Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Love your home!

My late mother was brought up in Luleå in the north of Sweden. I've only once visited Luleå in winter, and that was for my grandfather’s funeral which was around 3rd January, some years ago. On the morning of the funeral the temperature was –40C. My uncle Sture scandalised his sisters by standing around not wearing a hat; but Sture is a physicist and knew that the stillness of the air caused his head not to feel the full force of the cold.

Afterwards my uncles and aunts were walking along the street, with me following close behind listening.  Now it happens that with the exception of my aunt Kerstin they have long ago all migrated to regions of Sweden much further south; and this was the tenor of their conversation: “In winter 40 degrees of frost and no sunlight, and in summer sun all night and no sleep. Who can possibly live in this inhuman climate?”  Wrong, wrong, wrong I thought to myself, this is wrong. Whatever the climate home is home and you should love it. I said so, but my words cut no ice with them.

The truth is I love the light nights of summer and can't see how anyone could possibly disagree. Once I played a game of Pontoon with my cousins round our grandmother's kitchen table, we sat down at about 11 pm and got up from our game at about 2 am, by which time the sun was streaming in. At no point during the night had anyone thought to get up and switch on the kitchen light.

For a photo see Midnight in Luleå


  1. Are you not perhaps over-romanticising? If you lived their year round, year in year out, you might feel differently.

  2. So, Sture's knowledge of physics allowed him to observe the fact that it wasn't windy..!