Monday, 31 March 2014

Oh My (Danish) GOSH!

I bought some nail varnish the other day.  Okay, nothing new in that.  But I'm on to my fourth bottle of the same colour. Surely this is some sort of female record?  I mean, hands up all those that have a bathroom cabinet of half-used bottles?  You know what I mean.  The colour isn't quite right/it chips easily/it was a gift from a friend/it's an expensive brand, bla, bla, bla.  But you can't quite bear to part with the bottle because - hey - you might need precisely that colour for another occasion?  Guilty as charged! :P


But I love this particular varnish and have used up Every Single Last Drop of the the first three bottles.  Two coats and you are good to go for almost a week.  Yep, as a winterbather/gardener, I can certainly vouch for its hardiness...  The colour is called "Peachy" (number 570) and it's by GOSH.  My 16 year old (you know how picky they can be) Scottish niece even complimented me on the colour - and wanted her own bottle ;)


Here comes the science Danish bit!  Yep, did you know GOSH was Danish?  I've been using their makeup for years but had no idea.  The penny only dropped when I saw that they had a new range in collaboration with the Danish singer Medina. Now, Medina is certainly a style icon and a bit of a diva. But, as she rarely sings in Danish, I couldn't see that anyone outside of Denmark would know who she was.  Let alone want to use her for advertising.  Ah, so GOSH is a Danish company?  Starts to make sense...



But, as usual, I digress!  Yep, they do a great line in affordable makeup (à la Rimmel and Maybelline).  A great mix of classic and funky colours.  And selvfølgelig all wrapped up in trademark Danish streamlined design packaging.  And - hey - you might also want to check out their fabulous pink varnish, number 569.    Yep, I'm already on my third bottle of "Flamingo" ;)


Diane :)

Friday, 28 March 2014

World Half Marathon Copenhagen...Klar, parat, start!

***  Get the free, official IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Copenhagen 2014 app (itunes and android)


for the latest information about the race, traffic info, results, etc  ***


Klar, parat, start?  I've just been to pick up hubby's starting number.  He -- and 29,999 other runners -- are taking part in the World Half Marathon Championships taking place in Copenhagen tomorrow afternoon.  And before you ask...please, no questions about his estimated time!  Given that DDH (Dear Danish Husband) hasn't trained for months, just making it over the finish line without assistance from Falck will be a victory in itself! :P



The race starts and finishes at Borgen - home of the Danish Parliament - which you all know from the tv series!   And the Starter for the Women's Elite Race is our Prime Minister, Helle Thorning Schmidt.  Remember her.  She of 'selfie with Obama' fame?  [The Danish Prime Minister (Almost) Got a Nose. A small one!]  Photo opportunity there, methinks?!

The Starter for the Men's Elite Race and the Mass General Race is HRH Crown Prince Frederik.  Now Frede (as he is affectionately known), the one who is married to Mary from Australia, is no stranger to a bit of fitness himself...  He's run several marathons and last year he completed an Ironman - the first royal ever to do so!  Perhaps he'll join in the race? Because once the runners are 'out of the gate' they'll head towards Kongens Nytorv and Store Kongensgade - passing by his 'house' and Queen Daisy's residence... [40 things you always wanted to know about the Danish Queen (But Were Afraid to Ask)]


Fancy going to watch?  Just be warned that the centre of Copenhagen will be at a standstill tomorrow, so you can only get there by S-train or Metro.  But the Danish weather gods are on their best behaviour and we have beautiful sunshine today and mild temperatures (around 10c/50f) which are set to continue into the weekend.



Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Diane :)

 

Monday, 24 March 2014

Danish Milk. Grey or blue?

Do you drink milk?  We drink lots of it in our house.  And - what's more - we're living dangerously without a safety net and still choosing to drink (and enjoy) cow's milk! [Gasps from the audience...]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="519" caption="My fridge"][/caption]

Now, I've mentioned before the hazards of not being able to decipher Danish food packaging : remember these little pots of pasteuriserede æggehvider – pasteurized egg whites?  The mother of a French friend of mine mistook them for Danone mini yoghurts. And put one in the grandchild’s packed lunchbox.  Ha! ;)


Been there, done that!  Well, not exactly the egg-whitey thing.  But do I remember leaving Scotland at the tender age of 21 to go and work in the small (but perfectly formed Duchy of) Luxembourg and being totally baffled by the dairy section at my local supermarché.  I knew to look for "lait" but had no idea if I was buying semi-skimmed, full-fat or long-life. Repeat the scenario holidaying in Spain, Greece, Italy, etc, etc, etc.

