Saturday, June 04, 2005

Good news; Flea market tour, pt. 2

I read from today's newspaper that the funds for writers from Suomen tietokirjailijat (The Finnish Non-Fiction Writers) were announced. Even though the names of all the recipients were not mentioned in the paper, I thought that I didn't get anything, since I hadn't been told in a letter. I rushed to open the computer and went to their website. And there I was - I've been given 2500 euros for writing the book on cinema for children. This saves our Fall - another two months to live...

I should also mention that Ville H. got his share, too. Congratulations!


We were on a two-day flea market tour with Tero and Susanna. Kauto was with his grandparents and seemed very happy about it. We went to Kangasala, Orivesi and Jämsä on Thursday and (without Elina) to Toijala and Valkeakoski on Friday. These are small places in Häme, the middle of Finland. The weather was good, so we had a nice trip.

As usual, the charity stores were more interesting than the bazaars. For some reason I haven't been able to fathom, there's more ephemeral and obscure stuff in charity stores run by the church or other organizations than in the bazaars where people can sell their own stuff and are run by some individual entrepreneur.

For example, in Toijala, which is a rather scrubby small town near Tampere, I found Japanese chopstick holders for children from the early eighties - nice colourful plastic, with figures out of Japanese animation. I haven't seen these anywhere in Finland before - as a matter of fact, I hadn't even known they exist. (They must be popular in Japan.) But there they were, in the cellar (!) of the Toijala parish's flea market. Also some children's textiles were pretty amazing at the same flea market (I really must learn how to post pictures here). The bazaars really let us down after that. One in Valkeakoski was like stepping into a new hospital: white, bare walls, too much light, very clinical. (The only thing of interest was a porn paperback from the eighties, part of the series called "Memoirs of the White Slaver". I didn't buy it, though.)

Maybe it's because people think this kind of weird stuff couldn't be worth selling and bringing to the bazaars. But then again, they seem to think that worn-out T-shirts are worth selling. And clothes that were fashionable five years ago, but couldn't really seem more out of date.

As for books, I got some, but nothing very interesting. On the paperback side, I got these:

Delmar Jackson: The Night Is My Undoing (aka The Cut of the Ax), Popular Library 1954 (the first edition was a hardback in 1953): the popular girl of a small town run by a racketeer is murdered
Henry Klinger: Essence of Murder, Permabooks 1963: a police novel, with an Israeli detective Shomri Shomar

Anyone read these? Bill? James? These came from a very large bazaar in Jämsä. Jämsä seemed quite a pretty town, with a small river flowing through. Some nice fifties' and sixties' buildings scattered around the center, with quite a lot of people going about. I kind of like these small towns - but I'm not really sure how long I could live in them. Jämsä had also a second hand book store which I checked in haste. And came out with one book: "The Mad Scientist Affair", by John T. Phillifent. It's from the Man from U.N.C.L.E. series. I already started reading it. Pure hokum, but fast-moving.

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