Monday, 28 February 2011

Back Stage...

As the biggest Drama Queen I know, and a ballet fiend at that, I thought R would appreciate a "behind the scenes" tour of the beautiful Royal Theatre in Copenhagen at some point, so we went when she had a day off school a couple of days ago. With theatres also suffering in the current financial climate, this theatre also has the added pressure of helping to stump up the stupendous running costs of its baby sister The Copenhagen Opera House, so it was nice to be supportive in a slightly different way, and gain an insight into life backstage at the same time! First we learned about some of the ancient laws of the stage, many of which are based on bizarre superstitions, but are taken very seriously! One I hadn't heard before is that it's bad luck to whistle in a theatre! Many stage hands were also sailors in days gone by, and they communicated scene and set shifts by whistling to each other, so if an actor whistled on stage as part of an act, this could have spelt disaster! Standing on stage looking out at the hundreds of empty red velvet seats (which would probably be my nightly view if I were performing on it!), it felt bizarre and slightly eerie to be honest and theatres are now up there alongside schools on my list of buildings I find creepy when not in general use! We then paid a visit to the Royal Box, where R got further ideas above her station by reclining in the Queens's chair!... The highlight for me was the costume department though, hundreds of beautiful tutus hung like designer lamps from the ceiling in preparation for the ballet, and we saw the most ornate dresses being sewn (and fur being stuck on the strangest monkey suit I have ever seen!) by people whose jobs I am incredibly jealous of! No pictures allowed where people are working unfortunately, so you will just have to visit yourselves if you are here and have an hour or two to spare... Make sure you ask for the lovely and informative Lars to show you around!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Uninvited Guests

These two have been turning up in our garden for the past week between 5 and 6pm - unexpected, but very welcome! They are beautiful and timid creatures with a penchant for old apples from the fruit bowl(originally meant for the birds) but they seem to like them!... The pictures are not great, but you get the idea! I have no idea what kind of deer they are, but they have very cute white bottoms!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011


Today's theme at The Gallery is Expressions. As it's almost a year since I flew home to welcome this little chap into the world, I thought I would use this photograph (with my sister's permission of course!). It was such a privilege to be there! As much as I love his expression at his arrival into the world, I will never forget my sister's expression at being given her baby for the very first time (and I am not sure how I managed to take it through my tears!). If there's something I do regret about moving away from home, it's missing out on my nephew! I can't believe he's almost a year old and I can't wait to see him very soon to give him a huge cuddle for his first birthday.

You can read about my mad dash to be at his birth here...

and you can see other entries at today's Gallery here:

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Pictures from a Morning's Walk Part II

As an English girl, you will forgive my slight obsession with the weather, and it's hard to believe as I look out of the window at the falling snow that it was a beautiful sunny morning this morning, but it was. I noticed that the sea was frozen at Nordhavn which gives an indication how cold it is again here. I had a morning to spare so ventured into town with some Christmas vouchers burning a hole in my pocket. First stop, one of my favourite shops Illums. If I were soon to be married and ever so slightly greedy, this would be the place where I would probably have an extensive Wedding List.... I love Anne Black ceramics so headed straight for her stand, but it turns out I wasn't in a decisive enough mood in the end to spend said vouchers, so I will just have to come back another time, nevermind!

After this I went straight around the corner to The Royal Cafe for half an hours people watching over a pretty decent latte. I loved the fact my coffee was served to me in the same pot I have a hyacinth planted in at home...!

Then I had time for a quick wander around a few more streets I hadn't yet investigated, and I stumbled upon this shop. Some friends have been telling me about this place for ages now, but I could never find it. It's so popular that they often run out at weekends, and there is a reason why. If you like cake, and good cakes at that, look no further....if you gave them a poke about a bit to make them look less perfect, you could even pass them off as your own if you needed to! Would anyone actually believe me now if I told them I don't actually like cake all that much?

Sunday, 20 February 2011

A Suitable Celebration...

It is very important turning 6 you know, you need a proper "grown up" party to acknowledge the fact! Yesterday was party day, no boys allowed (apart from obligatory little brother and Daddy of course)! As my music tastes are a bit too eclectic for the average six year old (no Lady Gaga on our shelves), I was grateful to good old Spotify for saving the day. It worked quite well as each girl loved choosing a song to put on (which meant we had to listen to Aqua's "Barbie girl" more than once), and the dance routines that appeared alongside were quite spectacular (it proved quite tricky at times for those of us trying to keep a straight face!)...

The party held a couple of small challenges, but nothing defeated us... For example, at the suggestion of Musical Statues, I was met with several blank faces, but once I had explained the rules to them, we discovered that actually I hadn't meant Musical Statues, I had in fact meant "Stop Dance" (silly me!!)... Pin the Tail on the Donkey also went down well, even if they did look at me as if I was completely mad when I produced the blindfold! R enjoyed introducing a few English party traditions to her friends, and the party bags went down a treat at the end, not the done thing here it seems! Her little brother didn't seem to mind being the only male guest present, he had a great time (especially "mine-sweeping" the girls plates when they were busy dancing)!

