In addition to friends, family, and overall familiarity, there are some surprising things I miss from home. Six months elsewhere goes past fast in almost any conditions. But these little observations remind me that I’m not at home.
1. Having more than two big tea mugs
It is surprising how little material we need for living a full life. In reality two big tea mugs is enough. However, having more than one really increases the probability of at least one being clean when there is the odd moment to sit down and relax over a hot BIG mug of tea. I miss my beautiful collection of Iittala mugs designed by Klaus Haapaniemi.
2. Familiar tea flavours
The Danes have a pervasive taste for peppermint flavoured tea. Another one is liquorice but I don’t mind that as much as I do the peppermint. It seems to be in every non-black tea blend. I’ve become somewhat an expert in interpreting the trade descriptions. And in causing a long queue in a coffee shop. Sorry.
3. A bookshelf
As we rented an unfurnished apartment, we needed to get some furniture. But we wanted to get as little furniture as possible. It has resulted in a life without a bookshelf. Now in a family with two readaholics – one toddler and one academic – this decision has its consequences. Now it seems we have no tables to set aside things as they are covered with books. The consequences of living without a bookshelf is demonstrated in the photo.
All in all, it has been comforting to experience that we are just fine with less furniture and material. We don’t need that much of stuff – except books – and life is still good. Perhaps it is even a bit better. During this time I have noticed what is important to me: having a big mug full of my favourite tea by a stacked bookshelf.
This week I attended meetings at Copenhagen Business School and walked through Frederiksberg Have (park). I’d love to write a novel or poem about the park as it seems a world of its own in the middle of Copenhagen. Actually, Frederiksberg is its own municipality in the middle of Copenhagen.
Frederiksberg park is not the fanciest, biggest or calmest park I’ve experienced. But it has some magic to it, perhaps due to Baroque influences. Trees are old and paths windy. In the middle of the human size park there is a huge palace and a zoo.
Instead of words, I offer you photos. Frederiksberg winter blues got me into poetic images of the park and streets on my way to the train.
Everything has a reason, even running late from a morning bus. Now I can wear my slippers and write a long due blog post concerning our move to Roskilde, Denmark, for six months. Actually, there’s only 5 ½ months left.
Instead of words, here’s some photos of our journey and first days in Roskilde. We took the ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm and drove through Jönköping to Roskilde. In order to get to Denmark, we crossed the Øresundsbron, a bridge betweeb Malmö and Copenhagen.
In Roskilde we first stayed in a hostel before we got our rental place in Roskilde. It is part of a house built in 1920’s and has a lovely garden.
Although I feel I have nothing wise to say today, I decided to use the possibility to do some blogging. Unfortunately for blogging, I’ve been too busy finalizing conference papers for summer research conferences, writing texts for blogs, like the EMES Junior Expert’s Blog, and planting our allotment (garden).
What has changed in Barcelona after my last visit? I’m told that the Sagrada Familia has progressed. Judging from my bedroom window, this is the case; I can see some new white statues. Indeed, I’m staying over at close friends who live next to the Sagrada Familia and have windows facing the Barcelona monument. This is the view from the guest room:
It is very impressive to see and hear the church while spending time at the apartment. I’m also impressed by the fact that they are building the monumental cathedral only with income generated from the admission tickets.
Otherwise I feel the Barcelona spirit has not changed. People are as relaxed as before, at least on a sunny Sunday like today, parks are still lovely, and I can always get a drink and something good to eat. By the way, I guess I just listed the three things I value the most in any city.
Perhaps the temptation to revisit (nice) places is the feeling of arriving to a potential home. I could easily imagine myself living in Barcelona although I have no idea what I could do here for a living. Maybe one day I will move here for some time. To me there’s only one thing that beats revisiting: Living the everyday life away from home.
I apologise I have ignored you. It has been [excuses, excuses, excuses]. As if it wasn’t bad enough, I HAVE been writing but totally different things, such as my PhD research, creative writing in a form short stories (in Finnish), and two other blogs as an occasional visiting writer (Aikaa pankista and Aallonhuiput). The problem is that this blog and these other writing projects don’t seem to interact.
I’m the one to blame. Thus, I have decided to do something about it. First, I will link my other online writing projects here. I have no idea how is it going to happen technically but no doubt it is possible. It’s about the time to explore the secrets of WordPress!
Second, from now on, I try to write at least one entry every month. And now that I have a dedicated place for writing, this should be no problem. I know the minimum of once a month sounds very little. But with the other stuff taking place elsewhere and miraculously to be added here, my appearance will add up to more than once a month.
Third, I will start writing here about my (not-so-secret-anymore) passion, namely science fiction literature, and occasional excursions to fantasy literature. What a dim place this world would be without sci-fi, like Mordor.