So it turns out that the squirrels that scamper around the bounding bunnies to the refrain of robins and mischievous magpies (sorry) are the descendants of the very rodents my great grandmother enjoyed watching before she died.
Yep, call it coincidence or providence, but this old hospital I’ve moved into is where my mother’s nan spent her final months. She passed away metres from where I type these words.
I had no idea. I mean I knew, of course, that it had been a hospital but I was sold on the grounds and wildlife; I can’t check with my family every time I move to see if one of us died in my new place – I drift too much for that.
My room is in the nurses quarters but I do wonder if her spirit wanders these corridors. If she’s anything like her progeny I expect one day to emerge from the shower to find ‘you really should try to lose some weight’ written in the steamed up mirror.
I’m going to explore the main house later. I’m concerned it might be like the library basement scene in Ghostbusters – the women in my family are terrifying enough when there’s skin on their bones and they’re not floating in mid-air. Mum assures me she was a nice lady though; I hope she rests in peace.
This next bit is being written after a night’s sleep and day drilling holes, changing the contents of boxes, and drinking to the Queen back-catalogue. I’ve been a Muse fan since Showbiz came out but I always held Queen on too much of a pedestal to give much credence to the comparisons; because, let’s face it, Muse have their fair share of cheese on the last few albums.
But spending a day with Mercury et al makes me realise that amongst the blinding anthems and tearful ballads, they too can be Cheesy. Yes, that’s a capital C.
Anyway, that’s not what I was going to say.
Two things happened yesterday to get me thinking. The first was reading a gushing column in the Guardian from some ex-pats extolling the virtues of bringing up their toff brats in Copenhagen; this on the back of – as I mentioned in the last post – Denmark being given the arbitrary title of ‘Number One Awesomest Top Happy Country’ or whatever. Again.
Back when I was living there my mum once sent me the front page of The Sun; it was the build up to some football match and the hacks had stuck a grinning Hagar the Horrible on it with some words saying how pleased with themselves the Vikings all are and even if they lose to England on Saturday, they’ll still have better sex, nicer jobs and their children’s faces won’t be rotting off from scurvy.
I read between the lines and took her message to be: ‘So cheer the fuck up, you maudlin cunt.’ But this isn’t about me.
On the bus, yesterday, I went to the top deck and sat above the driver, as is my wont. But rather than being allowed to pretend I’m controlling the bus with an imaginary steering wheel, I was forced to listen to the two girls to my left, who were speaking Danish.
Craning my ears to hear, I hoped for something juicy, but they just blathered on about being thirsty and going back to their apartment. They didn’t sound happy; just these curt, cut sentences; perhaps they missed home.
They had the typical blonde, baby-fat, sex-doll look many of them have. If I’d had a shield to hand I would have gazed at their reflection a while, but I didn’t, so I looked out the window.
They are certainly coming out of the woodwork though, these Danes. The Killing’s Sofie Gråbøl herself gave Camilla Parker Bowles one of those famous Sarah Lund jumpers so it’s all kicking off.
Now excuse me if I’m coming over all hipster here, but I wrote a book that celebrated the differences between the cultures of our countries way before Denmark was mainstream.
So purely out of my altruistic desire for people to get a more objective view of the country before forming an opinion, instead of the sycophantic dross I keep coming across, here is a link to where you can purchase a copy. You’re welcome.
This isn’t to say that I don’t still love the place with a passion. They certainly seemed to enjoy having sex with me more than the British; but that’s another story, for another time.
Shit, did I really use ‘et al’ in a sentence?