Jaxon has a Great Adventure in Copenhagen: Day 3

Back in the February half term, we went to Copenhagen for a few days. Having been in the summer too, we were excited to see the city in a different season and visit new places. We were nervous about travelling when the COVID-19 Pandemic was getting worse around us. (The first case in Denmark was reported a week after we’d been there). Anyway, here’s what we got up to while we were there. All the posts from this series can be found here.

Day Three

With it being a Sunday, we decided we’d go find a church and ended up at Hillsongs Copenhagen again. We visited while we were in Copenhagen in the Summer and it was good to go back again.

It happened to be their “Vision Sunday”, so they were sharing what the churches goals were for the coming year and what they thought God had in mind for them which was kind of exciting. The majority of the service was a video from Hillsongs Australia with the vision fo rhte whole of HIllsongs CHurches across the world.

One story in the video made me cry. I wrote down a brief version of it but I’ve found the Vision Sunday video on YouTube so that covers all of it. (Vision Sunday).

The story was in a section all about community and how the church is a community in the worldwide sense, in the local church sense but also in small groups/community group sense. The man in the story talked about how while in the US with his wife to get cancer treatment, she died very unexpectedly. Someone at his home church in Australia, passed on a message to someone at the local Hillsongs Church in the US and before he knew it someone was send to buy his groceries and someone else took him out for dinner and all kinds of things like that until he was able to head home. He was basically adopted and looked after like your own Community Group would gather around you and take care of you.

While we were in the service, Jaxon went to Hillsongs Kids again. They were really welcoming to him and made sure there was someone to translate from Danish if needed. Although the main services are predominately in English, the kids work is in Danish with translation available. When we came in the summer there was a lovely American lady who looked after Jaxon, we had hoped she might be there again but I guess we were on the wrong week so she wasn’t on kids work this time.

For lunch, we went to Smagsløget (Website – Vesterbrogade 19). Chris had prewarned me that they are big sandwiches so we would be sharing with Jaxon and still could have some spare to take home with us. I’m surprised that we hadn’t found the shop before as it was practically next-door neighbours with “our” Lidl from when we were in Copenhagen in the summer. (Apart from a stray piece of chilli in my sandwich, it was so good! If you’re ever near there make sure you go!)

After lunch we headed to the Rundetaarn (The Round Tower). I wasn’t sure how well I was going to be climbing the tower but thankfully the windows had such big window sills I could sit down on one of them every so often and catch my breath. The Rundetaarn was built as an astronomical observatory. The tower is interesting because rather than having steps the tower has a sloped ramp all the way up. Historically, it’s been ascended by horse, bicycle and unicycle. When Czar Peter The Great visited Copenhagen he road up the tower on horseback. With it being the equvialent of Half Term the week before in Denmark, a lot of the half-term activities were still running so there were all sorts of extra bit for Jaxon to do. From the top there’s an amazing view across the city. It was amazing!

For dinner, we went to a pizza restaurant called Pico (Website – Skyttegade 3). Rather than having a big pizza each or struggling to choose our toppings. We had these 3 pizzas between us with different toppings on. So one was definitely Margarita (I think the bottom one maybe?) then I think the middle one is Rosemary’s Bacon (Mozzarella, sweet potato, fresh rosemary, smokey ahumado bacon and fried crispy capers). I’m not sure what the top one was but they were all very yummy and perfect between the three of us.

Image from Pico Pizza’s FB page

We loved how cosy and hygge the restaurant was. (We sat at one of the long tables on the left near the window). We also loved that the kitchen was part of the restaurant so we could see our pizzas being made. After dinner, we then walked back to the hostel through the city.

While I looked after Jaxon back at the hostel, Chris went to explore the Copenhagen Light Festival. Across the scity during February, there are a number of light installations to be seen. They can be seen by foot, bike or Segway but also from the water. Right up Chris’s street!

All the posts from this series can be found here.

