Midsummer Magic…

Today the Summer Solstice occurs and we in the Northern hemisphere will get our longest day of the year courtesy of the sun reaching its northernmost point in the sky. Stonehenge was awash with 37,000 worshippers at sunrise this morning and all manner of celebrations will take place throughout the world. 

Today also marks Midsummer in Sweden, a festival as important to the Swedes as Christmas is to me and mine. It’s a time of family and food, dancing and drinking and the Swedish contingent at work are pretty much out of contact during this holiday period.

Which brings me to a little Midsummer moment of my own, this week’s visit to Skanor med Falsterbo.


It’s actually my fourth visit to this lovely little part of Sweden. Our European division holds its mid-year sales meeting here, a nod to a time when the company (or part of it anyway) was Swedish and management would leave the conference to travel to their respective holiday homes in the area for Midsummer. In any case, it’s not your run-of-the-mill conference choice – and that’s a good thing.

Skanor med (with) Falsterbo are twin medieval towns situated 28-30kms south of Malmo on the Falsterbo peninsula. It’s a quiet place with a population of less than 7,000 and the area is filled with quaint, wonderfully kept houses and surrounded by pristine beaches and glorious stretches of sea and sky. This year we were blessed with warm mid-20s temperatures and I found a little time to take a stroll to the beach and to soak up a bit of Midsummer magic…

Like a row of quirky sentinels, tiny beach huts line the foreshore. 


Unfortunately the magic of Midsummer was not quite enough to keep Australia from departing the FIFA World Cup…in spite of this, last week still found this little Aussie more than happy with her lot.

Goose Steps…

I have been away at a conference this week in Skanor, a small seaside village in Sweden.  It’s been a busy few days and having never been to any of the Nordic nations before, I was keen to grab a few moments here and there to soak up a bit of the pure Skanor experience.

There was seafood (herrings, roe, salmon, trout, scallops), bread (glorious bread), local jams (including scrumptious raspberry), cheese (for breakfast – yay!) and schnapps (‘local’, lemon and bitter – all lethal to the same degree).  There were games on the beach, meetings not on the beach, much laughing and cheering   and quite a bit of follow up work to do as a result!

A little research also tells me that the locals have a penchant for geese and Gåsaloppet (goose race) is a much-feted annual event traditionally held on midsummer at noon where residents form teams of six and race through the streets of old Skanor on home-made skis! (Click here if you want to check this out for yourself.)

So each morning we would take a short, sun-kissed and ski-less stroll through the village to our meeting venue and it was on Day 2 that I noticed a rather curious nod to the local fauna…

And then I looked down…

Do you think they’ve been practising for next year?