‘Several coincidences work in my favour. Such a glorious little town. Horse trials on the flood meadows on the evening i arrived and yesterday they held an old car rally. Now where there are old cars, surely theres old car parts….. and number plates?
It turned out not to be so but seems i asked the right people, who told me i needed to find Hans, a short, grey haired, old man…… hmm…….. But i now have a date! Off to Esbjerg tomorrow in search of him at home. the guys who found him for me told me to be sure to knock him down. I try to decide what IS my price. Its a question i am asked over and over and the answer is always, it depends… on age and condition and other unquantifiables.
Today is market day by the old harbour in Ribe. I sit by the river in the sunshine with a mass of purple blossom beside me, the smell of waffles drifting in the cool breeze and a busker playing a selection of easy listening classics, music from my teens. Leonard Coen, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkle, Lou Read, with occasional Streets of London and similar.
The flea market disappointingly does not produce a number plate but gives me information and another lead. Old plates will be white on black, newer plates black on white and business plates yellow. i have another date, to meet Jørgen at a railway station on Friday, as i pass through on my way to Faaborg, to buy a yellow plate for £11, if he can find it! Armed with knowledge, a basic price and a firm offer, i am better equipped to trade with Hans tomorrow.
Travelling without the spirit of travelling is almost what i feel ive been doing. For me travelling involves mixing with, meeting, conversing, being challenged by other travellers but apart from my first two weeks in Nolsoy ive largely been alone. Denmark is not equipped with a wide range of hostels, else ive not found them as have no Lonely Planet to guide me. Dan Hostels, which are everywhere, mostly seem to cater for families, few have dorm rooms, only open a couple of hours a day to talk to, else its booking on line without being able to understand the information!
Evening times it would be good to have companionship. Went to the Night Watchmans free walk this evening, probably forty of us there, thought some might wander into the night watchmans bar afterwards for a beer but only one did and i found no company even in there.
I conclude that knowledge is the primary quest i seek. My life has become stale without the pursuit of knowledge. Throughout my career i was constantly studying qualifications, not for qualifications sake, initially to raise my salary but then just to keep me intersted, engaged in what i was doing.
The thought that has to go into planning and executing my travel has been engaging. I suspect it would not matter where i settle in life, perhaps i am a perpetual student and need to take up study again. Forget the gap year, go back to uni! Or rather go to uni for that wasnt something that happened for me first time round. Cant call a dead end girls only teacher training college that was closed the year after i left, academically challenging in any respect! I think it closed more doors than opened. And my time at UEA, initially advanced cert and then MA was part time, teaching at Larkman First, single parent. Tough times. Study is so expensive though and student loans not available with a masters.
Maybe three months travel would suffice each year. Portugal and northern spain for this winter maybe, turn my basic spanish into a language that might contribute to my travel experiences. I am thinking of buying a loom to take to cornwall, to experiment with making the irregular, unpredictable rag/yarn weave that i began to explore in the spring. Turn rags into Faroes, grey sky and water, perhaps painting mountains onto the warp, hidden but known and there in the fog.
But i dont feel a sense of love for the Faroes or even for Denmark. When i returned from Australia I made a series of images related to the balance between earth and sky which became foundation ideas for my conservatory curtain. I had passion for the country, I feel no such passion here.
I must resist cutting any more of my hair, first it was my fringe then the sides. The back kicks up and curls. Right now, I need to go move and talk to the tourist office but enjoy sitting here in the sun and the breeze. My plans here have grown organically, without drama. Five nights is a good length of time to stay in one place. My knees are flexed and free again after yesterday’s 20-30 mile bike ride.
Bike hire is expensive, adds a tenner a day onto forty five quid accommodation so needs to be carefully planned. I trekked out to the island of Mando yesterday, only accessible by causeway and tractorbus, add on a fee for my two wheeled passenger and my bike becomes thirteen fifty for the day. But i couldnt have done it without.
I found it hard to comprehend the thirty people choosing to live out there. Grazing marshes, sheep, a few cows, no fishing harbour, no other agriculture, small scale tourism. Circumnavigating the island was generally unimpressive, mostly as a result of the road and tracks sitting inside low down the tall earth bank protecting the island from storm surges.
I enjoyed the tractorbus though, driving through up to two feet of water on our return journey. There are a few children living on the island, most days tractors can get through with an average tide of one point seven meters but there are days when children cannot attend school or have to stay over at friends houses on the mainland.
Ok thats two cans of beer drunk, disappointing beer but what do you expect if you zip off to the only open supernarket at ten o clock. Somehow Denmark just isnt Oz. You have to EAT if you want to drink and pay over the odds for both!
I was pleased this evening in the nightwatchmans bar or rather, empty dining room, to discover a beer called Shitze, at least thats how he pronounced it, made of rosehip berries, just tasted like bitter to me but i thought, yeah ok ill have another from the supermarket but of course, I end up buying cans of the only available beer carlsberg or tuborg. Sigh.
And my fridge here is so luke warm that they wont even be cold by tomorrow, unlike my shower, thats cold every day!