That’s it – I'm going to to learn Danish. On a sliding scale, how easy do you think that will be? I gave it some thought last night and noted the pros and cons.

Amongst the pros:

1)    some Danish words sound remarkably like our own; mor means mum.

2)    the Danish language seems to have musicality; we say, ‘see you later’, Danes say ‘hi, hi’.

3)    I did quite well at languages at school.

Amongst the cons:

1)    I forgot all my French the instant I didn’t ‘need’ it.

2)    I’m better at being creative than being methodical. I’m sure you have to be reasonably methodical to learn a new language.

3)    I know plenty of people that could teach me French, Spanish or German but no one that could teach me Danish.

So why have I chosen Danish? Ah, well that’s all because of my love of a good Nordic Noir box set. First, I watched all three series of The Killing. The only thing that stopped me actually pretending to be Sarah Lund herself, was the price of one of her famous jumpers. Next came political drama Borgen and my goodness, it’s actually even better than The Killing!

So, why have I fallen in love particularly with Copenhagen-based dramas? Why not the American series Homeland or Downton Abbey instead?  It’s for Denmark’s dark and brooding cityscapes, the simplicity and elegance of their design, the rumination of the moody Danish characters and of course, the lilting consonance of the language. I can escape to another place when I watch Borgen. A place full of intrigue and mystery and the bleak landscape of a Shakespearean tragedy.

And I need some sense of escape this month. Because February is the drawn out end to winter when the cold days seem endlessly cold and the trees stand stark on a hibernating horizon. I need to escape stuffy days indoors and central heating and bed socks stuffed in to slippers. I need to feel the air on my skin, watch how the natural world is still turning and moving and cogitating, even though everything can look so still through the kitchen window.

The RSPB is offering its own escapes this winter. You can download a voucher for two-for-one access to nature reserves, free car parking and optics hire from this blog or at www.facebook.com/rspbintheeast . You’ll find crashing seas, immense sunsets, secretive woodlands, labyrinthine reed beds and wildlife. Wildlife calling and swooping, dabbling, diving, staring-back-at-you and beautiful. The most spine-tingling and thought-provoking kind of escape possible. Wrap up warm and go. 

A far better idea. Apparently, Danish is one of the hardest languages to learn and a box set costs twenty quid these days.

Anonymous