April was a month of daffodils, påskris, snow, luminous sunsets, loppis popping up in public spaces, people being “sunflowers” and soaking up the sun with their eyes closed, clear blue skies, the reopening of ice cream shops and a city buzz we haven’t experienced in months.
These bright yellow buds poking through the snow signalled Spring was finally on the way. It has arrived late for the second year in a row, which starts to feel painful after a long Winter. Even as I type this in mid May, we are only just starting to see tiny leaves unfurling on tree branches.
I ran into a crowd of Hammarby IF (football team) fans while walking through Södermalm. A police van started escorting them through the island so I decided to wait and let them pass. After 20 minutes, the crowd swelled and just kept coming… and coming… and coming!
I’d accidentally become part of the opening season stadium march. Despite it looking like the end of the world in the photo above, people were in a good mood and some had even bought their children along. It was exciting!
I didn’t realise just how large the crowd was until I got home and checked Twitter — there were thousands upon thousands of people! And there was little old me floating around the edge somewhere. Maybe I should declare myself a Hammarby supporter after this accidental initiation.
This ad from the Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) is encouraging people to pay attention to warning signs, to avoid getting caught up in a training exercises (shot) or encountering un-detonated ammunition on the ground. The fact they’ve made a campaign for this is impressive but also no surprise given how outdoor focused Swedish life is.
This ad taught us about the lovely concept of smultronställe (pronounced like “smooltron.stelleh”):
Smultronställe is a word to describe a place or sometimes a period of time where you feel happiness, joy and especially well-being.
Winter winding down meant loppis life resumed, hooray! Hötorget is one of my favourites because there are usually lots of interesting things to see. On the other side of the coin, interesting things attract collectors and dealers who don’t mind pushing in to get the things they want.
Ice cream shops usually reopen at the end of March, despite the fact it’s freezing cold and there is still snow on the ground. When the doors reopened, we starting eating ice cream without delay, to ensure we are living our best Swedish lives.
Neither of us could work out how anyone acquires enough extension cords to fill a whole shopping trolley!
People turned into sunflowers again; absorbing sun with closed eyes. Something that still makes me smile every year.
Tables and chairs on pavements means it won’t be long before popular roads are pedestrianised for Summer and marked with pelargonium pillars. Despite the cold earlier in the month, plenty of people wrapped up and enjoyed fika outdoors in the sun.
April ended with a hot day that seemed to come out of nowhere. We hit 22c in the city and people fully embraced the warmth, especially along Tanto where there are lots of sunny spots by the water. It was nice to spend time outside wearing fewer clothes.