Do you want a knuckle sandwich with that football match?
There’s something about London… especially during the World Cup. The masses have been banned from outdoor screenings since red and white first match hell broke out in Canary Wharf. My experience of last night’s match however, was loud but bloodless. Maybe it’s because I celebrated it with the Swedes. Why the lack of violence? Maybe because:
“The Swedish are the Most Boring People On Earth”
Before you burn me at the stake or impale me with a Maypole, rest assured that I do not agree with this statement. I came across it as I pumped my little legs on the gym bike yesterday. Between the huffs, the puffs and the ‘it’s-too-damn-early-for-this-crap’, I occasionally read the newspaper. It was during this attempt at distraction that my eyes fell on this particularly debatable headline. A Swedish journalist, living in London, I must add, wrote the article.
Now, I happen to have a soft spot for the Scandinavians. My two best friends in this city come from the land of ABBA and they put the ‘seX’ in excitement. I met the first on a train from Farringdon to Kings Cross. In the space of five mini minutes we exchanged gripes about finding friends in London and swapped numbers. The rest was pint-sized bombshell history.
The second Swede, I met in a London nightclub, standing in line as we waited for the toilet. I’ve met many a good friend this way – a small bladder may destroy your love life but it does wonders for your little black book of girlfriends. Her smile stood out amongst the hard-edged city girls and I stood transfixed as she burst into a rendition of Abba’s ‘Our Last Summer’.
“And now you’re working in a bank, the family man, the football fan… and your name is Harry”.
This was my first encounter with a pure bred rural Swedish girl. Little did I know that there, in the dimly lit ladies’ room, I’d stumbled upon another Eurovision loving, herring eating best mate. She was a clich? in all the right ways, and testament to the smiling nature of the Nordic stock.
In the two years since, my blonde bombshell and brunette beauty Swedes have taken me to their homeland, led me astray and confirmed my thoughts. They may live in darkness for most of the year, but the Scandinavians know how to have a good time. The Swedish summer is short and sweet and by the time it bursts to life in June, celebrations are in full swing. The sun never sets in the north, which allows for plenty of time to make full use of their annual Midsummer holiday. And, this week they’re bringing it to London.
That’s right, schnapps, tunes, food and merriness will hit Hyde Park and Southwark Park near the Swedish Seamen’s Church this Saturday. Now THAT beats a trip to IKEA.
It’s worth noting that Midsummer Eve involves some interesting traditions. Place seven varieties of flower placed under your pillow and the man of your dreams will appear in your dreams. Failing this, salted porridge consumed before bed will produce a water bearing future husband, eager to quench your thirst. Sounds to me like they’re pickling their fish with more than vinegar, but who knows; believe and the bronzed, blue-eyed Nordic masterpiece of your dreams may just turn up on your doorstep.
Boring? About as dull as a herring in the face I say.