Right, I'm back from my mini-tour of Scandinavia and it was overall quite fun.
Sweden was a blur. I travelled out there with Neil O'Brien, a client of ours from Puzzler. We were doing a joint presentation at the PIRA Future of Printed Media conference on digital consumer behaviour, where mobile differed from the fixed internet, and a case study of the work FP have been doing with Puzzler.
I'm not convinced I was really the right person to be addressing the audience on some of this stuff, to be honest - Neil has been in print all his life and knows his onions, but I felt a little out of my depth. Suspect we came across as the wacky guys at the end of the conference pointing at something shiny in the sky, but ah well. On Monday evening Neil and I went out to Rival, a restaurant/cinema/bakery (!) owned by Benny from Abba - and according to last weeks PopBitch, the venue for Axl Rose's biting a security guard not 24 hours later. If only I could claim some sort of credit for that...
Axl, of course, stalked me across Europe during the following week, as he and I both headed to Roskilde festival near Copenhagen. Well - he probably took a solid gold limousine whilst I navigated a rather circuitous route via Heathrow, Hackney and Stanstead - but we were both travelling together in spirit.
I was out there with Tim, an old friend from university days, and his girlfriend Kay - it was very much our Glastonbury substitute for 2006 and going abroad for a festival seemed dead classy and jet-set when we booked, butn practice it's just a big bus journey to a version of England where everyone talks another language behind your back
...and the next 6 days were lovely. Beautiful weather, some fantastic bands both old (George Clinton, Coldcut) and new (Editors, Birdy Nam Nam, Gogol Bordello), with only the odd disappointment (look at me when I'm talking about you, Front 242).dirty protest every time they use a festival toilet - sigh.
As for the Danes... they're an interesting bunch, as I can attest now I've spent 48 hours awake in their company. On the last night we were kept up by hoarse shouting, cries of "BURN EVERYTHING", and the sound of post-vikings demolishing their own tents and belongings with whatever came to hand. I came across one guy who, quite on his own, was shouting and hitting the ground with a shovel. For the sheer love of it, it seems.
I'll not comment on the journey back, suffice to say it was incredibly frustrating, lasted twice as long as it should've, and left me angrier than I've been in about 3 months. Stomping along London streets grumbling angry, staring at policeman like a moody teenage System Of A Down fan angry.... I'd forgotten how well I do that when I'm given the excuse.
I've got mixed feelings about travel - being torn away from my home, the cats, t'other and FP for days on end can be really frustrating and I thought earlier this year (even before personal strife) that I was sick of it. But here I am 4 months later, doing more of it this year than ever before in my life. When I get the chance to look outside hotels and conferences and have a poke around I inevitably find something that interests me.
There's a full set of my Roskilde pics on Flickr, of course. Updateher pics up too...