I’ve been holding off this post ’cause I haven’t finished editing all the photos that I planned to include here, but… I don’t know if I’ll ever get that done since I’m not a 100% happy with them, so… let’s make this damn post, lol!（ ´∀｀）
Yeeah, there was a Dollfie Dream meet up in Helsinki on the 16th of May and I wanted to attend it because I wanted to meet other DD hobbyists and also see more dolls in person. ヾ(＠°▽°＠)ﾉ I’ve pretty much only seen my and Yenna‘s girls up close, although in Frostbite 2015 I saw some DDs sitting on the table and gazed at them intensely from 2-3 meters away, lol! (ᗒᗜᗕ)՛̵̖ I was too shy to go look at them closer. They were advertising some event I suppose… but I’m terrible at approaching other doll owners randomly, unless it’s a meet up that I’ve signed up for.
But anyway, I wasn’t a 100% sure if I’d get to go, as I had a super busy week back then, but luckily Friday was off after all, so I could make that trip, yaaay! ヾ(＠^∇^＠)ノ My original plan was to go directly to Helsinki on Friday evening and leave on Sunday evening, but since I didn’t dare to buy tickets in advance in case I wasn’t able to go, there weren’t any good offers… so I ended up going to my parents’ place and there mom said that she’d like to visit Hki too, so she offered to give me a ride. And then I decided that I’d also go back with her since I hadn’t been able to make plans to meet anyone on Sunday due to the uncertainly of my trip, so… I saved some money, but I can plan another trip for late June now, yay! I’d love to go on a dolly picnic with my friends. (ღ˘⌣˘ღ) ♥
But well, at my parents’ place I got to spend time with silly Valtteri, so that was fun. (*＾ワ＾*)
But yeah, maybe I’ll move onto talking about Saturday because dolls, lol!（ ´∀｀） It’s definitely more comfortable having a car ride than going by bus… especially since the last time I came back from Helsinki to Jkl, the trip lasted like 3½ hours and it was a really shaky ride, ughh. I wonder if I could find some train ticket offers for June-July, hmm… I’ve travelled by train to Jkl-Hki and Hki-Jkl once and I also made a train trip from Tampere to Jyväskylä when I went to Tampere uni for entrance exams some years ago. I quite like travelling by train, but the Jkl-Hki trip is just as long by a train as it is by bus and sometimes if you’re really lucky, you can get bus tickets for 2€ while I think train tickets will always cost at least 20€. As a student I live on a tight budget, ahah. (;´∀｀)
… and now I started rambling again, seriously, my thought process sometimes. Helsinki. Dolls. Yeap. It was fun driving up there with mom, although I should really say that we went to Vantaa ’cause apparently the area that my bro lives in is on Vantaa’s side. I spent a couple of hours at my bro’s before I headed to the subway station. This time I knew exactly where to go because I’d already had practise the last time, haha.（ ´∀｀）I was a bit nervous about taking the bus from Itis to Roihuvuori, as it’s been… four years since I last visited the Roihuvuori Japanese Garden and that time I was guided by jesmo and Xaya – and we came from the opposite direction, too. But thankfully these days every city has this website that offers you all the routes with the times & bus numbers and stuff so you’ll know exactly where to go and when. You just need to know the address of your starting point and destination and the website gives you all the necessary info. Well, I was a bit nervous about finding the right bus stop, but Helsinki is a bit different in comparison to Jyväskylä… the bus stops weren’t that far from each other, so it was easy to count them and even see the names of them, so I knew where I was the whole time. Here there can be really long distances between the bus stops and some of them don’t necessarily have the names marked on them on BOTH sides of the road – so depending on which way you’re going, you can’t see the name of the bus stop. So here in Jkl if I have to go to a place I’ve never been to before by bus, I’m often pretty nervous. And have either missed or gotten off one stop too early several times. ヽ(ﾟДﾟ)ﾉ I have a lot of insecurities, lol!
But yeah, I found my way to the Roihuvuori gardens easily. And only then I remembered that the Cherry Tree park is on the other side, duhh! So I had to walk quite a long way to get to the meeting spot, but well… walking is healthy? (-∀-`; ) I was half an hour early anyway (because I’d rather be too early than late) so it’s not like I arrived late or anything… for a while I wondered if I should take some photos in the Japanese garden, but I’ve photographed most of the park itself in 2008 when I visited there the first time – didn’t see the cherry blossoms because it was too early. And my second time in Roihuvuori was in 2011 when I had jesmo and Xaya show me around Helsinki and we went to the garden to meet up with Mort, Raffe, woo, kiwii & Korone. So that time I actually photographed dolls in the Black Turtle’s forest area. In 2008 I tried to get doll photos, but that day it was the hanami event as well as Mother’s Day so the place was packed with people and I had no peace – a very annoying kid and her grandma stuck to me and traumatised me for life, lol. That’s when I swore that I’d never again go there during any special holidays… I just don’t do well with nosy kids who try to touch my dolls without permission. Kids who stay at a distance and quietly look are okay. But not grabby hands kids, nope. *shiver* But in 2011 I didn’t see the cherry blossoms either, they’d bloomed a few days earlier and just the night before my trip, rain had made 90% of the flowers fall. Geez.
