The summer rolls on and the lazy days of a dormant Sweden are a joy, albeit a sweaty joy. Everything I need to do is based on how it can be tied in with a camping trip, a day out or a swim in a lake. I was in Stockholm last week to talk to Radio Sweden about Svengelska (link to programme later in the week) which took about an hour. The rest of the day, I spent as a tourist. Next week I’ve got a gig in Gothenburg – and babysitters permitting, this will turn into a romantic two day trip on the west coast.
But last night, I finally found my Swedish idyll. The Sweden that you dream of, that Julie’s Nordic Island lives, the Sweden of isolation, forests, lakes and wilderness.
My old mucker Palle took me out on his boat. It was a small plastic thing with an outboard motor from 1976 that sat very low on the water. A luxury yacht it was not, but it was boat enough to take me, Palle and two kids out to a beach that was only accessible from the water. We swam, chatted, identified trees and birds and failed to catch any fish. I have caught a glimpse of heaven and I want to see more.
As a result I am more than a little jealous of the crazy antics of Johan Pettersson, who is attempting to row much of the Göta Canal in an inflatable rubber dinghy (including navigating lake Roxen). His aim is to get to Motala in time for the premiere of ‘Showboat’ where he’s performing a small role. So it’s a publicity stunt, but it’s also in the spirit of the likes of Thor Heyerdahl, the kind of adventurer that the modern world needs more of, prepared to follow a dream, however irrational. I’ve met Johan a couple of times (he is a theatre ‘apa’ from Norrköping) and he’s a nice guy so I can only wish him the best of luck. You can find out more on his blog – windyseglen.