The British Embassy in Helsinki, the Residence We got an invitation to the official birthday celebrations of Her Majesty the Queen which took place yesterday. The theme of the reception was London, with a special look ahead to the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012.
Mieheni ja minä olimme eilen Britannian Suurlähetystön vuotuisella vastaantotolla Kuningattaren syntymäpäivän kunniaksi. Kutsut kestävät aina kaksi tuntia. Aloitimme tuossa rakennuksessa ja siirryimme siitä puutarhaan. Samat ammattitaitoiset pitopalveluihmiset kuin ennenkin tarjoilivat tarjottimilta drinkkejä ja fingerfood. Vanhaan tapaan ulkoteltassa oli tarjolla hienoja juustoja ja mansikoita.
A great spread again. Fine cheeses, wine, Pimms, soft drinks and STRAWBERRIES. Finnish strawberries, out of this world. The waiters navigated skilfully between crowds of people, which didn't seem to be quite as big crowds as they used to be, and served us little finger sandwiches and chicken on a cocktail stick.
Even better than the food, was the atmosphere in the lovely garden amongst all those people. The weather was just right, not too hot, not too chilly. We were happy to meet some extraordinary people. First the Indian Ambassador and his beautiful wife. Talking with them proved that small talk doesn't have to be just idle chit chat. We talked about the origin of languages, similarities between Japanese and Finnish people and the history of India.
Then a British couple came to greet the Indian couple. Small world - they had met each other a week ago at another reception. And now my husband and I got to meet these two Brits, Debbie and Lyndsay. (Hope I spelt his name correctly.) What delightful people they were! They have been in Finland for 8 years and nobody told me! Well, better late than never. She is the principal of International School in Ruoholahti, and he works for Nokia. We also met one teacher from the said school, Sally, who has been here a year.
Before we left, there was still time to talk to two more interesting people, a language teacher from Hanken, Swedish School of Economics, Ulla. Obviously, a very gifted individual. One can tell, only after talking for a short period of time. And finally, the grand finale, for me the high point of any occasion is to meet someone from Persia, and in fact that is exactly what happened. I recognised Alexis, whom I had met briefly a year ago at that same garden party. He is the editor-in-chief of Helsinki Times. So I asked: "Shoma chetorid?" Hah hah.
What a marvellous time we had! Can't wait for next year.
Paikallisia kuuluisuuksia oli paikalla. Pyörätuolikelauksen mestari, (nimeltään kai Tähti), hiihtäjä Juha Mieto, presidentti Ahtisaari, muutamia mainitakseni.
Suurlähetystössä ei saa valokuvata, joten minun piti tyytyä ottamaan kuvia Helsingistä. Ylempi kuva on Aleksanterinkadulta, alempi merenrannasta lähellä suurlähestystöä.
We are not allowed to take pictures in the Embassy, so I just took some shots in Helsinki. Aleksanterinkatu, "Street of Alexander" in the centre and a promenade by the sea near the Embassy.