Tuesday, 11 June 2013


In Sweden, the weeks of mid-June are pleasant to behold. After a long harsh winter and very short spring, suddenly, the heat comes to the rescue and it is time to go outdoors and start living again. Usually, the first two weeks of this enjoyable month experience a heat wave, with temperatures around 25° Celsius. The sun is shining most of the day and night and is heating up the atmosphere to please us all.

This year is somewhat different. Temperatures are a bit lower, but still above 20° when the sun is shining. This is being accompanied by intermittent showers that cool off and clean the air. All in all, a very nice experience. 

The Swedes are generally known as a rather reserved and taciturn crowd. But you would be amazed to see them now. It is as if a different people had moved in and replaced the ordinary citizens during those Summer weeks. All public spaces are being occupied by frolicking and sun-bathing crowds, as are the sidewalks outside restaurants and cafés. Youngsters aplenty clad with a white cap are celebrating graduation from highschool and college – waited upon by their parents with funny placards, depicting them as babies – and driving off, howling and hooting on big lorries with loudspeakers on full blast. 

Would you think the ruckus is abating towards the late hours? Far from it, "I could have danced all night!" is the parole to follow, especially for the youngsters. To prove my point, why don't you take another look at an earlier blog post of mine, showing what people here are up to in the early morning hours?

Last friday evening, some suspiciously looking "hoodlums" were acting strangely on the street and sidewalk just below my balcony. In fact they were painting the asphalt with new lines as if trying to confuse drivers and walkers. I was almost tempted to call the police and have them arrest these malfeasants. But it turned out that they were preparing for one of those funky summer events, a street race for bicycles, on the streets and park of my narrower community. This race went on day long on Saturday, with all kinds of age participating in the event. Towards early afternoon, the real pros appeared, to be documented by yours truly for your benefit.

As an aside, I arrived in Sweden myself for the first time precisely in those weeks of June, 51 years ago. Does it surprise you that I got enchanted and decided to move to this benighted country? Little did I know about the other half of the year and the other side of the Swedes! But you have to take the bad with the good and, on balance, I think I made the right decision.


Eva said...

Dear Emil,
I am sure you made the right decision both concerning settling down in this country up north 51 years ago and in finding this lovely place for your apartment. The other half of the coin - the sometimes hard winter in this country - is all forgotten during the lovely summer half of the year, isn't it?
Kind regards

Renate Lohmann said...

Dear Emil,

Have I told you yet how much I enjoy your pictures, your writing and your insights? If I have not, I will do so now. I also wanted to let you know, that I, for one, pine after news from the ice, the snow and the darkness, especially in the winter months, when the sun does not stop shining in sunny California, it just rains and rains and rains. Enjoy the seasons and the spirit that comes with it.

All the best,

Renate (Berkeley)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for these pictures, this time in color! They are very nice!

The second picture I remember; we had a wonderful dinner at this place when I visited you two years ago ... I had a good time in Sweden and hope to go again; but time is so limited ...


Anonymous said...

Dear Emil!
As a neighbour, just opposite your kitchen window I am probably most verified to give my
appreciation for perfect captured images of our surrounding. Your blogs continuously remind, which beautiful nearby we have. Keep-up the spirit and quality.
Alle Liebe