Time flies when you’re living life

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I know, I haven’t made updates on this blog in a long time…for many reasons. A lot of the reasons are personal, so I will leave it at that. However since my last post, I have concluded my life in Holstebro and returned to Copenhagen – center of my life for 13 years and home to many of my friends.

But so far 2019 has offered so many amazing adventure besides the move to the capital. I visited my Camino friend Eva in Dortmund in the beginning of the year. I cannot stress enough how fortunate I feel about all the people, I have met on my three stints on the Camino so far, and their incredible generosity of opening their homes to me around the world. The Camino provides indeed! Even long after you’ve left!

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Eva and I at Zollverein

Eva and her husband Tom opened their home to me, showed me some of the Ruhr district and a great time with them and their family in Dortmund. Eva and I met each other on the Camino Frances back in 2018, where we spent 3-4 days together. Those few made an impact on both of us, and a few weeks ago I received a lovely card displaying their newborn son Artur – I feel blessed to be part of their lives, and look forward to seeing them in Copenhagen soon.

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Maria Grazia and I

I also finally made it to Rome to visit Maria Grazia – a camino friend I met back in 2016. We walked into León together and have kept in touch over the years. Again I cannot express deeply enough how fortunate I feel to be welcomed into the home of another person, “simply” because our paths crossed, but if you ever choose to walk “the walk”, you may get to know the connections this trail makes. I spent a few days playing tourist in this great city, got to spend quality time with Maria Grazia and she took me on a day trip to Anzio – something I actually blogged about earlier.

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Keld and I at Fyen Rundt 2019

Earlier this year a long time friend of mine – Keld, convinced me to join him as race marshal. Now what does that mean?? Well, it means the motor bikes who help guide and assist during bicycle races – hence the yellow vests on the photo. Keld convinced me to join him as “black boarder” for a few races. I had no idea what I was getting into that first time, but what an amazing experience it turned out to be! I was sore and walked as an old lady for days,  but it was worth it! Some times you need to broaden your horizont, and I just happen to meet some fantastic people during this adventure – hopefully I get invited to join again next year.

 

 

Anzio

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My friend had Saturday off from work, and she decided to show me nearby Anzio. Just 50 min by train, and well worth the effort. First of all I really needed a break from all the turists in Rome. I’ve been to big cities before, but I have never before experienced such a surge of turists as Rome’s attractions can muster. Once again I think of how important peace and quiet is to me. It is truly something I value very highly – that and a nice view 🙂

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I had already had a good share of sun the day before at Piazza de Popolo, so I got some sunscreen at Termini station, and this is me looking crazy, while putting it on on the train. Upon arrival in Anzio we went to a small place at the local piazza for an aperitivo (bitter) with snacks – the biggest snack tray I’ve ever seen!!

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It literally felt like recharging our batteries sitting in the sun just chatting and enjoying life. It is just so very important for me to remember to enjoy these special moment life gives me – especially with all the lovely people I have met over the years on Camino Fances. Indeed it still provides <3

After that we went for lunch at a restaurant at the habour – Capo d’Anzio Trattoria.

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The view from our table

We had some antipasto mainly of octopus – with both broccoli, polenta and lentils. The octopus was really well-cooked and tender.

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We followed with pasta dishes – I can’t remember the name of Maria Grazia’s dish, but mine was spaghetti vongole. It was super fresh and with a hint of chili and parsley.

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We then walked along the harbour and the beach, enjoying the amazing views. The weather was an amazing 22-23 degrees and sunny, so of course we had gelato and coffee. I could really get used to the Roman way of life. The sure know how to enjoy food and drink – some of my personal favorites already.

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My trip has been such a whirlwind of amazing experiences, ancient history and being present here and now. This was my second trip this year visiting Camino friends, and I can’t wait to repay the favor, when they come to Denmark and I get to host them and show them around. Life (and the Camino) truly provides, so remember to take the opportunities life gives you <3

Rome – getting to know the city

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Today started out at Piazza del Popolo – I managed to get there on my own with good guidance from my gracious host – Maria Grazia. Next to the piazza is a park, which is where I took this picture.

