Monday, 16 April 2007

Does the sun always shine in Tampere?

A bright monday morning here in Tampere. Come to think of it, every day has been bright so far - I appear to have come to Finland whilst they are in the middle of a mini-heatwave.

Today I wake up with:

  • a bit of a hangover

  • a cold

  • toothache

  • slight sunburn from yesterday in Helsinki. Do I have to move to somewhere like Tromso in order to escape the effects of the sun? today will be a recovery day to complete clothes shopping (hoping that Tampere has a good range of clothes for overweight 38 year old men), rehydrate and fill up on caffeine. 

The hangover? Last night I made the startling discovery that the Finns are great drinkers of ... cider(!). On a bit of a bar crawl, found myself in one place that sold Black Rat (amongst other ciders) which caused me to do a double-take. "The Rat" is a particular kind of cider that isn't available in Scotland. Most ciders aren't available, as they are widely deemed as "wussy"* and excessive consumption doesn't make you either a) want to fight someone or b) miserable, but that's something for another day.

So in a bar in a side-street of Tampere I worked my way through a selection of their cider list, making a mental note to return to go through their rather excellent selection of Belgian beers. I could very much be at home here. 

It's also refreshing to be away from the nastiness of the Scottish parliament election campaigns, which seems to be more about who can throw the most mud at their opponents. Policies and the future of Scotland seem to have got lost a long while back.

Anyway, tonight is the pre-conference get together with Professor Badger and his team. I look forward to trying the local delicacy, which appears to be a variation of black pudding, but made with cow's blood. Ah, sounds like a typical Lewis dining experience.

Today's Finnish word. Auringossa palanut is Finnish for sunburnt

[* = Observation stolen from another blog comment: The late Hamish Imlach once commented - accurately - that in the West of Scotland any man who would rather make love to a woman than drink a pint was clearly a homosexual.]


  1. I've never found a cider that I like. Most of it has a vomit aftertaste, especially Magners. Gross.

  2. What Scottish election? All we're hearing about is Kate and Wills!