Greta Garbo´s Ghost
Instead of going out to a café in the afternoon, we bought some exotic pastries in the market halls and used the hospitality tray to make afternoon tea for ourselves, just to get the chance to enjoy our surroundings properly.
We still had lots of time for museums, long walks, restaurants, and such. Strand Hotel is so conveniently located, in the middle of town, that nowhere interesting is very far away, really. Just outside our window was Nybro Quay, with it´s old-fashioned-looking entertainment ships. I spotted a wedding party on Saturday afternoon, going on board for a ceremony on the waves, and what looked like a proper banquet. The fine weather didn´t hurt, either, but it´s still pretty cold in the air, you feel it as soon as the sun hides behind a cloud. I felt sorry for those who decided to leave their jacket at home.
The suite was decorated in a way that intended to give the impression that the Divine Garbo was still staying there, just not being in at the moment. There was a handbag on a drawer handle, an evening purse in the window, a few hats resting on armchairs. All the art was all images from her pictures. Like this one, which demonstrates that Garbo really knew the art of spreading herself on a sofa. (And she did actually stay at this hotel.)
There were several coffee-table books on the, well, coffee-table. Luckily for me, the only one that didn´t set my asthma off, was the most interesting one. It was an auctioneer´s catalogue, from a series of auctions in 2010, where all of Greta Garbo´s personal things were sold off. All of it. And from what it looks, she saved everything. There are loads of clothes. And shoes, and handbags. And just ordinary things, like kitchen bowls, Swedish guest towels, and Christmas ornaments.
Her clothes, most of it, could easily be worn today, you wouldn´t know they were made in the 30´s, 40´s, 50´s, and 60´s. She never got into 70´s and 80´s fashion, not in a big way anyhow, and just as well, probably. She died in 1990, after all. Much of it was designed by Valentina Schlee. According to the book and Garbo´s nephew, Garbo had a good relationship with the Schlees all her life (there were rumours that Garbo had an affair with Valentina´s husband), but some rumours say they avoided each other from the 60´s on, still living in the same apartment building in New York. Since none of them talked or wrote about it, I suppose we will never know what really happened between Garbo and the Schlees.