Thursday, November 9
Vesterbrogade, Copenhagen, 12:50
I woke early, had a shower, liked the design of the washroom, and went down to breakfast. Almost everyone had arrived and sat in little groups eating a variety of different kinds of breakfasts. I opted for branflakes and a homemade fruit smoothie, since Elena had implied yesterday that we would receive food about once an hour throughout the day.
The eleven of us started the meeting at 9:00 in a conference room that will remain cold throughout the entire time we spend in it. We stop for our first break at 10:30, when we receive sandwiches, cakes, and pastries. We already have pots of coffee which get replenished as soon as they empty. At 12:00 we have a big lunch of broccoli soup, half a chicken on mashed potatoes, and some pastries.
I slip out of the hotel for a short walk, and less than five minutes from the hotel I take this photograph before turning round and heading back. On my journey I have seen a Flying Tiger, a 7-Eleven, several restaurants, a lot of buses, and two police motorcycles passing at speed with lights and sirens on.
This meeting has about half the usual number of attendees because it has a set of practical and urgent tasks to do. We worked hard this morning and we will return to working hard in the afternoon, pausing briefly for further rounds of sandwiches and pastries. I will work on Topic 9, and with Cecilia on the look and feel of the course. She will set about editing each section to make sure there is a consistent design approach to all the elements in the course.
By 17:15 we will have achieved everything on the agenda for today, and started on some additional tasks that had come up during the day’s work.
After a brief pause for getting scarves and coats Elena will lead us back to the walking street to a restaurant called Peder Oxe, in Gåbrodretorv. Here we will have a meal that lasts three hours. It will include soup, a huge portion of duck, and a thick and sticky mud pie. Elena has booked the “drinks package” which means that we can drink as much house wine as we dare in exactly three hours. A timer will start when our waiter pours the first drinks.
This soon gets revealed as a cunning ruse. Tasting the house white makes it clear that nobody will manage to drink as much as they might have hoped to. Like Indian beer it will prove a self-limiting proposition. We will, however, manage to consume enough for us to at least break even on the deal.
We will walk back through the dark as rain begins to make itself felt; first as damp air, then as small infrequent drops, and then as light drizzle. Eight of the eleven will decide to have one beer in the hotel’s restaurant, The Boston Grill, and I will go happily to bed just before 23:23.