Well, May. What can I say? I spent most of the month putting up with endless days of rain, and now I’m finishing it with the heat of Uganda. It blows my mind just a little bit. This was the month I got to paint nails with beautiful and strong women at a domestic violence shelter. This was the month I started to understand why everyone adores Paris. This was the month got a haircut that didn’t make me cry. This was the month I disliked expat life so much when one of the best women I know got married on the other side of the world and I wasn’t there. This was the month I started meeting with a life coach, a decision I’m certain is going to have long-lasting repercussions. This was also the month I joined a writer’s group in Luxembourg. And this was the month I finally stepped into a country I’ve been dreaming about since I was fifteen.
June, you’ve got big shoes to fill.
This month I’ve been…
An Altar in the World, by Barbara Brown Taylor. I have been reading this oh. so. slowly. because every line is like a gem to be studied and loved. I am so sure already, that this is going to be a life-altering book for me. I want to soak all its goodness in.
Living in the Gap Between Promise and Reality, The Gospel According to Abraham, by Iain Duguid. So it helps, when you’re researching two summer sermons you’ve been assigned on the life of Abraham, to have an uncle who is a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, and who gives his big sister copies of his books. My mum sent me over this one of the life of Abraham and it’s been really helpful in helping me get my bearings on this founding Father. I don’t see completely eye to eye with Iain on all our theology (particularly on gender roles) but I’m still very grateful for this little book, which tells Abraham’s story in the light of Jesus.
My friend Rosie has started a bookclub and so I have our first pick, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, with me on this trip. I got about half way through on the three planes I took to get here, so maybe I’ll finish it on the way home. It’s good so far. Different than what I was expecting but often surprises me with profound one liners.
All Sons and Daughter’s new live album is a favourite this month. I loved them already, but this live album is just so well done. All of the immediacy of a being at a concert with them, without the annoy audience noises you sometimes get on live albums. This is my go-to album at the moment for my quiet times and when I need to calm my soul. My favourite song is Rising Sun. Is it too much to admit I’m praying they might consider a European tour?
I’m one of those people who pretends to only watch The Eurovision Song Contest ironically. But in reality, I completely love it. I’ve been watching it every year since I was a little girl, with my score card and the soft tones of Terry Wogan on commentary. I’m just as happy nowadays with a bottle of wine and the nasal hilarity of Graham Norton.
This year we had a friend over to watch with us, and we had the wonder of watching the votes come in to a Danish victory (oh the joy of having a second nationality to route for that is not guaranteed to be in bottom five!). I even liked the Danish song, although the Greek kilt-wearing free-alcohol-campaigning entry were pretty unforgettable…
We’ve also started the third season of the Danish series Forbrydelsen (The Killing). Why, I cannot tell you. I should not watch these shows. I do not have the emotional strength for serial killers. Seriously. But I cannot stop. It’s a sickness. We just have to make sure we start early enough in the evening that it’s not the last thing I do before I go to bed. Someone send help please…
On a much better note, I finished series one of Call the Midwife (which I’d been rationing out). I’m just very much in love with all the characters, with the grittiness, the grace, the portrayal of faith, the care of the nurses and nuns for their community. I already ordered the Christmas special and series two, so they’ll be waiting for me when I’m home.
This month I tried out a very successful new recipe – honey ginger loaf, the recipe torn from one of my mum’s magazines when I was last home. It’s a keeper, dark and soft and dense and full of the best spices in the cupboard – ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves. And the grated orange peel gave it that little extra something. Let me know if you want to recipe and I can upload it once I’m home.
I also made snickerdoodle cookies one very rainy afternoon (we had too many of those this month) when it just seemed to be required that I bake. I like those days.
Goodness, could the weather have been more miserable? This was the month our French teacher’s houses flooded because there was so much rain. The first weekend was glorious, and then it all went downhill.
But in more positive news, a Danish Deli opened in the city centre, complete with cinnamon pastries, chocolate buns, smørrebrød menus for lunch and all the liquorice my Danish husband could desire – from his home island no less! It’s a little pricy (ahem, of course. This is Luxembourg) but the fact that it’s right across from where we take French lessons two early mornings a week confirms that we’ll be spending some time (and money) here. We got brunch there on Saturday, the day before I left, and it was just like the brunches you can get everywhere in Copenhagen – a big mezze of breakfast goodness all on one plate!
What about you? What have you been in to this month? I need some new music recommendations especially…