Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Last Days of Summer?

We are now guest-less once more. We packed quite a lot into the few days that my mum was here (and we were lucky with the weather considering what it was like prior to her arrival, and has been like since her departure!), we had a great time. We did a tour of that old faithful the Frilands Museum, complete with a guide in traditional dress . It was great to learn a bit more about the detail of the houses, how they came to be at the musuem site, and how they lived according to which era. The minuscule beds had always puzzled me, but we learned that they were not in fact Lilliputians in those days, but according to their belief that sleep was in fact dangerous, they slept sitting up. No wonder they didn't live for that long. The huge trough-like things in the kitchens were actually for making rye bread, and the enormous round copper bowl built into the wall in the corner of the kitchen was primarily for brewing beer. We galloped through centuries at high speed, exploring different houses with our guide, and ended up at Village shop from the 1930's, which was like stepping into a Matador set. Then of course we did the trip to the Karen Blixen Musuem which was lovely!

I hadn't imagined that my blog would feature seafood quite so frequently, but on Saturday, as predicted, my husband had to go and investigate the Krebs. He came back with a box full of the live little creatures that looked too cute to cook and eat, but I am sorry to say that we did, by first boiling them in water, beer, herbs and lemon juice. Thank you my little crustacean friends, how delicious you were too! We ate them with rye bread, mayonnaise and salad, all washed down with beer! Well, that is part of the tradition apparently!

That afternoon Mum and I went into town by ourselves (while those left behind were by no means neglected, they had fun at what is quite possibly the smallest circus in the world), where we explored the old town, got lost on the way to Nyhavn, and then went on a canal boat tour. This time we did the 60 minute guided tour and very informative it was too. I had to laugh as we got to the empty stone where the Little Mermaid usually sits (she is currently on holiday in Shanghai if you didn't know, please don't plan your trip to Copenhagen until at least November if that's the only reason you are coming), in her place is a plain white billboard displaying a website of an art installation by Artist Ai Wei Wei (what a great name!) which documents and articulates the movements and changes that occur during the time The Little Mermaid is away, both in Copenhagen and Shanghai. You can read about it here: Visit Copenhagen! I also learned why the Lagkagehuset (Layer Cake House) is called just that, it's because the building it's situated in looks like a layer cake (I find it extraordinary that a) I haven't noticed that before, and b) the fact I remember in most detail is something to do with cake!) I think I will always remember this tour for the mass hysteria that ensued when it started to pour with rain, then around twenty tourists clambered for over sized bin liners with hoods, and struggled to put them on in the midst of the storm. One man (I think he had been in the pub that afternoon) had a huge fight with his, and almost gave up, until his (very sober) wife (whom he had been attempting to maul like a lovesick teenager a few moments earlier) got incredibly cross with him, and got him dressed like a small child. I don't think anyone on the boat remained calm, and fits of giggles kept errupting sporadically from various sections of the boat. Mainly ours.

On Sunday we went to Sweden. We visited Ystad (which is where Wallander is set and filmed in case you watch it)for lunch, and then we drove further down the coast to Ales Stenar, which is pretty impressive as megalithic monuments go. I remember being distinctly unimpressed with the size of Stonehenge the first time I visited it, and the Standing Stones of Carnac to a 13 year old on her French exchange were just incredibly dull, but this is actually ship-shaped, plus it's on the top of some beautiful cliffs overlooking a gorgeous tiny fishing port. The cows who just wander freely in the field around the stones were quite unnerving, but this is going to the top of my list of 'groups of big stones' to date.

We bade a fond farewell to my mum yesterday evening at the airport. Our little girl was very upset, and launched into spectacular dramatic wailing (in the car thankfully!)when she caught sight of Granny waving from the security lounge. I think the combination of a new term at school and saying goodbye was a bit overwhelming for the poor thing on this occasion. However, she made a quick recovery once I found some Polo's in the bottom of my bag, and is looking forward to our next guests in a couple of weeks time!

It's 20.36 and it's starting to get dark. Autumn and Winter are around the corner and it will be dark at 14.30 pm before we know it. I know this because the shops are now full of snowsuits and hats and gloves. Although I will be sad to see the end of summer, I am looking forward to my favourite seasons. Remind me of that when we have another three months of snow wont you?

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