Marianna Mäkelä, Esa Korpela and the preschooler Annikki Mäkelä moved to their current apartment about a year ago. They did not need a removal van, as the old home was in the same building as the new one, on Itäinen Pitkäkatu 38–40 of Turku, but in the neighbouring staircase.
“I saw on the noticeboard a slip of paper saying that the residents living in this apartment at the time wanted to switch to a smaller one because of their changed life situation. A switch from a two-room apartment to one with four rooms suited our family perfectly, as we were already running out of room. The switch was easy: all we needed to do was sign a couple of documents. We even got the removal boxes to our use free of charge,” Marianna explains.
And the boxes were indeed needed: moving is always moving, even if the distance is short.
“I think we had as many as 80 removal boxes. Although, about 20 of them were filled with Annikki’s soft toys,” Marianna says with a laugh.
From one Lumo home to another
For Marianna, the current home is already the third one in the same building.
“I moved into this building as a single woman already in 2000. I lived comfortably in a two-room apartment, sometimes alone, and sometimes with a friend of mine. Then I was offered an interesting job opportunity in Oulu – and even there I found an apartment through Kojamo.”
Marianna, who was born in Harjavalta, went to work in a restaurant in Oulu. A certain Esa from Helsinki happened to work in the same place as a cook. It didn't take long before there was something going on in the restaurant's kitchen.
“Then the work situation took us back to Turku again. I was very happy when we found a two-room apartment in the same building from which I had left. Annikki was born, and we lived in the two-room apartment for five years before this last move.”
Everything within short distance
In other words, everything indicates that Marianna has taken a liking to her Lumo home on Itäinen Pitkäkatu.
“The location of the building is absolutely brilliant. The heart of the city and the market square are only one kilometre away. Today, I work as a ward domestic at Turku University Hospital, and it takes just a few minutes to walk to my workplace as well.”
As the address indicates (Itäinen meaning eastern), we are on the eastern shore of the Aura River. ‘On this side of the river’, as the local people say – we are on ‘this side’, when we are on the same side of the river as the Turku Cathedral.
The attractions nearby include the Kupittaa Park, where the family goes skating in winter and swimming in the outdoor swimming pool in summer.
“When Annikki was a little smaller, the adventure park Seikkailupuisto of Kupittaa was also one of our regular destinations. It features, among other things, a wide variety of climbing frames, a pirate ship and a knight's castle. Other nice places for excursions can be found on the Vartiovuorenmäki and its parks, right next door to where we live. Annikki has made excursions there with her father. She also visited the Summer Theatre of Vartiovuori with her godmother.”
A short walking distance away is located K-Citymarket of Kupittaa, which was selected Finland's best K-Citymarket a few years ago. When there is a chef in the family and such a good grocery store so close, the family is surely pampered with gourmet food on a daily basis?
“Esa is indeed good at making food, but let’s put it this way that preparing such an ordinary everyday meal as macaroni casserole still requires a little practice. For instance, once, he came home from the grocery store with mussels, oysters and escargots. Of course, it was excellent, but I’m not sure it was quite to Annikki’s liking,” Marianna recalls.
The whole family values the brightness and spaciousness of their home.
“We even have windows opening up in three different directions. We also spend a lot of time on the large balcony.”
Annikki praises especially the building’s large courtyard with lots of play equipment. The grill pavilion on the yard is also in frequent use.
“In the summer, we had a picnic on the lawn of our yard. It was fun,” Annikki recalls.
The building also has various shared facilities; in addition to a laundry room and sauna, they include a small gym, a woodwork workshop and a club room with a small library.
“From the library, we have borrowed children's books for Annikki, and we have also taken some of our own books for others to borrow. It's a nice example of circular economy in practice,” Marianna explains
The father of the family, Esa, frequents the gym and stopped by there even on the day when this interview was made.
“I pedalled the exercise bike for a while, made some exercises on the pulley and bench, and hammered the punchbag. Naturally, there aren’t that many exercise equipment pieces available, but just enough for a good workout,” he points out.
Esa explains that he got really keen on taking care of his physical condition some time ago. His current employer, Viking Line, supports the well-being at work of its ship's cook by providing, for example, personal trainer services.
Esa has also become familiar with the building's woodworking workshop.
“I've been working on a small shelf support and a rack to put under the shoes ‒ whatever we happen to need at any given time. The workshop has all the basic tools and often also some leftover timber.”
“We will never move away from here again”
Esa also praises the tranquillity of the house and its residents.
“For example, Reka and Jari who live upstairs from us are brilliant guys; they also do all kinds of small renovation, DIY and painting stuff for the housing company. And they always help other residents. Reka is also the keeper of our spare keys.”
Thanks to the excellent location of the apartment, the family does not need a car of their own.
“When we can walk everywhere, we don't need a car at all. Usually, we rent a car for summer weekends and summer holiday trips only. It’s really convenient and saves a lot of money,” Esa says contentedly.
The whole family seems firmly settled on Itäinen Pitkäkatu.
“We will never move away from here again,” Annika sums it up.
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