Big Prayer Day? Time for big rolls!

With Easter behind us, we are counting down to the strangest day on the Danish religious calendar. This Friday, 22 April, is Stor Bededag. ’Big Prayer Day’! Those crazy Danes decided back in 1686 that there were just too many religious holidays during the year. So they lumped the minor ones together, four weeks after Easter and – voilà – Stor Bededag was born. It’s an official holiday so Denmark will be ‘closed’ on Friday, and the kids are off school. It’s time to get out in the garden, work on a DIY project, make a trip to Tivoli Gardens or just chill at home. And eat big rolls! (More on that later in this post.) But many Danes will make a day trip to Sweden or Germany, where it’s business as usual and cash registers will be working overtime.

Big Prayer Day was traditionally a time to fast and pray.  And, though I’ve yet to meet a Dane who willingly goes to church (apart – selvfølgelig – from christenings and weddings), a lot of Danes will be attending church this Friday.  Not for regular church services but for confirmation ceremonies. Which was actually the case for us last year, when it was our son’s turn to go through this very traditional Danish rite of passage…

bededag

 

Want to know more about Danish confirmation and the traditional “Blue Monday” that follows it?  Then go read my post “When Blue Monday isn’t New Order!”

But the biggest tradition associated with Stor Bededag is eating hveder on Thursday night.  What are hveder?  Large, fluffy, pale, basic white bread rolls which you halve, toast and butter.  You’ll find them on sale at the bakers but be warned that – despite their modest ingredients – they don’t come cheap!

I gave up queuing for them at the bakers years ago and just buy the ready-made ones from the supermarket.  Best enjoyed warm with a nice cuppa!

After you’ve had your hveder, you’re supposed to go for a stroll around the city ramparts at Kastellet (Copenhagen Citadel).  You don’t live near Kastellet?  Well, sit back, relax and enjoy Denmark’s finest rock band, Magtens Korridorer singing about a picnic at the Citadel…  (If the guy pretending to sing in the video looks familiar, it’s Nicholas Bro, an actor who was in the The Killing (II) and Borgen. Oh! And let’s not forget the third season of Broen/Bron/The Bridge 😉

Picnic på Kastellet” (Picnic at the Citadel).

And me? I’m praying for some warmer weather. It has been exceptionally chilly (not to mention wet and windy) so far this spring, so we’re still waiting for everything to start blooming.

bededag2

God Stor Bededag!

Diane :)


My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar – 19 December (Weird and wonderful)

Welcome back to My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar!  Join me every day in opening a new door.  Once again, I’ve got a host of goodies to share with you – traditional Danish Christmas recipes, traditions, songs, games, decorations, crafts and landscapes…  So sit back, relax and enjoy!

19 DECEMBER

I was in town last week with the kids, looking at the Christmas lights and displays.  Now, I now they are going for the ‘wow’ factor but this year ILLUM(a Danish department store) has more of a “shock and awe” factor.  Did they take inspiration from the second season of the tv series The Bridge / Broen / Bron?  Need a reminder about that scandi crime series ?  Here’s a little snippet…note the animal masks!

And here, dear readers, are the ILLUM window displays.  Am I the only one who finds them a bit creepy? 😉

This one doesn’t have a leg to stand on…boom, boom!

Flødeboller arranged as a Christmas tree?  Okay, we did like this one…

Rabbit head plus little glowing baby/child = extra creepy!

Oh, well, at least the animal choir were pretty fun to watch.  They danced along to the song, “I’m too sexy.”

But what is the front one holding?!  Oh, yes.  A bra – selvfølgelig!

And this last window?  Words fail me…

It was a relief to go round the corner…

…and get back to some normal Christmas lights.  (If you want to see the lights at Tivoli this year, see Tuesday’s post.)

Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow when we open the next door!

Diane :)


My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar – 16 December (Jazz and Tivoli)

Welcome to My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar!  Join me every day in opening a new door.  Once again, I’ve got a host of goodies to share with you – traditional Danish Christmas recipes, traditions, songs, games, decorations, crafts and landscapes… So sit back, relax and enjoy!

