I spent my first years upstairs in my grandparents' semi-detached house in Lahti, after which I lived with my parents in a house of our own for almost a year. There were lots of children of my age living nearby, with whom I ran in the forest, skied, lit bonfires, played doctor... The house had its drawbacks, and when one day a person came to ask if we we'd like to sell, my mother immediately said yes. As a result, we had to move to a garden annex, while my father built us a new house, which in a way is still my home, although I have lived elsewhere more than half of my life.

When I came to to study at the Helsinki University my first quarters were an attic room in a 1950s house. The landlady had her peculiarities: she double-locked the door always at 8 pm, I was not allowed to spend weekends there, and for some reason she chose to sleep under the creaking staircase - the only lavatory was downstairs... After that I was happy to get half a room in a dormitory for a year, although I hated having a room mate. Meanwhile, a family friend had inherited a large flat from his aunt. I stayed there in her library for two months, and as she had been a politician and a diplomat, there were all sorts of less usual books, Mein Kampf for instance, that I just had to read while I had the chance. Then I got another room to share in the dormitory, now for a longer time. My room-mate was practically always away, but when she graduated, I lost my privacy to an old friend who came to study law. My last times as a student I shared a three-room flat with three others in a brand new block of concrete.

When I got a job in Lahti for a year I moved back to my parents, but living with them almost had me climbing the walls. So when my friend phoned that an acquaintance's acquaintance was looking for a flat sitter in Helsinki, I leaped at the opportunity. When she returned from Africa, I bought a small flat of my own, and that is where I still live. I've been quite happy with it, although the neighbourhood is dreary, but it is close to the centre with excellent means of communication. For more than ten years I have also been a member of the housing corporation board of directors. At the shareholders' meeting last week a competent young woman turned up wanting to join, but the majority voted for the old board to continue. Getting board members has been difficult, because it means responsibility and trouble for very little compensation. Maybe I'll be able to resign next year.

I should also mention our summer cottage, which we had for twelve years. It had been the home of my father's mother during her last years, but had got 'out of the family' until my father bought it when he retired. It was a tiny cottage with two rooms, a storehouse and a sauna close to a small lake. I spent my holidays there until my father sold it to a cousin's husband, whose lands surrounded the cottage.