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Archive for September, 2015

Running Away From Home


This morning I went into town, picked up a rental car and drove 1½ hours south to some friends’ house in the country that I’ve borrowed for a few days.

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Doesn’t it just look like a horrible place to be stuck? A timberframed, thatched cottage from 1850, complete with low ceilings and even lower door frames. And a wood burner. I’ve put fresh flowers in every room, light some candles and had lunch.

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Curried pickled herring with eggs and liver pâté with pickled beet root, served on dark rye bread. It doesn’t get more Danish than that, except of course that I should have had a beer and a snaps with my lunch, rather than a glass of red wine.

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There is very little to see or do around here, except relax and read and go for walks. Sure, there are some bronze age burial mounds here and there – as in most places in Denmark – and cute village churches scattered around the landscape, but fortunately I have the rental car so tomorrow I’ll visit the nearest art museum in the grounds of an old manor house, and perhaps on Wednesday I’ll visit the local cathedral at Maribo.

You see, there are advantages to being unemployed… If I can’t do this with a day’s notice now, when could I ever?

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A Place for Dreams


Still no news on the gardening front – given the lack of a garden – and no immediate plans to invest in one while I am still unemployed and getting my footing in Copenhagen.

Still, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I get up to; it’s all a bit off-topic, but then what else can I write about?

Last weekend I went for a stroll with a friend and a group of strangers. Well, a “stroll” is perhaps not the right word, technically speaking, for hiking 62 kilometres (around 40 miles) with a full backpack over a weekend, but to me it was a welcome outing into fresh air, and though I’ve never hiked with full camping gear before it was really quite relaxing.

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Walking can be meditative in the same way weeding can; you do the same thing over and over again like an automaton, clearing your mind and leaving it free to roam wherever it wants to. And sure, on Saturday after 27 kilometres (17 miles) my legs and feet and hips and back and basically most parts of my body were sore and tired, but there’s no harm in being physically tired and it was really much easier than anticipated.

Of course it was a terribly expensive weekend, given that I had to invest in a tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag, camping stove and a backpack to carry it all in, but then I actually plan to do more hiking and camping so it will hopefully prove a good investment. My ex wasn’t very keen on tents, so now I have the chance to rekindle my love of camping in the wild. There’s already a plan in the making to join a friend for her walk from the tip of Jutland to the German border – 500 kilometres or 310 miles – some time next year. At least for part of it, if I don’t have the time for the full hike. And I’ve also pencilled in a trip to one of the Norwegian national parks for a week of solitary hiking and camping; a retreat from the world where it’s just me and the fells.

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And then a picture of a book shop… I have booked this place in Wigtown, Scotland, for 12 days in July 2017! (The availability is atrocious, and while they DO have vacant periods “already” from November 2016 I figure that a small Scottish village will be more charming in summer than in winter.)

Basically I’ve booked a book shop and the small apartment above the shop, and the place comes with a duty to keep the shop open a minimum of 40 hours per week and run it as a commercial book shop – but with any personal touches that the shop-keeper-in-residence sees fit to add.

Doesn’t that sound just magical? Being allowed free reign of a book shop in Scotland’s National Book Town? (There are 7 second-hand book shops in a small town of 1000 residents…) And as soon as I mentioned the option, a bibliophile friend jumped at the chance to join me so there will be walks along the beach, excessive cooking and lots and lots of fun playing around with window displays, events and whatever else we can make up.

It is probably the nerdiest holiday I’ve ever booked. Well, scrap “probably”, really.

In a sense, this post is a way of saying “I’m still here”, and eventually I am sure I will start blogging more regularly again. I’m just not quite there yet, and probably won’t be until I have a job and an everyday routine and all that. It’ll come in due time. For now I am well, and that is something one sometimes has to tell people who have at one point or another touched one’s life, even if only through the internet.

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