Friday, May 4



Pohjoisranta, 19:15


I had a morning of theses: I read three drafts in various stages of completeness, made comments, and agreed to act as the opponent for a fourth.

I answered a letter from Sophie Hope and sent a letter of invitation to Nick Mahony, inviting to join Sophie at the Convivial Mechanics summer jambouree at the end of September. I had a very quick email flurry with Oliver about the arrangements for the event and we agreed on a wording that sounded precise enough to make sense as an invitation but left us a lot of room to wriggle around and change the details later.

At 15:00 I turned up at Stoa for another MakeSomeNoise feedback meeting at Stoa. I sat for an hour with Irma, Jessica, Jolanda, and Sami as we looked at a prototype website, and sorted through potential images. Jolanda pushed to have a parallax effect near the top of the page, and Irma agreed. We then all agreed that we would try to get a preliminary site online before Irma and Sami leave to New York in ten days time.

I said that I would make space in my schedule on Friday to put both websites online. I realised that I had complete confidence that Laura and Nathalie would have their site ready, because they have had a headstart. I felt slightly more concerned about this one, especially because I foresee several possible bumps in the road ahead: “small” technical issues that will prove stubbornly intractable when Jessica and Jolanda get to them.

When the meeting finished Irma and I drove home to feed the cat and get changed. We then headed to the British Embassy for the monthly Well in the Park; the first we have attended in a couple of months.

We meet Tom and Maisa, as always, and talk with another Tom: Tom Dodd, the relatively new ambassador. Talk turns to Brexit and we all skirt around the politics of it, because if we start expressing forthright opinions Tom will feel a professional need to remain noncommittal and thus to leave us in search of less controversial company. Since nobody seems to know what to do, or how to do it, including the British government, we do not, in practice, have much to discuss anyway.

On the way home from the embassy we drive along the seafront and I look at the old building on the little island. I photograph it through the car window and, to my surprise, I capture it quite clearly.

Prisma will call to us on the way home and we will stop for food and wine. Irma will politely insist that I get in the car as we leave, so she can drive me twenty metres to Puotila station where I left my bike this morning.

I will get home three minutes after her due to my newly perfected technique for avoiding the speedbumps while cycling.

Later in the evening we will drink chardonnay and watch Ronnie Barker and Maggie Smith in My House in Umbria, a 2003 HBO movie that we both find oddly enchanting. I will check later and discover that it got nominated for a lot of awards, and that Maggie Smith won one of them.

We still have some taste left then.