Wednesday, September 23, 2020


A gentleman on Facebook posted a picture of his evening's planned entertainment in a severe Scandinavian environment. Spare rectangular furniture arrangement, cold northern late afternoon sunlight. Along with tools for tobacco usage and an alcoholic beverage.Which is a bottle of an akvavit (Markens Grøde) distilled from potatoes, caraway, fennel, leeks, rowanberries and Oloroso sherry by De Lysholmske Brenneri & Destillasjonsfabrikker.

So far, so good. This blogger himself indulges in both of those fine virtues for which the tools of proper enjoyment are shown. Tobacco usage fairly regularly, alcoholic libations now only in the mind, seeing as they might interact badly with some medications. Alas.

Markens Grøde was ALSO the name of an unbearably depressing novel by Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun, about subsistence farming, rural conditions, infanticide, and hypocrisy.
It is stark and meaningful.

But the liquor is pictured, not the book.

The tobacco is one of which I approve. As is the pipe. It is a Stanwell, but not the shape shown above, that being a Stanwell I myself own.

What role does brennevin play in all this? Painkiller? Dissolver of an overhelming feeling of weltschmerz, existenzangst, identitätskrise, gicht, and zweifelhaft?

I am curious about the booze. To my knowledge, it is not available locally, although I haven't visited the Jug Shop a few blocks away since pre-Christmas season a while ago.

There's something about the light and climate in Northern Europe that leads to anomie and social distancing, a cold silvery light. If that weren't enough, all those countries have also developed fish products to ensure that people stay apart.
Tobacco, of course, is also perfect for that purpose.
And the flake in question is splendid.
It's light and sprightly.


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