Friday, 30 December 2016

New Years Greetings



Fotosjåp: verdens sejeste Klidmoster 

@ N ~scroll down for English version :)

I morgen, når klokken bliver 18, er det min plan at sidde klistret til skærmen og høre hvad Dronningen har at sige til os i år. Klokken 23:40 sidder jeg der igen for at se James skåle med Miss Sophie. Same procedure as every year. Visse ting piller man bare ikke ved :)

Som resten af nationen er jeg naturligvis uhyre spændt på at se, om hun (Daisy) roder rundt i papirerne igen i år. Eller om der er mere sindsoprivende nyt om min yndlingsperson i kongehuset. Mens jeg venter på at spændingen udløses, serverer jeg lige min egen nytårsepistel, så I kan se, at bloggen ikke er helt død (men den ligger vist i respirator).

På de sociale medier ser det ud som om vi over en bred kam står lidt og hepper på at få verfet 2016 ud af døren. Der har budt på lidt for meget kendis-død, krig, Brexit og Trump til rigtig at være kandidat til det bedste år i 10'erne.

For mig har 2016 været et kjæææærlighejens år. Jeg gik ind i 2016 iført forelsket-rødblussende kinder, og jeg går ud af det i samme stil. Midtvejs i året skete der så godt nok en udskiftning på holdet, så manden er ikke den samme, men det bliver kinderne ikke mindre røde af.

Det har også været et dejligt rejse-år, med en masse førstegangsoplevelser. I foråret opholdt jeg mig for første gang i flere år i London i mere end et par dage ad gangen (i takt med at jeg er blevet en ældre landmus, er London i højere grad blevet en transitby for mig - men det er stadig verdens bedste by, med verdens bedste undergrundstog). Her oplevede jeg for første gang nogensinde at oparbejde en barregning på over £150 + drikkepenge (og for første gang i et par år at blive en anelse dårlig, sådan cirka ved 18-tiden) - og det var en aldeles suveræn dag!  Jeg vendte tilbage til London midt på sommeren men denne gang kun på gennemrejse - det var der jeg var vrissen og hjertesmertende og ud fra devisen "det er synd for mig" lejede en kæmpe slæde af en Mercedes og tog på mit livs første roadtrip i England. Jeg imponerede mig selv med at styre rundt i den forkerte side af vejen som om jeg aldrig havde lavet andet, og rundede for øvrigt turen af med for første gang i mit liv at blive inviteret med op på værelset af en mand, jeg faldt i snak med i lufthavnshotellets bar (jeg takkede dog pænt nej til invitationen. Både fordi jeg faktisk ikke lige fangede værelsesnummeret hæhæhæ - og fordi jeg dog er lige sippet nok til den slags eventyr)

I oktober besøgte jeg for første gang de amerikanske sydstater - det var et gammelt ønske at se Charleston og Savannah, og heldigvis har jeg en søster som ikke er svær at overtale, når man hvisker roadtrip i øret på hende. Og kun få dage efter at vi kom hjem, sad vi på et tog til Berlin - det er yderst pinligt at indrømme det, men jeg nåede at fylde 40 før jeg kom så langt. Så første besøg dér, men på ingen måde sidste!

(Og ja, jeg overlevede 40-årsdagen. Uden krise. Kender jeg mig selv ret, skal den nok komme, men måske er den et år forsinket. Jeg er jo sår'n lidt træg i det)

Næste år bliver godt, tror jeg. Jeg har store forventninger til 2017. Der skal være dejlige rejser (Norge og Færøerne kan godt begynde at finde flagene frem), der skal være kys og havearbejde, der skal ryddes op i garagen (igen-igen), der skal være Dåselatter, jeg skal have vin & bøf, bilen skal til service, og dyrene skal have mad. Det bliver dejligt alt sammen.

Kontorgrisen Viggo og de uregerlige høns (som alle har det godt, men ser meget frem til at fugleinfluenza-restriktionerne forsvinder, så de igen kan spæne rundt i hele haven) sender deres hjerteligste hilsner til bloglæsere og søens folk.  Vi håber 2017 bliver et venligt år for alle!




