Monday – Stockholm

Waiting on the Chatham platform on the first leg of my journey, I remembered that I had forgotten to pack my toiletries and trainers.  Oh well.

Into London, then the tube to Heathrow.  I had forgotten how different tube travel is at the weekend.  I was the only suit.  Several Marathon runners, Jim’ll Fix It medals round their necks, were making their way home with proud families.  I still had to stand all the way to Heathrow, though.

Queued for 20 minutes at the check-in, whereupon the chek-in clerk said I could have used the self-serve check-in, as I had already done it over the web.

"But then I would never have met you"

He laughed, but still didn’t upgrade my seat.

Then onto Boots for my forgotten toiletries, through security into Duty Free (cue fanfare).  #1 sprog wants a particular (expensive) MP3 player.  Dixons web site has it for £149.  Dixons’ Duty Free (cue fanfare) is actually more expensive.  Outrageous.  Stuff them.  I ordered it over the web instead.  It’s not the £5 extra, it’s the principle.

The flight was OK.  The seats at first look great, leather cover, headrest.  But the headrest is not designed for someone 6 feet 2 inches tall.  The meal was the smallest slice of ham and cheese pizza I have ever seen.

At Arlanda airport my case was first on the carousel!  Amazing!  I have always had to wait for ever, and there was no-one there I knew to witness it.

The hotel was OK.  The restaraunt was closed, but the bar did snacks.  Ham and cheese pizza.  Obviously a favoured Swedish dish.  XXX (the Vin Diesel film, not the sort of Swedish film you’re thinking of) was on tv, in English (well, American) but with Swedish subtitles.  It makes it impossible to follow, because your eyes are drawn to the subtitles, you can’t understand them, by which time the dialogue has finished on screen.

I wake at 05:30, which is 04:30 back home.  The sun streaming in through the window makes it look like 06:30.  Is it possible to get jet lag from London to Stockholm?

Breakfast includes English Breakfast, Swedish-style.  Meatballs along with the bacon.  But wonder of wonders they have HP sauce.  Result!

Everyone has told me how convenient the hotel is to Dell.  Literally next door.  I have arranged to meet Frederick at 08:00.  At 7:30 I asked at reception where Dell is.  It is next to the Scandic hotel.  But not the Scandic hotel I’m staying at.  It’s next to the Scandic hotel that is half an hour walk away.  I could do that.  Of course, I now only have 25 minutes, because it took 5 minutes to locate a map.

The route they draw for me on the map has no footpaths, and Swedes do not drive on the right side of the road.  They drive on the wrong side of the road.  The cyclepath marked on the edge of the road is protected by a dotted white line only, and is covered in fresh, wide tyre marks.

But I get there, the people are friendly, the day goes OK, considering it’s the first time we’ve set it up.

I found a much nicer route back, partly through the pine woods, no roads to walk along.  The sun is bright, but it’s so cold that my face is fell-asleep-in-the-sun red by the time I get to the hotel.  Now I’m counting the minutes to dinner time, then it’s an early night.

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About snodlander
Snodlander is the nom de plume of Bob Simms. He is an IT trainer, but it's not as glamourous as it sounds. When he's not enthralling classes with adventures through SQL Server, he writes, draws and drinks his own home-brew. Buy his novel on Amazon Kindle at The Young Demon Keeper, It's 74p, for crying out loud!

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