Jaxon has a Great Adventure in Copenhagen: Day 2

Nyhaven in Copenhagen with a search bar reading "Jaxon Does Copenhagen"

Back in the February half term, we went to Copenhagen for a few days. Having been in the summer too, we were excited to see the city in a different season and visit new places. We were nervous about travelling when the COVID-19 Pandemic was getting worse around us. (The first case in Denmark was reported a week after we’d been there). Anyway, here’s what we got up to while we were there. All the posts from this series can be found here.

Day Two

Today was the main feature of this trip to Copenhagen and why we were coming in February. The great thing about being in a hostel is that they often provide breakfast (usually at an extra charge to your room but it’s often cheaper than “going out” for breakfast). There were lots of choices which was good. It was your usual continental breakfast kind of thing but there was also fruit, cereal, yoghurt and other choices.

After breakfast and getting our things together for the day, we headed to the Metro Station at Skjolds Plads and took the Metro from there to Frederiksberg where we changed onto the M1 line to go to the Bella Center. (It’s like Copenhagen’s version of the ExCel Centre in London). At the front and back of the driverless trains, they had these stickers, so kids could pretend to be driving the train. Every time we got on a metro train, if there was a space at the front, Jaxon was there pretending to drive the train. He would even turn around to make sure all the people were on or off the train before pressing on the sticker to “close” or “open” the doors.

The station at the Bella Center is above ground so as soon as we pulled into the station we could see the Lego flags outside of the exhibition centre.

We headed inside and there was so much to see! We started in the Fribyg (Free Play) area where there were lots of Lego bricks to play with. Jaxon and Chris got playing but I retreated to the side and sat with my back against the wall while doing my knitting while I could. (Why do exhibition centres never have enough seats? We went to Alexandra Palace when I was pregnant with Jaxon and I ended up sitting on the floor there too because there weren’t enough seats!)

Jaxon and Lego Lightning McQueen

After convincing Jaxon to move onto the next bit, we headed further into the centre to see what we could find. We found the GBC (Great Ball Contraption) which was kind of what we had come for and it was even more impressive than it is when we see it on YouTube. (This is a walk around of the GBC at Copenhagen). Chris was having a great time looking at all the little bits but Jaxon was getting more impatient and wanted to move onto the next thing. I don’t think we’d quite released how big the event was and could have done with bringing lunch with us. As it happened, I had a big bar of chocolate in my bag and we were able to buy drinks. They were even more expensive than the usual Copenhagen prices but it would keep us going until we could go elsewhere to get some lunch. We worked our way around some more of the different exhibitions but Jaxon was flagging. Between the late night and the lack of food, he was being very grumpy and stroppy.

Rebuild The World Lego Banner at Lego World in Copenhagen

While Jaxon spent some time at one of the other free play sections, Chris went to take a look at a stand labelled “Lego Produktion”. Chris managed to find a spare stool at one of the building tables, so I could sit on that with my knitting and keep an eye on Jaxon. I think he was very excited to see the machine making Lego bricks, his excitement went up just a bit higher when he was told you could get your own printed brick. He asked me if I’d like it instead as he could only get two but I said that as much as I would like it I know that he and Jaxon would appreciate it so much more than I probably would.

Lego tooling machine
Red sparkly Leftover/Melted Lego plastic

Near the free play area we were sat at was the “Plants for Plants” display which was all about the attempts to make Lego bricks from plant-based plastics rather than the plastics they use currently. Having had a play with the bricks you really couldn’t tell that they weren’t made of plastic plastic. This week in the news, there was an article about Lego ditching plastic bags in their sets and replacing the plastic with paper bags from 2021 – this is exciting and it’s great to see change. You can read the article here.

Jaxon's Special Edition Lego Kit
A red lego brick with Jaxon's name printed in black on the side of it

After exploring some more we decided that we needed to go get some lunch. Chris had looked at the map and found there was a supermarket a short walk away from the center so we headed there for lunch and had a little picnic. We decided that we head elsewhere int he city on our way back to the hostel. Following our late night, we were all a bit weary and needed to chill out a bit.

Our exploring trip on our way back involved getting off the Metro and took a walk through Christiania towards Nyhaven then we got back onto the Metro at Kongens Nytorv.

