Monday 1 July 2013

EKI Takes a Vacation. I hope.

Image by Bamsemums /
1 July.  A week after Midsummer - the drinkingest day in the year in Finland. The date that everyone leaves town for a hut in the woods. Or an island. Or a boat trip on the Baltic. Or somewhere where they can blow off steam and have fun. That is everyone except a skeleton crew left in the cities who take care of tourists and a few unlucky people who have to work. I hope Eki has left his computer (and all those fires he puts out) and takes a rest. Rides his bicycle. Takes Riikka for a second honeymoon. The thing is, unless you live in Finland (all of Scandinavia really) you can not understand what all the fuss is about. Light has a lot to do with the frenzy. Because after summer solstice - the longest day of the year (in Lapland it's light 24/7) it begins to get a little darker every day.

The first year I was in Finland I wondered what all the fuss was about. When my sister-in-law said in August that Christmas was not that far off I thought she was crazy.  I soon learned that she had a point. But what a life for six weeks (the amount of vacation time most Finns get). Known for being silent and serious, people become jolly, party-going and giving. Lighting huge bonfires. Dancing. Singing.  Eating (especially crayfish by the dozen). It's positively pagan. Finns came late-in-life to Christianity and it shows up during Midsummer and Christmas. They throw off all restraint and have a blast.

Eki usually goes to the island that his parents established to do genetic research. He tells me it's all work and no fooling around. But I wonder if with night falling around eleven pm he doesn't get out his guitar and start strumming. I was in Chicago on 24 June. We had dinner at one of those serious restaurants that had 25 cooks in the kitchen, two dozen waiters and 29 courses. No one raised a toast to the beginning of summer.  It was fun, but I missed the what-the-hell freedom of good old Finnish midsummer madness.

Q. You're far away from Finland. Are you working on a new project?

A. Eki and I had so much fun making "@Tiny Ton of Trouble" we decided to make another music video: "Gettin' Old Ain't Easy."  Stay posted.

Next month: "Happy Birthday to YOU" and here's the bill

Note from Eki: Unfortunately, i'm still working, though it's rather laid back because everyone else is on vacation. I'll take two weeks off though, starting mid-month. Not six weeks, but better than nothing.