Thursday, August 9
Tove Jansson’s Moomin lore has become a national obsession in Finland and, increasingly, in Japan. For years the Arabia pottery company has licensed the characters for ceramic mugs, and every year they introduce two or three new designs, and retire some. Collectors’ market? You bet!
Tove Jansson arrived in this world on August 9, 1914. She died at the age of 86, but in 2004 Japan celebrated her 90th birthday by declaring it Moomin Day. This year Arabia decided to join in and has released a special Moomin Day mug, available only for 24 hours. Naa asked me to get one for Irma’s birthday.
Irma got up early to take the car for a check and when she returned at 8:05 I cycled to Itis to see if I needed to queue at the Moomin Store. I got there to find myself 72nd in a line. I queued for forty five minutes, by which point the line stretched almost the full length of the mall.
The shop opens, with security outside, and people enter one at a time. It takes twenty five minutes before I get near to the entrance. I photograph the people in front of me just as I prepare to enter. I get my mug, and at 9:30 the young woman immediately behind me gets the last one in the shop.
About four hundred people mill around in various states of disappointment. I slip into Stockmann and leave that way.
I will get home feeling fortunate. If Irma had arrived back from the garage even three or four minutes later I would have found myself in the front line of the disappointed.
At home I will fix the new washing line so that it stands straight, and then fill the hole it sits in with concrete to keep it there.
I will then spend the rest of the day painting the takkahuone white. I painted it white which when we moved in almost eleven years ago, and ten winters of wood fires have turned it dark gray. Irma had suggested that I should just touch it up, within five minutes it will become clear that it needs completely repainting. So we will completely empty the room.
By the time I stop at 20:30 I will have done two coats of paint on the walls. Tomorrow I will have to attempt the ceiling.