Dancing around the Midsummer Pole

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I am often the only man dancing around the Midsummer Pole in our little village. This year we were three, though two of us looked like immigrants. But we’ve always got the same accordion player, and he is perfect.

Yearning for the summer

Yearning for the summer

June is crazy in Sweden because everyone is in a mad rush to finish all their work before Midsummer (though this is shifting for some to mid-July). This makes it hard to stay inside during the most glorious June I’ve seen here.

But then you think that you’re headed for this for 8 weeks (I’ve got paternity leave days left).

Floating cherry blossoms in the Swedish spring

Floating cherry blossoms in the Swedish spring

Every winter I’ve been in Sweden has been subtly different from each other. Same for spring. They interact and create a new season – so this is the spring of cherry blossoms I’ve never seen before and lots of early mosquitoes. I love cherry trees and the way the flowers float along our fence line, even though the effect comes totally because the lower parts of the trees are dead, killed off by some insect or disease. (The photo doesn’t really convey this affect but maybe it will let you imagine the trees in context of our clearing in the forest, with the river glistening in the background).

It’s enough to make your body start to forget winter, and you remember why you need all these long weekends in spring and the long summers, not to be indulgent but to stay truly alive.

Sweden is not the United States, part 342

Sweden is not the United States, part 342

I was out last week with a friend, and he went into a convenience store to buy a subway ticket. And there I was, faced with this magazine rack.

Notice the Pappa Magazine in the top right. I wrote about Pappa last month, and even though I noticed its minor buzz online, I never thought it would actually get such major play on newsstands.

How far away do you think the first glossy “Daddy” magazine is in the US? 20, 30 years?

My apologies to the good people at the Seattle airport

My apologies to the good people at the Seattle airport

So I complained about the lack of play areas for kids at airports. But I had never been to Seattle, where they have this heaven for small children. We had a four hour layover and it saved us.

So between Stockholm and Seattle, we encountered two wonderful playgrounds.

Which leaves no excuses for all the other slackers. And, yes, I am looking at you Oakland.