This blue marble

– and yet it spins


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Bye Brande

brandemose-10For nearly a year these perfect picnic spots have been mine to explore while traipsing around the backs of my little home town. There never was a picnic, though, and I never saw anyone else on a picnic, either. Perhaps because of the shockingly high number of ticks in any grass around here: if I just sit in it for a while I can count the black dots crawling my legs.

And yet this lovely place never felt like home. I know nearly no-one outside of home, save for the taxi driver who takes me to the airport and back. And perhaps my next-door neighbors, although I never exchanged more than polite greetings with them. It is a difficult life for a natural extravert to have to leave the country (or take the train to its other coast) to be able to go to work or to meet with friends. And it has been a trying year overall. Somehow I find myself still here, now also with a Danish employment contract.brandemose-1The boxes have been nearly packed and in a week’s time it is time to open the door in a new apartment in a proper town. Hopefully it is also time to open the door to new friends and hobbies nearby. springflowers(Brande, Denmark; June 2019)


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When everything is mud-licious

mudlicious

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whistles          far          and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring
when the world is puddle-wonderful
the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
it’s
spring
and
         the
                  goat-footed
balloonMan          whistles
far
and
wee
(e. e. cummings)

mudlicious-2(Loviisa, Finland; April 2019)


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Hills in Denmark (really)

hills-1There are hills in Denmark. Really. It is not all flat. Only, the hills are hiding here on Jutland, far away from Copenhagen and Odense and where most visitors go.

The highest spot in Denmark is just short of 171 m tall, in Skanderborg. Probably far taller than the one we climbed today, in Silkeborg. But the view is just as magnificent.hills-2(Silkeborg, Denmark; March 2019)


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Danish outdoors: missed out by many

BranderiverThis little town has many great picnic spots. I cannot wait for warmer weather and lazy days on the grass with a good book, or in good company. The Danes do not seem to enjoy the great outdoors much, unless they are into mountain biking or have a dog that needs to attend to its business. Most evenings the gravel and forest trails are empty, save for those few dog walkers, and me and about three other runners. On Sundays the busiest time is before 2 pm, when families go for a leisurely stroll (even without dogs). And what is nearly unthinkable here in the dark Nordic winter: all gravel walks and trails are without artificial lighting, so enjoying the outdoors after dark is quite unpleasant.

The hiking trails are nearly empty compared to Finland. And so are all these beautiful picnic spots. At least this time of year. The Danes do not know what they are missing.
Brandebacks-spring-3(Brande, Denmark; February 2019)


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Spring arrived, in February

Brandebacks-spring-2Spring arrived too early. So early, that the first leaves faced mid-February night frosts and the finches and flycatchers had to desperately look for food: for those brave winter-bearing insects staggering out of their hiding places into the warm sunlight of a few noon-hours of the day.

Hopefully we will not have a “Finnish spring” here in Denmark, with another layer of frost and snow before summer really comes. Otherwise much newly awoken spring life will perish.
Brandebacks-spring(Brande, Denmark; February 2019)


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Across the moor in winter

Brandebacks-winterThe moor looks dramatic in winter, and it is not a landscape I feel at home in. I am used to sea, lakes, and thickets where you need violence or a machete to stumble through – not these open windswept landscapes with heather and farm animals.

The miniature moorland behind Brande is like all those old English novels come to life, the ones I read in my teens: Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and The Hound of the Baskervilles.

(Brande, Denmark; February 2019)