Thursday, December 12, 2013

Freezing My Buns Off

The view from Arlanda
After spending only one year in Basel, a surprisingly temperate place, I have gone soft. When EUBO arrived in Copenhagen a few days ago we were greeted by high winds, fog, and it was hailing sideways. Already Bojan and I had caught a cold, but after walking just 15 minutes to the Black Diamond, our conditions deteriorated. Surprisingly, we put on a very good performance (this was confirmed by listening to the Danish radio broadcast of the concert that aired last night).

From windy Copenhagen we trekked to Stockholm. Only a few hundred kilometres to the north, the Swedish capital was noticeably colder. What surprised me about the city was the landskape in the surrounding area. Just travelling between Arlanda, the airport, and the hotel in the centre of the old town it was clear to me that the ecology and geology were relatively similar to that of the Ottawa valley. In fact, if it weren't for the signs on the highway being printed in Swedish, one could easily make the mistake of thinking they were travelling from downtown Ottawa to Kanata, the city's western suburb. 

Within this familiar context, it was telling how I reacted to the sub-zero temperature. Ottawa's average winter temperature is -10 degrees Celsius and our day in Stockholm was spent in -12. Not only was I wearing two sweaters under my coat, but it didn't seem like my mittens and hat were doing enough. If this were two years ago, I wouldn'tve flinched going out in this weather. Now, however, it's a different story. 

I write this as we travel to Manchester, where we will perform our penultimate concert as Eubo 2013 for BBC radio 3's Early Music Show tomorrow. The concert will be broadcast on January 19, 2014.

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