18 June 2018
It is Ian’s birthday today and he is an epic 55 years old. We are both a bit alarmed by this!! But he’s had a great day, and hopefully is feeling well-loved. He should… I even lent him my laptop so he could watch the England game and have a beer!
After opening birthday cards, I was out first for my run, following an initial misunderstanding that Ian was going out first. I sat around, randomly making a gorilla mask with Cornelia, quietly muttering to myself that I couldn’t understand why it was taking him so long to go for his run, and why was he just pottering around, before he asked me when I was going to go… we quickly realised that we each thought the other was going first! Anyway, mumbling and pottering aside, off I went!
It is possible to run around the whole of this little island, I think, but today’s run took me along a pointless rocky outcrop which jutted out into the sea. When I saw it on the map, I thought “Oh, great, I can run all the way out here”, but the reality was, it was teeming with mosquitoes and midges, and was completely un-runnable, due to the sharp angled rocks sticking out. I did it anyway, and resigned myself to a slightly shorter run than planned. I’ll do the longer one tomorrow.
Thankfully, I had sprayed myself with Jungle Formula, so I didn’t get bitten by any mosquitoes, but that didn’t stop them from covering my legs as they stuck to the spray. Eurgh!
When I returned, Ian was ready for his run. I thought he’d run around the island, and certainly today of all days, he could’ve taken as long as he wanted, but he reappeared after about half an hour, having enjoying his route around the coastline. Cornelia and I were busy playing Number Snap, which she’d set up whilst I was in the shower.
Cornelia was keen to get out on her bicycle, and we had laundry to do, so after we’d both showered, we went to figure out the washing machine on the campsite, which seemed simple enough. I left them to it, and headed off to the supermarket to get the usual essentials, and see if I could find a chocolate cake. Success! However, I’d bought far too much stuff to fit in my rucksack and after several attempts to repack, I had to abandon my shopping and head back into the supermarket to buy another little rucksack… (Actually, this wasn’t the worst thing in the world, as just that morning, Cornelia had asked if she had a little backpack for her to use, and she didn’t, so it was perfect timing really.)
And so, I cycled back, a most peculiar route, as my sense of direction seems to have completely disappeared since I’ve been in this part of Finland! I had absolutely no idea where the sea was at all, and it was pure luck I made it back in reasonable time, especially with a heavy rucksack on my back and one hanging off my arm!
They were both still at the launderette, so I dropped off the shopping and went down to meet them, and then, the most glorious thing happened…. Cornelia managed to start herself off on her bike, without any help from Ian!!! I couldn’t believe it! Just felt ridiculously proud of her, and she didn’t stop telling me the whole way to the lodge how much she loved stopping and starting now. This feels like a mega-milestone, given that she was screaming at Ian only a week ago, for him to hold on to her and not let her go. And bless her, she even said to me “Mummy, I feel really proud of myself.” I could’ve wept!
She wanted to carry on cycling, so (little rucksack packed and on her back) off we went to the campsite restaurant on the beach for a late lunch. It was incredibly windy – the weather is about to turn after 40+ days of warm sunshine – so we decided to sit inside, and this was definitely the right choice. The sand was whipped up from the beach and was covering anyone who was out walking. There was one young family playing in the sea, so I may have to test it out with Bugsy tomorrow, if it’s not pouring with rain.
Cornelia is coming out with most hilarious comments at the moment. At lunch earlier, she spotted a man at another table and said loudly “Doesn’t that man have a fancy beard?” followed by “It’s quite unusual, isn’t it?!” He was absorbed in his laptop and either didn’t hear or doesn’t speak English, so all was well!
When we returned to the house, it was cake time, so we lit the citronella candle and sang Happy Birthday to Daddy, who dutifully blew it out and looked suitably pleased with his cake. Cornelia stuffed her slice in her mouth, gulping it down with milk, before asking for more cake. No chance!
I realised I’d forgotten a couple of bits at the supermarket (which is hard to believe, considering the amount I’d already ferried home!), so we all went off on the bikes together, Bugsy this time on the back of Ian’s bike, much to her disappointment. They had little toddler trollies at the shop, so she whizzed hers around the aisles, getting herself into a pickle twice: the first when she pushed the trolley and let go, so it flew into a man standing at the cheeses; and the second when she decided to balance on the back of the trolley, only to have it tip up on top of her, so she landed on the floor, with it on top of her. On both occasions, she was quite upset that she’d done something silly, so apart from asking her to apologise to the man she’d hit (which she did), I had to explain to her that it’s okay to make mistakes and that it’s all part of learning. She sees me do silly things all the time! (Haha, maybe that’s what is making her upset… “I don’t want to be like HER!!!”)
Once we were home, it was time to make Cornelia’s tea, which tonight was scrambled egg on toast. She loves making this, and it’s great that she can do so much of it (crack and whisk the eggs, and butter her toast), as it means that she eats it all, because she made it! Tonight was no exception, and she finished off with a couple of yoghurts too. I honestly don’t know where she puts it all, but at least she’s burning it all off too!
After Cornelia’s shower, we chatted to Nanny Enid and then it was time to get her to bed. She was a tiny bit hyperactive, but she has settled herself nicely (after huffing and puffing and sighing to herself for a bit!), and I prepared tea for me and Ian. Nothing special – just a salad was all we had room for.
I set my laptop up for Ian to watch the football, and he’s been plugged into that all evening!
It’s really weird with the late night sun, and unless the curtains are closed, you can get really fooled by the actual time. As I finish this blog, it’s 23:51 and this final photo for today shows that it is still daylight outside!