The Magic of Midsummer in Stockholm
I’m alive! It’s true! And I’m back to blogging. Sorry for the pause between acts, but life has just gotten in the way.
The Swedish Husband is settling in to his new job which includes nightshift and long hours and I’m up at 5am working and then either mumming, cooking or spotting deer and wolves in our backyard.* Since being elected to the board of our village I’ve also been wielding my power – no bastard in his electric car can charge it in our 1960’s garages without my say so. Busy times I tell you, busy times.
The girls are settling in great and enjoying the sunshine and endless light now on offer in Stockholm. Although I will say that two of them are sticking with English and like me, just prefer if 9 million people speak our language, instead of us learning theirs. But full reporting to come on all that, I promise. Lot’s of before and after shots of our home and what we’ve been doing, like the Swedish Husband building me the most beautiful tiered herb garden which I am totally in love with.
I’m also in love with the next Swedish cultural event, one of my favourite of the year, Midsummer. It’s a public holiday on Friday and I’ve managed to trade in the Queen’s birthday Australian public holiday (from my Australian employer) for Midsummer Eve in Sweden.
Midsummer in Sweden is met with the same glee, anticipation and pomp and ceremony of Christmas, including the traditional food. We even eat all the same food, it’s just that we do it in the light, instead of the dark.
Last year we had a lovely time celebrating midsummer in Sydney which made it mid-winter (same same). We went to midsummer celebrations hosted by the Swedish church and it was lovely. This year we are back in Stockholm and I cannot wait to experience all the magic. The girls are very excited. It will be the first traditional midsummer that they will remember. We’ve just had a meal planning session and I’ve done the shopping. We’ve worked out what can be prepared tomorrow and what needs to be done on Friday morning.
Midsummer has been celebrated in Sweden since the middle ages. It’s a big thing, bigger than their national day which occurs at the beginning of June. Midsummer is a celebration of light, love and the bounty of nature. If you’ve ever made it through a Swedish winter you would understand what all the fuss is about. It’s also a celebration of fertility and that’s why around noon on Friday we will be dancing around a phallic pole, doing a traditional frog dance with a crown of flowers on our heads. WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE ABOUT THAT? You can read more about midsummer here, in my most popular blog post, because it contains the word penis in the heading.
Everyone pretty much has gone out to their country abodes, fleeing the city for the country. All our friends have already left and the village is very quite. Considering the daily array of birds, deer, a wolf, and the hedgehog I just saw out the front of our place, I think it’s ‘country’ enough right here so we’ll be staying put in Stockholm.
I was particularly impressed with the Swede during our Midsummer menu planning session. He made sure I could eat everything, selecting traditional dishes that fitted in with all my special need, food allergy requirements. And when discussing his mother’s traditional cheese pie featuring short crust pastry, he didn’t even bat an eyelid when I said I was going to swap out wheat flour for grain-free almond meal. BLESS.
Sidenote: I’ve just returned from buying all the food for Midsummer. I hesitated when I was buying the ingredients for said cheese pie. Now let me tell you, you cannot muck around with your Midsummer menu. I’ve learnt this over the years. Any suggestion of changing ingredients for non-brand name items is met with disgust and disappointments over cutural misunderstandings. IT JUST AINT GONNA HAPPEN. So, I did hit panic mode when I realised the ‘value-for-money’ institute that I chose to shop at, did not stock the very special (expensive) cheese that comes from the region where the Swede was born and raised, along with everyone else that has our last name. Instead of being able to buy a great big whopping block of it, I could only avail of a pre-grated small package. Well, well. I’ve been married for nigh on 11 years and would like to continue on that way. It may not cut it, literally. I’m hoping the pre-grated version will be o.k but considering I love my new herb garden and love that he was totally open to me using Almond meal to make pastry when we both know it may be met with disaster, I’m more than prepared to go shopping tomorrow in the pre-Midsummer madness and get the proper block of cheese tomorrow. Now that’s the magic of midsummer.
You can also read more about another fantastic Midsummer here.
Hope you are all well! Stay tuned….
*I did see a wolf in our backyard. I’m not kidding and yes, I did swear. It was actually amazing and I was very calm about it. Probably because I was inside our house looking out when I saw it. When doing the school run and picking up the kids, I do walk a bit faster now. You can follow me on Instagram and see my ‘Instastories’ buy clicking on the camera symbol. I bring mundane to the next level, with the occassional Swedish wolf thrown in. Follow along!
It’s always a cultural education reading your blog. I was hoping for a “I swapped dingos for wolves” joke, though.
Ha! I will try to work in that one somewhere!