Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 - just the highlights (and a few lowlights)

january - the first weeks were a blur, as i recovered from my trump-induced jaw infection. but i was better just in time to go back to the states and participate in the women's march in washington, d.c. the day after the spray-tanned satan's inauguration. sharing that experience with old friends, husband and the child was unforgettable.

february - coming down from the high of the women's march. it's such a dark month in these northern latitudes, but there was a trip to the uk to do a bit of reconnaissance for later film shoots. i also gathered the girls for a much-needed drink & draw evening. since for me, it's really about the food, i made homemade ramen. yum.

march - brussels for a few days, showing off our lego ship in front of the european parliament during european shipping week. a bit of quality molly time in the greenhouse. i popped down to the shipyard in germany where we were building two new ferries. i had a bit of time for creativity - making soft guns for our spring exhibition with the theme of paradox. oh, and i might have turned fifty.

april - the child went to prom, the garden went in, we had rhubarb coming out of our ears, and we did a grueling three-country shoot for a video. while we were waiting, we managed some fish & chips in cleethorpe, a rather traditional little seaside english village that tasted slightly of faded glory and sadness.

may - probably the most action-packed month, as you can see from the mosaic. two weeks in the us, doing major cleaning in our mother's house - there were tears and laughter (that was just spreading dad's ashes in some of his favorite places), a reunion with old greenie, dad's boat, that my sister bought back for $100, kayaking with mom and a hurried trip to a doctor to have a throat abscess drained (no photo of that, thank goodness) just in time to fly home to denmark. back home, the first kittens awaited us, along with the garden and glorious yellow canola fields. there was even time for a weekend project - painting an old chest with the wonderful annie sloan chalk paints. and i tried the fabulous gasoline grill burger for the very first time. simply the best burgers in the world, hands down.

june - a yoga retreat, mark-marking, a reunion with old friends, gardening, seeing lea thau, my favorite podcaster speak at the royal library, wildflowers in the ditches, gorgeous kittens and the first meals from the garden - potatoes, strawberries, swiss chard and kale. yum! spotting some perler-bombing in copenhagen and lifting the world's largest lego ship down into the dry dock at the maritime museum of denmark. in all, pretty eventful and good.

july - a holiday in lithuania - it's a hidden gem in europe, i tell you. highly recommend! then home to berries - blackcurrants and red - and kittens growing up and more kittens being born. and a blissful three-day ceramics course with the fabulous nina lund. my hole-y rock collection grew and i found a creative way of displaying it on a rusty old piece of wire i found and there was yet another trip to film in the uk.

august - filming the lifting of some seriously big objects and working with an awesome team. then back home to the garden in full swing. a kickoff trip for a new team sailing back and forth to oslo - pretty cool when you get to use your ship as a meeting room. then MORE kittens - this time, charlie had six - that was too many and so we resolved it would be her last batch. a wonderful weekend getaway with my creative friends down in højer, a new-to-me corner of denmark - it rejuvenated my soul after a rainy, cold summer. and lastly, a wonderful visit from an old friend who we met when we were in macedonia.

september - bob is growing up so fast. i prepared for an exhibition of my photos at the local library. we visited hjerl hede, a museum with examples of houses through time on a rare nice late summer day. a return to the yoga mat after too long an absence. quality cat time. a trip to the beach with another lego friend. some pretty regular work in my art journal, which i took up again after the retreat at the end of august. and some autumn flowers from the garden. and rounding out the month winning a european digital award in berlin for our lego ship project. awesome, except for the 12 hours it took to drive back from berlin.

october - the leaves started to fall. but there was time for some sunny days in the garden in the company of my garden kitties, molly and her granddaughter bella. the first of the amanitas. an apple tart. time spent reconnecting with old friends (and bunnies), some additions to the wardrobe, enjoying the comfort of kittens after slicing my finger on a french press that exploded in my hands and sent me to the emergency room for six stitches. more quality time with cats. and another reunion with an old friend who gave a wonderful lecture on creativity. it occurs to me that this may have been the year of reuniting with old friends! that's a rather magical realization of putting together this end-of-year look back.

november - husband ran for the city council, as a member of a new party. alas, he didn't get in, but he learned a lot from the campaign and he showed that he's not just going to complain about the politics, but do something about it. there was much time spent with the best batch of kittens we've ever had - frannie outdid herself with these lovelies. but now they've all gone to their new homes and are being loved there. a tiny little project was worked on, but more about that in the new year. gemma and gretchen - it was hard parting with them, but i can't keep all the kitties.

december - the darkest, rainiest, coldest month. but still there was joy - in the form of a whimsical monkey from skinny laminx, a hilarious "welcome" mat, handmade gifts to myself (earrings, a candle holder inspired by some primitive church paintings, sweet little wonky blue pots), an irresistible seasonal highlighter from chanel, learning how to make flødeboller and a lot of time spent in the center of copenhagen, working on a passion project that's also part of my job. for my christmas present, husband made great progress in the kitchen and we actually cooked out there on new year's eve! love the orla kiely wallpaper we chose for the backsplash! and just before christmas, we went out and chose a tree - bickering all the way, as per tradition.

