Read our END-OF-YEAR greetings
Merry Christmas 2011


Dear friends around the world,

It’s about to be Christmas once again – and therefore time to send you our warmest greetings.  It has been a GREAT year, especially for Niels  ( see photo ! ).   No, jokes apart. I also take my burdens – now and then J  

Life is good, and you have to enjoy it, as long as it is around. We do so. In good health and with a permanent appetite for more. 

In March we went down-under for a fantastic cruise around Australia and New Zealand. Including a visit to Ayers Rock in the middle.  The weather was perfect all the way, and we returned with a lot of great memories from this exciting part of the world.

We actually wrote a diary in English.  You can read it HERE.

Later in the spring we visited Spanish Galizia followed by a lovely one week cruising on the river Douro in the north of Portugal. This can be strongly recommended.  Fantastic sceneries. Great company – CroisiEurope.    Among many other stimulating activities on-board and ashore we we also singing THIS SONG for Liselotte’s birthday.


During the summer in Denmark we also enjoyed a lot of happy moments like an excursion to the sunny island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, the baptism of our granddaughter Zoe in Kos, Greece and a great wedding of my niece in Denmark.  In addition to a fantastic time in Veddinge and in Skagen.  No complaints, just pleasure. Including many great friends passing by.

My work in communication ( in particular new media ) brought me many pleasures and very interesting travels – to Warsaw, Lyon, Dublin, Venice and all the way to Beijing.  You can follow some of it on my company site CON AMORE.

I have, though, one new year resolution already:  I want to reduce some of my present activities to have more time for other things which I should like to do.  Writing, reading, learning new skills, invent, enjoy.   We have so far already planned visits to Bonn, Le Touquet in France, Mallorca, Volga and Cyprus.   Let us see, what the final result will be, when I have paired my new year resolution with those plans!  It’s good to get surprises – especially good ones J

Liselotte is also having a great time ( despite the work at the photo above ).  In addition to joining in at many of my activities she is reading a lot – not least very exciting books on and from the countries of the Arab spring. Another new year resolution for me is to convince her to write short reviews in English about each book.  And also to make her write her monthly very good recipes on all sorts of great food – in English.  You will be the first to get them J   Enclosed you get her superb recipe for Riz à l’Amandes  ( see below ).

My grown-up kids are all fine and very active. Claus in Odense tries to keep order in the city’s history, not least in digital form. Lasse continues his work at the Danish permanent Representation here in Brussels and has his holidays cancelled like everybody else there during the coming Danish EU presidency.  And Cecilie and her husband Nikos are both very, very busy at their Institute for Sports and Exercise Sciences at the University of Birmingham.

Our two small princesses, Cecilie’s and Nikos’ daughters, Anna Maria and Zoe are doing very well. Anna Maria will soon be 6 and is very successful in her school. She can read as well as write. And she has a great sense of humour. Zoe is 16 – not years, but months. A very determined young lady – almost always a great spirit and ready for fun.  She is also talking a lot. The only problem is, that we cannot understand it. But this is of course our fault!

And Europe??!!   Not very impressive. Though we have to remember the fact that the EU always made its strongest improvements, when it was really in a serious crisis.  This must mean that there is today basis for real improvements.  Much has been done. And much more has to follow. I think Europe today is really in need of visionary politicians, who also have the courage to stand up to the frightening and ugly nationalism, which we see almost everywhere – and to really explain people what is needed, why it will first hurt and then open up for new progress and for a strong role for Europe in the world.  The Spinelli Group  ( with more than a hundred European parliamentarians as members ) makes very good and lasting solutions. If just the leaders dare…   We should do all we can to make them dare !


Let us wish you and all your loved ones a great Christmas and a fantastic New Year. We will celebrate Christmas here in Rixensart with family from Germany. And we will spend New Year in the great place Spa in the Ardennes together with old friends from Denmark.

The rest of the Thøgersen-clan is celebrating Christmas for a week in La Santa in Lanzarote.

We very much hope to see you again in 2012.