I slowly made my way to Piazza Venezia – happening on a pistachio gelato on my way, since you can never have too much gelato on a sunny day in Rome. I also captured a picture of this lovely private garden, and the police officer directing traffic with his whistle – how very fitting of my image of Rome 🙂

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Piazza Venezia

I had my eyes set on The Colosseum and Forum Romanum…like so many other tourists in this ancient city. I choose not to enter, but instead walk around it to see it from all sides. Truely an amazing site! To think these buildings are man-made makes one think about the costs.

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I had a similar feeling when I saw the Pyramids many years ago – I cannot grasp how they managed these perfect buildings without cranes and machinery, but they did. A very humbling feeling.

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Trevi Fountain is another must. And I actually ate my lunch there, while studying people and their need for selfies. From one end of the scale of feelings to another indeed. After that amount of people I needed a break and found some more quiet places in this lovely city.

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My friend got off from work and took me across the Tevere to her favorite gelato place – La Romana. It was indeed an amazing experience with liquid white chocolate and whipped cream in the bottom of the cone, two scoops – hazelnut and cream and then topped with whipped cream at just €2,50. I highly recommend this gelateria – you will not regret it.

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First visit to Rome

Almost three years ago I was lucky enough to run into the lovely Maria Grazia at the bus station in Madrid on my way to Burgos. We spent the trip bonding, and she has been part of my Camino family since ❤️

I have made the trip to visit her in her hometown Rome. I have never been before, but am already amazed (and a little overwhelmed) img_0012-1.jpg

I had prebooked a three hour guided trip through the Vatican Museum, The Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Cathedral. In hinsight I should have skipped the tour, because I would have liked more time at the museum, but it just leaves a reason to retur, right?

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Being herded through parts of the museum, seeing loads of sculptures and tapestries, I also managed to catch a beautiful view out the window – a beautiful Italian building in the Vatican garden.

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I loved how the light played through the replica oculus.

The views just kept coming as we made our way to The Sistine Chapel, where it is prohibited to take photoes btw.

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Hercules

img_0023.jpgimg_0026.jpgimg_0023.jpgThe weather forecast had said rain and the heaven above Rome delivered, but I came well prepared in my raincoat.img_0045.jpg

 

 

 

After the overwhelming experience of the Vatican, I wandered through the many beautiful streets of Rome. I made it pass Castel Sant´Angelo and onto Piazza Navona, finding many beautiful sights along the way.

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But you know me – I gravitate towards food, so I found a small place called Supplizio where I enjoyed a limonade and Crema Fritta. It is basically deep-fried custard, but it is totally yummy!

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I got into The Pantheon, and as with the visit to The Sistine Chapel, I fail to understand people’s lack of respect for a church or tempel and their request for silence in a place of worship. Am I turning into a grumpy old lady?

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The open real oculus

My gracious host Maria Grazia got of from work, and we met up at the Spanish Stairs before we enjoyed Bellinis and a snack – life is good.

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Well, my lovelies – there is plenty more of Rome to explore. I hope to find time to blog more later or tomorrow with more adventures. But for now Buongiorno 🙂

Camino 2018

Backpack carefully packed and three weeks of vacation started, I returned to León last Sunday to re-enter the Camino Francés and finish what I started back in 2015. The Camino has already given me so much. I have met some of the most amazing people and the Way has provided me with much needed therapy and comfort on both previous occations.

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Cathedral in León

I returned to the albergue I stayed at in 2016, and Monday morning I started out at the cathedral. Only this time I was not in need of therapy or mulling over future plans, which made for a very different start mood than before. From the get go, I felt disconnected and out of place somehow. I was sure time and km would get me in touch and I started out energy filled and determined.389048E4-46BE-459B-8470-74359534CF92

When my first order of café con leche came with a free, fresh made churros, it felt like coming home, and I briefly considered just staying at that café for the rest of my trip. I followed the scenic route away from the highway and it felt like I was one of very few who chose that option, not seeing many other pilgrims that first day and 30km.

