Saturday, November 15
Asemapäällikönkatu 12C, 17:30
Everyone got up late this morning. Naa woke up with flu to add to the cold and cough that I have had for the last few days.
I vacuum cleaned before breakfast and then cleaned all the shelves and surfaces afterwards. I drove to Prisma to get some tonic water and lemons, which we may or may not need later.
Irma and I then left for Pasila, stopping on the way at the flowershop in Kulosaari, where we filled the back of the car with bunches of flowers that Irma needs for tomorrow.
Dan was Auo’s favourite teacher and today is his fortieth birthday. Nadia, his wife, has organised a surprise party for him in the social room of the building where she works and that is where we have gone. It takes some time to find a parking space, but Nadia lets us into the building to use the private car park. Dan’s friend has taken him for a drink and then done the traditional “I just need to pick something up from work” routine. It is difficult to tell if Dan was actually fooled or not.
Auo promised Dan that she would bring him some tea from India last Christmas and so we brought some back when we went this month, and now he has an Indian bag with some genuine Indian tea as a late present from Auo. It is impossible not to feel her absence on an occasion like this, especially since she is our primary link with Dan and would have insisted on being here.
Neither of us wanted to stay too long, although we were both very glad to be there. Now we are leaving and we can hear Dan’s elder girl Deena at the bottom of the spiral staircase. Her friend is racing up the stairs. They are dropping grapes down the ten stories and trying to photograph them as they fall. When we get to the bottom we will find Deena standing there looking up, surrounded by squashed grapes.
We will go to bed earlier than usual after watching Amazing Race for the first time in a long time.