@N ~



Somehow we've arrived at the last working day of the year - and tomorrow it's champagne and fireworks and New Year's resolutions galore.

At 18:00hrs exactly (DK time) you can find me, glass in hand, glued to the television to hear the Queen's New Year speech. One of the rituals that are Not To Be Messed With :)   So today I'm taking a leaf out of her book - - actually, her speech is on notecards and last year she got them all in a mess; I'll try not to do the same - - and take a look at the year that is just about to end, and the one that lies ahead.

2016 ..... for the world in general, it does seem that most people are happy to wave goodbye to twenty-sixteen.  Brexit, Trump, waves of refugees, welfare cuts, and numerous celebrity deaths were just some of the curveballs that were thrown at us.

For me, 2016 has mostly been about love. I started out being head over heels with a very special person and that lasted almost exactly 50% of the year. But most good things come to an end, so most of my summer was about the absence of love, and also about crocheting furiously and drinking rum on the patio. Fortunately, also the bad things come to an end, so when autumn rolled around I was ready when I most unexpectedly bumped into another very special person - and thus, I end the year exactly as I started it: in luuuuuurve :)

2016 was also a good year for travelling and a good year for "firsts"  (and since I'm rubbish at updating the blog on a regular basis, you could -should you feel so inclined- head over to Instagram where you at least get snapshots of my doings).  In April I went to London - it was the first time in years I actually spent more than just a couple of days there, and it was the first time ever I racked up a bar tab of £150 + tips (but man, that was a great afternoon!).  
July saw me returning to London, but only in transit this time. I drove west - first time I ever took a road trip in England - and spent a few glorious days just driving around on my own.  The night before I flew home I stayed at an airport hotel and managed to "bag" another first - first time I ever had a stranger invite me up to his room .... and no, I didn't take the invitation haha.  In October I fulfilled an old dream of visiting the old east coast cities of Charleston and Savannah.  Sister and I rented a teeny tiny car (read: bus-sized SUV) and drove around the Carolinas and Virginia.  No sooner had we set foot in Denmark again before we jumped on a train to Berlin to see a concert - my first ever visit, I'm embarrassed to admit, but certainly not my last!

Viggo the Guinea Pig is happy and healthy. The chickens are healthy and reasonably happy  - restrictions because of the bird flu in Denmark mean they currently do not have access to roam freely in the garden but must suffer the unbearable torture of staying in their yard (which also has to be covered).  They are not too pleased with this as this means they cannot run up to my parents' house to take dust baths in my Mum's flower beds. I keep telling them they should be grateful they're not locked up inside (or dead) but they refuse to listen. In short, all is well :)

Oh yes - and in 2016 I turned 40. And survived. I'm still waiting for some sort of age-related crisis to hit; maybe it will come at 41...

So, 2017.  I'm hoping it will bring more of the good stuff, and leave most of the bad stuff behind when the clock chimes midnight.  I know for sure there will be more travelling (trips to Norway and the Faroe Islands are planned already, yay!), there will be more gardening, more kissing, and plenty more chicken-ing.  My hopes are high!!

I hope for you that the year ahead will be filled with joy, laughter, good times at work and at home, daffodils, friendly dogs and soft kittens, wine, long drives, wind in your hair, and everything you could wish for

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Uden Dig (en alternativ version)

(Blog post in Danish - as it is a re-writing of a Danish song, so won't make much sense in English anyway. So international reader(s), please come back some other day :-)



Sommeren 2016 har været lidt mangelfuld på visse områder. Solskin og kys, for eksempel. En af min veninder bemærkede, at ikke alene føles det som om alting er i flux; mange af sommerens danske hits har også været sådan lidt i mol.  En anden veninde introducerede mig for Maja og De Sarte Sjæle ... og så begyndte jeg at tænke lidt. For det er en fin lille sang, men her - 25 år efter at Spice Girls slog igennem - er der generelt lidt langt til  "I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want" i mine højttalere pt.

