Friday, December 06, 2019 | RECENT NOTES

Dinner for One

I read this in a Monocle newsletter: When I moved to Germany seven years ago it didn’t take long for someone to mention the TV comedy Dinner for One. “You must watch it,” they would say. “But be sure to wait until New Year’s Eve.” I naturally assumed it was a German-language programme and enquired as much. “No, it’s in English,” came the response. “Don’t they watch it in the US or the UK?”

I became intrigued, and then when I read on, I decided that I definitely wanted to know more. I found the movie online…


Vegan statistics – where’s the beef?

According to the Independent, a new survey by indicates that there “has been a significant spike in the number of people going vegan in the UK since 2016, with more than 3.5 million British people now identifying as such”.

This led me to check out, where I received several surprises.


Thursday, December 5, 2019 | THE TIME OF DAY


Tuesday, December 03, 2019 | ESSAYS

Paying it forward: using Finnish skills in India

In the summer of 2019 Irma Sippola and I started an NGO in Helsinki, which we called Snowcastle Valley, after a virtual world that Aurora, our younger daughter, made with me in the year before she died. We had visited Kerala in South India every winter for twelve years and we had decided that we wanted to use whatever skills we had to benefit the inhabitants of the coastal villages. We founded Snowcastle Valley to act as the vehicle for this work.

In October we travelled to Kerala for a two-week exploratory visit. We intended to spend ten days mapping the territory, devising realistic goals for the project and coming to understand potential obstacles. We ended up doing something totally diffgerent.