Warm greetings,


Liselotte and Niels


PS If you want to see more about our life in 2011, you can click on these sites:

Home Page:



It was actually a very tough year. But for whom ?? :-)
Our joint Greetings 2010






From snowy and sunny Rixensart


And at the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.


We want to start our greetings at the end of this year with these clever words by Abraham Lincoln. We have had a lot of lovely life during the year which now is about to run out.  At home, on travels, with guests, at visits, in cyber world. And we try also to follow the good principle that you “upgrade yourself” all the time. Learn new things. Challenge yourself. Try to do things you’ve never done before. This keeps you on your toes. And we believe that it also makes you more interesting for other people to talk to and discuss with J


It also has to be fun. Like right now when Liselotte for the first time in her life has a personal 24 days Christmas calendar – with 24 separate rooms for me to fill every day. I am doing my very best J But I am sure the very best gift she got so far was a special drawing done for her by our almost five year old grand daughter Anna Maria in Birmingham. She and I had made a secret plan. And here it is. You can see a picture of it after this letter.  In addition to that Anna Maria is now in her second year at school and has started to read. Very proud!

Here is Anna Maria’s personal photo site:


It also has to be exciting. Like when we in August got another grand daughter, Zoe.  Also “sponsored” by Cecilie and Nikos. She is already a lovely little personality of her own. And at this very moment she has her first trip with an airplane – going to Denmark for Christmas with mormor.

Zoe is, of course, also present on the web:  


When I ( Niels ) am concerned this year was my first year as a real pensioner. Not just an early retirement guy like before. A real member of the “Golden Senior Club” – with the right to go for free with all buses in Belgium J   I hear that I can now also visit museums at a reduced price. But I dare not go there. At my age you risk they keep you in the exhibition of ancient goodies J


One of Liselotte’s new discoveries this year is the E-Book reader KINDLE.  A fantastic tool for all the books you want to read. You buy them on-line at Amazon ( it takes under one minute per book ). And you keep them for ever. So going on holiday or vacation in Denmark for three months is no problem any more. No extra suitcase filled with heavy books. They are all in the KINDLE.  In addition I profit from it by subscribing to my three daily newspapers International Herald Tribune, Le Monde and Frankfurter Allgemeine. They all arrive around midnight the day before – wherever you are.


As many people have asked for more information about the KINDLE and other eBook readers I have written a note about them. You find it here:    



We have also enjoyed new discoveries around Europe this year. In March we had a lovely holiday in Madeira. In the summer we were as usual for three months in our house at the Danish coast. Beautiful weather most of the time. And a lot of new adventures around the country. Such as the Rebild Festival on July 4 – celebrating the US independence day. The biggest festival outside the US on that day.  Liselotte had never been there, and I hadn’t visited it since my childhood. About 5.000 guests. A lot of events and entertainment. And in fantastic weather.  Another new experience was a visit to the Viking Festival at Trelleborg. One of the three remaining round fortresses from the time of our brave forfathers. Good fun.


In the autumn we did a great cruise for 16 days. From Dubrovnik in Croatia to Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt. Visiting Montenegro, Greece, Turkey and Greece on the way.  Cruises have become our absolute favourite form of holiday. Fantastic to bring your hotel everywhere, be looked after in all sorts of ways and all the time see new exciting places.  If you want more arguments for cruises, please let us know J


In two month we’ll be on the “cruise road” again. This time a full month west and south of Australia, around Tasmania, around New Zealand and a special excursion to Ayers Rock in the middle of nowhere in Australia.  Be prepared for a tempting report in next year’s Christmas letter – at the latest.


When activities are concerned I ( Niels ) have my active work with social media –new media and how to use them in practice. This has been combined with what I call Green Communication linked to climate and energy issues.  Like preparing a grand Climate Tour to all 27 EU countries in 2012 ( showing how citizens themselves can make a difference in their use of energy ). Like giving green advice to the construction of Europe’s best and most greenhotel ever built.


