Ah, that’s better! We have relocated this morning to the happiest hotel in the world, away from where we were in a little suburb called Nacka (that meant all of 10 minutes on the bus to get to central Stockholm – compact little city, this) to slap bang in the city centre. Clarion Sign Hotel is on Prozac, I swear. Clarion loves fucking EVERYTHING. Signs all over the place telling you how much it loves this, that, the other – at the breakfast buffet Clarion Loves Mornings and by the gluten free section Clarion Loves Happy Tummies, the hangers tell you that You Look Nice in This, the aircon control informs you Clarion Loves Fresh Air, displays for its restaurant announce that Clarion Loves Good Food. It’s endless. Enough for this sarcastic little madam to feel slightly sickened at all this fucking loving.
The only place Clarion isn’t declaring its death defying love is next to the mini bar. That’s probably got something to do with the fact that a small bag of peanuts will set you back £3. There’s no love there. None. I’m happy to pay £300 for a pair of jeans and once splashed out £1700 on a limited edition Mulberry Bayswater bag, but there are rules, damn it! Yes, expensive denim may seem crazy, but I have always been of the opinion that you get what you pay for. I’m not a total snob, it’s just that when it comes to denim and handbags I do have high standards. There is a huge difference between a pair of 7 For All Mankind and something from Primark. Sorry, but that’s just how it is. But there is nothing special about these bloody peanuts, which means I won’t go near them. They’re not worth their price tag, unlike that Mulberry handbag.
Surprisingly, a bottle of beer out of the minibar will only set you back £6, which is actually a bit odd given how you need to be a millionaire or take out a bank loan if you want to go out drinking here in Stockholm. Apparently we are going out this evening with B’s work colleagues, and it’ll no doubt be exactly like the last time we were here – dinner at 6pm (and that means 6pm SHARP), and everyone finished and heading home by 7.30pm. Funny species, us Swedes, all so bloody functional and orderly. I love it and hate it at the same time. I appreciate it at the same time as it drives me a little nuts.
B’s having some management meeting in this hotel, somewhere on the first floor, whereas I am still in the dressing gown in our top floor room that has an amazing view out over the city. I am gasping for a cigarette, but I need to figure out if they can see the outside bar area from whatever room they’re in. It’s very un-Swedish to smoke and even more un-Swedish to have a glass of wine on a Monday afternoon. I might put a sign on my chest saying ‘On Holiday’. Or, inform anyone who raises an eyebrow that I was sober this morning and I’m just trying to put things right again.
Seriously, I’m going to head down for that cigarette, writing about it made me really crave one. Oh, I know it’s bad.. And we do need to quit. Apparently B never used to smoke much, just the occasional one here and there on nights out, but he is a full time smoker now, and I have gone the same way. I never used to smoke during the day, only ever smoking when drinking. And when I drink, I chain smoke. But it’s scary how it creeps in and has done since we met. Now I have a cigarette even before I’ve had my breakfast, going out on the balcony with B and smoking one (but more often TWO) over or morning coffee.
Stupid thing really, because it’s such an easy habit to kick. Mildest addiction ever, withdrawal just feels a bit like a hunger pang, and 48 hours after your last one, the nicotine is out of your system, which means cravings go away too. It’s all in my head, I know that. I didn’t use to stress about it, but now I do because we’ve smoked way too much over this past year, plus I worry about B because I love him so much and would go insane with grief if he got ill because of smoking. I will NOT have that. Beautiful people like B should be thrown in prison for smoking, they shouldn’t be allowed to ruin their health.
I often ogle B. It’s times like that, when I secretly properly eye him up and down, that I know that I’ll never ever take him for granted. Gosh, he’s just… ….perfect. My best friend and the most wonderful person (next to Monkey) that I’ve ever met, packaged into the sexiest body on the planet. Bite me for being one smug chica.