Friday, May 12
Helsinki airport, 13:30
Last night we had discovered that Eija, Hafdis, Micke, Vera and I all had flights at approximately the same time from Vilnius. Eija arranged a big taxi from the hotel to the airport at 7:40 this morning.
I skipped breakfast, showered, packed, and peeped into the barber shop before waiting for the others in the lobby. We squeezed into the taxi and set off through the traffic jams. It took an hour an a half to get to the airport. Fortunately we did not have to drive through Vilnius to get there.
As I had suggested last night, we had set off too early, in the sense that we went through security, bought presents, and stood there wondering what to do by 9:30, or 140 minutes before our plane. Eija went off to check her emails. Hafdis and Vera went off to get something to eat, and Micke and I went to the Diners Club lounge to drink coffee and eat sandwiches.
I had an aisle seat and passed the time reading. Nothing of interest happened on the plane and we landed on time.
In the airport MIcke and I stand for fifteen minutes working out the consequences of the meeting, in terms of what needs to get done next, and by whom. I look around when he leaves to find a taxi, and notice the sign and the greenness that the glass confers on everything. I turn round and walk towards the train station. By the time I get there Eija will already have left.
I will get home about 15:00 and an hour and a half later Irma and I will leave for the House of Science, when the Rationalist International conference will begin at 17:30.
We will watch Sanal’s opening address and then listen to the first three speakers. After that we will both feel very tired and head home to have a glass of wine and fall asleep.
I will fail to fall asleep; thinking instead about ways to alter my intended talk, and its accompanying slideshow, to fit better into the main thrust of the conference. I will have a restless night.