Hello World

Yes, I know I have been neglecting you. It’s not my fault that I am having too much fun, honest. The Finns kidnapped me and dragged me here, you know.

Anyway, last night we hired the local cinema and gave ourselves a showing of Iron Sky. I’ll try to write something more formal about it later, but for now suffice it to say that it both demonstrates that film making is much more complicated than it might look, and that Timo and his crew are far better than they have any right to be given the resources at their disposal.

This morning’s program item was a trip to the local chocolatier. Unlike at the Jersey SMOFcons, Åcon’s source of fine chocolate is a substantial drive away. In fact it is technically on a different island, albeit one connected to the one on which Mariehamn sits by a road bridge. We hired a bus. The chocolatiery (if there is such a word, because “chocolate factory” sounds way too industrial) is located in the old post office established by the Russians when they conquered Finland in the early 19th Century. Åland was a vital link on the post route from Sweden to St.Petersburg.

None of that, of course, has anything to do with chocolate. The present day owners of the building, Peter and Mercedes, have less dangerous and more delicious, if perhaps less necessary work to perform. Mercedes is from Venezuela, and is one of those amazing people who can talk about cocao in the same way that expert vintners talk about grapes. We had a tasting of different types of chocolate. Then we sampled some of her pralines. I died and went to heaven.

Unfortunately the Finns want me to do some program items later in the weekend, so they resurrected me and brought me back to the hotel.

Cat has done a fine Guest of Honor interview. We crashed the hotel’s wifi network, presumably through overuse.

Now it is getting on towards evening. I have persuaded Otto & Paula to take me in search of Baltic sushi. There will be herring, and perch, and eel, and hopefully other interesting fishy delights.

Talking of fish, Aloysius the squid is enjoying his visit to the Far North. He says that the Baltic is a nice little pond, but not deep enough to have food in it. Somehow I don’t think the sushi bar will have sperm whale on the menu.

Also I have been conspiring with Kisu and Karo about the Finncon program. And if all goes well the Translation Awards short lists will be announced tomorrow evening.

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