Jori and Riikka ditched their plan of spending the week after the wedding abroad, because the summer has been pretty hectic. Instead of a full-blown trip they went to Riikka’s family’s cabin, spending a week together and inviting a bunch of friends for the weekend. The people who made it were Susi, Ville, Katja and I.
Spending a weekend with friends in the countryside didn’t sound half bad for me either, since this summer has been very good, but there has been relatively little downtime. We got to the cabin on Friday, a bit later than I would have wanted. Jori was already warming up the sauna, so we got pretty straight to the business: saunaing, drinking and chatting. The tone of the evening was really nice and relaxed and afterwards Sandman used a crowbar.
Saturday started off slowly and comfortably with a breakfast of coffee, garlic baguettes and Donald Duck comics. I dragged my ass to the sunny and humid early autumn day, which was a perfect choice. The cabin yard turned out to be extremely interesting in a biological sense. The lot is quite big and it contains dry forest, a sandy beachfront, a slightly swampy area with saplings and a deepish and very established ditch with a lot of semi-aquatic vegetation.
I spent a happy couple of hours stalking dragonflies, examining boat bugs paddling away under the surface and snapping a photo after a photo.
Later in the afternoon the girls and I were off to a nearby horse stable for some horseback riding. I had never before actually ridden a horse, although I’m not stranger to the animals. My step-grandparents used to breed trotters for harness racing in their farm, so during the summers and winter-holidays of my childhood I spent time a lot of time around horses, seeing the grandpa shoe, race and tend them. I actually got to try riding on a sulky a couple of times, both an old chariot-like version and a modern really light and low cart. It’s quite scary to be drawn in a thing where your ass is almost sweeping the ground and the only thing you see is this enormous back-end of a horse and its flying hooves.
So, for me it was the first time actually sitting on a live horse. The stable had their own thing, which is apparently a mix of centered riding and their own hippie stuff. In practice you gave the horse hints of what to do with four increasing levels of strength, starting with very mild and so on. Long story short, I ended up having fun. It was nice to get the horse to do what I wanted most of the time, plus it was a new experience. Also, horses seem a lot smaller now than when I was about 10 years old, imagine that.
Or course, nowadays horseback riding is thought to be a thing for prepubescent girls. In my opinion this is a perfect example of how people just toss around concepts without thinking about the concrete reality. What is it that you actually do when you ride a horse? You climb on top of 600 kg of herbivore, which is one car horn or a dashing dog away from going bugfuck nuts, running towards direction X while dragging you by your foot – or planting a hoof on your face when it wants give a friendly reminder that you are too close. How exactly is this is girly compared to driving a car, which pretty much obeys whatever you do?
Well, in middle of our riding session it started to rain, so when we got back to the cabin, all of us were thoroughly drenched and covered with dust and horse hair. Jori had apparently received a vision that something like this might happen and he had already warmed up the sauna when we got back. Perfection.
So, the rest of the day – sauna, napping, an insane shitload of food, beer, wine, pancakes and reading Fables until sunrise. On the whole, there isn’t much you could have improved about the day.
The Sunday was a little bit wasted on my part. I’ve been pretty stressed and sleep deprived, so combined with the physical exercise, sauna, food and alcohol, I ended up sleeping ’till early afternoon. Generally I genuinely hate sleeping past noon, but sometimes the body takes its toll. After that there wasn’t that much time to do anything apart from eat more food, pack up all the stuff and leave for home.
This was a very good weekend, certainly one of the most relaxing “pals in a cabin” -things I’ve done. I wish I could have got up earlier on Sunday to go and pick up some mushrooms, but can’t have all and there’s plenty of autumn left.