16 DECEMBER

I have a few Christmas ‘outing’ traditions.  One is taking in a julestueor two, and another is listening to some live jazz – with our favourite Mads Mathias.  We’ve seen him in lots of small venues (see the photo below from a couple of years ago) but this year we’re going to see him perform at Koncerthusetwith DR’s Big Band orchestra…should be a fun night!  🙂

Mads Mathias at Huset i Magstræde, January 2013

And we always (always) make a trip to Tivoli.  We’ve got membership cards and visit the park and gardens all year round (Easter, the whole of summer, Halloween) but, personally, I love seeing all the lights and decorations in December.  Hyggeligt!

tivoli1

We went in late yesterday afternoon (about 4.45pm) and, as luck would have it, it was actually very quiet and we didn’t have to queue for any of the rollercoasters.  Lookie here – space to move around! 🙂

tivoli7

We did the usual rides like the Chair’o’planes, the old Rollercoaster, the Odin Express and the Demon.  But didn’t bother with the Star Flyer because it’s really cold and windy when you get so high up! 😉 (That would be 80m or 260ft!)

tivoli5

Love all the giant nutcrackers on top of the concert building!

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The swans were out in force in front of Nimb, but they had to make do with articifial snow and ice.  Current temperature here is a mild (for the time of year…) 4c or 39f.

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And, really, what could be more romantic than a trip on a slow boat to…Copenhagen? 😉  My DD12 wondered how long it took for the staff to attach all the lights to that tree.  Whilst I (the grown up/Canny Scot) was wondering just how much it would cost to run in electricity! 😛

tivoli3

If you’re looking for a nice bite to eat, then head for Grøften, which is very traditional and has been serving food to the Danes – and lots of famous visitors – since 1874.  Here’s my Dear Dad from Scotland, about to tuck into a stjerneskud (fried plaice topped with prawns and caviar) and a julebryg last year….

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You can even do a bit of Christmas shopping at Tivoli’s Christmas market.  We thought these were rather quaint…hard-boiled toffees with different Danish motifs (Dannebrog, H.C.Anderson, the Daisy, the Swan).  Now to get them wrapped, labelled and put under the tree.  [Oh, wait a minute, we haven’t brought the tree into the house yet!]

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Eight sleeps to go – need to and check my lists (twice).  Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow when we open the next door!

Diane :)


My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar – 8 December (MC Einar and shopping)

Welcome back to My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar!  Join me every day in opening a new door.  Once again, I’ve got a host of goodies to share with you – traditional Danish Christmas recipes, traditions, songs, games, decorations, crafts and landscapes… So sit back, relax and enjoy!

8 DECEMBER

How are you doing with your gift shopping?  Everything bought, wrapped and tagged?  I have!  Well, almost…only a few more pressies to wrap, and then I can finally put away all this wrapping paper, ribbon and tape! :)

Are you enjoying all the Christmas sights and sounds?

Do the shop windows fill you with awe?  I am a sucker for anything silver!  (Gold Christmas decorations, go home!)

The above window is from a little independent store called ‘Kirk’, which is filled to the gunnels with quirky nick nacks, whatever the season (Kompagnistræde 11, the street that runs parallel with Strøget).

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Or maybe the sight of those shop windows is giving you yuletide stress?!  Here’s one of my favourite Danish Christmas songs which – ho, ho, ho – mentions the stress of Christmas shopping in Magasin – one of Denmark’s oldest department stores (now, sadly, owned by the British chainstore Debenhams).

MC Einar‘s rap song “Jul, det’ cool!” (‘Yule, it’s cool’) is not only catchy but absolutely spot on with its lyrics! ;)

“….It’s Christmas, it’s cool, have a look around,
15,000 people in Magasin.
They have wet leather shoes, they have scarves on,
and they have coats, gift packs, lots they have to do;
but they’re enjoying themselves – of course they are!
plastic stars, plastic fir trees and plastic snow…”

Turns out that those crazy Danes love the song too…because it’s the third ’most played’ Christmas song in Denmark (after Chris Rea and Wham!).  (You can see what other songs are top of Julemanden‘s hitlist here.)  And now for our singalong…

.

“JUL, DET’ COOL” – MC EINAR

Det skete i de dage i november engang,
at de første kataloger satte hyggen i gang.

Det jul, det cool, det nu man hygger sig bedst.
Det er julebal i Nisseland, familiernes fest.
Med fornøjet glimt i øjet, trækker folk i vintertøjet,
til den årlige folkevandring op og ned af Strøjet.
Der bli’r handlet pakket ind, og der bli’r købt og solgt,
tøsne snot i næsen det er pissekoldt.
Det er vinter, man forventer vel lidt kulde og sne;
men det’ er da klart at så’n en sag kommer bag på DSB.
Intet vrøvl har de forsvoret, det de helt sikker på;
men ved den første rim på sporet går møllen i stå.
Folk de tripper, skælder ud, ser på deres ure,
og sparker efter invalide, ynkelige duer.
Der er intet man kan gøre og de sure buschauffører,
gør det svært at praktisere julehumøret.
“Gå så tilbage, for helvede,” råber stodderen hæst.
Men det jul, det cool, det nu man hygger sig bedst.

