No, this isn’t tradition. Well, for me it is, but it’s not something everyone here does.”

Ulf had to shout the words, because the kids had turned up the volume, and at least one of them was an expert in knowing exactly how far you could push the old sound system.

Who the hell? It’s at least fifteen years out of date.

Just as he was about to turn to Yukio to see if he had heard the answer another voice broke through the bedlam.

Satellites by that rock and one by the tree! Secondary sub by the tree as well!”


For you? From when you were young the first time?” Yukio’s voice cut through the music just as well as Amaya’s had done.

Ulf nodded. Midsummer had been a full weekend party during his years at Chalmers. The main party was the Saturday one. Everyone just got too drunk during Midsummer’s Eve.

That’s what, almost sixty years ago. I doubt it’s still like that now. Damn, I’m getting ancient.

Living two lives did strange things to your sense of time. Forty here, when by all rights he should be close to eighty.

Then the speakers blasted away something from before his first time at high school.

Damn! That’s old. Wonder if I had even become a teenager when that one hit the lists. Ulf grinned at Yukio who stood shaking his head.

What’s this crap?”

Old crap,” Ulf said, “old even for me.” But secretly he loved the music. There were memories mixed in with it.

Further down the mountainside Amaya and the oldest of her kids finished preparing the evening’s bedlam. Somewhere close James was bound to be busy preparing the food. Not the kind of semi formal dinner of yesterday, in as much as the drunken madness that was a Midsummer’s Eve’s party could be called formal, but probably something more scattered, with tables spread out all over the garden.

It’s good to see you all together again. Not like their second year during high school. They got estranged during that awful first trimester. Noriko, we owe you big time, and I’m not even certain the others know how hard you worked for the rest of us.


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