I was cycling up a hill and then it struck me: cargo bikes are like Narnia. Many initially think the concept is preposterous, a journey that takes most people a minute will take you an hour, and children over a certain age shouldn’t be allowed in them.
Give us a break, Aslan
Only Aslan got it wrong on the age limit. They weren’t kids anymore, but adults inside children’s bodies – a lot like those American paedos who lie about their age to go back to school, but going to Narnia to prey on unsuspecting fawns.
Gawd knows what’s happened to the films. One every year was the original plan, or so I thought. It got so bad that by the time they made the third one, the actor who played Edmund was 19.
“Err, I don’t think you should come back,” purred Aslan. “I was just about to shag Miss Venezuela before this, you stupid lion,” he replied. “I’m going to go back and find out she’s left my flat.”
It wasn’t all bad
I used to like the books when I was young. Well, that’s a lie – I loved the first one, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and read the rest in the hope they would get better again. They didn’t.
And then there was that ropey cartoon funded by the Episcopal Radio TV Foundation, shown every Easter in honour of Aslan’s resurrection. That and The Lord of the Rings adaptation that cut off halfway through (made in 1979 and 78 respectively) … it wasn’t like us kids needed proof adults hated us.
Christmas was an exception though, and my childhood memories in Britain are pretty happy ones, even if they did involve watching extraordinary amounts of TV.
But truth be told, the anticipatory nature of the Danish Christmas probably gives it the edge.
Nevertheless, there are occasions when I regret I can’t give my children similar memories, so when I can get away with it, I do my best to insert a few of my own traditions. Without further ado, here are my top five tips ahead of the long slog ahead.
Top five Xmas tips
1/ Father Christmas: Do it on the evening of December 23 or it doesn’t make any sense. I’m convinced people who believed in magic as children grow up to have bigger imaginations. When I say believed, that doesn’t include a three-year-old who can’t recognise their own father underneath a red cloak and fake beard.
2/ Turkey: If you’re going to have turkey, you might as well get one that wasn’t killed last Christmas, and there’s no better place to order a properly fresh one than Fisk & Færdigt in Frederiksberg ( HC Ørsteds Vej 37; 3535 1729; Facebook page FiskogFaerdigt; simonfisk.dk) where British food maestro Simon Longhurst has got all the answers (including some splendid organic ducks).
Get your orders in by December 10 and look out for his legendary fish ‘n’ chip nights in 2015.
3/ Panto: The CTC’s pantomime (see website), which this year is moving to a bigger theatre to accommodate the demand, is the best you’ll ever go to. Because, let’s face it, when have you ever seen a decent one? Reality TV stars can’t act to save their life – I rest my case.
4/ Potatoes: It’s worth putting your foot down about having roast potatoes (and parsnips) with your Xmas dinner. Most Danes subjected to them along with their duck agree they’re better. But here’s the tip: buy baking potatoes. It took me eight years to realise, but since that first adventure, I’ve never gone back. The standard Danish potatoes just don’t have the waxy quality you’re looking for.
5/ Leave the house. This edition is full of shows, markets and musical performances guaranteed to overload you with festive spirit. Check out cphpost.dk over the weekend for our rundown on all the Messiah performances in town.
And there’s also lots for the kids to do. From the best place to go tobogganing (G13) to celebrating Christmas at the Workers’ Museum (G11), we’ve got them covered, and this year there’s even a chance to see a stage version of The Christmas Carol (G13), albeit in Danish.
After all, many of your children are annoyingly fluent in that language. With that and the advent of the internet age, they’ve gone from being seen but not heard to becoming our masters. How the hell did that happen?