Monday 27 September 2010

Bad Weather?

I am sorry to report to those of you residing in Denmark, that we are in for another very bad winter. Well, at least my husband thinks so according to the amount of wood that turned up from our recent order! The lorry couldn't get down the drive, so the first part of our weekend was spent shifting it after they dumped it half way down. Very luckily they delivered it after I had been out on the school run!

Friday 24 September 2010

The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

I love this place. Started by Carl Jacobsen, the founder of the Carslberg Brewery, who decided to make his sizeable private collection public, in this beautiful building just around the corner from Tivoli. It's worth doing a guided tour if you book in time, I always find I learn a lot more about these kind of places by doing that occasionally. We did the Highlights Tour last week, and an hours tour included a visit to the Egyptian mummies in the vault, various statues by the likes of Rodin (including The Kiss, which is just beautiful and is based upon Dante's Inferno if you didn't know - I didn't!), and a tiny corner of its vast art section. My favourite had to be the Van Gogh collection, where amongst others we saw the beautiful "Mountainous Landscape Behind St Paul Hospital" which depicts a view from the mental institute in St Remys where he was a patient at the time. Around a year after he had painted this, Van Gogh shot himself in the stomach, apparently in this very same field (so the story goes). He died a couple of days later. He only sold one single painting during his life time, and his brother's widow was advised to burn all of his work that she owned at that time. Very luckily she didn't. Other works here include the lovely Degas Little Ballet Dancer of 14 Years in Bronze , and a stack of other famous works of art by artists such as Picasso, Manet, Renoir and Monet. We had lunch in the gorgeous Winter Gardens, but they are currently filming a very popular cookery show here, so you must book if you want a guaranteed table - the cakes are gargantuan (but with a price to match - see there's always a downside to everything!). There's plenty more to see aside from the art collection, including a huge collection of ancient artifacts in the basement. One word of warning. Make sure your mobile phone is switched off, and do not switch it back on again until you leave. I came here months ago with one of my best friends, and made the mistake of switching a phone back on just to see what the time was, whereupon an untimely SMS announced it's arrival, and we were reduced to two sniggering school girls again after a very hefty telling off from an officious museum guard. I think she enjoys her job a little too much (she resides with the artefacts section in the basement - you have been warned!). Enjoy...

Wednesday 22 September 2010

Recent Signs...

On a recent trip back to the Roundtower (without a small boy) I came across this new sign! I like to think it was put up there following S's foray into the world of escapology! When I showed him this picture, he almost laughed his head off(!)

Thursday 16 September 2010

Our First Year - Yoshimi & The Battle of the Pink Robots

A year ago we arrived in Denmark. We had taken our last cab ride to Heathrow and checked our small amount of luggage in. All of our worldly belongings were waiting for us in Copenhagen, having left on a large yellow container lorry the week before. My husband had almost been strangled by his loving wife for having a set of darts in his hand-luggage!! I didn't even know he owned a set of darts, and neither it appears did he. Trying to take them on to an aeroplane (although unwittingly) proved to be quite unpopular with the security staff who kept us waiting for much longer than necessary as his punishment. We laugh about it now! We just had time for a bowl of cereal and a nervous cup of tea for breakfast before getting on the plane and departing for our new life! It felt very odd.

Later that afternoon we picked up our car and drove to the hotel for the first night. As a treat, we took our rather bewildered children to Tivoli for the very first time (!), it was a beautiful warm evening, and I remember thinking I might actually quite like it here...

The following morning we drove to our new house, and there in the driveway was the enormous removal lorry, whose removal men worked at lightening speed to get our stuff unloaded and into the house before they legged it. We found out later that they were supposed to actually unpack for us as well - thanks then boys! Actually, I was quite pleased that they hadn't unpacked as at least I knew where everything was! We prioritised the children's rooms so that they would feel more settled with their own belongings around them.

The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi & The Battle of the Pink Robots was played constantly during the first few days on the first nervous drives to new places, (my son liked the "robots" in it) and it proved a bit of a welcome distraction for me - as someone who hadn't had any need to drive in London, and was now driving on the wrong side of the road!!

