Sunday date in Stockholm with two Finnish rock-chicks who crossed the Baltic sea to attend a Pearl Jam concert at the Friends Arena. How cool can you be?
We followed a lunch, ice-cream and coffee trail from central Vasastan, through the old city of Gamla stan to the island of Södermalm and back, under menacing skies .
Having an almost casual date with a close friend, despite living in different countries, was refreshing.So was the whole process of getting on a bus, just carrying a light handbag, leaning back on the quite comfortable seat in an exercise of hustle-free traveling. Oh, how I like that for a change…
Days are packed, because we’re packing. The moving caravan is soon departing.
My grey-cells are somewhat disconcerted. I find it hard to concentrate with this impending change of location.
However, in between things to do and things done, I have been reading Zadie Smith’s ‘On Beauty‘. Long live public libraries – I have been wanting to get my teeth into this book for a while now…
I really loved the ‘White Teeth’. I was disappointed by the ‘Autograph Man’. Now I am betting ‘On Beauty’, sincerely hoping that it will not let me down.
A good piece of fiction is such great company and a lee for the mind.
I am still only half way through it and I am not in a hurry to finish. Reading it will be all the more enjoyable once the moving is done.
One night’s sleep and life will start getting back to being beautifully normal again.
Gone are the days when I and my little sister would wear homemade calico dresses or skirts with floral patterns and over-sized flower-wreaths, inclusive of small bugs, on our little heads to celebrate midsummer.
Regardless of the whims of the weather, there is almost no excuse for not getting out to dance around the maypole.
There is no such thing as bad weather anyway. Only bad clothes.
I observed tradition and got jiggy with it together with the rest of the crowd…
Mainly adults as a matter of facts. Some parents had brought along their children as an obvious excuse for getting on the grassy dance floor. A jovial bunch of tourists happily tagged along. I could hear them thinking what a funny lot the Swedish people are.
The song-lyrics would have made them smile even more, maybe laugh even. The funny frogs and the fox running over the ice are classics.
After all, this is a pagan celebration of light amidst a booming nature. An official kick off of the summer season with no weather guarantee whatsoever. Lawns were crammed with picnic blankets as far as the eye could see. In true Viking spirit, people of all ages braved the not very summer-like temperatures and indulged into an abundance of food, ranging from pickled herring to strawberry cake and bubbles.
The inauguration was a success. I have done my bit. Now it is up to summer to show what it is made of. Let the games begin.
This has been a day of no excitement. A day spent inside, which is a rarity and usually a way to make time work in my favour.
It has been a day of going through lists of bibliography, editing texts, washing dishes and making lunch.
A day of sweeping the floor by hand using a damp cloth, crouching like in a scene from the Karate Kid. A day of an early afternoon shower followed by some cocoa and cake in sisterly company.
It has been a day of wondering how on earth there can be so much rain followed by sunshine, followed by cloudy skies, followed by more rain, followed by sunshine, followed by cloudy skies, followed by…
It has been a day modest and understated like the miniscule flowers on the basil plant, that must surely be wondering why it is not chilling in a flower-pot out in a yard somewhere where the sound of cicadas make the heat even less bearable.
It is one of these days that make you want to break free and leap into the promise of tomorrow so thankful for there being one.
In all, this has been a day so boring that it is not really blog-worthy. Yet, here it is and I realise that I don’t want it to end. There is no haste. In its tedium and inertia I will dwell.
It’s 9.30 am. I have been on a long walk, made breakfast, washed the dishes – good girl.
I must have slept quite well, because I woke up at 05.00 am feeling quite rested.
Maybe it was because I went to bed fairly early, feeling knackered after this relatively prolonged period of five-hour night time-rest. Or maybe it was because I slept wearing a black cotton cap pulled down over my eyes to ward off the early sun-beams (I do love them!). Who knows?
Despite the usual voice of protests coming from my lower back, I pulled myself together and went out for a morning walk as per my original intention. Upon returning, I even made myself the breakfast I had planned for yesterday evening. Am I becoming square, or what?
After this brisk tour around the streets of the oldest university town of the Nordics, a healthy breakfast and my cups of tea, spirit and body awakened, there is no excuse for not rolling up my sleeves – figure of speech, as I am wearing a sleeveless top – and getting some work done. That almost counts for saying it out loud, doesn’t it?
The play of sun and wind is Swedish summer in a nutshell.
Yesterday was such a day. The sun was brighter than bright and the wind was creating a constant backdrop of sound-waves, blowing through thousands of leaves, setting them in motion.
Ebb and flow, crescendo and diminuendo. Goosebumps from the light chill. If I owned a pair of wooden clogs I would so run on the gravel…
There is something about how this season’s energy creeps into the cells to create uproar with its heedless propaganda.
It is not like blue skies and velvety meadows of pure happiness. It is happiness bundled with a hint of reservation. A tint of melancholy on the premises of joy.
I have started jogging again. I sport the same black lycra pants and white top. The running shoes are a bit torn by now, but the shoe-laces are as bright pink as they have ever been. My plan of changing them to grey ones has not yet materialised. Maybe I have capitulated to the Barbie dream. Or maybe I am just lazy.
The linden trees are of the same juicy colour as I remember them. Their greenness inundates my visual field as I rhythmically breath in and out focusing on my goal for now – three laps. Everything is relative and goals are very personal. As a matter of fact, I could be running three laps around a fish pond and still be very proud of my achievement.
I do not want to kill this burgeoning physical response of anticipation to the kick of endorphins that lingers as a promised land of milk and honey with heavy expectations.
Sometimes in life you can really feel how you are pulled by an intangible thread. A lifeline between action and inertia. An invisible driver behind the wheel. A force you think you control, but then again you do not. It is tapped from the energy depots of the universe.
I am just throwing some of that borrowed energy into the wishing well, hoping for returns. I capitulate to the ambivalent bitter-sweetness of summer that wants to take me over.
So be it.