Potraits and Street Photography……

a view from the bridge

Last week I went in to Copenhagen one morning to catch up with my blogfriend, Melanie from Dejlige Days, over coffee. She had asked me to take her portrait and we decided to meet up at Kaffesalonen in Nørrebro. I decided to snap her informally as she is a little camera shy, so the photos are very laid back and I did more candid photography. Even though she knew I would be snapping her, the images I love most are the ones where she wasn’t posed or really expecting me to photograph her. I think they portray her just the way I know her. The lighting wasn’t great sitting outside the restaurant but I was reluctant to miss the opportunity of snapping away while we were catching up over coffee.

RCOOTE 03

Just Melanie

braclet

Melanie and I walked over to Dronning Louises bridge and it was there that I got the shot of the day. She wasn’t expecting me at that moment and that is exactly what I love about it. Just Melanie.

Dr Louise's bridge

I love the black and white version of this image too.

Black and White Melanie

And I simply couldn’t resist catching her starry tattoos either, they are so cute.

starry tatoes

As I was in the city I used the opportunity to also try a little street photography. I’ve been really inspired by my lovely blogfriend Heather and her whole approach to it. On my trip to London recently I really thought I would get loads of images. However, my gorgeous 3 guys were in tow and to be fair I was on holiday with them after all. I managed to capture a couple in love, be it from behind, but mostly I tried to capture the essence of London through its architecture, buses and landmarks. In Heather’s own words, ” it’s very difficult to capture a real moment as it happens, without altering it”. I found out too that boldly snapping away at a stranger takes courage. I always feel that I might be intruding on someone’s private space or bubble.

cute doggie

I manged a few and got a shot of this cutie being very curios as to what I was up to outside the restaurant. Just before Melanie and I got up to go to the bridge, he decided it was time for a cuddle from his owner and I politely asked if I could snap them. They were adorable.

doggie cuddles

I love these two guys having lunch. Perhaps business, he was after all still taking calls.

Business lunch

Just another day commuting the usual way in Copenhagen.

 Just another day commuting

And then I needed to dash off home to collect my adorable offspring from school. I got in my car and as I was about to drive away… a very beautiful, elegant lady came walking past with her dog on a leash. At first I thought, too late she has gone past, but then I couldn’t resist and I dashed out with my camera and asked if I could take her portrait. She was so friendly and lovely about it, which absolutely made my day. She didn’t have a business card on her so I gave her mine so I could send her the photos.

Gitte

For a minute when she said her name, Gitte Brandt, I thought it sounded familiar, but I didn’t think much about it until that evening as I was editing my photos. I googled her and as it turns out, rather ironically, I have been an admirer of her work for quite some time. She is the amazing artist behind these paintings. Her work is so inspiring, I could decorate a whole room using one of her works as a mood board. She is such a lovely person too. Her openess and our fun, chance meeting was really special for me.

DSC_0228 elegant Gitte

I couldn’t help but snap her a few times.

DSC_0229 Gitte b&w

So I left the city happy with portraits and snaps of strangers…..or perhaps strangers no more.

© Danish Exchange 2014

Flowers bring me joy….

DSC_0193 flowers

Oh how I love flowers….  they bring me endless joy, whether I buy them from the florist or my local supermarket or whether I pick some from my garden or a nearby field… I simply cannot live without them.  My mother is the same.  She is the one that taught  me that you needn’t always buy flowers, you can use stems, weeds and so much more from the garden to adorn your home.   Those of you who follow me on Instagram would have seen these beauties already.  They were so beautiful, I simply couldn’t resist.  I’m not sure what they are actually, I’ve even asked around and no one seems to know.  Please do tell if you have an answer.  I love how they compliment my zink bucket and brighten up our outside dining area.

My eldest is out sailing this weekend and Daddy is keeping him company and they will be camping this weekend.  The youngest and I are off to soccer tomorrow, that is if I get some sleep.  He is in my bed right now…. and he is the snorer of the house.

Happy weekend to you all!  May it be filled with sunshine, laughter and flowers.

