To The Finland...
.. cable factory.
On the way, my fellow Magneteer and I flew over last Sunday's breakfast spot - Felixstowe Ferry (it's down there somewhere) - and headed out over the North Sea to Helsinki. Finnair have a refreshingly civilised approach to air travel; there was bags of leg-room, a moving map to show us where we were and on this two and a half hour flight, a welcome absence of airline food, no inducements to contribute to charitable causes and no Duty Free offers. We were left in peace.
An hour or so's drive West from Helsinki is Pikkala, home to the Prysmian cable factory. The countryside here is, in comparison with the other parts of Scandinavia I've been lucky enough to visit, fairly unremarkable; lots of woodland and rolling hills punctuated by outcrops of rock.
A few kilometres to the north of Pikkala was our hotel and, if we'd poled up in the Consul's Rolls Royce I mentioned a week or two ago, you might have been forgiven for imagining that an episode of 'Thunderbirds' was being filmed. The hotel dining room was a work of art - pure retro - though there was nothing dated (so to speak) about the food - delicious salads and perfectly cooked vegetables (magnetising is always an excellent opportunity to detox) and everything you'd expect from a spa hotel devoted to healthy living. There were other little touches in the corridors that continued the retro theme...
One of the stranger features of this part of Finland is the way smoke behaves. My investigations have revealed that the proximity of late orogenic granites in the geology of this coastal region has an influence on airborne particulates (a phenomenon known as 'Gnikoms On' after the Nobel Prize Winner, Eemili Gnikoms) which causes the products of combustion to descend rather than what you'd expect. The phrase 'going up in smoke' is met with blank looks in this part of the world.
Our magnetising equipment was made ready as the sun set...
... and the working lights came on, on board the BoDo Constructor - a cable-laying barge operating in the Baltic sea. It fell to me to take the night-shift so I was able to capture the scene as the sun came up again in the morning.
Word has it that we have been lucky with the weather on this trip; sunshine and temperatures nudging the low 20's are a rare occurrence at the end of August.
Before I left, I looked in on the Lotus Europa - the rear suspension is taking shape and soon the car should be on its wheels again. The apparent delicacy of some of the components is remarkable considering the pounding that a car's suspension takes in the course of its life. It's a lovely bit of work.
Won't be long before it's finished.