My first six weeks as head of Finn-Guild, the Finnish British cultural association have been – to say the least – hectic. This is partly due to my desire to run before I can walk, but also due to the timing our AGM, the biggest event in the Finn-Guild members and volunteers’ calendar, which took place yesterday.
The preparations for the event aside, I was quite worried about my speech to the members (I can admit this now). I was appointed to develop the organisation, and this was my first chance to tell the wider membership what my plans were. As it was, my ideas were very well received (phew) and the day itself, as well as the evening before, where I met some newly recruited and ‘old’ representatives of the regions in the UK and Finland, was excellent.
We had a record crowd – over 70 people gathered in the hall at the Finnish Seamen’s Mission in Rotherhithe. Many people commented on the positive and enthusiastic atmosphere that prevailed during the day. Finn-Guild is lucky to be supported by the Finnish Church in various ways, and we were even graced by the presence of The Finnish Ambassador, Mr Pekka and Mrs Liisa Huhtaniemi.
|Finnish Ambassdor to the UK, Pekka Huhtaniemi,
making an after-dinner speech.
There were also representatives from Guild Travel, Finnish Expatriate Parliament, many Finnish Saturday Schools in the UK, many members of our Friendship Network, as well as some of the other Scandinavian organisations, and Finland Society from Helsinki.
I had also recruited The Englishman to do a comedy routine on his views of Finland, which got an raucous reception, so all in all the day was a huge success.
Of course, this being a Finnish event, many of us carried on the discussion late into the night in the oldest pub by the River Thames, The Mayflower.
I think there might have been a few sore heads around this morning, because mine certainly was, which is why the Englishman and I decided to go and have the best hungover cure there is: Turkish food at the Green Lanes in London N4.
Son and Daughter-in-Law who know this area well, recommended a new (to us) place called Gökyuzu, and boy was it excellent. Hugely busy, we were lucky to have a table at the back. My brain being a little tired, I asked Son do the ordering. He went for a Mezze and a Charcoal Grill Platter to share. The meal was supposed to be for 2-3 people, but the four of us struggled to eat the grilled lamb and chicken in various forms with cracked wheat, rice and grilled peppers and tomatoes. The flat bread that all the Turkish restaurants excel in at Green Lanes was equally delicious here, and as usual I had too much of it with the Mezze starters, leaving little room for the main meat dish.
|The staff at Gökyuzu were incredibly friendly.|
Now all I want to do is lie down on the sofa and fall asleep….