31 December 2015 20:53 Denmark

Well, the Queen has made her yearly speech dropping a bombshell!

Her husband has decided to drosle ned, which means that he will be more of a Pensioner from now on. At 81 years old, he might just be setting a bad example for the rest of us, who need to retire later and yet even later on, the older we get.

I’d hate to think that I’ll be discriminated against, when I turn 81. This event will be telling my employer, that my time honored status as a lifetime employee, must now be at an end. I would really feel for the guy, but I know his wife will continue to hold up her share of their common income, by continuing on as the Queen!

That announcement hasn’t stopped the festivities in Denmark. As I write, countless legal, and possibly illegal fireworks are exploding in the skies around me. I have the exciting position of watching a Danish movie classic from sometime in the 50s, which everyone, who loves a good Danish film, on an otherwise average New Year’s Eve, will be glued to the TV, watching.

The young people in the crowd have braved the nighttime temperatures in order to light their hard earned money – turned fireworks, disrupting this otherwise calm evening in Denmark.

I’d like to greet all of my blog-readers this evening, be it evening or not, and wish them a Happy You Know What. You might be somewhere, where the New Year isn’t celebrated, which would mean that I was toasting you, on your pet squirrel’s bath day, or something else in that way.

I’d also like to apologize for reminding the Weather-Gods, that Montreal needed a snowstorm! I guess, I should watch what I say next time, when mentioning Canada, and Cold in the same sentence.

Again, Happy You Know What, and say hi to your squirrel for me too.

New Year’s Eve in Denmark!

PS Be sure to be careful when you Sabler le champagne at Midnight! You wouldn’t want to spend the first day of 2016 in l’hopital, unless you really liked that kind of thing.

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I am in a Jeep traveling to the Danish Alps

My Jutland Jeep is made of sturdy stuff. I wouldn’t attempt to drive in the Danish Alps without it.

I am in a Jeep traveling up a mountain road. Many people have warned me not to attempt to visit the Alps, as they only exist in one person’s imagination. I am not dissuaded by this, and continue up the increasingly precarious embankment.

I am in a Jeep surrounded by a deep mountain forest. The light has troubles penetrating the Danish Pines, making it necessary to use the front spotlight on the Jeep in order to stay safely on the road.

I must be wary for rockslides and falling boulders, due to the strong tectonic movements in the Alps. If I were a religious person, I would be praying to the local deities, or placing offers of dried fruits and nuts along the side of the road, honoring the Grubby Gerbil and his followers.

I am in a Jeep at road’s end. At this point in time, I must abandon all hope and hike to the Spires and Pinnacles of the Lofty Peaks, if the true Alps are to be enjoyed.

I am at the end of one person’s imagination, as the tales of the Alps are closed until new ideas come along.

I am at the end of this blog, but am not at the end of the stories to come.

I am a true believer in the Danish Alps…….

 

 

A New Year’s Tradition in Denmark

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve in Denmark. OK, I know it is New Year’s Eve other places too, but I can only tell about my small corner of the world.

My son (aged 14) has been waiting for this moment, since last year at the same time. For him, it means Fireworks, and only Fireworks. He’s saved up his money, and has carefully chosen just what he wanted to buy (only changing his mind in the process at least 3 times, over the past 3 days).

Here is his choice:

fyrværkeri bilka

Source: Bilka avis

I softened up and paid for ½ of the price, which he didn’t object to at all.

My wife has broken the bank, and purchased at least twice the amount of necessary foodstuffs and party favors. Just like any other sensible Dane would do! We’ll start with the Queen’s speech at 6 pm (18 Hours) and will be a total of 2 adults and 4 young people. My daughter is considered an adult with her 18 years, but her parents might just dispute that fact in this instance.

The young boys – 3 of them will probably be lighting a number of these fireworks :

heksehyl

Source: THansen

Heksehyl – or Witch’s Cry/Scream are small fireworks which when lit, scream for a few seconds! Exciting Stuff!

We have a dinner planned with “Tapas”, without calling them as such, or the young people will probably refuse to eat them.

The intensity of fireworking increases until Midnight. That causes the boys to run outside and exclamations of  ooohs, and aaahs, permeate their yells until the next firework display begins. The TV will run faithfully in the background, with programs usually highlighting the Year Past.

Here is the TV guide for tomorrow night:

tv new years eve

Source: DR TV, Denmark

At 23:40 the program, 90års fødselsdag will be shown, which is a tradition in itself. Original Title: Dinner for one, with Freddie Frinton and Mary Warden – available for viewing on YouTube.

