Paris. Again. One day I was on a walk with my friend and we walked past a florist shop in a fancy ass neighbourhood. At first I thought nothing of it but then I saw these two little cuties:
I called them in Finnish and they seemed to understand. The owner, however didn’t appreciate it and called them back inside. Our dialogue was cut short but at least I got this cute photo. This is my entry for this week’s photo challenge ‘Dialogue‘. If you are interested, the other interpretations can be found HERE. All my entries, past and present, for the WordPress Photo Challenge are HERE.