Marja-Leena Rathje
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five things


I've been tagged for a meme called FIve Things You May Not Know About Me, thanks to Jean at This Too. My, I had to think long and hard on this since I've already revealed much about myself on this blog. My life has not been very exotic and I don't harbour any dreadful secrets, but here's what I've come up with.

1. This is the first time on this blog that I show a photo of myself as a child, at 5 years of age, taken just before we emigrated to Canada.

2. I had my first and only artist's garret around the age of eight. I spent hours there drawing, writing, reading and day-dreaming.

3. I was good in math in high school with marks in the low 90's. My math teacher wanted me to pursue it in university. I told her I wasn't a natural at it, only that she was an excellent teacher. That point was proven in Grade 12 when I almost failed it due to an incompetent teacher. Instead, I wanted to become an architect, interior designer or an artist.

4. I have (or had) more than 50 cousins, having lost count after that.

5. I have an international family with birth or ancestry from Finland mostly, Karelia, Russia, Germany, England, Greece, Ukraine and USA, and probably others that I don't know about. We all came from Africa, you know.

I'm supposed to tag five others. I invite anyone who's interested.

Marja-Leena | 25/01/2007 | 21 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Blogging


Oh, you were a lovely child! I'm picturing a slightly larger version of her busy at work in her artist's garret. And what a family - fascinating! I know we all came from Africa, but some of us know a lot less about how we got from there to here.

Jean, thanks for the kinds words, and for visiting! I do love the garret story. About the international family though, I haven't been very clear in how I described it - the non-Finns are through marriage. For example, two aunts married Karelians and Russians, that kind of thing. I don't know much at all about my ancestors beyond a few generations. There's been speculation that my paternal grandmother's roots were German. I find it a most fascinating subject, reading what I can about the Finno-Ugrian peoples.

Hei ML! You're as cute as a bug's ear and with some of the whispers you've shown on your Blog, it doesn't take much for me to visualize how you look today - marvelous! I for one am glad that you chose to pursue art-work because you give everyone so much pleasure from the simple things in life - you have an envious talent and a rich heritage. Me, I'm sure not a pedigree but more of a heinz 57 mongrel that's done too much in my life for my age. However, we do share some common talents and we've grown into a friendship which I cherish!!

Rog, you are always so sweet, thank you. I still marvel at the friends I've found through blogging. You know, with your unusual life, you could fill a blog with all your fascinating stories - how about it? It's a great retirement project - after you finish your current one, that is.

So cute!! I love seeing this picture. Thanks for telling us more about yourself, and I may take you up on the open invitation, since no one has tagged me yet!

Beth - thanks! It was Teju's photo that inspired me to post mine. I hope you decide to do this meme as I look forward to learning a bit more about you too!

What a great picture! Great smile, you looked like a happy kid. I love the blonde pigtails. :-)

leslee - thanks! Yeah, I was a fairly happy kid, a very fortunate one.

I'm glad you got my comment, Marja-Leena. I quite often comment here, and they just disappear - I wonder why. Mind you, it happens to my comments a lot, probably about half of them, not just here...

Jean, I'm so glad I got your comments!! (There were two of this one.) I didn't realize that you've still been having problems, I wonder why, and especially if it happens at other blogs too. I'm not a techie so I asked someone knowledgeable about that once and he didn't know. I hope it will work regularly in the future, now that it has worked a couple of times, I'd be so happy to hear from you.

Well, I came from Africa and I know how I got here.



I think we should start a "pictures of the blogger before age the age of six" meme. This one is lovely.

You were lovely; that is a face that any teacher would focus on with relief in a classroom, open, intelligent, kind. I reckon it's down to those few English genes that you mentioned in your pedigree. I'm impressed about the mathematics too. Respeck...

Teju, how wonderful to have you visit! KLM, indeed, hehhe! Well, you started the childhood picture 'show and tell', so who's next? I think all children are lovely, but thank you.

Anna, what do you mean "were"? Heh. Unless we have Viking blood in common, the only English ones that I know of in the family are the son-in-laws, sweet as can be. (My statement no.5 is rather confusing, I know, I should reword it.) As for marks, I guess it goes without saying that I was good in art too!

Oh my gosh! Why haven't I ever seen that photo?
I have a photo from when I was five and the smile is very similar. Like mother like daughter, right? ;) I see where I get my curls and wings from, too.

The three of us must have some unwritten attraction to Englishmen... like the 3 snowbirds and their Americans.

Erika, I think you haven't looked at my old album in a long time! It's really interesting to see family resemblances when you look at pictures of relatives when they were children. Living in Canada, one's family does become mixed a lot more than if one stayed in one's home country forever, though that's changing even in Europe these days.

I love family albums, especially the childhood photos, and this one of you, M-L, is exceptionally joyful. I'd like to have met that child - it's clear she was going to grow into someone with a special vision.

Natalie, thanks for the sweet words! I remember how much I enjoyed the photos from your youth that you posted in your colourful biography series last year.

What a beautiful photo, thanks so much for sharing it with us!

Elise, thanks! Would you care to do this meme?

Oh, someone else calls them wings! I have them, too. This is a wonderful photo, your personality really shines through. I love the story of your garret. When I was five, I had a walk-in cedar closet with a little lamp and a chair just my size, where I sat to read... those private places can be so important.

MB, thanks! When I was in my 20's, some people thought I streaked my hair that way, especially after a summer in the sun. And yes those little private places are important, isn't that why kids build tree forts, blanket forts, and such? Really good for allowing the imagination to develop.