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But the beautiful, snow covered mountains called to me and I muddled along on my own, eventually ending up in Villavante. Here I relaxed with my postwalk beer, and met the other three pilgrims who chose to stay at the albergue, even though it could have easily accommodated 30 more. I luckily met Eva, a very nice German woman, who became my new Camino family.

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Eva and I walked together, enjoyed the amazing views and learned about each other along our way. It felt good to have company, but still something inside me felt off. It seemed like summer had arrived over night, and I struggled with the burning sun and rising heat of the country. I never have been one for to high heat with sun allergy since childhood.

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We followed the signs, enjoyed our second breakfasts and pain de chocolat like good pilgrims.

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We met other pilgrims along our way, but I didn’t feel my usual draw towards getting to know them. I preferred Eva’s company even though they were nice and kind people – another marker telling me something was very different from my previous trips. All of a sudden I was tired and physically hurting at night, so I choose to turn in early most nights. The views on the route was however still amazing:

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We kept choosing the scenic routes and got rewarded with renovated little villages and a lot of peace and quiet. We couldn’t hide from the heat and my body was not happy, so upon arrival in Molinaseca – a small, beautiful town outside of Ponferrada, where we enjoyed a cold drink and some needed rest after a hard descent, I decided to stop walking. After just four days of struggling with disconnect, heat and pain, I booked a ticket home, and haven’t regretted that decision one bit since.

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Camino pilgrimage is not about reaching Santiago de Compostella, but the journey. We each have our own way to go, and it didn’t feel right to stay any longer. Over the next few days I will share more from my trip, and I hope you will join me.

Happy New Year 2017

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2017 is coming to an end and it’s time for me to recap the year. I’ve settled into my sofa, poured myself a glass of my favorite rum and Snorre Kirk Quintet is providing the musical back drop of the evening – very befitting I find.

It been a whirlwind of a year. Last year at this time I still lived in Copenhagen – in Nansensgade. But in January I packed up shop and put most of my worldly belongings in storage in preparation for a new adventure. Before setting out my sister and I (with amazing help from some family members) got our dad moved into his new home at the beach. Having gone through a rough autumn with our dad being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, it has been a constant in 2017, which we all have had to adjust to and live with.

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With our dad safely installed near my childhood beach, I set my eyes on new shores and headed to British Columbia, Canada. It surely was an adventure – not only seeing my Camino friends Gail and Stuart again, celebrating my 40th birthday in their midst, but also testing to see what my future should contain.

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Canada is a complex and absolutely beautiful country that I hope to visit again soon. If for nothing else then to see these amazing people again (and all their friends and family)

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I returned to Denmark and my search for work and a new home began. With Jutland as my only requirement for venue, I moved into a closed down nursing home as a temporary solution.

The summer brought a visit to Copenhagen to see old friend and to enjoy Copenhagen Jazz Festival, where I listened to amazing music and had my first Snorre Kirk Quintet experience. This is why tonight’s playlist is appropriate btw.

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Come August I got the opportunity to get a short-term job with a temp agency in Holstebro. Having never worked with recruitment and HR before, I saw it as a new adventure, and mid October they chose to extend my contract to last all of 2018. This allowed me to finally find a new home and the possibility of getting my things out of storage.

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I found a newly renovated apartment in centre of Holstebro and wasted no time getting settled. I know I promised to post picture, so here they are.

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It has made a real difference that I now have a place to call my own – a base to relaxing in, to be creative in and to entertain my friends and family. I so look forward to the coming year and hopefully a steady flow of visitors – I have a few years of being a guest to repay many for. Like these amazing two people I know in Copenhagen, who once again went all out and opened their home to a most delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Just look at this mouthwatering turkey they had prepared.

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Again this year I have had so much to be grateful for – mainly my fantastic friends. I hope you all know how much I appreciate your friendship – around the world, in Copenhagen and definitely the reception I have had returning to Holstebro after 10 years away. It has been great to reconnect and make new friendships.

