Thursday, March 27, 2014

I prefer to travel light . . .

but this time I deeply disappointed myself.

May Turkish Airways have mercy.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Randers Handsker

Marie-Antoinette, the last queen of France before the French Revolution of 1789, is said to always have worn Randers gloves to bed at night. Not because the gloves were fashionable, but because they had a reputation for being sweetly scented and keeping the hands soft. 

In this 1778 painting, Marie Antoinette is dressed in a riding costume, 
with her scented gloves in hand.

I understand and believe dear Marie-Antoinette's habit. Even though I sense quality that would have a matching price tag, the fragrance and the feel invited me to linger longer in this shop in Frederiksberggade, København. 

Randers Glove Factory is considered to be one of the world's oldest glove factories. The production of gloves in Randers dates back to the 1200s.

In the late 1600s, glove manufacture was the main trade in the city of Randers. The gloves were sold throughout Europe and became one of Denmark's chief exports. 

At one time Randers had as much as 28 Glover masters. The gloves were exported to Sweden, Russia, Germany, France and England. They were especially known for their distinctive fragrance and softness.

But all good things come to an end, and by 1801 there were only three glovers left in Randers.

Randers Handsker was taken over by the Vejrum family in 1927, and is operated today by the fourth generation of Vejrums. Randers Glove Factory currently exports to Scandinavia, Northern Europe the United States and Japan. 

Randers Handsker also provides gloves to Queen Margrethe of Denmark.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

May I introduce you to the Sørensen-family?

Arbejdermuseet * Arbeidersmuseum * Worker's Museum

Rømersgade 22, København

To have tea with the Sørensen-family I had to time-travel upstairs to 1915.

The Sørensen-family a working-class family consisted of the father, Peter Martin Sørensen, the mother, Karen Marie Sørensen, and their eight children. 

Peter Martin Sørensen was a general labourer 
and Karne Marie Sørensen was a housewife.

Having lived in many different flats 
the family moved into a two-roomed flat at Østerbro in 1915. 
This flat remained the family home until 1990.

In 1915 five of the children were still living at home: Karen (27) ran the household; Kristian (26) worked in the Copenhagen Free Port; Anna (21) was about to enter domestic service; and Yrsa (19) as well as Olga (17) were in domestic service in upper-class households.

Karne Marie Sørensen was a housewife
and managed the family's laundry.

When their parents died some time in the 1940s, Karen and Kristian hung on to the flat, and in the mid-1960s Yrsa took it over. 

Yrsa Sørensen never married. She worked as a cleaner and ended her working life as a toilet attendant at the Copenhagen Central Railway Station. 
Yrsa Sørensen remained a tenant until December 1989 
when she went into residential care.

When Yrsa Sørensen moved out virtually no alterations had been made to the flat and its appearance since 1915 when her parents moved in. 
And if you move any of the furniture you can see that everything has always been in the same places as the floors are totally untreated in the places where the furniture has always stood – the floors have simply been varnished around the furniture. 

The colour scheme of the kitchen is the traditional Danish ‘kitchen’ blue 
with a larder, a plate rack on the wall, and a fine cast iron kitchen range. 
The kitchen sink is made of iron and is edged in tinplate. 
Over the sink there is a single cold-water tap.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ancient Danish towns

Viking Age:

Odense (holy site of Odin)

Roskilde (spring of Ro)

Hedeby (city in the marshes)

Vibjerg (holy hill)

Trelleborg (castle built by slaves)

Nyborg - (new castle)

Medieval Age:


- In English it is called Copenhagen, but directly translated would be merchants' harbour

- In Afrikaans sal dit  Koperhawe 
wees; die hawe van die kopers.

Kobenhavn 1674
The same area as above, the heart of Kobenhavn, 340 years later.


Nykøbing (-købing means a city with municipal charter)

Hillerød (-rød means city built in a cleared forrest)

Today, on my way to the Christansborg palace,
I sneaked into this private medieval courtyard;
I just had to see modern life in an ancient space. 

