Countryside bliss

It sure feels like a Monday today. Especially after a relaxing weekend in the countryside. Joel and I met at extremely busy Waterloo station on Friday. There were so many people it was almost dizzying, and we definitely took a sight of relieve when we finally sat down in the train – heading out of London. Once we reached Hampshire, we went straight to a lovely Indian restaurant in Liss, where we met Joel’s parent’s and his youngest brother. It took us a little while to calm down completely. It’s quite amazing what London does to your general stress level!

The rest of the weekend was spend in Joel’s parents amazing cottage near Petersfield in the South Downs national park. Think indulgent food (mostly fresh from the garden), bike rides in the sunshine, fluffy knits, and lots of cups of tea. It was definitely needed!

All images are taken by me – Please do not use without permission 

One of those days


I believe in being nice. I think you get further, when you are nice to people. It’s nice for yourself too, being nice. And for the world. There really are no limits to what being nice can do for yourself and for others. And it doesn’t take much really. A bit of politeness and a smile goes a long way. It’s the little things that make the big difference, and all that.

I’ve had one of those days where some of the people around me haven’t seem to agree with the niceness. At one point I thought “well, screw you then, and everyone else, because there’s clearly no nice people left in the world”, but of course that is not true. And if the people around you aren’t nice, at least you can be that one nice person making a tiny difference.  I could easily let it ruin my day, or at least an hour of my day, but what’s the point? The only person that would affect, is me.

Can we all just agree to be a little nicer? Say thank you when someone holds the door for you? Be that person holding the door open? I think that would be nice.

Self-confessed crazy cat-lady

I’ve just spend about 20 minutes going ‘kitty-kitty-kitty-kitty-kitty’ out our kitchen window, to a couple of neighbourhood cats sitting outside on the roof. The kindly came up to the window and had a peak inside, and allowed me a tiny touch. Thanks guys. One of then, a white one, we have endearingly named ‘The definition of an idiot’, only because she’s a bit of a clumsy cat. She regularly falls of the fence outside, and has no idea of what to do with a squirrel.

I am definitely what you would call a crazy cat-lady. I grew up with two cats, Chip and Chap, who were two black and white sisters, put on our doorstep when I was a couple of years old, and they were no more than a couple of weeks. My parents took them in, and we grew up together.

They definitely spoiled me for life on the cat-front! Especially Chap took a particular liking to me, and would follow me everywhere. She would even come with us when we went to the restaurant that was down the road from our house, and sit and wait outside for us while we ate (one day a waiter came over and said ‘who’s that fat cat sitting outside!’ – to which we could only reply that it was our fat cat).

Chap and I
Chap and I napping away

Since then there has been lots of cats in my life – Kamma, the sweet little red one with self-confidence issues, who we took home from a riding center at which I had been at summercamp, and Findus, a very self-confident and fun grey cat, who found his way to my dad’s farm by hiding in a car motor.

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I don’t have any cats in my life at the moment. But thankfully there are plenty of cats in London, and I always make friends.

In our last flat it was the neighbour’s Rosie who always came to say hello, and the strange Geoffrey (this wasn’t actually his name – He just looked like a Geoffrey) and his strange partner in crime Frederich (Not his name either – But he looked like a Frederich).

I saw this some where a while back, and it perfectly describes every cat I have ever known: In ancient times, cats were worshipped like Gods. They have never forgotten this.

At the same time they are quite loyal (but never count on this – they would never run for help if you broke a leg, but probably just enjoy laying on you) and definitely a lot of fun.

I realise I’m completely outing myself here, but oh well. Cats are cool. Just ask the internet.

Thursday Cravings: Grapefruit

I love pink grapefruit! I used to eat them all the time when I was a child, and have recently rediscovered them. How amazing is grapefruit? (Sorry, my excitement for a fruit might be a bit over the top). And, this is clearly also one of the healthier cravings one can have, so it’s a win on all accounts.

I’ve also recently read that grapefruits are one of the very few foods that contains less calories than the body uses to digest them, resulting in what’s called a ‘negative calorie count’. This is clearly not the main reason why I eat them, but it is quite fascinating I think. They are good for other reasons too, like supporting healthy skin, and helping to battle many diseases, as well as containing lots of antioxidants. Eating half of a grapefruit per day will meet 64% of your vitamin C needs, 28% of vitamin A, 2% of calcium and 2% of magnesium. (Source). So I mean, this is sort of a super fruit.

On top of all of this, they are also very pretty – At least to me. The colour and texture is amazing.



All images taken by me – Please do not use without permission

It’s here! 