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I am also thankful that my sister has found herself a new home, and I was fortunate enough to be able to return the favor and help her move in. I know that she too will flourish with the stability and calm a permanent home provides.

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Christmas was spent with our dad, and unfortunately he was hospitalized on the 26th. As mentioned earlier we have learned to coexist with the cancer, so he got help in time and am doing better. 2018 will soon see him home again and hopefully he will be able to enjoy the year to the fullest.

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2018 will hopefully bring an exciting new permanent job, more time with my friends and family and then I still have to finish my Camino France, which I hope to do in Spring.

I wish you all a very happy New Year and thank you all for following my posts in 2017. Keep remembering the easy pleasures. There is often a sparkle even in our everyday <3

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Key to a new life

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I finally got some good news to share with you all!! This is the key to my new home – and I just got it a few hours ago. It unlocks a very nice, new renovated apartment in Holstebro, and I can’t wait to share the pictures with you – hopefully next week once all my furniture and things arrive.

This means I finally get to see all my worldly belongings…some of which I haven’t seen in more than six years. Can you believe that? Six years! Crazy, but that’s how my life turned out.

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It may be windy and rainy right now, but I can only see blue skies ahead and infinite potential with this new home base. And hopefully there will be more good news soon on the job front – fingers crossed 🙂

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This autumn kicks of a new chapter in my life and I look forward to sharing it with you all. Just the thought of once again having a permanent home to welcome friends and familie, already provides more energy than I thought possible.

Enjoy the weekend – I will be packing my few belongings and moving out of the nursing home. That kinda sends a strong signal – out of the old folks home and back into life full throttle!!

 

Life is just there for the taking…

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My current life motto is “Remember the easy pleasures”. What do I actually mean when I write or say those words? Well, to me happiness is not materialistic and cannot be quantified or measured in big adventures, travels or experiences. To me happiness lies in the moment, the friendships that surround me, nature showing us it’s glory or some other little everyday detail that makes me smile. Happiness comes in many shapes, but instead of waiting for that big thing, adventure or life-changing experience just around the corner, I choose to live now, present and by enjoying the simple pleasures of everyday life.

I’m not claiming to hold the key to happiness or the magic words in any way. I’m just explaining how I have decided to live – and grab life by the throat, while I can. Life can be brutal, short and unfair. That I know first hand. But I also see and feel how it is beautiful, giving and a joyride, just waiting for us all to get on board. I’m holding up my ticket stump to prove that I’m going all in and have been for quite a while 🙂 And why not? Just look at this amazing life:

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Dinner at Cafe Stranden – Danish Bistro of the year in 2017

While I visited the west coast of Jutland last weekend, I finally got to visit Tirpitz Museum. It is absolutely beautiful! I’m a sucker for great architecture and Bjarke Ingels Group really outdid themselves. The museum is engulfed in the dunes and the concrete and steel mixture seems a perfect choice as a WWII bunker museum.

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The Amber exhibit is exciting, descriptive and I can’t wait to retur to go through it again. Since I was a little girl, my mum and I would spend countless hours on the beach in search of itty, bitty pieces of amber, and still to this day I feel a certain amount of exaltation, when the beach offers up a piece of this 20 million year old treasure. No wonder they talk of Amber Fever!!

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Sydney Opera House model made in amber – 250kg

The walk into the actual bunker provides insight into how big constructions these bunkers actually were, how Danes were forced to work for the Germans during the war and how is was believed by the Germans that a possible allied invasion could happen on the west coast of Jutland. It is important that we remember, and it made me think of my grandparents, who were forced out of their home, because the local officers wanted to live there. A thought I often have revisited while growing up and sharing happy, family times in within those walls.

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Life boat from Vejers Strand

The life boat from Vejers was another amazing sight. To think this boat helped save lives of fishermen for many years, with rescuers putting their lives on the line to save others. The father of one of my good friends, Kristian has a personal connection to this boat. He took care of this boat for years and actually rowed it many times with his dad, which is why in my friend’s family the boat is lovingly called “Dad’s boat”. My hat is off to you, Kristian!

