Saturday, July 7
We woke up and leapt out of bed to get to the big market. Today we have skägårdsmarknad, and I have had no idea what difference this will make to anything.
The differences prove easy to guess. The market lasts two hours longer. A stall sells sausages and pyttipannu. A troubadour sings to the crowds. The crowds have arrived in droves.
We drive down an unusually crowded road where parked cars trail back about two kilometres. We find a parking space right by the market, but only because we believe that one will exist for us. Irma wanders around. I stay by the public sauna and photograph a dead tree with a label on it. The label points out that the trunk remains in place to commemorate the great storm of 29.11.2012.
We will sit outside on the terrace in the afternoon when the sky changes, the sun comes out to the extent that we will feel an overwhelming need to rip our shirts off. We will do this until a sudden rainstorm invites us to stop.
Earlier Irma had phoned Benita about the television she has in the bar. It had stopped working in the thunder last week, but Benita says she will ask Helmer to try to fix it. She will phone to say that it now works. As a result of this Irma will set about making two union jacks with paper, sticks, crayons and a page full of photographs from Google. Despite moaning about how complicated the flag is, she will end up with two perfect replicas.
We will take them and drive to Benita’s to watch England play Sweden match in a World Cup quarter final. Plenty of people will sit outside in the early evening sun, but very few people will take any notice of the match. Our presence will amuse Benita greatly, and contribute to the gaiety of the evening. England will beat Sweden convincingly with a final score of 2-0.
We will then drive home before deciding to watch Russia vs Croatia at home on Irma’s iPad, since England will face the winner of this match in the semi-finals next week. This match will prove dramatic in an inconclusive kind of way. The match will end with a score of 1-1. Extra time will end with a score of 2-2, Russia having equalised in the lats minute of extra time.
Russia will miss two penalties in the shoot-out. Croatia will miss one, with the result that it will all hang on the final Croatian shot. This will go in, meaning that Croatia won with the very last shot of the match. They seemed the better team but neither looked as though they could guarantee to beat England.