Snowdrops, eranthis and crocus

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Only a short while ago my part of the world looked like this (the black thing on the driveway is my daughters dog Maddox, who is crazy about snow, so he rolls around in it whenever he gets the chance).

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Over the last few days all snow disappeared and this morning, even so it was windy and cold, these beauties showed up and declared that soon it will be spring.

Okay, winter can still be long, but we can dream, right?

Something to do during winter in the countryside

skovskade  Eurasian jay

During winter and especially when the ground is covered with snow, I like to feed the birds, and living in the countryside is a great opportunity to do so.

Flagspætte Today the great spotted woodpecker showed up

While I lived on the third floor in the city, I tried to feed the birds one winter as well, but had to give it up, because a gang of gulls – don’t ask me what kind – fell over the food like hooligans, bullied all the other birds and almost ripped my balcony apart.

Skovspurve, ( Passer montanus ), Tree sparrow, Spurve, Skovspurv, Pilfink, Spurvefugle,  Eurasian tree sparrow

Anyway, out here there are no neighbors who could get annoyed about the noise or the mess the birds make, and I just think it’s nice to have some life around the house.

gulspurv  Yellowhammer

It’s incredible how many birds, you barely ever see otherwise, find their way to your garden or backyard out of nowhere once you start spreading some seeds and give the birds access to some fat.

rødhals  European robin

It’s especially funny to watch the common blackbirds, who are defending the food from each other and from the smaller birds like Eurasian tree sparrows, yellowhammer, Eurasian bullfinches, European robins and great tits. Instead of enjoying some of the food, they are chasing the others all day long.

Dompap, ( Pyrrhula pyrrhula ), Bullfinch, Domherre,  Eurasian bullfinch

Only when the larger birds like Eurasian jays or the great spotted woodpeckers – and off course our hens and rooster – show up, the blackbirds choose to mind their own business.

musvit  Great tit

Feeding all those birds takes quite a lot of birdseeds, but I like the idea of helping them getting through a rough and cold time.

solsort  Common blackbird

None of the pictures above are mine – I stole them from the internet

Update about the progress in my new flat

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A while ago I complained to you about being stuck in limbo and having had to wait for my new flat for far too long. Since then a lot has happened.

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First the plumber arrived and fixed all radiators, then the carpenter, who took down a wall and replaced some windowsills, then the painter, who removed the signs of the wall that was taken down and who painted all the walls that had once been white, and then the carpenter came back to make a new floor.

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What a difference! He’s finished the floor in four of my 6 rooms already, complete with moldings and everything and I think it’s really nice.

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Hopefully he’s going to finish the floor in the last two rooms also this week and then I will be able to move in, but before I get all too cozy I’m going to paint all the wood in the flat like doors and ceilings. It’s going to be so great!

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We got snow, beautiful powdery snow

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Weather can feel very much different depending on where you live – in a city or in the countryside. In the city you can feel if it’s cold or warm, wet or windy and if the streets are icy, but I remember that I often didn’t think about what the weather was like when I lived in town.

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That was partly because I’m a freelancer and don’t necessarily go out in the morning and come back in the evening. I work at home.

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Living in the countryside you cannot not see how the weather is though, even so you stay at home. It’s right there up in your face the moment you look out of the window. Maybe that’s why I’m so fascinated by the weather these days.

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Today we woke up to new, dry and powdery snow, which the dogs love, love, love. Let’s hope it stays for a while.

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A moment in Sleepy Hollow

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For me this weekend is all about work, work, work, and though I knew it was cold, I hadn’t really reflected about it before I stepped out late this afternoon to close the ledge of the coop and put some more wood in the oven of our central heater.

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It was like stepping into the movie with Johnny Depp, and I almost expected the headless horseman to turn around the corner. He didn’t, and so I rushed back inside to get my phone to be able to show you what I mean.

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These are actually color pictures. Awesome, right?

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Finally we got some winter

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After days and nights on end with rain and storm and more rain, this is what the world looked like when I started my day yesterday.

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The wind came from south east, which in our area means cold and dry weather in winter and warm and dry weather in summer.

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The dogs were excited and ran ahead and rolled around in the snow or skated around on our usually muddy drive way and reminded me about Bambi.

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As always our four crazy aunts – the white Italian hens – where the very first to leave the coop, and they ran out in the world looking happy and eccentric, cackling about the wonders they saw, while the other hens and our rooster – who haven’t spent their early days in a cage – preferred to stay inside most of the day.

