Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Protestants rock!

No, I am not a militant religo, just very thankful for Store Bededag (Big Prayer Day) on Friday and the public holiday that goes with it.

Having never heard anything so religiously ‘big’ before (coming from the colonial far south where most are heathens), I’ve done a little googling and uncovered the reason for the holiday.

It marks the day in 1686 when Bishop Bagger created a prayer day to mark the signing, 38 years before, of the Treaty of Westphalia that legitimised the Protestant faith. I’m ever so grateful because I am really in the mood for an extra day off this week. I have the first oral Danish test in a few weeks and am in dire need of some extra swat time.

Somehow I doubt the initial meaning created the same effect it does today – as a much-appreciated long weekend. But then, I can’t help but think perhaps a bit of prayer hurts no one. Indeed people I know of who do pray seem almost to be relieved of loads off their minds after unburdening themselves to the Higher Power.

Maybe I’ll combine a bit of study with a bit of prayer. I need both to pass…

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sang i den uge

I came across this in the Melbourne newspapers this morning, amongst the countless murders, muggings and mayhem. A not nice story with a happy ending. What's interesting is that bullied kids often have no self confidence, and yet this little guy plucked up the courage to go on stage watched by all those people. Sure he has talent but it was a brave move nevertheless. Good for him.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A little bit more on the new GG

From the Herald Sun in Melbourne:

'You can do anything': G-G

April 14, 2008 12:00am

QUENTIN Bryce says becoming the Governor-General shows that Australian women and girls can achieve anything they aspire to. Here is a snapshot of her views.

ON BECOMING G-G: "It's a great honour and a great responsibility and it's a great day for Australian women.

What this day says to Australian women and to Australian girls is that you can do anything, you can be anything, and it makes my heart sing to see women in so many diverse roles across our country in Australia."

ON FEMINISM: "All women need to be reminded it was radical women behaving in outrageous ways who won us the right to own property, vote, work when married and complain about unfair treatment in the workforce."

ON MONARCHY: "I think Australia is very well served by our system of government, and I certainly have the greatest admiration and respect for the Queen."

ON THE OUTBACK: "She has got a deep understanding and affection for the outback and outback people. I have seen her sitting on the ground with Aboriginal people, I have seen kids climbing all over her, I have seen her in awe of Coopers Creek."

- close friend and Barcoo mayor Bruce Scott

News from home

Finally, Australia has a female Governor General.

I can only say it’s about time. That, of course, is not to say there have not been some excellent people in the job. I really like Major General Michael Cosgrove , the out-going Governor General but I truly, madly, deeply feel the time was overdue for a woman to represent the Queen. It would never have occurred under the terms of the last Prime Minister, who made Margaret Thatcher seem like Leonid Brezhnev by his immovable conservatism.

Certainly there are a lot of Australians who would prefer a president to a Governor General, but I’m not so sure myself. I find some relief knowing the top job in the country is not another politician who is so indoctrinated by his or her life in their chosen political party they are unable to think outside that square. I feel it’s better having someone impartial whose first concern is looking out for the tribe, rather than ‘the party’.

Quentin Bryce has some big shoes to fill but she looks fit and healthy and knows the ropes after being Governor of Queensland.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

That song I was talking about...

This is it..

Here's the song...

I was talking about that song, Hvad nu hvis - which I think means, 'What if'. I've discovered 'singing' is a good way to learn a language once you translate the song and know what it's about, as long as it has some sort of melody. A day later and I am literally FLUENT! Well,sort of. Anyway, for those wanting to practice, get your dictionaries out and here's some help:

Hvis jeg var et sejlskib på det åbne hav,
var hun vinden, der tog mig hjem.
Hvis jeg var en kornmark,
var hun sommerregn, der endelig kom igen.
Og hvis jeg var en storby,
var hun energien, der gav mig liv og lys nu.
Og hvis jeg var 7 år igen,
var hun sneen, der faldt uden for mit vindue.

Hun betyder alt for mig,
lad det aldrig vende.
Hun er mit et og alt,
jeg vil ikk' stå alene.

