A traditional midsummer celebration involves lots of eating, drinking and dancing around a maypole. The nearest maypole to us was in a local park so Aicha and I wandered round to see what was going on. There were lots of people there having picnics but there wasn't much happening in the way of entertainment. There was a guy singing some songs but he was no Lionel Richie! It was definitely a family occasion and we got quite bored so we decided to leave after a while. I did take a few pictures though................
This was my first experience of midsummer. Although we spent most of it basically just eating and
drinking, there is actually a lot more to it than that. Rather than me just telling you in words the traditions of midsummer I thought it best to show you. Therefore, may I present...............'Swedish Midsummer for Dummies'!!!!
On the Saturday we had arranged to meet some of Aicha's old school friends and their partners for a barbeque however the heavens had opened and we had to move our dinner party indoors. Of everyone going I had only previously met Aicha's friend Jessica who was the host. It can sometimes be quite daunting going to a dinner party when everybody knows each other and you don't really know anyone but I was really looking forward to it as it would allow me to get to know a few more people.
Everyone I met there was great and I managed to get on with everybody really well. We had a few beers and a real good laugh although it turned out that I wasn't the only one there who didn't know anyone. Aicha's friend Sanaz bought her boyfriend Alesandro who none of the girls or their partners had met before. They had previous met each other whilst working in Australia and like me he has now made the move to Stockholm. He was a really good guy and once we got talking about football we couldn't shut up! Alesandro as you have probably guessed is Italian so our discussion largely involved the Euro 2012 quarter final game between Italy and England the following day!! Everyone I met that evening was really nice and hope we can all do it again sometime.
At the end of the evening I swapped numbers with Alesandro after pitching the idea of us watching the game together on the big screen in the city centre. Unfortunately the weather let us down again so he and Sanaz invited us over to their place to watch it instead. The journey to their place from ours takes around 45 minutes and as the game kicked off at 8:45pm our time I was hoping that it wouldn't go to extra time.................or worst penalties! I was looking forward to having some banter during the game with Alesandro but once the game started I was a nervous wreck! I definitely have a love/hate relationship with football when it comes to England. I look forward to the big games so much but when I watch them I can never really enjoy it!! I seem to enjoy it more afterwards once I know what the result is!! England struggled through the game as usual, with the occasion tease of a goal scoring opportunity but the game really belonged to Italy. As expected we went out on penalties but I thought we rode our luck to get that far!! If we had won on penalties then it would have been a serious miscarriage of justice!! To be fair to our boys they ran themselves into the ground and I don't think they could have given much more. We are just not technically gifted enough to compete in the major tournaments.........................and seeing as we would have faced one of the best Germany teams in years if we won, I think we bowed out at the right time!!
With the disappointment of Englands early exit behind me, it was time to turn my attention back to work. Tomorrow is Wednesday and I am flying to Copenhagen to meet with Danish sales team. I'm really looking forward to meeting the guys but unfortunately it's only a quick visit. We are flying back the same day so I won't be able to see much of the city. Next time I might plan to visit on a Friday so I can stay the weekend!! Time to start playing those cards right.............!!