Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy Valborg!

Tonight is Valborg, a semi-official holiday here in Sweden in which bonfires are set to welcome the month of May and the end of winter. The practice has its roots in pagan times, although today it's formally known as Walpurgis night.

My first Valborg was 21 years ago, and my drive to work very early on the sunny morning of May 1 was an eerie experience. First, there wasn't a soul on the road. Second, the horizon was dotted with smoke trails from dozens of smoldering fires. I began to wonder if I had missed some Swedish broadcast about a Russian invasion! Although it seems funny now, I was a little creeped out at the time.

But back to the present day and it was another good one at our little stuga. The weather held up and we put up a bunch of shelves (after much measuring and discussing), and I figured out how to set our TV to receive Swedish channels.

We also visited Janne at his new work site on a beautiful point of land on the north side of the island; he's making a teak deck at a 55° angle, which combines woodworking and mathematical skills. He'll be over in a little while for an evening of chili.

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