© Danish Exchange 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rainy days and pancakes ……

DSC_0276 rainy days and pancakes

It sure is one hot summer, but I am not complaining.  It feels like being in Africa.  We have been sleeping with the windows wide open and only a sheet to cover us and I am loving this humidity so, so much.  Last night the thunder and lightning even scared me a little.  This morning we woke up to rain, heavy rain and it was like being home in Africa.  The smell, the clamminess of your skin, I  simply cannot get enough.  In South Africa where I grew up you make pancakes on rainy days.  I used to say that if I had to do the same when I lived in England, we would literally be eating pancakes every day.  However, today with the humidity and the rain, I could almost smell and taste cinnamon pancakes the way my mom used to make them.  Even better, it is still school holidays here and we had them for brunch with a good yogurt pineapple smoothie.  The youngest helped me make the batter, as he loves to do, and we filled some of them with vanilla sugar and a drizzle of mandarin [naartjie] and the rest traditional cinnamon sugar pancakes.  I love the first bite when the cinnamon sugar is starting to melt inside the hot pancake and you get a mouthful of soft, sweet, warm pancake. We usually use lemons instead of mandarins but there were none this morning so we just used the citrus we had and it worked really well.

Here is my recipe.

You will need:

  • 2 organic or free range eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup of milk plus a dash more a little later half way through your batter
  • 150 g flour
  • a dash of sunflower or rapeseed oil

Method:

Beat your eggs and half a cup of milk together, add your flour and mix with a balloon whisk until you have a smooth batter.  Now add the rest of the milk and a dash of oil and mix well. 

Heat a non stick frying pan and brush with some sunflower oil.  Make sure your pan is hot before pouring in some batter.

As soon as you can see the sides starting to move away from the pan you can loosen and turn your pancake over or, if you’re my mum flip them.  Once you get about half way through your batter, it might have thickened to which you can add a dash of milk or water and stir through before pouring some more batter in your pan.

Once flipped it should take about 30 seconds and your pancake is done. 

Place on a plate, sprinkle with some sugar and cinnamon, roll and tuck in.  Or sprinkle with vanilla sugar, squeeze lemon juice or other citrus over and roll. 

My pan is rather large so I usually slice mine  in two.

Serves about 7 to 8 large pancakes.  You can easily double this recipe.

DSC_0273 pancakes and rainy days

© Danish Exchange 2014

P.S. Naartjie is the South African name for Mandarin.

 

 

Through London eyes….

London eye in colour..

Our London trip was amazing and even though I have a million things I want to tell you…

DSC_0346 looking through london eyes

I’ll let the pictures paint a story….

of fish and chips

DSC_0166 union jack table

People and places

DSC_0458 black and white

Aquariums and spaces

Black and White

Bridges and towers

DSC_0481Tower of London

Couples in love kissing….

DSC_0542 kissing couple

Of a single bird flying in front of my lens…

 looking up

and Nimrud’s lion that made us stare in awe….

DSC_0178 in awe of Nimrud's lion

Red, bright London buses that came zooming past

DSC_0165 London Bus

Looking at a Dinosaur skeleton from above

DSC_0344 Natural History Musuem

The colossal red columns at Black-friars that will forever remain…

DSC_0511 red pillars 2

Seeing it all with London eyes….

 inside the capsule

DSC_0377 big ben

Walking to Waterloo to catch the train…

DSC_0624 waterloo station

and tired feet that catch a lift on Daddy’s shoulders….

DSC_0634 daddy I'm tired

© Danish Exchange 2014

P.S.  I wrote about my most special gift ever on my friend Sarita’s blog, The Orange Gift Bag.  Have a peek and see what it is….

Wildflower Posies and Danish Design….

pick of the month

It has been a wonderful trip to England, seeing wonderful friends, eating great British treats such as scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam and we even got to see the mummies in the British Musuem, but that’s a whole other post for another day.

Today I want to share my pick of the month with you. It is indeed very special as the vase I am using was a precious gift from my English Bestie. She found it in a charity shop and immediately thought of me. The funny thing is that even though at first glance you would think it was made in Denmark it’s actually made in England. It bears ‘Mason’s Ironstone made in England’ underneath and is called ‘Denmark’. I have bought some ‘Fluted’ or in Danish ‘Musselmalet’ china from a fleamarket that was actually made in Germany. I have since researched this and it seems that fluted china painted in floral motifs were inspired by Chinese porcelain and appeared in the 1740’s. Later in 1880 Danish designer Arnold Krog started introducing lace sides for Royal Copenhagen and today, even though many countries produce this design, it is known as typically Danish. Hence my Bestie said it should be taken to it’s ‘real’ home Denmark. Well, I am pleased and honored to have this antique milk jug in my dwelling. Inside today is a wildflower posy with flowers from my garden and nearby fields. I love the colours of pink, yellow and purple brightening up my home. What do you think?

