I type this post, not slumped on my couch in Sawston but sitting up straight on a couch provided by the Radisson Blu hotel in Espoo in Finland. Beyond my screen I can see the early evening sunlight dancing on the calm waters of the Gulf of Finland – yes, this is the first GofaDM post from abroad (i.e. overseas, I have not been tempted by gender re-assignment).
It’s a long old trek from Sawston to Helsinki – though to be honest most of that is getting to Heathrow, which was pretty trouble free today (and I even saw some rain at Paddington – who’d have thought that would have novelty value for a Brit?). Terminal 3 is definitely not one of the highlights of LHR (though the ceilings are not quite as oppressively low as I remember), as whilst very efficient at getting me through security, the seating, flooring, shopping and dining options on the other side were less than thrilling.
Whilst trudging off to my gate, I passed several ads proudly claiming some bottled source of (mostly) H2O as the official water of the 2012 Olympics. I thought to myself that it would be rather nice if “tap” could be the official water of the 2012 Olympics – the water, even in East London, is quite potable and involves the generation of far less plastic waste.
On the plane, I found myself seated two rows behind a man who was the very image of Simon Russell Beale. If it were not the fine actor himself, the chap could surely have obtained a rather modest income as a look-a-like – though I fear a doppelgänger for a fine Shakespearean actor probably commands a rather smaller fee than one with a passing resemblance to a minor soap star or reality show contestant.
Finland – or at least the road from airport to hotel – seems lovely. Lots of trees and lakes and, despite the Cassandra-like forebodings of the MetOffice, warm and sunny. The locals seem a very friendly bunch (and given my total absence of Finnish – not even in my dishwasher – they fortunately speak very good English). On the cab ride over I learned more than I could ever have imagined about the business of installing posters at bus stops in the greater Helsinki area. This business seems to hold out the offer of a job for life – if I could handle the Sunday working (outdoors in all seasons) and the rather long commute.
As I’m writing this from the future (2 hours ahead of old Blighty), I ought to hit the hay so that I can attack my work-based duties tomorrow morning with renewed vigour (as opposed to a similar sounding unclothed prelate) – or, to put it more succinctly (and appropriately) I need to fin(n)ish this post.
If you like, you can think of this as post 99A (rather than 100) – but it seemed a pity to turn down the chance to blog from across the Baltic. Fear not, my brain is fizzing with bad ideas for a video post – it will come…