storm name

  • What’s your storm name?

    (Photo by Gatis Vilaks)

    Mine’s Storm Caleb. That’s if the rule is Storm followed by the name of your first pet. Otherwise it’s Storm Eileen. That’s if the rule is Storm followed by the name of your maternal grandmother. But enough of this frivolity…

    I live in windy city. Malmö, on the southern tip of Sweden, is so windy it ought to have Chicago’s nickname, but has clearly been windy for so long, no one really bothers to mention it anymore. 

    With Storm Ciara coming through, followed apparently by Storm Dennis this weekend, it’s taking ‘windy’ to the next level. 

    Let’s be Swedish about this

    Obviously, as new Swedish residents, we chose to avoid car-shame and head straight out to buy secondhand bicycles. Let’s take back the planet, one revolution of the pedal at a time!

    We have moved into an apartment on the very westerly tip of a peninsula sticking out into the Oresund Strait, a tip of land that locals pointed out wasn’t there 10 years ago. It’s meant to be sea, and the wind thinks so, too. 

    Time for some turbo

    So of course, we did what every new arrival does in February after their first Swedish winter. We said screw riding into a force 8 gale and bought an electric-powered cargo bike to carry our son to preschool, like any self-respecting Swede. 

    This is – remember – one of the world’s great bike cities. It’s right up there with Copenhagen, only you’ve never heard of it. Cycle highways galore, loads of cute traffic lights for bikes, the works… But in the winter?

    No. In the winter, Swedes lock themselves inside their very well-insulated apartments. That’s unless they go into their underground car park to take their Volvo SUV for a spin. Hey, wait, Volvo SUV? But Greta said…

    So there I was…

    Working my key into the automatic garage door operator after a grueling cargo bike mission across town with my son, only for the door to rise on a pair of Volvo SUV headlamps. I back up the ramp in ungainly fashion. 

    The Volvo purrs up the ramp and two middle-aged Swedes view me from their car seats, expressionless. What are they thinking? Look at that curious man on that contraption! In this weather! Hahahahaha

    I don’t think Swedes name storms. Storm Ciara just belted through, but I think Sweden probably just called it ‘a storm’.

    What else have I learnt about here? Hot Dogs, with added Swedishness