pic of the month87

Hope you are enjoying the summer as much as I am. Swimming in the sea is a must at the moment. I’ll be back soon with some English inspiration.

pic of the month.70

© Danish Exchange 2014

I’ll be back before the summer ends….

mon5Soon I will be riding on big red London busses
Catching up with dear friends
Seeing Big Ben
Eating Beef Ale pie and having afternoon tea…
Strawberries, scones and clotted cream..mmm
but for now I leave you with a glimpse of what I leave behind….mon2

mon1A little cottage we visited last year
No, not the island we stayed on in Sweden…
Darling Danish friends hired this for a week
and invited us around….mon8

møn14We ate bread and salads
cooked and laughed….
waited for the sun to set… which took a very long time….mon7
cycled to Møn and saw the most breathtaking white cliffs…mon6

mon12Soon I’ll see the white cliffs of Dover
Beautiful friends I cannot wait to hug again….
I’ll drink Earl Grey tea and eat Victoria Spongesmon9

mon10but don’t be sad Denmark…
I’ll be back before the summer ends
because your summers are simply too beautiful to miss….mon4

© Danish Exchange 2014

Besotted with biscotti…..

DSC_0522.1 dusk

As my regular readers know, I’m not much of a morning person.  It is that first latte in the morning that gets me going and I have to shamefully admit that most of the time it is my beloved who brings me my first cuppa.  However, I make the biscotti and what a match made in heaven that is…..  I made this batch last week, and it disappeared at a rate of knots.  I initially thought of making this a winter post as it seems so snug above with my first cuppa, but I am dreading that I might be allergic to almonds…. so thought it best to post this now, before I end up never making them again.  Well, I will just have to make another version of biscotti but let’s hope for the best.  Yes, I have been scratching and itching on and off for a couple of months now, and I’m not sure if it’s nuts or tomatoes.  I love both and I’m not sure how I will give up either.  I eat almonds just about daily, from my morning mueslimuesli slices to grabbing a few from the jar for a mid-afternoon snack.  I even made a cauliflower and almond flour based pizza, recipe from the ‘Green Kitchen Stories’, but it seems I was the only one who enjoyed it and really tucked in.  The eldest worryingly asked if we will have our usual homemade pizza on Friday.  I’ve even been contemplating making my own almond milk.  Oh well, I’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime I thought I would share this gem with you.

from above...

I’ve had this recipe for 6 years now, and it is from a ‘Waitrose Seasons’ magazine.  I have made it so often that I could likely do it from memory now. It has made lovely Christmas gifts and my friends who come over for a visit know there is usually a tin they can help themselves to for morning coffee.   I have varied the recipe at times with less sugar, added other ingredients like pistachio nuts and berries and even added cranberries to make them festive for Christmas.  I know it is summer here and believe me no one is happier about that than me.

Almond and Vanilla biscotti  [Copy, Paste, Print and Bake]

You will need: [I have doubled the recipe for you]

  • 500 g flour [I like to use 00 Italian flour but normal white flour is fine]
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g vanilla sugar [you can add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract instead or scrape a vanilla pod and add to your sugar]
  • 100 golden caster sugar [ I use 'brun farin', a Danish brown sugar]
  • 200g roughly chopped almonds
  • 4 organic or free range eggs
  • 100g slightly salted butter melted and cooled

Method:

Mix the flour, nuts and sugars in a bowl.  In a separate bowl beat the eggs and butter together and if using vanilla extract add this to the mixture too. Now combine the two and mix until you have a dough.  Divide the dough into 4 and shape each one into a log [sausage]. Press each log flat until you have ‘flat loaves’.  Place each loaf on a greased baking tray and space well apart to ensure they do not touch when baking.  Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.  Take out of the oven and cool for approximately 10 minutes.  In the meantime turn the oven down to 100 degrees.  Slice each loaf diagonally in slices using a serrated knife.  Place all the slices onto a baking tray and place in the oven for approximately 40 to 60 minutes until crisp.  You can turn them over half way through.  Let them cool and place in an airtight jar or tin. 

