Kolumni: Making My Home In Seinäjoki
Hello, welcome to my new column in Epari where I’ll be looking at aspects of life in Etelä-Pohjanmaa from a Brit’s perspective. I come from London but moved to Seinäjoki in 2008 and live with my second wife, Satu, our collection of four teenagers and Boris the Dog. At home, we speak a mix of Finnish and English – my Finnish is not great, but I am getting good at arguing with teenage boys to “stop playing video games and go to bed!”
I have two companies in Finland. Xport, which I co-founded in 2014, helps Finnish companies become more international and improve their export sales. With my toiminimi, I take other work directly; official UK reseller for HappyOrNot, international sales development, content marketing, attending overseas exhibitions, English Conversation coaching and native-English voiceovers.
In my spare time (yes, even with four teenagers and a dog, there is still time for hobbies) I make podcasts. This started in 2014 with the Explore Finland Radio Show, where I interview Finns about Finnish culture, sport, history, events, activities...
I record it in English to show an international audience what Finland has to offer. My efforts representing Etelä-Pohjanmaa won me the award, Regional Developer of the Year 2015.
This show aims to celebrate the differences that Finland has to offer. Those everyday things that are normal to you, as a Finn, are exotic and fascinating to people like me. Walking on the luontopolut is a thrill and I love to go to avantouinti – in fact, I’ve taken many Finns for their first time in the icy water – I even like mämmi!
I’m British so, naturally, I am a football fan. In the UK. I support Wimbledon and I miss attending their games, but I feed my addiction by regularly watching SJK and co-hosting another podcast, The Finnish Football Show.
I am a member of SJK’s Klopit, at most home games I’m behind the goal making a lot of noise to support OUR team. Making friends on the Klopit Katsomo has been an invaluable way for me to feel part of the local community.
Family, work, podcasting, culture, football – a few steps on my journey to integrating into Finnish life.