Friday night I went climbing at Klättercentret. The place was empty, so I just bouldered for a while.
Saturday morning I awoke with a sore throat and felt like I was coming down with a cold. I got a message in Facebook from a girl named Kajsa I had met climbing at KC 14 months earlier. She had apparently seen my downhill photos from Åre because her message was an invitation to come biking with her and three friends in Hellas. I wasn't really in the mood for biking, or even going out of doors. I felt more like making a hot cup of tea, sitting on the couch, and reading a good book. But the idea of turning the day into a challenge appealed to me, so I looked up Kajsa’s phone number and gave her a ring. There was no answer, and I initially felt relived that I would be able to stay home after all. But then I decided to pick my butt up off the couch and go biking by myself. I figured I might even run into Kajsa and her friends on the trails.
So I threw on my biking clothes, packed my backpack, and went to Hellas. I biked down South through the city, across Södermalm, and into the Nacka Nature Reserve where Hellas is located. I biked for a while by myself, but eventually caught up with a group of bikers, started to chat with them, and rode with them for a while. After a couple of hours we stopped at the café for a fika. As we were ordering our food, My climbing friend Kajsa walked through the door. Her three friends were Niklas, Emil, and Ewa, three folks I also know from climbing. So I said goodbye to my new friends and went to sit down for fika with Kajsa, Ewa, Niklas, and Emil. The guys were gung ho for some hardcore biking and the girls told us not to wait for them. I was out of shape and had trouble keeping up with Niklas and Emil. Of course I have excuses! I was a bit sick, had biked all the way to Hellas and it was my first serious bike ride of the season — I spent most of the weekends this past summer climbing, not biking. My bloodstream was full of adrenaline and lactic acid for the next two hours. The trails were fun and very technically challenging. By the end of the ride I was totally spent and had to muster the last of my strength to ride back home.
Oh, and the whole time I was biking with 4 half-liter cans of beer in my backpack because I had stopped by Systembolaget in the city on the way to Hellas.
The beer was for the evening’s festivities at P.O.’s place. He and his sambo Lotta were throwing a house-warming party at their new flat on Södermalm, and the party was to begin at 19.00. As I biked back homeward from Hellas, I passed over Södermalm. Too bad I hadn’t planned a bit better; I could have left the beer and a change of clothes at P.O.’s place and borrowed his shower before the party. But I wasn’t that prescient, and I had to get my bike back home anyway. So I bought a monthly SL card and hopped on the next Northbound train at Stockholms Södra station, just a few hundred meters West of Medborgarplatsen. I took the train to Ulriksdal station and biked the rest of the way home. What followed was the longest, hottest, most satisfying shower I've had in months. After stepping out of the shower, I toweled off and crashed on the couch. I could easily have remained there, but the party had started a half hour before, and I couldn’t reneg. I hadn’t seen P.O. in a long time, and I had been looking forward to the chance to catch up a bit.
I grabbed the nearest clean and pressed shirt and got dressed as hastily as I could manage. I felt like I was already drunk and I hadn’t had a drop to drink yet! P.O. and Lotta’s place is really lovely: a spacious and modern-styled apartment in an old building on Folkungagatan. They had just finished months of renovations and the results were impressive. As usual, P.O.’s tastes were evident: plain and austere black and white surfaces, stainless steel appliances, squarish leather furniture, and red accents in the form of lamps and the like. The party was a lot of fun too. I saw a few familiar faces there and also made several new friends. When I finally left the party, it was in the wee hours of the morning. Delays in the subway system led to an hour-long trip back home. When I finally laid my head on my pillow, it was after 04.00.
I awoke at 09.00, fully intending to fulfill my promise to go climbing outdoors with Sara. When I rang her number, I was actually glad to discover that I had awoken her, and that she was as tired as I. We agreed to climb indoors later in the afternoon instead — a revised plan that fit my wishes perfectly. I fixed waffles for breakfast, did some cleaning, and then took a nap. Let me tell you: it was hard to get out of bed after that nap. My body would have been perfectly happy to remain in bed all afternoon and through the night as well! But I somehow managed to crawl out of bed and get dressed again, this time packing my backpack full of climbing kit.
I saw Katy online and we chatted for a while. I invited her to come climbing with me. We met at Liljeholmen station and took the bus from there to Karbin. There, I introduced Katy to Sara, Elin, Lisa, Udo and Fredrik. Katy had tried climbing once before, but this was her first time to climb in Sweden. She did a great job and even learned a few tricks on the bouldering wall from Elin. I wasn’t really in top form, and contented myself with a 6a and a 6b.
After I arrived home a couple of hours ago, I did a load of laundry and had a snack. My bed beckons, so I think I will sign off for the night.