Tove Jansson came from Finland. Let’s be quite clear on that. The reason why some of you believe she came from Sweden, is that she’s a Swedish speaking Finn. Swedish name, wrote in Swedish, but a Finn. Tove’s niece is here. So’s her biographer, Boel Westin, who’s just had a biography of Tove Jansson published. It’s called Ord, Bild, Liv, which means Words, Pictures, Life. The Finnish bookshops here have a lot of Tove Jansson books on offer; mainly Moomins, but also on Tove’s art and other books.
After nearly slicing my finger off with the breadknife at breakfast, and then running for the tram (not recommended for very old witches),it was a great relief to bypass the massive weekend morning queues and go straight in. You too could do that, with a “foreigner’s” half price four day all inclusive ticket. Makes a person feel less like a nobody. And then it’s very nice to sink down and rest in the comfortable chairs in the lecture halls. The main danger is falling asleep in them. And I don’t know what Jeanette Winterson was thinking when she said how awful the lecture hall was. Don’t ask her back.
I skipped my first morning lecture with Simon Sebag Montefiore talking about Stalin. I realised I had no interest in him or his book, and I only liked his interviewer, Peter Whitebrook. He is always good. I was rewarded when I saw him somewhere else later on.
Sunday turned out quieter than expected. The away-from-it-all areas are nice and restful, and I’m writing on the curved sofa with limegreen and black diagonal striped back and black seat with cream spots. Just as nice as it sounds… I’m using this year’s notebook with the mermaid cover and writing with the silver mermaid pen. Of the other freebies I gave away both the apple and the packet of chocolate muffins.
Before catching the plane home there was just time for a talk on music; more specifically about one of the most popular songwriters of all time in Sweden, Evert Taube. His son Sven-Bertil was there, ready to sing to an adoring audience. I had heard the joke about his father before, but it’s a good one.