Tee-hee Tuesday – Women Drivers?

Today on ‘tee-hee’ Tuesday I want to share one of my favourite jokes. Now – before you all get on your high horses – I know I shouldn’t make fun of my fellow women drivers… After all, I’ve had a driving licence since I was 18 and got my first car at 22…twenty years ago! I was just a slip of a girl, working in Luxembourg at the time. And in the Grand Duchy it was all the rage to have your date of birth (backwards, bien sûr) as your number plate. Not so sure I would want to advertise how old I am these days! 😉

Anno 1995

Nevertheless this joke gives me a good ‘tee-hee’ every time. For me, it’s all in the punchline…

* INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE GREAT BELT BRIDGE TOLL BOOTH *

(Storebeltsforbindelsen) 

For men:

1.Drive up to the hatch

2.Pay

3.Drive on

For women:

1.Drive up to the hatch

2.Reverse back to the hatch

3.Drive slightly forward again

4.Open glove compartment

5.Find purse

6.Take out Visa card

7.Roll down the window

8.Drive forwards and backwards to get close enough to the hatch

9.Insert Visa card into the machine

10.Turn over the Visa card

11.Turn over the Visa card again

12.Press to validate

13.Remove Visa card

14.Request a receipt

15.Crawl over to the right side of the car, climb out and pick up Visa card from the ground

16.Crawl in again

17.Replace Visa card in purse

18.Replace purse in glove compartment

19.Roll up window

20.Roll window down

21.Remove receipt

22.Roll window up

23.Start car

24.Drive away

25.Start car again

26.Drive

27.Five kilometres later release the handbrake.

Anno 2010

Have a terrific ‘tee-hee’ Tuesday! 🙂


No more half-baked excuses – Farewell Old Friend!

We’ve had 15 really good years together. In fact, now that I come to think of it, maybe as many as 17 or 18? But last week I had had enough and it was time to face facts. Things just weren’t working out for us anymore… Oh yes, I tried to patch things up. A good rubdown and a few delicate sprays of WD40. But the result was still the same. Sunken in the middle, half-mixed and a patchy, white bottom…

I’ve been in denial for the last month. ‘Old faithful’ was tired. Had worked hard for me for years and was slowly grinding down. Or not grinding at all! 🙁 My old friend…the Panasonic Bread Bakery. Not a fancy machine. Just Bake and Timer. The Rapid programme took 3 hours. No viewing window. But repeatedly ‘best in test’. Purchased in Edinburgh, spent most of it’s life in Luxembourg and now destined for the recycling centre in Copenhagen. Farewell Old Friend…

And say Hello to my new friend, the Tefal Home Bread machine. Complete with all the mod cons we expect in 2010. A viewing window. 12 different programmes. Anyone for homemade pasta or jam? Don’t like a soft crust? No problem, you can have it as dark as you like. Heck, we can even rebake day-old bread in it. And this machine does b–i–g loaves. Or small. It’s your choice. You want your bread right now? Okay, pressing the start button…

…and here it is, 1 hour and 17 minutes later.

I’m glad to say my new Tefal is noisy – just as noisy as my old Panasonic. The Tefal actually got a bad review because of the noise it makes..but I like that! Because I have fond memories of my good friend M coming to stay with us in Luxembourg. DH and I had a small appartment. I was doing my ‘perfect hostess’ routine and had preprogrammed both the coffeemaker and the breadmachine. I ask you – is there anything better than waking up at 8am on a Saturday morning to the smell of fresh bread and coffee? I served breakfast and M had trouble looking us in the eye. He heard the banging noise during the early hours and thought it was DH and me – tee hee!

Have a fabulous foodie Friday! 🙂

PS: If you’re looking for a foolproof breadmachine recipe, I posted one last August. It’s right here.


There is nothing like a Dane

Today is Easter Saturday. DH and I got married on Easter Saturday 12 years ago…time flies! 😉

I posted some old wedding pics in a previous post but here – for your viewing entertainment – is the first pic ever of us together. Autumn 1994. [sigh] Yes, you’re quite right, our eyes are red. Well, actually, you can’t see mine because I’m doing my ‘coy’ look. Taken in a little bar in the seedy station area of Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. About 3am in the morning. I think. Because just after that pic was snapped, I was literally under the table. Yep, DH certainly knows how to sweep a girl off her feet…

And that leaf actually moved with us from flat to flat 😉

Have a simply super Saturday! 🙂


Fangs for the memory

Today I went to the dentist. Dentists and I go a long way back. Though I could certainly see them far enough. (Insert a big ‘ho ho’ here.)

