It's Monday morning and the children are back to school after the week long break that we used to call 'half term' back in the UK. In Denmark it's 'week 42' or, for those of us who can just about keep track of the seasons but are not yet up to speed with counting the weeks, 'efterårsferie' (autumn holiday). Either way, it was a week packed with all the fun that Copenhagen had to offer and what fun we had - from the apple day at Aarstiderne, the dinosaurs at Experimentarium, a matinee at the Kongelige Teater, wading through the autumn leaves in the playgrounds, the bike parks and kite flying at the dyrehaven. It was a relaxing interlude from the routines and the grind.
The weather was kind to us too and rain clouds blew over never staying long enough to dampen the spirits. Now that the week is behind us, we're looking forward to winter and the cosy joy of Christmas is on the horizon. Rumours were abound that the Ikea shelves were already stocked with juletide trimmings and so, with the children safely packed off to school again, I ventured out to Gentofte.
Everybody knows that nobody goes to Ikea for the coffee, do they? Well, this cappuccino drinking coffee snob doesn't though I had heard tell that if you arrive at Ikea before opening time then the coffee is free. Don't knock it til you've tried it, right? Wrong. It's Ikea and my suspicions rang true. I had no desire to linger and so this particular early bird had no need for the hot brown liquid the machines were dispensing gratis. But if there is one place that I find myself picking up things I don't need, it's here at the homewares and furnishing mecca.
An hour later, I emerged with Christmas wrappings, decorations, kitchen utensils that I have so far survived without but today appealed to my inner domestic goddess as 'absolutely essential', reams of red cloth for a sewing project and this rather nifty organiser for the children's art supplies that have more than earned their right to a good home after the use and abuse they took in little hands last week.
And so, there it is. Even without the free shot of caffeine, I survived an early morning at Ikea and am now smug in my pre-Christmas preparations.
Cost: coffee from the machine before 10 am is free
Coffee hygge factor: nil (but you knew that already!)
For Ikea's opening hours go to the website