Swedish Autumn

Summer is a vague memory, as though it happened years ago in another country. Cafés have removed their outdoor furniture. No one wants to lick an ice-block cappuccino in a mug. Watching the leaves turn various shades of orange, yellow and red is beautiful. It’s the closest I hope I ever come to seeing fire fall from the sky. The burning colours signal that it’s time to rummage through the attic and find my gloves, beanie, reflectors, vitamin-D and enormous jacket. Apparently there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. Bullshit. Eight months of winter is a human rights violation.

It only takes a single gale to remove all the magnificent leaves from their perch. Their departing performance is spectacular. A final wave good-bye before millions exit stage towards the earth. Branches stripped bare, mounds of gold coat the ground and quickly begin to decay. Town resembles a wasteland. None of the greenery, warmth or cheer of summer seems to survive the onslaught of autumn.

Morning frost on the roofs lets us know that the air is dry and our nose hairs will freeze while cycling. In town the buildings and streets have scaffolding all around, but not for construction works. The festival of lights is approaching. In order to distract the population from the plummeting temperatures and soul-crushing darkness, the city of Uppsala creates artistic light shows around the cathedral, bridges and buildings. A great initiative with good intentions. If my mindset were better I would appreciate the moment and be mindful during the festival of lights for its beauty. Instead, the festival just serves as a reminder that we’re locked inside a deepfreeze in someone’s basement. And over the next few months the owner lowers the temperature and removes all the light bulbs. Sick bastard. Strap in, put Sinatra on repeat, keep your nuts toasty by an open fire or book a one-way to Portugal. The sun is out of office until March.

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