So, one year on, have we learned anything? Well yes, definitely, the following would certainly be true: -

How adaptable and strong we are as a couple and as a family. We have settled well and I know that we can do this in our next country too (cheesy but true!);

That we are great hosts - I know this because of the amount of guests we have had in one year - the fact that they keep coming back also helps!;

How bad I am at learning languages, but luckily my husband has learned Danish really well, and I can't get over how much the children have picked up too (I rely on them to help me count in the shops now!);

How quite often problems I have with the country are usually a reflection on my experiences in the UK and how we do things different culturally. Like all countries, not absolutely everything is great here, but most of the time it is a good place to live and half the time (excluding THE rude woman in the supermarket) most people are friendly and helpful, and we have made some great friends from Denmark and all over the world (some of whom are moving on soon which is hard, as having been here for a year now, it's starting to happen and it's really the first time I have had to deal with it);

I could go on and on, but I won't. I am looking forward to all the further adventures we will have while we are here, and it looks like it's going to be for a while longer yet. But in the meantime, the Flaming Lips went on in the car on the way to school yesterday morning and I reminisced on a beautiful sunny September day (until the brief storm), just like that first one a year ago.

And instead of saying all of your goodbyes - let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round


Sunday 12 September 2010


The title reminds me of an old (and bad) joke from somewhere, but these two sizeable beasts sprang up in the middle of the lawn almost overnight. Something has had a taste of them already by the looks of things (no dead creatures nearby though), but personally I would have to go mushroom hunting with a mycologist (yes, I googled it!) before I would eat any kind of funghi I had foraged,(and then I would make them eat them first!), This article illustrates just how dangerous it can be, and not just from ingesting them! Thankfully Babar was on hand to help me get this point across to my two - poor King of the Elephants!

Tuesday 7 September 2010

A Quick Trip

I have been quiet on here recently as I have just returned from a brief trip back to the UK. I went back for a couple of reasons, firstly to visit my grandmother who is currently recovering in hospital from a stroke. It was so wonderful to spend some time with her (and cheer her up by setting her up with Classic FM on the hospital radio/tv thing). Yet another reason to be thankful for having a big family, as they are taking it in turns to take my grandfather in to visit every day and spend some time with them both while she recuperates (and also smuggle in lots of pana cotta and homemade soups - so much nicer than hospital food).

The other main reason for my trip was that my youngest sister very bravely (and very successfully) organised a big Cancer Research Event on the Sunday, so I felt I should really go and give her some support. I enjoyed my marshalling duties whilst watching giant ginger-bread men and fat-Elvis's doing their 6K run! I am really proud of what my sister has achieved along with the help of her many volunteers, and I am looking forward to finding out how much they raised for such an important cause.

Everyone who knows me well, understands that I am not that fond of flying. In fact it would be fair to say that I hate it. Being in such an enclosed space in such close proximity to strangers doesn't help, add to that peoples general attitude towards you when you fly with small children (no matter how well behaved they are), and it wouldn't surprise you that I would rather walk anywhere! But for the very first time, and much to my surprise, I really enjoyed my flights. It might have helped that there was no turbulence at all, I was flying alone, and both were on really clear days so you could see everything below! If I could guarantee that every flight was like that, then I would secretly be quite looking forward to the next one! The state of the house upon my return was forgiven when my husband presented me with a big bunch of Dahlia's at the airport. Huge beautiful bunches of them in all shapes colours and sizes are for sale everywhere right now. They are considered to be quite old-fashioned flowers in the UK, but for some reason they just look different here (someone will probably tell me that they are not actually Dahlia's now!), and they will always remind me of autumn in Denmark. Other things in abundance at the moment are chanterelle mushrooms, red-currants and cob-nuts, wooden crates of them dot the supermarket shelves. I love how seasonal produce is so important here as is local food, and as I have said before it's something my home country and quite a few others could do with taking note of.

I have a day or two to get organised before some more guests arrive. I should start by de-cobwebbing the house! I always equate the arrival of lots of spiders with autumn, and if that's really true, then autumn isn't just pretending anymore. I will have to search for some conkers and place them in the corners of the rooms to see if this old wives tale really works!

Next week we will have been here for a whole year! Something I can't quite get my head around.

Take care.

Emma xx

PS. Incidentally, I did watch Out of Africa again the other day. Meryl Streep's Danish accent isn't that great admittedly, but it's much better than Robert Redford's British one!!

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