Thursday, June 15
British Embassy, 15:00
Summer has arrived, and I raced out of the house and onto my bike.
I spent most of the morning reading a lengthy MS thesis that made a lot of interesting points and had some excellent quantitative research, impeccably carried out. Unfortunately the English lacked any sense of grammar and by the end I felt as though I had listened to somebody explaining something to me in the middle of a very noisy party. I could follow the gist of what they had told me but a lot of the details got lost in the noise and distraction.
I passed it on to Nathalie who agreed with me that it needed a good going over by a professional proofreader or translator. Mats and I discussed this phenomenon, growing each year apparently as more foreign students arrive, over a lunch of vegetarian lasagne and piima.
At 13:30 I left Arcada, got a bus to Rautatientori, and met Irma and Naa on a number 2 tram. We had intended to meet at the British Embassy but fate intervened. We did, however, meet Nathalie and her two daughter at the Embassy, along with Tom and Marja-Liisa, whom we know from The Well In The Park.
The Embassy has a garden party this afternoon; ostensibly to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday although nobody mentions this at all. In reality the party serves as an excuse to celebrate summer, and fortunately today offers a summer to celebrate. I have never been in this garden before, although Irma and Naa came here last year. Tesco seem to have provided the catering and Naa and I have as much cheesecake as we dare.
We also have something of our own to celebrate since Naa found out this morning that her third choice college – a technical school – has accepted her. She will hear about the two course she applied for at Metropolia in two weeks’ time, but this means that, whatever happens there, she has a guaranteed place for autumn and will not spend the next year working as a cleaner.
Naa will leave first because she has a date with a punt at Töölölahti, and the rest of us walk to the tram. Irma and I say goodbye in the centre and wander around the Stockmann sales.
Later Irma will drop me off at Puotila and I will cycle home. I will go for an hour’s walk in the woods before returning home to do some weeding at the back of the house that I promised to do today or tomorrow.
I will discover that the rear tyre on my bike has completely flattened. I will pump it up and watch it go flat in a minute or so. I will carefully check the tyre – the new one I put on last weekend – and I will see no damage. I will experience a surge of emotions somewhere between anger and depression and realise that I feel deflated.
See what I just did there?
I will decide – possibly wrongly – that the key to this must lie somewhere in the garden. The tyre deflates so fast that I could not have burst it somewhere on the road. Either the problem lies in the grass where I push it, or where I park it.
I know my task for Saturday afternoon. Call me irritated.