Swedes are mad. Culture mad. At the tiniest sign of a culture offering they break shelter and flock to whatever.
We may be marooned in a small (=quiet and sometimes ‘boring’) holiday resort (though one of the best in the country, I hasten to add, lest you think I’m a nobody), but things do happen. Just look at Harplinge library’s book sale on Monday! Saw the ad in the paper for their table top sale. ‘Harplinge has a library?’ said the Resident IT Consultant.
Regardless of the small disadvantage of not knowing where it was, he managed very nicely in taking us to the previously unheard of library. The books were all in Swedish, so I purchased a Maj Sjöwall, and left the rest. But I have to say that when they are ready to part with their old armchairs, I’m wanting first refusal. Daughter couldn’t recall having been there before, and we worked out she may have been 18 months old at the time. On that basis I’m willing to forgive her.
Over the last months I have have come across the name Björn Ranelid several times. Swedish author of ‘normal’ books, i.e. not children’s or crime. With hindsight I know this was a witchy premonition. He was speaking at a Halmstad library event on Monday night. We didn’t go.
The ad mentioned we could catch Björn at Båtabacken the next morning, and this being in Haverdal, we did. Daughter grumbled at being got out of bed (and here you have to consider I’d just had a nightmare featuring Björn), and she said how she hates being the only one at events.
It was hot. Very hot. The mobile library was in place. So was Björn’s Jag. And there was a stream of people streaming towards the beach area. We streamed along, and Daughter snapped. There were at least 150 people there, frying in the sunshine, and listening. More if you count the dogs.
According to his website Björn has several talks that he is word perfect on.
We left to go swimming.
An hour later, and very slightly cooled off we returned to see if there was action still, and caught the tail end of the signing queue. How Björn and his fans didn’t all faint I don’t know.
We made another hurried escape.
But at least we weren’t the only ones there.
(Photos by Helen Giles)