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Party games

Here in our house we play games, and it’s especially my daughter Julie and son in law Per who are the driving forces behind it. They know games they play when it’s just the two of them, games for when we are 3 or 4 people, and games for when we are many, indoors and outdoors, summer and winter.

The 13th of January was Julie’s birthday and yesterday we had her birthday party with lots of old and new friends, excellent food, cold beer and of course games.

We are in the middle of winter and it’s cold, dark and wet outside, so we stayed indoors and some of us started with a game where you clap your hands and clap your knees in the rhythm of Queens “We will rock you”.

First we found the rhythm together – everybody has to clap the Queens rhythm throughout the whole game – then we had a round where each of us found his/her hand sign, which is just a simple thing you do with one or both of your hands (like scratching your head, holding your hands in front of your eyes, pecking your nose at the world) while you still follow the rhythm – clap your knees, clap your hands, do your sign, clap your hands and so on.

Next step in the game is that somebody makes his/her own sign followed by somebody else’s sign – clap your knees, clap your hands, do your sign, clap your hands, do somebody else’s sign, clap your hands.

After that the person whose sign was done, takes over – clap your hands, do your sign, clap your hands, do somebody else’s sign, clap your hands and so on. It is always the person whose sign was done last, who has to take over.

Then the rhythm gets faster and faster.

What can I say – I lost.

The next game we played is something we call “Who am I?”

In this game you can decide to follow a theme – like actors, book titles, plants, films, animals, buildings and so on – and each person at the table writes a word or a name on a sticky note and sticks that note to the forehead of his neighbor to the left. That neighbor is the only person who is not supposed to read what’s on that sticky note.

One person starts asking questions like “Am I a person?”, “Am I a man?”, “Am I blue?”. As long as the answer is yes, the same person can keep on asking more questions until he/she gets a no. Then it’s the next person clockwise who can ask his questions and so on.

You can play until the first person guesses who he/she is, but we normally play until all have guessed who they are.

In the third game we played yesterday, each person gets a stack of scraps of paper (5 or 10 or 20) and a pen and writes words or names on them. The paper scraps are folded and put in a bowl, and we divide the number of people into teams – yesterday the kids table was one team and the grown up’s table was another team.

First one person from the first team gets the bowl, picks a scrap of paper, reads it and describes the word on the paper to the rest of his team, without using the word. When the word’s been guessed, he/she takes another scrap and so on. The same person can continue taking new papers and the team can continue guessing for a minute. If the last word hasn’t been guessed within that minute, the paper goes back into the bowl and it’s the second teams turn to pick scraps of paper and guess.

Within the teams the people take clockwise turns on reading the papers.

When all the papers have been read and guessed, the teams count how many scraps they’ve got, and the score is written down.

The scraps of paper are going back into the bowl, and then we play charades. Again the answers are given within the teams and the turns go clockwise and are one minute long for one team and then one minute for the other team in turns.

At the end we again count our scraps of paper and write down the score, and the scraps go back into the bowl.

This time we again do like before – turns of one minute, clockwise within the teams, first the one team, then the other – but the only thing the person, who reads the paper, is allowed to do, is to say one word and from that the rest of the team has to guess what the word is.

In the end the scraps are counted again and the team which got the highest score wins.

It was a lot of fun and we had a great party.

Finally the craftsmen are showing up

Yesterday the carpenter came and pulled down one wall, so where there was a long narrow room and a long narrow hallway there is now a larger open room with enough space for a long dining table. It’s going to be great.

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spisebord  A table like this would be gorgeous

The other wall I was hoping was going to be pulled down, might be bearing, which means it has to stay, and instead of one larger bedroom I am getting a smaller bedroom and a smaller guest room.

hvidt soveværelse  Instead of this…

gæsteværelse  I get a guestroom like this…

mit soveværelse  and a bedroom like this

That’s okay I guess.

Today the painter was here to see how much paint is needed and he comes back tomorrow to start his work. After that the carpenter comes back to lay the very light ash floor and then I will be able to move in. I’m so looking forward to it.

It’s wet!

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Tonight it sounds like the storms that pestered us for days and nights on end are over.

WP_20150112_12_21_46_Pro  The wind took our sign saying: Be carefully, free animals. 

WP_20150112_12_22_31_Pro  It will need some new nails or screws

Finally it’s quiet outside.

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The storms by the names Dagmar and Egon and all the nameless howling wind in between and before and after have brought lots and lots of water.

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It’s wet everywhere outside and also the floor of our basement is under 5 cm of water.

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“It’s okay”, our landlord says. “It will dry up in no time”. I hope he’s right.

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