Husum was first mentioned as Husembro in 1252, when king Abel was murdered.

At times you wonder how useful wikipedia really is. I couldn’t think of a less relevant statement for someone who wanted to find out about this most beautiful city in the North of Germany. This week is the week of the port, the Hafentage, when the streets around the port are filled with stalls – mostly selling food and drinks. An incredibly variety of food and drinks, in fact. Much more complicated and much less straight forward than Tuesday summer evenings in Garding.

Instead of a rock band, they had a Shanty Choir starting off proceedings today.


I don’t know why, but old men singing about the ocean and the good auld times on the tall ships always makes me cry. Maybe it’s because since I was a kid, I was, one day, going to sail the seven seas, leaving all the noise of the city, all the busy-ness of no substance, all the absolutely inconsequential daily struggles of my life, the news that drive me mad but that I cannot do anything about – that I was going to leave all that behind and spend time on the ocean, under the stars, being directed by the wind and nothing else.

A classical example of a crash between dreams and life’s reality.

The thing is. Pádraig once wrote me a letter, when he was ‘small’ (I’m writing this in inverted comas because he was never really small) he wrote me a letter explaining how we all would, how our whole family would, manage to get onto that boat of mine and sail around the world.

And I still have that letter. Which is, in itself, is a small miracle.

Maybe this is why Hafenfest and Hafentage and old men singing shanties make me melancholic.