So, this time I didn’t have high expectations at all. I thought that I’ll go there for the people and dolls, and IF I happen to see the flowers, it’ll be a nice bonus. So, imagine my face when I approach the gardens and I see pink trees. ヾ(。◕ฺ∀◕ฺ)ノ And then when I walked to the Cherry Tree Park… PINK EVERYWHERE!! Ｏ(≧∇≦)Ｏ I was sooo happy that I finally got to see the trees in their full glory! (´ ▽｀).。ｏ♡ Third time is the charm, ahah~ Sadly only when I got there, I realised that I should’ve bought my zoom lens and kit lens – since while the kit lens is kinda crappy, it’s the only one of my lenses that is relatively good for landscapes. ヽ(￣д￣;)ノ I really need a wide angle lens for proper landscapes, but I never have that much extra money, baww… but yeah, I just had my macro lens along for the dolls, ahah. I did get a couple of cherry blossom photos, though:
It was certainly a sight to see! Happy mizy is happy~ (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ✧･ﾟ: *✧･ﾟ:*
But yeah, I mostly spent my time chatting with the DD hobbyists. Well, in the beginning I was feeling a bit shy and had a hard time opening my mouth, because it seemed like everyone else knew each other already. I’m quite shy and usually wait for others to approach me first… which is why I don’t have many friends, ahahah. “””oTL But luckily when you’ve got dolls with you, they work well as an ice breaker. (´ヮ`) Everyone was really nice and included me in the conversation pretty soon. One bad habit in addition to being shy and quiet at first is that once I get to talking, I tend to ramble on endlessly when I’m nervous… I certainly hope I didn’t do it too much this time. I only realise afterwards that wow, I should’ve shut up right then and there, I wonder what they think of me now. ⁄(⁄ ⁄•⁄-⁄•⁄ ⁄)⁄ But hopefully I didn’t leave any bad impressions, ahah! I’d definitely like to go to a DD meet up again. (*＾＾*) All in all I felt like DD hobbyists are more, well, accepting… I’ve gone to only one BJD meet up in Helsinki in… 2006 or 2007, I forget. There were a bunch of people and it felt like there were mainly three groups who conversed with each other and didn’t really talk to others… so as a new face and someone who doesn’t live in Hki, I felt like no one was interested in talking with me. Luckily there were a couple of other new people, too, and I was able to talk with them, then… but yeah, I haven’t gone to Hki meet ups since, only arranged smaller meets with a couple of my friends. The BJD community is pretty cliqued… And also, as a manga/anime nerd, it generally feels like I have more stuff to talk about with DD hobbyists since many of them are also into manga/anime. In the BJD circles I sometimes feel like manga/anime enthusiasts get shunned as “weeaboos” ’cause I often hear/read people saying stuff like “I’m not into manga/anime and other Japanese pop culture at all, I just like the dolls”. It’s completely fine if someone’s not into manga/anime, but… the way some people phrase it, it sounds like they’re looking down on people who like those things. But well, there are bad apples in every community, there are also a bunch of awesome & accepting people in the BJD community as well. (｡･ω･｡) I mostly stick to interacting with my closest friends & people with similar interests these days. Better to just ignore stuff and people that get you down.
But yeap, the DD meet up was fun and I enjoyed it a lot. (*^▽^*) But because I was feeling shy and eventually got into talking, I forgot to take photos. This usually happens to me at meet ups, ahah… but perhaps the next time I’ll feel braver and go around with my camera more. Perhaps. (;´∀｀) I did take a couple of photos, here they are:
As we were finishing up, a Romani family spotted our dolls and came to take photos & ask about the price and a bunch of other stuff. I was pretty horrified because I remembered my trauma of the 6-7-year-old girl back from 2008, and these women had kids around 4-7 years old with them. Σ(゜゜) Luckily they did take the smallest kids away when they got too close and almost started grabbing at the dolls, but I still feel rather uncomfortable having kids I don’t know around my property which is valued at several hundreds of euros… I kept my eyes on the kids the whole time, right up until we packed up the dolls. (๑ↀᆺↀ๑)✧ No doll grabbing will happen on my watch, haha! I have trust issues, yes… but better be safe than sorry. (ーー;)
There was one point in which me and Pihlajakoto separated from the others and went to look for a suitable tree to use as a prop for doll photos. I snapped some photos of Ume sitting in a tree, although they ended up looking quite similar in the end. It’s a bit difficult to focus when there are a bunch of people staring at you. (((╹д╹;))) I don’t have quite as much audience when I go out here in Jyväskylä… but I’m lucky to live in an area where there are some quiet spots that people don’t usually go to.
