Remember how I was going to make two different sorts of cookies last week, but the local supermarket was out of one basic ingredient? This morning I put on my running clothes and my rucksack on my shoulders and set out on a quest to find the missing ingredient: rose water.
My quest was to be one of Grave Danger, filled with booby traps and bad guys, wrong turns and red herrings. Armed with nothing but my Garmin and my debit card, I stepped outside our flat and into the morning sunshine.
Big machines were clearing the streets from snow, flattening it on pavements. My choices were either to run on snow they hadn't ploughed yet or on said pavements, which were slippery. I couldn't decide what would be better, to twist my ankle on the uneven snow or break it on the icy pavement. Wily as I am though I managed to stay upright with nothing but a couple of scares. And, soon enough, I was on pavements where snow was thick and even. Lovely.
I made my way towards Morö Backe, through the Alhem cemetery. Halfway up a little hill I remembered, a little too late, that Morö Backe has ski tracks, which -for those of you who don't ski- you should never, ever step on and destroy. Broken tracks are not fun to ski on. So I wondered if I would be able to run past them or if I would have to turn back. Luckily, the cycle path I was on crossed the ski tracks, and I saw that they were already broken. Like, a bulldozer had driven over them and mashed them. I jumped over their remains though, just to be on the safe side.
But it wasn't time to breathe a sigh of relief yet. Soon I found myself without a path to run on, and I had to keep on the shoulder of a 70 km/h road. This wasn't a problem as such, because the shoulder was 2 metres wide and passing cars left plenty of room when they drove past me, but I always get tense when I have to run on a road. Then a tractor drove past me, and it was almost as if he was doing it on purpose: he left the tracks on the road that hundreds of cars had already cleared from snow and drove a few centimetres to the right, just so that he could stir up a cloud of dirty snow that consequently landed on my face.
Sigh. Well, I did say there were bad guys in this story.
Thankfully I didn't have to stay on the road for long. Soon enough I was back on a cycle path and the world was beautiful and white all around. The sky was blue and the sun was smiling a big, orange smile, the forest of pine and fir trees surrounding me was covered in a heavy blanket of sparkling snow, and my goal was in sight: Solbacken. There, I hoped to find what I was looking for in one of three supermarkets in the area.
The first one was my best bet, as I thought I'd seen rose water there on a previous visit. Nope. Second store was just as rose water-deprived as the first one, and the personnel could not only not help me, they didn't even know what that water was. The sweat I had built from running up the hill to Solbacken was slowly starting to cool down and I started feeling cold. One supermarket to go, and I was getting worried that I had run all the way here for nothing.
I scanned the aisles of the third store and there! Among the falafel and the dolma and the tahini, a green bottle appeared before my eyes. Hallelujah! I picked up the precious, 9 crowns worth bottle and took it to the cashier. A minute later it was mine. Finally. I could run home and bake my cookies.
Outside, the sun had disappeared behind some heavy clouds that must have come out of nowhere while I was indoors. Getting home wasn't easier, despite the fact that it was downhill almost all the way. For one thing, I had ignored the chill in my bones and picked a new cycle path to get home, one that would take me who knew where. I was feeling adventurous, at least until I realised that I was going to have headwind all the way home.
Sitting here 15 km later, after I had mistakenly thought that this little adventure would only be about 12 km long, I'm not even sure I have the energy to bake cookies any more.