Happy 1 June! I’m tidying my blog desk and getting ready for the long summer break… But never fear, I’ll be back in August, when the kids are safely back at school and those pesky lunchboxes have been let out of the kitchen cupboards and are on the rampage!
In case you missed the news, we’ve just bought a summer house in Sweden and can’t wait for the handover! [counts the weeks on her fingers] So when I come back, there will no doubt be lots of posts about ‘those silly Swedes’, my attempts at speaking the lingo, yummy (and strange) Swedish foods and that most feared Swedish animal – mygga – the Swedish mosquito! ;o)
If you get bored, you can always delve into my previous blog posts here on DianeDenmark.com or DailyDenmark.com – the place where I share my love of Denmark and my first love – ‘those crazy Danes’. (Yesterday’s post about Denmark follows below.)
Have a wonderful summer. See you on the other side!
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IF YOU CAN’T JOIN THEM…
Okay, so you’ve arrived in Denmark, be it for study, work or mere fascination with Danish tv drama. Though you’ve most likely – as it is for 99% of us – been lured to the Kingdom by a dashing or delectable Dane. You’re excited for the first couple of weeks but then you discover that integrating with those crazy Danes isn’t as easy as you thought. Hmm, what to do?
Become more Danish than the Danes! As Uffe Ellemann-Jensen (the former Minister for Foreign Affairs) so famously said in 1992 – when Denmark had just voted ‘No’ to the Maastricht Treaty and won the European Championship in football – “If you can’t join them, beat them!”
Just concentrate on using the ‘H’ words. HEJ, HILS and HYGGELIG. You can work them into any conversation. Use them liberally and don’t forget to gush.
“Hej!” means “Hi”. Or “Hej, hej!” which is “See you later!”
“Hvor er det hyggeligt!” “Isn’t this cosy/we’re having such a good time!”
“Hils!” or “Hils din mor/din kæreste/derhjemme!” which means, “Tell your Mum/your other half/everyone at home that I was asking for them!”
And when all attempts at conversation fail, just massage the Danish male ego and mention Euro ’92 (see above).
Eat a huge plate of havregryn (raw, rolled oats) with sugar and milk for breakfast. (Generations of Danes can’t be wrong – hey, even Michael Laudrup swears by it, see below.) Rugbrød med leverpostej (ryebread with liverpâté) for lunch. And frikadeller (meatballs) for dinner. Mmm, ‘That calls for a Carlsberg’… If you need a sweet treat, try Flødeboller (like a Scottish Tunnock’s teacake) or skumbananer (banana flavoured marshmallow covered in chocolate). And, for the very brave, lashings of [yuck] Danish lakrids (liquorice).
The Danish weather can be frightful or fantastic – and usually everything inbetween. Be prepared for all seasons in one day. All before lunchtime. As the Danes say, there’s no such thing as bad weather…just the wrong clothing. So embrace it, wear layers and invest in some waterproofs and wellie boots. Or discover your inner Viking, strip off completely and become a winterbather!
Yep, that’s me on 9 January 2012 = water temperature 1c/34f
A DANE OF TWO-HALVES
Be traditional! As I’ve said time and time again, the Danes may be ultra liberal but they’re painfully traditional. Every season, every feast, every holiday, every celebration from cradle to grave has a Danish tradition attached…
Paper woven hearts made by my DDDFIL
Yes, those crazy Danes are a constant inspiration. If you need concrete ideas, tips or some homework, may I suggest you go and read my previous blogposts? I’ve written so many blog posts about them, even I can’t remember it all.
And what will I be doing? Well, the Danish school holidays are rapidly approaching, so I’m tidying my blog desk and am ready to enjoy a long summer blog break. Like most families around these parts, we usually head south to Italy, France or Spain. But this year we’ve taken the plunge. We’ve joined 11,000 other Danish families and bought a summer house in Sweden. (Yes, yes, that means crossing The Bridge/Broen/Bron!) So I’m preparing myself for life with… those silly Swedes! 😉
Today was the Annual Christmas Lunch of the Running Chicks. Last year H, V and I ate in the centre of Copenhagen (you can see what we got up to here). This year we got on a train at 9.30am, armed with æbleskiver, pebernødder, a flask of hot, ‘green tea with ginger and lemon’ from Perch’s Tea House and a wee dram of port…
Forty-five minutes (and several exciting tales later), we were in Sweden! The Swedes were celebrating Flylady‘s anniversary and had painted all the trains purple in her honour ;D
It was pretty darn cold. And snowy. But we did find a few spots where there wasn’t ice underfoot. (I came well prepared with wonders.com boots and two pairs of socks).
