Sunday, December 30, 2007
New years eve always makes me think of the sister of my heart, if not of my genes.
She and I met many years ago - more than 10 years ago, anyways.
I was at a company party with my then-husband, John, and it was a picnic sort of thing, where we were divided into teams and solving different tasks - like making a raft and sailing it on the stream, etc.
Being the outgoing person I am, I had agreed to go into a group where I didn't work closely with anyone - to make the puzzle pieces fit right. And in this group was a colleague of mine, who had the loveliest girlfriend along with him.
She was an exotic brazilian flower, freezing on that rather cool summer day. Hair all black and curly and long, olive skin and almond eyes that just seemed to laugh so easily. Outgoing and sweet, willing to be open and talk, in her adorably accented but very eloquent english. And with those fluttery-bird hands - gesturing even more than I usually do.
We hit it off incredibly well. There was an amazing chemistry - had we been opposite sexes we would surely have eloped together that day!
Of course I am talking of my dear far-away friend, Roberta. Back then living right in Fredericia, with her then-husband.
We didn't leave it at having a good time at the party. Actually, we started seeing each other - me and my husband, her and her boyfriend - as couples do. But it was always Roberta and me, tying that friendship together.
At first it was scary - to me, at least. I am not that used to getting really close with someone really fast. It is not the danish way, and even if I might have the talent in my genes somehow, it has rusted due to living here all my life. You have to dance the ritual dance that the elders teach you - you have to make friends little by little and step by step.
Roberta and I slid down the banister, instead. The speed was dizzying and frightening, but all of a sudden, we were friends and sisters at heart.
I was present at her wedding to her boyfriend, and we visited them several times in London, after they moved there in an attempt to find a place where Roberta could get a job - it wasn't easy in Denmark at that time, for a person lacking danish skills.
In the years where Roberta lived in Fredericia, and later on in London, we made it a tradition (short lived, but still...) to celebrate new years together. We did it for 3 or 4 years in a row - up until that eventful year, 2000, where we both divorced our husbands within a few months.
Even in that year we did manage to see each other - not for new years, but in october, when she left London to go back to Brazil and from there on to her new life in Connecticut, USA. She stopped by Denmark to visit for a few weeks, and that was the last time I saw her.
It was a sad and confused time. She'd split up with her husband, and was leaving to start over again - practically with nothing. I was at a crossroad in my own marriage, and as it worked out, I left it behind just a month after Roberta went on her way.
Now - 7 years later - we are still friends. She greets me ever so often on my messenger, and I hear news of her life with Mike, the guy whom she married. They are usually busy, and not always prosperous. But I hear her quiet happiness in that life she leads in their pretty stone house, with their lovely dogs, and a job that challenges her talent.
I hope my sweet orchid will bloom for a long long time in chilly Connecticut.
And I hope to some day celebrate New Years Eve with her again.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
As a fantastic contrast to the somewhat hectic weeks before christmas, I can now be seen in sloooow motion...
On the 22nd we had "before-christmas" with Christina, Mette and Lasse - plus my kids. It was real cozy - and I've rarely seen such a large amount of risalamande vanish in such short time - maybe it's low air humidity?
Christmas eve went real well too. And lucky for me - Bruno likes the daring present I got him.
In connection to that I have to tell you, that Bruno hasn't owned a watch for a great many years. He stopped wearing a watch when he was in he army in 1979 - and that is truly some years ago. My opinion, though, was that with a handsome, grown man with greying temples, white shirt and a nice suit, must come a stylish watch. Preferably one that was a gift from his loving wife. The one, I carefully picked out, was this one, of the brand Skagen Design:
It's titanium and slimline - I reckoned that it would have to be light and thin for my non-watch-loving husband to fancy it.
Fortunately he likes his present - and understand my meaning with it. Being that it is more a nice accessory than anything else. It suits his wrist - so I did good.
In generel all were happy with their gifts. And we planned our chrismas in a way that allows us time to enjoy them. Yesterday we did absolutely NOTHING - meaning, Bruno went for a bikeride with Carsten, but I was puttering about in a tshirt and pyjama bottoms all day, doing a bit of laundry, knitting, reading, playing some of the games I got.
The games have been in use today as well. I got both Bezzerwizzer - a brilliant improvement of the idea behind Trivial Pursuit - and Sequence, that is a board/cardgame. I got to know it when we had our family weekend, where Mette brought it and it was played to the extreme...
Today we managed to leave the house. This morning Bruno and i went spinning at "Forever". Tough, but nice.
We've also been in Billund Airport to pick up our visitor from Holland, Victor.
He looks just like himself - and is just as easy and nice to talk to (fun boy with a lovely black sense of humor and the WILDEST base voice) as I remember.
At this moment, Bodil, Kristian and Victor are in Bodils room, going through a season of the Simpsons that Bodil got for christmas - seasoned with giggles and talk coming through the door.
Peace - quiet - good times...
Saturday, December 22, 2007
We have a different pace - and there is just something extra-cozy about christmas vacation. The gray winter weather, the lights on the trees, the decorations in our house. The scents of this and that, simmering in a pot.
Yesterday I enjoyed not taking my usual morning walk from here, across the motorway and to work. I imagine that the view from over the middle of it was as usual - but I wasn't there.
