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Fortællinger fra Kreta | 63

Tales from Crete | 63

Fathers like to say to their children: "Look, when I was a child..." and then there is another story that it was so-and-so good or, as at this time of year, there was so-and-so much snow. For some reason, we humans feel like we always have to outdo each other, even outdo our children. I have no idea whether it is because we all have a primal human urge to assert ourselves, that we ourselves, because we have more experience and more years behind us, think we know better or are stronger at both this and that. But I have a clear feeling that almost everyone does it and I myself am one of them.

"Look, when I was a child, the piles of snow were several meters high and the spot cars in Copenhagen, where I was born, could not drive until the snow removal team consisting of several day laborers, as it was called then, came out with snow shovels and some huge old carts with iron wheels and shoveled the snow away and emptied directly into the sewer. What they couldn't quite get down there was collected in huge piles which were then loaded with the municipality's tractors with front shovels onto trucks and driven to Tuborg harbour, where they were dumped in the Øresund.

"Look, those were the times" one is tempted to say, but isn't that just pure nostalgia? We remember things the way we want and sometimes distort or embellish the truth, depending on what we want.

"But look, when I was a child, there was snow" and that's not even a complete lie. In 1966, when I was 11 years old, it snowed heavily over the southern regions right up until April, where on April 14, snowdrifts several meters high could be measured. Less than three weeks later – on 3 May, 29 plus degrees were measured.

In 1969-1970 we had the longest and snowiest winter in Denmark. Back then we had local snow from November to May. In 1979, the amount of snow was spectacular. Bornholm, Møn and Lolland-Falster were buried in snow and in several places people were cut off from the outside world for days. In 1982 (when I was 27 years old) the frost closed safely, and a cold record was set in January, when DMI was able to record minus 31.2 degrees. At the time, I had a small trucking business, and was given the task of running a huge heating system for Danfoss in Als, which had to heat up their entire manufacturing building. It didn't quite make it on time, because the ferry between Halskov and Knudshoved, which was used at the time, froze immovably in the Great Belt and had to wait 11 hours for icebreakers to arrive and help the ferry land.

Well, but now it must be winter in Denmark before we can use all these somewhat useless comparisons. Personally, I hate winter and hate the dark time. I would much rather have sun, summer, warm and bright nights. It makes life a lot easier, I think. This morning when I was out walking with Raki (so not a bottle, but our dog Raki), it was pitch black and I almost fell several times, due to black ice on the path. Quirky but very appropriate expression; black ice, when it's just the surface that freezes on the asphalt so you can hardly see it. Not even Raki could see it, so it danced like Bambi on the ice until it found that it was better to walk beside the path, where only the grass was slightly frozen. Yes, it's that simple. We all learn from our own experiences, but rarely from those of others, and that's probably how it should be.

Have a nice weekend.

Tales from Crete | Elena's - The taste of Greece

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