PÄIVI AND WILLIAM
We are a Finnish-English couple, living in Finland. Päivi, the author of these short illustrated stories, formerly worked in many roles for the national public broadcaster YLE, and is now actively retired. William is a freelance translator and writer. We are grandparents to four little boys. We live in the Helsinki region, but spend some months of the winters in Southern Spain.
Before our first Spanish winter, Päivi wondered how we might best tell the grandchildren how we were getting on, and what we were up to. We got the idea of two soft-toy animals, who would see what we see, but through the eyes of children. Pepe joined the family while we were still in Finland, and Toro the Andalusian bull came on board shortly after our arrival in Spain. We started carrying the two of them around in our backpacks (to the consternation of some, but to the amusement of many – “Ooh, do look, she’s got a teddy-bear poking out of her bag!”) wherever we went, on walks and excursions.
As keen amateur photographers, we started taking pictures of landscapes, and the flora and fauna we encountered, and also took snapshots of Pepe and Toro in a variety of places and situations. These images gradually morphed into stories for the grandchildren, initially on the WhatsApp platform. When that became gradually more unwieldy, Päivi moved over to the blog format.
Even though these Pepe and Toro stories were originally written for the entertainment of our grandchildren, the bear and the bull have assured us many times they really don’t mind a bit if others read about them.