For me Sweden will for ever be synonymous with trees, thousands of miles of trees.
We’ve seen a few cool sights.
- Elk. Three of them, each on separate occasions. Huge and lumbering, they look like creatures from a different time (as indeed they are).
- Reindeer. A single male, and then a complete delight as a small herd made its way past on the E10.
- The Lapponian Gate. The massive glaciated rock formation that’s the cover photo for the Abisko National Park.
- Lakes. Hundreds of them and they’re generally plenty warm enough to swim in. Only the deep Vänern was a tad chilly.
But it’ll be the trees that form the lasting memory.
Trees. And rotting Volvos.
Perhaps old Volvos never die.
Perhaps there’s a never achieved intention in Swedish men to get a round to fixing the old one that has sat in the long grass for over thirty years now.
Or perhaps it’s a sign of wealth that I don’t understand to have your extant fleet on display.
Whatever the reason, outside of the cities, most homes have several examples of Sweden’s most famous product gradually returning to the soil of the garden (in Cornwall it’s tractors and general farm machinery that take the Volvo’s place).
And rotting underpants.
My clothes buying pattern has long been established.
I buy too many lovely work shirts. 20 or more went to St Just’s Age Concern shop earlier this year. Hardly worn Eton shirts were snapped up for a couple of quid each.
And everything else on a one in one out basis.
If I buy anything new, then something has to be consigned to the charity shop, or rag bin.
Favourite items are worn until they literally fall apart. As is the case with my current suite of Boden boxers.
And there. In my boxers. I’ve found a curious dilapidation taking place.
In all three of my pink, navy and yellow polka dot boxers it’s the dots that are falling out.
Giving Europe’s hot summer the extra ventilation is welcome, and these will last me for a few months yet.