Det jul, det cool, graner lirekasser,
der er mænd, der sælger juletræer på alle åbne pladser.
12 bevægelige nisser og en sort mekanisk kat
i et vindue ud mod Strøjet trækker flere tusind watt.
Kulørte julegave pakker i kulørte juleposer,
selv i Bilka, Irma og alle landets Brugser,
er der ægte julestemning og gratis brunekager,
der er hylder fyldt med hygge, der er hygge på lager,
og hos damerne i Illum kan man få det som man vil,
“Kontant eller på konto, hr.? Skal prisen dækkes til?”
De smiler og er flinke, mest til fruerne i minker
og gi’r gode råd om alt fra sexet undertøj til sminker,
og vi andre fattig røve, vi kan gå i Dalle Valle,
der er damerne så flinke, at de smiler pænt til alle.
Der er masser tøj i kasser, der helt sikker passer.
Det jul, det cool, graner lirekasser.

Det jul, det cool, kig dig lidt omkring,
15.000 mennesker i Magasin.
De har våde lædersko, de har halstørklæder på,
og de har overfrakker, gave, pakker, masser de skal nå;
men de hygger sig selvfølgelig gør de det,
plastikstjerner, plastikgran og plastiksne.
Sætter stemning i systemer, det så nemt og nul problem,
og kød blot julestuens julesæt med fire fine cremer,
eller sukkerkrukker, pyntedukker, pænt mondænt og ganske smukt
og søde sæt proptrækker, glas og øloplukker.
Fra en skjult højtaler installation
“Et barn er født i Betlehem” i Hammodorgelversion,
vi traditionsbundne folk i traditionernes land,
så vi hygger os li’ så fint vi kan,
og særlig uundværlig det er Magasin.
Det jul, det cool, kig dig lidt omkring.

(Højtaler lyde, som slutter med “Jamen du godeste er det allerede”)
jul, det cool sikke tiden den går,
der er intet lavet om siden sidste år,
det de samme ting vi spiser ,det de samme ting vi laver,
det de samme ting i TV, det de samme julegaver,
samme penge problemer det dyrt og hårdt,
udelukkende overtrukne kontokort.
Overflod og fråds med familie og med venner,
samvittigheden klares med en Ulandskalender.
Det er julefrokost tid traditionsspilleri,
spritkørsel, utroskab og madsvineri,
vi har prøvet det før vi ved præcis hvad der sker,
slankekur i januar og alt det der,
det et slid; men der er lang tid til næste år.
Det jul, det cool sikke tiden den går.

Okay, it’s a (w)rap.  Hurry up and get your Christmas shopping done, then relax with a cup of something warm and soothing, like varm kakao and a couple of klejner.  (Or maybe some gløgg and æbleskiver?)

And don’t forget to check back here tomorrow when we open the next door!

Diane :)


Play Danish Music (To)Day!

Eek!  Where does the time go?  This is the fifth year here on this blog that I’m writing about “Spil Dansk” (Play Danish Music) Day! 🙂

Which keen readers will remember is celebrated on the last Thursday of October…  Want to trawl through my old posts on the subject?  Here they are:

2013  HEY, MR DJ, PUT A (DANISH) RECORD ON, I WANNA DANCE WITH MY BABY!

2012  HAPPY “PLAY DANISH MUSIC” DAY!

2011  SPIL DANSK!

2010  PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC, DANISH BOY?

Today – Thursday – the only music you’ll hear on Danish radio is by Danish groups (some of which also sing in English), Danish songwriters, Danish producers etc.  But if you’re interested in Hit Lists and what you’d normally expect to hear around these parts – and what people actually buy and add to their collections – then take a look at Hitlisten.nu where you’ll find every official Danish list.

And what I’m I currently listening to?  Well – selvfølgelig – the latest album from Magtens Korridorer!  Where my sweetie friend R is a guitarist…  It’s called “Før alting bliver nat” (Before everything turns to night).   Magtens K. are nominated again (again, again, again) for this years Danish Music Awards.  This time in the category “Best Live Act”.  Yep, no doubt about that – they’ve been called Folkets Rockband (“The Danish People’s Rockband”)!  Two thumbs up!  Or should that be – as in their logo – one thumb up and two fingers forward? 😛

Here’s one of their quieter offerings from the new album, complete with beautiful images of Copenhagen by night and, hey, even the lyrics – so you can practise your Danish and sing along!

Happy ‘Spil Dansk‘ Day!  Remember to turn it up to 11!

