Tuesday, August 21



Helsinginkatu, 7:47


Yesterday’s visit to the doctor to see about my cough produced more results than I expected. I had to book four more appointments. The first happened about five minutes after I sat down to book them. I went upstairs to have my heart and lungs x-rayed.

My second appointment happens today at 8:00. I will have five separate blood tests, and for these I need to fast for at least twelve hours.

I therefore get up at 7:00, as quietly as I can, wash and dress, eat nothing, and cycle to Puotila. Last night I got soaked cycling home under a black sky. Today I cycle in a warm summer breeze. I get to Sörnäinen where a Number 8 tram waits for me. I get off at Linnänmäki and realise I have almost fifteen minutes before my appointment. I spend some time trying to photograph the towers at the amusement park, before walking up the hill to Terveystalo.

My tests will take about ten minutes and will also include an EKG test. I will still get to Arcada in time for Arcada Day. I have my cup of health juice: “a fresh start to the day”, I learn. I will stand to listen to the rector and the guest speaker from Stockholm. I can hear nothing intelligible at all from the oddly placed speakers and so, after fifteen minutes, I will give up and go upstairs to get ahead in planning this year’s CMS course.

Reidar Wasenius will phone me so I will go downstairs again briefly to show him where he might find the old swimming pool, the home for his and Tomas’ workshop.

I will spend the morning getting ahead on much more than CMS, and I will feel convinced that I used my time more usefully than in a workshop.

I will catch up with everything at lunch: a free salad buffet at which I will talk to the new rector while sitting next to Janne Nyberg and Mikael Paronen.

In the afternoon I will feel an obligation to attend one of the second workshops: the one in English. I will spend ninety minutes with a Danish trainer who will talk to us about principles and offer us little challenges that get done quietly and reluctantly. During this I will realise that everyone else seems to have written down their core principles as nouns, whereas I have written mine as verbal phrases. I will decide not to voice this observation because I suspect that it might leave me in effective charge of the discussion, as the trainer uses it to sit down and relax.

At 15:15 I will go downstairs to hear the final session. I will have the same problems as at the opening session, and retreat upstairs just as quickly. I will briefly watch Tomas summing up the day but the booming acoustics and the resultant distorted Swedish will prove too much for me to follow.

I will read about Sophie Hope’s 1984 Dinners instead and, despite listing “thinking as little as possible” as one of my core principles, I will find myself looking out the window deep in thought.

So many possibilities, once you stop over-thinking, I will (over)think.