So I’m just back from Sweden where I went to hunt the elusive (snark-like?) Northern Lights. Whilst I was there, I noticed two things about Sweden. First it was very cold (-25) and everything was breathtakingly beautiful and ran like clockwork. Then it got very hot (+7) and everything fell apart. Roads became slippery, snow mushed, lakes defrosted and everyone was most discombobulated. Despite being a lizard rather then a polar bear by nature, I’m pleased that I saw it in its frozen loveliness before the weird warmth arrived.
When I travel I, like most people, try to picture myself living in the new place as an indicator of how much I liked it. I couldn’t live in Sweden, not in the Winter at any rate. You know how grim it looks on Wallender? It really is like that. A low, bumpy, moon-like landscape covered with stunted trees and a dull, flat light which makes everything look the same. White. After three overcast days I was ready to leave, despite the beauty of the earlier part of my trip. I don’t think I shall be moving to the Arctic any time soon.
That said though the Swedes were delightful, the food was amazing and everywhere was very clean and well looked after. And when it was very cold it was very cold. One day we had to go into the IceHotel just to warm up!
And the Lights? Well, we were there for a low period of activity but when those ‘clouds’ of light started to dance across the starry sky I felt my heart pump a little faster. I feel very privileged to have seen it
In other news, there is a new REVIEW up on the Book Review page and if you are wanting to participate in this month’s BOOK GROUP then the forum page is up and waiting to go. I’m still not quite finished but if no one has started the discussions by next week then I am aiming to get the ball rolling sometime then.