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2009

March: The first month of Spring turned out a lot better. We had decided, that it was time to try something new to the family. In Genoa we embarked one of the worlds largest cruise ships, "Fantasia". This would then be our home for a week, during which we visited Naples, Palermo, Tunisia, Mallorca, Barcelona and Marseilles before returning to Genoa

After the many experiences on shore and the relaxing way of life onboard, it was soon agreed, that this could be repeated at any time. Pictures

 "Fantasia" is lying next to the "Queen Mary 2" and the magnitude is really displayed..         

 Left: Marseilles old harbour with the "Notre Dame" in the background

April: The beginning of the month was still spend on the cruise. On the return it was time to start preparing the good ship "Mary Lou" for the season.

Michael was off on a camp in "Lejre" some 50 kilometers west of Copenhagen. It is called the "Land of legends" as it brings hundred of years of Danish history to life. Houses and settings are from the Iron Age, Stone Age and Viking Age. and include domestic animals. It was established in 1964 as an experimental centre for studies in the field of history and archaeology.

It was here that Michael spend 5 days living as a Viking. He found it interesting, although he admitted that he was glad to return home and most of all to have a shower.

May: A month with ideal weather for working on the boat, which all the month was spend on...

June: Gave us a very welcomed visit from Norway by Vibeke (Jørgen's sister). It was arranged that she would be here for Midsummer on 23 June and join the family on the traditional sail trip to see all the bun fires along the coast and the following fireworks. This evening is something special to a sailor and nice for Vibeke to experience it again after almost a "generation"

After the return to the harbour, an old friend - whom Vibeke hadn't seen for an equivalent period of time - and her husband were invited onboard for a Night Cap and Vibeke and Jorgen only turned in during the early hours, actually only hours from Vibekes departure for Norway, but worth any minute of it.

 End of June brought the first Weekend cruise, where Michael and Jorgen sailed across The Sound to Malmö in Sweden. This is a favorite trip as Malmö is a very nice city, offering many nice biking trips. The picture shows a complete new harbour and surrounding buildings, all of which is constructed on the land from an old Ship Yard. Such a trip to Sweden also gives us the opportunity to go to the Super Marked which offers a better range of Gluten free products, so essential to Daniel and at a much lower price compared to Denmark.

July: Early in the month we got another family member, ie. a black Cocker Spaniel puppet - named Sasha. She is good fun for the boys and Suzanne enjoys the long walks.

As Sasha was too young to receive the necessary vaccinations to get abroad, the summer cruise was to be kept within Danish waters. This turned out to be a good decision as the weather was quite good during the 3 weeks, whereas rain seemed to be the prevailing weather type in the surrounding waters.

We have not spend  much time in these waters, so it was nice to show it to the boy's. For making sailing a little bit as home "Mary Lou" has now been equipped with Digital TV and Internet connection, very modern for a boat now 45 years old...

Pictures

August: The first Sunday after our return from the Summer Cruise, we had Suzanne's brother - Robert - and two of his sons on a trip to the Channels of Copenhagen. We visited all the places in the Copenhagen Harbour where Houseboats are permitted as Robert is thinking of buying a boat he can live on all year around. A sensible thought Jorgen would agree.

The family had received an invitation from our friends Kerry and Steen to celebrate Kerry's 50 years birthday. They have this hobby of buying VERY old properties and then spend years to make it into wonderful homes, well suited to be represented in magazines, such as "Homes & Gardens". The party was to take place in their latest investment, an old French water mill well south of Paris. For practical reasons It was decided, that Jorgen would go on his own and he drove down with a stop in Amsterdam at his sister.

The space is too limited to express the quality of this "event". It was massive. The weather was exceptional nice for the two days the celebration lasted. The cleaning up must have taken as many days...

September: The boat owners with same constructor as "Mary Lou" had decided to meet 20 September at "Bassholmen" a good deal north of Götenborg on the Swedish West coast.  Being too long to sail for "Mary Lou" in a weekend, Jorgen drove up on the Friday to join the owner of "Valborg". The night was spend on "Käringöen" where an exceptional dinner was enjoyed at "Pettersons Krog", well known to all sailors. Saturday, the fleet met in Bassholmen and the afternoon was used to look around in the other boats to get ideas. All crews joined up for a Grill Party in the evening. The weather was sunny and relatively warm for that time a year.

October: As the boys had not been back in England since we left at the end of 1998, we decided to make a trip down "Memory Lane" in the boys' school vacation in October. We sailed from Esbjerg to Harwich and drove north to visit historic York and the "Jorvik Viking Centre".

Then it was Manchester, with the main objective to visit United's home ground –  "Old Trafford" – from where the picture is taken.

Then a visit to Warwick and Oxford before we drove down to Bramley to revisit "Dormer Cottage". We had dinner with our former neighbors and had a splendid evening, catching up on what had happened in the 11 years which have past since we left.

Finally, we visited London where we stayed with good friends from back to Jorgen's first assignment in UK in 1988-89. Despite the limited time, we succeeded showing the boys a great number of sights, including a walk along "South Bank", from the National Theater to Tower Bridge, St. Katherine's Dock and Tower.  We also sailed from Westminster to Greenwich, where Jorgen had been looking forward to show the boys "Cutty Sark", but sadly enough we soon learned that it had burned down. During the stay in London, we celebrated Michael's birthday, which was quite appropriate as he held his "first birthday" there 11 years ago.

We returned home via the Netherlands, giving us a chance to visit Jorgen's sister and family in Amsterdam. All in all a splendid holiday with really nice weather and reunion with old friends, although we regret that time didn't allow us to visit all.

More Pictures

November: Michael started to play Badminton and wants to play all the time... One day Jorgen was persuade to play with him. This was not a good idea as he got an foot injury and the hospital "condemned" him to 8 weeks in a special plastic boot. Not funny. However the hospital reconsidered after the first 4 weeks and have now reduced the "sentense" by 2 weeks. Good news, although it still prevents Jorgen to go around the Christmas tree...

December: The first snow came on 16. Fun for the boys, but not for their Father with an open boot and no chance of move the snow off the pavement...

Christmas Eve was celebrated with Suzanne's family in Farum. For the first time in many years Suz' family was gathered for Christmas Eve.

New Years Evening was celebrated with friends. Here the family dressed out as - guess what !