We finally managed it! After months of Husband being moved from desk to desk that meant he couldn’t plan holidays more than a week in advance, and a sudden budget reduction* due to my dental misadventures, we have finally managed to book a holiday. It’ll be in October, but at least we’ll get one, which we didn’t see happening this side of Christmas, quite honestly. I’m dead chuffed.
I told my mother on the phone. “Oh, that’s nice,” she said, “where are you going?”. Stockholm. “Oh. Why on earth would you want to go to Stockholm? I’ve been to Copenhagen once, that was nice, but they don’t get along, the Swedes and the Danes, I think the Norwegians quite like the Danish, but the Swedish don’t like anyone much, they’re a funny lot up there…”
I’ll spare you the rest of that (very slightly one-sided) conversation, and just answer that first question. Why Stockholm? Well, for a start, since we moved here from France just over a year and a half ago, we’ve been hopping back and forth, for business or friends/family, so we decided that if we had any money at all for holidays, we would not be going to France. In fact we haven’t really had a proper holiday for quite a few years. Visiting friends/family, yes, attending events, yes, but no “proper holiday”, just for us, in some unknown place.
So we ran through the list of places on our wish list: Iceland, my own big number one, was a possibility, but only if we quadrupled our measly budget. Japan, Australia, India, no point in just a week, and obviously way over budget. Canada and the US went the same way, after the prices suddenly went through the roof. There were plenty of European destinations in the bargain buckets of the holidaymongers’ websites, but we really aren’t the Torremolinos type. And then, on a long shot, I sifted back through a bit of research I had done a while back on going to Sweden, found an affordable place to stay and some cheap flight, and Bob is someone’s uncle.
As I have already confessed here, I have a terrible soft spot for Scandinavia in general and Sweden in particular. It’s just something I feel a real connection with. And somehow, over the years, I have managed to avoid ever going there, in spite of my best efforts. I actually worked for a company whose main offices were in Stockholm for many years. My colleagues were always jetting off there for meetings and taunting me with tales of Swedish office exotica. I was a webmaster, I didn’t need to go anywhere and meet other people, now, did I? Of course not, that’s what emails are for. Barely 2 months after I left the company, the boss decided that everyone would go to Stockholm for some team building, including the guy who replaced me, I was gutted.
It just seems that over the years, that sexy minx of a city has been taunting me. Everyone I know seems to have at least been there if not lived there or have some connection with the place. It doesn’t help that Geoff Lloyd and his especially lovely lady Zena seem to have decided to double-handedly drive me mad with envy with their repeated tales of the loveliness of Swedish life.
Well, no more! Even though it will mean patronising Ryan Air once more and therefore landing at a ridiculously remote and tiny airport in the middle of the night, we will be spending nigh on a week in the fair city of Stockholm in October, and for less than our December gas bill! Huzzah!
*reduction is putting it nicely, but Total Annihilation sounded a little dramatic, and is probably copyrighted.