I am living in the lap of unaccustomed luxury at the Sheraton Hotel Stockholm. My Adelaide travel agent explained that he had GREAT difficulty in finding a hotel for me and I assumed it was the demand in view of the medical conference. He explained that the only hotel he could find was the Sheraton at great expense! Oblivious to what he had exactly done on my behalf, it transpires that I am on the 7th floor in the Presidental Suite! I have a king size bed – PLEASE no predictable retorts. Breakfast is included and there is a lounge on the 7th floor that has a club room with food and facilities the equal of the Qantas Club! I have free food and drinks in the evening. It’s NOT really FREE when one considers the daily rate I am paying.

I have been for a Swedish spa and sauna on the first floor, in the evening after the conference and when I stand up and leave the sauna, I am VERY lightheaded, almost to the point of fainting, indeed it is an understatement to state that I feel more than a little queer. The reasons for this may be

a. Low blood pressure
b. High blood pressure
c. The Air France steward in the sauna with me
d. It’s not organic but a conversion reaction – a distinct possibility given that I have completed the Camino Trail
e. None of the above.

Now I know what it is to be a Cathay Pacific international pilot and have a “lay-over” in Paris or London or even Stockholm.

Stockholm is a city spread across 14 islands and is a cycling heaven. Once the conference is complete I will hire a bike and explore. Coming in to land on final approach it was breathtaking to see the multitude of small islands all quite green and scattered, yet close together, in the water!

The weather has been clear but with a definite bite to the air in the dusk and dawn. Good preparation for Ireland I suspect? The unit of currency is the Swedish Kroner – conversion about $1 = 6.5 Kroner. It’s still difficult to not feel that costs are very expensive when a coffee is 25 “of something”! Intuitively it seems $25!!

The thought has just struck me that possibly the financial centre of the brain is in the same area as the navigation centre? That surely would explain a lot?

Today is day 2 of the conference and I have been exceedingly ethical, indeed religious if I may be do bold, in my attendance. Which reminds me, I need to check to see if my wooden bedroom furniture suite has arrived from Rome.

I shall, in my next letter, turn to matters medical, but hopefully in a language that is, as your financial planner might state, “plain English”.