It’s not often that one can pinpoint within 30 minutes precisely when the seasons change, but such was the case for me yesterday. As weird as it sounds, I can state with absolutely certainty that winter arrived in southern Sweden sometime between 7:37 and 8:07 a.m. on November 1st.
It was 8 degrees Celsius with a light rain when I left The Penthouse-Nordic yesterday morning. (That’s about 47 degrees Fahrenheit for my American readers.) I was wearing a perfectly appropriate lightweight rain jacket over a long-sleeved pique polo shirt and cotton slacks. A half an hour later I was woefully under-dressed.
I suppose should have known I was in big trouble when a member of train’s onboard staff announced that the temperature had dropped a full 5 degrees during our journey from Malmö to Landskrona. (That’s ALOT in Celsius!) There was a bit of light snow flying around when I stepped off the train, but I figured if I pulled my hood up and put on my light-weight stretch gloves I’d be okay. WRONG!
Within three or four minutes the light flurries turned into a heavy mixture of snow and sleet being driven by a wind that would have wreaked havoc on my umbrella had I attempted to dig it out of my bag. So I jammed my lightly-gloved hands into my jacket pockets and pressed on, and by the time I reached my office building six or seven minutes later, the right sides of both my pant legs were soaked through. There’s nothing like starting the day in wet pants to drive home the point that it’s officially winter.
Of course the signs that it was finally on its way had been multiplying over the past week. There was the slight drop in temperature and the diminishing amounts of daylight…although the recent time change has a lot to do with that. We had to break our bike lights for the ride home from yoga on Sunday afternoon because it was pitch dark by 5:30. (I’m still not used to the whole business of changing the clocks, but I definitely prefer the "fall back" part of the process.)
But because the autumn has been so mild for so long, there are still a lot of trees with green leaves on them, which looks really odd when there is snow on the ground, too. It’s like walking through an artificial environment in an amusement park or on a movie set…it feels real, but something’s not quite right.
Hang on a sec…I think I just described living in Sweden in general.