To The Finland Factory II
I was rostered to work in Karlskrona in Sweden, but at the last minute the trip was cancelled.
This gave me a window that, naturally, I filled with good intentions - not many of which came to fruition. I remembered that the Special's spare wheel had to be accommodated and fortunately the body line I'd mapped out with the square tube allowed the wheel to be tucked in above the fuel tank. A plywood floor will go in first, though the gap between that and the sender is tight.
The spray lacquer that I used on the aluminium bookends was surprisingly successful. I tried it out on the yet-to-be-altered cabin air intake and was impressed by the smoothness of the finish. I think I'll be using this on all the aluminium, even the dash binnacle.
A call to arms put me and my fellow magneteer on a flight to Helsinki. We had 132km of inter-array cable to magnetise and load onto the Cable Enterprise which was steaming towards the Prysmian factory in Pikkala from Nordenham in Germany.
I've been in Pikkala, sitting in a tent on the end of the pier when the temperature has been -26℃, so +20℃ was a welcome change. Cormorants, Herons, Terns and all manner of coastal wildlife are our entertainment.
Our hotel is in Espoo, a suburb of Helsinki. Shorefront properties have a Lloyd-Wright feel to them and are no doubt expensive. The area is provided with leafy walkways and few signs of an underculture are evident.
The ship was delayed which gave me a day to explore. Getting on the Metro - conveniently placed next to our hotel - I took myself off to the centre of Helsinki to revisit the Ateneum Museum - part of the Finnish National Gallery complex, and as I had time, the National Museum of Finland, which tells the story of the country.
I was lucky that a retrospective of Albert Edelfelt's work had just begun. Edelfelt is recognised as one of Finland's pre-eminent 19thC artists. Born in 1854, when Finland was an autonomous duchy of the Russian Empire, he died at the age of 51, twelve years before the country declared independence in 1917. His portrait of Louis Pasteur, painted in 1885 was the most celebrated work of his career. A selection of his and some favourites from the gallery will be in my next entry.
Moving on to Finland's National Museum, I passed the parliament building - an imposing and dour edifice, most of which I couldn't fit in the frame.
The museum was devoted to the history of the landmass now known as Finland and included an extraordinary collection of ancient artifacts, none of which I could successfully record because it was all so dimly lit. A shame; there was some wonderful artisanal gold and silver work.