I am on a train speeding through the Swedish countryside en route to yet another tough assignment. I am going to write an article about Scandinavia’s first nudist B&B for The Times (www.hyltebergagard.se). I have covered (being the operative word) some weird and wonderful things during my journalistic career but this promises to be one of the more unusual.
Packing was tricky. “Why the bag?” was Rupert’s first question. I cannot begin to imagine what it’s going to be like. Will I be able to have a normal conversation with a total stranger while he is naked? Will I be able to stop myself from looking ‘down there’? Is looking ‘down there’ encouraged or frowned upon? What about my own ‘down there’? How will I cope with people who’s names I don’t even know casually assessing it. Whatever else, it’s not an ideal time to have a bad hair day – anywhere.
The weather in Sweden has been amazing for once. But despite that Leonardo asked me this morning why it is always cold. “Because we’re in Sweden,” I told him. There was a slight pause. “Then why are we here?” he said.
This is a fair question and one that I can only answer with the excuse that having been born here and lived here for several years, there is something that draws me back again and again. Luckily Rupert seems quite taken with it, although he is now also sick of meatballs.
Which brings me neatly back to the theme of the day. “I have one ball with my willie,” Leonardo told me proudly yesterday. “Yes,” I replied. “And one day you will have two balls, like Daddy.” He looked at me rather questioningly and then asked; “Yes, but will they be tennis balls?”
Here’s hoping they won’t, and more crucially that any balls I happen to catch a glimpse of during this assignment are not enough to put me off my breakfast. Bed, Breakfast and Balls. It could catch on….
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2008