Sunday, December 31, 2023

2023 :: a year in pictures



it seems like january wasn't all that memorable. working from home, a visit to mosegaard museum, frost and snow, lego flowers, the light slowly returning. 


lots of work stuff - spent a bit of time in copenhagen. enjoyed signs of spring. still couldn't stop making more avocado plants, which was my corona obsession. ate some good food. did some creative stuff. started planning the garden. 


sabin and her friends came for spring break, which was so much fun. went to a coiled basket class, made some yummy cupcakes for my birthday and a fancy charcuterie board for our little creative group's annual meeting. 


started spending time in the garden and even harvested the first herbs for a salad, as well as the first ruby stalks for rhubarb that i forced under some black buckets. bought some hoka running shoes, hoping it might make me run. spoiler alert: it didn't. billy the cat came by for his annual visit. he stayed around for several months. 


recorded the first episodes of my podcast for work (look for it where you listen - it's called the sociable kitchen). may is always when the canola fields are at their peak and i am here for it. it was also lilac time, which is my favorite time of year. may is also when i started taking wegovy. alas, i didn't do a may selfie, so we'll have to compare the ones that follow with the previous months.


june was eventful - a trip to berlin with a friend to visit some old friends of hers, husband ran a half ironman, i spent time in the studio in aarhus and fell in love - it's such a great atmosphere! we started to enjoy the garden. and i got new ducks. we also got a pig, though it was over at our friends' place. 


summer was here and that meant berries - strawberry ice cream, black currant jam. my grove of avocado trees thriving in the kitchen window. a visit to an old friend to record a podcast episode. turning my woven rug that weirdly disintegrated from useful object into art. and a new fully electric car for me. 


sabin came home and we painted a cactus mural in our bedroom. we went on adventures and ate blts. husband also made the most amazing covered terrace and i did my part by making big cushions for the lounge area. husband helped build a shelter. and milkshake, my white running duck, laid her first egg! mazzie had kittens, despite being a kitten herself. 


i started to really feel and see the effects of the wegovy and shedding those extra pounds started to make me feel better. had a pretty traumatic encounter with someone from my creative group, and was much more able to handle it - maybe due to feeling healthier. made loads of cordial and jam with all the yummy things from the garden. dyed some dresses in the indigo dye pot. and visited the danish design museum in copenhagen as research for my work podcast. 


spoke at a conference in amsterdam, went to the taylor swift film with work friends, moved into our new bedroom, enjoyed the kittens, went to a book release party and spent a bit of time at trapholt in connection with a new project. i also learned a new thing - pinhole photography. harvested the squash from the garden and went mushroom hunting. 


the child was a bit stressed and came home spontaneously for thanksgiving. it was great to see her and help her relax a bit. we painted ceramics together, ate sushi and celebrated thanksgiving with good friends. and we laughed and laughed that evening, which was great for everyone. husband and i went to copenhagen twice because we got the date of our family get-together wrong, but made the best of it by exploring the new park beside the opera. made plans to weave rugs for the bedroom on my friend's loom.


down 15 kilos (33 pounds) since starting wegovy and starting to need some new wardrobe items. it makes me so happy. decided to up my gift-wrapping game and made a zillion ornaments with hama beads. it was so relaxing! wore something sparkly every work day of december. it has been a year of ups and downs, but despite the questionable expectations of christmas, it is ending on a good note and overall, while not that eventful, it lands in the positive column. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

christmas is fraught with expectations

christmas has come and gone. everyone has just departed and i'm relishing a little bit of time to myself, on the couch, watching harry potter. as usual, christmas had its fraught moments. moments of irritation - like when we thought some of the guests would be here at 2 p.m. and they didn't actually leave copenhagen (to drive three hours) until then. or when two of the young people showed up a day early because they wanted to borrow my car to go their christmas eve engagement and no one had communicated this to me or asked me if i thought it was ok. (knowing how one of them drives, it was decidedly not ok.) 

