Finally some time to update the blog – we are in the summerhouse; my parents, my brother and I and with only one computer that my father uses for working😦 The weather is not great – windy and scattered showers so we haven’t spent a lot of time outdoors yet.
However, let me start by writing about the big Midsummer’s eve celebration last Friday. My brother, my sister and I had invited some of our friends for the event which was also the house warming party for the new summerhouse. I had only invited my two best friends from my hometown; Å who lives in Copenhagen with her 2-year old son H, and L who lives in Stockholm but is soon moving to the south of France to be with her French boyfriend F.
The girls were coming together with H (the son) and F (the boyf) on Thursday evening, which was the same day I arrived from Puerto Rico. Fortunately I wasn’t too jetlagged when I landed on Thursday morning in Copenhagen, and I was already at home at 10 o’clock. My mother and I drove straight out to the summerhouse on the Baltic coast where my brother was already waiting. My father, my sister and her new boyfriend O No 2 (yes, she has managed to find herself a guy with the same name as my O (O No 1)!!) arrived just shortly after. Our new summer paradise was just the way I had imagined it – peaceful, cosy and well, still needing a few improvements (some more furniture, curtains, repainting of the shed, a hammock etc*) but perfect for the Midsummer’s party!
My friends and I slept in the guesthouse which has a double bed and a sofabed. We woke up early on Friday (Midsummer’s eve), due to the “uncurtained” windows facing east, my jetlag + the 2-year old H who charmed us all despite the early hour! After breakfast we walked down to the beach (a 5 minute walk) – the sun was shining with an amazingly beautiful light, and I took some really nice photos. However, the sky was looking very dark so we hurried back to the house but in the end it didn’t rain… just yet!
The rest of the guests started dropping in around lunch time (we were 19 in total + a toddler and a new-born baby), and we prepared the traditional Midsummer’s meal – new potatoes, pickled herring, sour cream and chives + snaps, and strawberries & cream for dessert. People were playing kubb (a traditional Viking game from the island of Gotland) and drinking beer, as well as chasing H – as in typical toddler-style he immediately discovered the hole in the fence and insisted on trying to run out on the road…
Just when we sat down at the table to eat lunch, the sky turned black and the rain started pouring down. And just like in the herring-ad (unfortuntely I couldn’t find the ad on youtube, it’s very funny and very true), we grabbed our plates, glasses and song booklets and ran inside!! The first round of herring and snaps were consumed indoors, sitting on chairs / the floor before the sun returned and we ventured outside again for a second round of food and drinks. And of course we sang songs to accompany the snaps ;-)
In the afternoon we headed to a nearby field to play Swedish softball (brännboll), but once again the weather gods decided differently and everybody had to run back to the house in a sudden (?) downpour! We could only laugh though, as it was such a typical Midsummer’s eve – most years this is how we celebrate!
Fortunately the BBQ dinner was not interrupted by rain, it was a little chilly though but we had a great evening with rosé wine from the south of France and a tasty cheesecake in the company of friends and family. Just the way a Swedish Midsummer’s Eve should be celebrated!!
Updated: I completely forgot that we went down to the beach to look at a big bonfire and fireworks later on in the evening… It was a new tradition for me, I know that they make bonfires in Denmark for St Hans** but not in Sweden. But it was nice to see everybody gather on the beach, some people jumped into the sea to swim (which is not adviceable when you are drunk, especially as there are very strong currents around here)!
*) Projects for the summer…
**) St John / San Juan – there was of course a big party in San Juan, Puerto Rico this past weekend. In PR the tradition is to walk backwards into the ocean on the night of the 23rd June (I think it is, can’t remember the reason why right now) and in Greece people jump over small fires, I experienced that when I was in Thessaloniki in June, 2004.