So far, this is one of the rainiest and coldest Swedish summers on record. Scanning Facebook and other media, I’ve come up with the top 10 Swedish ways to describe this usually happy season:
1) Pissväder ( pissy weather)
2) Sommar-ångest (Summer anxiety)
3) Höstlikt (similar to autumn)
4) Sommar?? (Is this really summer??)
5) Trött på detta (sick of this)
6) Äntligen sol! (Finally – sun!)
7) Vafaan!? (What the hell!?)
8) Regn, regn, regn (rain, rain, rain)
9) Sjuktkallt (extremely cold)
10) Semesterbubbel (holiday bubbly)
In Sweden there’s a series of classic songs that are strongly related to the summer. One of these songs, I have always hated. It’s by an aging pop star called Thomas Ledin. I fear his summer song may be coming true this year.
This year, we’ve had the rainiest May and June in human memory. We had a heat wave of 5 days at the beginning of July. And today? It’s 14 degrees and raining again. So much for summer. Maybe that was it last week, flashing by in the blink of an eye.
So what is Thomas Ledin’s song? In Swedish it goes ‘sommaren är kort, det mesta regnar bort’ which translates as ‘summer is short, most of it just rains away.’
Art meets life in an annoying, but this year truthful, summer melody.
At the moment, I’m hearing a lot of moaning about the weather. It is raining a lot and unusually cold for the time of year.
Or is it?
I remember the first year I moved to Sweden and I was returning to the UK on May 13th to visit family. At Arlanda Stockholm Airport our flight was delayed – because it was snowing!! Snowing on May 13th! When I arrived in London, it was over 20 degrees and people were walking around in shorts.
I also remember another year – on Midsummer’s Eve – in June that we sat outside and it was so cold our breaths were steaming. It was the same temperature on Midsummer’s Eve as it had been on New Year’s Eve.
And I remember another May morning a few years ago when I was late for a meeting beacuse I had to unexpectedly scrape the ice of my car.
So is it so unusual that it’s this cold at this time of the year? Unfortunately not. Up here in the Nordic region, this is what we can expect from our weather gods.
The only thing that can make it change is global warming – not selective memory, collective denial or wishful thinking.