Saturday, December 16
Snow fell yesterday evening and most of the night.
We spent the morning making methodical preparations for leaving. Irma has gathered a lot of children’s clothes from friends and work colleagurs to take to Karela, which has suffered dreadfully from the cyclone called Ockhi. 200 fishermen remain lost at sea. Some may still return. Most will not.
She packed these into large suitcases, getting more into each case than seemed physically possible.
In the afternoon Naa joined us and we left to take the cat to Irma’s sister, where he will stay until we return. We drove through heavy rain and sleet. When we arrived the rain finally stopped.
I walk ten metres from Marja’s house onto the railway track. Trains still run on it but not very frequently. I spend a few minutes deciding whether to take a photograph looking this way or that way. I decide to look this way.
We will spend a hour or so with Marja, who will give us large portions of a delicious vegan dessert. Sunshine will wander around the bottom floor of the house, find somewhere to hide, and then reemerge when he smells Irma spooning cat food into a bowl.
Marja has promised that at least one rat visits the house regularly, so Sunshine will have a hobby for some or all of the time that he stays there, depending on how resourceful the rat proves.
On the drive home Päivi will phone and we will arrange to meet her in Itis so she can give us the Christmas present she had planned to deliver. When she arrives she will have a parcel complete with flashing Christmas lights.
We would have recognised her by this alone.