Day 35: Proekt 365 (A family snowman affair)

Day 35: Proekt 365 Neighbourhood snowman & the family who made him

Day 35: Proekt 365
Neighbourhood snowman & the family who made him

This was perhaps my favourite moment of the year so far. Or at least one which became even lovelier as I was taking my daily photo.

Today, as The Cuban and I took a quick break and brisk walk through the neighbourhood, we stumbled upon this jolly frozen fellow, complete with a carrot nose. I whipped out my trusty Galaxy S III to take a picture for my daily blog of all things lovely and who should pop up in the window behind him but the little girl, her mother and brother, whom I’m assuming made him. They waved and smiled and waved and smiled the entire time I fumbled and waved and tried to take my photo. (If you look carefully in the upper left-hand section of the photo, you can see their shapes just barely.) It’s a good thing I got the photo the first time—this was the only one I managed to snap in the few minutes were stood there!

I don’t honestly know who was more delighted: us or them? The snowman was more than sufficient to make my day brighter. But, the sight of that lovely family — mother, dauther and son — waving just as idiotically back at us as we were at them was truly wonderful and heart-warming, particularly in a country were emotional displays such as this are rare.

It’s true: if you smile at someone, they will most likely return that smile.

Days 33 & 34: Proekt 365 (For friends and friendly praise)

Day 33: Proekt 365 A friendly snow angel for a friend

Day 33: Proekt 365
A friendly snow angel for a friendly friend

In a chat with a close friend months ago, he’d asked and I’d promised to do a snow angel when there was finally enough snow on the ground in Helsinki to allow for such a creation. Yesterday afternoon, I finally had the opportunity to lie down and fan my arms and legs like a child in my attempt to create a snow angel of the finest order. I can’t say that my angels were particularly lovely, but what fun it was to revisit a childhood thrill.

A little later in the evening, after I’d already sent version 1.0, we finally looked out our kitchen window to see version 2.0, which looked heaps better from our third-floor vantage point. I neglected to make my post yesterday. But, it was a high point of the day. A day late it may be, but it is still just as friendly today as it was last night. And, oddly, it still remains undisturbed.

I’ve yet to take a photo for today. But, honestly, I don’t know how’d I’d capture a particularly lovely moment from the day. Before I get ahead of myself, a little background history is in order.

The life of a freelancer is often characterised by periods of feast (more work than you know what to do with) or famine (being bored out of your mind). The last few months now have been downright gluttonous, which is great but also at times hugely challenging. This past week, I was a bit behind on work and was suffering from the worst sort of writer’s block at the most inopportune of times. There’s never a good time for it when 90% of my work relies on putting fingers to the keyboard and creating something logical and meaningful. But, this was particularly worrisome given the already tight deadlines my client and I were facing. I managed to fight my way through a very rough draft and sent it on thinking that it was utter shit. And, then, promptly turned my attention to other items on my to-do list along with a bit of R&R and socialising to recharge.

With that as the backdrop, today’s high point came when discussing my work with my client. Without recounting the entire conversation here (which would just be weird on all sorts of levels), it was probably one of the nicest bits of praise I’ve ever received from a client. First, I’d managed to capture the essence of what they wanted (which is always the main objective), and second, it made them excited about the idea for this particular body of work. (Whilst I recognise this is incredibly vague, it has to be given the nature of the work and the proprietary information included in that particular task.)

This really made my day. Not just because it’s nice to know that I’ve managed to do my job relatively well, but because I have a tremendous amount of respect for the organisation with which I’m working on this particular project and specifically for the individual managing my work . As he recognised, I am my own worst critic and tend to be entirely overly self-deprecating. To say I’m happy and relieved with his assessment of my work is an enormous understatement. There must have been a moment during our call when he heard my very audible ‘phew’.

There’s no way to capture on film that particular moment which took place entirely in a virtual space. But, it is captured in my memory. And, that’s not a bad way at all to call it a day on this particular Monday.