There’s a great Danish poem by Pete Hein, which I will try – and fail – to translate for you. In case google can do a better job, here is the original.


Vi gemmer al den hygge væk
Som flyder her til daglig
Og sørger for at alt er tomt
Og vinkelret og sagligt

Her ligner et sterilt
Og ubeboeligt kontor
For her kommer et par mennesker
Som skal se hvordan vi bor.
Piet Hein

Visitor’s order (The title is a play on words  so this doesn’t really cover it)

We hide away the homely clutter
Which fills the every day
And seek to make things empty
And square and smart.

The place is a sterile
And uninhabited office
Because people are coming
To see how we live.

It’s infinitely better in the original language and if anyone is looking for a project, Pete Hein is one of the best reasons I know to learn Danish. He has done a few English poems too, but I prefer those in his native tongue.

Anyway, I’m having guests round tonight and as a result, am trying to clear away all the clutter which has been impossible to find  a home for since the move. Until now, I’ve been happy living in squalor, but heaven forbid I be honest about it! It’s only ever when people come to visit that I bother putting anything away.