The second pin of the two pins on which the Swedish year is wrapped - Christmas is the first - has arrived: Midsummer. Pagan holiday made half-Christian, it used to be tied to St. John's Day, which is June 24. Which would put it precisely six months after Christmas Eve, when Christmas is celebrated in Sweden. Very symmetrical, very orderly. Very Swedish.
Tomorrow we're off for the weekend, going out to the archipelago to the country house of the children's book author and the sea captain. Bearing salmon and caviar torte, strawberry rhubarb pie and 20 tiny bottles of Norwegian schnappes.
We almost always go to Birds Island for midsummer, to the country home of C. the fashion photographer and A. the TV producer. But after 14 years together, they are going their separate ways.
Strange how someone else's separation can tear one apart.
The holiday will be bittersweet, despite the strawberry rhubarb pie, even with whipped cream on the side.
The Swedish word for the day is skilsmässa. It means divorce.