A big thank you to my lovely husband for helping to provide the entertainment! He not only taught them "The Macarena", but "Oops up Side Your Head". I was able to sleep soundly last night safe in the knowledge that if we ever happen upon hard times we will be OK, as he should be able to gain immediate employment as a cruise ship entertainer!

Today has been mostly about taking it easy, a family lunch and an easy "tea" (try explaining that one!) of sandwiches and cakes left over from yesterday (untouched by small hands I hasten to add). Lesson in parenting #523 - don't ever bother making sandwiches for a children's party....

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


Today's Gallery theme is togetherness, so I chose this one taken on the beach last July. Brother and sister - mostly the best of friends, occasionally the worst of enemies!

I hope it will also remind those of us living here, stuck in the midst of day three of bitter cold gale force winds, that summer does indeed exist here in Denmark.

Visit Sticky Fingers for some more Gallery entries...

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


R turned six today! Her specifications for her party invite were quite complicated, but we got there in the end with half a potato and paint all over the place! Said party had to be postponed to this weekend unfortunately due to THE bug, but we celebrated with a little birthday tea today! Luckily the specifications for her cake were not quite as complicated (she knows I am not in my mother's decorating league!), as long as it had purple on it somewhere, which I cheated at ever so slightly!
R has grown so much in one year, taller and wiser, and with her first two missing teeth! She is beginning to enjoy reading, which she is gradually mastering. I love watching that "light-bulb" moment when she sounds a word out and it suddenly makes sense! School is slowly becoming something she enjoys rather than dreads, which is also nice! As I have said before, putting your child in a foreign school can be daunting initially, gone are the familiar things that they rely on to start up conversations and friendships (something like Cinderella in one language is obviously something completely different in another)! It's nice to see her interacting with her peers from all over the world more confidently as she gets bigger, and appreciating different cultures and languages, a verified global citizen! Happy Birthday beautiful girl!

Owls appear to be one of the themes of my week! We spotted this one at the Royal Library yesterday. The architectural space inside the new building (The Black Diamond) is amazing, and I loved the sympathetic way the architects have "married" it to the attached old building from 1906 by carrying themes from one building to the other. It's worth doing a guided tour if you can, not only because you get access to the storage rooms which are beautiful, but you get to hear all of the insider stories too, like the one about the Book Thief! If books and architecture aren't your thing, then it has a really good restaurant!

Sunday, 13 February 2011


It's not quite that time again yet, but these amazing cakes are now in the shops and what better way to start a Sunday (occasionally!)?

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

One Year On....

A very happy first birthday to my blog! I can't believe it's really been a year already! I have really enjoyed writing this, and keeping a record of our time here. I hope I haven't bored too many people so far...!

This photo was taken at the ever fabulous Ruby on Sunday evening. They are running a promotion in February called Bloody Sunday, where Bloody Mary's and imaginative variations of the theme are the order of the day. After a good few days at the hands of sickness in our house, a cancelled trip (and cabin fever threatening to strike at any moment), I would personally like to call the evening The Sunday Sanity Saver. This was a Rosehip Mary with Pisco Capel, port, rosehip jam, black pepper and lemon juice! Delicious!


Saturday, 5 February 2011

All Things Skeletal....

What better to do on a wet and windy afternoon in Copenhagen? Visit the Zoological Museum of course...Especially if you have a little boy who is obsessed with all things skeletal, slimy, dissected or stuffed (and a young girl who claims not to be interested in such "boys" things, but is secretly fascinated...). OK, it's not the biggest Museum in the world, but it's stuffed to the rafters with interesting and strangely arranged exhibits, (I do think they need to find a taxidermist with a bit more imagination in some instances though - see above!) but this place can more than happily fill up a couple of hours (you are also encouraged to touch and feel your way around a lot of the displays here, which the children loved!).


The whale skeletons are really impressive, especially the Bowhead with its baleen (or frond like "teeth" useful for corsets and collar stiffeners once upon a time I believe) intact, although R wanted to know why it had a curtain in its mouth. S is still making a recovery from his rather spectacular tummy bug, so I am sure we could have actually spent longer here, but doubtless we will return.

I will leave you with my favourite photograph of the day, I have called it "How Long Did You Say You've Been Waiting For The Bus?"

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Comfort Food...

This evening I wanted to make something that could be classed as comfort food, but also incorporated Chinese New Year a little bit, and this is what I came up with - Gyoza (I love Australian Women's Weekly cookbooks!), not strictly Chinese obviously, but still good (we didn't eat 40 between us by the way, although we probably could if really pushed, but they do freeze really well!). Why the comfort food? To get over my disappointment at the postponement of a weekend trip to London, put off at the last minute due to a sick small boy (nothing serious just a tummy bug). Nevermind, will try again in a few weeks (thanks for making it so clear exactly how much extra you are charging to change flight dates by the way Norwegian Airlines!!)! Anyway, Happy Year of the Rabbit everyone...
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