Thursday, June 19
Naa woke me at 7:40. Camilla had sent her a message just after we went to bed, saying that work this morning would start at 8:00. They have got behind schedule because of the weather this week. I got up and we had breakfast, and off she went.
The sky is bright blue with fluffy white clouds and I feel warmer than I have felt since the weekend. I am looking over at the field where I can see a small gang picking potatoes, Naa among them. I stand watching with last year superimposed on the scene in front of me. Last year Auo was in the gang. Camilla had let her join to keep Naa company, but she very rapidly became a full-time, full-strength worker. She liked the work, she liked being part of the adult gang, with their rituals and unspoken agreements, and she liked getting paid. I can almost see her in the field now, bent over determined to do as much as anyone else and more than most; and I am caught between a sharp sadness and an elegaic fondness for who and what she was. I cannot describe how I feel, even to myself, but I stand watching longer than necessary, and for some time after I have taken the photograph.
The sauna house is unheated and so I still have to dress up before I begin writing. When I sit there I will find myself glancing out of the window at the potato harvesters every few minutes until Sunshine comes to the door and howls to get my attention. We will run over to the main house where the cat will have a snack and I will have a big glass of water. Yesterday Sunshine caught and ate one of the young squirrels. Today it seems happy to have tinned food and a morning nap.
Naa will arrive home at 11:00 for her morning break and I will join her while she eats a sandwich and has a glass of milk and several glasses of water. On Tuesday the thermometer outside the kitchen window never went higher than three degrees. Yesterday it got as high as six degrees. I will check it while Naa is eating and it will say twelve degrees. No wonder I had to take my jumper off in the sauna house, while I was writing.
When Naa goes back to work I will take the rubbish to Tirmo and fill up the water canister. The water here is perfectly drinkable, but slightly salty. We use it for cooking, washing – and drinking if we have no choice. We prefer the water from Tirmo or Sandholm for drinking straight though; and Naa and I have been drinking a lot of water.
At 19:30 Irma will arrive. We will unpack the car. Irma will notice the extent to which Auo is missing from the house, and indeed she is. The cat will seem happy to see us all in one place again, and will come round rubbing itself against everyone while unable to decide who to settle down with.
Irma will have decided to buy lonkero to celebrate summer. Sensibily she will have bought original gin and not some wacky flavour involving strawberries and cocunuts. We will sample a couple before going to bed early to prepare for the midummer market tomorrow.