It doesn’t happen often, but on rare occasions I wander into a shop intending to spend more than 5 euros. In the past couple of years there has been a camera, a new phone and a fair amount of travel and outdoor gear, and I have noticed that all of those shopping experiences have one thing in common – I have largely served myself.

Local stalwart soon celebrating 40 years of serving tastes a la Española.

PARRILLA ESPAÑOLA has offered exquisite Spanish quality food in Helsinki since 1973. This fruitful family business has been delighting palates for four generations. The story began when current owner Mika Kavekari’s grandfather owned Hotel Torni up until 1972. His pioneer spirit and ideas made him establish, among other restaurants, the very first Spanish Restaurant in Finland, Parrilla Española de Torni. After HOK Elanto bought the hotel he decided to open a new Spanish restaurant in the city. Thus Parrilla Española, situated in Eerikinkatu, was born.

According to my TV guide, there are at least five programmes showing on TV this week that feature Finnish celebrities, and another six featuring those from the USA. No doubt you have seen a couple of these shows – so-called celebrities cooking dinners for each other, ice skating, diving into swimming pools or even cleaning up someone’s summer cottage.

They are sad, desperate television from producers devoid of either the money or imagination to make anything more inspired.

Finland’s original Korean restaurant.

The best way to familiarise yourself with Korean culture in Helsinki is actually not by stumbling into the South Korean embassy to Finland unannounced, but to step into the Korea House restaurant found within the aesthetically pleasing Kruununhaka neighbourhood.

After descending half a level of stairs, two figures dressed in the traditional ‘hanbok’ dress welcome me in, and if it’s not enough to set the mood, some soothing, melodic music soon becomes detectable in the background.

Yle reported recently that Finnish schools may require as much as one billion euros to rid themselves of mould, with 200 million euros required urgently. Thus far, parliament has budgeted only some 35 million euros. Schools will simply have to wait.

Meanwhile, children and teachers alike struggle with breathing difficulties and asthma, rashes, coughs and headaches. Returning after summer breaks, many children reported symptoms which had lapsed were now more severe than ever.