(On the way we stopped in to say hi to Erik - but did not stop as the kids are both sick and we didn't want to drag any germs to Anne's later).
We didn't have too long to wait until we could get onto a tour - only about 15 minutes - so we made the most of that time in the souvenir shop - got a t-shirt and official photo :)
The trip up was a little hairy at first - what I wasn't expecting was the wobbliness of the pod - but that seemed to only be on the initial start up and then it settled... or I grew to ignore it.... obviously it's very safe - people are up and down those things hundreds of times each week and the Swedes are always going to make the going safe! A glass bottom and full glass enclosure is a little disconcerting at first though.
It was very odd to be at Globen and not be settling down to watch Djurgården trounce their oponents though - and not even go inside.... instead we glided softly up to the top of the Globe and then gently back down again - taking lots of photos while at it. I think all up it took about 30 minutes for the whole trip. There is a maximum of 16 people per pod (there are two) and ours was full - but we all had plenty of room to move around and I have to say that everyone was really polite about giving each other space to get to each part of the windows to get all the photos we wanted. It was very pleasant (not like you'd necessarily expect with 16 people - most of whom are strangers to one another - stuck in a small space.
Afterwards we had a lovely lunch at the Skyview Cafe (only named such because it's right next to it - but as it's on ground level - there's not much sky view about it...... It faces inwards to a shopping precinct - so not so much sky and not a great view - but honestly there was a care factor of ZERO due to the scrummy traditional Swedish food being served.
After lunch it was time... finally time... to see Anne.
The thing that most people seem to say of people with ME/CFS is "but you don't look ill" - and while that may have been true before with Anne - now you can start to see that time away from any sort of activity and any sun at all, are taking their toll. Now she is starting to look fragile (and the lack of weight baring excercise is yet another worry on top of all the rest)! Still - Anne is Anne and sick as a dog or not - time with Anne is one of those things that makes you feel like you've been given the gift of a lifetime.
My sister, my Schwesterherz (sister-heart) is a truely beautiful person - in all these years I haven't heard her once ask "why me"?. Because ME/CFS is a cruel beast of a disease and its own answer would always be "why NOT you"? Why not 'pick' on one of the few people on our planet doing everything in her power to leave absolutely NO footprint to have made the place worse?
But Anne was happier than I have seen her in a very long time. She's always happy when I visit (and watching her do her happy jump up and down used to make me just laugh at her enthusiasm - now I just worry that she was going to spend all her alloted visiting energy on jumping up and down)... but this time there was more... We talked and talked (solved the world's problems, of course), caught up and generally had sister-time.. then drops me the HUGEST bombshell of all. She is monstrously happy - her words "I'm 95% happy and 5% scared to death"....... This summer - her very small and very confined world changed (again)... but this time with something good... beyond good.
Over the summer Anne stayed at her parents place in Saltsjobaden while they were on summer holidays. (Her disease makes it impossible for her to have other people around her as they 'overload' her - but a few weeks in a larger place with a different view is always great for her). Out of the blue she is contacted by the love of her life, the man she has never truely got over romantically.. Santiago... met on one of her many (pre-illness) trips... the man who was supposed to be a holiday romance that turned into him moving to Sweden to be with her (he's Argentinian)... but sadly it did not work out so well at the time (long story - upshot is that the end shouldn't have happened and was actually pretty avoidable - but nobody is pointing fingers).....
Santiago was going to be in Sweden "nearby" (okay - Sweden is actually a pretty big place and he wasn't really nearby - but a hell of a lot closer than Patagonia is at any rate)... could he see her? Anne explained her current life (or lack thereof) to him and he understood - but wanted to come see her anyway. She arranged for him to stay at her Aunt's place (also empty while she was on her summer holiday) and they met for a couple of hours each day.
The upshot is that had things played out only slightly differently - they would never have broken up. Anne tried to move on but getting sick only a couple of years later stopped that in its tracks. Santiago tried to move on and was in a long term relationship until a few years ago - but the girl simply wasn't Anne..... So now they are seeing where it all goes and he still madly loves her and apart from hating what she's going through (as we all do) - that is just not a factor for him to not try to make it work. I think I will like having this man as my brother in law - as long as he doesn't break her heart again - because this time it might not recover and as sick as Anne is - it might be the end of her.... and I don't know what I might do in that situation. So for now, I am keeping positive. Santiago still lives in Argentina and has no immediate plans to move back to Sweden.. things are all very up in the air.. they only know that they have never stopped loving each other and one way or another this will work out......
This left me a little shell-shocked - but if Anne is happy, I am happy... and the mind is such a powerful tool when it comes to health - perhaps with Santiago waiting for her, her mind can put some positive spin on to things and help her poor body along to find some health.....
After Anne's we went to Karin's flat (as it was only up the other end of the (very long) street) for a quick snack before heading off on our Millenium Tour. Karin wasn't there but we made ourselves at home!
The weather did not behave itself very well for the walking tour - it was drizzly and a little chilly for all of it - but the tour itself was really good. The woman leading it was very knowlegeable (read obsessed, pretty much) - having read each of the books about 15 times.
She was very good at distinguishing between what the books contained, what the original (Swedish) movies showed and what the American movie showed. I haven't seen the American film as I didn't really see the point. The original movies were so well done and Noomi Rapace was so good as Lizbeth that I wasn't really interested.
|Mikael Blomkvist's apartment|
|I'll get in trouble if I've got this wrong - but I believe this is looking out to Gamla Stan (Old City)|
|Middle story is where Millenium's offices were situated in the books. At the time Greenpeace were above them - but they have recently moved|
|Lizbeth Salander's last apartment - top row|
After our tour we went back to Karin's to catch up with her which was really great.....oh boy - no wonder I'm tired - what a day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!