And so the day is upon us – the 13th of December, which – if you are Swedish – means it’s Lucia. It’s without doubt the most beautiful tradition I know, and every time I hear the first few notes of ‘Sankta Lucia’ when the procession starts I well up. Since I moved to the UK, I’ve been going to the Swedish church every year, but this is the first time in 20 years that I’m actually in Sweden on this day so B and I tried to work out if we should find a church close to the hotel. Instead, we decided to order up breakfast to the room and watch the TV broadcast in bed. Drunken decisions aren’t always a good thing. Suffering wine famine (the kind of crazy hunger you end up feeling towards the end of the evening when only a dripping kebab will satisfy) was a bad moment to decide on the next morning’s breakfast procedure.
We (drunkenly, after the Christmas do at Berns), ordered two American breakfasts at the reception before stumbling back to our room, along with mulled wine. Because, you know, that’s something you really want when you wake up with a hangover – pancakes and warm wine?! Sure enough, we sleepily forced ourselves awake for 7am and hardly touched the huge spread consisting of pancakes and bagels. Eurgh. Never mind the mulled wine, yuk!
Luckily we feel a little better now after the little lie-in we had when Lucia was over. B’s in the shower, and I can just about make out his gorgeous, long and lean shape through the frosted glass partitions. We probably need to check out in the next hour, so will leave the bags at reception and take a stroll into the main shopping drag. B suggested we get something Swedish for his boys as part of their Christmas presents, but I’m not so sure that’s a good idea. I think the less I impose myself on them, the better. Open arms and a warm welcome from me any time they reach out, of course, but I decided from the beginning that I won’t be intruding or approaching them in case it’s a little sensitive still. Doesn’t seem to be, but how much would they really let on if this situation did bother them?
I’m sure it’s awkward when you’re around the 20-mark to be confronted with A) the breakdown of your parents’ 20-year+ marriage, and B) dad’s new girlfriend. Perhaps a little souvernir at the most. And who knows how their mother is, for all I know she could be lonely and miserable over Christmas, so seeing B and I all coupled up and blissfully happy and carefree might not be so great. Well, I hope their mother isn’t lonely or miserable – the opposite is my wish for her, and if that’s not now I hope it’ll be soon. Would make everyone’s lives much easier if nothing else, plus the idea of ANYONE being sad is very shit, no matter who they are.
B’s sons are coming to stay next weekend, as it happens and I can’t wait, it’ll be so nice to have them over and B lights up so much when he’s around them. I was toying with the idea of booking something for the three of them – some experience of some kind for father and sons – but struggling to find anything. The younger one doesn’t drive, so a track day driving Ferraris is out of the question. And then my imagination deserted me, so I guess we’ll just stick with Plan A and take them to Bounce or something – this bar in central London where you drink, eat and play table tennis.
Last night was really good. Of course, we expected a traditional Swedish Christmas dinner, but oh no! Berns Asiatiska – the Asian restaurant at Berns. But as much as I was in the mood for Christmas ham, pickled herring and meatballs, it was probably the best sushi I’ve ever had so I wasn’t complaining. B’s colleagues are all very nice and I got to have a good chat with most of them.
Right! Time to head out and check out the shopping in El Stockholmo!