when i think about it, 2017 seemed hard - i think because of the relentless awfulness of the madman at the helm. it wasn't a year in which i slept all that well. but when i look back at it like this, in pictures (and yes, i'm still taking a daily photo, tho' most were with my iPhone this year), it was also filled with joy and laughter and pleasure - much more than i realized. i bid it farewell with more affection than i thought i would. and greet 2018 with open arms. happy new year!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

i could work in my pyjamas every day

while i wasn't completely alone today, there was sunshine and time for a solitary walk. i also helped husband move a load of wood and getting out in the fresh air and stretching my limbs, doing something physical helped - i so often forget to reside in my body as well as my mind. aside from some hours of work (which, since i was home, i could do in my pyjamas), no one really expected anything of me. that, and the pyjamas, were very welcome. i found a little bit of time to read some more long read pieces that i'd been saving. like this one, which, like yesterday's, is also about home. and this one about anna akhmatova. what are you doing to find peace and comfort in this liminal space between christmas & new year's?

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

the quiet time between christmas and new year's

these long, yet all-too-short days between christmas and new year's stretch out before me, nearly half gone now. i'm working, listening to hours of interviews we've done for the podcast i'm working on at the moment. but there is also time for some long reads, like this achingly beautiful story of home and belonging by jamila osman. these dark, wintery days have that quality where time seems to slow down, after hurtling forward at breakneck speed for most of this year. i can feel that i needed that. but i can also feel that too many days of togetherness are taking their toll. i need some alone time. i find myself feeling irritable and snappy. i love my family dearly and we've laughed, eaten some good food and played cards together endlessly in recent days. but i need them to go away, just for a few hours. or i need it to stop with the relentless rain so that i can go for a long walk. to be alone in my own head, with only myself and maybe my camera for company. perhaps tomorrow it won't be raining...

Thursday, December 21, 2017


thanks to the wonderful new york times podcast club, i discovered a new podcast this week. it's called nocturne. it feels like serendipity to discover it the day before the winter solstice, since it focuses on things that happen in the night. our days are short here in these northern climes - sunrise after 8 a.m. and that sunset feeling in the air around 2 p.m. (tho' it doesn't set for another hour or so after that), so these days are dark and long. and this luminous podcast helps. in fact, anything that seeks or reflects or attracts light helps - like highlighter. chanel highlighter. (or mac, or becca, or huda or anastacia or fenty by rihanna, or bobbi brown.) you can never have too much highlighter. but i digress.

it's been far too long since i've been awake at 2 a.m. without it being fitful sleep from fever or headache or pttd (post traumatic trump disorder). tonight, it's because i'm on holiday for the next week and because i had a latte from kafferiet as i left copenhagen at 5 p.m. and because it's been too long. i love it. i love being surrounded by darkness, only the glow of my screen and a candle behind me.

i find myself thinking about some kind of ritual for tomorrow's solstice...intentions for the year ahead, gratefulness for the year that's nearly over - because despite the mandarin moron, there is much for which to be grateful. it will surely involve candles and i even have an idea for a bit of highlighter. chanel, of course. the solstice deserves the best. but back to nocturne...

the podcast club suggested the shortboard episode of nocturne as the one to start with and it was amazing, but of those i listened to today (and there were several), i found the one most thought-provoking to be the one called life is but a dream. what if this is all a lucid dream? and what impact would it have if you could look at life that a dream in which you are looking for what you can learn. what a powerful idea. and it's definitely shaping my intention for the solstice, which, since it's 2:39 at this moment in this paragraph, is later today. but first, a bit of lucid dreaming before i'm there.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

blue-eyed beauty

gemma is a beauty and the light, with snow outside, but overcast, was perfect. i had a last photoshoot with her before she goes to her new home on tuesday. part of me can't believe i'm parting with her, but i am. i can't keep them all and i do so enjoy every minute i have with them.  and with all the texts i've received, her new family will love her too. she's a beauty.

Friday, December 08, 2017


1. why didn’t i write a book to my child from when she was born? of course, it wouldn’t have been this luminous, beautiful thing that knausgaard wrote. but it would have been my beautiful thing. for my beautiful child.

2. this dark, dreary, rainy part of the year is hard to get through. but candles and comfy socks and cats make it more bearable. all seasons have their time.

3. jane the virgin. what a series! so charming and full of hope amidst the drama. and we need hope amidst the drama these days.

4. life can change in an instant. hold on for the ride. so tight.

5. other people can never really understand your life. no one is in it like you are. this is both terrifying and beautiful.

* * *

these seem much longer on instagram.