An envisioning . . . 2000 and a quiet January day in Copenhagen . . .

Oh to be here.

A long trip up from Johannesburg but worth it. Kin not visited in decades what with Father having decided to seek his fortune in Rhodesia and then Cape Town after the war. Must have been from the fighting with the British. Better that for a young man than anything in Scandinavia no matter what anyone did.

The children taken ice skating in the morning and home for hot chocolate and enough food left over from New Year’s Day for a family of twenty.

Everyone stuffed, exhausted and napping. Time to sit in the kitchen and look through the old pictures.

In someone’s barn, auntie wrote on the back. Maybe that or under the drawers in grandfather’s big desk. But no matter. Safe however it was. Engineers, they all were. Mostly built bridges and things. If there was only a two-inch gap between a rafter and a beam they could find it.

More hot chocolate and then coffee. Up half the night probably but not mattering much. Another two weeks before the plane back home and a job to get up for. Half a plate of cookies, too. Not much room after lunch but stuffing them down anyway. Tasting like there is a pound of butter in each tin and much better than anything in South Africa. Just didn’t taste the same. Must be the Baltic air.

Scrapbooks looked at and put back on the shelf. From all around the family, people that lived in Berlin, Odessa, and Barcelona, not just Denmark. Living all around the world until the wars took it all out.

A treat. A picture that they forgot to glue in falling onto the table with names on the back. From right after the first war judging by the lady’s cloche. The cousins in Spain, it said. All right then but the other places taken. Gone to South America somehow once Germany got France and never heard from again.

But all right then . . . .another tango and another luncheon on the beach . . . life with all the joy and no one knowing the rest . . . .

Folke Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg and his wife Estelle.
Folke Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg and his wife Estelle. ca. 1929-35. Photo credit: Scanpix. via