A few days after my last post Still waiting for fish the fog appeared. One morning the lake was so misty that we could not see the islands in front of us (less than one kilometer away). As every morning, my Dad left for the cast nets and the much-awaited fish was finally there. During a period of about two weeks we caught a lot of fish: pike, pike perch, white fish and bream.
Pike is a freshwater fish commonly found in Finland.
Not all fish is equal. Pike we usually give away to a local family who gives us potatoes and milk in exchange. Pike perch we consider like gold (it can cost nearly 40€ per kilo at super market) so we keep it. White fish is another precious fish, and we keep it too. However, bream is not something we often eat, so we normally give it away either to a Russian friend who loves bream, or to our neighbors who give us mushrooms in exchange. The cast nets sometimes give us roach but that is for cats…
Breams and roaches before being given away.
Life continues to be sweet at the summer house. And it doesn’t hurt to go back to basics: the barter economy!
While the rest of the European continent has been basking in very hot temperatures, Finland has experienced very cold weather. Some weeks ago the summer 2015 was the coldest summer since 1987, but according to the latest statistics we are now talking about the coldest summer since the sixties… and the summer is not over yet!
Getting ready to throw cast nets into the lake.
To us staying at the summer house this has meant practically no fish. One week ago on Saturday my father was advised by a local fisherman that now may be time to start cast net fishing. According to the fisherman the wind was changing and should result in better catches. So, off my father went to drop the nets into the lake, but one week later we are still waiting for the big catch. The weather has been very strange and fish are definitely acting weirdly too. Fishing at midnight is only a beautiful memory. No fresh fish at our dining table this summer.
Life at the summer house can pretty much be summarized in two words: nature observation.
As the sky gets dark blue, grey and pink, the rain comes.
Isn’t this the most beautiful lake view ever? The photo taken at Lake Lappajärvi, in the western part of Finland tonight at 10 o’clock! And the sun is still above the horizon….
Would you believe this photo was taken at 10 o’clock in the evening?
It has been almost one week since I arrived at the summer house in Finland. The routine kicked in fast. The wake-up between 9 and 11 o’clock, porridge with berries while watching the lake view, walking the baby in the woods (she seems very impressed by the surrounding tall pines and spruces), cooking lunch, cutting wood, observing birds, arranging the boat garage, heating up the sauna and preparing dinner (often Grilled vendace: a typical Finnish meal after sauna).
I usually go to sauna around 9 o’clock in the evening, after putting my daughter to sleep, and return to the kitchen to cook while my parents have their turn at the sauna. The weather hasn’t been warm enough for drinking rosé wine at terrace but we have enjoyed red wine from Luberon and biodynamic red from Languedoc-Roussillon (Domaine Cazes, Cuvée Marie Gabrielle 2011). Life is sweet here and will only get sweeter when my husband arrives some time next time.
No need to look further for peace and calm. Finnish lake scenery at its best.
It is 7 o’clock in the evening as I am typing this. Time to cut wood and heat up the sauna!
PS I will be here for several weeks, so stay tuned for more stories about the life at the Finnish summer house!
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See you soon!