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The weekend reunited me with my winter clothes from storage and this is me being happy about the easy pleasure it was to put on my oilskin jacket again. Last time I wore it was mainly during my trip to Canada earlier this year. Maybe that is way I just couldn’t stop smiling #Remembertheeasypleasures

Gode nyheder!

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Fantastisk solnedgang

Efter en måned hos Mols Røgeri som sommermedhjælper i butikken, var søndag min sidste arbejdsdag, og jeg blev begavet med blomster, vin og gaver. Det har været en kæmpe oplevelse – både arbejdsmæssigt, men også gastronomisk at være omkring fisk 24-7 nærmest. Søndag aften blev velfortjent tilbragt hjemme i sofaen i Fousing K, med en stor portion frisklavet chili con carne og de smukke blomster.

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På mandag starter så et nyt kapitel. Som Personalekonsulent vil jeg være at finde hos AktivPersonale i Holstebro i et 3-måneders vikariat. Jeg glæder mig utrolig meget til at prøve kræfter med rekruttering og HR, og ikke mindst lære de nye kollegaer at kende. Hvem ved hvad det bringer med sig? Som I ved er jeg jo åben for de muligheder, livet bringer mig, og måske er dette vikariat starten på et helt nyt eventyr.

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Jeg har brugt lidt tid på at finde mig mere til rette på plejehjemmet – bl.a. fået pakket ud og organiseret lidt på soveværelset. Ja, det er stadig låneting, og mine egne sager står i opbevaring, men netop derfor forsøger jeg at få det bedste ud af min nuværende hverdag. De har reoler stod alligevel bare og samlede støv i kælderen. Lidt sæbevand og så fungere min nye garderobeløsning helt fint.

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Sommerbillederne har været få i år. Både fordi min sommer er gået med at arbejde, men også fordi solen forsvandt på disse himmelstrøg. I går var jeg dog heldig at kunne nyde frokosten i haven – kålsalat med tun, avokado og et par smilende æg. Ikke helt dårligt på sådan en helt almindelig onsdag.

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De kommende måneder forventer jeg at blive boende i Fousing K – medmindre et fast arbejde dukker op et andet sted i Jylland. Jeg holder øjne og øre åbne, og hvis du hører om nogen, der lige står og mangler een som mig, så send mig fluks en besked!

 

Fish – left, right and center

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Moules Frites

I have been neglecting my blog lately. I admit it! Sorry….:(

Mainly because I was hoping by now to be sharing info about my new job and home with you, but it has proved harder than expected to land that job. And since I made the decision to let the job location guide me to where I would be moving next, there is no news on that front either.

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Tapas for one

In July I started a Summer job with Mols Smoke House. It was previously owned by the man who taught me how to smoke fish, and since his much to early death in April 2017, his two sons has run the place. RIP Orla Bork – a great teacher, mentor and person. I miss your friendship dearly.

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Blackened cod taco with cabbage/kale salad and rice and beans

The job grants me easy access to fish, so the last few weeks have been filled with fish dinners. I often make the easy choice – tapas with smoked prawns, Moules Frites, Fish & Chips or Blackened cod taco. It is so nice to get a lot of fish, but even before getting the job, I made a decision never to eat farmed fish again. After seeing a documentary clearly showing that farmed fish is the most polluted food you can eat, I will stick to wild fish from now on.

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Oven baked fish & chips

Hopefully Fall will bring more opportunities and a steady job, once I finish my Summer gig. I haven’t given up hope yet, and I know something good is waiting for me just around the corner.

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Pale me, since I don’t have time to be outside

The last few weeks has been spent indoors, because once I get off from work, I’m usually too tired to go anywhere. Instead I have been catching up on the new Game of Thrones season. Last year I read all six books, and I admit I’m hooked. So much so that I think it is starting to manifest into my life:

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I got the key to House Stark!!!

I am telling you – Winter is coming!!