We’re used to living in a kind of ‘Never Never Land’. The far north, referred to by its now fictional name of ‘Lappland’, is a dream people have.
We too have a dream – of a new Kiruna. As the old one slowly disappears, ‘Never Never Kiruna’ hovers on the edge of town, a mirage of new flats, shops, pedestrian walkways. At the moment just the new town hall is a reality, but one day, perhaps..
A friend sent us a CD featuring 23 versions of ‘White Christmas’. While ‘I’m dreaming of a White Christmas’ is played over and over again, we watch snow billow around outside the window. This particular dream – a white Christmas – always does come true in Kiruna, but weirdly, while the rest of American-influenced society dreams of it, Kiruna – the home of ‘Never Never Land’ – looks the other way.
A couple of days before Christmas, lorries arrived in all the streets of town to take the snow away. The rest of the world, as above, was dreaming of a white Christmas, but Kiruna was doing it’s best to remove any trace of the possibility. (They failed of course – more snow arrived within a few days.)
For the last few days we’ve experienced blizzard conditions – high winds, lots of snow. We’ve been kept busy, shovelling it away. The snow was no dream – I can see it now, piled up outside the house. And yet…. Sweden’s national weather forecasting service (SMHI) has refused to admit it exists. Thick cloud, yes they admit to that, high winds, those too, but snow – not a trace, they claim. SMHI is dreaming of a snow-free Kiruna.
Is this because for all of us our ‘Never Never Land’ is what we currently don’t have? Or is it just that SMHI haven’t bothered looking out the window?