And every stranger’s face I see..

Have you ever been in that place where you know you should be grateful, and full of appreciation, and really soaking it all in, but instead, you are just dull? Numb? It happens all too often. Overwhelmed with excitement, gratitude, and awe…for a while.  And then it’s gone.

 If you’re rolling your eyes, or shaking your head in disgust, go on, move along now. No reason to read further. But if you get it, if you’ve had that same thing happen again and again, pull up a chair and read on. In a foreign country over a dozen times now, some visits lasting as long as three weeks, a number of people have asked, “What do you do all day, in the hotel, while your husband is working?”

It’s easier to talk about what you don’t do. There’s no dishes, laundry or housework. Although there have been occasions to hand wash a load in the bathtub and leave it hanging all over the bathroom to dry.

Having no kitchen can get old. The garden back home overflows  with tomatoes as this is written.  Tomatoes would be picked and chopped and mixed with fresh garlic and basil to roast over some french bread. Back home. In the kitchen.

But here there is no garden. There are no projects, like at home; no big shelves to refinish, no funky pants to sew, no quilt to tie, no plants to buy and put in before winter, no rooms to be painted, no wallpaper to hang.

Just homesickness.

As beautiful as it is here, appreciation for it is dwindling. Maybe travel isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Oh, it’s nice for a little spell, to see something new or enjoy unusual tastes and smells, languages and customs, art and scenery, shopping and all that. But maybe traveling closer to home would do; touring in the good ol’ USA.  The west coast, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Napa Valley, the Finger Lakes, and Adirondacks.

So here’s  a look at another afternoon in Roskilde and some favorite places, but remember, they are all shot through a lens of haze and homesickness.

The square here has been transformed into an art gallery.

  He is called “Bishop”.

This one is called “Secret Admirer”.

         And believe it or not, this is called Angelina Jolie.

This has to be one of the most majestic manmade things ever constructed, but impossible to capture with a camera, no matter how many shots are taken. It’s another angle of the Roskilde Cathedral.

       This marina beckons daily; a beautiful walk.

   And the shoreline’s chorus gently laps away disquietude.

Sweaters, Sweaters, and Summer’s Still Here

Since I am spending the days by my lonesome I decided to share my morning’s adventure and do a spot of writing on my blog.  First of all, thanks to all who enjoy reading my ramblings and looking over the images I capture.  It is with sharing in mind that I take photos in the first place. It isn’t only the freezing of time, or the capture of a moment, it is also just the beauty of being able to share a simple, “Check this out!”  It is as if I have you walking down the sidewalk with me, and I’m pointing to this or that and interrupting whatever you may be thinking or doing to show you something.  Something as miniscule as a how the wild flowers are the exact same species here, but look a little different.  Yes, this I will have to show you, since my companion didn’t think so. The Queen Anne’s lace is thicker here; not as wispy as ours is in the states.

So once again, allow me to bend your ear, your eye, your attention and humor me while I sketch a portrait of a Danish morning.

                  Queen Anne’s Lace Danish style

                  And North American Style

 I should be writing. This is what I tell myself.  I leave my room , or closet rather, so housekeeping can tidy up the place.  I go to the cafeteria-like dining room and sit with my computer and coffee and work on my story. But I can’t concentrate.  The sound of foreign sirens rings outside. (Link on right if you want to really be here with me…)

But that isn’t why I can’t concentrate.  The trouble is I have kroner burning a whole in my pocket and thrift stores I haven’t visited since June.  So after giving housekeeping a bit of time, I return to my room, ditch the computer, grab my camera and head out.  I have twice the usual distance to walk; something I would have done well to remember before loading myself up with heavy bags of winter loot! But here’s the load I carried back:

Found this funky raspberry jacket made of felt, and this quilted thing isn’t a skirt (yet). It’s a big square that I found with the scarves.  Looks like a good table cover to me.  Or maybe a skirt.

Love this big suede belt! And underneath is a fabulous long dress in a heavy tweed-like fabric! Oh, and I almost forgot this necklace I found that should look awesome with it!

                Don’t ask.  I have no idea.  But I liked it. And it was $3.

I guess I feel fall and winter coming on.  I love to collect sweaters, belts, boots, and all things warm.  But outside, it is still screaming summer. Even here in Denmark.

So there you have it.  Another day in the Old World.  Be sure you follow me if you want my blog posts to come to you automatically. And comments are cool.   Don’t be shy.  Next post I am thinking of sharing a teaser for the story I am working on.  Click like if you’re interested.

Around Town in Roskilde

Lovin these brass candle holders.  Oh dear.  Here we go again.

This could be done with an old picture frame and wallpaper and little hooks.  I think it’s to hang your necklaces on.  Love it!  Will try to make my own for sure!

Another “must try” idea: wallpapered drawers and darling knobs.  Oh yeah.

Here I go again, looking like a dork, taking pictures because the shops are …well, just wonderful!

Oh come on!  I could wear this…somewhere!!

Found a little bunny I couldn’t live without.

And a few plates from England.

Trim my wick and put me OUT! Yeah! Love that flea market.

Never know what to expect around here.

Got married up there nearly a year ago!

Starting them young.  Busy Saturday in Roskilde.  Hej Hej !! (That’s pronounced Hi Hi and it means Goodbye! LOL)

Aussie Brag Bag Bonus!

