Juelsminde. Waking up to a splendid view of the rolling sea…. morning radio… coffee… magical light from the panorama windows filling the living room… love this place… perfect for gearing down after the past two full-on weeks in Copenhagen and London… and before coming back to Singapore…. autumn, almost Christmassy bliss and family love. Work with the view and sound of seagulls and ocean… daily walks along the beach and meandering between the quaint wooden summer houses in rain, shine, gorgeous colours and lights, melodies of roaring wind and waves… enjoying my mum’s wonderful food three times a day, and her raw brownie and vegan mango lassi as snacks… coffee and white temple tea from A. C. Perch’s in endless supply… curling up on the couch every night to read When Breath Becomes Air… my parents are happy and healthy and present in the same room as me… S is in Melbourne, where it’s 33 degrees hot. I miss him. But for now, I am completely happy where I am.
14 November. Denmark qualifies for the football World Cup, winning 5-1 over Ireland – in Ireland. Saudi Arabia approves yoga as a sports activity. Australia votes YES to gay marriages. I sit on a bar stool in my parents’t kitchen, full wine glass in hand, my mum’s homemade fennel bread with pesto on a plate in front of me, my parents cooking dinner together next to me. The world is an all right place.
Horsens. Working from the kitchen counter in Juelsminde on three days, I go into my parents’ office to work from there for two days as well. It’s in Horsens, where I grew up. Beautiful clear days in a quaint, orderly, neat town. At lunch time on one of the days, I walk up the road past my old Catholic private school and pick up some flowers for my granny on my way to her place for a cup of coffee and a chat. She gives me three old porcelain plates painted prettily by my grandfather’s sister along with several pieces of classic gilded Georg Jensen Christmas decorations. And a handful of finger rings. Her logic is that she’d rather give those things to me now and watch me enjoy them. We go for a walk in the park opposite her house, through the playground where my brother and I used to play so often as kids, past the amphitheatre where we went for concerts as teenagers, past the art museum, where I once attended drawing classes – but I remember that I was always so homesick during those classes that I used most of the time considering what I could do to be allowed to leave early. The leaves are a thousand colours on the ground. I don’t understand why I didn’t use this park more often. It’s so beautiful! I guess we did live in a forest back then… just outside of town. I didn’t like the town. I was a home buddy. My granny, her friend and I walk back down to the main strip of town and meet my parents for lunch at the only decent cafe around. After work on the other day, I walk through town to pick up books from what was my favourite book shop when I was a child. It’s the same guy managing it as back then. And he knows my name… and what I studied at university… and where I work… and that I live in Singapore. And is kind enough to remind me of all of these facts. My grandmother must be the one updating him. Some things don’t change, haha. It’s good for me being here. I stand behind the bookshop and wait for my mum to pick me up. It’s a strange feeling – I know this place so, so, so, so well, and it’s so safe and sound. The pavements are clean, the buildings are well-kept, there’s neat greenery and nice smiling people all over. When I was a kid, I felt fine here but I was also longing to move on and away. The longer I’ve been away, the more I’ve come to appreciate this place. It’s a good place to be from.
Hopballe Mølle. Went with my mum to pick up chicken and other delicacies from the idyllic water mill and chicken farm in the countryside. Imagine we could just do things like that every now and then… call each other up and plan to go shopping or wandering around in the countryside every now and then. When you think about it like that – that it’s been 12 years since I lived in close enough proximity to my mum to be able to do that… and when you think about how much we love each other and how much we’d both love to be able to do that… It’s almost unfathomable. This week, we do it. And enjoy it tremendously. The time together in the car – humming and singing along to her iconic cd’s, chatting about everything and nothing, enjoying the most comfortable silence in the world, laughing at something silly… So valuable and wonderful. I pick up a huge bag of Danish goodies from the farmshop…
Aarhus. At the end of the week, we go to visit my brother and his dog in Aarhus. Haha, another nostalgic experience! An autumn trip to the big city… strolling around in the Latin Quarter and browsing in all of our favourite boutiques, bakery, flower shop, coffee shop…. in clear, crisp cold…! The energy between all of the elements… The pre-Christmas joy, excitement in the air… Ahhh!
Family. I love living in Singapore and travelling the world… But I miss my family so much every single day. A week like this, at home with them, is one of the things that makes it possible for me to live the way I do.