Today is Valborg in Sweden. (It’s also the King’s birthday, which is why if you live here, you may see flags flying from the buses around your city.)
Valborg is when we burn away all the dead branches and attempt to forget the past 6 months of cold and darkness. Or that’s maybe just how I see it.
Back in the old days, it used to be to scare off witches and evil spirits. I’m starting to notice that a lot of these Swedish holidays revolve around witches. Must check into that more.
We can’t have the big celebrations this year because of “the virus”, but I’m hoping that’s included in those “evil spirits” that will be scared away as we all do smaller fire celebrations.
I sometimes forget to post about my podcast here as I post about it in other places, so a little spring promotion:
So far in 2021, we’ve had guests from Taiwan, Dubai, Canada, England and more. Every one of them has moved to Sweden sometime in the past 5 years (if I remember correctly…. but listen to the episodes and correct me if I’m wrong. 😉 ).
We’ve discussed everything from Reindeer to Costco rumours. And plenty of tips for things to do and great places to eat in Sweden along the way!
You can listen anywhere you get your podcasts by entering “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow”. Or if you’d like a click link, it’s available on Spotify and iTunes:
Today, I noticed my shower gel says, “Like lying down in a meadow of flowers.”
Is that supposed to be a good thing? Because a meadow of flowers has bees, ants, plant lice, probably dog poop hidden in there, etc.
My son said yesterday, “Hey, it’s officially spring, right?”
And just because of that, we woke up to this today:
Thanks alot, son.
Spent a lovely day on Sunday, here in Stockholm, taking a walk, going to a park and even petting farm animals. Spring was in the air. I even stopped at the flower display at the grocery store and considered buying something for the balcony.
Luckily, I’ve lived here long enough not to fall for it.
Sure enough, we woke up Monday morning to -2c and snow.
I saw a headline today that said:
But not one of those signs was the overweight old man who lives across the way who constantly smokes on his balcony without a shirt on once the weather gets warm. Much like the groundhog, the man has not appeared, and therefore I say it is not yet spring.
Well, it’s been fake spring here in Stockholm all week. The sun is shining. The temperature reaches highs like 10c (50F) – Yeah, yeah, I know, but it’s warm for around here in March. All the Swedes are happy. People are eating ice creams. I saw someone with their grill outside this weekend. I’m even cleaning off the balcony today.
And yet, we all see the weather report predicting snow and -4 c on Saturday. But we all choose to live in the now and ignore the second winter hovering around the corner. Maybe if we pull down the blinds and stay inside this weekend, we’ll never know that Spring went away.
After all of my teasing of the Swedes who are too eager for spring, I myself became a victim.
Thinking stupidly that since it was April I could take my kids to the lake, I grabbed some stale bread to feed the ducks and marched them on an hour-long walk in a snowstorm to the lake. Yep, a snowstorm. On our way there, it started to snow like crazy. Yet, I still persisted in heading to the lake. After an hour, we looked at the GPS and found that we were standing on the lake although there was no lake there. It was completely covered in ice and snow. I had very angry children on the hour long walk back.
That’s what I get for trying to pretend I live in a normal place, where spring starts now. Well, that’s it! I’m fixing my bubble bath, getting my hot chocolate and staying bundled up until May, when I MIGHT try to venture out again.
Dare I say spring is here? No, but I will admit the sun has been out for over a week now and the snow has melted down to ice patches mixed with rotting grass and dog droppings. Ah, the smell of spring!
I refuse to admit spring is here yet as it has snowed in May a few times. We will see.
We saw some people walking around in shirts with no jacket this weekend. People are starting to stagger out of their cocoons. Mind you, the temperature today is -6 c (21 F). And this weekend wasn’t that far off. Maybe hovering around 0. Some people are way too desperate. I imagine the restaurants will be hauling out the outdoor tables any day now so we can watch people demand to sit outside to eat their cold meal while shivering in blankets and super heating lamps.
If you ever notice a person in your country closing their eyes and directing their head at the sun, they’re probably Swedish. It’s the most common sight around here lately.
As for me, I’ll wait to drag out the sunglasses and spring jacket until around May 1 – if it’s not snowing.