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Archive for the ‘Houston’ Category

Would I were…


eϊθε  γενοίμην  .  . . .would I were
In Grantchester, in Grantchester !—
Some, it may be, can get in touch
With Nature there, or Earth, or such.
And clever modern men have seen
A Faun a-peeping through the green,
And felt the Classics were not dead,
To glimpse a Naiad’s reedy head,
Or hear the Goat-foot piping low: . . .
But these are things I do not know.

(Excerpt from “The Old Vicarage, Grantchester” by Rupert Brooke)

 

There’s a reason I haven’t really posted about Houston life here. I don’t like it. There; I’ve said it. I can walk in the private park of our gated building, but if I want to get outside the gates I have to take a taxi because walking or cycling is neither pleasant nor safe in Houston. I’ve been hit by cars a total of 11 times in Houston – and fortunately I haven’t been injured any of those times, but it does make me feel rather unsafe venturing outside the gates.

I take a taxi to go to the supermarket, even if I just need a bottle of milk. While that does mean that a bottle of milk can be rather pricey, I don’t want to drink my coffee without milk. And I can’t safely walk or bike the 1.5 miles to the supermarket; God knows I’ve tried…

A flâneur who can’t walk anywhere is hardly a flâneur at all. And a gardener with no soil is hardly a gardener at all.

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A long absense


I know I should have posted some updates over the past many months, but so much has been going on.

My Husband was sent on a temporary 9-months assignment to Houston, Tx, from November last year, then in December the summer house and garden was flooded when a storm pushed the North Sea into our little fjord so it rose 7′ above normal tides, and then…

photo 5

They wanted him to stay on, so as of July 25th I’ve been living in Houston.

We’re keeping the Copenhagen apartment and the summer house so there’ll be something to come back to when we eventually move back to Denmark, but there’s no time frame on our stay here.

Our new apartment is lovely, though; it’s in a slightly-too-fancy building with gates and pool and a private park, but what really sold me on it was this:

photo 1(2)

photo 3(1)

The view up and down the Buffalo Bayou from our balcony. We have the same view from our bedroom and from the library. It’s like being perched in a treetop, overlooking the river. In the early mornings there are bats flying around on level with our balcony, and in the late mornings there’s a single rabbit who likes to forage on the narrow strip of grass below it. Oh, and in the park there are turtles in the ponds and butterflies and dragonflies and I’ve even seen a humming bird in the bougainvillea on the balcony!

It’s a different world, with days spent by the pool and constantly feeling warm because the temperatures have not yet dropped. Last night was cold with a low of 23 degrees Celsius, but we will reach 32C today.

And yes, I do miss Copenhagen – and especially the summer house and the Flâneur Garden – but Houston life is good on us. And the day after tomorrow I fly to Denmark for a 2½ week “vacation”; I need to sort out the apartment – which I left as kind of a mess when I flew to Houston – and I need to sort out the summer house and the garden so it becomes welcoming and nice for the friends and family who will be taking care of it while we live in Houston. We will be back every now and then, but probably no more than twice a year, so we are relying on the help of people who love the house as much as we do and who want to use it and make sure it remains a living, breathing home, rather than an abandoned, dusty relic.

When I left Denmark the summer house had had new floors and walls put in after the flood in December, and I hope to see a fireplace, a kitchen and a bathroom installed when I go there next. Everything will be new and lovely, but everything will be the same way it used to be. We’re not upgrading, we’re not changing the look and feel of the place, and we’re not in any way trying to get anything but the place we loved – and continue to love from afar.

The garden will have to change, though; the flowerbeds have already become overgrown with grass and weeds, so only the bushes and the most vigorous perennials will remain. It will be a low-maintenance garden where the strongest survive. A few of our inherited perennials might die under the lawn-mover of people who have no way of knowing what’s a weed and what’s a plant from my grandmother’s garden, but so be it. We knew that was one of the many sacrifices when we decided to move abroad, and I think the garden will survive and retain it’s back bones.

And I know that we shall always have a home in Denmark, no matter how long we stay abroad.

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