How old is the school?

I don’t know exactly. The site has been “separated” (I don’t know this legal term in English. What is “erottaa tontti” in English?) in 1924. There are, however, some other, contradictionary clues to the age of the building. There’s a writing on the wall at one place: “This is going to be a fine school, 1910″ and the signature of the builder. But we found a board where it has a year 1906 on it. But the oldest piece of goods found in the house was a piece of newspaper from year 1886 which I found a couple of weeks ago in the floor’s insulation moss. But it could be that the paper was old already when it got among the moss. Here’s the picture of the paper.

The newspaper from 1886

The paper is called Suometar (Lady Finn or Ms. Finn or Virgin Finn – Female Finn, you get the idea?). There’s at least a story of a Finn who died abroad in a steam ship’s explosion. I’ve found other paper’s, too. On top of the moss there’s a layer of cutter chips (also a common insulation material) and among it I’ve found several papers from the late 40’s, just after the war. My favorite stories in these papers are the small ads sections. There was one ad where a man had “forgotten” a shotgun in a train and promised a reward for the one who would return the gun. Who just “forgets” a shotgun in a train? I suspect that he was a bit drunk, dozed off and woke up at the station, ran off the train and THEN realized he had forgotten the gun. You see people like that on the trains all the time nowadays, too. Maybe without guns, though.

There was also an ad where a reward was promised for a missing white cat who ran away in a park. After you read this kind of ad, you become immediately worried. This was probably an old lonely lady who’s tired of the war and whose relatives are dead. Her only comfort is a that cat. She’s poor but still she spent a large sum of money to place an ad to find her cat. Did she find the cat? I hope so. It amazes me how people, after having to fear for themselves, their relatives and their country men for many years in the war, still have strenght to worry about their cats.

That’s just one example of layers I’ve found in the house. The cutter chips were added when the floor was renovated in the late 40’s. It seems that the school has undergone a big renovation then. The roof tiles, for example, have been laid on newspapers when they were cast. So, you can see text behind the tiles. I found a year from one of the tiles and that was from the late 40’s, too. Under the tiles there’s an old roofing felt, apparently older than the tiles.

My wife just kindly hinted me that I should write something of her too. Well, she’s a nice person, very beautiful and I love her a lot. She’s a teacher at a children’s art school here in Oulu, Finland.


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