It's amazing how much stuff people have and how much they are ready to lend you, even without asking. I didn't really expect it as Helsinki people have made a virtue out of necessity and live in small spaces, like so many who want to live in city centres. As a result, and with many thanks, we've furnished a one-bedroom flat with minimum stuff, cost and hassle. Also very much thanks to mum, sister, brother-in-law and friends for lugging said stuff around. Early February I'm writing this on a passenger ferry to Suomenlinna, an 18th century army base, fortress and now UNESCO world heritage site. Tonight one of its halls will host a party of Scots and their Finnish friends and family . A Burn's supper with poetry and haggis. Really looking forward to it, and not just because I'm starving. We're rumbling along in the ice that covers Helsinki shorelines. My sister has just mused over a cup of coffee that this would be a good time to go walking on sea ice.