I should have seen it coming.
I even thought about it, coming up Klammerdammsgatan (yes, get your chops round that one if you can) from the river, just before turning the corner. But I didn’t see.
Neither does Daughter, which is why we were heading there in the first place. The other day she asked ‘could I see that sign up there, clearly?’ I could. She couldn’t, so we decided to pay the optician a visit. Phoned ahead to make sure he’d be there. (This is Sweden, and it is July, and people close their businesses and go on holiday.) His friendly voice on the answerphone said he’d be back the next day, so we went. Up Klammerdammsgatan and all that.
‘I always get confused about how far along this street he is’, said Daughter, turning the corner. ‘So do I’, said I, surveying the street quickly. ‘But he’s actually not here. At all.’ Yup, couldn’t see the optician, because like the dentist he had moved. Without telling us!
We repaired to the next door clothes shop for some comfort browsing while regrouping. As Daughter tried on everything in the shop, I phoned Pelle the optician. ‘Where are you?’ ‘Oh, I thought about you as I moved shops’, he said, ‘I wondered how you’d find me…’
Anyone else in the Pelle-finding business will be pleased to hear he’s in the new area past the library. Well past. And we’d already just been. Didn’t see much there either. Only one of the books I had an interest in, and it honestly didn’t look terribly good. The photo exhibition we’d looked forward to was so tiny we barely saw it.
Having searched the local grocer’s bread department for a copy of the dreadfully hyped crime novel Hypnotisören (The Hypnotist) by Lars Kepler, and failed, we set off for a real proper bookshop. She may need new glasses, but when Daughter noticed my shopping list with the word hypnotisör on it, she got very worried indeed. I suppose one of those would have fitted in quite neatly between dentist and optician. See every specialist you can think of. If your eyesight is up to it.
That’s why we went to see the watchmaker. He’s on our permanent list of useful men. Son’s watch needed attention. (Now I just know that one of our other watches will die a slow death as soon as we leave.)
Picked up three pizzas before boarding the bus back, only to find that the buses are all new too. (Not just the tickets, as per my earlier woes.) Now there is nowhere to rest your pizza cartons. We have always let our pizzas travel on the wheel well thingy. Clearly I can never leave this place again. When I do, everything changes.
Post-pizza, the Resident IT Consultant and I went down to the beach for a late swim, wondering if we’d see cows. We had in the morning, so hoped not. Cows were gone, but there were actual people on the beach. We are used to getting our mirror-smooth sea to ourselves. And the cows.