Saturday, 23 June 2012


While all Sweden is one big hangover after the excessive drinking on Midsummer Eve yesterday (that's if you go after Swedish newspapers and Swedish Facebook friends' updates), Staffan and I have just started, with herring, new potatoes and a schnapps for lunch. We should have invited some friends. It's weird not to celebrate Midsummer with huge crowds.

Many years ago, my great-aunt was visiting us in Sweden around Midsummer, and I took her to the nearest celebration site to give her a sense of a genuine Swedish Midsummer. We brought picnic and sat in a hge ring with dozens of other families, watching the maypole being raised, the fiddlers play, the professional and amateur dancers dance, everybody sing. But my aunt was most impressed by a middle-aged man next to us. He was on his own. He had a low folding table with a nice table-cloth, a real plate, knife and fork, and a little glass. He had his picnic and his bottle. He poured himself a drink, chased it with herring and potatoes. He had no one to share the feast with, but he didn't want to be left behind.

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