Monday, January 23


Helsinki, for work.  Mikko and I have drinks at Hotel Kämp and, I learn, he and his girlfriend have bought a house.  Usually, as in usually in the UK or the US, one might get married first but "it is perfectly normal" in Finland for couples to extend their relationship into financial obligations before they tie the knot.  It is one of the many things I love about here : despite being a tiny inter-linked community there are freedoms quite different from elsewhere. It is also impossible to get decaffeinated coffee.

Mikko and the city a-buzzing about the Guggenheim's recent decision to build a museum on the Helsinki waterfront (estimated cost: €140M).  The city chosen for its tradition in art and design and its plans to develop the harbour properties. Otherwise, surprisingly, Helsinki lacks a significant modern art collection. The architect has yet to be chosen but I vote for Renzo Piano.