Wednesday 2/15/17 time 12:43 PM


I am not an artist but am here at Haihatus with my husband, John, who is a painter. For me, what was attractive about Haihatus was the opportunity to have an extended amount of time to reflect, think, read and be outside in nature, experiencing a snowy Finnish winter.

Arriving in small town Finland was a bit of a culture shock for a couple of days – we live in London and had just spent three months in Bordeaux – but now I love it and the pace of life and the surrounding landscape it offers.

It’s our first time in Finland and I knew almost nothing about the country. It’s been an unexpected pleasure to learn a bit about the history, culture, language and to meet Finnish people.

I’d hoped that I’d get plenty of opportunities to do outdoor activities like skating on lakes, cross country skiing and hiking – and it’s been great doing all these things. The ski trails are just a few minutes’ walk away and there’s some wonderful peaceful hiking in Leivonmäki National Park. I wasn’t sure how much variety there’d be in terms of food you could buy in the supermarket so was very pleased to discover that there is plenty of choice and you can buy pretty much anything you want, even fairly exotic items.

The time at Haihatus is great for us both as there is so much freedom to follow your interests in a very relaxed and positive atmosphere, with few interruptions and in a beautiful setting.

After Haihatus, we will go onto another residency programme in Berlin where John will paint and I will study German.

Haihatus has really exceeded my expectations. I was reflecting the other day what a good choice it has been for John and me. It’s given me time and space to be both active and reflective – which is exactly what I was looking for.

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