In which I confess how poorly the challenges I set myself went.

Standing Erect to Ones Failures

1182 words about life — 17:22 · 25th Aug 2013

So the time has come to come clean about those challenges — The Re-Return Tour Of 2013 — I set myself earlier. Because as you might have noticed, I haven’t really mentioned them since. Well, there’s a reason for that.

As some of the more perceptive of you might have observed in my Home, Sweet Home (With Pictures) -post, there was a distinct lack of mentions about those challenges I was supposed to complete. “Most peculiar?”, you probably thought to yourself — in my mind you’re now a posh British guy — but took no further notice of it.

Well, here’s the thing—

“Excuses, excuses, old boy. A proper man stands erect and faces his failings.”

Ahem. “Erect?” Anyway. Fine. I did not complete most of the challenges. I failed. Happy now?

“I wouldn’t call this emotion I’m feeling ‘happy’ but it shall do. As you were.”

Right. As you might recall, the biggest reason for creating the challenges were that I thought I would be — essentially — bored. But that was also under the assumption that we would be staying for two weeks, which obviously didn’t happen and under this new time frame we were suddenly faced with more things to do than time to do it. Hanging out with friends and family and even making new friends, in the form of bunch of Germans, was more important than the challenges.

But rest assured that I did try to complete them. Just not as eagerly as I had originally envisioned. Having said all of these things I suppose the only thing left is to go through the challenges and see what I accomplished and what I didn’t. And more importantly, “why I didn’t”.

I’m also throwing in a few more pictures because… I’m such a nice guy?

Hälge, a swedish comic strip by Lars Mortimer.

In the first challenge, entitled “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Burger” I was supposed to eat a burger made from Elk meat. The problem turned out to be availability more than anything else. The Finnish Wildlife Agency had already assigned this years kill allowance but hunting season for Elk doesn’t start until the 28th of September which meant that few people had last seasons Elk meat in their freezers. But thanks to online delivery I’m determined to complete this challenge at a later date, so stay tuned for that. Failed for now.

Our We Play NHL website, showing my latest match results where I won one game and then lost the next one.

Next up we have “Hoser In A Birthday Suit”, where I was supposed to play a naked game of NHL13 and win. I played games both naked and dressed. And I lost as well as won. But I only won once out of every game I played and unfortunately it was the first game I played and I wasn’t naked yet. So, maybe I can get half a scout badge for challenge completion? Fail and a half.

KFC Parody presenting Popcorn Chicken with the disclaimer that it may contain traces of chicken.

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Border?” was the next challenge where I had planned on bringing my brother some chicken from KFC. I did actually buy chicken and brought it to the airport but with Ryanair being the spawn of Satan that they are, they refused to board us — not because of the chicken — and my wife ate it later that night. The following week when we actually flew to Finland I didn’t have time to go and pick up some chicken. Challenge: Failed.

A closeup of an acoustic guitar played until its coated in blood.

In the challenge “Salvador van Picasso” I had plans of sketching something every day but as I was quite intoxicated for the first 3 days my artistic skills were never utilised. I did however play guitar so much and intensely that I started bleeding and consequently stained a guitar with blood. Now if that isn’t suffering for art I don’t know what is. But sadly, no sketches so… failed.

A Marmite ad saying, 'In hell, everything tastes like Marmite'.

Challenge #5 was called “I Scraped It From The Back Seat Of My Car” and saw me bringing our beloved Marmite to Finland for people to try. And then I went to a friends cottage (in Finnish mökki) and hung our with at least 12 different people who all could have tried Marmite. Had I only remembered to take it with me, which I hadn’t. Damn it. I got my brother to try it though, on toast and with butter, as I’ve been told is the proper way to enjoy — shudders — Marmite. He also tasted it by licking the knife we used to spread it with and thought it tasted like waking up to having slept with snus in your mouth. Which is apparently not very good. On the other hand he quite liked it on toast but figured it was an acquired taste. I left a small jar of Marmite back in Finland and might see if someone wants to distribute it to more people but until then, with a total of 1/6, I’m calling this 83% failed.

Viggo Mortensen with a hobo beard.
I imagine I looked like this. But I didn’t.

The final challenge, entitled “Around The Beard In 80 Days” was of course the challenge that required the least effort from my part as I only had to not shave for the entire duration of our vacation. Which I did with flying colours and with my uneven facial growth I looked like a hobo in the end. Success, at last.

So there we have it folks. I set myself a number of challenges and failed most of them completely. And as a consolation price here’s a few more pictures — that didn’t make the original cut — for you to feast your eyes on.

Feast, I tell you!

The archipelagic landscape of Finland.
The archipelagic landscape.
My friends in Finland, with their faces redacted using famous actors.
Mr. Cruise, Mr. Sock and Mr. Swayze
Closeup of a Belfast Bay Lobster Ale.
Keeping traditions alive.
Carlos digging up fresh potatoes with a hoe.
The Reaper of Potatos

You’ve just read Standing Erect to Ones Failures .

In which, 6 years ago, I wrote 1182 words about life and I covered topics, such as: pictures, travel, and finland.