“I’m late for an important business meeting.”

“Public transportation is unreliable and leads to frustrations within myself.”

“Pollution is a global problem and yet affects me on a daily, personal level.”

To those of us that live in a city, these phrases are all too familiar. That is why Susie and I decided to free ourselves from the shackles of relaxing in Stockholm to visit the countryside for a few days. We hopped on a bus bound for a rural retreat named Borntorpet. Nestling in the middle of a forest on the edge of a lake, Borntorpet is an ideal, idle idyl for yoga practitioners, massage therapists and artists. The only business meeting you’re likely to have here is with your earth spirit (schedule permitting).

The bus journey took about two hours with the driver taking a healthy shine to Susie and striking up an intense conversation for most of the ride. Although he only spoke Swedish and Susie’s replies consisted exclusively of “I don’t understand what you’re saying” the whole exchange was remarkably convivial. We were the only people left on the bus by the time we pulled in to our stop and the driver insisted on escorting us down the steps. He offered us each a strawberry bubblegum and the three of us stood in the middle of nowhere, chewing in companionable silence. The thought occurred that if I were a crazed bus driver who occasionally drugged passengers to satisfy my twig flagellation compulsion then this is exactly how I would go about it.

As I summoned the courage to scream loudly for help before succumbing to Hubba Bubba paralysis, the driver pointed at me and said “male”. A grin spread across his chops as he swung his bus drivin’ finger to Susie and happily announced, “female.” He appeared delighted with our nodding, thumbs up, edging backwards response and waved us farewell as he once again boarded the slaughter büss. With his ringing endorsement of my obvious masculinity pounding in my virile chest-mounds, we skipped along the wooded path towards Borntorpet. Fortunately, we were just in time for dinner and discovered a group of around ten people lounging on silken cushions in a low-lit wooden room.

A disagreement over the last rice cake eventually escalates into violence.

The majority then settled back to watch a documentary by Eckhart Tolle called ‘The Power of Now’. His premise is that it is vital to live directly in the moment, never delay, prevaricate or postpone. I decided to give it a miss as I’d probably get around to watching it some other time.

The next morning we gathered in the golden light by the lake for breakfast. As I mentally congratulated the Kelloggs corporation on another job well done, I couldn’t help but notice that many of my fellow breakfastees were naked and splashing about in the water. It seemed impolite not to join in so I too plunged in like a party-hard salmon. I lolled lazily in the freezing shallows for 0.3 seconds before scrambling back onto the bank. Shivering but exhilarated, I tried to warm up while numbly clutching my Frosties. I actually had porridge but this would have been less successful in terms of a scrotal joke.

If you do not find this photo erotic please see a doctor as you are probably dead.

To get a vivid idea of the days that followed, please listen to ‘Sail Away’ by Enya at a moderate volume while imagining slow motion scenes of me swimming, running through forests, boating, laughing and eating good food. If you find yourself picturing me naked in these mental imaginings then you are wicked but I forgive you.

I demonstrated my extensive seafaring knowledge by prodding the aqua-tub with one of the steering bats.

As you know, I am normally economical in my praise like a Victorian miser towards a work-shy chimney sweep; however, I find it difficult not to gush about Borntorpet. Although the setting, the rooms and the facilities are all excellent, even these are secondary to the genuine warmth and sincere sociability of the hosts and guests. It is this which makes Borntorpet so shiningly special.


2 Responses to “Scandinaviahhhhh”

  1. We loved having you around Dave!!
    Come back soon!
    What a great writer you are!!
    Johan, Lena and Melissa

    • 2 davexxxx

      That’s very kind of you to say so! Staying with you guys was one of the highlights of our gadding about so far.

      Hope you’re enjoying Bali and hopefully see you out there next year…


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