Sunday, 4 April 2021


This winter has been a rather peculiar one. It got off to a good start. Most of January and half of February were being blessed with reasonably cool temperatures, hovering moderately below 0° C. With this, a nice cover of glittering snow mirrored a sun never failing to appear in the mornings. As made for nice walks in the proficient neighbourhoods of my home!

Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse after that, and a loong period of drabness ensued. Day after day laboured on, with grey skies and temperatures varying just around the zero-mark. It was as if a grey blanket of morosity had decided it proper to cover Hammarby Sjöstad. 

But why did I find this peculiar? Isn’t this the usual state of affairs in Stockholm, around February/March, before the sun is deciding to make a definite breakthrough to announce the advent of spring? It took me some time to find out why. Finally, I got it. The drabness I experienced was not that of the sky above us, rather usual this time of the year. No, it was the dread I felt within, in my mind as well as in my bones!

Back in January, life seemed to get honky dory again. Didn’t the authorities announce that vaccination of us old-timers was imminent? I already made plans for a quick trip to the Canary Islands in March, lapping sun on the marvellous beach of Playa del Inglés and ambling along, with my toes sunk in the sand. Alas, it wasn’t to be. Week by week, announcements came of the need to postpone the desired relief, and, in lock-step with the grey skies appearing regularly above my head, the mind started to dive into deeper and deeper folds of despair. 

Finally, two weeks ago, the long awaited announcement came. Time to register for vaccination at long last! Three days ago, on Easter Monday, it was time for me to get relief. My first shot of the AstraZeneca miracle lotion! Still, nine more weeks to get the second shot. And first two weeks after that will I be fully protected (to 95%, that is) against the current strains of Corona. This brings us to mid June!

Still, who am I to complain. Hitherto it was unheard of that a vaccine could be developed and applied whilst a newly arriving pandemic was still in full swing. We should be amazed at the progress in science that made it possible! Harken, you people who can but complain over the tardiness of vaccination and blame both companies and authorities for undue delay. We got the shots at an unprecedented speed! Time to relax and be content!

Still, even if the period of dread is passed, I feel its after effects. It is as if I suddenly have aged 5 years in the short period of the plague. Isolation and hopelessness have a price. Hopefully, this decay can still be reversed, once I have my trip to the Canaries!

In the mean-time, why not have a go at a nice tune I recently discovered, which seems to mirror my sentiments exactly. But in a much more humorous fashion. Enjoy!


Eva said...

Dear Emil,
Thanks for your good description of our dreary and long winter! But look now, spring is definitely on its way! Flowers in bloom, trees are getting small light green leaves, and the blessing of the vaccine is hereI got my shot a couple of weeks ago and am looking forward to being able to see my family in a more normalised way at the end of May!
I do hope that you will get your longed for holiday in the Canaries as soon as possible!
Kind regards

Calle S said...


BeachyGal said...

Spring Greetings, Friend, Emil!
If anyone can find the silver lining, it is you!

I and many friends here are fully vaxed now and can move freely about the cabin.

Alas, because so much of the world has not experienced the modern miracle as you have described, trips are again being put off until 2022. Sadly, I must let Abi know that our date is not until next June.

The good news there, though, is that the long-awaited Big museum in Giza will FINALLY be open. So my sister can join me there after Turkey. (and here is hoping the Turks don't twirl their political selves into butter by then!)

I hope the AZ vaccine is your passport to the sunny climes and soon.

Thinking happy thoughts of our past visits.

Stay well! Censor Girl

Anonymous said...

Dear Emil
Thank you for nice pictures. I trust you are fine. I am OK myself – had my 2 Corona shots in march already.
Berkeley is not in good shape at the moment, a lot of homeless in the streets. I am sorry for them, still, the city does what it can to help them. The sky is blue in Berkeley at the moment, but i am staying indoors most of the time.
I will try to go to Japan in May. My Sister is sick and I want see her again. Hopefully, I will get a visa.

Take care, Nobuko

Anonymous said...

Dear Emil

Spring came here in Ireland, but in the past week the temperature went back to around zero. Nevertheless many rabbits on the golf course and baby lambs in the fields around.

I was called for my first jab yesterday. Got the Pfizer one. And the next one due in 28 days.

Here originally they were not giving the Astra Zeneca vaccine to the old fogeys because there were not many in their original test population sample.

Now there seems to be something like a 18 out of 25 million chance of fatal blood clotting which is unusual and might be ascribed to the vaccine. Women in their 30's and 40's seem to be most vulnerable.

Most countries now seem to be giving Astra Zeneca to older people. The Irish have yet to catch up, but fine by me.

Here it is quite easy to leave Ireland but not so easy to get back in.

Canary Islands were popular. But many people seem to have been making appointments with dentists there and could say that it was an essential trip. But they cancelled their appointments and had a nice holiday.

More recently obligatory quarantine in specific hotels for 14 days (pre-paid for by the traveller) are required for those coming from countries with high covid levels or different strains of the virus. The list gets longer every day and although Austria is included there are debates about more EU countries being added. All sorts of headline news about people escaping from the hotels (guarded by the army) etc., etc,

So that is about it here.


Anonymous said...

Tack för dina fina bilder! Läste att en vecka efter andra dosen har du fullgott skydd! Såg en skämtteckning där mannen sitter vid bordet och väljer en massa, el, abonnemang,osv! “Tänk om man valt fel” säger han! Samtidigt som frun har händerna i diskbaljan och säger “Ja, tänk!!!??” Angående din disk-film!
Hälsningar Kaj

Gerald Fitzpatrick said...

Very good analysis of things.

Laëtitia said...

Deepest Greetings from Brussels dear Emil!!!
What a pleasure to read from you and enjoy Stockholm's View. Hopefully now Winter is over. May Spring and brighter Days be well on the way :)
I'm happy to know that you enjoy good health being vaccinated and wish that you could so soon travel to Canarias!

Receive my best regards