Instead I was driving Bruno to work, in order to pick him up on the way to my mothers and thus save time. After dropping him off I drove to Forever for a workout, and then I went shopping for chrismas dinner...
Safely home, with the food stocked away, I started some christmas preparations. I made red cabbage from a 2 kg. head, and boiled rice porridge for the traditional christmas dessert, risalamande. We are having it tonight, as Lasse, Christina and Mette is coming for a spot of early-xmas-celebrations.
The girls stay on until 24th. Then they go with Lasse to his and Christinas mother in Silkeborg. It will be nice to spend a few days with them.
The tree has come inside today. Later on the kids decorate it. I have to prepare for tonight, where we will cook a nice dinner, and I need to do a few preparations for monday too. I have to start up a batch of glögg - the famous home made kind.
I am allready enjoying myself. ;-)
Friday, December 14, 2007
As part of my fringe-benefit-buy-cheap-and-tax-sponsored-laptop, I also generously awarded myself ... a big SOB of a 22" flat screen monitor...
It's scrumptious. Finally I have a screen big enough to actually view two windows side by side ... its almost like at work where I have 2 seperate 17" monitors ... nice!
Bodil is threatening to steal it and use it as a tv.
Andreas is mooning around it, seemingly quite taken with it.
... I wonder what they'll say when they see the sweaty sound system discretely tucked away behind the empty christmas boxes??
Kristian doesn't start until 10 on fridays - and he came in the bedroom with a puzzled look, he hadn't caught on to the fact that we had the day off today :-)
But our wine club arrangement went well. Even though it started out with what seemed like a minor catastrophy: the dish washer in the cafeteria wouldn't start, and we didn't really have any clean glasses. Fortunately, it was just a minor glitch, and we soon had it up and running.
The whole board of the wine club was there - one with half a flu. Here he gets a Treo. It was well needed, he worked so hard his hair stood on end!
Meanwhile others were opening the wines. Tables were being set and cheeses were sliced, bread was put on tables and much other. The arrangement is a blind tasting, so everything had to be decantered. Every time a new wine went in, each table got a piece of paper with 5 questions, 3 about the wine, and one "trivia", to be answered for points.
We only have 20 tumblers, so when one wine was set in, and another came out, we rinsed out the tumblers so they were ready for te next wine. We walked many steps, and at some point I took off my shoes...
Bruno was there too - he didn't sit with me, because I sat with the rest of the board - naturally we had a table, that was not in the competition. I had made sure he was in good hands, though - he was seated with our good friends Alex and Marie. And nobody can accuse me of having leaked hints of the competition to him, as they ended up second last...
There is such a nice mood on a night like that. People talking a lot, and it can be difficult to get to say what needs to be said in between wines - and it doesn't get easier as the evening goes by! But it is just fine. As long as everybody goes home happy.
Our point counting system is really low tech. It has to be - we don't spit out on a night like that! :-)
After the competition there was delicious chokolate - belgian Neuhaus and danish Summerbird, and the local baker had supplied us with loads of marcipan cakes. Yum! It was hard to keep your hands off it.
With sweets you have to have nice dessert wines, and of course we had some of that as well. There was no eye dry - or glass, for that matter. Here is Lars, Helge and me, watching the happy crowd - most of the hard work well done, and all we had left was cleaning up.
At some point we sent those home, that had to work today. Jesper had to get up and test at 6 in the morning - yuk! Thomas couldn't take today off, so he couldn't stay too late, either. Lars just looked like he was done - ½ a flu, treo and loads of wine is tough stuff. So we waved goodbye to him too.
A little after midnight Helge, Bruno and I were done cleaning up. Then we went home. It takes us about half an hour to walk home, but the fresh air is so good! We talk really well with our tummies full of good stuff, and fresh air on our faces. But it was past 1 before we got to bed.
Today our heads are somewhat heavy. I am feeling allright now - for the first time today - but we got most of our gift shopping done, anyway! I just have to buy something for Bruno and for BAD Andreas, who forgot to give me a wish list!
In a sec I go downstairs to bake rolls - we're having homemade burgers for dinner...
And I think we might go to bed early...
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
We take a different kind of french visit every summer. This summer it lead to a fun and slightly noisy evening with a bunch of nice dutch people. The cause was naturally, that my wonderfully outgoing daughter had made friends with a dutch boy her own age, Victor.
Since then Victor has kept in touch with both Bodil and Kristian by messenger, and Bodil as been rambling on about how wonderful it would be to visit Victor in Amsterdam (but I wanna come too!).
Now Victor is coming to visit us instead - flying into Billund on the 26th and leaving again on the 30th.
You could call that a dutch visit :-)
We look forward to seeing Victor again!
Monday, December 10, 2007
Not much have been happening on my english blog.
S'just that december is a bugger of a month. Everything going on at once.
And then, with the number of hits AND comments in here ... who gives a flying f..ish.
Maybe I'll improve. Maybe I'll just kill this off. Who knows....
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
...that is what Leonard Cohen sings in this Youtube-piece, that my lovely husband sent me last night, when I was away at a seminar.
...he must have missed me :-)
The movie is a bit silly, but the song is just wonderful. Leonard Cohen and Bruno are men I will never tire of :-)