Sunshine and Shooting Stars

28 Jan

SnowdropJanuary is a dreary month, with the sparkle of Christmas a distant memory and only the continuing dreariness of February to look forward to. Forgive me, but I’m suffering from seasonal lack-of-adjustment disorder: I want it to be spring! As early as the 8th of January there was some evidence of the much wished for change in season, snowdrops and erantis were well under way in our garden and the blackbirds were having some territorial disputes – a sure sign of spring, but so far it hasn’t come to much.

HouseLysthusThe month started brightly enough, with a backdrop of  blue skies and sunshine for a girls’ day out to the beautiful harbour town of Kerteminde, situated on the north east coast of Fyn, and home to the Johannes Larsen Museum.

Main hall use this one I’m beginning to get quite a taste for Danish art galleries, and the Johannes Larsen Museum is no exception. I wasn’t sure what to expect, perhaps a slightly faded, small-town collection of mildewy paintings and a  few token knick-knacks scattered around. Not so! Instead it was like some kind of religious epiphany as I entered a gleaming white, fresh, modern building with the morning light streaming in through the huge windows.

Gallery  I must confess that Larsen’s style is not really to my taste, but seeing his work displayed in surroundings such as these, I could begin to appreciate what the man was about, and his very special use of light.

Holy pictureDeer FreizeThe highlight of the Museum for me, though, was to be able to visit Larsen’s house, where he lived and particularly where he worked. I was greatly inspired by his studio: The notion of having such a space for creativity in one’s own house, in such peaceful surroundings, is deeply appealing.

StudioStudyGreenhouse2After taking care of our appetite for culture, our attention tuned to appetites of a more practical nature and settled on Tornøes Hotel for lunch. Since Kerteminde has a strong fishing tradition I felt it appropriate to order stjerneskud (shooting star), a dish which consists of a piece of white bread covered with boiled white fish, fried breaded white fish, salmon, prawns and caviar, with a bit of salad on the side. I’ve only ever had the supermarket version of stjerneskud before, which although tasty would at best come under the category of ‘light lunch’, so the mountainous heap of fish which was set down before me came as quite a surprise!

Stjerneskud1Food is actually a central theme in our household these days. My husband and I have set ourselves the challenge of eating a different meal every night, with strictly no repetition permitted! It has proved to be a very enjoyable way of  passing the dark evenings, and has given rise to the discovery of new recipes such as beetroot risotto. It may look garish, but it tastes fantastic!Beetroot risottoThe urge to stay indoors and eat nice food and watch old films has become almost primal. Being deprived of snow in our part of Denmark*, the whole landscape has a woeful air and the lack of sun is doing little to help combat the lethargy which is seeping into my bones. Being as I don’t wish to slide into a full-blown depression, I’m trying to come up with ways to be outside and active. When it’s been raining for days, sometimes you just have to say: if you can’t beat it, join it.

Johan jumpingOther than that I’m being sure to make the most of  the rare occasions when the sun does make an appearance, and hopefully it will soon be spring for real.Garden in sun

 

* This was written before this happened:Garden in snow

 

 

Solskin og stjerneskud

ErantisJanuar er en kedelig måned, når julens glimmer er et fjernt minde, og man kun har den fortsat kedelige måned februar at glæde sig til. Undskyld, men jeg lider en smule af vinterdepression, og jeg vil have, at det er forår! Så tidligt som d. 8. januar var der bevis på det meget ønskede sæsonskift: Vintergækkerne var i blomst i vores have, og solsorterne var oppe at slås – et klart tegn på forår, men indtil videre er det ikke blevet til noget.

HouseMåneden begyndte klart nok og var en pragtfuld kulisse for en tøsetur til den flotte fiskerby, som hedder Kerteminde og er hjem for Johannes Larsen Museet.

Piano hall2Jeg får en smag for danske kunstmuseer og uden undtagelse Johannes Larsen Museet. I forvejen vidste jeg ikke, hvad jeg skulle forvente: måske en trist samling af  mugne malerier, som var lidt falmede, og et par symbolske nipsting hist og pist. Tværtimod! Det var som en slags religiøs åbenbaring, idet jeg gik ind i en strålende hvid, frisk, moderne bygning med morgenlyset stømmende ind gennem de enorme vinduer.

Red RoomJeg må indrømme, at Larsens stil ikke er lige til min smag, men det at se hans kunst, udstillet i omgivelser som disse gav mig en forståelse af, hvad mandens ide var, og hans meget specielle brug af lys.

FireplaceStueFireplace freizeImidlertid var det besøget i Larsens hus, der var museets højdepunkt for mig, og at få muligheden for at se, hvor han boede, og især hvor han arbejdede. Jeg blev meget inspireret af hans atelier: Idéen om det at have sådan et sted, hvor man kan være kreativ i ens eget hus omgivet af fred og ro, er særlig tiltrækkende.StudioGreenhouse1Efter at vi havde opfyldt vores appetit på kultur, drejede vores opmærksomhed til appetitten af et mere praktisk begreb, og vi blev enige om, at vi skulle spise frokost på Tornøes Hotel. Fordi Kerteminde har en stærk fiskeritradition, syntes jeg, at det var passende, at jeg bestilte stjerneskud. Hidtil havde jeg kun fået supermarkedernes udgave af stjerneskud, der, selv om det var velsmagende, kunne beskrives som ‘let frokost’. Så det var en stor overraskelse, da en kæmpe dynge af fisk blev placeret foran mig.

Stjerneskud1Maden er egentlig et centralt tema hos min mand og mig for tiden. Vi har udfordret os selv til at spise et forskelligt måltid hver aften uden gentagelse. Det har vist sig at være en meget behagelig måde at tilbringe de mørke aftner på og har givet anledning til at opleve nye opskrifter fx rødbede risotto. Det ser nok skrigende ud, men det smager vidunderligt!

Beetroot risottoTrangen til at blive inde og spise lækker mad og se gamle film er blevet næsten primal. Vores del af Danmark mangler sne, og det hele ser trist ud*. Uden nok solskin er det svært at undgå en nedtur, men jeg prøver at finde på årsager til at være udenfor og aktiv. Når det har været regnvejr i dagevis, skal man nogle gange bare sige: if you can’t beat it, join it.

Johan jumpingBortset fra det vil jeg være sikker på at nyde de sjældne lejligheder, når solen skinner, og forhåbentlig bliver foråret snart til virkelighed.

Garden in sun

 

*Dette var skrevet før dette skete:

Garden in snow

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