Tuesday, April 30, 2013

An Elegy! In the Summer!

I’m continually told Sweden is a wonderful place …in the Summer!

Today is Valborgsmässoafton in Sweden; The celebration of Spring. We are going to a traditional celebration tonight, where a huge bonfire is lit to frighten away demons of darkness and gloom and welcome the lengthening days. We have been invited to a celebratory release of the cows next week from their winter imprisonment! I wondered where the massive piles of manure came from as I hadn’t seen a single cow! It will be a moo-ving experience (thank you Karen). If I was a Student at Uppsala University I would wear a white velvet cap today and sing traditional Swedish songs. (I think that’s why my application to attend the university failed. I didn’t tick the ‘can sing traditional Swedish songs’ and ‘look good in a white velvet cap’ boxes)
The approach of Summer is a massive deal here. Mostly, I suspect, because winter is so long and depressing. I thought I’d try and capture the joy of the winter’s end and the celebration pending Summer.

In the Summer!

There’s no vast white expanse of snö and ice to light the endless darkness of polar winter
In the Summer

No need for arctic approved thermals and being labelled up to the hilt in Northface gear (because Canada goose is too expensive)
In the (it hits 20ºC if you’re lucky) Summer

No sour faced and bewildered vodka soaked locals, unwilling to make eye contact
In the (let’s all put our party hats on) Summer

No irritatingly hyper fit extreme cross country skiers in bright yellow, way-too-tight, 70’s ski gear
In the (what do we do now?) summer

No need for nature’s Aurora Borealis light show to illuminate the night (allegedly in these parts)
In the (24 hours of daylight preventing any sleep) Summer

No need to fathom the confusing winter tyre laws that make winter tyres compulsory but banned from certain roads
In the (still speed cameras everywhere and watch out for wandering Mooses) Summer

Your first Swedish word of necessity, to clean the car of the sticky black tar like residue from the roads, isn’t Avtettning
In the (now what’s the Swedish for ‘I don’t speak Swedish’?) summer

No need to stock up the potato store to bunker down for the season
In the (it’s still potatoes for dinner because meat is so ridiculously expensive) summer

No need open the local swimming pool when there’s a beautiful barely defrosted lake to swim in
In the (mosquito infested, midge plagued) Summer

Gone are the ‘Closed for winter’ signs at all the little seaside souvenir shops
In the (we still sell lots of seriously overpriced shit and shut at random times) summer

There’s a decent restaurant that’s open just 20 miles away
In the (cant get a table because of all the tourists) Summer

Summer lasts a whole week in Sweden!

1 comment:

  1. Well you have got to be quick so make the most of it. You would be ultra quick if you jumped into the lake today (or anytime ,I suspect)