Diane 🙂


We're off to bed, kids! Right here on your tv!

Can’t find anything decent to watch at 8pm?  Then you might want to tune in to one of the more bizarre sights on Danish children’s tv.  People in bed.  Sleeping. 😉

At the top of the screen there’s a live ticker, telling you how many hours it’ll be before they wake up again.  “Vi vågner om 7 timer og 53 minutter”. We’ll be awake in 7 hours and 53 minutes.  Highly addictive stuff!

The point of the programme?  Well, it’s not actually a programme as such.  At 8pm, the Ramasjang channelstops normal emissions and starts broadcasting footage of the kids’ tv presenters and characters sleeping because, well, you know, it’s that time of day when all tiny Danes really should be safely tucked up in bed.  So when little Frederik or Amalie start to protest, you can say, “Hey, get a move on!  Sigurd has his pjs on and is already fast asleep!” 😉

It’s a very soothing sight.  A clock ticks in the background.  Snores and contented sighs can be heard.  A guinea pig squeaks softly.  But, as you would expect from those crazy Danes, there’s also a bit of warped humour.  Um, what’s that strange noise?  Someone with a bad case of wind?! But then the camera zooms in and you can see that – selvfølgelig – it’s only someone playing an instrument in their sleep.

My personal favourite is Herr Skæg (“Mr Beard/Fun”).  In addition to his very, very, very long beard that goes down to his knees (yep, it’s real, I’ve seen him around town), he also has long legs that…

…stick right out the end of the bed.

As Mrs Meers from Thoroughly Modern Millie would say, “Everybody should be in bed by now!”  Goodnight!  And sov godt!

Diane 🙂


Eurovision is here! And I was there! #JoinUs

If you saw Tuesday’s post, you’ll know that I was gearing up to watch the first Semi-Final of Eurovision live in Copenhagen.  Oh, what a night!

We sailed from the harbour, Nyhavn…

…by specially chartered canal boats over to Refshaleøen.

 

Everybody on the boat was in high spirits and enjoyed the views of, amongst other things, the Royal Yacht – Dannebrog, which just happens to be moored right in front of the Eurovision hall.

But, disembarking, I have to admit that Refshaleøen – dubbed Eurovision Island – looks a bit of a dump.  Especially as the fans couldn’t wait to start taking photos.  Couldn’t someone at least have cut the grass and removed the weeds?! 😉

Once through security (a quick pat down, bag check and metal detector)…

…we were into the open air bar area.

Everyone was in fine fettle and we chatted to fans from all over Europe…

Even a chap who hailed from Venezuela! 🙂

We were interviewed by Danish tv.  And Dutch tv were interviewing the Swedes…

A few bottles of bubbly later (hic!), it was time to wee-wee at the porta loos before entering the old B&W building (an old shipyard).  It was then that we started to feel the “wow” factor. This place is immense!

Found our seats whilst DJ Henrik Milling blasted out Eurovision hits to get us all warmed up and ready to party.  And then we were ‘briefed’ by Jacob Riising (my favourite Danish tv presenter), about 15 minutes before we went live to millions of viewers around the world.

I have to say that – when it was showtime and the Eurovision intro anthem was played – I got goosebumps!  And then we were off – with a bang!  And partied, partied, partied for the next couple of hours…

View of the ‘open’ green room which is in the middle of the hall.

A fabulous night was had by all.  Even if we didn’t agree with the songs that were chosen to go through to Saturday’s final! 😉

So who do you think will win?  I think Austria, Sweden and Armenia will be fighting it out for the top 3.  Or perhaps Denmark?

Will you be watching?  Come and #JoinUs! 

Diane 🙂


Eurovision is here! #JoinUs?

Good evening morning, Europe!  As you may remember from Eurovision is coming!#JoinUs? waaaay back in November, Copenhagen is the host of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014.  And, yep, it’s finally here and the madness has started!  I have my tickets and a few flags at the ready… 🙂

The centre of Copenhagen has been turned into “Eurovision Village” with street kitchens, live entertainment and plenty of kitsch hits.  The shows will be held on “Eurovision Island” – an old shipyardwhich has been completely transformed.  A controversial choice of venue: lots of money involved, has gone way (way) over budget and 10,000 of us will be trying to get to the (very) isolated island by waterbus, bike and a few taxis.  Chaos ahead? Time will tell! 😛

Even if you aren’t going to any of the shows, you can walk the “Eurovision Fan Mile” from Central Station, via Strøget (the main pedestrian shopping street) along the “Eurovision Fan Mile” down to Nyhavn (the harbour).  Just follow the banners – each bearing the title of a Eurovision winner.