I made a big decision a little while back; to ditch my much loved Canon DSLR camera, and get a smaller camera. Mainly, because all too often I would let my Canon stay home because of its size and bulky-ness, and instead opt for my iPhone, which takes pretty decent pictures for everyday use – but nothing like a ‘real’ camera. 

It arrived today: my new Olympus Pen Generation. It’s the latest update of the camera, and is a rather popular model as far as I can see. And I understand why! It is a good size, exchangeable lenses, has a charming retro look, and loads of great photo capabilities and fun settings. I haven’t had a chance to properly try it out yet, but once I do, I’ll let you know what I think. 


Saying no and all that comes with it

As I’ve gotten older, I have become a lot better at saying no to things. Whether it be events, people, or something else. But there are still certain situations I feel slightly uncomfortable with, when it comes to saying no.

Joel and I live in a charming, yet fairly small London flat. It is perfect for the two of us, but when we have guests it can easily become a little crammed. Especially because we only have one bedroom, one 2-person kitchen (which is sometime a stretch), a bathroom and a fairly spacious and bright loft upstairs. So when we have people staying over, they stay in the loft, which normally serve as our living room.

I love having people around, but I am at the same time a bit of an introvert, who really value some time for myself. I would never say no to close friends or family members if they wanted to visit, even if it might not be so comfortable for either of us after a few days. They are more than welcome!

But I was recently faced with a slightly more distant friend wanting to stay at our place for 5 days. I could immediately feel that I wasn’t keen on the idea. Not because her and her boyfriend aren’t lovely people, because they are, but more because of the feeling of having someone in our little space for that long. this might be difficult for you extroverts out there to understand, and sometimes I wish I would just welcome everyone with open arms. But living in a city like London, means that we do have people wanting to stay with us quite often – Sometime clearly just to save a few pennies on a hotel, which i can completely understand, as London is expensive enough to visit as it is. It easily turns into a part-time B&B business though, which would be quite alright if we had a massive house with lots of guest rooms, but unfortunately that is not the case at the moment.

Knowing myself, I would feel like I had to entertain and ‘be there’ constantly. And in between work and other commitments, I would make it a tough 5 days for myself. Especially when it is people that you don’t know that well. I have close friends who I know are perfectly happy to do their own thing, happily buys food and makes dinner, and just make themselves at home, which takes a lot of the stress out of it for me, when I know I don’t have to be the tourguide.

After having been here for 9 years I have learned to listen a bit more to myself (and Joel) and draw the line sometimes. It is after all our home, and we live here, work here, and have our everyday routines. I know that it is perfectly acceptable to say no, but I still feel bad about it, as it is nothing personal, and I would love to help.

So after having spoken to Helene about it (who lives in an amazing, yet tiny, studio apartment in Copenhagen), just to verify that I wasn’t a total bitch for saying no, I offered that they could stay for one night at ours (as we would love to see them) but kindly asked them to stay somewhere else for the remaining nights.

I have also made a strict rule of NO SIGHTSEEING a long time ago. I have done my fair share of of that, so when guests spend their days trawling the pavements of London with millions of others, or stare at wax models of celebrities at Madame Tussaud’s, it is without me – with some exceptions of course. I’ll definitely be there for the evening drinks and dinner though ;)

What would you have done?

The struggle is real

Today has been rainy, grey and felt like summer has definitively gone away and made way for autumn. On top of that, the normally lovely (compared to the central line) Victoria Line is half closed, and has been for the past two weeks.

Which is why I today found myself running up and down a train platform at Liverpool Street with a bunch of other people, desperately trying to find a 5 cm gap to squeeze my body into, just to avoid having to wait another 15 (!) minutes for the next train. It didn’t happen. The ‘don’t you dare try!’ looks from all the already incredibly squeezed people on the train, desperately trying to stay on the ledge of the train hoping the doors would miraculously close around them, discouraged me.

It really is every man (or woman) for themselves on the London train network at rush hour. Just like 10 minutes earlier, arriving at Liverpool Street on the Central Line, and a very capable man snapped up a seat right in front of an elderly man, clearly struggling to stand. I noticed a seat and rather loudly said ‘there’s a seat for you here’ to the elderly man, hoping the other capable man would feel a little bad about his actions. I’m sure he didn’t! But because if this, I almost didn’t get off the train as people starting floating on with panic in their eyes. I don’t have much love for the London transport system these days, as you can probably hear. It does make me appreciate the rather dreamy commute, for London standards anyway, that I have normally.

