I’m all for public displays of affection, but perhaps not so keen on this less than artistic exhibit of someone’s over-exuberance with a spray can on a wall in my neighborhood.
Kärlek, the Swedish word for love, can be much better represented around Stockholm in the many open and hidden places of idyllic beauty you can find – the so-called “smultronställe” as they say here.
A few favourites of mine are sharing a cycle ride along the twisted trails on the island of Djurgården and a waterside promenade hand in hand, passing the Royal Palace on Skeppsbron. Or even lounging together on a wooden bench in the backstreets of the old town, Gamla Stan. Places like these - to fall in love or simply be in love with.
Love is all around at this time of year in the capital. When the sun shines the locals come out from seasonal hibernation in their droves. An all day meet with friends at an outdoor café, a cooling swim in the surrounding city waters or perhaps a picnic on the manicured lawns of the many picturesque parks.
This is when I forget about those Tuesday nights in February when the streets are lonesome and everyone longs for the cosiness of triple-glazing comfort. This is when I remember why I love to live here.
And this is the image of I invite my friends and family to visit. It’s what I want people to envisage when they think of where I live now. Not the icy stereotypes of Sweden that simply melt away come the summertime. Nor graffiti that’s a little off the wall.
This is this is my Sweden and I love it.