2022 In Pictures (And Words)

2022 is just about over, and 2023 is already on the way. As I write this, there are already many countries, and even continents, which have already moved to new year, whilst some of us in Europe have few more hours to go. Americans have to wait slightly longer.

Even though I decided not to do another blog post this year, I thought of doing this, more like a collage than a blog post. Hope you enjoy the photos – my Wifey and I have definitely enjoyed taking them! And, unlike on my usual posts, you can click on the image and it opens up bigger!
And just like on all of my posts the links open up in a new tab.

By the way, all images are (C) KALLE REIJONEN. So if you want to share them, contact me first.

January

January was quite a peaceful month for us. Mostly, it consisted of day to day living, and also there was lots and lots of snow that needed some hard work as we do live in a detatched house and the driveway needs to be kept clean. Also, the winter months in Finland are a really good time to catch the Aurora, or Northern Lights.

February

In February we decided to make a quick trip to Spain as we were flat hunting. The darkness of the winter months in Finland still continued, with intense Northern Lights, as you can see from some of the pictures. Meanwhile, in the sunny Costa del Sol, it was much sunnier, brighter, and warmer!

March

One would think that in March, the snows start to melt. Not yet. And it was so sturdy that Mr. Bunny managed to sit on top of the snow! At the same time, our Poodlies, Mika and Lola got their early spring haircuts, whilst my Wifey and her cousin travelled to our newly rented apartment in Spain.

April

April is the month when our Poodlies have their birthday. Guess how many years they are now! Also, it was the time for me to head for a quick getaway to Spain. Of course I decided to use Ryanair, my former employer.

May

Finally the spring arrived to Finland in May. And I had my first part of summer holidays so we headed to Spain – we had always wanted to visit Cadiz, so there we went. And also Jerez de la Frontera, which was a beautiful town!

June

June – the Pride Month! And another trip but this time to Portugal with my Wifey’s cousin! Lisbon was a great place to visit and we even ended up seeing a Sardine festival! When creating this gallery of images and also, writing these short texts, I realised that I actually wrote the first proper blog texts when we were in Lisbon. Arrogance Or Confidence is about the AirBnB flat we stayed in during that trip!

Meanwhile in Finland it was time for midsummer and the long nights have been replaced with long days.

July

July, a hot month in Spain. Too near to our town there was a massive forest fire that crept over a mountain in just few hours! My Wifey had to be rescued (as she had a flight back to Finland) by a mutual friend of ours, and luckily our town was spared – thanks to the valiant efforts of the firefighters who fought the fire for about a week! Towards the end of July we managed finally visit our friends in southern Finland, and my mother who lives in an assisted living house.

August

“Have we ever been to Italy?” Well, we have, but not in Naples, where we went this month. I had always wanted to see the ruins of Pompeii, which were now on the list! Whilst there, I got the urge to write about two guys, and I made a series of posts about them. Maybe it was their spirits contacting me, and I hope I did them justice. You can read their story in here: Pompeii, 79 AD, prologue.
We also went to Rome and the Vatican city. If you have not been there, go. You need to see the places yourself!

September

September this year was memorable because of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. That’s why my Wifey and I decided to mark the occasion with a letter.
Not only is September the month when I have my birthday, but we also celebrate our wedding anniversary. This time it was in Kaunas, Lithuania. Beautiful city, good food, nice people.

October

In October my Wifey’s brother arrived from Malaysia for his holiday and we took him around Spain and Italy. He introduced me to football fandom and I even visited the Real Madrid stadium in Madrid! Me! Gay! During this trip we also visited, for the first time, Sevilla, where we just must return later on! If you ever get a chance to visit Spain’s second most touristy attraction – The Alhambra, DO IT! Book your tickets well in advance though.
Also, my dearest Sister-In-Law visited us in Spain, and hopefully we will meet again in early 2023. I feel very connected with her spirit, and even though we might not see often, we always chat late into the night. This time was no different.

The last image is of our late Poodle’s gravesite in Helsinki. He went across the Rainbow Bridge in late 2015, and I still feel his passing every single day. But I believe what they say: “every time he wags his tail, you feel it in your heart.”

November

November marked several milestones. We attended the wedding of our dear friend and my Wifey’s cousin, I came out from a closet with my book project (I even wrote a blog text about it: I Should Not Have Done It), started my Patreon to ask for assistance to be able to finish my project. Interestingly, earlier on I wrote a blog text To Be, Or… about the same book project, but at the time I was too much in the closet that I would have even opened up about it. and look at me now! I’m here, I’m a gay writer, get over it!

Also, we got the first snow for the winter, and towards the end of the month my Wifey and I started our micronation project – and The Grand Duchy of Nyholt was born. Also, I took my flute out for the first time since I was 19, and decided that I want to start practicing again. I made some sounds.

In case you are wondering about the horse statue with woolly socks, it is from our neighbouring town, Orivesi. They are the Woolly Sock Capital of Finland.

December

December – yet another milestone. As we both crave for sunlight and the natural Vitamin-D that it gives, we decided to flee the Finnish winter and the long nights to our residence in Spain. And as it so happened, my Wifey’s cousin’s friend from Malaysia visited us and we all went to Cordoba to visit the magnificient Mezquita-Cathedral. If you know a bit of Europe’s and Spain’s history, you know that almost the whole peninsula was under Islamic rule for about 700 years. I wrote two blogs about it (The Legacy of Al-Andalus, Or Is There One, and Football And History), as this this a subject that interests me a lot. We live in Andalucia, and the name comes straight from the Muslim empire of Al-Andalus.

I hope you all enjoy these images, snapshots, of the past year. My Wifey and I wish you a very happy, prosperous, and healthy 2023.

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