Breakfast at the Traditional Danish Longhouse

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(Danish cow. Don’t worry, she’s behind an electric fence)

We’re in Germany today, in a town called Friedrichstradt, having arrived from Denmark this morning. We’ve been rambling around a tiny portion of Jutland for the past four days. Not really long enough or far enough to have a good look but we will return in the future.

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(Pretty house in Tønder)

Last night we stayed in a small old town called Tønder (I think the ø is pronounced uu, also the d seems to be silent.) Very pretty, very old with a cobblestoned street, adorable thatched cottages and pretty cafes. We spent the night in a car park beside a forest on the edge of town. The night before we were in a specially for motorhomes site on the island of Rømø with very timely washing/drying machines. The night before we were in a field beside the site owner’s house and the night before that on a dairy farm.

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(Wheat field and beautiful clouds)

Denmark is very, very like Ireland. First the weather – they seem to get all the weather in one day too – hot sun, blustering wind, driving rain, then back to sun, a little fog and some soft rain. Danish grass – it’s green-green and the fields are surrounded by hedges and small trees. Agriculture – there are lots of cows and sheep and fields of wheat, barley and corn. The language – everyone speaks English! Well, they speak Danish and German too.

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(Cobblestones in Tønder)

It rained most of yesterday but when I got up this morning the sun was shining and the sky was full of fluffy clouds. It’s one of the gifts of a rainy climate – beautiful clouds. While I waited for my porridge to cook I stood in the car park looking up at the clouds and remembering gratitude. I had had a moment in Portugal last April when I understood gratitude for the first time and I realised because of that moment I would never, ever again complain about anything…ever. Again. (May have been over-reaching here….)

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(The church in Tønder. That’s the graveyard in front of the church where small hedges surround each grave)

Anyways, there I was standing in the Danish car park thinking about gratitude and how it’s a feeling thing, not a thinking thing. So I stopped thinking about gratitude and started feeling gratitude. I looked up at the clouds and felt grateful.

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(Possibly Barley?)

And just at that moment a dog ran out of the forest! Followed by his owner who was looking at me funny (maybe because it was 7.45am and I hadn’t brushed my hair?) To make myself seem less frightening, I said, “isn’t it a lovely day?” and he said, “yes, the weather in Denmark, always changeable.” And, as you do, I replied, “just like Ireland” and he said, “You are from Ireland? I just got married to an Irish woman from Monkstown!” Of course he did.

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(Daisies for Daisy)

Long story short, he ran home to make the coffee, I hopped inside to tell Denis and we all met at his house for breakfast, a surprisingly deep chat and a tour of his traditional Danish longhouse! His wife was at work but she rang and I can confirm she is Irish. She was confirming that we were not axe murders from Greystones, I think we convinced her.

Well, I can tell you, I’m back feeling the gratitude. Please remind me if I start complaining again, Mairead.

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