First posted in March, 2016.
In one of my cleaning frenzies, I came to delete this post, which was made for a dear friend. I know that it is not the same as the first time, and it won’t be in the same order as back then, but living is learning, so I am posting it once more, with my greatest apologies.
I don’t know what is wrong with me, forgetting your birthday! It must be another one of my failings?
If you had been in Denmark, this is how we would have celebrated it:
You would be wakened, if you lived with me that is, before school/work and sung a traditional Danish Birthday song:
“I dag er det “Your name here” fødselsdag”
Hurra! Hurra! Hurra!
Hun/Han sikkert sig en gave får,
som hun/han har ønsket sig i år,
og dejlig chokolade med kager til
Og når hun/han hjem fra skolen/arbejde/ferie går
Hurra! Hurra! Hurra!
Så skal hun/han hjem og holde fest,
og hvem der kommer med som gæst,
får dejlig chokolade med kager til
The classic Danish Birthday song is sung at most parties, regardless of ones age. The song found last year didn’t survive my deletion process, but this one is just as good: (starts at 0:20)
Then you might open your presents, while still in bed. Most birthday people will give their friends and family a party, inviting them to the following:
- buttered rolls, usually homemade. Served with hot chocolate and whipped cream.
- en kagemand (a cake-man, or woman) which is made with a topping of brown sugar. For you brave lovers of the Danish Language, here is one of the many recipes to be found on the Internet:
- source: amo.dk
- the cake is topped with candy, frosting, or whatever is sweet and tasty!
Again, I apologize for not knowing/remembering your birthday.
I’ll try to be better next year.
Happy Birthday to you! Tillykke med fødselsdag!
Sometimes, my memory plays tricks on me.
Sometimes, I forget what I should remember, but then I remember, but not as long as it will take me to forget.
Like important dates. No, not the kind where I meet some foreign person, being someplace where she shouldn’t be, meeting with someone who shouldn’t be meeting with her, but considers doing so anyway, if he remembers to do so, anyway.
But that is not about me, and I would disavow any knowledge of that, if I remember to do so.
No, dates like the Queen’s birthday. When the Royals have a birthday in Denmark all of the buses in the Country fly small Danish Flags from the Top/front of the bus. Easy right? If only they did that when the Queen alone had a birthday, and not all of the Princes, and the Crown Prince and his wife, and his brother, who would be second in line to the throne, if his older brother didn’t get himself born first, and so on.
I remember how Fred Flintstone always remembered his wedding anniversary. It always fell on Garbage Day! His friend and neighbor, Barney Rubble, wished that he could be as lucky as Fred!
Nope. No shortcuts for me. The most important days probably would be Birthdays, but the older we get, the less important they seem to be. Others, though, seem to revel in that fact, but only if those forgetful types tend to remember them? I should tie a string on my finger, or better yet, make some sort of digital reminder on my Cell Phone.
The next problem would be some sort of Tone to remind me of that/those events. As I’ve gotten older, the lower tones are harder if not impossible to hear. What if I chose something loud and raucous instead? Might be a plan, but what if that event isn’t concerning someone who has received the Stamp of Approval from my wife? “Why would you want to remember Canada’s National Day?”, She might ask. I then would have to make up some plausible story about how the Canadians, not necessarily any that have visited us in the past, were really celebrating some sort of Danish Holiday, disguised as their own, sort of like Norway and Sweden pretending that they are Sovereign Nations, and not still a part of Denmark!
How to celebrate these forgotten events? Well, Memory Training might be a start, otherwise celebrating them won’t be necessary, which might just save me a load of money, and the embarrassment of not remembering, which I didn’t anyway.
At the end of this blog, I can see that I still can’t quite relate, just what I needed to tell you that I’d forgotten to remember?
Perhaps the Queen will forgive me anyway, seeing as how I’d forgotten her Birthday over the past 25 years anyway.
I’ll write another blog, if I do see those flags on the buses,
but only if I remember to do so……
I would like to believe in ghosts. Really!
OK. I wouldn’t want to lie to you, but sometimes I feel that there are supernatural forces at work here in Northern Denmark.
There are still a number of empty fields here in the outskirts of Aalborg, Denmark’s 4th largest city. There was a battle fought here in 1534 by a fellow named Skipper Clement. He was a troublemaker of sorts and encouraged the farmers and peasants of the time to rebel against the enemies of the Danish King. How do y0u do that? Why by burning the farms and residences of the richer landowners both regular and those owned by the church. He was finally caught and has his head chopped off, but then that’s what the price is for rebelling and causing mayhem!
No matter. As he was doing his deeds around these parts, the Historical Museum goes about with a largish tractor and digs around for traces of Danish History. A museum official told one of the neighbors that Good Old Skipper might have been rebelling in one of the nearby fields, and they might do more investigations later on.
Those marks in the ground are now covered by weeds, and all have forgotten that silly talk about what might be found, but….
