and injury issues. Both sports related.

Now when we have successfully medicated Talky to meet the requirements set by the world famous Finnish education system, there is more time and extra energy to focus on other Very Important Problems. Such as doing sports. And not doing sports.


Talky takes swimming classes five times a week. That was quite a shock to realise, how a simple idea to maintain his swimming skills casually once a week turned into a semi-professional activity. Cost of this fun is not a swimming free weekend for the rest of this season, as there are sessions Friday evening, as well as Saturday and Sunday midday. Not to forget paying about 150 euros (roughly 2,500 rand) per month.

Then there is basketball. A sport Talky genuinely seems to be interested in. A sport he found without any parental pushing or encouragement. Which is great and lovely and wonderful and all. With three practices a week and 130 euros a month (roughly 2,000 rand).

On top of these there are transportations cost, tournament and swimming contest fees. For getting to use basketball shirt and shorts we had to pay a deposit of 85 euros. And now we are discussing about maybe needing a car – for no other reason than getting Talky to his hobbies.

So with an average total of 400 euros (7,000 rand) a month it’s bloody more expensive for a child to have two hobbies in Finland than go to school that includes as many hobbies as you want in Cape Town!

And we only have one child. The whole time and money consuming combination is insane. No wonder so many Finnish parents let the screen to take care of the activity part.

Additionally, academic education may be “free”, but what about life skills such as losing and being a team member and having a clear target and fair play. Offspring of all not-so-well-off parents will be left out. Even the talented ones. Especially the talented ones, who might be hungry for success? Finland hasn’t really been celebrating on any sports related – other than the ones including a motor and a vehicle – field recently. There must be a reason or two for that…


As you can see, slowly but surely I’m becoming one of those annoying parents who are way too excited about their kids sports performance. Because I have to admit, I was proud of Talky scoring half of his team’s points in his first basketball game. I could so see him playing in the NBA. And myself in a penthouse in New York he bought for his parents…

I do have a good excuse, though. As my flipping middle-aged heel is keeping me from running and walking. It’s been almost two months, and in addition to doing ridiculous stuff such as hydrobic and aqua jogging, I’ve paid a fortune for my osteopath and Amazon. The latter for compression socks and plantar fasciitis soles. And a torturing night cast that’s supposed to help if I wear it every night – the whole night – for at least 4 weeks. So far my record is 2 hours about every third night. Because the cast and me sleeping don’t go well together.

Gosh, I miss running! Last week, after seeing the osteopath and feeling g-r-e-a-t, I ran twice. With an unhappy ending. I’m slowly digesting the idea of not running for quite some time… A reasonable goal would perhaps be being able to walk again. As now even walking is so painful, I cycle everywhere. Have no clue what’s gonna happen once the Finnish autumn weather kicks in and cycling goes out. Get crutches?

On a positive note, missing running (and walking) has to some degree replaced missing Cape Town. Also no longer getting unpleasant Wilma messages on daily basis helps…


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