Så jeg drak vin, og med lidt lyrisk inspiration og assistance fra min veninde endte vi med denne alternative udgave. Fordi, mænd. Vi kan jo godt Uden Dig. Vi vil muligvis helst MED Dig. Men vi kan godt Uden.

(Og til min seneste, hvis du meget mod forventning læser med - neeeej, den er ikke til/om/pga dig. Undtagen næst-sidste linje. Dén er.)

Så hermed, til fri afbenyttelse og fællessang. De originale tekster kan ses i videoen ovenfor, og her er den alternative. Og jeg håber det er okay med Maja.

Der er nye beskeder på min telefon
Den ringer men jeg gider ikke tale med nogen
Jeg vil bare sidde derhjemme og tænke på dig
Det hele er noget lort
Det hele er noget rod
Det hele flyder over i mit hoved
Nej vent lidt - det' OK - uden dig

Jeg skipper kuren og jeg dropper at æde skyr
Det' nemlig ligemeget hvad jeg så end gør
Snører sko, finder nøgle, slukker lys
Låser døren
Jeg er lige gået forbi din lejlighed
Det var okay i og for sig
Jeg har spildt alt for meget tid
Det' sgu fint nok uden dig
Jeg gik ned ad gader hvor vi har gået
Og haft det så sjovt du og jeg
Jeg spørger mig selv, går jeg glip af noget
Det bli'r heldigvis et nej

Hurra for min arrogance
Du fik jo verdens bedste chance
Men du viste dig at være et kiks
Jeg smiler bredere fra dag til dag
Jeg ved der ik' er noget nag tilbage
Nogle gange hjælper det at drikke vin

Jeg er kommet så utrolig langt videre
Mens du sidder og bli'r ældre og grimmere
Du har lang vej hjem
Og så det ikke engang hjem til MIG

Jeg vil gerne gå over til din lejlighed
Det' da okay i og for sig
Men der er ikke noget der
Jeg skal videre uden dig
Jeg går på de gader vi ik' har gået
Og ser på verden uden dig
Har Medina monstro fat i noget?
Musikken den er kun for mig
Jeg ta'r en taxa ind til Andys Bar
Og ser hvad København nu har
Der skal drik's mange mange flere drinks
Muligvis på Bobi Bar
Og tiden er gået
Og dagene er gode
Og jeg ved det ikke kan undgås
Pludselig står du der med en anden som så si'r
Øv, du er hende den seje 

Jeg ku' godt gå over til din lejlighed
Men hva' fa'en skulle jeg der
Der er så mange andre mænd
Så jeg tror bare jeg la'r være
Der ligger en verden for vores fødder
Den venter faktisk kun på mig
Jeg spø'r mig selv, hvad venter jeg på
Nu indta'r jeg den uden dig
Du må selv gå over til din lejlighed
Den er ikke noget for mig
Vi to var ikke spild af tid
Men jeg ka' sagtens uden dig


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Gardening with chickens - another guide to (decidedly moderate) success

All summer long, the chooks have been cruelly denied access to the kitchen garden. Because stuff was growing there and all that.

Well.  In reality what happened was that the whole achy-breaky-heart thing spiralled me into an abyss of laziness, which in turn spiralled the kitchen garden into an abundance of weeds.  I know it's supposed to be good for you to get off yer bum and do something, especially if you've got a lovely garden to do it in, but I much prefer whining to counting my blessings.

So let's just say that I've been unusually careful with the angling and cropping of the pictures in this post. Keeping up appearances is, as you know, of tremendous importance on this blog.

Anyway, last weekend the time had come to do.something.about it.  So the chooks were let loose, and so was I (and my weed wacker).  They're very skilled at scraping the surface, though not exactly methodical. And they add fertilizer at the same time, so all in all they're a valuable asset when it comes to clearing out the sad remains.

And lookie here, how decorative chooks&flowers are - you can hardly see the weeds!!


