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On a ship crossing the Baltic Sea, from Stockholm to Helsinki

Today is Equinox Day, the on which wherever you are in the world, whether you’re in the arctic circle or on the equator, the day is as long as the night. Perhaps today should be made an international holiday in which the peoples of the world celebrate their equality in environmental brotherhood (and sisterhood).

I’m on the boat going from Stockholm to Helsinki. It’s just got dark outside. The Swedish time is 18:28. Finnish time is 19:28. Since I’m travelling East, towards the rising sun, my night will actually be shorter than my day was today and will be tomorrow, but not by much.

I’m sharing a cabin with 3 others. It’s the cheapest way to do this trip. It was a bit cramped in there earlier as I met two of them. I left when the last one arrived. One, in his thirties, is from St. Petersburg and is heading back there. The other, in his fifties or sixties, is a Finn living in Sweden. He didn’t understand St Petersburg when the Russian first said it. Not until the Russian said Leningrad. Ahh. I was there in 1974, he said, when it was really hard to get in there. I’d been saying how I’d had trouble getting a Russian visa. It;s all political, the Russian said. For me to come to Europe is difficult, though Sweden is not so bad, but for me to go to America is almost impossible. But even I had trouble getting in to America, I said, and my country is supposed to be best friends with Yankeeland.

When I checked in at the ferry terminal a while ago the woman behind the glass almost smiled and said I’ll let you have a cabin to yourself, so I was a bit surprised to find two other people in it when I got there. It is very cheap though. Only 260 SEk (£20) for an overnight crossing, but I think the boat makes its money on the stuff it sells. I’m going to have to eat in a minute and food is very expensive, plus there’s a casino on board, and a shopping mall. It’s like a floating city. I’m now in one of the bars drinking a pint of Bishops Finger.

It’s my birthday today. I’m 41. I think I spotted a new tuft of grey hair in the mirrored left just now.