Sunday, April 27, 2008

The first day of summer

The first day of summer was in april this year.

I say that because - it felt like summer today - around noon the sun came through the clouds, and the temps have been on the right side of 20 celcius. I worked in my flowerbed, and got another bit of the way - and then I washed our white garden furniture, they were in dire need.

My face is a bit cooked now.

Lunch and afternoon coffee was taken outside - the latter in the company of Christina, who is visiting on the way home from a seminar near Aarhus, and with Andreas - sort of, that is - I had him on the phone, and it was just great to hear his voice.

He's been sick from a strept throat this week, and had the doctor out - he got some penicillin, poor boy. In Costa Rica they appearantly think they only get full value for money, when the doctor pops out the syringes, so he got a shot in the bum.

Now he is coming around again - lucky, since they leave wednesday for a trip around Costa Rica. Then they are going to San Fransisco, and from then on to Chicago to visit his fathers family - and then home to mama...


He is a grown young man now - who survived the queens guard with long boring shifts and all. But I can tell he misses me and his family, along with danish food - and just DENMARK in general.

Need I say, we miss him too?


This evening Lasse came by to say hi - and got a bite to eat along with us. It was really nice, having four out of our five put-together kids here all at once.

Life is good. And there is only 1½ months until Andreas comes home :o)

In a garden mood

Maybe the sun wasn't shining from a clear blue sky yesterday, but it was nice and warm, perfect for gardening.

So we did just that - after lunch, coz we had some indoor stuff to do, and a trip to the store to take.

One thing we did was hang these drawings. Bodil did them, after photos - and those who know her see instantly that they depict herself. She is a talented one!


There were other little stuff to do inside, but pretty soon we went outside, the garden was awaiting us, and we'd bought lots of summer flowers.
We have had plant boxes on our old terrace - now they brighten up the front of our new house. Once there was a garden in front of the house, but for practical reasons it's been covered up - and it can get a bit bare without flowers.


Once we change the windows into white painted old style windows, it will look REALLY nice...

Behind the house we were also at it. Our porch has a "view" of our old, ugly garage roof, so we got some flower pots up there to camouflage a little.


On the side of the house there is a strange bed sticking out from the wall, there was nothing but weeds in it when we moved in. We talk about covering it, but for now I put this scrawny little lilac in it. I found it at the store one day, took pity on it and brought it home...


I rarely saw such a little runt ... lets see if it makes it.

Behind the house is a good sized bed. Strawberry plants has been put in, to try to cover the ground. Been there, done that - got the trouble of weeding in between. You imagine BOTH not having to weed AND harvesting lovely berries, but one thing is, that strawberryplants only look nice for a short period of time, and another is, that they give good harvest on the 3rd year, from then on it just goes downhill. Besides, they don't fill in that well - so you get the pleasure of weeding out in between them.

Nobody had done that for quite a while here. There were all kinds of weeds, and a undefineable, yellowy and shapeless bush of a sort. There were also a cute little weeping willow and a pretty troll hazelnut - they get to remain.

I couldn't dig out the whole bed - it hurts lik the devil in my stupid tailbone when I go on for too long (at least I don't get to continue long enough to cause trouble for my shoulders) but I did make it quite a part of the way - and Bruno dug out the strange bush (and the 3 ugly tujas in the lawn).


Instead of the shapeless bush we put in a cotoneasters, that we had in a pot, and that is looking a bit sickly. Lets see if it feels better in the ground.
Good thing is I can see my progress in this flowerbed! And I managed to do more later.


Rhubarbs is a must. So I planted a couple of those in my newly dug piece. Bruno also planted a pot with one of those purple thingys ... forgot its name. But it's pretty .. yeah, the flower, too... ;-)


Damn, we were laborious! So we honestly deserved a cup of coffe in our livingroom (now with pictures on the wall).


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Castellane - je t'adore!

About (let me count ... hmmm) FOUR years ago we went on a camping holiday in Castellane, in the heart of wonderful Haut-Provence. Where the lavender- and wine-fields mingle, where every market in every village sell big round cheeses and yellow stoneware with olives on, and where the river Verdon twist its way between the mountains and through les Gorges des Verdon.

To me it is the most beautiful and peaceful place we ever visited. It was in Castellane we walked up and up to visit a churc overhanging the village of Castellane on a cliff. To me Castellane is the essence of Southern France - and now we will be going back!

We booked a site on a camping ground named Chasteuil-Provence a bit outside Castellane. I am allready looking forward to the sun and heat and the special atmosphere down there...

Bean there, done that...

It's been a great long weekend - well, at least if I ignore certain parts of my anatomy.

