Tuesday, August 8
Another normal day with a warm sun: Sunshine woke me up at 7:15 to go out, came back twenty minutes later for food, and then wandered out again. By this point I had got up, walked over to the sauna house, put the water heater on, and come back to boil a kettle.
I checked the news, switched Radio X3M on, made myself three cheese sandwiches and a pot of tea, looked at the morning news, and ate my breakfast. I waved to Mika as I went to do the washing up, as he packed the van for whatever excursion he and Camilla have planned for the day.
Washing up done, I went to the sauna house to wash my hair to discover that the water heater had failed to heat. Experiment showed that the lights didn’t work either. I looked out but Mika and Camilla had left. I walked down to the old cottage to use the shower but Camilla had locked the door. I washed in cold water and left my hair for tomorrow.
I spent the morning having a first pass through the twenty three completed final assignments from the summer course. I read through them all and made notes on a spreadsheet.
At 12:15 I walked to the ferry with a bag of rubbish and an empty water cannister. I saw Lasse standing outside his van eating a large ice-cream cone. He came over and we spent ten minutes talking until he had to leap into his van to drive onto the ferry. We spent another five minutes talking on the ferry.
I have walked to the rubbish bins with my bag and now I stand in front of the water tap, about to fill my cannister. Last time I used this one I soaked myself because I didn’t expect such high pressure from the tap. This time I strike a cautious pose that suggests previous experience, and I get my 5 litres with no spillage. I carry my container to the shop to buy sausages, and get the ferry back.
When I get back to the farm I will decide that I should buy potatoes and onions to go with the sausages. I will also buy some fresh eggs.
The weather has turned hot and still for the first time in what feels like a week, so I will decide that I should paint the remaining bench white before the rain and wind return. I will do the first coat and then carry on painting the back of the house, which Irma began at the weekend. I will then give the bench a second coat.
At 17:45 Irma will phone me to say that Joni, our next door neighbours’ nineteen year old son, whom we know well, died in a motorcycle accident three hours ago. We will have the kind of conversation people have when they can think of no words to say. She will phone back an hour later when Naa has arrived and we will talk again: about how fragile life seems, and how difficult and hopeless it feels trying to deal with its sudden disappearance.
At 19:30 Mika will arrive home and come over to look at the fuses. It will turn out that one blown fuse caused the problem, which will puzzle us both because we both wrongly thought that the lights and the wall sockets worked from different fuses. They don’t: the lights and indoor sockets work from one fuse and the two outdoor sockets work from another.