What if it was the ghost of Skipper Clement that caused my clothes dryer to stop working? It worked fine. I moved it to the floor, then placed it back on its platform. Dead! The electrician couldn’t find anything wrong with it which means that we’ve become more Eco-friendly, by drying our wash outside over the past 2 years.
The kids are troublesome as well. OK, some might say that is how teenagers are, but….
The wife is also a bit pesky from time to time. Some might say that almost 30 years of marriage might have something to do with that, but….
The neighbors also speak to each other in strange tongues! OK. They speak Danish, and that might be explained by us living in Denmark, but….
My own bones seem to be more creaky with time, as well as the feeling that I am getting less-young than I used to be. Age, you might say?, but…..
The signs are unmistakable. There are spirits at work here, perhaps there is one sitting next to me as I type?
Not being a member of the Danish Church might just be in my favor right now, and by sporting whiskers on my face, I am rebelling against my wife, but….
I might just be the victim of blogging on Friday? Usually the worst day of the week for me to do so, but……
Funny how music affects us.
I was watching the Inauguration yesterday, as was most of the rest of the world, I’d imagine, but was struck, not by the rhetoric, nor the many comments (in Danish) from the commentators, by the music playing in the background.
It’s not every day that I hear “America the Beautiful”, or the “Star Spangled Banner”. Especially when the first song was sung, it brought back memories of being an American, in the USA.
I’m not going to get my mini Stars and Stripes, nor will I comment on the new guy vs. the old guy, but it was the music that really got my attention.
It’s like when I read this post:
https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/54774221/posts/1252577306 about Pearl Harbor.
Again, it was not the subject matter, but the mention of the date 7 December, that awoke a memory in me from my distant past. It occurs every year on that date, but it is no good telling my co-workers about it as they were not born and raised in the Good Old US of A. Pearl Harbor is just a historical event, and not more than that, but it is the date that reminds me of something else.
Yesterday, I got the same feeling, when I heard “America the Beautiful” sung on the steps of the Capitol Building. It reminded me of when I lived in the States, and I didn’t consider the rest of the world, other than wondering about those foreign places, when looking at a map, or hearing/seeing it on the news. We were all Americans, so it didn’t seem to be necessary as having to explain, or defend that idea, as I have done over the last 25 years living in Denmark.
I would imagine that it is not easy governing a Country, big or small, and the person that has that responsibility has a big job ahead. Every elected official makes promises both before and after the election, but it is only time that will show, how those promises will/will not be to anything.
I would like to wish the new guy luck in his endeavors, and hope that he makes good of his 4-year term. I wouldn’t want to take sides in this issue, as everyone deserves a chance in this life to show what they are worth, and he does too.
Happy New Guy USA, and PS – I loved the music!
OK. Here is my list of resolutions for 2017. What? Late, some might say, but then they have said things like that before, but in being late, then I’ve had the chance to reflect a bit more, before revealing my final list, which is my only list, and which I’ll now make up as I go!
- Less of what I used to do, but more of the same
- Admitting to what everyone knew I’d done, but not me, myself before threatened with the truth
- Wanting change, but fearing redoing what I never got to finish in 2016
- Releasing exciting and informative blog material, just not on this site
- Writing witty and lovable blogs under an assumed name, which is not my own
- Sweeping up old blogs, but not tossing them into the bin, before I’ve recycled them
- Telling as many truths to my readers, as my guilty conscience permits
- Not wanting to write a blog a day, without deleting what I wrote the day before
- Telling about my addiction to caffeine-free tea, while sipping double strength coffee
- Not telling others that I am hopelessly in love with someone, who they don’t know, and neither do I
- Trying to write blogs of a confusing nature, but keeping track of my lies, so that I can explain, why I wrote such silly stuff in the first place
- Wanting to visit some cold place, not necessarily the dog house, where I often reside, while the dog lives inside, looking out at me
- Being unfashionably late, after telling everyone that it won’t happen again, while I am enjoying life in another place, far far away from where I said I’d been
- Writing things like resolutions for people who stopped reading them at line 2, or perhaps not reading them at all, and who have gone on to better things in life
- Waiting for a sign from above telling me that I really do know how to write blogs, and not just because someone in Canada keeps telling me lies, that I do…….
This year hasn’t been that good to me -Stocking-wise. That’s OK, as I am not much one for the Christmas Ho, Ho, Hos, like the others around me.
Today, being Christmas Eve Day, is one where the family is at home (finally) waiting and enjoying the minutes and (Ow!) hours until the big event. Even though the kids are a bit bigger now than they have been in the past, they still enjoy celebrating Christmas in Denmark!
I’ve take a few photos to show you all, what the day is starting to look like, while the rain pounds down outside. I’m really glad we washed the windows the other day!
Oh well. It does make my hard efforts look good, regardless…
The last presents have been wrapped.
And the rice pudding is on the stove, on low heat.
I’ve been instructed to stir, many times. Many, many times.
Oranges with whole cloves. A Danish Christmas Thing!
Christmas Dog. Note the green and red blankets! Very theme orientated.