At 23:55, or 5 minutes to Midnight, the TV screen will be changed to view the Town Hall Clock in Copenhagen. The last few minutes will mark the countdown to the New Year. After Midnight, there will be a Church Service shown, or concerts from other Countries.

The boys will be running outside, with safety goggles on, filled with excitement. In a city of 160,000 there will be more than enough to see, with countless airborne displays of fireworks at their best. After ½ hour has gone by, the most of the fireworks will be history, but the images, sights and sounds will still be in our minds.

Inside the house awaits various drinks, as well as kransekage (Marzipan Ring Cake), which is a traditional cake usually served on New Year’s Eve. kransekageure

That was my resume of New Year’s Eve in Denmark. I’ve experienced it many times before, but can be heartily recommended if you happen to be in Denmark at this time of year.

Godt Nytår fra Danmark!

 

 

who have I done what to and why?

i’ve done some sort of incorrect movement. it must have occurred around 3 days before now.

that’s usually the incubation period for an incorrect movement. i did something, or someone wrong, and now i have to pay for it.

it hurts starting each sentence with capitals, but commas seem to help.

i have tried sleeping in every conceivable way, shape and form, but nothing seems to help. if i lift my left leg, i can’t lift my right leg. if i roll over, then i can’t roll back. i’ve done someone wrong and now it’s payback time!

did i move left, and look up, or did i forget to look up and move right? it’s so hard trying to remember, just what i did wrong, now that nothing is right!

i went for a walk, in order to get things moving again. every step was carefully placed, but if my foot had to rise up, just a bit, it went ow.

perhaps, i should have sung along with the others, during the christmas eve church service. maybe i was thinking about myself again, and not those less fortunate.

i try to grin and bear it, but the bears wouldn’t even want what i have.

i have made some sort of incorrect movement. i wish to apologize to those who i have wronged, and promise to make it up somehow.

i’m looking forward to tomorrow, and hope that i only will have correct movements. i am also looking forward to using capital letters again, as those wavy red lines, also seem to go ow.

i only hope that the movements that i make today, won’t be my downfall in another 3 days. i will try to remember exactly what i am doing, sitting here, writing this blog, and why.

perhaps i did the same thing 3 days ago

and that was wrong too…..

The Queen’s New Year’s Speech in Denmark

Each and every year, for as long as I can remember, the Danish Queen has made a speech on New Year’s Eve at 6pm (1800 Hours) to the Danish People.

As with any Royal event, my wife is ready for anything and this one is no exception. We always prepare some sort of mixed drink, in order to toast the Queen at the end of her speech. My late Father in-law would have grunted in all the right places, thus showing his acknowledgement of her thoughts, or disagreeing without saying it outright.

The Royalty have no real power, having to relinquish it to Democracy way back in 1849, when the Grundlov, or Constitution became the real power of the people. They are though present throughout the year at events throughout the whole of Denmark, the Faeroe Islands, and Greenland.

The speech usually mentions highlights of the year past, with an occasional uplifted finger, or a cloaked opinion at something which she might not consider to be a good thing in, or for Denmark.

The Queen ends her speech by mentioning all the Danes who are at work on New Year’s Eve, while the rest of us are celebrating. She also greets the Military, the Police and all Public Servants, wishing them a Happy New Year.

At the end of her speech, she uses these words, “GUD BEVARE DANMARK”. God save Denmark, thus ending her speech for the year.

We finish off this event by making a toast to her and her speech, leaving the news people situated outside her Palace to examine, and comment on her words to the Danish People.

That was my resume of this (still coming) yearly event, seeing it from an outsider’s point of view. I have only been here since 1991, and can’t be expected to completely understand, how a native Dane thinks and feels about this event.

Happy New Year – Godt Nytår fra Danmark!

Plans for 2016

Here are my plans for 2016. A lot of you have been eagerly waiting for my yearly announcement, outlining my vast expectations, and wishes for the upcoming year.

