I was expecting to be far more nostalgic about seeing Helsinki again after nine months away. It’s by far the longest time I’ve been absent from my city since 2001. There are changes here and there- most excitingly perhaps a bespoke shoemaker has opened a workshop near Kamppi. Good thing I’ve been too busy to start thinking about hand-made brogues…
In the months away I’ve found that the things I have missed most are the building regulations (actual insulation!! Plumbing!! oh, the plumbing!!), and the decent network coverage. But those are the barest shadow of a flicker of a loss in comparison to the people I have missed.
I came here to shoot video for my new online Longsword course, which went very well, and to teach a seminar for the Helsinki branch of the school, which went even better. But these were really just excuses and means to pay for seeing my chosen extended family. I didn’t get to see everyone (even my godson was forsaken, now that he lives in Hameenlinna— next trip, Otso, I promise), but I did get to spend proper, unbroken one-on-one hours with most of my closest friends, and saw several others in a less concentrated way at the school party on Saturday.
The great advantage to a flying visit like this is that there is no re-scheduling for next week, next month— it’s now or maybe never. So apart from the four full days of working time, I spent almost all my waking hours just catching up with people I love. And, given that I spent my working time with some of my longest-serving students, people I have clocked hundreds or even thousands of hours of training time with, well, that counts too.
If I didn’t see you this trip (Otso, Topi, Heli, Jari, Tanda, y’all know who you are), then a) bug the SHMS about organising another seminar so I just have to come back, and b) drop me a line to let me know how deeply offended you are that I didn’t see you this time, so I’ll be sure to arrange something with you next time.
Or just get on a goddamn plane to London!
They’re calling my flight; time to go.