Summer Daze

I interviewed a photographer earlier this year who said he enjoys the shorter days of winter as it gives him time to go over all the work he did in summer.

Flow Festival 2015

Flow Festival 2015

While it’s not that dark yet, I do enjoy going over the pictures I took when we were too busy to stop and look.

Flow Festival 2015

Flow Festival 2015

Such as these photos from Flow Festival, which we attended in August and I included as one of my 101 reasons to visit Helsinki.

Held over three days this music and arts festival was established in 2004. As well as big acts it showcases bands you may not have come across but are bound to hear more of over the next 12 months.

Flow Festival 2015

Flow Festival 2015

Held in the former industrial area of Suvilahti, the easiest way to arrive is by bicycle and there are also free buses from Central Station.

Flow Festival 2015

Flow Festival 2015

The site was once home to a power plant and the organisers make great use of the space.

Flow Festival 2015

Flow Festival 2015

On Sunday there’s also family-friendly time, with activities set up for children.

Flow Festival 2015

Flow Festival 2015

The food is great, with some of Helsink’s top restaurants represented, each offering a vegetarian option.

Entree from Farang

Seafood entree from Farang

Drinks are not cheap but there are recycling stations around giving one euro back for every can returned, meaning the festival grounds are nearly spotless.

Can return station

Can return station

In some ways it feels like a ‘grown up’ festival with bars serving specialty beers or selling only gin-based cocktails.

Gin and lime

Gin and lime

There were loads of different seating areas…

Marimekko corner

Marimekko corner

…with lots of different seats….

Birch seats

Birch seats

….and bands performing indoors and out.

IMG_9568

I’m always struck by how well-behaved people are at events in Finland, as while there is loads of alcohol consumed the feeling is generally aggression free.

IMG_9561

As the sun went down we watched Beck and Florence and the Machine before it was time to get me home.

IMG_9588

I had enjoyed too many cocktails and as I unlocked my bike nearly started a domino effect involving 2000 bicycles before Jonathan intervened.

FullSizeRender

Something else to reflect upon perhaps over the coming dark winter months….

Flow Festival

Ode to Bicycles

IMG_9776

I see you there, bicycle

Leaning on the wall

Waiting for your rider

As in a shop  they call

IMG_9767

You are a swift and silent steed

As you canter through the streets

Your tires are pumped

Your saddle plumped

No need for bribes or treats

IMG_9524

You have your own marked laneway

That no one would dare cross

Without a quick glance left and right

Unless they’re up for loss

A police outline of a flattened mother & child and the bicycle they suspect did it

Police outline of a flattened mother & child and the bicycle they suspect did it

No helmet for your rider

In Helsinki it’s not needed

Road rules apply, no cars defy

And safety’s always heeded

IMG_9657

So there you wait, outside cafes

Ready to get rollin’

I can’t believe that you’re still there

In Sydney you’d be stolen.

IMG_9662