Uh, I don’t really have any! I have never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions, but I can run a few by you, which I probably don’t intend to follow, just so you won’t be disappointed:

  • spend less time writing blogs, using more time on my family
  • spend less time writing blogs about my poor wife, encouraging her to read at least one of them in the course of 2016
  • spend more time writing blogs, focusing on quality instead of quantity
  • deleting 1/3 of my blogs as I write them, in order to save time from deleting that amount this last weekend
  • focusing less on Canada, choosing a new Country to weave into my stories
  • focusing more on Canada, perhaps using the 1-2-3 River Writing Approach which allows me more freedom of thought
  • not changing my theme more than 2 times throughout the year
  • refusing to mention Toki Pona in an attempt to show just how useless I am in learning it
  • refusing to write blogs like this one, which stretches one’s patience to an all time high
  • enticing you to read this yearly announcement, even though I only started writing blogs in July 2015
  • focus on adding more categories, then deleting them in order to satisfy my boredom
  • reinstating Blogging as a category, in order to place this blog in its rightful place (I deleted it last week, you know)
  • coming up with more ideas for a blog, before starting one like this here

I hope that satisfies your curiosity? If not, then add “not” as the first word in each sentence, unless it ends up in a double negative, “not not” which is not good grammar in English.

But then, who cares anyway?

Toki Pona, shorthand version wanted

I know, I know. Toki Pona again you might ask?

I guess, if I really were serious about TP, then I should keep it to myself. You know, it’s kind of like saying that you are quitting smoking, or running to lose weight, or giving up chasing women, because your wife thinks it is a good idea!

I should really start learning TP in secret. Kind of like Victoria Secret, but not really! I could act all mysterious and secretive, tempting others to draw me out in the open, only to have their curiosity dashed on the rocks of despair.

I could use a flashlight in bed, under the covers, reading the latest developments in this language of languages! I might just be walking down the street, acting nonchalant, thinking about the next time that I’ll be speaking TP to my secret TP friends.

I might just make a code name for it, instead of saying TP, it could be T=20 and P=16. I should add them together for good measure=36.

Have you seen any good articles on 36 today? Everyone would grab their cell phones and google 36. Let me see, “Wine them, Dine them, and …”. No, that was the wrong number. It is a perfect square, but then a lot of people have also said that about me…

I might forget that it was 20+16. What if it were 18+18? I might have to learn a whole new language, like Tony Bennett, or Pony Tony?

This is getting way too complicated. I just wanted to make my life easier in learning Toki Pona, Dang! Now I’ve let the cat out of the bag.

I wouldn’t want you to think that I’ve started learning TP, or 36 again. It just slipped out. My friends are going to make fun of me again. “Why don’t you just stick to the other 4 languages you’ve been trying to learn for the past 20 years? Why venture into the unknown?”

All I wanted was a shorthand version of:

o tenpo sike li open pona!

That is Toki Pona for Happy New Year!

If I still can only remember Soweli, land animal, then it’s next to impossible to learn o tenpo sike li open pona! and sound like a native speaker, if I can remember it at all!

Maybe, if I converted the letters to numbers, and added them together, it would help me to remember….

… what was that I said about chasing women? I’m sure I’d be better at remembering that…

 

I am living at North Point, San Francisco

I am from Los Angeles, California. One of my sisters live in San Francisco. She has invited me to live with her in her apartment.

I am living in an apartment at North Point, San Francisco.

Northpoint

Borrowed from Google Maps.

My sister has just gotten an offer to travel around the world. She has offered me her apartment, with parking garage in the North Point area of San Francisco, with the rent paid for the next 2 months. The world famous Fisherman’s Wharf is close by, which is a large tourist area, with possibility for purchase of fish, especially Crabs, which were my favorite seafood at that time.

It is easy to catch a Cable Car from where I live, or walk along the docks on the north side of the city.

I’ve been looking for work, but it seems like I’m not qualified to do most of what is being offered. I’ve taken my savings with me, and that should last me for those 2 months.

I am living in San Francisco, California. I have been spending time along the coast on the western end of the city. There are nice views of the Golden Gate Bridge here, as well as a restaurant called the Cliff House.

Somewhere along the way, I’ve met 2 young people from Canada. They are traveling around the US, and have now reached San Francisco. I think, they’ve come from a city called Calgary in Alberta. Somehow we get along enough to invite them to live with me, while I still am renting the apartment at North Point.

I am unemployed, living in an apartment in San Francisco. I have 2 guests from Canada staying with me. I know that without a job, I’ll be returning to Los Angeles at the end of my stay. San Francisco is nice, but I know my way around Los Angeles better.

I’ve had a nice time, but some memories of my stay are rather fuzzy due to some sort of illegal substance, which is ingested by smoking. It’s one of those funny things that my long gone sister taught me, and what was a sort of hobby, at that time in my life. In the late 70s, I changed that hobby with others, leaving that fuzzy time to reside in the past where it belongs.

