A family visit to Stockholm turned into a media circus. How did they know we were in town? First was an interview for an article in the Sunday supplement of Aftonbladet, one of Sweden’s national newspapers. (See it here.) Then Bob (Arno, the criminologist) was asked to speak to Stockholm’s street cops and detectives. Halfway through his two-hour presentation on street crime, TV4 showed up for an interview and demo.
The tv news reporters had to wait an hour for us, while Bob and I analyzed some tricky footage of a bag theft in Stockholm’s main subway station. The subway surveillance cameras are excellent, with high resolution and enough frames-per-second. We recognized the finale of a version of the pigeon-poop ploy, but earlier footage of the set-up was no longer available. Video footage is only kept for a few days before it is destroyed. The department’s looseleaf “book of criminals” is thick with mugshots. Stockholm is not what it used to be, even just a few years ago. Sad.
We drove Bob’s 97-year-old father out to his country house on an island in the archipelago. The old man built the three houses on the property with his own hands, and has maintained them reasonably well until the last year or so.
The grounds have always been a loosely-controlled wilderness, but now the meadows of wild orchid, lilly-of-the-valley, lupine, and Swedish soldiers are overgrown with tall grasses that hide the colorful flowers. As we arrived, a huge male deer munching leisurely on the trees looked accusingly at us, as if we were the trespassers. Within arm’s reach of the car, it didn’t bolt until we aimed a camera at it.
The weather was glorious and the old man was happy to be at his “summerhome.” I picked handfuls of smultron, tiny wild strawberries, until I was dragged away. I find it excruciating to walk on such delicacies, but they cover the ground and there’s no choice. I brought home a tick, but didn’t find it until the next day.