Christiania is an intentional community within Copenhagen. Within this area, there are a few extra rules to abide by one of which is to not take photos. So although there were some amazing colourful buildings that I would love to have taken photos of, I didn’t. There’s a lot of photos on the internet but if you’d like a video, I suggest watching this one by Kara and Nate. (First Impressions of COPENHAGEN (strangest place we’ve ever been))

Once we’d been for our walk and caught the Metro back to Skjolds Plads station, we headed up to our room to relax for a bit. We put on the TV to see whether there were any cartoons or something like that for Jaxon. We found the Disney Channel but all the cartoons were in German. Jaxon said that was fine and actually ended up completely glued to the TV for a little while.

Jaxon stood on the bed watching cartoons

This was the end of Day 2. I’m sure we must have gone to get some dinner but I now can’t remember what we did! (If I remember I’ll be sure to come back and add it!)

All the posts from this series can be found here.

Jaxon has a Great Adventure in Copenhagen: Day 1

Back in the February half term, we went to Copenhagen for a few days. Having been in the summer too, we were excited to see the city in a different season and visit new places. We were nervous about travelling when the COVID-19 Pandemic was getting worse around us. (The first case in Denmark was reported a week after we’d been there). Anyway, here’s what we got up to while we were there. All the posts from this series can be found here.

Today was going to be a funny day. Chris was working from home and Jaxon went to school as normal. I had to run some work errands in the morning then came home to finish up work bits and finish packing. We’d decided that we were going to go straight away once Jaxon had finished school. Dad came to collect us from home with our luggage and then we collected Jaxon from school. He was so excited to be going on a train and an aeroplane that he didn’t stop moving until he got to the car! We got him changed in the car out of his school uniform into his “play” clothes. Dad took us straight to the train station while I packed Jaxon’s school uniform into his school bag. I switched his reading book into our hand luggage so that we could take it with us. His lovely teacher has given him a chapter book to read over half term. It’s definitely harder than the normal reading books he gets but it’s enough of a challenge to keep him interested.

Dad dropped us at the train station and Chris collected our tickets from the machine. Jaxon and I read the departures board to see which train we should be on. I picked the 1602 to Gatwick which Chris said might not be the most direct train to take. He was adamant the one we needed left about 5 minutes before from Platform 2. Well having dashed up the stairs, over the walkway and back down onto the platform it was clear the 1602 was the train we needed and when Chris checked his phone he realised his instructions were the earlier time to walk to the station to get the 1602. Oops!

We rode the train from Bedford down into London and then out through East Croydon to Gatwick. Having checked his phone a couple of times, Chris said it might be quicker to change at East Croydon for a more direct service (instead of the almost “all stops” service we were on). Between Farringdon/Blackfriar/London Bridge the train was very busy and we were at risk of getting off only to get on the other service and have to stand so we decided to stay put.

From the station, we headed into the airport and found out which terminal our flight would be leaving from. This time we were flying Norwegian and they leave from Gatwick‘s South Terminal. We headed straight to security to get ourselves sorted out. I’d packed all my liquids in a freezer bag before leaving the house so I could switch out for a “proper” one at the airport. However somehow in the crazy, I’d missed the hand sanitizer and nail varnish that was still in my backpack. I’d been using my Roka London backpack for about 5 months since I purchased it and love it. I’ve not wanted to move to a different bag. So when it came to packing a bag to use as hand luggage and then everyday bag while we were away – it was perfect. It also has room for me to carry my maternity notes. I was hoping I wouldn’t need them while away but it’s better than I have them just in case.

Anyway, we get to the x-ray machine and put all our things through. Everything goes fine until I’m pulled out the line for an extra check and my backpack is pulled to one side too. Oops! Chris was right behind me so went through and stood with Jaxon (who looked a little worried but was okay). I went through the body scanner and then collected my backpack, apologising profusely that I’d forgotten those bits. I was a little worried about if the scanner would affect baby but apparently it emits less radiation than I get from my phone so not going to harm baby. Having been through security we headed through the airport to find some food. We had a variety of choices but Chris really wanted Nando’s.

From our table in the restaurant, we could see out onto the tarmac so we could see lots of the planes reversing from the gates and getting ready to take off, while Chris was in the queue sorting the food, Jaxon and I were plane spotty and talking about the different designs on the tails of the aircraft.

