Twelve months ago tonight I was preparing to head off to Pride Park in Stockholm for Schlager Night.
I’d heard about the annual celebration of all things Eurovision and Melodifestivalen for a number of years and was very excited by the prospect of four or five hours of live music in a crowd of, maybe, 30,000 others with an almost unhealthy interest in three-minute sing-a-long Swedish pop songs.
Tonight, in contrast, I’ve just spent two or three hours passed out on the couch, fast asleep, and with the television playing Fox News.
I had a brief reminder, though, of this night twelve months ago when Graeme called from Sweden with a cheerio call.
He and Grant have been there since Sunday, enjoying the ups and downs of a Swedish summer. “One minute it’s insanely hot, the next it looks like it could rain”, he told me.
They’ve managed to do a fair bit, though, in the few days they’ve been there, including having seen Alcazar perform a live set of some of their hit songs. Very jealous.
They also managed to pick up some “mini raincoats” from Pirate Bay, which they were selling at Stockholm Pride. “Keep up the good work people kept saying to us”, Graeme told me, as they walked around the park. Even more jealous!
The call woke me from my slumber on the couch which is pretty much where I’ve been since arriving home.
Or at least since Sue and I chatted on the phone about our future travel plans. Previously we’ve chatted about Darwin and New Zealand. Tonight we pretty much settled on Vanuatu which we both thought offered us the relaxation we both desire, as well as a small degree of exoticness. And it also looks pretty cheap! If you’ve been there and have some thoughts, we’d appreciate your input.
The reason I was a bit tired after work today is two-fold. First, I’m doing a new job at the moment, and am going through a period of massive information download. And second, I’ve been out the last three nights. The combination of long and intense days, followed by busy social activity, had slowed me down briefly.
The phone call from Graeme, tonight, however cheered me up to no end.