August 22nd 1973

“Nufin’ much done all day except eat, drink, eat, drink and eat. Mormors berfday – gave her painting and went for a walk around shops – sweaty feet”

The Danes really DO like to eat.

Unlike most Americans – and many Brits – though they seem to savour the time they spend at the lunch or dinner table.

I lost count of the numbers of times we would go to Denmark as a family and be invited to gatherings where we would sit down and commence ‘eating’ at, say, 11am … but not end the meal until gone 5 or 6 in the afternoon/evening!

It’s not non-stop eating I hasten to add – I think my waistline would be even bigger than it is if that had been the case? – but more a seemingly endless series of courses interspersed with cigarette/cigar smoking, ribald gossip and general bonhomie.

Oh, and beer. Plenty of Carlsberg or Tuborg. Wine was (then) quite a rarity.

A supply of Danish “Akvavit” (schnapps) – translated as the “water of life” – was also always in hand with all diners expected to loudly ‘skol’ their fellow guests and/or pay tribute to missing/lost family and friends by taking a sip or two.

It seems as if my Grandmother’s birthday was the perfect excuse for a good old time around a dinner table, followed by a wander round the neighbourhood… maybe followed by a necessary soaking of the feet in a bowl?!

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