Countries

A No1 Finnday Funday

And for the fourth year running it’s the happiest place in the world, it’s a No1 Finnday Funday.

So what do we put Finland’s joy down to… all those icy dips and saunas?

Well, yes, according to the Finns themselves who credit their love of nature.

He’s started so he’ll Finnish

Roll in it: Finland

Heli Jimenez, of Business Finland, explained: ‘We appreciate the small things in our daily lives.

‘Such as sitting quietly on a bench and staring at the empty lake after a relaxing sauna session or taking a morning dip in the sea before starting the working day.’

If you now live in the frozen north of Britain, or Scotland as it’s sometimes called, then it’s a victory for chilly places.

Cry freedom

Happiest place on earth: Paula in Orlando

The UN World Happiness Report looks at perceived freedom, honesty, welfare, good health and generosity.

And a trust in their leaders which has been reciprocated over Covid with that ‘helping to protect lives and livelihoods during the pandemic.’

Now we’re all of us ambassadors for our countries when we live abroad.

And among my most treasured possessions is the Pleasure To Work With Award that hangs proudly on my wall.

From the Travel trade from my 13 years in Ireland.

And indulge me here but I’d lavish my own praises on unofficial Finnish ambassador to Scotland, and part-time Disney character Paula Murray here.

Among the friends from around the world who I got to meet through Ireland were those who also scored highly for happiness.

Happy talking

Walking on air in Copenhagen

Ireland themselves obvs and it will come as no surprise to our Paddy Party People that they come four places higher than the UK.

The Nordic and Scandi countries and be sure to know the diff.

Denmark, Sweden and Norway are in both alongside Finland, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

The Danes and the Icelanders occupy second and third spots and Sweden and Norway seventh and eighth.

And what they lack in low drink prices which sees cruisers stay dry on on-shore excursions, they make up for in spirit.

And a smile on their faces

žCan I be trusted on a bike? In Amsterdam

Making up the rest of the top ten are the swish Swiss (4th) and the liberal Dutch (5th),

Tiny Luxembourg (6th) you can get around in a day while Israel (9th) isn’t called the Land of Milk and Honey for nothing.

While the New Zealanders (10th) will be doing the Haka in celebration at being two places above Australia.

It is though refreshing, much like the Nordic air, to see that it’s still a No1 Funday Finnday

Countries, Culture, Europe

My Sporting Weekend – Iceland big knobs

You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s members only at the Icelandic Phallological Museum but the truth is they welcome all shapes and sizes.

Iceland hosted England yesterday in the European Nations League for the first time since they shocked the world.

By beating the Three Lions 2-1 at the 2016 European Championships.

Now football is not the same without the fans.

And the Viking Army was sadly missing in Reykjavik, the Icelandic fans lighting up the European Championships with their Thunderclap.

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Hang your hat on it

Playing away

Which isn’t a transmitted disease but the ritual applause which they bestowed on their favourites.

Back to the Phallological Museum now.

And for the very odd dedicated few who continue to follow England to the ends of the Earth.

Even if they have to self-isolate and can’t even get into the game…

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From the Stone Age… the original cock and balls

Well, the Phallological Museum, oh heck let’s just call it the Penis Museum, is an attraction that is open for visitors, though with restricted hours.

So what do you get?

It’s the bollocks

The big knobs at Team Phallus boast (and, yes this is a subject where you do boast) that their museum contains 215 penises.

And penile parts (we’re imagining bollocks here and maybe foreskin, soz).

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The Phallus Team

In their bumph they dazzle us with numbers (and again this is currency in this field).

With 56 specimens from 17 different kinds of whales (who knew?)

Poles apart

One from a rogue polar bear, and that you’d think would be thin from all the rubbing their paws together to keep out the cold.

And 36 from the seven different types of seals and walrus.

And 115 from 20 different kinds of land mammals.

Giraffe Penis
We’re thinking this is very old

The museum also considers itself fortunate to have received legally certified gift tokens for four specimens (whatever that means) belonging to Homo Sapiens.

That’s you and me!

It’s probably just as well that the masses of England football fans aren’t there.

Stand up if you’re England

Yes, they’d probably pack the place out but then you know football fans they’d probably want to prove their manhood.

Although I doubt they’d measure up.

Now if you want to get out to Iceland we’d suggest Icelandair and we always like to highlight the Land of Fire and Ice.