On Day 10, we go for a long walk in a forest very strange for Swedish standards: it has no blueberries. Instead, it has ferns and moss and grass like ordinary forests, and more deciduous trees than usual. It also has giant anthills almost every few steps, and we spend a lot of time watching the jumble of ants going about their days, running back and forth without apparent reason or grappling with objects much larger than them.
Holiday spirit has set in for good, and the days start blurring together in a new routine: sleeping, eating, browsing, maybe walks or driving or grocery-shopping or multiple of the above, a movie, and then it’s back to sleeping. It’s neither terribly action-packed nor terribly boring. We rarely take two walks in the same place, but the blueberry forests are similar enough to each other that the descriptions would hardly differ unless they were very detailed, and if they were they’d probably just end up being a different kind of boring. The change from a gravel road to a dirt path covered in roots and needles is dramatic for one’s feet, and curious to one’s ears, but words about it on a page are not enough to entertain a hungry brain.
It’s not quite warm enough to swim but warm enough to talk yourself into doing it again, so that’s what we do. There’s a small island in the Bottensjön D wants to explore with me. (Not that he doesn’t already know it.)
It’s finally warm enough to go swimming.
Or at least I think so during all the time I spend navigating bends and some oncoming traffic on the narrow dirt road to our destination: a fork formed by the coastline, three prongs of land reaching into the lake. We walk through another forest of conifers and birches and blueberries, our towels and swimming trunks in hand, until we reach the end of the first one.
I start Day 4 late, only getting up around eleven after lounging around in bed for a while, and don’t get much more active for quite a while after that. It’s sunny and still too cold for swimming, and there doesn’t seem to be much to do – the forest is small enough to get boring quickly, and yesterday’s tick infestation has lessened its appeal further.
The USB internet stick, which surprised me yesterday by working flawlessly with my Linux PC, gets recognized as a CD. Neither unplugging and replugging it a few times nor the time-honored tradition of restarting the PC fix the problem, so I trawl the stick’s contents to try to manually install it somehow. I manage to run into a wide variety of different errors, unearth some files it put onto my PC yesterday, and finally just delete them in a fit of impatience, which finally works.
Clouds race across the sky today, the sun flickering between them like a candle flame, and when I put on my shorts I spend a long moment considering pulling my jeans out of my backpack instead. The rash is thankfully gone again. Maybe I’m allergic to something in the lake water, or there’s just something there I’m not used to yet – I might experiment again with just an arm or a leg to see what happens. I’m somewhat bummed out by the idea that it could be an allergy – I’m quite proud of my immune system, which usually works great, and would feel let down by consistent overreactions here. Also, it would keep me from swimming, although that might not be much of a problem if the temperatures stay at or even below room temperature.