August 16, 2013

Sweden and Copenhagen

There were three great reasons to go to Copenhagen. First and foremost: A wedding. The second being a tailsuit and the third being some time for some family company and relaxation.

It would be a couple of days before my parents would come to join for the wedding of my brother and his fiance so there was some good scope to recover from what had become a pretty aggressive cough. It was the best weather to do it in though with the sun giving me a little chance to acclimatize after being in sunny Greece. One thing that was very welcome after some shockers on tour was some good food which Copenhagen certainly has. While the concept of asian food is a little blurry, one thing they certainly have down pat is sushi! After a good couple of nights in, we were met by the storm of le parents and the father of the bride, all meeting to cram into the apartment for just one night.

Weddings seem to have a different sort of scale in Scandinavia and while there are of course lavish debt filled celebrations here and there, there's another side which seems somewhat more intimate and equally valuable. Call it an affirmation of the understood and a satisfying formality. The six of us all taxied to the Copenhagen town hall in the morning, a beautiful building with all of the solid features and heritage of an old people. Walking through the vaulted corridors and up to dark and beautiful holding room with frescoed roofs and Nordic scenes on the walls. Over time, the room filled with around four different parties who were to get married on that weekday morning. We were first up and were asked by one of the three presiding officials to come into the small room adjacent. The ceremony did not last more than 10 minutes and was largely composed of a welcome, a couple of simple questions like: "Do you want to get married?". At the time I produced the rings and with a signing of the register with witnesses, they were presented with a nice little commemorative book from the town hall and it was done. With much hand shaking and hugging, we left to take some photos in the beautiful square in the centre of the hall grounds and the nearby area.

What came after was perhaps as memorable as the ceremony and was a great chance to just come down from the event a bit. Following a slow celebratory lunch, we took a lovely private canal boat around the waters of Copenhagen with a couple of bottles of Champagne before settling in to a beautiful many course dinner. I cant help but love fine dining of that sort. The idea of eating to taste excellence rather than to be sated is something of a worthwhile pursuit in my point of view. To be surprised by what can be achieved with ingredients and to be know that innovation can be felt at the dinner table too is a fun thing.

Objective two: As I found back at home, soon before I left, something that is often expected of a concert singer is to agree on the dress code a couple of days before the concert. Be it dinner suit, blacks or tails, it pays to be ready and well equipped. Perth doesn't seem to have tails suits so it was time to go shopping in Copenhagen. Trolestrup is a beautiful store full of the tasteful sort of clothes that adorn the well dressed. We walked up and found a selection of three beautifully made tails so without much adew, the required alterations were noted and picked up a couple of days later, feeling  much more prepared for the Messiah concert later this year.

Over to Sweden after the wedding and within 30 minutes from the Copenhagen apartment, we were at home in Sweden. The time had come to recover from the dreaded Contiki cough that i'd caught the week before. It as so good to take in the place without any expectation to go out and see anything or do well, anything in particular. Being able to stop and sunbath under the shy Swedish sun was lovely despite the persistence of the cough that plagued me. I visited the doctor a couple of days later and knew I'd be in for a familiar virus for the next couple of weeks. I settled in and took pleasure in the simplicity of being able to walk around the side of the house to pick rasberries and plums in garden, to taste my new sister-in-law's famous plum conserves and eat copious amounts of the Swedish breads that I've come to love. I visited Mormor (grandma) for what may be the last time and played her some music samples that I had accrued from my concerts since the last visit. After sending some time helping Nik move massive sheets of steel out of the basement last time I was in  Sweden, it was cool to take the technical guided tour of his completed replacement home heating system. It reminded me of just how little we have to thing about energy consumption in Australia. The ideas it also brought to my home design tinkering also made it a really fun way to catch up with my brother.

I left the house early in the morning some days later and was dropped off at the Copenhagen airport ready for my next leg. With a good bit of relaxation and a truly memorable wedding celebration seen, it was time for my second taste of Paris.

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