Sunday, July 8



Lantloppis, 10:42


For the second time in two days we woke up, washed, dressed, and left. We have a packed calendar in the archipelago. We drove to skaärgårdshemmet and parked the car before the crowds arrived. We then walked over the road and down to where Mona lives. We had arrived to make sure we got a good look at everything for sale in lantloppis before the official opening time.

This year we get a surprise. Someone has decided to play Murder in the Village. Crime scene tape surrounds the entire lantloppis area and nobody can get in or out. Any attempt to breach security gets short shrift. Obviously the hunt for clues continues.

We walk around the perimeter trying to spot the detectives until we realise that the coffee stall stands outside the scene of investigation. We each buy a cup of coffee. I notice grilled sausages and get myself a freshly grilled korv. We overhear the women on the coffee stall saying that, under no circumstances, must anyone publicise the pop-up restaurant over the road in skaärgårdshemmet. I immediately set off to see what I can find there.

Gunnel’s popup restaurant, staffed by her, Gärda, and a woman I do not recognise, will sell skägårdsallrik, consisting of gravadlax, thinly sliced beef, and new potatoes. I will go back and tell Irma, who will tell me to return and ask Gunnel if we need to book – and to book if we do. We don’t.

When the detectives have all left and the market has opened we will wander around looking for bargains and meeting almost everyone we know in Pellinge, including people I know by sight but couldn’t name. Everyone will say hello to everyone else and I will stop to chat with a surprising amount of people.

We will spend 16€ and end up with a vast variety of things. Irma will find sets of cutlery from different airlines including spoons from BEA. I will find another Kellogg’s tin box to join our growing collection, and a book by John Grisham. We will have iitala glasses and some crockery to complete a set in which some broke. Irma will also have a set of jars from chemists that no longer exist in Helsinki.

We will go to eat and love it. The dining space will have hardly any room to spare. We will sit next to a family that Irma knows, and may indeed have some distant family relationship to her and chat in a mixture of languages.

Afterwards we will go back to the market for one final look, which will end up with us buying more.

At the end a stallholder will give me a bizarre drinking game that I had looked at earlier and we will all laugh. The game has a lottery-style wheel with coloured balls and six glasses, each with a different coloured band. You spin the wheel and a ball comes out. The player who has spun drinks the equivalently coloured glass. The fun consists in filling the glasses with a variety of drinkable liquids. Thus I might spend the evening getting white each time and drinking nothing but milk, while you may alternate between blue and red, drinking whisky or pernod each go.

Oh what fun we will have, once we find some people stupid enough to play it with us.

We will give Ann-Sofie and Heidy a lift home and then examine our spoils. The sky will cloud over and I will go to the sauna to catch up on my writing while Irma reads.

Twelve Thai schoolboys and their soccer coach have been stuck in a small pocket several kilometres inside a flooded cave for thirteen days and a global team of divers has assembled to try to rescue them. At 16:00 Irma will race in to tell me four of them have emerged, three hours earlier than expected. Half an hour later another two will emerge.