If you have the time, the partner and the inclination – hey – you can even have yourself a “Wonderful Wedding” cruising round the harbour or being serenaded at the Royal Opera by the Maltese Eurovision entry!    And if you’re in a same sex relationship, then what could be more apt than getting hitched on Friday 9 May?  It’s the 25th anniversary of same sex civil partnerships in Denmark and there’ll be weddings, speeches and Eurovision partying by Ved Stranden (the canal).  What’s not to love about Copenhagen?  “Love of freedom. Freedom to love.” 🙂

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But, as usual, I digress!  Right now, I’m painting my nails and looking out my glad rags. Because tonight – Tuesday – I’m off to see the First Semi-Final with a group of friends.  Who’s going to win this year?  My money is on (yet another…) Scandinavian victory.  La Suède?  12 points!  Yep, matey, you might want to change that flag for a blue and yellow one!

May the best song win!

Diane 🙂


Donald Duck, a Swede and a blonde walk into a bar…

I’ve never quite understood the Danish mania for Anders And – Donald Duck.  But my DDH (dear Danish husband), DS14 (dear son, 14) and DD12 (dear daughter, 12) are real nerds and never tire of reading (and re-reading for the umpteenth time…) the comics.

I’ve lost count of the number of Jumbobøger (“Jumbo” books – comics in paperback format) we’ve acquired over the years.

And our weekly magazine subscription is slowly taking over DD’s bedroom and oozing down into the basement…

I never read the comics myself.  Though I always, always check out the “Helt til Grin” (jokes) section! 😀

The jokes are pretty straightforward.  And often fall into the same categories.  For example, teacher/pupil jokes…

“Læreren til Ole: Hvis jeg havde en hund, og den fik 6 hvalpe, og jeg gav dig to af dem, hvor mange hunde ville du så have?

Ole: Tre

Læreren: Hvad? Hvorfor det?

Ole: Jeg havde en i forvejen…”

“Teacher to Ole: If I had a dog and it had 6 puppies, and I gave you two of them, how many dogs would you then have?

Ole: Three

Teacher: What? Why?

Ole: I already had a dog to begin with…”

The obligatory blonde jokes…

“To blondiner mødes. Den ene har en stor sportstaske med!

– Hvad har du i tasken, spørger den ene!

– Kyllinger!

– Okay, hvis jeg kan gætte, hvor mange du har, må jeg så få en?

– Hvis du gætter det, får du dem begge…

– Okay, så gætter jeg på tre!”

“Two blondes meet. One of them has a large sportsbag!

– What have you got in your back, asks one!

– Chickens!

– Okay, if I can guess how many there are, will you give me one?

– If you guess right, you can have them both…

– Okay, I think there are three!”

And – selvfølgelig – jokes about our lovely neighbours across the water, the Swedes…

“Ved du, hvordan man holder en svensker beskæftiget i timevis?

Man giver ham et stykke papir og skriver “vend” på begge sider!”

“How do you keep a Swede occupied for hours on end?

Give him a piece of paper with “turn over” written on it!”

Not forgetting our fellow Scandinavians, the Norwegians!

“Gud havde egentligt tænkt, at Jesus skulle fødes i Norge. Der var bare et problem, som gjorde, at han måtte flytte det hele til Mellemøsten. Han kunne ikke find tre vise mænd…”

“God had actually planned for Jesus to be born in Norway.  But there was a problem which meant that he had to move the whole thing to the Middle East. He couldn’t find three wise men…”¨

Or my personal favourite from this week’s magazine:

“Hvor mange nordmænd, skal der til for at vaske en bil? Tó! Én til at holde svampen, mens den anden kører bilen frem og tilbage!

“How many Norwegians does it take to wash a car?  Two! One to hold the sponge while the other one drives the car forwards and backwards!”

Hope you ha-ha-have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Diane 🙂


World Half Marathon Copenhagen…Klar, parat, start!

***  Get the free, official IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Copenhagen 2014app (itunes and android)

for the latest information about the race, traffic info, results, etc  ***

Klar, parat, start?  I’ve just been to pick up hubby’s starting number.  He — and 29,999 other runners — are taking part in the World Half Marathon Championshipstaking place in Copenhagen tomorrow afternoon.  And before you ask…please, no questions about his estimated time!  Given that DDH (Dear Danish Husband) hasn’t trained for months, just making it over the finish line without assistance from Falck will be a victory in itself! 😛

The race starts and finishes at Borgen – home of the Danish Parliament – which you all know from the tv series!   And the Starter for the Women’s Elite Race is our Prime Minister, Helle Thorning Schmidt.  Remember her.  She of ‘selfie with Obama’ fame?  [The Danish Prime Minister (Almost) Got a Nose. A small one!]  Photo opportunity there, methinks?!

