Frank Jensen: The Mayor of Copenhagen Talks About His Weekend Rituals

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Frank Jensen even cycles in to City Hall Jacob Carlsen

Friday evening

On Fridays I usually leave my office around 5pm but sometimes still have to work afterwards. This weekend, I went down to Sydhavn, a working-class neighbourhood here in Copenhagen. It has good housing for workers; in fact, ex-prime minister Anker Jorgensen lived in his flat there even while he was in office. Social Democrats there were celebrating the party's anniversary, so I went to wish them happy birthday and was pleased to be able to give a speech announcing that Sydhavn is going to get its own underground station. I left around 9pm and went home to my wife, Jane. She's the head of a kindergarten, so she's very busy too and we don't get a lot of opportunities to talk during the week; we try to catch up on Friday nights.

Saturday daytime

I get up around 7am and go for a six- or seven-kilometre run, as I do every morning. Then I might run a few errands, like bike to the post office to send a birthday present to my second son, Lasse. He's caught the politics bug and is currently serving on the local city council. My father was the mayor of my hometown, Ulsted, and like him, I've been a Social Democrat all my life. Another errand was biking to the liquor store to buy a birthday present for my former chief executive officer, who's now gone to the private sector. I opted for whisky, Scottish of course. I almost always take my bike. Copenhagen is not a hilly city, so you don't get sweaty. Government ministers and CEOs ride their bikes, too. It's not a poor man's vehicle here. And it's safe. I get inspiration when I bike around, and you can talk to passers-by, which you can't do if you sit in a car.

Saturday evening

I like to watch TV programmes on Netflix. At the moment I'm on House of Cards. I watched some this weekend and then we headed out to see some friends before going to my former CEO's birthday party.

Sunday lunchtime

I like spending time with my family. Recently, my wife and I visited Elsinore Castle [Hamlet's home] with my eldest son, Rasmus, and his girlfriend. On our way home, we checked Liverpool's match against Manchester City. I grew up watching the Premier League on TV, and there were several Danes playing for Liverpool, so like many Danish boys I became a fan. As an old man I can be childish with my sons by watching football.

Sunday evening

In the evening I prepare some work for the next week and sometimes speak to local journalists. Then I might watch a crime show on TV. Right now it's a new one, Crimes Without Borders starring Lars Mikkelsen. It's exciting that Danish and Swedish crime shows have become such hits abroad, and even better that we get to see them first.

Frank Jensen: The Mayor of Copenhagen Talks About His Weekend Rituals