Starting with the school dentist, where Mum claims I had a gold sticker at the top of my appointment card to show that I was a ‘special’ customer (read “terrified”). I still shudder at the thought of walking down that little alley at the bottom of Leith Links in Edinburgh. Not off to a good start.

When I grew up and got a job in my 20s, I was able to choose my own dentist. (General healthcare is free in the UK, but you pay for dentistry from the age of 18). I worked my way through several but finally found one which was close to my office near Broughton Street. The main attraction was being able to pay for (I kid you not) laughing gas. If I remember rightly, it cost £15 for a session – cheap at half the price! Certainly beat having to have an injection and was much more fun. Also taught me that Nancy Regan was right when she said “Just say no to drugs” – I reeeeeally enjoyed those sessions and did NOT want to come back to reality. There was only one side-effect, and that was that the gas took a while to wear off again. So I must have looked like an utter loony, grinning inanely at strangers on Leith Walk on the way back to the office.

Moved to work at the European Court in Luxembourg and the hunt was on yet again for a good dentist and doctor.

My first doctor there was called Dr Goerts (a Luxemburger). His receptionist spoke with a guttural ‘g’ which meant that she answered with phone with a “Hello, Dr Hurts” to which I, with my childish sense of humour, longed to reply “I do hope he won’t”. But I didn’t. (And I suppose I should add, he didn’t either.)

It was in Luxembourg that I found my best ever dentist. He was the dentist of my boss (the British Judge) and was a Dane by the name of Hans Ågerup. His (very sweet) wife helped him and the reception area had a large collection of Danish magazines and children’s books. I actually used to turn up early for my appointments because I saw it as an opportunity to use what little Danish I had learned by then, and do some reading practice. 🙂 (I was, as you will no doubt have guessed, dating my Danish DH by this point.)

Hans Ågerup was very patient, quietly spoken, extremely professional and explained EVERYTHING he was doing. I was completely at ease and didn’t have to resort to my usual calming trick of looking up the dentist’s nose… 😉

Got married, moved to Copenhagen and the hunt was on again. I saw an article in “Politikken” (Danish broadsheet) about dentists who had alternative methods when dealing with nervous patients. One in particular caught my eye. Jens Bjerregaard (and his better half, who also sits in reception) of Hellerup, who has draught beer in his waiting room.


In fact, not just one but several. You can just help yourself, there are proper glasses and beermats on the counter beside the beer taps. A band even comes and plays when the Christmas beer arrives. He claims it calms the patients and smells better on their breath than coffee. Who am I to argue?

I’ve been a patient there for 3 or 4 years now, but don’t normally partake of the free booze. Mostly because I’m always there first thing in the morning (apparently it’s quite busy in the afternoons). Though last December I did have a small glass of Tuborg Classic (an ale). It was just after a lengthy operation (not to mention an anæsthetic that would knock out a horse) on my lower jaw and Mrs Bjerregaard even kindly provided a straw. Now that’s what I call a good dentist.


Working Girl

My friend Mark is coming to stay next week – haven’t seen him for over 2 years but we’ll talk about the same old things and share the same old (very well worn) in-jokes. I met him while at the EC Court of Justice in Luxembourg, where we both worked for the British Judge, The Rt Hon David Edward KCMG.

Mark became my best friend and he was also my bridesmaid when I married DH. Though as he said in his speech at our wedding, he did phone his Mum in advance and told her – “Don’t worry Mum, always the bridesmaid, never the bride!”. Mark got married a couple of years ago and is bringing his wife and toddler son with him. Will be very strange to see him in Husband and Dad-mode. Can’t wait! 🙂

When our boss, whom we always refer to as “The Professor”, retired from the EC Court, Mark and another good friend and colleague, William Robinson, organised a Festschrift – a collection of essays in his honour. Mark and William asked me to write the first chapter in the book and I am delighted to say that I am the only non-lawyer in there! My piece is a kind of “Week in the life of…” thing. And if you’re wondering why there are so many footnotes in it, that was an in-joke. Legal documents are full of them…

http://books.google.dk/books?id=tk9Ic-WzuYIC&printsec=frontcover&dq=A+true+european&ei=-0R4St3MO46ENMnZ8UY#v=onepage&q=&f=false

It’s going to be a real trip down memory lane when Mark arrives, though our days in Luxembourg were a long time ago, 15 years to be exact. Think I’m going to reread my own piece and catch up on some memories so I’ll be up to speed when he arrives. 🙂

PS: It’s still available from Amazon if you really want the hardback 😉 http://www.amazon.co.uk/True-European-Essays-Judge-Edward/dp/1841134473/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1249396406&sr=8-1