Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tenth weekend

How is it possible that we just finished our tenth weekend here! It sort of ran through with the ninth weekend and fall break, like one long 11-day weekend! Between going up to the summer house, and coming back to coughs and laziness, it was hard to decide where to start the next post. But, I still like the idea of marking the passage of time by counting the weekends. So, tenth weekend it is.

On the ninth weekend, we had friends over for dinner at the summerhouse and forgot to watch Disney Sjov, so, we made sure to listen to the alarm for it this weekend. The kids love getting back from dinner, putting on the pajamas, pulling out the fatboy beanbag chair and settling in for some half-Danish-half-English cartoons for an hour on Friday nights. It is a nice tradition. I think they'd prefer that the first third of it was something other than 101 Dalmations, but they still watch it all and enjoy it.

Saturday morning we were able to sleep in a bit, ate some breakfast and planned to go over for brunch at 11. When we got there, the tables were all cleared and there was no one left. Apparently, brunch was at 10 that day. So, we went home and had lunch instead... no four meals for the kids who don't quite get the concept of "brunch" and often eat breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner on weekends in addition to snacks. I think they will be about 3 feet taller when we get home next summer!

After lunch Jeff went over to the library to pick up some books for his class, and stopped at the folk school to do some work while he had a few minutes. He discovered that the students were working on building cars out of scrap wood and other random materials, and that they were having a race later that afternoon. Excellent! We all got ready and went over to the folk school courtyard for the 2:30 races. There were several teams, and each of them represented a different country, just for fun. Many of them wore costumes representative of that country, and they decorated the cars they created as well. For the qualifying round, each team had to push (two people pushing, one riding and steering with a rope) their car around the courtyard road once to see who was fastest, and that settled the order for the "big race." The American team had a bit of trouble with theirs during the qualifying round, and one of the wheels fell off. Sigh. So they ended up at the end of the lineup for the longer race. It was quite fun to watch, as they ran as fast as they could on the rocky road, pushing a cart while their teammate tried his or her best to steer the wheels properly with the long rope tied between them. Everyone clapped as they came around a bend, and when they reached the finish/start line. Even during the qualifying round, one team was clearly the frontrunner.

For the longer race, each team had to go round the courtyard ten times, stopping at least twice with their "pit crew" to switch drivers, runners, and to drink 2L of water -total, over the stops. The whole race lasted about 8 minutes, and was fun to watch from start to finish. Most of the cars were sturdy, but also slightly out of control at the same time. The costumes added to the fun, and there were points given for the most creative and realistic costume choices. The kids really had a fun time watching, and Svea even clapped for them at the appropriate times as they came round a bend or finished a lap. The boys decided to have their own races and started running around another courtyard as well.

They had some time off after that to work with their country-teams on a "dry synchronized swimming" routine, which they would be presenting in a couple of hours. We went home during the practice time, but came back to watch what they came up with as well. It was entertaining, but not quite as engaging as the car races. I think if they had been in a pool instead of a gym, some of them may not have made it very long. There was a bit too much standing still from some of the participants. It seemed, though, that they were trying to be funny and entertain their classmates, so, that's a good outcome for an afternoon activity as well.

Saturday evening there was a private birthday party for one of the kitchen staff in the dining room, so we all ate dinner in the library. It's quite nice and cozy to eat over there. It fits around 40 people, but too many more than that would be quite crowded rather than cozy. Jeff's literature class meets in there, and it seems like a lovely place to have class as well. I would definitely spend lots of time sitting in there if I lived at the folk school! One wall is entirely windows, looking out onto the courtyard where there are benches and flowers. The opposite wall is all bookshelves, from floor to ceiling, with the exception of the center of the fall that houses a small wood stove. A fireplace in the middle of the wall of books might seem like a sketchy idea, but somehow it works here. At the far end of the library is a wrought iron spiral staircase, leading to a narrow platform which allows access to the second story of books. The whole library seems like a place from a storybook where lots of adventures would begin.

The weather has definitely turned now, though the rains are mostly not here quite yet. It's chilly in the mornings, and not exactly warm in the afternoons, but yet the flowers are still in bloom. I cannot figure it out at all. Maybe it is because there hasn't been frost yet? Or maybe these plants that look just like those we have at home, are actually somewhat different and have adapted to the climate here. Saturday afternoon I took this photo of a rose
that looks like it might as well be July, not late October. And it's not alone! There are roses in full bloom all over the city, and the zinnias are still blooming, and other plants and flowers that I definitely wouldn't expect when the sky is grey and cloudy all day long and the winds are blowing, and pretty much everyone is wearing a scarf and maybe gloves.

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