Some of my dinner was very spicy even though it was the planest version on he mneu. I ended up draining most of my drink (which was really not good when I’m about to get on an aeroplane – thankfully it turned out I had an aisle seat so that was a bit easier to get to the loo when I did need it!)

After dinner we headed straight for the gate as the number had been announced although it wasn’t boarding yet. When we got to the gate, we were able to check in then find some comfy seats in like a waiting room between the check in desk and the actual door to go to the plane. We hda to wait for the next door to open but that was fine. As it happened, we ahd the “upstairs” entry so we could just walk out through the walkway right onto the plane. Jaxon had the window seat again so he got to watch the world go by and be excited about that.

The flight wasn’t too bad. There was a bumpy moment with some turbulence but that passed quickly. The onboard wifi wouldn’t let me text so although I texted Our Sidekick and my parents to tell them where we were etc, it didn’t send so they got a text about being over the North Sea as we landed in Copenhagen and my phone connected to the mobile network there.

I texted Our Sidekick from the Metro. As we got into the city there were more people on the train. A (possibly) drunk chap started to talk to Jaxon and I. Chris kept saying “They don’t speak Danish” (in Danish too!) but not really loud enough for the man to hear and I just sat there. I don’t know whether the combination of being pregnant and in a semi-strange setting was triggering some kind of anxiety. I was a state and had to try and hold it together. I just wanted to get off the train and protect Jaxon. Thankfully more people got on and then the chap moved further away from us. It’s possible he was just making conversation but I was so shaken by it.

We arrived at the hotel at almost midnight so were all very shattered. We stayed at the A&O Hostel at Norrebro. Even with it being so late, the staff were lovely and helpful. When we arrived at the reception desk, the receptionist was busy dealing with the people in front of us so the barman came over to check if we were okay and if there was anything he could do to help us in the meantime. We found our way to our room and got sorted out. Jaxon was very excited that he had a bunk bed and chose to go on the top bunk. I was a little nervous as it didn’t have proper steps but Chris’s side of the bed was so close, that if Jaxon did fall, he’d more than likely land on the bed. The mattress would work as a crash mat and hopefully, he’d be fine.

The A&O Hostel is right at one end of the Superkilen Park. The hostel is the building in the top left corner. The Park then runs for around half a mile between blocks of apartments and other buildings. Partway along the park there is a community space and a library. The park is dedicated to celebrating ethnic diversity with Norrebro being one of Copenhagen’s most diverse neighbourhoods. Throughout the park, there are different objects from different places in the world. Jaxon’s favourite was the Octopus/Squid slide from Japan (see image 22/57 here). I loved the elephant slide from Chernobyl and the star-shaped fountain from Morocco. There is a map of all the objects here (it might take a Google search to find images of them all).

Image from here.

It was too late to explore that night but we were definitely going to take a look at least once in the rest of our week!

All the posts from this series can be found here.

This Week’s Meal Plan
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This Week's Meal Plan - image shows cherry tomatoes, some cut into halves along with basil leaves

In our house, Chris deals with writing the meal plan and then doing the shopping. We try to make sure we write the meal plan before we go shopping so that minimal (if any) food goes to waste. Since lockdown, we’ve been attempting to compost the vegetables and bits that can go on the compost heap rather than in the bin so this helps with wastage too. Chris writes the plan on Monday before going shopping int he evening so our meal plan runs Tuesday to Monday.

Where possible we had been freezing leftovers as homemade microwave meals on busy days when we were trying to squeeze in dinner between work and evening groups or meetings. Once lockdown happened we were often finding that more meals were ending up in the freezer but not always getting used so last week was “leftovers” week – we basically had a list of what needed to be used and made our way through it – I had meatballs and pasta twice in one week! (Not that I’m complaining it’s one of my favourites!). Some of this week’s meals were also either leftovers or thing we’d got in the freezer and hadn’t been used.

Tuesday – Pizza – Chris gets the pre-made bases when they are available in our local supermarket then he makes the toppings. When possible Jaxon will assist him to create something. This time we just had margarita (I think it was cheddar and mozzarella yum!)

