A trip to my mother’s native Sweden helped me recapture my childhood

Sun, 19 Mar 2023 07:00:33 GMT 2

A trip to my mother’s native Sweden helped me recapture my childhood

It was a nostalgic journey to rediscover my family roots, but it was also great fun and reminded me how much I missed this beautiful land

When I saw the sign saying “Sweden”, I cheered. I was alone in the car, but still I cheered. It was my brother’s car, a white Nissan Note I had managed to dent at a petrol station within an hour of driving off Le Shuttle. Nine hundred miles on, the Nissan and I had survived the deluge that had made the windscreen wipers squeak, the thundering trucks on the Autobahn and the stern young policeman at the Danish border who had made me feel sure I had a car full of hash. I was alive, intact and two hours away from the red wooden cabin where I spent every summer holiday of my childhood.

As I cruised over the Swedish half of the Oresund Bridge, the car filled with the sound of Lisa Stansfield singing Someday (I’m Coming Back). I gasped and found my eyes pricking with tears. It took me a moment to realise I’d knocked a switch that flicked the sound from Swedish pop to the last CD my brother ever played in his car. It made me feel he was there in the car with me, and so were my parents and my sister, willing and cheering me along.

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