then the child got mad at me because i'm on wegovy. it has made her feel self-conscious about her own weight, which was never my intention. she's beautiful and perfect in my eyes, and i definitely don't think she needs to lose any weight. but the world is a weird place and maybe it's messed all of us up. i have in my head that i want to weigh what my driver's license says i do (i got it in 1995 and it says 135 pounds), which might be madness (and is about 20 pounds from where i am right now, after losing 30 pounds since may). it made the child think i am on my way to having an eating disorder. i'm not sure it's quite that, but maybe she's right that i need to rethink that goal. and be happy with feeling better here and now.

husband's first grandchild was here and he's a busy little guy of 15 months. it made me realize how not childproof our home is, but we were able to keep the kitchen cupboards closed and keep the most breakable items out of reach. it struck me how repetitive everything with small kids is. he spent ages handing LEGO pieces to his parents, then throwing them on the floor and then wanting up and then down again and then up again and down again. i think our brains are kind to us, as i don't recall the monotonous boredom of having a small child myself, but surely it was the same. thankfully as parents we don't see it that way. but i am glad it's not me today.

it's hard enough when they're grown. i got everyone LEGO this year - usually, we buy new games, but now we have so many, it's hard to pick new ones, so i decided that everyone was getting a nice LEGO set. there are so many cool sets these days for adults and who doesn't like LEGO? i chose carefully, really trying to pick ones that fit - a bouquet for the middle daughter and the cool LEGO ideas insect set in the picture above for her boyfriend. they eagerly got to work building them and i thought i had done a good job. but when it came time to pack up their things and take them home, i heard a lot of whispering and only the flowers were packed up to take home. apparently they didn't want the insects (as cool as they are) sitting around their new apartment. i didn't hear that with my own ears, it was told to me second hand. i'll have to remember next year that LEGO just isn't good enough. i'm honestly trying not to feel badly about it, but i'm not there yet. 

we attach so many expectations to christmas. i carefully selected the gift and i feel hurt that it was deemed too inferior to be taken home. and if i'm honest, it's more than that. i'm also hurt that the girls brought a present for their sister and their dad, but nothing for me. not even a token small thing. i go out of my way for them and get nothing in return. and while it's not about things, it's about the thought that goes into selecting a gift and apparently i'm not worthy of any such thought.  and i'm really trying not to care, but honestly, i do care. and i am hurt. and it's those damn expectations every time. but how can we not have them? and how to get past them? and how to not care.

i realize it all sounds quite petty in light of all the horrible things going on in the world. but there you have it. we are always so inside ourselves, it can be hard to look up. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

mood: bleak

i'm sick. i haven't been sick like this in a long time. it started yesterday when i was driving with a colleague to copenhagen. i suddenly knew i was going to throw up and luckily he pulled over quickly. then despite attending a workshop, i continued to throw up the rest of the day. by the time we drove home, i was getting achy all over and i'm sure i had a low grade fever. miserable. i went to bed immediately with a kitten and tiktok and slept for 10 hours. so far today, no throwing up, but the thought of food still turns my stomach. i have kept a cup of tea down, so that's something. 

so i'm hanging out in bed with travis, my comfort kitten, candles burning and my laptop on my lap. and i'm thinking about all the madness in the world. in the early days of this blog, i would have been on the barricades, writing about it. the incomprehensible slaughter of innocent women and children in gaza, the way the war in ukraine drags on, but seems to have been forgotten in the face of the horrors being committed by israel and hamas. the criminal trump's increasingly fascist behavior and his likelihood of being the nominee. i just don't know what to say. or do. i feel rather helpless in the face of it all. 

here i am, tucked up in my cozy, warm bed, fretting about some stupid bureaucracy imposed on our little creative group by the local bank and recovering from the flu while the world rages out there. and i can't help but berate myself for it, wondering if it's similar to how ordinary germans just sat back and let hitler do all he did. did they feel as helpless and wrapped up in their own pettiness?