Enjoy with coffee or tea.

DSC_0509 tranquil

P.S. I have joined Instagram and you can follow my day to day here in Denmark there too.

 

© Danish Exchange 2014

 

 

 

An afternoon at the harbour….

Getting ready....

The eldest of my little people is growing up fast, in fact he isn’t really a little person any more, but to me he will always be one of my little people.  He has taken up sailing this year and to say that I am proud is an understatement.  I love Monday afternoons when I get to see him prepare his craft and then watch him sail into the distance….. I love how brave and independent he is. Far more than I ever was at 9. Recently Daddy has also become Dad, in a very loving way of course. Daddy, I assume, must be for small boys because he and Dad’s conversations have become very serious and manly. The fact that time seems to pass so swiftly is a little scary, before long he’ll be making decisions on what he would like to study or where he wants to travel. He keeps enquiring about when we plan to travel to China.

And he is off....

On Tuesday the littlest of the little people woke up saying he wasn’t going to Kindergarten. Apparently he had a sore throat, was sick and needed to stay at home. I said that was fine. Needless to say I didn’t get any work done, but when we were lying in the hammock swinging and playing row the boat, I felt so happy that he chose to stay at home with me. He wasn’t at all ill, he just wanted a day at home with mommy. It made me realise how fortunate I am working part time from home, that I could just be here with him, jumping on the trampoline, swing in the hammock, playing and cuddling, on our own. It was also just a sweet reminder of how I should treasure every single moment, because before long he too will be sailing off into the distance ……

sailing 2.1

sailing 3.1

the pier....

I sometimes wonder what my eldest will get up to one day, if he will do all the things I did and more. Whether he will travel through Europe in a camper [as I once did in my hippie status] or go hiking on snow-top mountains and glaciers as I wish I had done. Some may be thinking ”you still can”. ”I have dependents now” is my excuse, perhaps I’m just not brave enough any more. Whatever he does, I know he’ll live a full life filled with adventure….. I look forward to seeing it, but for now, I am really content to still cover him with a blanket at night and watch him sail into the distance at day…..

165 dusk

© Danish Exchange 2014

 

 

 

Snaps of yellow….

from above....

On one of my morning runs this week I couldn’t help but notice these pretty little daisies on the sidewalk.  They were all alone in a concrete jungle waiting to be rescued.  So how could I not?  My garden is currently filled with all sorts of little flowers from shrubs and trees in pink and lilac and yet these humble yellow daisies are my pick this month.  I never used to be a huge fan of yellow, but ever since I fell in love with my yellow flea-market lamps, I simply cannot resist this happy colour.  I thought it the perfect match for the start of summer and teamed with green and pink it is romantic and pretty.  Wouldn’t these colours make a great combination for a girlie bedroom?

Snaps of yellow.2

Wishing you a wonderful start to the summer filled with sunshine, happiness and yellow……

and if you need more Summer inspiration, why not have a peek in the latest issue of Heart Home Magazine, Summer issue out today…..

 

© Danish Exchange 2014

 

 

 

Through someone else’s eyes….

DSC_1006 dusk

It has been quite some time since I’ve been here at one of my favourite spots. No, not the beach, well that too, but more here on this little blog of mine. Almost three weeks ago I attended my very first blog Conference, The Hive. It was held here in Copenhagen but more about that on another post. Today I just want to write about me and this little blog of mine….

Humblebæk beach

A view from afar

One of my followers, and a very good friend too, recently enquired if I was okay. Was I perhaps having a dry spell, as I had not been writing that much of late? Perhaps there was some truth in that, however I have enjoyed writing poems and telling stories through my lens. My lens inspires me to write just as these pictures of our little trip to the beach this weekend has energized me again. I need to edit my photos more often. I digress, coming back to my dry spell…. I have also been having a lot of thoughts about a new blog, a professional one. Attending the blog conference provided me with more tools and a few ideas however, it is still a work in progress….. doubts and thoughts of ‘selling my soul’ have plagued me… earning money by doing what I love best? Will I even be a success? These and many other thoughts have preoccupied my days. So I apologise for not writing as much of late. The time will come again, but for now I want to look at myself through someone else’s eyes. Someone who loves me dearly just as I am…

DSC_1025 cinerama

© Danish Exchange 2014