August was mostly spent in Denmark, and so of course it was good (I love Denmark). It was also super tiring since we decided to completely gut and install a kitchen in two weeks. As you do. But then there was also all the time with family and friends, the simply too wonderful interior design departments that I spent a happy morning browsing, and the chance to eat my weight in Danish pastries… Not a bad month at all.
This month I’ve been mostly…
Two summers ago I spent a tense five hours reading I Am Number Four. It’s YA science fiction which is not exactly my normal cup of tea but Rasmus had said I’d like it so I started and then could.not.put.it.down. Simple gripping fun! So this last holiday, when I had a few moments to spare in between painting walls and sanding doors, I read the second in the series – The Power of Six. Equally fun, equally gripping, equally not-going-to-change-your-life-but-worth-it-anyway.
I also read Fish Change Direction in Cold Weather, by Pierre Szalowski. It was one Rasmus had downloaded onto his reader and I had managed to lose my reader somewhere around the house right at the moment I was packing for the trip, so I ended up using his and started reading this because it was there to be read. It was good. A gentle paced, interesting look into the lives of a group of strangers living in the same neighbourhood in French-speaking Canada, whose lives get thrown together by a possibly-divinely-granted ice storm. It’s sweet and dryly funny, and although pretty unbelievable, it left me feeling good at the end, which is all I ask for really.
It turns out (I discovered, one wonderful Saturday morning in Copenhagen) that Denmark has it’s own version of the wonderful British show The Great British Bake Off, called Den Store Bagedyst. I sat and watched with two girls in pyjamas and we got excited together about the surprise cakes, and licked our lips over the cream round. So now to watch from Luxembourg – a great excuse to practise my Danish, no?
When I was at Uni at St Andrews, many Friday night were spent at the Student Union attending “The Bop”. It was the only place in the small town you could dance the night away (well, until 1am…) since clubs were not permitted. And it played the cheesiest, most danceable music you can imagine. Many weeks the grand finale at 12:55am was The Pretender’s 500 Miles which a few hundred probably-tipsy undergrads sang their wee hearts out too.
This week I discovered that Sleeping At Last (who I LOVED already) have a cover of this classic tune. And I have not stopped playing it since…
All the Danish pastries (“Wienerbrød” in Danish) that I could fit in. Just YUM.
There was also this Beetroot, Goats Cheese and Walnut Tart,
and those Beetroot Falafal. (I was experimenting with beetroot)
There was gooseberry jam, from berries picked in my brother-in-law’s garden,
and redcurrant and red onion relish, also with redcurrants from his garden (thanks Morten!).
p.s. if you click through, you’ll notice three out of the four links are from BBC Good Food’s website. It’s one of my favourite recipe resources and one of the first places I search when I need a specific recipe. The comments from other users on each recipe are also really helpful.
We came home to an overgrown (but happily watered – thanks Steve!) balcony garden. Things are GROWING! I harvested a bowl full of green beans, which had managed to grow despite the plague of caterpillars decimating half the leaves. And we have dozens of tomatoes just beginning to turn red. It feels late in the season to me, so I’m praying for some good sunny days to help them ripen up.
I read a great book called Patio Produce while we were away – all about how to make the most of the small spaces we have, and how to grow vegetables well in pots. I have so many ideas for next year that I have to stop myself ordering seeds already!
preaching. I preached at our church All Nations at the beginning of the month and really loved it. (Pretty much all the same feelings I had as when I preached in February).
time with family. We got to see my parents in law, both my brothers in law, Rasmus’ Mormor, and two of his aunts this past month. That’s pretty uncommon and so super special.
speaking danish. It’s getting so much better each time I’m back in Denmark, and having a whole two weeks there did so much for it. By the time we had a BBQ with old friends on our last Sunday in town, I was chattering away. Love how natural it starts to feel (although. it’s still horribly hard and emotional too. just for the record).
morning skype calls with sweet friends.
having a new “local” coffee shop as my second office (they pretty much expect me every other day now).
the excitement of another successful Serve the City project – our volunteers weren’t just redecorating a children’s home in Luxembourg, they were reminding them they are loved and important, no matter what difficult circumstances they are in in their lived.
plans. It’s nearly September, that “second start” we get each year. And so I’m full of plans and ideas and new enthusiasm for the months ahead. And the autumn equinox is just around the corner, which makes me happy. Who doesn’t love autumn?!
on the blog.
My most read post this month was Wild, my wee fictionalised account of two well-known bible characters.
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What have you been up to this month?