October was a month of black boots with thick soles, blue light, rows of heather, the first snowflakes, reflectors on jackets, creeping darkness, pumpkins, blankets on outdoor seats, bitter wind and cyclists wearing bright safety vests.
A combination of rain, darkness and cold made the month feel more like November — the most miserable month of all in Sweden because the snow hasn’t arrived and brightened everything up.
When mid-October rolled around, everyone seemed to flock to the shops simultaneously. A sea of people wearing dark clothes and puffy jackets — the floaty blue and white clothes of Summer were long gone. Many were buying Winter clothes and shoes, and I suspect others were using retail therapy to console themselves about darker days.
We saw the Walk for Freedom 2023 demonstration on Norrmalm — its purpose is to promote awareness of slavery and human trafficking. Everyone walked in a single line, in silence.
This ambulance helped provide medical treatment and patient transportation on frontlines in Ukraine. As you can see, the bus needs a rest and is now being used to collect donations for new vehicles via Svenska Bussarna. It was covered in a horrifying amount of bullet and shrapnel holes.
This hole is the result of a grenade being dropped next to the ambulance. Amazingly, the medical team and the oxygen cylinders inside survived!
Don’t let this patch of blue sky trick you into believing it was warm. The wind was so icy, it felt like it could cut us in half.
The Krishnas got most of Gamla Stan dancing and singing, on this particular day.
This light was spectacular. Low sun shining on colourful trees, against moody clouds filled with snow. I didn’t add any boosting filter to the photo, these were the actual colours! A beautiful combination and this sort of dramatic weather is the reason I love Autumn and Winter so much.
A kayaker getting a few more paddles in before the big freeze starts (see this photo of the same spot for comparison).
The blue light that fills our days at this time of year.
There was a meme circulating about Nordic residents looking forward to the pandemic ending, so they could go back to standing 5 metres apart (instead of the recommended 2 metres). It’s a well known quirk of everyday life here, especially when queueing at bus stops, so I was happy to finally be carrying a camera when I saw phenomenon in the wild.
That’s all for October!