It took them no time at all to carve out a tunnel :-)

The saying goes that "the early bird gets the worm".  Round these parts, it's more like "the reckless bird gets the worm".  Signe, the brown hen, knows no fear and digging the earth takes forever when she's around because she likes to sit on top of the shovel to get first picks at whatever crawlies that might appear.  Nevermind that she sometimes topples over when I lift up the shovel...



I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky see the worms tumbling down
(what song is that again??)

Look at my assistants, getting down to work :-)

So. The garden wasn't a tremendous success this year. In fact, only the parsley and lettuce produced bumper crops and even they were bedevilled with weeds.  But that's the wonderful thing about gardening - there's ALWAYS next year. Needless to say, I've got grand schemes and plans, half of which won't come to fruition, but that's beside the point. There's always next year ...

Oh, and the achy-breaky heart? Pretty much done and overwith. Yay!


Friday, 9 September 2016

US presidential election hits Øster Starup. Again.




Right, folks.  After yesterday's heroic yet somewhat unimpressive efforts of Mrs Trump (represented by moi) in the baked goods department, I know you're all just dying to know how Mr Clinton fared in the Family Circle 2016 Presidential Cookie Poll.

Bill Clinton has temporarily (?) eschewed his cigar-smoking, White House intern-arousing merry ways in favour of a very homey recipe:

CLINTON FAMILY'S CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

It goes a little something like this (and again, I was most fastidious about not deviating from the recipe)

If you're in Denmark, start by chopping up around 340 grams dark chocolate. If you're in the US, just take a 12oz package of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  We're not quite as spoiled over here; most shops don't carry chocolate chips (or am I missing something), so Danish readers have to do the hard work themselves.

Mix together
1½ cups flour (DK: 185 gram)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
-and set aside

Mix together until creamy:
1 cup solid vegetable shortening*
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (DK: sorry, didn't weigh it, but 1 cup is 2½dl and make sure it's packed)
½ cup granulated sugar (DK: 100 gram)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*vegetable shortening.... google has reliably informed me the best substitute is palmin, and you use about 200 grams

Add 2 eggs and beat well

Then gradually beat in the flour mixture and add
2 cups of rolled oats (DK: sorry, didn't weigh the havregryn, but it's 5dl)

And finally add the chocolate chips


I didn't take any pictures of the prepping, but
rest assured that I did sample the raw cookie dough.
Instead, here is a picture of chickens & sunset.

Bake at 350 degrees F (or in DK, the less furnace-sounding 180 degrees C) for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies look the way cookies should.

I could see on twitter that many people were out
having a beer that evening.  So I tweeted this pic, as
a way of saying "HAH, I've got cookies (and didn't get
any decent invitations)"

The verdict:

Ohbuttheywasgooooooood.  They won't do your waistline any favours (but that's hardly the point of cookies) but they will definitely reassure you that America is still great.  I'm sure this (and not his way with words) was how the young whippersnapper from Arkansas lured the feisty Miss Rodham into his bed study group at Yale.

I knew she didn't stand a chance against
my husband's (cookies)
and yes, I saw what you wrote about his
cigar, but he didn't inhale


US presidential election hits Øster Starup



Much to my surprise, my newly acquired visa did not come with a voting slip attached. They must have forgotten somehow, but rest assured - ze vorld shall not miss out on my Opinion about who should take over after Obama.

I like Obama, by the way. He seems like a genuinely nice guy and if a very naughty dream I once had is anything to go by, he's a great kisser (I hope to god I never have that particular dream about whoever wins the election this time around...)

ANYWAY.  How to decide who to vote for?  I decided to give both candidates a fair chance and thus have spent two evenings slaving away in my kitchen, trying out both recipes in the Family Circle 2016 Presidential Cookie Poll

How this particular competition has previously escaped my attention is beyond me, but there you go.  And seeing as how election year is peak season for crazy peoples, this seems to me a totally legit way to decide where your allegiance lies.  Because cookies.

I tossed a coin (a quarter from Ohio - very appropriately a swing state and also a state I've never set foot in; see how impartial I'm being here), and Mrs Melania Trump won the right to have her cookies baked first.

