Its Saturday morning again and I'm back in Christianshavn with my daughter for her ballet lesson. These lessons are now a permanent feature in our weekend schedule and one of my favourite times of the week. Its not just the lesson and seeing her jumping and (very nearly) skipping around in her cute ballet outfit, I also love being in Christianshavn. The 20 minute bike ride to the other side of the canal and across the bridge to Amager takes us through central Copenhagen and into the heart of touristville. I love being there as a 'local' or, at least, a long term visitor.
It was nearly two years ago to the day that we came over to Denmark looking for somewhere to live and we seriously considered a warehouse space on Holmen behind the new opera house. Of course, now that we know the city we know that it wouldn't have worked for us to live all the way out there, relying on the water taxi to get across the harbour. But two years ago Copenhagen was still an unknown, somewhere that was waiting to be discovered. Today it feels like home.
En route to ballet, we stop off for a coffee and a snack (chocolate croissant, if my daughter has anything to do with it) at CPH coffee. Funnily enough, this spot first caught my eye on that reconnaissance trip in November 2010. For anyone who has ever been to London the logo and marketing of CPH coffee brings to mind 'Pret-a-manger', a coffee shop/sandwich bar chain that was my stable lunch option back in the day. At first I wondered if they too had been drawn to Scandinavia but in fact the little CPH coffee spot on Torvegade is a one-off independent place. From my regular visits on Saturday mornings I have gotten to know CPH coffee and my daughter has her own 'usual' order of warm milk as I sip on my cappuccino and we watch the tourists on their way to Christiania.
Places like these make Copenhagen feel like home for me. I chat in Danish now as I help my daughter make small talk about the ballet classes and we giggle together about the chocolate smeared around her face. And having lived here for nearly two years, I have watched my paradigm shift. It doesn't take long for the unfamiliar to become the norm. But on this trip to ballet, it is starting to look strange again.
This week, the job that brought my husband (and us) over here was called to a shocking and abrupt end. Despite a stella performance on his part and record results for the business as a whole, it is being shut down. Out of the blue, just like that, brutal in its timing. Our Danish adventure now feels like it is slipping through our fingers. This is all still so fresh and raw but on my bike ride through Christianshavn, I feel different about my environment already. We stop for coffee, chat in Danish and, of course, it tastes as good as ever and I realise how deep it will cut if we have to leave.
Just now, we don't know what our next step will be but, if the end of our adventure in Denmark is in sight, I'm determined to squeeze every last drop out of it....
Cost: single shot cappuccino costs 26 DKK (varm mælk for min datter serves i en helt specialt koppe - gratis!)
Coffee hygge factor: 4 out of 5