Well, life is not at all calmer since I last wrote. In fact, I was in seven different airplanes within four and half days. ESA invited me to participate in a Life Science Symposium in Cologne. So I flew there via Prague.
It was a very interesting experience to be among the best space scientists and moreover I had a chance to tell the press about my bed rest experience. The next day I was supposed to be in Toulouse for my first check-up (45 days after my getting up), but unfortunately there was a strike in Toulouse the day before and I had to spend the night in Frankfurt, before taking another plane the next morning to Toulouse through Marseille.
My check-up in Toulouse was fine. I only had a half day of tests: blood sample, bone density, discussion with a psychologist and few other things. On the same day there was a psychological exam for candidates for the September session. I was able to answer some questions they had about the test. I even did a demonstration of “how to pee in a peeing device in a horizontal position”, the candidates were so curious about it.
I was very glad to be back in the centre; I must say that I felt as if I had come back home. On the way home to Finland I flew via Paris, I’ve had quite enough of airplanes for now.
I had spent the weekend before my Toulouse/Cologne trip celebrating Finland’s most important party, the Midsummer Festival, the longest day of the year (in fact, that long that there is no night) and unfortunately spent several hours singing during the 4-day music festival I went into with my friends. What with little sleep, a bit of cold weather during the night, and the singing, I lost my voice. With my impressive seven planes in four days I still managed to get very little sleep and my voice loss persisted for over a week. I did assure the journalists in Cologne that I did not lose my voice during the bed rest though!
Back in Finland three friends from France came to stay and I had yet another busy weekend with little sleep. I was quite surprised to notice how much energy I had and my body was in my opinion fully recovered – though tired of my crazy schedule.
The only unusual thing I’ve noticed has been a slight pain in the soles of my feet after waking up for the past four days, but it goes by very quickly. My friends left yesterday and I collapsed on my bed and slept soundly all night and allowed my body recover quite fully. Now I’m in the middle of planning for my 30th birthday party taking place next Saturday 9 July. I nearly had a day without anything happening... ;-)