I’m about to go on holiday. I have booked the flights to Sweden, prepped with suncream and a new swimsuit. Mainly, it is about being near water, swimming in lakes and the sea – something thing currently impossible in Scotland where the promising spring has turned into The Summer of Rain.

When my British husband describes his childhood holidays, I shudder. It’s a condescending shudder, but I can’t help it. He describes rainy caravan parks, walking up nice hills and standing at popular viewpoints staring at the sea, perhaps with a bag of crisps.

Summer in Sweden is the reward for surviving the long, dark winter. When the light comes, the average Swede goes bananas and is suddenly filled with hope and joy – something severely lacking the rest of the year. We frolic in the sun, we laze on the beach, we tan.

When I was little, our family spent the summers in Sweden rather than going abroad. Fortunate enough to have a boat, we explored empty islands and slept in damp beds, listening to the midges buzzing into the insect lamp.

Scotland has a lot of midges so I could certainly recreate that particular experience. Maybe growing up in Sweden in the ‘80s set me up for a life of let-downs in the summer department. I expect too much. I expect BBQs on rocks still warm from a day of sun. I expect clean beaches and warm lakes. I expect endless summer nights and warm summer days. And if you don’t deliver that, Sweden, I will be bitterly disappointed – maybe even angry. I must have a proper summer. Take me far away from rainy caravan parks and nice hills. Get me an archipelago, get me some magic, because I’m about to get lazy.

Gabi Froden

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