Monday, 3 August 2015


Denmark – staying a few days with Chris & Bente. Slept last night at the airport hotel, flew smoothly enough out along the Thames estuary, landed in sunshine and calm into a bubbly sort of peaceful chaos… Noticeably more  immigrant families around than the last time we were here, a quartet of handsome young East African lads with cockney accents and good behaviour, signage rather poor (where to board your flight, how to get to the trains….)
Last time we were here, the railway station looked to us very modern and well-designed. This time, 13? years on, a lot of our own stations look the same, but still their trains are better, wider, quieter, smoother, more comfortable.
At Espergaerde we waited for our host who arrived in his tiny car a bit late and without explanation. The house is not far away….
In brilliant sunshine and astonishing clear light powering up from the sea, the little deco and modern house is radiant beside the sparkling water, pink and soft cedar-wood grey.
We sat, they made lunch, we ate a wonderful copious picnic of ingredients – a particular salami, some soft roast pork, duck fat instead of butter, finely sliced red onion, sweet long ‘asparagus’ potatoes, mayonnaise, cheeses.
Then Bente and I swam in the sea… Gingerly we stepped from the hot air, over the gritty stones and through the stringy weed into the cold clear water. This was me, aunt Bente and her friend Bente…. And the swim was wonderful in safe shallow water, with sailing boats and cargo ships zipping past somewhere towards Sweden a few miles away. Tycho Brahe’s Island is just over there. Friend Bente’s husband Fleming was not swimming but doing the garden, because he loves doing it.
Then aunt Bente walked us to our lodgings – although they have stayed with us many times, their house really is too smal for guests.
Along the beach is a sequence of grassy wild public fieldlets, with the beach full of families and sploshing children, and a marvellous little harbour filled with modern boats and some traditional ones – called Smakkeriggert… not so different from Whitstable smacks, either.
Our lodgings are in the garden of another beach house – the land covered in shingle with (7 tons of) granite stepping stones, and Japanese topiary, and sitting places with (eg) thick circular concrete table, and a sturdy grape-house just for our use with a fig tree trained into a ropey loop….. Our little room is all blue and white, with art on the walls, and a shared kitchen and bathroom – alas, in this trip, and for the first time ever, I emptied out my washbag of all shampoos, conditioners , etc at home, thinking that Chris and Bente would have everything and we are carrying hand luggage only. But we are undone, as the lodgings has nothing….
We had ice-cream, a walk, then back to the beautiful little B&B,and I slept!!!!
Now back at their jewel of a house for supper.

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