Another medieval Danish residential setting.

I took this picture in Sweden during February 2014.

by = village or hamlet

torp = crofter's holding or just croft.

holm = harbor or islet.

berg = mountain

ö = island

borg = castle

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Evita in København

Lise saw the musical in London (wow!), and I saw the movie (phew!), and now

Evita is in København

At last the 20th March has arrived: the date on our Evita tickets!

We decided to go by train, because the Det Ny Teater is very close to Vesterport station, and parking space is very scarce in the cycle capital of the world.

All dressed-up we boarded at our local station: Emdrup.

As we turn out of Vesterbrogade the fairytale building was waiting for us.

Click on this link to take a virtual tour of this spot

But we had another booking as well: 

Restaurant Teaterkælderen is located in the theater's old rustic backdrop basements. Columns and archways in peculiar spaces create a unique atmosphere, which is an experience in itself. The walls are decorated with historic theater photos and posters from the New Theatre's productions since 1908. The waiters are appointed on their aility to sing and serve, and audition at the interview.

Click on this link to view menus and detail of the Restaurant Teaterkælderen

And then we entered Det Ny Teater

We had seats on a balcony, and saw how everyone of the more than a 1000 seats filled up and the atmosphere of expectation thicken. 

and then the dazzling and sophisticated musical of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber started; telling the story of the iconic Eva Peron .

åh ja, in Danish:

Tim Rice og Andrew Lloyd Webbers blændende og sofistikerede partitur fortælles den betagende historie om ikoniske Eva Peron.

I'm first and foremost an audience-member that appreciate the design aspects of a production. And this theater's machinery works so gracefully unnoticed.

The set is extremely efficient, and the complexity of the design and operation that allows for an energetic tempo, looks simple and does not take anything away from the actors, but rather adds value throughout the show. 

The lighting design is ingenious and innovative. I almost gave a solo-standing ovation for one magnificent, but very subtle effect.

The gardrobe is the vehicle that transports the audience to the Latin style of Argentina in the 1940s.

And the ovation affirmed the professional – in every sense of the word - acting & singing.

Lente! Spring! Forår!

Dis heellike lente

Spring is in the air


Equinoxes are the two days each year when day and night 

are (almost) equal length everywhere on Earth, 

the vernal equinox (in the northern hemisphere) is today, 20 March.

Therefor, in the Northern hemisphere the summer season begins today. celebrates Equinox with a charming video

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Missing my sunshine

This post on a blog called
hypothetical miracles

of being impossible

of September 20, 2012 was authored by A Bleecker

the sad thrill of coming sunless days

days for meditation and retreat
into hazy, edgeless, inner peace,
then evenings made for pints
of IPAs* at pubs with friends
fills me with a certain kind
of calm, a certain dread.

* India Pale Ale is a beer style, first brewed in England in the 19th century.

but in my case, it reads as follows: 

days for meditation and retreat
into hazy, edgeless, inner peace,
then evenings made for pints
of OJ at home without friends
fills me with a certain kind
of calm, a certain dread.

* Orange Juice, known for its health benefits, particularly its high concentration of vitamin C.

Not even had a promise of a sun-ray today. And the most populær thing to do 

on the Emdrup-campus this week, is to catch a cold. 

With that done and dusted, 

I went home to a Med-Lemon.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

King Bluetooth

Harald "Blatand" (Bluetooth) Gormsson was a King of Denmark and Norway.

He was the son of King Gorm the Old and of Thyra Dannebod.

He died in 985 or 986 having ruled as King of Denmark and King of Norway.

Bluetooth logo consists of the Nordic runes H and B for his initials.

Ericsson, the Danish/Norwegian company who created Bluetooth in 1994, 

decided to name their wireless gadget after King Harald Blatand, because 

King Blatand also had the ability to unite and connect people

Monday, March 17, 2014

Following a troll from Bloemfontein to Bergen

John Ronald Reuel or JRR Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein in 1892.

