Thursday, September 20
Hermannin rantatie, 8:40
Today I noticed on the metro that I now have the opportunity to buy a vegan version of Magnum ice-creams on a stick. In the Nordic countries, at least, veganism has come a long way in its march into the mainstream.
As the metro pulls into Kalasatama I remember that Redi should open today, so I jump out to look. It looks ready (ho ho) as I pass it, but it doesn’t look interesting enough to warrant going in.
I walk down the road that used to have the sea on one side, listening to Robert Plant’s Carry Fire album for no particular reason at all. As I watch a bus approaching and cyclists trying to deal with the bus queue that remains oblivious to them, I think that if you want to hear a singer in their seventies doing interesting stuff you might want to turn to Robert Plant rather than, say, Paul McCartney.
Then I remember that Paul McCartney has also done some interesting things in the last few years – I really liked Memory Almost Full – and decide that Mick Jagger might offer a better point of comparison.
When I reach Arcada I will start my working day by enrolling all of the CMS students into Cloud9 and then write notes and collect links that they can use for self-training and reference.
I will have a detailed Jitsi meeting with Oliver to finalise the details of the Job’d offers that we will put out. We will turn out not to need quite as many as I expected (or as we had originally thought). I make detailed notes, upload two of the offers, and leave the other three until we have talked with Aga and Ilpo tomorrow.
In the afternoon I will reply to Nick Mahony, who sent me a mail with several interesting links, including a new Arts Council of England publication extolling the virtues of (a peculiarly stunted version of) cultural democracy. This should provide more material for the workshop next Saturday.
At 16:00 Irma will send me a photo on WhatsApp from inside Redi and I will reply by asking if she would like me to join her. I will walk back down and meet her outside Arnold’s, once I have discovered its location: not easy in the undersignposted and extremely busy mall.
We will wander around, feeling jostled and hot, and leave as soon as we can find the way out. This task will prove unexpectedly difficult since the exit we want leads straight into Kalasatama metro station, which means it does not start on the first floor.
Before we leave, we will take the escalators up to the fifth floor, and by the third floor we will notice that half of the spaces remain empty. From the escalator I can see that many of them have no signs of life at all: no furniture or signs of preparation for opening later. Half-Redi, we will say to each other.
Either the mall had to open today, for contractual reasons, or the project has not (yet) proved the success the developers expected. I will remember reading predictions of doom a couple of years ago from analysts who suggested that Helsinki’s development plans included an over-optimistic and unsustainable level of new retail space. I will think this as the metro home passes Megahertzi, the new mall under construction at Herttoniemi, which lies two metro stops from Redi in one direction and two metro stops from Itis in the other.
Something will have to give somewhere.