Finally, the snow is almost gone. The sun is shining. The icy roads are just a faint and nightmarish memory. The thermometres are bravely stretching their mercury to new heights: 7’C! Wow. What was a monochrome world of black and white (lots of white) became a yucky pooey brown and is now a flourish of greens: Moss green, cyan, apple green, emerald green, pine green, forest green, pea green, midnight green, olive green, grass green, asparagus green, blue green, shamrock green, hunter green, Chartreuse, fern green, sea green, kelly green, jungle green etc etc (thank you Wikipedia).
And with the warming of the days comes wardrobe changes. No more do I need to wear two pairs of gloves, three layers of trousers, two (ah… three when its minus 25’C) pairs of socks, snow boots, a hat, a scarf, a thermal top a jersey/fleece hoodie and a down jacket. Ah, my down jacket. In Oulu, you are known by your jacket. When I changed from my puffy blue smurfy jacket to my less oven-like pink jacket, I could literally walk past people I’ve known since January and they would not recognise me. The other day a friend told me that she started talking to me, only to realise that it wasn’t me at all but rather an old lady with a similar down blue jacket to me. Very strange? Not really.
So, my beloved blue down jacket has become part of my identity. Its how people recognise me. Its how I find myself in outside photographs and videos.
It’s also provided my friends and I with a few laughs. Mostly, these are camouflage moments, where my jacket looks like that wall next to me. Maybe, not so funny to you. Maybe you had to be here…
So if you have ever picked up a down jacket or sleeping bag or duvet, you would maybe think, this is so light, how can it be warm??? Well, as my Survival Course in the Finnish Forests lady told me… “Air is your best protection”. I thought maybe she had been eating some funky mushrooms from the funky forests of Finland but the more I thought about it, the more I realised what she was saying. Down jackets/sleeping bags/duvets all have soft down feathers inside. The feathers keep air inside the jacket. Then your body heat warms up the air and voila, you are warm and toasty.
I found this clip about down jackets. The actual clip is pretty boring but the reason I would LOVE for you to watch it is for the ridiculous subtitles. Enjoy.
So cheers to you puffy blue jacket! we went on many a great and wonderful adventure. From learning to ice skate, to cross-country skiing, to building and destroying quinzies, to snow shoe hiking to sleighing with huskies and reindeer, to ice hole fishing and ice hole swimming to learning to ride a bike through the snow to making new friends to fun parties to all night dancing to enormous pizzas to long walks in powder snow and so much more. You did me well. I love you and will probably never really use you again, but anyhoo, thanks!