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our homes all over, at least in 3 different places on earth

April 12, 2011


One of my new overalls friends up in Oregon asked me how it comes that we have 3 homes in 3 countries, when I uploaded photos of our 3 homes to flickr so I better explain how this can be the case.
Well, I’m a Dane, born in Copenhagen in ’49, and lived in Denmark until 1995 and have my family there etc. In 1996 I moved with my family all the way up north to 69 degree North, Tromsø, in Arctic Norway and have since then lived in Tromsø and been working as professor at the University of Tromsø. We lived until last fall on the main land and have a great view of the small Island of Tromsø (our Arctic Manhattan !:) but now we live in a small apartment on the very island, and have great views of the mountains on the mainland and are able to walk down to downtown to cafés etc. and up there we have snow most of the year ! and enjoy it ! and the airport is very seldom closed, perhaps one or 2 days a year despite 1 or 2 meter of snow !! they just have super big shovel machines ! So that is one home in Norway and has been it for over 16 years now !
But we are still Danes and have family in Denmark, and time for retirement begins to get closer as years go by, even for young people like us :)) so in order to see family regularly in Denmark, have our own place to stay and not sit on the legs of our family, if you understand, and have a place for retirement, we bought a farmhouse in a wonderful place in Denmark, Thyholm, in North Western Denmark, found by accident, but it has turned out to be a wonderful place, close to the beach, easy accessible by intercity-train and half an hour walk, so people like us not driving cars (we never learned to drive cars and now we say, we don’t care !) can easily live there in the countryside with fields, lambs and pigs and really nice neighbors ! so that is our second home in Denmark in the countryside !
and then our 3rd home is our apartment in San Francisco. In one way it is not a permanent home, but in another way it is for sure a permanent home for us. When I was for the first time in US in December 99, I went into two cafés, La Boheme at Mission and 24th and Muddy Waters at Valencia and 24th and the thrift stores on Mission and Valencia and felt at home right away. Then I stayed half a year in Bernal Heights in 2001, working at UC Berkeley, and became a regular at Progressive grounds café on Cortland, and then in 2005-06 (still in Berkeley) we were back in Bernal Heights and two other cafés, Philz coffée and Charlies, were included in my repertoire of very efficient working spaces, and then every year I have been returning, officially making conferences, but just as much for getting new used clothes in thrift stores (80 % of my closet originates from Mission thrift stores !) and then here in January 2011, to stay half a year, now commuting to Stanford, we came back to the Mission/Bernal Heights and the first morning we went down to Charlies café where we celebrated our Silver Wedding in 2005, and despite being away 5 years, the owner and his brother recognized us right away and hugged and greeted us, so perhaps a very long story, but this is why we feel at home here as we do in Tromsø and Thyholm and would love to live all 3 places all the time, having their own qualities all of them !

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Laury Bourgeois permalink
    May 11, 2011 8:56 am

    Hi Niels-enjoyed reading about your three homes…I’m happy to be in mine in France. Who knows what lies ahead! Good to be back-Laury

  2. May 11, 2011 12:56 pm

    I tried to respond to your comment on my blog but you were “no reply.” What I said was: How nice to meet you. I did go to your blog and love your overalls, too. I, too, find them very comfortable and wear them a lot although not all the time. I have 4 pair of full length overalls: two jersey (like the painted ones), one linen (also painted) and the new/old denim ones. I also have two shorts overalls for summer. I live in AL so it gets quite hot in the summer so the cut-off ones work best.

    After finding these last weekend, I am thinking that I may jazz up some more myself. Mostly, in retirement, I quilt, but I would love to use some of my fabric to “pretty” up overalls. Thanks for visiting and come again. Gari of gariquilts.blogspot.com

  3. turid permalink
    October 16, 2011 10:53 am

    Vakkert! Tilfeldigvis sitter jeg i min gamle UC Berkeley genser i dag, og det jeg kanskje savner aller mest er små coffee shops, rare metafysiske bookstores og alle luktene og lydene.

    • bibprofessor permalink*
      October 16, 2011 11:34 am

      mange tak, ja, jeg skal faktisk en lille tur over til SF/Bay Area i december og bo i en lille cottage, og ned i mine favorite caféer, og du kender garantert Brewed Awakening på Euclid ? vældig gode scones der !

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