These activities still give time also to continue the fight for a better and much more dynamic Europe.  More needed than ever.  I am very keen on the new political initiative THE SPINELLI   GROUP.   Join us here:     Almost a hundred members of the European Parliament from most parties have joined. And thousands of others.  Action is what is needed. Not just talks and plans. We need politicians who are much more courageous and who have real visions and determination.  The Spinelli Group shows the way.


Here at home in hilly Rixensart life is also great. Time to enjoy. Time to reflect. Time to write memoirs. Time to look after my Home Pages ( such as   ). Our health and appetite for life continue to be at their best.  And this is also the case for our younger generation, Claus in Odense, Lasse here in Brussels and Cecilie and her family in Birmingham.


We hope you are all fine and also have had a great year. And we hope to see you sometime in 2011 – either personally or by Skype.


With this short report from the Liselotte & Niels front we want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a lovely and excting 2011, where all your wishes will come true J


                                                                                                         Liselotte  and Niels

Cecilie with her two princesses Anna Maria and Zoe :-)
Liselotte's Køkkenskriver in English

KØKKENSKRIVEREN ..... something about food


First of all I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas. I hope you will have beautiful days with your families and friends enjoying the company and a lot of good traditional food. Most of us in Northern Europe at least just have to look outside and the Christmassy feeling is definitely there. We are buried in snow, and at this very moment the sun is shining from a clear and blue sky. It is just wonderful to look at. Niels has just been outside clearing our way out of the house and the pavement for the people passing by – good exercise for a Viking!!


And when Christmas is over there is another reason to celebrate: The coming of the new year 2011!  I have just written one of my “Køkkenskriver” articles which includes some festive food for the end-of-the-year celebration. Perhaps you would like to try them. I can assure they are delicious, quite easy to prepare and they look beautiful on the plate. First of all a nice sauce to accompany some really good smoked salmon or any other smoked fish:




3 whole eggs

1-1,5 table spoon of Dijon mustard

40-50 g of butter

3 dl double cream

1 tray of cress (a handful)


  1. Mix the eggs with the mustard in a bowl. Add salt and pepper.
  2. Melt the butter in a small casserole and add the egg and mustard mixture.
  3. Keeping the temperature very low make the eggs thicken – you must stir all the time to avoid the eggs turning into scramble eggs and to stick to the bottom.
  4. When the eggs have turned almost solid add the cream. Continue to stir – but the sauce must NOT BOIL. Add the cress and perhaps a bit more salt and pepper.
  5. This sauce can be served hot or cold.
  6. If you cannot get cress, a handful of chopped chives are a good alternative.


* * * * * * *


So for the main course I suggest a very delicious and tasty fish dish. Even Niels likes it and that is definitely a recommendation!




800 g of filet of monkfish

2 thick slices of smoked bacon (1 cm)

1 big green or red pepper

1-2 onions

2 table spoons of olive oil

1 dl white wine

5 dl double cream

Salt and pepper



  1. Cut the filet into 16 pretty squares. Cut the bacon into 8 pieces. Empty the pepper and cut into 12 nice squares. Peal and cut the onions into smaller pieces (“boats”).
  2. Put all the pieces alternately on 4 skewers. If you are using wooden skewers you must put them in water first otherwise they will burn. Begin and end with a piece of the pepper – it keeps everything nicely together. This can be done well in advance. Just keep them in the fridge until you prepare them.
  3. Roast the skewers in a big pan in the oil – keep the heat high – and roast them for a couple of minutes on each side. Transfer the skewers to an ovenproof dish. Add the white wine to the pan and finally add the cream, and let it boil for a couple of minutes. Add salt and pepper to your liking and pour the sauce over the skewers. Finish the fish in the oven at 200 C degrees for 20-25 minutes until the sauce has thickened and turned slightly golden. Do not overcook them!
  4. Serve with small firm boiled potatoes or a rice pilaf with saffron, and vegetables or salad to your liking.


* * * * * * *


What could be more appropriate and festive than having a nice bottle of champagne to go with the fish courses! Cheers and bon appétit !!


Finally I wish you all




Warmest greetings from



Liselotte at the cruise in November 2010 in the Mediterranean :-)
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