Lyssna, is the Swedish word for listen. It sounds almost as daft as a chef or restauranteur explaining that his diners ‘eat’, but our audiences really do seem to listen with intent. The crowd at the packed out giant golf ball Globe in Stockholm was no exception. According to John Ashton, our chief rigger, the Globe is twice as high as the Albert Hall. In the world’s largest spherical building, even the riggers need a special permit to gain access to the highest rigging points.
Yesterday, we enjoyed our first day off of this particular ‘leg’ of the tour, in glorious, sunny Stockholm. My brother Conrad and his Swedish wife, Sussi, used to live here and had planned a Summer vacation with their two daughters, Kimberley and Kayleigh and their boyfriends, Richard and Tom, which by honest coincidence, collided with our fleeting visit on this tour. Laurie, my wife, flew out for the week and together we made it a family day out. Conrad organised lunch on one of the Stockholm archipelago cruises and in the afternoon we visited the Skansen Swedish history museum, with buildings, people in costume and a zoo with Nordic animals (including my new friend, a baby Eagle Owl below).
Sunshine and Stockholm make for a wonderful combination and the discovery of ‘Lime’ electric scooters meant that getting around was easy and quick. Many cities around Europe are banning the use of electric scooters as fatalities mount. They are fun, dangerous and I fear the craze will be short-lived. We enjoyed them while we still can. I want one!
Summer in Stockholm is delightful, at the risk of sounding like I’m sponsored by the Swedish tourist board, it is one of the best cities for walking around as there is so much to see and do. The air is fresh, the food is delicious. Even the gin is excellent.
Normal procedure was interrupted slightly as the Ministerial Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), met at our hotel today to discuss how nuclear disarmament can be advanced. The police were everywhere as one might expect for such a dignitary-laden event. Our planned departure time for the show had to be advanced by 30 minutes, which was fine with us as it ultimately meant being united with a delicious bowl of Minestrone soup in catering was also advanced. It was another fabulous show inside the world’s largest golf ball and the audience ‘lyssnade’.
As we get back to the Grand hotel after our 28th show, I scroll through the growing number of image folders realising this tour now feel like it is moving like a container ship, not so much fast, as unstoppable. Cities fly past all too quickly and days off, taken up mostly by rest are feel like only chance to apply the brakes. The days are long but they seem all too short. It’s true what they say, time does fly when you’re having fun.