This English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, is best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

He also wrote about the trolls of Scandinavia. A mere 10147 km north of Bloemfontein is Bergen is a city and municipality in Hordaland on the west coast of Norway.

Tolkien's trolls

Troll sat alone on his seat of stone
A comic verse by J R R Tolkien

Troll sat alone on his seat of stone,
And munched and mumbled a bare old bone; 
For many a year he had gnawed it near, 
For meat was hard to come by. 
Done by! 
Gum by! 
In a cave in the hills he dwelt alone, 
And meat was hard to come by. 

Up came Tom with his big boots on. 
Said he to Troll: 'Pray, what is yon? 
For it looks like the shin o' my nuncle Tim. 
As should be a-lyin' in the graveyard. 
This many a year has Tim been gone, 
And I thought he were lyin' in the graveyard.' 

'My lad,' said Troll, 'this bone I stole. 
But what be bones that lie in a hole? 
Thy nuncle was dead as a lump o' lead, 
Afore I found his shinbone. 
He can spare a share for a poor old troll, 
For he don't need his shinbone.' 

Said Tom: 'I don't see why the likes o' thee 
Without axin' leave should go makin' free 
With the shank or the shin o' my father's kin; 
So hand the old bone over! 
Though dead he be, it belongs to he; 
So hand the old bone over!' 

'For a couple o' pins,' says Troll, and grins, 
'I'll eat thee too, and gnaw thy shins. 
A bit o' fresh meat will go down sweet! 
I'll try my teeth on thee now. 
Hee now! 
See now! 
I'm tired o' gnawing old bones and skins; 
I've a mind to dine on thee now.' 

But just as he thought his dinner was caught, 
He found his hands had hold of naught. 
Before he could mind, Tom slipped behind 
And gave him the boot to larn him. 
Warn him! 
Darn him! 
A bump o' the boot on the seat, Tom thought, 
Would be the way to larn him. 

But harder than stone is the flesh and bone 
Of a troll that sits in the hills alone. 
As well set your boot to the mountain's root, 
For the seat of a troll don't feel it. 
Peel it! 
Heal it! 
Old Troll laughed, when he heard Tom groan, 
And he knew his toes could feel it. 

Tom's leg is game, since home he came, 
And his bootless foot is lasting lame; 
But Troll don't care, and he's still there 
With the bone he boned from its owner. 
Troll's old seat is still the same, 
And the bone he boned from its owner! 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Others had trees and moss-like growth all over their heads and noses.

Living in the land of the troll and next to the library that house the Scandinavian collection of children and youth literature . .

I was due to meet some of the shy folks

Far to the North where the winter storms whip the weather-beaten coasts,

you will find a long and narrow country.

Here you see dark forests with moonlitlakes,

deep fjords surrounded by mighty snowcapped mountains,

and long rivers and cold streams cascading down the mountain sides.

Nowadays this country is covered by snow and ice only six months a year.

A long, long time ago, however, there existed a massive glacier

that brooded over the entire country for thousands of years.

Trolls by Brian & Wendy Froud

The trolls had very distinct features. 

They had long crooked noses,

Only four fingers and toes on each limb, 

and most of them had long bushy tails.

Some trolls were giants, and others were small.

There were stories of two-headed as well as three-headed trolls,

and even a few had only one eye in the middle of their wrinkled foreheads.

Father Troll has had enough,
he wraps himself up in a blanket,
goes to sleep and waits for spring to arrive.
Illustrated by Rolf Lidberg.

In this sixteenth century drawing,
trolls are aligned with supernatural power over the environment.
By Olaus Magnus.
Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (History of the Northern Peoples)
Printed in Rome 1555.

Others had trees and rough moss-like growth all over their heads and noses.

"Nej,sicken liten puttefnasker!"
Illustrated by John Bauer

And then I also met the one troll that is all too familiar,

the internet troll who sows discord on the net 

by starting arguments or upsetting people, 

posting irritating or harassing messages.