I’m spending a quiet Sunday at K’s home in Rønde, a small community outside of Äarhus, in Jutland, or mainland Denmark. I arrived yesterday having travelled by train from Copenhagen through an early spring light and landscape of tilled fields, red tile-roofed towns, woods, and power windmills.
Met at the train station by K waving a red Danish flag, we walked over to the ARoS Kunstmuseum to see Jorn International, a collection of masterpieces by world famous Danish artist, Asger Jorn. The gallery was filled with Danes of all ages admiring, perplexing and interpreting the canvases of images and stokes of bold, vivid and dynamic colour. Again, for me as with Bob Dylan’s exhibition, a striking contrast to much of the religious themed and coloured art I’d seen over the past weeks.
I unpacked a bit, took a power-nap swaddled on her sofa in a soft woolen blanket, and then enjoyed a home-cooked dinner of a pillau from Zanzibar (K, a retired teacher, has traveled the world extensively, often on her own, and now works as a tour guide who brings her love of research, learning and fluency in several languages to enrich her clients’ travelling experiences.), arugula and tomato salad, with a nice merlot. A woman after my heart, she’d made a simple traditional dessert of red currants picked from her garden, topped with crème fraiche.
I awoke early to birdsong, a welcome sign of spring. A breakfast of a soft-cooked egg, cheese, toast and homemade marmalade made from crab-apples and Mirebelle plums – “125% organic,” says K – fuelled the reserves for the two hour round trip walk across the seaside flats to the Kalø Slot castle ruins and back home through one of the two surrounding forests.
The subdued morning light, pale palette of the landscape, still mirror-like bay on which white swans and seagulls floated, and wooded paths were a quiet respite after a city’s pace and intensity.
As I write, K is preparing the curry sauce for the cod she bought fresh today from the local fishmonger. Her friend and former principal and his wife will be joining us for dinner. He shares my love of Italy and since retirement has been travelling annually to Florence with his wife, developing a fluency in la bella lingua, while she paints. It’s sure to be a lovely internationally flavoured evening.