Here is a fuzzy memory that still exists, from that time.1975-03

and it is indeed fuzzy. Taken from Sausalito, just North of San Francisco, California.

 

I am on an island in Norway

66.15 North Latitude, 12.31 East Longitude.

That is my location. The island is 5.8 square kilometers, and is flat.

I am on an island in Northwestern Norway. Only 60 people live on the island. They speak Norwegian, with a strong local dialect. I am not good at understanding Norwegian, and not good at all understanding what is spoken on that island.

I am going fishing for Cod. I am fishing for Cod by pilkning. Pilkning implies using a weighted fishing line, with a row of hooks, which is moved up and down, attracting the Cod, without the use of bait. It is called “Fishing for Cod with a Jig” in English.

I am very successful at “Jigging for Cod”. The boat is filled with fish. I think that it is amazing, catching fish without bait. The people that I am visiting, fish all summer long, taking the fish back with them to the capital, Oslo. They enjoy eating their summer fish all winter long.

I am sitting in a house waiting for the sun to set. It is 5 July, the day after the 4th, which right now, doesn’t mean what it used to, to an American sitting in a wooden house on the island of Vandve, in Norway. I am also waiting for the sun to rise, after it has passed behind a mountain on an adjacent island called Lovund. The colors of morning have started. It is 1:30 am and the sun is rising.

july 5 1999 130am vandve1

If I had been here at the Summer Solstice, I wouldn’t have seen the sun set. It would have made a downwards arch towards the horizon, then made its way back up into the sky.

My companion for this experience is a Norwegian named Berit. She lives in Oslo for the rest of the year. She and her husband come to this island during the summer, where they stay at his Childhood Home.

I have been trying to carry a conversation with her for the last 4 hours. I am speaking Danish, and she is speaking Norwegian. If I had been a Dane, I would have had an easier time understanding her, but I am not a Dane. I know it would be easier for me to speak English, but being in tune with Norway, I use Danish instead.

I have almost reached the level of understanding, Norwegian that is, but we have reached the end of the Sun’s show. Now it is time for bed, though I wish to remain awake, since it is so light. I reluctantly retire for bed, but not before I take a walk around the house, breathing in the new day, and enjoying the sounds of morning, at 1:45am.

I carry with me that experience, even though many years have passed on by. There is nothing better, than trying something new, even though it was experienced through another language (or 2) and in another Country, other than my own, far far away.

I might not be a Dane, but on that night, I was almost a Norwegian!

 

 

Christmas Eve in Denmark, seen by an outsider

**Written on 24 December 2015. 00:43 Danish Time, Central European Time. GMT+1 Hour**

Christmas Eve in Denmark is the main event for this Holiday.

Most if not all Danes will be opening their presents tonight, but that is not the main event.

Some will be decorating their tree, which has been waiting out in the backyard, or on the terrace outside the apartment, until the right moment arrives.

The evening dinner may be Duck, Goose, Turkey, or Roast Pork. We will be having a French Duck, with Roast Pork on the side. The main course will be served with boiled potatoes, candied potatoes (with brown sugar), red cabbage (pickled, or in our case, a raw salad with oranges and walnuts), and for some strange reason, potato chips.

A number of people will eat dessert in the form of Risengrød, Rice Pudding, or Risalamande – Rice in the style with almonds. We only eat Rice Pudding, but ours is served at lunchtime. A single, or sometimes more almonds are blanched, with their skin removed then added to the Pudding. The lucky finder of the almond(s) wins a small prize, usually marzipan, or candy of sorts.

When Christmas Dinner is put away, and cleaned up in the kitchen, everyone collects around the Christmas Tree. Small booklets with traditional Danish Christmas Songs are sung, while moving around the tree, lit with real candles. The final song, Nu Er Jul Igen – “Now it is Christmas again”, is sung, while dancing around the tree, or perhaps through the house, hand in hand, with each verse thus changing the direction in which to go.

Upon completion, soft drinks might be served, with the present opening to follow. Depending on the size of the family, or the number of presents, this event can take some time to complete. When it is finished, and the tree has been emptied of presents, small pieces of homemade sweets, and/or Christmas Cookies will be served.

That is my version of events, which traditionally take place in our home. There are probably many variations of this event, just as there are many variations in the way that families have always done the same ritual, passed down over time.

Most Danes can recognize at least some of my descriptions, but then I am only an outsider to these traditions. No matter how many years I have experienced them, they will always mean something different to me, not being born in this Country, or raised in the Danish way.

Glædelig Jul!

**dk time

Courtesy of Greenwich Mean Time.com