Markku Torvinen zips up his blue padded coat, puts a beanie on his head and leaves for his daily walk. The Torvinens’ Lumo home is a five-minute walk away from the nature trail winding around Lake Ahvenisjärvi. The trails going around Lake Suolijärvi and Lake Hervantajärvi are not far away either.
“In Hervanta, nature and services are right next to each other. It seems hard to believe you could find a brand new tram line and calm nature trails only a hundred meters away from each other,” says Markku Torvinen.
Good services and short distances keep you in Hervanta
According to the Torvinens, the best thing about their Lumo home is its location. The neighbourhood is also calm and quiet and, as a bonus, the couple’s children live close by.
When the children were still at school age, they did not have to travel far for their hobbies, and Markku says that the couple still does not need to use their car very often. There are enough buses to the Tampere city centre, and almost all basic services – including a bank, a health centre, a library and a pharmacy – are available in Hervanta.
“Sometimes, we drive to Ideapark in Lempäälä to do some shopping, and that drive only takes around 15 minutes,” says Markku.
The Torvinens have lived in Hervanta for 30 years. Their children and grandchildren also live there.
A grandparents’ home with much to do
Terttu and Markku are nearing retirement, and they now have more free time to spend at home. The couple spend most of their time at home in their living room. In this room, one’s attention is drawn by a wall covered with photos. The wall features childhood photos of the couple’s three children, and even more photos of the couple’s grandchildren at school and hobby groups, with more being added every year. When the couple’s grandchildren are visiting their grandparents, they can examine what their parents looked like as children or what they themselves looked like when they were younger.
The division of labour for hanging framed photos on the wall is clear.
“I buy the frames and decide where the photos go, and Markku hammers the nail into the wall and makes sure that the frame is straight,” says Terttu Torvinen.
The Torvinens spend a lot of time with their children and their families: two of the families live in Hervanta, and the third lives in the neighbouring district of Vuores. The families celebrate holidays and grandchildren’s birthdays together.
“From our kitchen window, we can see the school one of our grandchildren, who is in first grade, goes to. Sometimes they come to spend the afternoon with us after school, and we can easily follow their route from school to us through the window,” says Terttu.
The couple’s home is on the first floor and its floor area is 62 square metres. The living room’s sofa bed can be set up for small overnight visitors when needed.
According to the couple, the spacious two-room apartment works well for two adults – although Terttu says that she would sometimes like an additional room to store things like toys. However, she emphasises that she and Markku have not seriously thought about moving to a larger apartment. Legos, Barbie dolls, prams for dolls and other toys can easily be stored next to a wall in the bedroom.
“We want to offer our grandchildren a place that they enjoy visiting and that offers lots to do,” says Markku.
Tight-knit community in the Lumo building
Terttu and Markku moved to Hervanta nearly 30 years ago as a young couple. They chose Hervanta on the basis of the affordability of the area and the fact that a family they knew had also moved to the area. Over the years, the couple has also lived in an apartment they themselves own. They have lived in their current Lumo home for eight years.
“In addition to services close by, we also wanted a calm and quiet home in a well-maintained building. During our first visit, we noticed that the wallpaper and floors were in good condition and the stairwell was clean,” says Markku.
The couple was pleasantly surprised by the friendly atmosphere in the building: if someone needs help, other residents are happy to help them.
“We pay special attention to old people who live alone, and there are many of them in our building. We have told our neighbours that they can call us even in the middle of the night,” Terttu says.
In the summer, many of the building’s residents come together to prepare food at the grill shelter in the yard every week. Terttu and Markku have also taken part in shared May Day and Christmas celebrations. Food for these celebrations is often prepared by the residents in the club room before the event.
“Last summer, our Lumo team went on a trip to Viikinsaari to see a play by the summer theatre. Now we are making plans for a movie night,” says Terttu.
A home that looks like your home
Terttu and Markku have decorated their home together. One of the walls features dinosaurs, which the couple has brought home as souvenirs from places like Tenerife. The light-coloured wall near the exterior door is decorated with a picture of a beautiful brown tree surrounded by dozens of butterflies.
“Right now, wall stickers are my thing,” Markku says.
The home’s bookshelf has photos and decorative items that are important to both Terttu and Markku, such as the glass candlesticks that have been passed down the generations in Terttu’s family. A cockerel forged from iron stands on top of the bookshelf.
“It’s the first piece of metalwork I made at school, and I’ve had it in every place I’ve lived in,” says Markku.
However, what is more important to Terttu and Markku than the exact placement of items or the straightness of the rug fringes is that their home is a nice and relaxing place to live.
“A home should not be too sterile: a home is for living in, and the traces of life are allowed to show. It’s okay if the corner of the wall sticker has come loose a little because one of our grandchildren touched it to see how the sticker was attached to the wall,” Markku says.