Warm white wine

Today the weather was a bit grime. The snow was pockmarked from the occasional spatterings of frozen ice. But then, just as it seemed the snow would be completely obliterated, it would snow enough to cover the holes.

This continued throughout the day. When we went for our evening consitutional, we did it through a combination of showery sleet and tiny bits of snow. It wasn’t particularly cold so there was a lot of slush about.

Coincidentally, I read this in the Toilet Book:

During some weeks in winter in the central part of Scandinavia the sky doesn’t seem to bother even attempting to impress us, it greets us with the colour of newspaper in a puddle, and dawn leaves behind it a fog as if someone has been setting fire to ghosts.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Says it all, really. I guess every day in Sweden can’t be perfect.

For some people, though, it seems an effort has to be made to improve things. I noticed two instances on my bus rides to and from Tyresö Centrum this morning.

On the way in, I sat watching a young woman pulling faces at her phone. She was wearing a coat with a fur lined hood about five times bigger than her head which created the perfect framing for selfies. She pouted, she smiled, she poked her tongue out. Then, having taken around 100 photographs, she started deleting the ones she didn’t like.

It kept her occupied for the entire bus ride. She left the bus at Tyresö the same as me. Unlike me, she lit up a cigarette and stood outside the centre while I went inside and shopped.

I had to buy a new mouse, so I went to Kjell & Company. My laptop doesn’t take kindly to the cordless type, so I had to buy one with a cable. The helpful shop assistant pointed this out in case I hadn’t noticed. I smiled and assured him I needed a mouse with a tail. While he was very pleasant, I can’t help wondering whether he thought to mention it because I’m old and use a stick and a shopping trolley.

Always pleasant is my weekly visit to the Espresso House. I had a lovely latte and chat with the barista before settling down for a read before catching the bus back home.

The other night, Anders was telling us how drink is a real problem in Sweden. We hadn’t noticed it but today, riding the bus back from the shops, I spotted an old couple drinking Chapel Hill Riesling from a box.

I don’t think that one couple drinking warm white wine directly from the box is an indication of a national issue, but it is the first time I’ve ever seen it. Anywhere. Not that I was bothered but, if I was a committed alcoholic, the last thing I’d be drinking would be warm Riesling. Travelling on a bus at room temperature, it could only be a red.

Which seems an excellent segue into…

Beer Review

The System at Tyresö Centrum has a habit of moving the beers around. One consequence of this is that I despair every week in finding my favourite (Poppels Passion IPA). Another consequence is discovering new beers. Like St Eriks.

St Eriks is an American style IPA that’s been brewed here in Stockholm since 2010. It isn’t as citrussy as my preferred IPA and, consequently, not as refreshingly quenching. It is generously malty and slightly hoppy. And not at all unpleasant.

Mind you, it is 5.3% so a bit more than a session beer.

St Eriks has been brewing beer since 1859. By 1870, it had become the official beer supplier to the Royal Court and, at the turn of the 20th century, it was the biggest selling beer in Stockholm. You can read more about the brewery on their website, here.

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