Friday 20.6.2014 – Finnish Evening, midsummer night
During the week I had realized again that if your title is “webmaster” in the competition, people will come to you if the wi-fi doesn’t work properly. After explaining several times to people that I am only website designer, not internet connection guru, I might have forgotten the smile from my face and answering too harshly to people. So this is my way to apologize.
Also during Wednesday-Thursday I spent wondering the Finnish Evening, which we were going to have on Friday, which also was the Midsummer Eve. I don’t know did I volunteer accidentally, or if everybody else were so busy that they hoped that “someone else” would take care of the party. Anyway I ended up talking about the arrangements with Jukka Rastas (the president of Nuorisoilmailijat aviation club) and Tanja and Teemu from Cafe26.
Luckily Teemu and Tanja are professionals and only thing we had to decide with Jukka was the menu and the schedule. Well, even I’ve arranged several parties with my friends, aero club Christmas parties and feasts, I still hadn’t arranged party for 300+ people. I ended up sending some SMS messages to Jukka around 5 o’clock in the morning saying “Hopefully I won’t wake you up, but something came up to my mind…”. Well, it didn’t take that many minutes when I got his reply which started with almost same words as my message “I am also up at this time of the night…”. Jukka bought all necessary items which we didn’t already have for the Finnish evening. I was surprised how many helpers and “helper’s helpers” was volunteering to set up the party, also Finnish Gliding Team was a big help giving out the salmon soup, the beer, sausages and ice cream. And of course they we’re doing that, as it was – after all – Finnish evening.
Soup, sausages and Koskenkorva
To tell you something about the meetings we had during the spring time: We were wondering would it be any good idea to arrange the Finnish evening this early, I mean before the official competition was even started. But as Friday 20th was the Midsummer Eve this year, the main public holiday and party during the summer, we thought nothing would be more Finnish than to eat salmon soup, sausages, drink Koskenkorva (vodka) and see the bonfire at midnight.
I have to pay my tribute to Antti Lehto’s daughter Johanna and her friend, as they were responsible of making the salmon soup. Ingredients were prepared for them, but they didn’t have normal pots an pans and stove, but a soup cannon instead. I understood that both of them are somehow involved with studies of culinary/cooking (you know what I mean). And here I was telling to these girls at their early 20’s: Hello girls, thank you for helping us to make the salmon soup. You will be making the soup with this soup cannon (from Swedish army). They didn’t even blink their eyes or ran away yelling and screaming – like I would have done on my 20’s – instead they rolled up their sleeves and asked if someone could start the fire under the soup cannon for them. The soup was delicious and rumours tells me that Janusz C from Poland didn’t have seconds but thirds as well. (hopefully I am writing that correctly) Perhaps we have to give him the recipe so he can make salmon soup at home as well.
Party went well, people had to queue for a while to get sausages, but they got soup and Koskenkorva-vodka quite fast, as those were given to everybody when they arrived to the hangar.
But my night didn’t end that well. It went well first…I went to the bonfire at midnight, had a glass of red wine with Vicky (steward Terry’s wife) and talked with several people, serious stuff about marital law and some nonsense of course. At one point, which was too late, I realized that I was only one awake from the organization and all pilots had gone as well. So I decided to fetch my bike and go to bed and I should do it now. It was easier said than done.
Imagine the feeling that you are looking for your bike in the middle of the night and feeling a bit “tipsy”. But you can’t find your bike where you left it or nearby even. I had to walk few kilometres from the lake Särkijärvi (RWY 12 finish) to my caravan. Luckily our night guard Pentti picked me up and gave me a lift. I didn’t see my bike on my way to the caravan, and that meant one sleepless night, because my black-yellow “Jopo”-bike is close to my heart as I painted it myself and I’ve basically grown up having it, as I got it when I was 17. I was afraid that I’ve lost it forever.
I tested the power of the social media and sent immediately photo of my bike to the facebook pages of the WGC2014, Räyskälä airfield and Räyskälä village.
On Saturday morning I got good news :-) Mateusz Jedral, the Polish team captain saw me standing in the hangar when briefing ended and he came to me. He told me that he has found a bike from the bush at army area. Then he said that it is the same black and yellow bike which was on the picture on facebook. I told him that it is my bike, and we went immediately to get it. There the poor thing was, lying in the bush, muddy and like it had been beaten up.
A bit of washing and tender loving care (oil etc.) and the bike was on road again.
By the way, several years later when we had bonfire again at the same place at the airfield, someone’s wallet was found from the ashes on following day. The wallet belong to someone from WGC2014!