Well that was quick!
Today marks the end of summer and the beginning of autumn here in Sweden.
At the start of the year, the thought of summer was constantly on my mind. Maybe it was the sub zero afternoons, the five months of almost endless snow, or maybe it was just that I had forgot the notion of how warm a summer can be.
Let’s be honest it is not as though I arrived from a country that was famed for it’s blazing summers. June to August back in the UK these past few years have been nothing more than a mere blanket of wind and rain. I have to look back to 2003 to recall the last “real” summer that I can remember.
This was my first full summer here in Sweden. I had visited in June July and August before, but I wanted to know exactly how people spent these long days. With each visit, I understood that summer was a time when the people of Sweden would maximize each and every moment, organizing events outside, or just sitting on the grass outside their apartments with a few drinks with friends. Yet one thing became abundantly clear from those I spoke to summer was clearly their favorite season.
For me, the first real day of summer began way back in May. On a visit, to Västervik. The sun beat down on the harbor, and though there was a slight chill in the air I was in short sleeves having a beer for the first time that year. Looking back the temperature was only around 16 degrees yet in all honesty I could have sworn I was in Australia in summer. It was lovely.
I was not expecting it to be a unusually hot summer. It just seems the norm now that summer is never going to be as warm as it used to be when I was a child. But unlike the UK the summer feels more special here, it feels almost like seeing an old friend. After the cold dark winter, summer was a fitting welcome for me in Sweden.
But, like most things we enjoy, it went far too quickly. Or maybe time flew by as I was enjoying myself too much. Either way I am now looking at the stores stocking their autumn range and seeing the last few pairs of shorts and t-shirts cling onto the “sale” rack just like I am clinging on to the hope of the sun staying around a little more.
So that was summer, my first full summer in Sweden, and one that I hope will return extremely quickly. But time cannot change the world turning. The nights are getting shorter, so I start to prepare for yet another autumn and eventually a winter.
Goodbye summer. See you next year.