Så hvad nu hvis stjernerne en dag var væk,
og hvad nu hvis vinden døde stille hen.
Og solen aldrig mere ville vise sit ansigt.
Hvad sku' jeg så gør'?
Og hvad nu hvis sneen smeltede bort,
og hvad nu hvis regnen udeblev.
Hvad nu hvis alting blev helt sort.
Jeg håber det aldrig sker, jeg har brug for dig her.

ohoh, oh oh oh oh oh oh. ohoh, oh oh oh oh oh oh.

Hvis jeg var en sommerfugl,
så var hun solens stråler, der varmede mine vinger.
Hvis jeg var faret vild i skoven,
var hun stjernerne for oven, der viste mig vej, min sti finder.

Hun betyder alt for mig,
lad det aldrig vende.
Hun er mit et og alt,
jeg vil ikk' stå alene.

Så hvad nu hvis stjernerne en dag var væk,
og hvad nu hvis vinden døde stille hen.
Og solen aldrig mere ville vise sit ansigt.
Hvad sku' jeg så gør'?
Og hvad nu hvis sneen smeltede bort,
og hvad nu hvis regnen udeblev.
Hvad nu hvis alting blev helt sort.
Jeg håber det aldrig sker, jeg har brug for dig her.

Det' mit liv, jeg nyder showet. Jeg ved, at det lyder flovet,
men jeg har ting jeg vil gøre før min tid er gået.
Det er de ting jeg kan vide, at der betyder noget.
Hey stjerne i det fjerne, hvis mig vejen jeg følger den gerne.
Vi gjorde det, vi er her. Det der ikke slog os ihjel, gjorde os stærkere.
Nik, yo. Lad mig kæmpe lidt, elske lidt. Jeg er her jo kun for et øjeblik.
Før tidevandet vasker det hele væk, vil jeg skrive for mig og mine,
og jeg prøver på at skrive for dig og dine,
for der er ingen, der fortjener at leve alene.

Så hvad nu hvis stjernerne en dag var væk,
og hvad nu hvis vinden døde stille hen.
Og solen aldrig mere ville vise sit ansigt.
Hvad sku' jeg så gør'?
Og hvad nu hvis sneen smeltede bort,
og hvad nu hvis regnen udeblev.
Hvad nu hvis alting blev helt sort.
Jeg håber det aldrig sker, jeg har brug for dig her.

ohoh, oh oh oh oh oh oh. ohoh, oh oh oh oh oh oh.
ohoh, oh oh oh oh oh oh. ohoh, oh oh oh oh oh oh.

Thanks to: Monica, Niels M, Andreas L & Sweet for the...lyrics

I do like to be beside the seaside...

I think that post that turned into a cross between not-fitting-in-to-a-new-country and homesickness thread must have got to be because I found this picture yesterday in my iPhotos I took a year or so ago and suddenly started thinking about holidays in Byron Bay and the gorgeous beaches. I wasn’t down, per se, just the light, the colour of the water and the sea bought back pangs of good times gone.

Coming from the second coldest city in Australia, heading up North is very common in the long Melbourne winters (or they used to be so). Byron Bay is our favourite. So yesterday, when I gazed at this picture, I thought a lot about it. That was until I found this article, concerning the next town down from Byron Bay, this morning, and suddenly Danish beaches (and they have some great ones) look just as good, in spite of a few degrees difference in temperature.

I’m looking forward to a summer swim in (relatively) safe waters. I can cope with drowning (I guess) but not…other things.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Can someone tell me what this song is?

Okay, sorry, but I don't have much to go on. It's a group (three?) of black guys singing in Danish and it's quite up beat. Part of the chorus goes: "Oh ohhh..........oh ohhh, oh ohhh, Oh ohhh'.

I know, it doesn't give you much to work with but I've heard it lots and it might be one I can learn the lyrics too.

A great way to learn Danish!

Now this is the way to learn Danish. Forget about the Jensen family, børnehave, buser etc etc etc.

Nothing like a marital nightmare to get me interested in flicking through the dictionary to find out more.

For this, I have to thank my insightful teacher, Ms C, for choosing some good texts for our forthcoming oral tests. Now I can safely go out to a dinner or party and hold my head high, knowing I can contribute to adult conversation and not have to bore everyone with my acute knowledge of playground rides or food items.