The Starter for the Men’s Elite Race and the Mass General Race is HRH Crown Prince Frederik.  Now Frede (as he is affectionately known), the one who is married to Mary from Australia, is no stranger to a bit of fitness himself…  He’s run several marathons and last year he completed an Ironman – the first royal ever to do so!  Perhaps he’ll join in the race? Because once the runners are ‘out of the gate’ they’ll head towards Kongens Nytorv and Store Kongensgade – passing by his ‘house’ and Queen Daisy’s residence… [40 things you always wanted to know about the Danish Queen (But Were Afraid to Ask)]

Fancy going to watch?  Just be warned that the centre of Copenhagen will be at a standstill tomorrow, so you can only get there by S-train or Metro.  But the Danish weather gods are on their best behaviour and we have beautiful sunshine today and mild temperatures (around 10c/50f) which are set to continue into the weekend.

Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Diane 🙂

 


WhoMadeWho. Who? Here we go again!

After two years of (not so) patient waiting, WhoMadeWho finally have a new album out – “Dreams”.  Hooray!  Okay, okay, so I admit that after the first couple of listens, I’m not nearly as enthusiastic as I was about their previous albums.  “Dreams” is low key, slow paced and grown-up.  But it’s received rave (rave, rave…) reviews right across the board, both in Denmark and abroad – so it will no doubt grow on me.  Even they admit that this is one to be listened to at home or through headphones.  But – hooray, hooray – promise us that there will still be a party (with a capital P) when they play live! And I have tickets to see them next month, woop, woop! 😀

So what are WhoMadeWho like live?  Phenomenal!  Read on, Macduff…

[First published 18 April 2012]

It’s Wednesday morning and I still have music ringing in my ears from Saturday night.  You see, I was finally able to see WhoMadeWho live. (A Danish band I’ve loved for a couple of years and mentioned on the blog before.)

Two thirds of WhoMadeWho

 

What started out as a concert – at my favourite venue Vega – turned into a party.  And then into a toga party! :o )

WhoMadeWho – it’s all Greek to me…

 

So just like one of their tracks, I’m still high and “two feet off ground”.  ’Cos those lovely Danish boys seem to have split personalities.  In the studio, they make very polished albums.  Not to mention appearing in very (very) polished videos.  Like this one made for them by ‘Good Boy! Creative‘ which has been nominated for – and won – several awards around the globe…

WhoMadeWho – Keep Me in My Plane

But on stage?  They’re wild.  Wild with a capital W.  With a strobe and light show that should carry health warning signs…  So I’m still hopping.  Turn your speakers up to 11 and feel free to hop along…  (In this teaser video, you’ll get a short clip of their legendary cover of Ben Benassi’s “Satisaction”.  On Saturday night it lasted about 10 minutes.  Ha!  Fan-flippin-tastic!)

WhoMadeWho – Trailer from Roskilde Festival 2011

Have a wonderful Wednesday! :)

Diane [First posted 18 April 2012 ]


Oh what, wow, he's the greatest dancer! Marvelous!

It’s Friday!  Which means I’m in the mood for dancing!  [And ‘romancing’ – anyone else remember the Nolan Sisters?]

And nothing hits the spot like a bit of Marvelous Mosell…  Remember him?  (See Friday Fun – It’s Marvelous! Mosell!)  The Danish rapper who mixes his own ‘fly’ lyrics with classic tunes.  All topped off with crazy videos!   And – for those of you learning Danish – there are usually subtitles. 

Here he is – with a bit of help from Chic and Sister Sledge – with a tale of his exploits as Den Bedste Dancer (the greatest dancer)…

 

 “Der var både bajere og hash,

men jeg sagde: Stik mig bare en

kærnemælk i et snavset glas

med et sugerør i

og gør det i en fart, for jeg er sørme tørstig!”

“There was beer and hash

but I said: Give me some

buttermilk in a dirty glass

with a straw, and do it nifty

‘cos I’m really thirsty” 😉

 

So, anyone for the slosh?

Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Diane 🙂


Fischer, Kasparov, Carlsen. And Larsen!

