As I write this, we are on the cusp of a new year.  We leave behind 2020 with little regret.  Yet with the news that another, easier-to-distribute vaccine will be available soon, maybe the world will return to some sort of normality in 2021.

It has been an unsettling and often upsetting time for us all.  Bunkered down for most of the year has enabled me to complete a couple of drafts of Mammon in Malmö which should see the light of day in April.  Sadly, we have been unable to visit our family in Sweden.  The Swedish approach to Covid has been controversial with no lockdowns during the first wave.  At one stage it was being hailed as a bold move yet now, in retrospect, it has been condemned by the King and the Prime Minister.  It’s only when the dust eventually settles that people will be able to decide whether the handling of the pandemic was innovative or irresponsible.  At least it shows that despite a reputation for being conventional, Swedes are not afraid of being different.

Another interesting development concerns the Estonia ferry disaster, which was described in Mourning in Malmö and which I wrote about in my last blog (So There Was A Hole!).  The Swedish government had made it illegal for divers to approach the wreck as it had been designated a grave site.  Now, after the recent revealing documentary which pointed out that a hole had been discovered in the vessel, the government has responded to a request from the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority to amend the law banning dives.  Hopefully, this is the first step to discovering the truth behind the disaster.

There have, of course, been some positives to come out of the last few months.  Times of adversity often bring out the best in people and there have been some wonderfully heartwarming stories to keep us all going.  From a personal point of view I’ve enjoyed some wonderful correspondence with readers, which is always appreciated.  And Meet me in Malmö has been optioned by Rosegold Pictures in Los Angeles, so you never know, Anita Sundström may make it onto the screen one day!

So, here’s to a happier New Year for everyone.  May 2021 bring us all together once more – in reality, not in virtuality.