Of all the countries I have visited, of the plethora of places I have called home, even for the briefest of moments, nowhere has meant as much to me as my house on Langeland. This is the place where every part of me relaxes, where I breathe. It’s the place where I look out of the window and am filled with an unending sense of wonder because the big garden I see is mine. Even now, almost three years later, I don’t put the key in the lock without a smile on my face. I love the wild horses in the field on the other side of the road, the deer who try to eat from my fruit trees and the occasional pheasant peaking out from behind the bushes.
Have you ever noticed how certain houses just feel like home? How you can walk through someone’s front door and instantly know that this is place for good memories? This is a house like that. It’s a house of happy birthdays, lazy summer days reading in the garden and merry Christmases by candlelight. In this house I work in the garden, I pick fruit and make jam. Upstairs there’s a desk where I can look over the fields as I write. I can watch the seasons change.
I cannot wait until I can spend so much more time in this house. The day when I can pack up and drive down here whenever the mood takes me. I think we should all have a place like that. Somewhere we can go to when we need to leave everything behind, somewhere we know we will find happiness even if it’s just for a moment. When I’m away from this house, I worry about it. I worry that the tiles are shifting on the roof, I worry that it gets lonely without me. I picture the sun moving through the rooms, landing perfectly on the sofa in the living room in time for an afternoon nap, and I hate that I can’t be there.
This house is where I want to write. I want to make my morning latte and take it up to the office. I want to watch the sunrise as the words form on the page. I want to sit on a blanket under a tree and listen to the tap tap tap of my keyboard as the bees buzz buzz buzz around me. When I walk through the streets of Rudkøbing, I can see Anne and Thorin in front of me. I walk past her house (yes, it’s a real place) and I am surrounded by memories.
This island is where I learnt to dream. It’s the place where I first went for long walks through cobbled streets and made up stories in my mind as I sat on a bench in the park. Down by the harbour, I imagined what it would be like to sail away into the sunset. I remember sitting in the restaurant that’s now in the old castle stables and writing a plot down on a napkin while my family had coffee and cake.
My great-grandmother said that once she was dead none of us would ever come back here. Guess we showed her!
Tomorrow I’m going to go through her old cookbook. Because here I have a real kitchen, not the annoying-part-of-the-living-room deal. Prepare for a week of writing, reading and cakes. I love it here.