My DDH (dear Danish husband) is an avid reader and book collector.  Though – glory, glory, hallelujah – since the advent of the Kindle, the avalanche of books coming into the house is finally beginning to let up!  But at bedtime his favourite reading matter is…chess books.  Not books about chess.  Books detailing chess games:

1. e4 c6 2. Sf3 d5 3. Sc3 Lg4 4. h3 Lxf3 5. Dxf3 Sf6 6. d3 e6 7. a3 Lc5 8. Le2 0-0 9. 0-0 Sbd7 10. Dg3 Ld4 11. Lh6 S38 etc, etc, etc…

Yep.  Weird.

Now, I know nothing about chess apart from the ‘big names’: Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov, Magnus Carlsen.  Magnus, 23 years old and current World Champion.  The little Norwegian boy who became a Grandmaster at 13 and models clothes for G Star.  Yep, a real chess Boy Wonder.  But I always try and buy a good chess book for DDH’s birthday and this year the hunt was easy peasy.  You see, the biography of Bent Larsen just came out…

Who he?  Denmark’s very own Chess Wonder!  Scandinavia’s most famous chess player (until Little Magnus came along).  Bent Larsen was the first Westerner to take on the heavyweights from the Soviet Union.  A man whose private life seems to be just as interesting as the impulsive chess he played.  “The best chess player, never to become World Champion.”  Bent Larsen was also a great teacher and author (and translated chess books from Russian).  His own “Find the Plan” was the first chess book Little Magnus Carlsen ever read…  A co-incidence?  I think not! 🙂

“Larsen” is a mix of chess games, anecdotes, press cuttings and family photos.  The whole caboodle.  At 110 pages and 1.5 kilos, it’s a bit of a heavyweight itself… 

And guess what?  This is only Bind I (Volume One)!  Volumes Two and Three are still in progress.  (Hooray – that’s hubby’s birthday presents sorted for 2015 and 2017!)

The book is only available in Danish.  But, hey, even if you don’t speak Danish, you chess nerds will – selvfølgelig – still be able to enjoy the detailed chess games.

+ + !

Diane 🙂

 

 


More Danish Drama! Arvingerne…The Legacy!

Okay, can you handle more drama?  Just when you thought those crazy Danes had saturated the tv market with the (fabulous) Scandi crime series Forbrydelsen (“The Killing”) and Broen (“The Bridge”) – not to mention the highjinks at the Danish Parliament, Borgen (“Borgen”) – along comes DR1 (the Danish public service channel) on the first of January and hits us right between the eyes.  Again!  Kapow! 😛

ARVINGERNE “THE LEGACY”

 

No policitians.  No murders (at least, not yet?!).  Nope, our new ‘let’s-all-unite-around-our-television-sets-on-Sunday-nights-and-discuss-it-Monday-morning’ series is a family drama: Arvingerne (“The Legacy”).

Picture the scene: a famous, eccentric Danish artist – Veronika Grønnegaard – is dying.  Along with her art, she’ll leave behind an eclectic family…  Four children.  Gro, the eldest daughter (who has a wardrobe to die for…), works with her mother.  Gro’s biological father Thomas (a.k.a. Jesper Christensen, a.k.a. Mr White from the recent Bond movies – though, yegads, you’d never recognise him in this new rôle) lives on the property.  Frederik (who has cut off contact with his mother) and Emil (who only contacts his mother when he needs money) are the two middle sons.  Their father committed suicide.  And then we have Signe, the youngest daughter.  Who doesn’t know that she is actually Veronika‘s daughter – she’s been living with adopted parents, blissfully unaware.  But Signe is contacted by Veronika a couple of days before she dies…  Throw into the mix an ‘I’m-minutes-from-dying-and-am-handwriting-a-new-will-and-testament’ and let the fun commence!

Oh.  And the title music – sung by Nina Persson (yes, her, from The Cardigans) – is also fabulous, but not available anywhere yet.  Boo!

The series is apparently already on its way to British, Belgian and Australian viewers.  Two out of three Danes are watching every week…  I’m hooked!  As they say in Danish, Glæd Jer!  “Look forward to it!”

Diane 🙂

 


My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar – 4 December

Welcome back to My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar!  Join me every day in opening a new door.  Just like last year, I’ve got a host of goodies to share with you – traditional Danish Christmas recipes, traditions, songs, games, decorations, crafts and landscapes… So sit back, relax and enjoy!

4 DECEMBER

Brag alert!!!  I have all my Christmas shopping done and dusted!!!  Yep, I got most of it done last month, so that this month I can concentrate on enjoying the Christmas spirit.  As opposed to stressing out over the queues in the shops, temperatures dropping every day and the first snowflakes in sight!  Latest news from the Danish weather people is that we will have stormy weather tomorrow followed by snowflurries on Friday… 🙂

Christmas (w)rapping!