The recipe is in the link above - and also here, with a Danish conversion thrown in.

Without further ado - tadaaa:

MELANIA TRUMP'S STAR COOKIES

Mix together:
2 cups flour (DK: 250 gram)
1 teaspoon baking soda
- and set aside

Mix together:
6 tablespoons soft un-salted butter (DK: 85 gram)
1 cup confectioner's sugar (DK: 120 gram flormelis)

Then add:
2 egg yolks
1 egg white
2 tablespoons sour cream 

and mix well....

add flour mixture until the dough just comes together - flatten and wrap in cling film, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


Always remember to sample the raw cookie dough

The recipe actually says "form into 2 disks", but I'm lazy...

When the 30 minutes are up, you roll out the dough, and cut out star shapes.

I'm usually a bit haphazard when it comes to recipes, but in the name of fairness, I stuck religiously to the recipe here and did not take my chances with any other shapes...

Bake at 350 degrees F (DK: 180 degrees C) for about 10 minutes, until golden


The verdict:

Hmmmm....  I will say that the raw cookie dough was decent. But the cookies themselves -oh, they were decidedly meh.   Incredibly boring in fact.  Certainly much more boring than watching Donald Trump on stage.


What was that you said about my wife's cookies??!??!!


But stay tuned. Do not lose faith, Melania.  We've still got to see what the wannabe-First Gentleman has in store for us.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Finest moments (a selection)

My day got off to a brilliant start when, about 7 minutes into my working day, I managed to spill a glass of water all over my desk (for those of you who are wondering how much water an average drinking glass will hold, I'd say about a pint and a half).

Fortunately I'm a sloppy housekeeper, so I had a pile of unfolded laundry on the chair next to me and was thus able to mop it up without even having to leave my desk.  And to think I sometimes wonder why the laundry cycle seems never-ending.

Then I had to call a hotel where the receptionist spoke the most endearing slurvian imaginable. Endearing, but virtually incomprehensible, so when I mentioned that the arrival date on the booking I was calling about was to be changed to two days from now and he said, "yeah, it's sunny, right?" I was puzzled but ever so politely answered "yes, but also a bit windy."

He meant Sunday...

But we got there in the end, and I said thanks, and he said "hey, dimension".

Later in the day, a guy called XXX called to book some travel. There's more than one person by that name at his company, but what I said when doublechecking which one he was, was "there's more than one XXX in my life, you know".  Total silence at the other end of the phone. And then "hee hee hee....".   

It's now 930PM*.  I've just been to the shops - I've got some friends coming over tomorrow and they might appreciate being fed at some point.  I was wearing a pair of fairly loose cotton trousers that I haven't worn in a while, and when I came into the supermarket and put my phone, my housekeys, and my car keys in my pockets, my trousers graciously slid down and allowed me to flash my (not particularly sexy, unfortunately - had that but been the case) undies at a family of four plus two sniggering teenagers.



To combat the inadvertent weight loss, I have now consumed half the chocolate biscuits I had purchased for my friends kids....

*it was 9PM at time of writing. It's now 10:40. I've spent an hour on the phone with one of the coolest, arrogant as f, made-of-awesomest ladies I have the good fortune of knowing. Time well spent indeed 

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go drink some wine and start re-writing the lyrics to a Danish pop song.  That, amongst other things, was what came out of that phone call.

Merry weekend, folks!



Thursday, 25 August 2016

And that was my Thursday

It was a quiet Thursday. I went to work. It wasn't busy. And the sun was shining so after work I spent some quality time on the lawn with The V


And the chooks


Who then joined me on the patio, hoping I might be persuaded to share my wine with them. Despite this one looking decidedly off-balance, the answer was noooo


Then I had a tiny meltdown but cured it with copious amounts of pasta, and THEN I cleaned out the chicken coop from top to bottom. 

Now I'm back on the patio, wine in hand, listening to Air's 'Moon Safari', and pretending all is well with the world. Which it is, for the most part. 

Cheers :)