These are the photos that have been holding off the post, because I can’t decide which ones to edit… and I’m kind of lazy to edit them anyway. If I ever get the energy to edit the rest of them, I’ll add them here. But for now I’ll just include these two that I posted into flickr:
This entry is already a mile long, but I have to mention something… Since I came back from Helsinki already on Saturday evening with mom, I stayed at my parents’ until Sunday. Because silly kitty, and… I also got to see something a bit more out of the ordinary: baby squirrels. （*´▽｀*）♥ Most of the time the squirrel moms know to keep their babies away from our house because we have predator-Valtteri who has no mercy on them – but this year we had a silly one who decided to make a nest under the roof. *sigh* Valtteri was on a leash for hours on Sunday morning, rolling in the sun and being a dork. I went to call him to come indoors around midday and he lazily walked to the stairs. Then the froze and stared intensely at something. I was like, what’s up with this cat and looked in the direction he was staring in – a baby squirrel was in the rain gutter. I was like, okay, cat, you’re coming in NOW. (ーー;) And carried him indoors. A little later, I was sitting at mom’s laptop in the bedroom and heard some really strange noises. I looked out of the window and I see a baby squirrel running back and forth on the roof of Valtteri’s enclosure. Me and dad went outside and saw that there were in fact two baby squirrels, and soon the dorks went inside the enclosure. Thankfully the cat was inside and asleep, ’cause if he’d been there when the squirrels appeared… it would’ve been a death sentence to them. Well, only one of the babies went into the enclosure, the other one was between the roof and the… I don’t know what’s the word for it in English, but it’s this cover of sorts that is made of water proof material that is installed under the corrugated iron roof to keep the wooden structure dry. And later on we noticed that there was a third baby under the roof, too. Σ(゜゜)
I took some photos and also video material, because they kept making these funny chuffing sounds and whisking their tails. Apparently they were trying to warn me off, but unfortunately for them I wasn’t scared. (●´艸`) Poor little babies!
I’m sorry about mine, mom & dad’s voices… I’m not skilled enough to edit those away while keeping the chuffing sounds that the baby squirrel made.
This one kills me with the strange “bahh” sound and whisking of tail at 0:02. I never knew a squirrel could make such a sound! (ᗒᗜᗕ)՛̵̖ Too cute…
I left that afternoon so I didn’t see the squirrel saga to the end… but I heard from dad that two of the babies had gone into the forest later, but one stayed behind. The last baby was shivering in the heavy rain in the evening and dad felt really bad for it – especially since the mom squirrel dropped by but she didn’t even call for her babies and left. o(；△；)o So Dad caught the baby and it spent the night in Valtteri’s carry box in the fireplace room. The cat was locked out from the room, of course. The baby seemed really weak and cold, but in the morning when dad went to check upon it, it had cheered right up and attempted to break out from the carry box, lol. (“⌒∇⌒”) He took the box out and opened it, and the squirrel hurried to the forest. Mom and dad didn’t see them for a week after that, but yesterday dad sent me a photo of two baby squirrels climbing on the mosquito net of one of the windows:
Hopefully they will soon realise that they’d be better off in the forest, because if they end up in that enclosure when Valtteri is there… things would end up badly for the little ones. ヽ（゜ロ゜；）ノ Our cat isn’t the only danger, there are a bunch of fieldfares nesting nearby. One of the baby squirrels climbed into a tall spruce in our yard and the fieldfares attacked it right away – poor baby didn’t know how to defend itself so the birds kept pecking and clawing it. It was really heart-breaking to watch, so dad pulled out his air rifle and shot at the birds – well, their tail feathers to scare them off, because he didn’t want to go as far as to kill them. But that didn’t scare them off for long, they just kept attacking the poor little one. I like birds, but fieldfares can be such assholes, grrr! (ーー;)
That’s it for the nature report I guess, ahah. My strictly “doll photography only” blog has become “whatever I feel like writing about” blog, clearly. (;´∀｀)