Thursday, 24 January 2013

Mad about (Mads) Music

I consider myself pretty cool when it comes to music. I grew up with punk, lived through new wave and pop, and have settled down to rock and electronica – primarily Scandinavian. My radio is tuned to Danish Radio’s P3 (mainstream) and P6 (DAB channel, indie and rock). And hubby and I are regulars at Vega (Copenhagen’s finest concert venue). Not bad for a couple of 45 year olds, right? And, hey, we even have a rock star friend and often get to hang out backstage! ;)

Magtens Korridorer at Pumpehuset, January 2013
Magtens Korridorer at Pumpehuset, January 2013

But I’m beginning to have an identity crisis. Perhaps it’s a mid-life crisis? You see, I’ve started listening to jazz. Is that a sign that I’m getting old? Like, really old? I suppose it’s not really so strange, as my Mum and Dad are huge traditional and New Orleans style jazz fans, so I’ve had plenty of exposure. Hubby and I took my parents to see Mads Mathias – a young Danish jazz crooner/saxonfonist/multi-talented musician – a couple of years ago, when we was performing Christmas jazz (together with the Magnus Hjorth Trio). And he blew us all away – literally.

Mads Mathias with Magnus Hjorth Trio at Jazzhouse Montmartre, December 2012
Mads Mathias with Magnus Hjorth Trio at Jazzhouse Montmartre, December 2012

He also plays with the band Six City Stompers. Well, we bought some of Mads’ CDs as a gift this Christmas for my Dad – and ended up buying a copy for ourselves. And now I’ve been to see him live again. Ummm, okay, make that twice within the last month! Yep, Mads Mathias really is that good. Even if you don’t like jazz! Oh, and he recently won “Best New Danish Jazz Artist” at the Danish Music Awards…

Mads Mathias at Huset i Magstræde, January 2013
Mads Mathias at Huset i Magstræde, January 2013

If you’d like to catch him yourself, he’ll be playing along with DR’s Big Band at Koncerthuset, Copenhagen on 22 March. In the meanwhile, here’s a taster from his album “Free Falling”. Enjoy!

Rock on! Or should that be “Ah-one, ah-two, ah-one, two, three, four!”?

Diane :)

Winter bathing - who wants a slushice?

If you’ve a regular reader, you already know that I’m a h.u.g.e fan of vinterbadning. Winter bathing. Skinny dipping in the Danish sea. What ever you want to call it. Though I guess most people would probably just call it plain madness… ;) I’m just back from this morning’s dip and can report that the sea is slowly but surely turning into slush ice. We have, of course, had sub zero temperatures for the past couple of weeks. Which has meant that we aren’t able to use the bathing bridge, as it’s very slippery and icy. Here’s a photo of the bathing bridge steps this morning…impassable!

I love winter bathing!
The bathing bridge steps today - January 2013

And here’s me on the same steps, a couple of summers ago…

I love winter bathing!
The bathing bridge steps - September 2011

So for the past week, we’ve waded in to the sea from the side. Today it was a new experience for us because there was some slush ice! Yay! What did it feel like? Hmm, like putting your hands into a bucket of gravel!

Winter bathing in Denmark
My sweetie friend V on the bathing bridge

Now, to be honest, we don’t really have extreme weather to speak of here in Denmark. But there is something fascinating about watching the waves coming in, slowing up and finally turning into slush ice on the shore. Here’s some video I took this morning. Won’t be long now before the sea freezes over completely – probably three or four days…

So, will you be joining us down at the beach? Don’t forget your bathrobe and a pickaxe!

Diane :)

PS: Today’s stats: air temp -5c/23f, windchill -11c/12f, water temperature -0.5c/31f. Yup, pretty chilly!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Hello January!

Happy New Year!  After a whirlwind month of December (did you catch my Danish Christmas Advent Calendar?), the kids are now well back into school and activities, Herr and Frue Danmark are back to work and life is back to normal.  A nice, quiet month. Though, by golly, the shops and bakers are already trying to get more money out of us turning our attention to Fastelavn (Carnival).  Which - you will remember - has very little in common with hot temperatures and samba dancing...    If you really want to get started early, go ready my DIY FASTELAVN - CARNIVAL IN COPENHAGEN
Weatherwise, it's been unseasonably mild so far this winter.  Instead of ice and snow, below zero temperatures and clear blue skies, we've had dull, long, dark days with fog and rain.  Boo!  Though that's all set to change.  Yesterday when we were down at the beach for our daily skinny dip, it was howling a gale, snow was falling and the steps and bannister of the bathing bridge were covered in ice.  Forcing us to wade into the sea from the beach...  Ready for the the gory details? Water temperature was 1c/33f, the air temperature was -3c/26f and the windchill was -11c/13f   Brr! :o
This? Was cold!
We've had more snow during the night, so this morning I was out shovelling, brushing and salting the pavement.  Though, if you're out on foot at the moment, the best bet is probably to walk on the cycle paths - they're always cleared.  Just watch out for bikes! ;)
Gritted cycle paths
Thankfully the days are getting a teeny bit longer and the sun is finally making a very welcome return.  Here's a picture from our run in the park this morning.  Recognise this place?  To us, it's Bernstorff Castle.  Though if you're a Borgen fan, you'll be forgiven for thinking it's the Danish Prime Minister's residence!
Bernstorff Castle...used in Borgen
Speaking of Borgen, the third series has started here and I'm already three episodes behind - eek!  Time to do some homework!  But also time to bundle up and get out into the sunshine again - let's keep warm out there!
Diane :)