Saturday I woke up to the fact, that I'd survived the night after my staircase-crash. Helped along by non-prescription drugs, cooling and ½ a bottle of Errazuriz Max Reserva. I'd gotten the idea of cooling on the internet, where I found a homepage telling about what to do with lesions of the tailbone. As we don't really know where our ice packs are, the job came down to a bag of haricots verts - or green beans, in plain english. They are actually quite good for the job, as they don't lump up after having been thawed a couple of times, the way peas would.

But you do feel a bit freaky sitting there with a bag of green beans on your bum. Bean there, done that, was this weekends catchphrase...

Saturday morning Conny, Carsten and Stine came to visit, and fortunately I was able to handle a walk down town, window shopping ... it's not really a long way, and by the aid of medication and frozen beans, I managed. To break up the distance, we took a beer on Ryes Plads - sitting on a bench outside the English Pub, in the sun.

Other than that, the visit contained an afternoon walk on the city ramparts, and a lot of dinner chat and good times. Carsten was as usual the last to give in and go to bed, around one. Bruno lasted about an hour later than that, and Conny and I really talked through, going to bed to the sound of the first birds at 3.30. We'd had a bit of red wine. But not too much - we all felt fine this morning.

Here are a few pictures from our walk last afternoon. I should probably have taken pills BEFORE we went, coz I nearly didn't make it all the way home...

Bruno and Carsten setting the world straight, in the absence of car dealers, where they could go and kick tires.

Kristian and Cujo had a good time.

We made it all the way down to the blue Lillebælt.

Sister posed on the Danmarksporten (Denmarks Gate).

The Landsoldaten (country soldier) posed at his usual spot - he didnt look as good as sister...

Friday, April 18, 2008

How you go from mobile to handicapped in 4 seconds

Here is the recipe:

Take 1 steep and worn basement staircase and add 1 busy woman on the way down to the laundry basket.

A sure attention grabber. 10 secs later I had Bruno hovering over me looking worried, while I pitifully moaned: Don't touch me - I'm okay, I just need a bit of time...

When I'd recovered enough to be able to stand without fainting (I have this rather troublesome habit of passing out when in pain - cute if you're a little dainty thing, but rather impractical when you are tall, strong and non-portable like me), I got myself up the stairs again and into the couch - just in time to avoid fainting.

There I was, whimpering and feeling sorry for myself while making inventory:
* one good blow to my lower back - sore but not serious
* one very painful blow to my tailbone - OUCH OUCH!
* one blow to the elbow that quickly had to abandon the stage in my mind for the other aches.

WOW I'm gonna be yellow and blue! I bruise very easily, so I'll be one work of art!

After a bit I sent Bruno off on his bikeride, planned before my fall - I was ok on the couch and I almost got stressed from him sitting there, watching me with a worried look - the sweet man!! :-)

Now I am fairly mobile. I'm a little slow on the stairs, and getting in and out of a sitting position. I'm afraid it will be a couple of days (weeks?) before my running shoes get to go outside again. :-(

Oh well - at least its a great excuse to drink red wine tonight - for MEDICAL reasons, right??

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Caffe Katia - possibly the most pleasant restaurant in Denmark?

Imagine a restaurant, that don't look like much from the outside.

But once you get inside, you look around and think: whose livingroom did I just walk into? You see bookshelves with books, magazines and newspapers. You see cards and board games. The pictures on the wall is not one specific style, but obviously an expression of the owners personal taste. In a corner you see a couple of wicker chairs with blankets slung over, and a small table in between.

At a table sits a man with a themos of tea and a newspaper. He looks like he's been there a while.

You manage to take in all these impressions in the short amount of time before the owner, Katia, comes to meet you and greet you. A small, dark woman with a big, friendly smile. Or maybe it is the nice young man that works in there - well taught as he is, he greets you as warmly as she does.

We discovered this place over easter, while we were working on this house. One day we needed to grab some lunch, and decided to walt into town. We ended up at Katias, and as we had little time that day, we agreed to go back some time where we had more time on our hands to take in the experience.

You pick your table of choise, and then your menu arrives. Not overly big, this menu, with a heavy touch of Italy. But there is not a pizza, hamburger or french fry to be found on there, instead you find delicious pasta-, meat- or fish-dishes. And of course, antipasti, salads and soups.

While waiting for the food to come this night, we chattede, leafing through books from the shelves. Bruno told us all about insects, and Bodil was engulfed by a book on Winnie the Pooh and the Philosophers.

I'd ordered a pepper steak, and had a large, tender, perfectly cooked steak. Aromatic soft sauce, fried potatoes and the loveliest veggies: broccoli, asparagus with bacon around, large pieces of grilled peppers ... I was happy that I'd ordered extra veggies.
Bruno had a fish dish and he was purring his way through it. The kids chose lasagna, and their eyes were almost spinning in their heads with pure joy.

