Did you know that a falling icicle can kill a person? Me neither, until I moved to Finland. This is the country where there’s a whole new world of things to be considered, every day tasks that had never before crossed your mind. Evading icicles has become one of them.
Take a look at these badboys hanging from the roof of the kauppahalli:
Now imagine getting hit in the head by one of those things – not so pretty any more are they?
Okay, they’re still a bit pretty in the sunshine, but also a lot more menacing. Like the jaws of an animal waiting to bite. All around Oulu paths are blocked off and warning signs placed alongside buildings to warn people of the danger. Just last year an old lady died in Oulu after being struck by one.
As with most random things, if you Google it there’ll be a website. If you’re a bit morbid/bored here’s a list of ’10 Chilling Tales of People Killed by Icicles Around the World‘. I’m not even kidding, go see for yourself.
There is one positive side to icicles: they signal that spring is on its way. Finally. Okay, so it’s still going to be a long wait until the snow melts, but the temperature is climbing, the days are getting longer and there are birds in the trees. I’d never really realised the absence of birdsong until it came back, and it lifts my spirits to hear them singing in the morning.
At the moment, when there’s a some sunshine, I just can’t help myself and I have to go for a walk. I’m like a labrador scratching at the door with my lead in my mouth. Even if it’s cold I’ll find a long way to walk home, just to soak up the weak sun. Today I took the bus to town and walked from Linnansaari to Pikisaari and through the market square. Lots of other people had the same idea and I was surrounded by joggers, cyclists and nordic walkers, all out to make the most of the weather.
Oulu is so beautiful when the sun is out! My top tip for this season is: buy sunglasses. The snow gets awfully bright in the sunshine and can cause snowblindness if you stare at it too long. Don’t be worried about looking silly, everyone wears shades, even if they’re bundled up in a hundred layers!
I hope everyone else has some lovely weather this weekend! Are there any signs of spring yet where you are?
- My Favourite Things To Do In Oulu (finlandandback.wordpress.com)
- Natural Oulu vs Industrial Oulu (finlandandback.wordpress.com)
- icicle hunting (modflowers.wordpress.com)
- The Silent, Magical Woods of Oulu (finlandandback.wordpress.com)