Summer of 2023 – part one

The summer of 2023 is getting near the end. Well, more than halfway anyway. Here in Sweden, we’ve had drought, flooding, and everything else. As for me personally, there has been a funeral in the family (my dear ol’ aunt) and next week there will be a wedding (my niece). Such an eventful summer may have to be summarized twice. So, here comes the first part.

A typical Swedish summer pic. Photo: Per Jonsson

The summer of 2023 – an eventful summer indeed

Last summer I turned 60 and celebrated that by attending London for a concert. I (logically) turned 61 this summer and didn’t celebrate at all. Instead, I spent a lot of time in Stockholm sorting out things after my aunt. Of course, I also had time for some relaxing, e.g., having a beer or two. I can by the way recommend the old town of Stockholm if you are in Sweden and wishes to see some city life. 

A cold one in the old town of Stockholm is always nice. Here you never have to walk far to find one. Photo: Per Jonsson

I also helped a friend chop some firewood after he had an arborist take down some trees in the garden. My Husky ax came in handy. 

My ax is normally used to bang wedges when felling. But this summer it had another task. Photo: Per Jonsson
Just getting started. Photo: Per Jonsson

The start was hot

The start of the summer was hot and dry. The farmers had problems with their animal feed harvest, many even had to send cattle to the butcher to save the remaining livestock. The summer of 2018 came to mind, and we prepared for the worst. Small wildfires occurred but nowadays Sweden has waterbombers and is prepared for wildfires so, the fires that did occur were quickly put out. 

Most Swedes have their summer vacation in July. That’s an old tradition. Another tradition is that it always rains in July – because of the vacation. In 2023, exactly that happened. 

Lovely rain falling on my window. The paper mill across the lake almost disappears. Photo: Per Jonsson

The vacationers cursed the weather and all of us nature lovers praised it. The wildfire risk was gone and the work in the forest could continue as usual. 

Too much of the good?

Eventually, the rain took over completely in some parts of the country. Sweden and Norway were hit by the storm “Hans” ( which caused vast problems with flooding and landslides. Parts of Sweden also suffered severe windthrow with millions of cubic meters of damaged wood as a result. 

Even though I wasn’t in any of the struck areas I was hit by the problems. I traveled to Stockholm by train. My route didn’t pass any of the problematic areas, but the train’s starting point was on the west coast where the problems were big. This caused train delays hundreds of miles away from the coast. I got to Stockholm one hour late so I guess I shouldn’t complain after all. 

What about the rest of the summer? 

Well, today we have seen both sun and rain so far where I am. Some say the summer will return. That’s probably the optimists. Others say that the “normal Swedish Summer” will continue with rain, wind, and some glimpses of the sun. I will come back to that in the next summer summary. After all, it’s easier to report what happened than to predict what shall happen. 

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