Almost a parting thought from Denmark,
What was in my Christmas Stocking?
Why Christmas Socks, of course! It says, “Life is too good for boring stockings!”
God Jul fra Danmark.
Oh, by the way. That, “God Jul” changes to “Glædelig Jul”. God Jul – Merry Christmas is used throughout December, while Glædelig Jul – Merry Christmas again, is wished upon others from Christmas Day 1 and 2.
Another Danish Thing. This time from the churchs’ standpoint, and what is traditionally said.
God jul hører december til, mens glædelig jul ønskes fra juledags morgen og anden juledag.
That’s how far the sun is away from me today, here in Denmark.
I didn’t just think that number up, but found it here at: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/denmark/aalborg
They were nice enough to show me how few daylight hours there were to be had today, and that the sun set 2 minutes ago at 3:40 pm (15:40).
In 2 days it’ll be….You know?
I’ve taken a few photos to entertain you with, showing the lovely day – pragtfuld in Danish, and my Danish wife’s decorations in and around our house.
The apples in the trees (for the birds) were my own addition to the festivities, and we are being (trying to anyway) by not having our tree inside the house until Christmas Eve. That is partly due to the dog, who has never played with such a thing before, but has done so with everything else!
My wife is satisfied with the level of decoration (Pynt), but if she had started earlier in the whole process, we might have been even more inundated with Nisser (elves), Engler (Angels) and candles, candles and more candles (lys).
One popular Christmas item is called: Nissedør, which is an Elf’s Door. It is seen near the bottom right, and shows a ladder, door etc, leading….somewhere.
I’ve been working on the endless lists of my wife: Clean this and that. Hang this up and put this out and don’t forget…..which I probably have forgotten, but will be reminded on again when she returns home from work.
God Jul fra Danmark, if that is not understandable, then we always have Google Translate!
PS What have I wished for myself for Christmas? Why nothing at all. I’ve had a trip to the USA and a nice birthday party with family and friends. I even made/gave my wife a new Cellphone for Christmas, no secret there as she had to order it for herself, with my help!
But rest assured, there will always be a present or two under the tree, because…well, because we are in Denmark, and no one should go without, no matter how fortunate I think I am anyway. I too am being guided by these traditions and all. No fighting the tide on this one, I’ll lose every time…..
When I met my Danish wife in the US, she told me of how much they (the Danes) went up into Christmas. If only I knew then, what I know now…..
She made all of the traditional dishes for Christmas Eve, just as she had done back home, at much as possible using American measurements instead of the good old Metric System. What was missing, you might ask? Well, this puppy for one:
This will make any weak-in-the-knees brown gravy, the correct shade of brown! No gravy can do without it! We visited a shop in the San Francisco Bay Area that all of the Au-Pair girls knew about. It had a lot of that kind of “food from home” that they missed terribly in the States.
Christmas Eve would have Roast Duck on the menu, with gravy of the correct color, then sugared potatoes:
Here is one recipe for this dish:
I’ve been out traveling to the USA, but now I wouldn’t say that I was home, not yet anyway.
Part of me is throwing the ball for my dog, and part of me is traveling in Yosemite National Park, while the rest of me is writing this blog right now.
I wouldn’t call it post-travel depression, but there is still a period of adjustment to get through. I’ve been away, you see, and that was a good thing. While there, away that is, I was almost totally away, not being able to be my Danish self, or the combination me, that has parts of many things, faces and places.
I have returned to my life, here in Denmark. I do what I’ve done for so many years now, and have interacted with those, I usually do those type of things with. The problem being, my sleep and dreams.
Jet Lag made me awake at the wrong hours after traveling 9 Time Zones back in time. That was understandable, but that should be over with, being back and all. I do find, however, certain routines that I had before my trip, hard to start with again. I’ve also decided not to have to deal with certain irritating factors, like people on Facebook, who only re-post others material, of which I don’t/didn’t agree with anyway. I’ve also told a few co workers my mind, because I felt it to be the correct time to do so. “What happened to you on your vacation?” they’d ask…..
What did happen to me on my vacation? I guess, it changed my way of thinking about certain things. Will I return to the old way of doing so? Time will tell, I suppose. It has made me more resolute in my thoughts, like when I was asked about my upcoming birthday.
“Are you going to hold a party?” my wife asked. The question was a fair one, and reflects a very Danish way of thinking (one of her failings, I suppose). I thought a bit, and said after a while, “No, not at all”. That caused some tension, with each of us retreating to our respective corners. I did, however, take the time to re-think my answer. The next day, I replied: “I’ve decided to hold a “Men only party”, which shows how I turned the argument about No way whatsoever-party, to one of my own choosing, and liking.
She nodded in acceptance. “That is an excellent idea”, which shows how my new resolve could make both of us save face, while I won a silent battle in the light of my otherwise known disdain for such events.
I guess, I’ll be wearing a party hat in a few weeks from now. I might just have the same new resolve, and new determination to be the me who went away on vacation, but returned in a new light.