Tuesday, August 7
Garden, Vartiokylä, 15:45
We slept until 10:00, lulled into prolonged sleep by the comfortable beds and the lack of mosquitoes.
I started the day by assembling and installing the rotary washing line we bought yesterday. The previous one lasted about ten years and I have high hopes of this one.
Irma suggested that I remove and save the washing line from the previous one, so I did. This took longer than putting up the new one. I had to unthread 50 metres of cord from the spokes of the frame which, given the way that someone had assembled it somewhere in China, proved a tricky procedure.
After this we laid a tarpaulin on the kitchen floor, underneath the table, and I began to paint it white. This will take me until 19:00, because I will have to sand it, put on an undercoat, leave it to dry, put on a topcoat, leave it to dry, and then add some final touches.
At 15:30, while Irma puts washing on the new line, she calls me. A military helicopter hovers very low over our garden with the door open and an armed soldier leaning out. I dash out but miss it, as it flies over the rooftops towards the park. We continue to hear it circling so I wait, ready to photograph it. It never returns so I take a photograph of the sky without helicopter.
Irma will go to arrange a headstone for her father, to arrange a massage for her leg, and to buy a bouquet from Kulasaari Kukkaa for Minna and Tommi, because tomorrow Joni died one year ago.
I will watch Sunshine. He will carefully walk around the edge of the tarpaulin, and pause outside Auo’s room. He will look at the guinea pigs for a minute or two, look away, and carry on round the tarpaulin to his food bowl.
In the evening I will go for a walk and listen to a posthumous Curt Boettcher album California Music that Hannu lent me years ago. Some of it will seem very good, and much better than I remembered. Some of it will remind me of Jonathan King in it’s “let’s do this in an eccentrically different way” approach to songs like The Banana Boat Song and Music, Music, Music.