LIKING IN FEBRUARY

- daylight
- Patti Smith
- writing on paper
- Vesterbro
- coffee
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Geese

For the past year and a half or so I’ve been going for runs by the seafront near our house. There are always a lot of birds on the artificial lakes; I try not to run with my head turned too much. A couple of times this winter I’ve brought my camera (not running with the big camera, though). Canada geese are an invasive species here because they drive out the native greylag geese. I still think they’re pretty.

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Bake your own

Since November, after reading Michael Pollan’s book “Cooked”, I’ve been baking sourdough bread from a sourdough starter I made from bacteria and yeast from the air in my kitchen. It’s a little like magic. And the bread is the tastiest I’ve ever made.

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The Lighthouse

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At the southernmost tip of Sweden, there is a lighthouse. Small for a lighthouse, it sits on a hill above the waterfront, and the buildings around it have been converted to the smallest and nicest hostel I’ve ever visited. We spent a weekend there in May – it’s only an hour’s drive from our house – and met this friendly kitty, took a lot of photographs by the seafront, did some birdwatching and visited Ystad, the city the crime series’ Wallander lives in. The breakfast was good and the people friendly, and our little room had a view of the lighthouse. I recommend it heartily.

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January

Back in October I went for a walk on the beach with the boys.The Canada geese were stopping over at our beach on their way to wherever they go for the winter.IMG_5602

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Sunday

At home with sick child. The weater is bright and it is spring now, the daffodils in the garden are very yellow but not yet unfurled, and I’m sitting at the kitchen table, leaned over the ipad. The dress I bought yesterday for today’s family event hangs unused in the closet, biding its time for another party. The child is sleeping and I am considering another pot of coffee, thinking of the zeppelin I saw yesterday as it crossed Copenhagen, hanging low in the air above our roof, silent and huge, seeming almost magical. All these things that need doing and I just want to sit still in the Sunday quiet.

Waiting for spring

And it is April. Spring is so late this year. The latest snow is melting now, but the air is still cold and there are patches of white in the shaded areas of the garden. The snowdrops are finished, but only tips of daffodils and tulips are up and it seems like flowers are a long way ahead. Cold season has been extended too and both the little one and I were sick during the Easter holiday. But the sun is warm again and the days are longer, and down by the water there are a lot of foreign birds dropping by on their way back from warmer climates. I’m waiting for the temperature to tip above those 5 degrees C and for the soil to warm up, or at least thaw so I can clear out the vegetable beds. Gardening seems a long way away too right now. Good thing really. I’ll spend my time getting well and gathering energy while I’m waiting. Slowly planning and getting my gardening wits together again.

Breathe

The daylight is coming back. I will miss seeing the sunrise from the station as I wait for my train in the mornings. (I will not miss waiting for the bus home in the dark and wet.) Today the morning sky was grey and fat with snow; the sun a golden quiet in the horizon.

Branches

Today was grey and wet – not rainy, but with the chilly, endless drizzle that makes you feel like you know what the inside of a cloud is like. No wind, just damp, and a whitish overcast sky. We pruned the apple trees anyway and I hope it wasn’t a bad move; crossing my fingers our trees will stay clear of rot and mold. K. insisted on a heavier pruning than we’ve done before and I agree with him, but that doesn’t mean doing it isn’t an anxiety-inducing thing. I was cold and happy to go inside when we stopped.

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A quick word about my reading list

Going through my reading lists for the past three years, I realise how much I remember of the year just by reminding myself which books I read. Each title (or at least most of them) bringing up feelings, not necessarily connected with the actual work. I’ve been reading some book by Murakami every year except last year. I didn’t read all that much in 2012. Too busy. Plus I got an ipad (sigh). Also, I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I read Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem. It’s a little funny how I really like two of the Jonathans (Lethem and Safran Foer) and couldn’t even get though Corrections (by the third Jonathan (Franzen)). (By the way, I remember telling a teacher colleague a couple of years ago that Everything Is Illuminated made me cry and she just looked at me like I was off my rocker. I honestly don’t think she could have read more than the first chapter or so (the funny bit; which was also included in the textbook she edited) because the last chapters of Everything Is Illuminated are not funny in the least.)

If I have any reading goals at all for the coming year it is to keep my hands off the gadgets and get my nose back in the books.

Still upright

The darkness in January is so much darker. People have turned off the fairy lights in their gardens, tidying up after the holidays, wrapping up the candlelight of December. Suddenly we’re all in waiting. The weather has turned and it’s much warmer, the snow we had last month is long gone and yesterday I caught myself peering into the messy borders, hoping for little green arrows of snowdrops. This is a good time to eat the kale standing in the garden, still green, still upright. More soup. But not today. After a day at work there is no time or energy, so out comes the deux ex machina, the frozen pizza. There is a time for everything.

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