Tuesday, May 29
I woke up to discover that the heatwave continues. I actually discovered that we have had the warmest May in over thirty years with thirteen days so far where the temperature has reached 25 degrees or more. I ate my breakfast – Weetabix and Oatly milk substitute – and then raced to Arcada.
I had several things that I had to do before I attended today’s main business. I examined the clone that I made yesterday of last year’s Eliademy summer course and began the process of updating all the individual sections. Since the course starts next Monday I have started to treat this as a matter of some urgency.
I then looked at the changes that Natalie had made to the job’d website and installed them. I have come to trust her coding completely so I looked to make sure I understood what she had done, not to check that she had done it correctly. I have come to suspect that I might inherit all three of the city sites and become the long-term webmaster. I don’t want to find I have to maintain sites that I don’t fully understand.
I then emailed two students about assignments and discussed having a meeting with Jutta and Mirko in a week or so, when Mirko returns from Viet Nam. Finally I bumped into Natalie and had a brief conversation that saved me emailing her later.
I then race to get a tram and a metro to Koivusaari. This, I will learn later, has the longest escalators in Helsinki; possibly because the platforms constitute the fourth deepest metro station in the world and, incidentally, the only one built directly under the sea. Even without knowing this I find myself forced to take a photograph of the metro as I ascend it. It looks like a stairway to heaven.
I will spend the day at the Speaking is Silver event. In the morning I will listen to Darja Saar, editor in chief of ETV+ in Tallinn, and Joanna Korosz from Civil Rights Defenders. I never really got to grips with what they did, except act as intermediaries in a long chain of actors; something that I feel sure says more about me than the Civil Rights Defenders. According to their website they want “A peaceful and safe world, with freedom and justice for all” They “partner with and support human rights defenders who work in some of the world’s most repressive regions”. Not only that: but also “through advocacy, litigation, and public campaigns, we advance people’s rights globally”.
After this Gregory Shvedov, editor of The Caucasian Knot, will explain about independent journalism in Russia, and Minna Knus-Galan from YLE will talk about the Panama papers and the way that the ICIJ formed and organised to deal with this in a shared way.
I will then have lunch with Maria and Matteo and three people who join us; one from the Finnish branch of PEN.
After lunch Stefan Eklund, the editor in chief of Borås Tidning, whom we saw here last year, will discuss the relationship between social media and newspapers and Anders Mård will talk us through the complexities of Russian journalism from the perspective of a freelance journalist.
Maria, Matteo and I will walk to Koivusaari and then I will get the metro home with Matteo. When I arrive home Sunshine will fail to appear. I will vacuum-clean and then start gardening, at which point he will turn up and begin rolling around on his back in his characteristic way.
Later, when Irma arrives back from seeing her mother, I will cycle to buy some Oatly drink and use some more of our surplus baking soda to clean the grouting in the shower room tiles. By bed time they will sparkle.