What could be cooler than thrift store finds in a foreign country?  Well, shopping down the street where they sell Italian Leather bags for $12,000 Kroner, but hey.  Another time.  For now, I’m taking a well deserved break from my writing for some lighter fare: a second visit to a nearby thrift store.  I was there the other day and found some cool pillow covers!

I love all the lace and textures and blue ticking!

Ahh, and sweet flower of Love!

And this little find to add to my Bjorn Wiinblad collection!

Today there was a bin of handbags on the sidewalk.  Oh my.  Did I find a groovy green party for my shoulder?  And it goes perfectly with my camera strap.  One of the perks of marrying someone a decade older than me: he has neat stuff that he refuses to believe is now really cool vintage.   I confiscated his guitar strap since his guitar sat bored and neglected in the corner of the TV room.  Now I have this great handbag to match its style!  Woo Hoo!


Fairy Tales in Real Life

Arriving at our hotel after a seven hour flight across the Atlantic, a forty-five minute cab drive from Copenhagen (one that I am convinced is a misguided placement of our lives in the hands of a maniac, but I am too tired to care), I stand sleepily before the front desk clerk wondering if we have a room waiting, or if we will have to wait for a room.  It is only 8:45 in the morning after all.  But for me, it is closer to 3 AM.  We are given a key, and my heart sinks a little.  It’s not the one they’ve been putting us in.  It’s not “our room”, the one with the claw foot bathtub.  I figure they forgot about us.  It has been six months since we’ve been here, and this guy at the desk was a new face.  We toppled two weeks worth of luggage out of the elevator on the third floor and made our way to the end of the hall.  As I placed the key in, I started to get excited.  This was in the same location as our favorite room on the second floor.  Maybe it was the same kind of room!  But when the door opened, it was immediately evident this was not our old room.  No, this room had a living room, a dining table, a huge bathroom with a claw foot tub, a giant candelabra, an extra bathroom for the toilet, a bedroom with a king sized bed, an armoire or two, and two televisions!  Tired as I was, I started jumping up and down and squealing. 

“What is going on? Did they make a mistake? This is amazing!”   Just as I was digging for my camera, the guy from downstairs was at the door with an ironing board.

“This room is beautiful!” I told him. “Are you sure it is ours?”

He smiled and explained that it is the HC Anderson room.  Since Hans Christian Anderson used to stay here, this room is dedicated to him.  I was speechless.  I had intended to use this trip for my writing.  I was looking forward to being stuck in a hotel room with few distractions.  Now I was awe struck.  What mysterious wind of grace, what magical dust has lighted upon me that I would receive such favor?   So thick that I feel surrounded by the company of angels and writers I know so little about.  I find a book in one of the many cabinets here.  It is mostly in Danish, but I stumble upon a little bit of English writing only to discover it is a letter written to Mr. Anderson from Charles Dickens extending an invite to spend the summer with him in Kent.  Dickens also writes:

I am very much interested in what you tell me of your new Novel, and you may be very sure that it will have no more attentive and earnest reader than it will find in me. I am impatient for it’s publication.

 I skim these pages for more words in English.  I feel like the room has evaporated and all there is in the world are these snippets of letters exchanged by authors from another time, another dimension.  Even now I cannot give this poor body rest.  No matter that it has traveled half way across the world in twelve hours.  No mind the bloodshot eyes, or the bobbing head.  I simply must pen something of this very moment.  The room is too thick with chuckling ghosts for me to retire.

Pondering the Beautiful

In a few weeks, we’ll be Denmark bound again.  I just spent some time being inspired by a blog ————————–It got me wanting to share some of my favorites.  Pictures can be like travel, without the eight hour plane ride and airport security.  Hope you find some inspiration here. 

When you live in a charming little town as old as Roskilde, with cobblestone streets and Danes on foot or pedaling wherever they go,  you have reason to do your windows up  right. 

And Copenhagen..well we simply MUST….

Museum Magic

A bit of birthday money was burning a whole in my pocket, so I took to the streets to see what goodies I hadn’t discovered yet. I was tickled to find that the cute little place that is usually locked up had some dim lights inside and a person browsing around. I pushed open the door and my heart leaped!

Partly because it was one of the first times I remembered to push the door instead of pulling. I had just embarrassed myself minutes before at the little thrift store I like. I had pulled the handle. It didn’t budge. So I hung my head, took a few steps and started window-shopping. Then I saw a woman who was clearly browsing in there! So I went back to the door, and pushed. That was the trick. But back to the museum: this is not an ordinary museum, but quite like an old country store. And all the goodies on display are for sale! I set about to browsing, when the old gentleman running the place greeted me in Danish. I took a moment to make it obvious we have a language barrier, but like most of the Danish folks, he did his best to help me in broken English. I selected something darling to help me with a bit of Danish vocabulary. Reminded me of the old Dick and Jane illustrations in the states.  

My eyes fell to the floor where this shoehorn creature begged me to take him too! I tried to ignore him, picking him up, admiring him, setting him back down. No, there was no leaving this little guy.  

We had boot-removing devices when I was a kid, but nothing like this! Ours was just an ugly piece of wood with a v at the top. This guy became my birthday present!   

After paying for my finds, I asked the man if I might take some photos. He was more than accommodating, pointing out interesting antiques around the place, and welcoming me to different rooms.   Enjoy the slideshow!

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Danish Festivities

   With this guy watching, you can bet Santa knows if you’ve been bad or good!  

Taking a break from toymaking

                                                                                                                A child’s wish list