So, with only 8 days remaining until I leave Sweden and return to live in the UK, we come to number 8 on the list of Things I will miss about Sweden vs Things I have missed about England.
I couldn’t really call myself an Englishman if I didn’t talk about the weather, so here it is…
What I will miss #8: Stockholm Summers
It’s funny how the memory plays tricks on you. I remember the winters of my youth being much more snowy, but my mum assures me that I’m imagining things. Still, she also recently told me that Santa wasn’t real, so… that goes to show how reliable her information is. But I’m pretty sure I can say with some confidence that British summers (though pretty much world famous for their moisture content) did not used to be quite so wet, and I’m fairly certain I would have the support of most meteorologists, climatologists, and just general scaremongers on this point.
Y’see the Brits are famous for “drizzle”; that kind of slow, drifting, sanity-melting mist that makes you dress inappropriately for the season and can warp the fabric of space-time by making a 10 minute walk to the chemist seem like an endless, hell-inflicted trudge, and leaves you wondering if your children will even remember you whenever in hell it is that you finally drag your drenched, sobbing carcass back across the threshold of that fondly remembered, warm house in deepest Crewe.
But in recent years, the rain in the UK hangs above you in low, threatening clouds the colour of nightmares, and then goes “FUCK IT!! YEEEEAAAAHHHH BITCH!!!! YEEEEEHAAA!!!” And you suddenly know what it feels like to have the entire contents of the Atlantic Ocean emptied into your shoes in the space of 30 seconds.
So, yeah… it’s wet.
In Stockholm (I can’t really speak for the rest of Sweden since I have only seen one or two other parts of it), the summers are, for the most part, warm and dry. The Swedes will tell you that the last few years have been wet but, frankly, they’re fucking amateurs! The kind of shower that makes English folk glance upward to see if someone just wrung out a dishcloth, is the sort of thing that has the Swedes throwing sandbags out at their front doors.
Frankly, there were so many pictures of British rain, it would have been difficult to choose a single one. So here… have 2, and laugh from the comfort of your home in the California Hills (he said; so very drastically misjudging his target demographic that you wonder if he has been smoking banana skins out of the composter again):
But we’re not here to squirm over photos of crappy British weather… I’m supposed to come up with something that I have missed about England. So, with that in mind…
Things I have missed #8: English Spring
British winters aren’t proper winters. Our snow is infrequent, light, and when there is enough of it to make a snowman… it will usually be an unhealthy looking grey snowman. Our summers are usually a washout, as previously stated. And our autumns (that’s Fall, for those of you that live pretty much anywhere else in the world), are pretty, but they are so incredibly windy that if you don’t go outside within 30 minutes of the leaves changing colour… it’s too late… they’re all in Norway already.
However… a British Spring really has to be experienced. It is by far my favourite season and, unlike a Swedish Spring, usually turns up in March (y’know… when it’s supposed to).
Y’see although those Swedish summers are spectacular, the other 3 seasons, which for the sake of expediency we’ll just call Winter, are pretty cold and very, very long. I have often, in my capacity as a Stockholm Tour Guide, told my guests that Sweden has 2 seasons: Hot and Cold. But, that’s a little unfair. There are subtle nuances of cold that only the Russians and Eskimos understand better than the Scandinavians. We can call those Spring and Autumn if it makes you feel better.
But you only have to endure one Swedish winter to understand why the Swedes party harder than Robert Downey Jr. in a recently liberated Ewok village when the sun is out. The Winter is cold, the sun just doesn’t even bother to look in occasionally and make sure everyone is okay, and it sure as hell isn’t over by March!
So, as much as I will miss those happy Swedes, and their warm dry summers. I think the English Spring is more than enough compensation thank you.
See you tomorrow for number 7.