But I digress!  Here’s one of my favourite Danish Christmas songs which – ho, ho, ho – mentions the stress of Christmas shopping in Magasin– one of Denmark’s oldest department stores (now, sadly, owned by the British chainstore Debenhams).

MC Einar‘s rap song “Jul, det’ cool!” (‘Yule, it’s cool’) is not only catchy but absolutely spot on with its lyrics! ;)

“….It’s Christmas, it’s cool, have a look around,
15,000 people in Magasin.
They have wet leather shoes, they have scarves on,
and they have coats, gift packs, lots they have to do;
but they’re enjoying themselves – of course they are!
plastic stars, plastic fir trees and plastic snow…”

Turns out that those crazy Danes love the song too…because it’s the third ’most played’ Christmas song in Denmark (after Chris Rea and Wham!).  (You can see what other songs are top of Julemanden‘s hitlist here.)  And now for our singalong…

.

“JUL, DET’ COOL” – MC EINAR

Det skete i de dage i november engang,
at de første kataloger satte hyggen i gang.

Det jul, det cool, det nu man hygger sig bedst.
Det er julebal i Nisseland, familiernes fest.
Med fornøjet glimt i øjet, trækker folk i vintertøjet,
til den årlige folkevandring op og ned af Strøjet.
Der bli’r handlet pakket ind, og der bli’r købt og solgt,
tøsne snot i næsen det er pissekoldt.
Det er vinter, man forventer vel lidt kulde og sne;
men det’ er da klart at så’n en sag kommer bag på DSB.
Intet vrøvl har de forsvoret, det de helt sikker på;
men ved den første rim på sporet går møllen i stå.
Folk de tripper, skælder ud, ser på deres ure,
og sparker efter invalide, ynkelige duer.
Der er intet man kan gøre og de sure buschauffører,
gør det svært at praktisere julehumøret.
“Gå så tilbage, for helvede,” råber stodderen hæst.
Men det jul, det cool, det nu man hygger sig bedst.

Det jul, det cool, graner lirekasser,
der er mænd, der sælger juletræer på alle åbne pladser.
12 bevægelige nisser og en sort mekanisk kat
i et vindue ud mod Strøjet trækker flere tusind watt.
Kulørte julegave pakker i kulørte juleposer,
selv i Bilka, Irma og alle landets Brugser,
er der ægte julestemning og gratis brunekager,
der er hylder fyldt med hygge, der er hygge på lager,
og hos damerne i Illum kan man få det som man vil,
“Kontant eller på konto, hr.? Skal prisen dækkes til?”
De smiler og er flinke, mest til fruerne i minker
og gi’r gode råd om alt fra sexet undertøj til sminker,
og vi andre fattig røve, vi kan gå i Dalle Valle,
der er damerne så flinke, at de smiler pænt til alle.
Der er masser tøj i kasser, der helt sikker passer.
Det jul, det cool, graner lirekasser.

Det jul, det cool, kig dig lidt omkring,
15.000 mennesker i Magasin.
De har våde lædersko, de har halstørklæder på,
og de har overfrakker, gave, pakker, masser de skal nå;
men de hygger sig selvfølgelig gør de det,
plastikstjerner, plastikgran og plastiksne.
Sætter stemning i systemer, det så nemt og nul problem,
og kød blot julestuens julesæt med fire fine cremer,
eller sukkerkrukker, pyntedukker, pænt mondænt og ganske smukt
og søde sæt proptrækker, glas og øloplukker.
Fra en skjult højtaler installation
“Et barn er født i Betlehem” i Hammodorgelversion,
vi traditionsbundne folk i traditionernes land,
så vi hygger os li’ så fint vi kan,
og særlig uundværlig det er Magasin.
Det jul, det cool, kig dig lidt omkring.

(Højtaler lyde, som slutter med “Jamen du godeste er det allerede”)
jul, det cool sikke tiden den går,
der er intet lavet om siden sidste år,
det de samme ting vi spiser ,det de samme ting vi laver,
det de samme ting i TV, det de samme julegaver,
samme penge problemer det dyrt og hårdt,
udelukkende overtrukne kontokort.
Overflod og fråds med familie og med venner,
samvittigheden klares med en Ulandskalender.
Det er julefrokost tid traditionsspilleri,
spritkørsel, utroskab og madsvineri,
vi har prøvet det før vi ved præcis hvad der sker,
slankekur i januar og alt det der,
det et slid; men der er lang tid til næste år.
Det jul, det cool sikke tiden den går.

Okay, it’s a (w)rap.  Hurry up and get your Christmas shopping done.  But don’t forget to check back here tomorrow when we open the next door!

Diane :)