Wednesday – Ribs with Chips and Broccoli – Not our usual fare but we were given the ribs by a friend so they’d gone in the freezer until we had use for them.

Thursday – Leftovers and Rice – I think this one is raid the freezer and see what comes out – I’ll have to update you with what we have when we get to dinner!

Friday – Frikadeller with Chips and Leftover Sauce – Frikadeller is something that Chris found in our local supermarket but also found when we were in Copenhagen. They are a type of meatball but the supermarket ones almost look like little burgers – so they work either in sandwiches like a cold burger (Although can be heated too) or like with this meal with chips.

Saturday – Jackets and Chilli – When Rex was born, our friends from church organised a meal rota for us for the first week or so, one of the meals that arrived was chilli with nachos and other bits. There was so much chilli that we froze some of it and have been working our way through it for other meals too. Definitely looked after with this meal!

Sunday – Gammon and Dauphinoise Potatoes – Both today and tomorrow’s meals come from the Everyday Gluten-Free* book by Nosh Books. We love the recipe books from Nosh Books as they are really easy to follow and really yummy food! Also, we often find that a recipe for 4 people can do the 3 of us and either 1 or 2 portions in the freezer for another day (This recipe can be found on page 182)

Monday – Sweet and Sour Pork Noodles – Another recipe from the Everyday Gluten-Free* book by Nosh Books. This one can be found on page 102. Chris will often add extra veg in with the noodle to make sure we’ve got more of our 5-a-day! This again is another where the leftovers can be frozen for another day.

Make sure you check out Katy’s meal plan and the other links on her page to other meal plans for this week.

Katykicker

Books: The Gift of Cockleberry Bay

One great thing about lockdown/isolation is that I’ve been able to read more. When I was offered an advanced reader copy of The Gift of Cockleberry Bay, I jumped at the chance. But with juggling homeschool, I read this back in March, I’ve only just properly been able to write about it. (Sorry!).

The Gift of Cockleberry Bay

I discovered Nicola’s books on Amazon Kindle Unlimited sort by accident a while back (like last year, see here) and loved them. The first in the series is The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay and the second is Meet Me in Cockleberry Bay

All our favourite characters from Cockleberry Bay are back, including Hot, Rosa Smith’s adorable dachshund, and his new-born puppies.

Now successfully running the Cockleberry Café and wishing to start a family herself, Rosa feels the time is right to let her inherited corner shop go. However, her benefactor left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.

Rosa is torn. How can she make such a huge decision? And will it be the right one? Once the news gets out, untrustworthy strangers appear in the Bay, their motives uncertain. With the revelation of more secrets from Rosa’s family heritage, a new series of unpredictable and life-changing events begin to unfold.

The Gift of Cockleberry Bay concludes this phenomenally successful series in typically brisk and bolshy style, and will delight Rosa’s many thousands of fans.

It was great to be back in Cockleberry Bay to see how those characters are doing and what’s going on in their lives for the third instalment. I love how in the first book Rosa arrives in Cockleberry Bay and immediately makes friends and is adopted by the village, her little sausage dog Hot (yes Hot The Dog) is also adopted by the village too. This third book in the series ties up all those loose ends (after it’s opened a few more to puzzle over for a chapter or five!). I loved it that much I’d finished it in 3 days! Clearly should have slowed down a bit but I was desperate to know what was happening.

In the first book, Rosa is gifted a shop in the little village and in this third instalment she works on deciding what to do with the shop. The rule is that she can’t sell it, it has to be passed on to someone who really deserves it. With Rosa and Josh starting a family of their own, she starts to think about who she can pass the shop onto. And if a baby on the horizon wasn’t exciting enough Hot The Dog and one of the other four-legged friends from the village have a litter of puppies too! I had an inkling who would get it but I’m glad that I didn’t know for sure until the announcement was made in the book.

I’m not sure it can stand alone as an individual book without missing part of the back story so if you want to give it a go start with the first book and work your way through the whole story (and hopefully fall in love with Cockleberry Bay just as much as I did).

I was sent a review copy of The Gift of Cockleberry Bay to write this book review. These are my own opinions.