Tag Archives: Russia

Importance of the new year

The first day of a new year; new opportunities, new beginnings. To make promises or not to make? Continue to wish for a better life? My wish to everyone including myself is very simple: make sure you begin this new year with things you love. Doing things that bring you happiness will make this year a good one!!

After taking my parents to the airport, I prepared a small tapas dinner of ingredients that I love (Russian caviar, French champagne, artichokes, salmon etc.) and I am now going to enjoy it with my husband. Happy new year once more to all of you!!new year in Paris

PS Already following Pearlspotting on facebook?

White Finnish Christmas

I do like celebrating Christmas in Finland, especially during those years when there is a lot of snow, but I do not need to go back there every year. I am not one of those people who follows all Christmas traditions. I do not even like most of the traditional Finnish Christmas dishes. I have spent many Christmases abroad and to be honest, one of my most memorable Christmases was in Mamallapuram, India (eating lamb chops!). Quite a traitor, some of you are thinking now…

This year we are going to celebrate Christmas with my parents in Paris. The preparations are yet to be completed, but on the 24th we are invited to a birthday party/Russian Christmas Eve buffet at a friend’s place. After smoked salmon and champagne, our night will probably continue to the midnight mass at Notre Dame. Sounds like an other excellent way to start the celebrations to me!

However, to pay respect to the Finnish Christmas and to show you how it looks like, I thought to share some old photos from where my parents live. In this first photo, you can see my father preparing a path for ice skating (yes, he is walking on a frozen river!).Finland at Christmas time

This next photo shows you the house from the river. There is a very little of light around the Christmas period, but often a nice blue light appears just before the sun sets.. frozen lake in Finland

In this last photo you can see a huge pile of snow that we accumulated by keeping the ice path free of snow. We thought of constructing an igloo of it but the time run out! snow in Finland

If I get a permission from the people involved, I will post more photos of Christmas in Finland and especially of what jumping half-naked to the frozen river or lake means…! Meanwhile, what does your Christmas usually look like? Which has been your most memorable Christmas?

Special caviar delivery from Kiev to Paris, facilitated by Czech Airlines

Flights between Paris and Kiev became very familiar to me during the year I worked in Ukraine. I think I knew the timetables of Air France and Ukraine International Airlines by heart. Not only I accumulated a crazy amount of miles, but I also got involved in international trade. When I left Paris for Kiev, I brought French red wine with me (my colleague was a big fan of CrozesHermitage), and when I left Kiev for Paris, I carried Russian caviar in a hand bag.

So, when a friend from Kiev informed me last week that she will be flying to Paris and asked what she can bring to me, I knew the answer: икра! A Russian word for black caviar.osetrova caviar from RussiaYesterday evening I went to pick up my friend from the Air France bus station. She had asked an air hostess if it is ok to store the caviar in the airplane’s fridge, and they allowed her to do so. My precious cargo was cold upon arrival in Paris, which is why I hereby send special thanks to Czech Airlines for facilitating the good and safe delivery of 100g of osetrova caviar to me!

Moscow meets Paris

Last week we were invited to an exhibition opening of Uzbekistan-born artist Andrei Esionov. Like art at its best, Andrei’s oil and watercolor paintings gave a lot of food for thought. Le vernissage itself was The Party of the summer: excellent champagne, sushi rolls, salmon tartines, Russian vodka, abundance of Chanel bags & Louboutins, and very interesting people from France, Russia, Georgia. Andrei Esionov

The exhibition “Moscow and Muscovites” consists of portrays of famous Russians and cityscapes of Moscow where the artist nowadays lives. I found the portrays original and the idea of mixing the old-school Soviet stories with modernity pleased me. Personalities that appear in the portrays are film directors, ballet dancers, astronauts, neurosurgeons, not forgetting the former President Mikhail Gorbachev.  The watercolor cityscapes show Moscow as I remember seeing it myself. Looking at these pieces of art open a window to the everyday life in Moscow: babushkas walking to a nearby market, Orthodox churches that compete with skyscrapers for attention, lonely women wondering where the Motherland of Russia is going, etc.exhibition Moscow and Muscovites The exhibition was organized by Chez Higgins and they did a superb job. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by Eric and Thierry, and they immediately made us feel very comfortable. Exactly as it should be! Through them we met a large number of people from photographers to art event directors. We had a long and interesting chat with a French girl who works with silk and explained different silk-making methods and which countries produce the best silk. Then we met someone who used to live with Salvador Dali and confirmed that indeed he was not a very pleasant person. (was Dali nastier than Picasso, that we did not figure out….) In the end of the evening we enjoyed the company of a sociologist, an ex-student of famous French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. This same sociologist had visited my home country Finland, and provided me with some interesting insight to the Finnish mentality.Vernissage Moscow and Muscovites

Time went by and so did glasses of champagne. Everyone was having a lot fun and the champagne bottle delivery did not seem to end. I thought it was très chic that they had personalized the bottles: cuvée spéciale “Moscow and Muscovites”. It could not have gotten more elegant!personalized champagne

The evening was fascinating. The weather was hot and humid. No one seemed to want to go home. It was almost midnight. The waiters started serving sweets. Rounds of champagne continued. vernissage Moscow and Muscovites

It must have been past midnight when we finally caught a taxi. My handbag was full of business cards of people I need to email… This brief virtual visit to Moscow had indeed been very pleasant and inspiring.


The artist: http://www.esionov.ru (the website is only in Russian, but to see the work, click ГАЛЕРЕЯ)

The organizer (also an art publisher): http://www.chezhiggins.com/