Several times during the course of the meal, the staff came by to ask if everything was allright. And it REALLY was...

It was fun that we could here the chef singing in the kitchen, and Katia was singing along as she worked.

Bruno and I skipped dessert - I had a piece of chocolate cake in the way, I think. The kids had ice cream desserts, we just had coffee. I had the loveliest Caffe Latte with hazelnut syrup - that was dessert enough for me...

We went home very pleased. Agreeing that the high quality of the food and the unique feel of the place was something, we'd like to try again.

A small piece of Southern Europe - right in the middle of Fredericia!

It didn't hurt one bit....

First you wake up in the morning to birdsong, and once you get up, yo see the sun shining brightly.


Then you sit down for breakfast with coffee, rolls from the local bakery and NICE PRESENTS...


(including the blouse I am wearing in the pic - a present from my mom)

....and then off to work where you co-workers put no less than 16 flags on your table...

I love my presents! Pretty earrings and a cd from Bruno and the kids, and from the man himself tickets to a concert in Det Bruunske Pakhus. From my mom - a blouse, a cd-box with Simon & Garfunkel (pure nostalgia!) and a lovely new wallet ... the old one was in shreds!


With Bodils usual sense of details the "card" was a glass cup engraved like a birthday card and all their names ... funny!

When I got home, she'd made a chokolate cake that we had with coffee and a lot of nice chat. In the evening we went out - more about that in the next post, that will be a praise to our new fave restaurant...

Nope - not bad at all, turning 42...

Monday, April 14, 2008

I wonder if I can sleep tonight...

Tomorrow is my birthday, and this afternoon, there have been whispering going on behind my back.

What are they up to??

We plan to go out tomorrow night - we must enjoy now, that town is right next to us! And we've found a lovely little cafe/restaurant in town, that we now plan to test in the evening-way...

I wonder if I can sleep tonight, with all this exitement ;-)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

From me to me...

I know it's not my birthday in another week and a half.

But now I got myself a present - i bought it friday, and got it saturday, where I proudly brought it home.


My gorgeous new 7-speed MBK will bring me swiftly and safely back and forth between Fasanvej and Teknikervej every day. It's 4,6 km, so it's not too far to bike. And it will be a pleasure, on my handsome new bike.

Now, all I need is a bike helmet like
Nu mangler jeg bare en cykelhjelm Thereses... or maybe my black Bell helmet is more my style... ;-)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

About being too much

During my life, I have sometimes been labelled "too much" - to my face or behind my back.

And for long periods of my life I've tried toning down. I haven't had much luck with it - I am who I am, and the tiger stripes have a way of shining through...

I've learned being good at making space for others, too. So I don't use all the oxygen in the room. It's really not that difficult, and it doesn't hurt.

On the other hand it's difficult to change that you are a person that is - if not TOO much, then at least - much.

I smiled when I read this post(Warning: it's in danish) on the subject at my old friend Johnnie's.

And then I thought:

Some people think it's really awful when somebody else is "too much".
But isn't it really a lot worse - being too little?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Piles are melting away

The piles in my house are deminishing every day.

But darn, we have so many THINGS ... I almost get a bad taste in my mouth when I see how much I own. Maybe they do have a point, those simple-living-people? I know it would be a lot easier moving, if we only had 8 towels, 3 pots, 2 candleholders and one set of bedlinen per person.

Not to mention the wardrobe of the mistress of the house ... I threw out a LOT when I packed, but I still have a ton - and still not a thread to wear! ;-)

The basement was stuffed full of boxes, and you had to edge your way around upstairs on saturday, when our movers went home.

The basement is STILL full of boxes, but most are gone from the kitchen and living room now, and you start to see the floor here in the picture-window-room, where I am sitting with my computer writing (and listening to Amy Winehouse "Back to Black" REALLY loud, as I am alone at the moment).

This room has been our "dump" - along with the cellar, but now the "lovely" kids-carpet is starting to peek out under the mess.

We still sleep on our mattress on the floor. We have priorited putting together our cabinet for clothes - so now we have a 2 by 1,36 m space to put clothes. That helped emptying some boxes! AND it put variety back in my work wardrobe.

We are so happy for our choise of house! And it will be with only a small twinge of sadness we leave the key to our old house to the new owners on saturday.

One of the best things about living here is waking up at 6.15 in the morning - and listening to the only sound outside: the birds singing in the pear tree.

Then we can close our eyes and pretend we're in the middle of a forest.
It sounds that way.