Tag Archives: sun

Summer Sun

8 Aug

CornfieldThe sweltering Danish summer has led to some lifestyle changes for me,  not least those of an aquatic nature. I grew up in the north of Scotland, which means that the sea-related activities of my youth took place in the North Sea. Although Scotland has many beautiful beaches the water is a tad on the cold side, and my childhood memories of going to the beach have left me with little enthusiasm for that particular activity. Until this summer, that is. I’ve always been predisposed to think that immersing oneself in the sea is deeply unpleasant, and getting wet only adds to the pre-existing coldness that normally accompanies a Scottish summer, however the blistering heat of the past few weeks here in Denmark has led me in desperation to seek any kind of relief.

Beach1Our local beach at Kerteminde has been measuring water temperatures of 22° and that, folks, is more than enough for me! Nothing can beat the feeling of having spent a day of heat-induced inertia, oozing sweat, to then plunge head first into the sea. Oh, the relief! The utter bliss of being cool again!

LifesaversIt’s all a bit Baywatch at Kerteminde beach…

My favoured form of summer relaxation – that of sitting under the apple tree, reading a good book – has by necessity become limited to a morning activity, because when the sun reaches a certain level it becomes unbearable to be outside. It seemed quite odd to me at first to actually go inside when the sun was out, but now I see it as the only sensible option and we’ve whole-heartedly come to embrace a more Spanish way of life.

Apple treeThe one exception to our daily pattern of sun-avoidance happened when the weather forecast mistakenly predicted grey skies and a temperature of around 20°. Taken in by the promise of cooler temperatures, I planned a cycling trip with my father-in-law and younger step-son, but it wasn’t long before it became apparent that the forecasters had got it completely wrong!

Trusty and windmillsBikesWater

Nevertheless, despite the opressive temperatures, it was a very pleasant outing in the Danish summer landscape, though the first thing the youngest member of our group did on getting home was to have a cold shower. Smart boy!

MunkeboJuly has since given way to August and there have been several changes in our household. The elder step-son has gone to efterskole, a type of boarding school which Danish children have access to in their final years of school before continuing on to other education options. I will also be embarking upon a new educational journey starting in September, after recently receiving the great news that I have a place to study English at the University of Southern Denmark. I’m hoping this will have a positive influence on my writing skills!

Undoubtedly most exciting event of this summer, however, was the arrival of our new puppy. For years I’ve dreamed of having my own dog and finally my dream has come true! Meet Viggo:

Viggo and TeddyHe’s a great wee guy and I’m looking foward to the adventures we’ll have together. At the moment routine is of paramount importance to  help him settle in, but already I can see I have a very smart dog on my hands who’s going to need a lot of activation. Luckily I have a lot of energy and am more than up for the challenge!

Viggo3

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Moving out

14 Jun

ThermometerSummer is officially here. There are some obvious signs: I’ve heard the cuckoo, seen swallows, and the Danes have moved their garden furniture outside. My husband and I are not unique in that throughout the summer we literally move outside, and the garden becomes our living room. Having grown up in a country where this can only be a fantasy on 362 out of 365 days of the year, spending an entire summer living outside in the fresh air with the sun on your skin is utterly delicious. These long summer evenings of sitting in the garden with my favourite people, talking about everything and nothing as night gently falls in the background, are my definition of paradise.

Evening drinkIt’s particularly at this time of year that I have no regrets about ending the chapter of my former career as a classical musician. Instead of all those hours spent inside practising, rehearsing and performing, I can work outside in peace and quiet, disturbing nobody, with incidental music provided by the birds all day long.

Outside office 2

In Denmark the shift from indoor- to outdoor-living begins in May, and this time of year is peppered with one-day holidays. The original significance of these various holidays seems to have decreased over time, and these days they’re just a very good excuse to gather in parks, drink beer with friends and family, and generally enjoy the sunshine and good atmosphere.

People in Park

Also making an appearance at this time of year are all the baby animals. I particularly love the ducklings which are in abundance all along the river, and I often stop my bike just to sit and watch them for a while. I was brought up with Hans Christian Andersen stories, and it’s not difficult to see where he got the inspiration to write The Ugly Duckling.

Ducklings

The long days and uninterrupted sunshine are a much anticipated contrast to the darkness of winter’s extended incarceration. I’ve finally emerged from my cocoon of down-filled coats and snow boots, and it’s warm enough once again go about in floaty summer dresses and sandals – I can even leave the house with no jacket! The weather forecast is promising many more days of high temperatures and no rain, so if anyone needs me I’ll be in the garden, somewhere between the butterflies and the stars.

Butterfly & Lavender

Udflytningen

Sommeren er officielt kommet. Der er nogle tydelige tegn: Jeg har hørt gøgen, set svalerne, og danskerne har flyttet deres havemøbler udenfor. Min mand og jeg står ikke alene med, hvordan vi i løbet af sommeren flytter ud, og haven bliver vores stue. Fordi jeg voksede op i et land, hvor det kun kan være en fantasi i 362 ud af 365 dage om året, at tilbringe en hel sommer udenfor i frisk luft med solskin på huden, er det aldeles lifligt. Disse lange sommeraftener, når man sidder i haven sammen med ens yndlingsmennesker og snakker om alt mellem himmel og jord, mens natten falder på i baggrunden, er min definition af paradis.

Det er især på denne tid af året, at jeg ikke fortryder, at jeg afsluttede kapitlet i mit liv som klassisk musiker. I stedet for alle de timer, jeg tilbragte indenfor på at øve mig, at prøve sammen med andre og at optræde, kan jeg nu arbejde udenfor i fred og ro uden at forstyrre nogen som helst. Der er også den ekstra fordel, at fuglene sørger for baggrundsmusik hele dagen.

Outside office 1

I Danmark begynder ændringen fra indendørs- til udendørslivet i maj måned, og omkring dette tidspunkt er der mange éndagsferier. Den oprindelige betydning af de forskellige feriedage er aftaget i tidens løb, og i dag er det bare en god undskyldning for at samles i parkene, drikke øl med venner og familie, og generelt at nyde solskinnet og den gode stemning.

Sleeping Man

Det er også på denne tid af året, at alle dyrbørnene dukker op. Jeg elsker især ællingerne, som er til overflod langs åen, og jeg stopper tit op for at sidde og betragte dem i et stykke tid. Jeg voksede op med H.C. Andersens eventyr, og det er ikke svært at se, hvorfra han fik inspirationen til at skrive Den grimme ælling.

Swans

De lange dage og det uforstyrrede solskin står i meget tydelig modsætning til vinterens lange indespærring. Jeg er endelig kommet til syne fra mit beskyttende dække af dunfyldte jakker og vinterstøvler, og der er igen varmt nok udenfor til at tage sommerkjolerne og sandalerne på. Jeg kan endda forlade huset uden jakke! Vejrudsigten lover mange flere dage med høje temperaturer og ingen regn, så hvis der er nogen, der har brug for mig, kan jeg findes i haven et eller andet sted mellem sommerfuglene og stjernerne.

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