I had forgotten how it feels to work through June, July and August. This year it’s my destiny. Last year I wasn’t in Finland to experience the summer months, and the year before I enjoyed a whopping six week summer holiday. Nowadays I stay up way too late every day, struggle to get out of bed in the mornings, and wake up only when cycling to work.
The office is very quiet during the days, and I bet no one works overtime in the evenings. Days are productive, for me at least, when there’s ample time to read, think, plan and write. But one realizes how different it is to work in an empty office compared to, say, a day in April or October, when days are full of meetings and phone calls.
Summer evenings are best spent outside with friends or family. Anywhere near water is fine by me: river, lake or sea, I’m not too picky. Yesterday it was lake, tonight it is sea. Tomorrow it might be river then. If you look at any aerial photos from Finland (you can find plenty here – just start playing with the map, click ‘ilmakuva’ and/or ‘lintuperspektiivi’ for the aerial photos), you’ll see that even very near Helsinki it’s all about trees. Green, lush, thick forest is visible everywhere.
We’re pretty lucky in the sense that we can freely take a walk in the forest without having to fear for cluster munitions. I was able to take part in the First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Lao PDR last year. Perhaps you knew that Laos is the most cluster bomb contaminated country in the world (per capita)? There are areas in the country where you’re better off not walking at all. Many people die or are maimed every year by the remnants of war. This year the Second Meeting of States Parties will be organised in Lebanon. I wish I could be there, just for the inspiration. I’m ashamed to say that Finland has not ratified the convention.
I’ve been doing empirical research on clothing materials during my lunch breaks. I take my bike and ride to the nearby market to buy strawberries or ice-cream. Did it three times this week, always in warm, sunny weather. I think bamboo and tencel are most comfortable in 25 degrees or more. Tencel dries fast, if you get a bit sweaty. Bamboo is simply lovable, soft and light. Neither feels too heavy.
If you’ll allow a very bad joke, I could say that bamboo is da bomb. But more seriously, it’s time for Finland to ratify the convention.
♦ In the meantime: It is time to go and pick up strawberries. Of course, you could also go to the market, buy a crate full of fresh berries, but I prefer to visit the field myself. Organic!
♠ Guillemots, If the world ends