Saturday 14th June 2014 – Gavle, Sweden
As I sit on the balcony, it is the most stunning day imaginable in Southern Sweden, just a few dozen miles North of the countries capitol. With not a cloud in the sky as far as I can see, blue skies and pleasant temperatures are the order of the day and it is nothing less than my good friends Fredrik and Karin deserve for their wedding day.
Climbing has taken very much a back seat for the first stage of this year’s Summer trip, as it well should at times like this. Last Christmas, my best friend Dave got married (on the 27th December) and that too took the attention away from the usual festive revelries, as it well should; some things take precedent over normal life. I’m thrilled to be here with them, as thrilled as I was honoured just to be invited, and considering the relentless drizzle that greeted me as I walked here from the train station last night, am quite relieved. Surely not as much as the bride and groom though!
The wedding itself is in about three hours and I currently sit, drinking some of my precious tea supplies (of which I massively underestimated), my belongings strewn with reckless abandon around the flat after I searched manically earlier for the European power adaptor to allow me to power my laptop and listen to the wavering tones of Miles Davis’ trumpet. On a personal level, today has allowed me to relax more than somewhat, free from any pressures and stress back home but safe in the knowledge that I can message home and request more tea supplies, among anything else I discover has been inadvertently forgotten…
Tomorrow I move on to Spain, to Madrid and hopefully to meet John before heading out to Albarracin on Monday. After weeks of various personal problems and challenges, it is unbelievably pleasant to be back in a country that is rapidly becoming a home-away-from-home for me.
However, the day belongs to my Swedish companions and I am now going to go clean both belongings and myself before anyone returns. Should they read this, I wish them both a wealth of hapiness, many happy years filled with climbing trips to far-flung countries and a friendship that will not wither with time. Congratulations to you both.