Here’s a quick translation of the pictured pages:

“You’re drunk,” says Per

He pushes her away.

“Why have you just got home now,” asks Inge angrily. “We had an arrangement.”

Per looks at her.
His eyes are cold.
There is no love in his eyes.
His mouth is narrow.
He doesn’t reply.
He turns from her and goes.
He goes into the bedroom.

“I am tired,” says Per and shuts the door.

But Inge opens the door again.

“You weren’t at the office,” shouts Inge. “Where were you?”

“I had a meeting,” says Per and looks away. (Yeah, right!!)

Inge grabs hold of Per’s coat.
She looks at him.

“I made dinner,” says Inge.

I finished this, my second Danish ‘book’, yesterday. It’s called ‘Alene’ (Alone).

It’s about a woman called Inge who prepares a dinner for herself and her husband, but he doesn’t show up. He seems to have been very busy of late.

In the process of waiting (alone as usual) she gets a tad sloshed on the old rød vin, as I would do myself. But, unlike me, the thought that her twenty-year marriage may be under threat doesn’t enter her mind.

Dear oh dear.

Just in case you don’t have time to read the book yourself, what transpires is Per, the louse, has been having an affair with a slut called Mette and all is revealed. The most distressing aspect is Mette is not a young bimbo after his cash but a mature 49. Inge is 52.

What a slap in the face!

Per demands a separation and, again, Inge is left alene. But, with true courage, she’s determined not to be the victim any longer and is going to get on and live her life and never be alene again.

Good for her!

Although it ends before you know what happens in the bigger picture, I’m pretty sure Per is diagnosed with prostate kræft and is forced to undergo a radical prostatectomy, which leaves him totally impotent. Mette thinks the better of being stuck with an invalid for the twilight years of her life and takes herself off to a resort in Thailand where she is kidnapped by a drug lord while riding an elephant through the Golden Triangle and spends the rest of her years in a lathered, fungus-filled sweat, trying to learn how to make decent coconut rice.

Inge meets a Danish shipping magnate (who shall remain nameless, in case he sues me for defamation) and discovers how much fun it is to be married to a multi-billionaire. She suddenly feels no pain about the ending with Per and keeps him in a lifetime supply of incontinence pads.

I have to get a F***ING Dankort with chip

That's it. I can't stand it any longer. I can't survive any longer with a bloody card without a 'chip'.

Last night we went to see the film I mentioned earlier in Østerbro with a Danish friend. I'd booked the tickets earlier in the week, did the whole spiel in Danish when I picked them up, flashed my Danske Bank Mastercard and went to swipe it in the swiper but NO!! Even though the machine had a f**cking swiper on it, it was all taped over. You could only use the chip.

The very nice girl serving me directed me over to the automatic teller across the road near McDonalds, and off I trotted only to find it out of action, which sent me off on a mega-trek up and down Østerbrogade looking for another.

It all worked out in the end but it was the comment from our Danish friend that was interesting. "See, it just means you're not part of the tribe yet. Everyone would have been watching saying, 'He's not one of us'".

So, my warning to anyone moving to Denmark: as soon as you get your CPR number, GET A CARD WITH A CHIP IN IT!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Sang i den uge

...Okay, it's been a very busy week and I'm too stuffed to write much but, as it's Friday, what about we start having a song of the week. Here's this week's.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Weird dream...

A while ago my sister-in-law, who is my equal best friend rang me to tell me she’d ‘out of the blue’, had a dream about Nicole Kidman and how she, for some unknown reason, was helping her out in her adjustment to married life and relationships etc etc. It was quite unlike my sister-in-law, if you knew her. She was giggling as she told me on the telephone.

Well, then, lo and behold, last night I had a dream about Frida, or Annifrid, from Abba. It came out of nowhere because I’ve not thought about Abba at all lately (strangely enough). I know Sweden is just across the water but I have no idea how she got into my subconscious - and why her.

I wasn’t her best friend but we had a good, long chat – most of it in Swedish (which is interesting in itself because I didn’t realise I could communicate at all, these days, in Swedish).

So what do you think? Am I about to meet her? Or was it my mind playing an April Fool. We seemed to have some sort of rapport... :) There must have been something in the air last night. The stars were so bright…