A midsummer night’s dream
Well, we’re at the tail end of a long weekend, the kettle is on and I’m ready for a midsummer night’s dream.
Grandma has done storytime via Facetime, the fridge has been restocked, and we are done and dusted with another lovely midsummer, one of my favourite celebrations.
“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, fertility and the bounty of nature. If you’ve ever made it through a Swedish winter, you would understand what all the fuss is about.”
However, midsummer 2020 was very low key; mona corona. There were no mass gatherings, traditional dress, or dancing around a 20-foot penis – oh those were the days. The frog dance leaped a year, the organised fun set aside, and for something completely different, the sun was shining. (I can remember many a midsummer both in Malmö and Stockholm, enjoying the outdoors celebrations, sitting on a picnic blanket, smiling but slightly shivering and thinking if this is mid-summer, we’re totally screwed.)
But this year was a cracker, the sun full of warmth. And whilst it’s been low key, it certainly hasn’t been slow key. We spent midsummer’s eve at the beach, enjoying a traditional feast over many hours in between dips in the lake, occasional reading, frisbee throwing and pushes on the swing. We had a fantastic time, just the five of us, plus the three Aussie animal pool tools my brother had sent the girls at Christmas. By the end of the day, it felt like we were a family of eight.
Turns out the biggest hit of a Swedish celebration that dates back to the middle ages, was a large inflatable koala, a black cockatoo and a kangaroo named ‘Candy’.
Finally, the maiden voyage they’d been waiting since Christmas for, was well worth the wait. The girls LOVED them. They loved them on land racing across the grass, loved them in the water splashing about, loved wrestling them, loved drying them off, loved feeding them, loved insisting that daddy should let them ride up front in the car with them. The fact that they couldn’t stay afloat on them for more than one second, seemed to make them only that more loveable.
We had such a lovely day, all eight of us were very happy. At the end of it, as we packed up and got ready to leave the six-year-old loudly declared, “this was THE BEST DAY EVER, even better than my birthday party.” “What? The birthday party you haven’t had yet as we postponed it due to corona???” we enquired. “Yes, that one” she beamed.
The rest of the weekend was spent much of the same way; enjoying leftovers, urban farming, trips to the beach, mad fixing the house, and finding room for Candy in the basement.
And now, with that, it’s time to dream…
Got midsummer madness? Here’s how we celebrated previously:
Magic Midsummer (I must remember to dig out that lemon elderberry pie)
My mother in law’s tradition cheese pie, although now we make the modified wheat-free version.
The Magic of midsummer in Stockholm (our first midsummer back in Sweden)