My Midsummer Night’s Dream

To the Swiss, midsummer doesn’t mean much. That’s because over here, summer is warm and long and not urgent and panicky and brief. Like back home in the north.

The height of the international Nordic panic is at midsummer when all Finns, Swedes and Norwegians simultaneously realise that summer is actually half way gone and they kinda did nothing to live it to the fullest. So they cancel their Netflix in a regretful haze, rush off to their seaside cottages and lakeside cottages and start posting about living summer to the fullest.

The ultimate Scandi Noir tragedy nobody posts about of course is, that when you try to go outside to enjoy the fleeting summer to the fullest, you barge straight back in again terrified, chased by a fierce regiment of organised mosquitos. No pictures of that on Instagram that I’ve seen!

And I’m not saying this because I’m jealous of all my social media buddies posting pictures from seaside cottages. Nope! No jetties, barbecues or rowboats for me please. Ditto birch branches tied together on the doorsteps of old saunas. Yucks. Brrr.

If anyone asks, I am NOT interested in drinking cider on the cliffs by the shore, thanks very much. Watching the sun set into the island opposite while quietly dipping into the lake would be my definition of a wasted evening. Same goes for sleeping in old boats gently rocked by the lovely little waves of the white night while water birds coo.


That would be most undesirable indeed!

I much prefer to go to my storage room and cry looking at all the things I have to sort and haven’t!

So, happy midsummer, Switzerland.

I’m so excited to be living my summer here to the fullest!

Ps. It turns out I am going to a brunch tomorrow to mark the occasion. Not that I would want to! No, it’s solely for representational purposes. And I’ll be back in my storage room midsummer night’s dream before you can say ‘Hyvää juhannusta!’

May Day

Back home tonight, my people are getting drunk on spring. They wrap themselves head to toe in streamers, then roam the streets looking for misplaced Prosecco glasses. Missing joke wigs, soap bubbles, study buddies and such. It’s the custom. The law, one could say!

Some carnival goers will be struck by the divine inspiration to splash around in neo-classical fountains. Without exception, they will badly freeze. A lucky dripping person can perhaps warm up with someone cute who lives downtown and was (what a coincidence!) similarly inspired in the same fountain at the same time..!

Some will end up necking other people’s boyfriends and girlfriends and undefined friends in the dark of the morning hours. Then crying bitter gin tears into tomorrow’s picnic basket.

Others will no doubt meet the love of their life. They won’t be able to get out of their student associations’ worker’s overalls fast enough. Try undoing two (or more? it’s 2018!) sets of painter’s overalls quickly in the dark while tipsy, and secretly looking for something serious!

Elsewhere, the kids are finally in bed. The grown-ups can toast to a day off work tomorrow. Sure, it will be more work than actually going to work. But at least, at last, summer is coming!

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