In the 1999 film Ghost World, an aggressive redneck guards a Greek convenience store with a pair of nun-chucks for 36 hours. That’s quite a long shift and, as it happens, about the length of time that it will take us to travel by train from Birmingham to Stockholm. This may seem expensive and time consuming to you, but did you know that it enabled Katie to return in luxury from her last IETM in Berlin at the height of the Icelandic ash cloud last April?

The route is… Birmingham to London, to Brussels, to Cologne, to Copenhagen (overnight sleeper), where we spent a few hours, then an 8 hour train to Stockholm.

In Copenhagen, we burnt a few hours in the design museum. I’d never considered how many design classics that we use every day were the brainchildren of Danish designers. Interestingly, some of the items (doorhandles, taps, …) were designed in the 70’s, but are only now beginning to permeate to the UK.

In Stockholm, I am at this IETM under slightly false pretenses, with a paid up delegate pass, but no involvement in the theatre sector. But thanks to years of marriage to Katie, I can hold my own in any discussion about theatre, with my ready assortment of received wisdom and second-hand opinions.

There are some great benefits to having a delegate pass. How about a free meal and loads of wine refills (totalling to more than the cost of the delegate pass, by my estimation)? Even better, it was in this chuck of a building: