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woensdag 29 januari 2014

freezing, love & lights

We spent one week in Copenhagen, me and my boyfriend. Time goes fast and before I forget, I’d like to write my memories down.
 
We left on Saturday morning, after a lazy Friday night at home. Around noon, we arrived with the train at the Central Station, close to our home in Istedgade. Istedgade is a funny neighborhood: you walk in through the Red Light district, but after the first traffic light it changes into a busy, vintage street-style area with lots of old-school shops and bars and cozy little restaurants. As it was almost snowing when we arrived, we immediately sought a place to have lunch, warm and comfortable in the neon light. We found a delightful restaurant in the Meatpacking District, Mother. We decided to go for the all-in brunch with home-made pizza, organic bread and salad. It was delicious. On our way home, we stopped at a local supermarket to get our stock for the upcoming week: pasta, eggs, soup, fruit and vegetables, and of course milk and cookies for the cold winter nights at home.
 
 
On Sunday, we visited the old city center and Nyhavn by foot. The cold winter weather made our smiles almost frozen and forced us into having coffee every half an hour. Luckily, Copenhagen counts a lot of comfy coffee places for a random cappuccino, hot chocolate or Chai Tea Latte. I love it. In the afternoon, we met a friend from my childhood. He is living in Copenhagen for 5 years now, and he gave us some food for thought. How he loved the city, and how staying abroad made him who is he is today.
 
Monday we left early to visit the other half (or quarter) of the city, to discover – in the afternoon – the little mermaid in the North. Apart from the weather being extremely cold, we discovered the headquarters of Maersk, one of the largest shipping companies in the world. Also, we discovered the bookshop that would become our daily stop after breakfast: Politikens. Since we bought quite a load of reading material, we spent the evening in. For dinner, we had pasta with fresh-baked bread (slightly toasted, with olive oil, pepper & salt) from the bakery downstairs. After all, what do we need more?
 
On Tuesday we took the train to Malmö, a small city in Sweden. Apart from it being quite fancy, there was not that much to do, apart from shopping. So we shopped. I bought a new coat against the cold (at 50% but still rather expensive) and my boyfriend found a new shirt. After a small disagreement on where to lunch (I hate you, I love you), we ate a burger (for me: a vegetarian dish) in the cutest restaurant in town. Afterwards, we took the train home for some more reading, dinner and tea (with cookies).
 
With my new warm jacket we left on Wednesday for Roskilde, an old city in the North of Copenhagen. We walked through the city and visited the Viking museum, where we dressed up as real Vikings do. Then, we drunk enough Irish coffee to keep us warm against the cold and took the next train home. In the evening, we took the bus to Norrebro to visit my far-away friend Helene and her new-born baby, Bo. How lovely both of them looked, nestled up against the cold, warm in their wooden apartment. In between breast-feeding and cuddling sweet baby Bo, we talked about life in general, family and friends, future plans and forthcoming dreams. Who knows where we end up? Hopefully, one day, with a baby in my arms.
 
Thursday morning, we went for a jogging around the big lake. Because of traffic and dust, it was not that exciting as it should be, but still, we got some good action while seeing some more of the city. In the afternoon, we planned to go up North to see another part of the city. However, the road was so refreshing, we stopped a dozen times for a dozen different reasons. We visited our favorite bookstore, we bought a poster of Copenhagen for our home in Brussels and two matching winter sweaters for the weekend. Then, we had a late lunch in an overpriced organic sushi restaurant (with two glasses of wine), and found our way back home for another cozy night at home.
 
Friday, we went by bus to Christianshavn. We visited the War museum (“Oorlogsmuseet”) and walked along the houses at the water. For lunch, we went into a wine-bar, probably the smallest – but best – in that side of town. Then, we took a bus through the Haven, passing by the Opera and other highlights of the city. Soon, it became dark in the city full of lights. Time to go home, for our last supper, and not the least, at Höst, a well-known Danish restaurant. We ate fresh-made bread with grass-butter, beat rave toast, sweetbread, Rib-eye and ice cream for dessert. Then, we went home, for the last time, by foot, through the cold city lights. Finally, it didn’t feel that cold anymore – it must have been a matter of getting used to it, to the cold, the winter breeze, and the darkness of the night. After a good night of sleep, we left for Brussels. I must admit that I miss Copenhagen already.
 
Oh, last but not least: we decided to paint the apartment. White. One step forward towards our future, together.


 

donderdag 9 januari 2014

happiness


“Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature” - W. H. Auden 

So I learned today that all adults are actually still children. Even my mum, and the partners of the law firm I work for. When we greet each other in the morning, over coffee or during meetings, we sound normal, happy, tired or (not) amused. When the phone rings or clients come in, we change. We change into these formal little monsters, lawyers alike, expressing our authority with attitude, documents, forms and files. It’s funny, isn’t it? While actually, we’re all little kids, waiting for the day to be over and playtime to begin. 

My meeting is delayed, which gives me time to write and rethink what happened this week. My boyfriend came home late tonight, really late, and he was vomiting in the bathroom when I met him in the morning. He’ll be 30 soon. I wonder whether that has something to do with it. 

One of my best friends is caught cheating on her boyfriend. It’s a pity. How the roadmaps of life we so carefully build, can be destroyed so easily. Still, nothing is irreversible. When it comes to love, there might always be an exception to the rule. Luckily, that is. 

I read an article of Gretchen Rubin, on happiness, New Year’s resolutions and “how to be happier at home”. Apart from the rather obvious things (kiss more, jump more, sing in the morning and read Samuel Johnson), she made this list with New Year’s resolutions for the whole year through. I might hang it on our fridge, to keep my boyfriend from vomiting in the morning (read: drinking too much), and to remind us all how simple it can be: living happily together, with friends and family, the ones we love the most. After all, if all adults stay kids, it shouldn’t be so hard, should it?