Saturday, June 13, 2009

The weather

JenniferSo that's it—I've nearly snapped. I made it through autumn with its chills, winter with its alarmingly short days, and a spring that was long and cold and in which the icy slush seemed to stick around forever. After all that, two weeks in June has almost done me in.

After the beginning of May was so unusually warm, and then a nice sunny weekend or two, everyone was looking forward to a glorious summer. However, since the start of June, the weather has been just crappy. I'm not the only one to think so—even the Swedes are complaining about it. Swedes talk a lot about the weather, but they don't often complain, exactly, it's more like someone will say "Vilket vädret!" or "Det regnar" and everyone else will make non-verbal agreeing kind of noises. Foreigners who dare to offer an opinion about the weather, either negative or positive, are often treated to a rather gleeful description from a native about how it can snow in June. But no one is (half-)joking about it anymore. My attempt to be positive at Thursday morning fika, saying that perhaps it was a tad less dark that it had been earlier in the week, was met with universal scorn. "How can you say that that it's less dark?" scoffed a professor. "Dark is dark." He went on to relate that the whole summer could be like this, no warmer than 10C and raining. It's happened before.

So far, it's looking like this may be just such a summer, and the awful realization of this possibility is sinking in to even the most stoic of the Swedes. K. declared at lunch on Wednesday that summer is over: we had it in May, and that was all. Yesterday afternoon, Joe rode his bike through a cold rain in order to bring cookies in for my birthday fika and was completely soaked by the time he got to my workplace. A.-S. arrived in the upstairs break room first, and the three of us sat around the table in silence for a few moments. She looked outside at the dark and the rain, and sighed. "It's bad," she said. "It is not fun anymore." This, from her, is an outpouring of grief, a cry of outrage against an uncaring universe. It's a complaint.

And now there's proof: this article in (in English) says that the meteorological agency agrees that this is in fact the coldest start to summer in memory.


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