We shopped, we soaked up the Christmas atmosphere, we lunched, we [insert heavy sigh] resisted the kaker...
Though I’m afraid we went slightly mad in the pick’n’mix sweetie shop, Gotte Lisa. Though, to give me my due, I did remember that this month’s Flylady habit is pampering. So I filled a large bag with my favourite sweets to stash beside my bed 🙂
And – with that – I’m off to read my book in bed and have an early night. Sleep tight! 🙂
Our Swedish friend has been and gone (on to Luxembourg by train). Seeyesterday’s post for an explanation… Volcanic ashcontinues to cause chaos over the skies of Europe and Copenhagen airport is still closed for the foreseeable future. Which means that DH has had to bite the bullet and reserve a train seat for tomorrow afternoon. He has a court case on Monday on the Danish mainland (we live in Copenhagen, on the island) and there’s little to no chance of him getting there by plane as he usually does. Incredible that a volcano thousands of miles away in Iceland (which, as it happens, formerly belonged to the Danes) can affect us here!
But in times of crisis we cling to our Flylady routines, right? 😉 It’s 5pm here in Wonderful Copenhagen…time to start our Saturday tradition. Ash or no ash! 😉
You start with a nice glass. Crystal is good. Nice thin lip. It just doesn’t taste the same in a normal glass, believe me 😉
Add ice. Lots of it. Be generous. This isn’t just so we’re really chillin’. We need to get the acoustics right! Do you love that ‘ching ching’ too? 😉
One part gin. Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray are our staples.
Three to four parts tonic, (depending on how long you want the night to last).
And then it’s ‘bottoms up’. And maybe a toast for plane plain sailing? 😉
Today is the 70th birthday of the Danish Queen. Her name is Margrethe. From the French, marguérite, so her nickname is ‘Daisy’! There’s been non-stop TV coverage of the event all day. It actually started yesterday evening… We skipped school today and joined a crowd of thousands to watch the Queen waving from the balcony at Amalienborg (the Royal Palace in the town centre). Here we are en route at 11.30am…beginning to realise that we’re not the only ones with the same idea 😉 [found out later there were 50,000 of us]
Once we got into a sidestreet by the palace, we couldn’t move forwards or backwards but were finally rewarded with a good view of Daisy (wearing a bright blue outfit and matching hat) in her carriage drawn by white horses. Here she is…you’ll need your magnifying glass, she’s at the very edge, lefthand side, the blue speck 😉
Well at least I got a better photo of Marmor Kirken (the Marble Church). Are you begining to remember the colours of the Danish flag now? 😉
The only event that threatened to push Daisy off the news throne today is the volcanic ash from Iceland which has stopped all flights over Europe. Copenhagen airport closed down Thursday afternoon and there won’t be any movement til Saturday morning at the earliest. But every (ash) cloud has a silver lining! Our good friend ‘U’ is coming to stay with us tonight. His flight from Stockholm to Luxembourg was cancelled, so he’s making the journey by bus/train and taxi. And making a pit stop in Copenhagen 🙂
Thanks to Flylady we’re ‘company ready’. Guestbedroom is ready for him, house is shipshape and bristol fashion, bathrooms are swished (and swiped), dinner is replanned and already prepped. Hey, I even had the presence of mind to buy an extra bottle of whisky and DS10 baked a double batch of brownies. With Danish and Swedish flags in… 😉
Hope you all have a cosy Friday night with no int-eruptions! 🙂
It’s our second day here in Malmö, southern Sweden. Great breakfast at the hotel to set us up for the day… Bacon, sausages, Swedish meatballs, scrambled eggs and beans.
Yoghurt and (several) Danish pastries. Washed down with apple juice and caffe lattes. Hot chocolate for the wee ones 🙂
Shame I didn’t have any room for the cereal, cheese, sliced meats or…pickled herring, anyone? 😉
We took a vote as to the day’s activities and there was no way we were going to avoid a second trip to the swinning centre http://Aq-Va-Kul.se Though I sat on a deckchair ‘beachside’ today, as I’m choked with the cold and woke with almost no voice this morning.
Two hours later and it’s lunchtime. M-o-r-e food. Steaks, burgers, chicken and the children’s favourite (help yourself, won’t you, surely we don’t need to ask twice) icecream buffet at the knockdown price of Sek.20 (about £2.50).
Hit the shops again as DN12 (niece) wanted to buy a little walrus snow sledge. Will no doubt be put to the test tomorrow.
Then back on the train to Copenhagen, Denmark. Back home to Daddy, who’s been working hard all this time and earning the pennies for our little jaunt. But don’t worry, we’ll be extra sweet to him tonight 😉