Tuesday, April 9
Winter has returned. The temperature had fallen to just above zero and parts of central Finland have had 20cm of snow in the past twenty four hours. I left home with my shirt tucked in and my gloves on.
I answered five messages from students suddenly too ill with flu to come to class, and some other mails from people with no need to inform me of their state of health.
I retired, head spinning, for a lunch involving hummus.
I spent the afternoon trying to get my research plan into shape. Nothing happened; the ideas flowed like concrete. Eventually I went back to the university website and read all the instructions again from the beginning.
Somewhere along the way I had misinformed myself, believed what I had told myself, and then headed in entirely the wrong direction. I had thought I had to produce a five page research plan. I had downloaded examples. I had talked with Mats about it.
That didn’t make it true.
I actually have to fill in an online form in which I must write a summary of an intended plan in 2,000 characters or less. I have to fill in a long series of fields, but none of them have room for more than 2,000 characters, and most only allow 1,500 or even 1,000.
I mapped out a new structure in Scrivener, based entirely on the fields in the form, and started again. The work I had already done did not go to waste. I repurposed some of it and put the rest away for later.
Irma phoned to say she and Kipa had got stuck in Hämeemlinna, and would arrive home late. I left at 16:00 to let Sunshine out and continue working on my iPad.
Things had suddenly started to look up.
When Irma arrived we went to the library at Stoa to return her mother’s books.
When we return the house has fallen into winter darkness. Irma lights a large, previously used candle on the fireplace. I watch it for a while and then photograph it.
Later I will phone her mother in hospital. She will wish me peace and love at three points in the short conversation. She will, in fact, say it instead of goodbye.
We will wonder whether her therapy might involve time travel.