Monday, March 30, 2009

The park is full of surprises

So far this year there’s not been that much to laugh about. Apart from everything else I’ve written about, I also had a DKK 7,500 bill from the tandlæge. However, I did get a good laugh yesterday.

We organised to meet a friend and her dog at Frederiksberg gardens to have a run around with Hamish. The dogs had a ball (literally) for around two hours and were absolutely exhausted by the end.

When we go to the park, we take a few of those black doggy poo bags and stuff one with treats.

NQDII asked both dogs if they’d like a treat.

Tails wagged at a million miles an hour.

‘Okay,’ said NQDII. ‘Here you go.’

And put his hand into the bag to get them.

While his hand was still in he said quizzically. ‘That’s odd, these strip things have melted or something.’

Or something.

Our friend and I looked perplexed until a mortified look settled on NQDII’s face.

‘Oh nooooooooo! I’ve got my hand in dog shit!’

Poor NQDII… What a dreadful experience. And for a virologist, even more so. I could see an encyclopaedia of pathogens running through his brain.

It was a 300m dash to the loos to clean up but he couldn’t really relax until he came home and doused himself in disinfectant.

Friday, March 27, 2009

O..M...G.. Thanks *heaps* Telia

For those of you who don't know, Telia- Tee (hard sound at the start) - li - ah, is the equivalent of, I guess, Telstra in Australia. A really big telecommunications company.

Unfortunately for me, when I had to rush back to Australia, I had no alternative but to take my Danish mobile. I went straight from the airport to an aunt's who kindly loaned me her car so I could try and find out what had happened to the place where I come from.

As you may imagine, given the roadblocks because of fires etc, this took some logistical work and, as I had no word about my father - or brother from Singapore at that stage - it took quite a lot of telephone calls to come to grips with what was going on. I knew in the back of my mind it would be a hellish bill because of all of this BUT I wasn't quite prepare for the almost DKK7,000 bill I noticed on my bank account today!

Yes, I made the calls and yes I knew they cost money but DKK7000??

Anyway, suspecting I might get a large bill, last month I emailed them hoping they may take some mercy on me - given how much these sorts of companies CEOs are paid and the size of their Golden Handshakes/Parachutes. I certainly wasn't asking to pay nothing but I thought they might take some mercy on a rather dire situation. They didn't (obviously as my bank account will attest). In any case, I wasn't completely surprised when I got this response from :

"Thank you for your email

It is very unfortunate what you've been going through. And you have our deepest sympathy.

But we can not fulfill your wish and wtrie down this bill. We have many customers that use their phone in other countries than Denmark, and if you choose to use it, you will also have to pay the bills."

Thanks Telia - that first sentence had me reaching for tissues... And, at that stage, I didn't even have the bill - which btw, has taken over a month to hit my account. But firstly, I didn't ask Telia to 'write down the bill'. I'm not a tight-arse. But knowing for how little you can call anywhere on Skype, I kinda figure they make a decent profit and, at a time of catastrophe, they might take of 10% or so, given that I wasn't in the frame of mind, nor did I have the time, to rush of somewhere and organise some sort of Australian pre-paid thing when I arrived.

Anyway, I kinda figured I'd be up for DKK3,500-4,000 but DKK7000! I guess it's my own fault but really, I didn't expect it to be that much!


Seriously, just kill me! :)

And I had to come clean about it to NQDII tonight. :(

Apart from 'Baronessen' ...

Here another example of typical Danish television. The good thing about this show is I doubt fluent Danish is needed to view it. I don't watch it, someone just sent me a link - but I just might from now on! There's apparently a US version but I seriously doubt it would be...anything like this!

Hjælp os baroness!

NQDII and I desperately need to cultivate a friendship with Baronessen – aka Caroline Fleming. If anyone can help find this aristocrat, we would be forever in their debt (literally, judging by the life her friends probably have to keep up with!) And no, we’re not social climbing but having recently watched the programme, Baronessen flytter ind (The Baroness moves in), we’ve finally found a show we can watch and understand.

I’ve no idea what sort of Danish she speaks but she says whole words and says them clearly. I did hear once that they speak the best Danish on Fyn. I don’t know whether that’s true or not because I can’t recall if the person told me was ‘Fynsk’, so it could just have been a biased opinion. But, as her family estate, which she now runs, is on that island, perhaps it is why…

Nevertheless we find ourselves glued to a programme the likes of which we normally wouldn’t watch.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring has sprung

Self explanatory (And Hamish behaved himself)

Never seen one of these before - and it only has one wheel at the front
Copenhagen really is wonderful in the spring. A few quick snaps I took on a walk yesterday

Yeah, okay, I'm a bad blogger

Metal garden furniture melts in bushfires!

My old house on the farm - or what's left of it

This was a mini rainforest on the farm - very lush with tree ferns and a stream

Thanks May for the kind inquiry. Had it not been for you, it would probably *be* May by the time I got around to posting again. Like going to the gym, it's a classic case of once you stop it's very hard to get going again.

In a nutshell, the end and the beginning of the year weren't exactly great. People at work got retrenched - luckily I missed the first round but it's just dreadful watching people you know and like leave under such circumstances.

Then came Christmas and my long-awaited visit from my brother, his wife and three kids. And wow, was I excited. Howeverrrrrr, this was more than somewhat marred by every one of us coming down with influenza at the same time, so it was not exactly the fun and wow of a time we'd all planned. In fact, more a case of 'who plays nurse today' kind of holiday.

Then, of course, in February the bushfires hit Australia and my entire town, or village I guess you could say, was wiped out. So I made an emergency trip back for a few days to be with my father and also my brother who'd flown in from Singapore. With our property completely destroyed - except for the main homestead which miraculously survived, it was an extremely surreal time. And then of course, the people I knew who fared far worse and lost their lives.

That was me from Christmas till now and I do hope everyone else had a better time!

But onwards and upwards! Spring is finally in the air - save the occasional snow flurry and it's getting light, light light! It's 18:30 right now and it's still daylight - a couple of months ago it was twilight at 14:30... I'm coming out of the den and hungry for life! :)