Things I miss from Denmark

Copenhagen colours

I have lived in England, more precisely London, for almost 9 years now. It’s quite insane to think about, and I’m not quite sure where the years have gone. There are many aspects of life in London that i love. It’s a big, stressful, dirty city, filled to breaking point with all sorts of people, but it’s also a city full of experiences, surprises and opportunities. I don’t want to live here forever, but at this point in time I’m quite happy here. I’ve done several variations of this sort of post before (This one for example, about Danish and English differences), but this time I’ve tried compiling a list of the things I miss the most:

  • Not having to say ‘please’ and ‘sorry’ all the time. Not because I want to be rude, but sometimes the politeness in the english language feels a little fake. A bit like as long as you say ‘Please’, ‘Thank You’ and ‘Excuse Me’, you can do whatever you want, because you are being verbally polite. There is no equivalent of ‘Please’ in Danish, but somehow we all get along anyway.
  • The directness of the Scandinavian languages. Sometimes I feel like English uses about a million words for a point that could be made with 5 words. Perhaps because of all the “Excuse me”s and the “Thank you”s.  Again, we’re not being short with you because we are rude, we just like to get things done.
  • Proper rye-bread with loads of seeds, and not just brown bread that tastes like cardboard.
  • And while we’re in the bread category: Rundstykker.
  • Triple glazing.
  • Real snow, that stays for days during winter, and doesn’t turn into slush within a second of landing on the ground.
  • And following on from the two points above: Houses that are actually proper WARM in the winter. No better feeling that coming in from a freezing day to a house that is warm, and stays warm.
  • Underfloor heating as standard (We have this in our current London flat, and I LOVE it!).
  • Being able to take the bike to work. I wasn’t keen on this when I lived in Denmark, but living in a city where cycling equals risking your life, I’ve really started to appreciated cities that put cyclists high (if not at the top) of the list.
  • Smaller distances. It can easily take 2 hours to travel from one side of London to the other on the train/tube, which can make it quite complicated seeing people, even though you live in the same city.
  • Spaaaaaaace. This is a big one for me. There’s just people EVERYWHERE over here. Sometimes I like to turn down a street, and be the only person on it. This probably stems from me having grown up in country side surroundings.
  • Houses without carpets. The English love their carpets, and I have never understood why (I was recently told that in some buildings you have to have carpets, by law – Not sure if this is true).
  • Working days where working late means 5pm (and Fridays where you leave at 2pm as the norm).
  • Doors opening outward.
  • And windows opening inward.
  • Lots of lovely people, family and friends. And that is the most difficult part.

To be continued… 

When In France

The post holiday blues are strong this Sunday. That’s what a week in a South France villa with lovely people will do.

We got home yesterday after an amazing week full of sunshine, wine, cheese and quality time with the best people. I could definitely get used to having a pool in the back yard, a view of tree-topped mountains, eating incredible, fresh baguettes and croissants every day, shopping for local wine and cheese at the farmers market in the nearby village, and being able to pop in to Montpellier, or to the sea, in less than an hour. What’s not to love? Being back in a cloudy London is not really floating the boat today.

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All images taken with iPhone6 – I’m working on the camera situation :)

Yesterday I joined the Star Wars gang…

… more precisely, a Secret Cinema event. For one night, I was part of the Rebel X, opposing and infiltrating the Empire (e.g. Darth Vader and his people/Robots). As you have probably already noticed, I’m by no means a Star Wars fan or enthusiast. I’ve watched several of the films, but never in a very serious fashion – sort of the way I also watch Harry Potter. I quite like the universe and find them entertaining, but that’s about it.

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The whole idea behind Secret Cinema is that it is not just a film – You need to get dressed up as the character you’re given after answering a few questions on the website, and then the first 2-2,5 hours of the evening is all about being part of this special world. I can’t say much more, as that’s the whole point you see – It’s secret.

It was an amazing experience though, and even I, who is not a fan as such, really enjoyed it. There is constantly something happening, and the actors are amazing. There’s always someone running somewhere, and I spent a lot of time just running around after any action happening on the set. It’s a very real world, and amazing if you immerse yourself in it completely, and just go with it. Get involved with as much as you can, and interact with the actors – You’ll be surprised!

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The tickets are a bit pricey at £75 each. On top of that, you can pay quite a bit for your costume too in the Secret Cinema shop (this isn’t a must though, but I would definitely recommend dressing up), and you’ll need to buy food and drink too – A cocktail is £7.50, a beer £4, and a water £1. If you are a hardcore Star Wars fan, you’ll have the time of your life. If not, you’ll still love it. It is so much fun! Just make sure not to drag a heavy bag with you, like I did. You’ll be carrying it around all night.

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Me, very excited, before the whole thing started