Things are a lot easier here in Denmark because those crazy but lovable Danes have a clever milk coding system.  The colour on milk cartons is standardized.  Thus, if you know what kind of milk you like, you can easily find it.  But you need to know the Danish name for it selvfølgelig!  So in order to make your trip to the supermarked a little less hazardous, here's my run down on the various types of milk you're likely to encounter in Denmark:




  • full-fat - sødmælk - dark blue carton

  • semi-skimmed - letmælk - pale blue carton

  • 0.5% fat "mini" milk - minimælk - light grey/blue carton

  • skimmed - skummetmælk - grey carton


.

But - hov - what about all those other dairy products lurking in the cooler section, just waiting to confuse you?

  • whipping cream - piskeflødered carton 

  • non-whipping cream for coffee - kaffefløde - orange carton

  • buttermilk - kærnemælkgreen carton  Unless - selvfølgelig - it has a picture of an apple on it.  Then it's æblemost - applejuice... ;)


.

And the countless other types of yoghurts/soured milk products will just have to wait until another blogpost!


[caption id="attachment_2135" align="aligncenter" width="717" caption="My friend V's fridge"][/caption]

My kids love skummetmælk and my favourite is sødmælk.  What's your favourite tipple?

Happy drinking.  Oh, and "mooooooooooo"!

Diane :)

 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

WhoMadeWho. Who? Here we go again!

After two years of (not so) patient waiting, WhoMadeWho finally have a new album out - "Dreams".  Hooray!  Okay, okay, so I admit that after the first couple of listens, I'm not nearly as enthusiastic as I was about their previous albums.  "Dreams" is low key, slow paced and grown-up.  But it's received rave (rave, rave...) reviews right across the board, both in Denmark and abroad - so it will no doubt grow on me.  Even they admit that this is one to be listened to at home or through headphones.  But - hooray, hooray - promise us that there will still be a party (with a capital P) when they play live! And I have tickets to see them next month, woop, woop! :D

So what are WhoMadeWho like live?  Phenomenal!  Read on, Macduff...

[First published 18 April 2012]

It’s Wednesday morning and I still have music ringing in my ears from Saturday night.  You see, I was finally able to see WhoMadeWho live. (A Danish band I’ve loved for a couple of years and mentioned on the blog before.)









Two thirds of WhoMadeWho

 

What started out as a concert – at my favourite venue Vega – turned into a party.  And then into a toga party! :o )









WhoMadeWho – it’s all Greek to me…

 

So just like one of their tracks, I’m still high and “two feet off ground”.  ’Cos those lovely Danish boys seem to have split personalities.  In the studio, they make very polished albums.  Not to mention appearing in very (very) polished videos.  Like this one made for them by ‘Good Boy! Creative‘ which has been nominated for – and won – several awards around the globe…

WhoMadeWho – Keep Me in My Plane

But on stage?  They’re wild.  Wild with a capital W.  With a strobe and light show that should carry health warning signs…  So I’m still hopping.  Turn your speakers up to 11 and feel free to hop along…  (In this teaser video, you’ll get a short clip of their legendary cover of Ben Benassi’s “Satisaction”.  On Saturday night it lasted about 10 minutes.  Ha!  Fan-flippin-tastic!)

WhoMadeWho – Trailer from Roskilde Festival 2011

Have a wonderful Wednesday! :)

Diane [First posted 18 April 2012 ]

Monday, 17 March 2014

You know you're in Denmark when... (Sexy Danish Domesticated Dads)

You know you're in Denmark when...

...you wonder why there are so many good looking men coming out of a building at 7.45 in the morning.  Then suddenly realise that those men are SDDDs!  Sexy Danish Domesticated Dads...



Yep, while Danish Mums tend to do the afternoon pick-up, it's often Danish Dads who do the morning run to vuggestue (creche) and børnehave (nursery). And Danish Dads are also a dab hand when it comes to packing lunchboxes (remembering to use the special Danish lunchbox paper!) and cooking dinner.



Yep, the Danish work-life balance is pretty obvious on the home front. [Such a pity my own DDH didn't get that particular memo! ;) ]



So - ladies - next time you're heading off on the school run, you might want to slap on some lipstick..?

Diane :)

Thursday, 13 March 2014

The New Nordic...Potato Chip!

Unless you've been living underneath a rock for the past year, you can't have missed the hype.  The New Nordic 'Thang'.  You know, the New Nordic Kitchen.  The New Nordic Diet.  The New Nordic Cuisine.  The New Nordic Lifestyle.  The New Nordic etc, etc, etc...  Getting back to nature.  Going out to the forest, dales and streams and foraging for food.  Viking roots, slow-food-rub-a-dub-stylee.  It started a few years back and has been building and building...


Three years ago, DDH (Dear Danish Husband) took me for my birthday to Noma (at that time, the Best Restaurant in the the World for the second year running) and we had the full whammy of their New Nordic dishes.  Prawns so fresh that they were still alive and wriggling as we swallowed them.  Deep fried moss.  Eggs we should fry ourself on hot iron plates, on top of smoking hay (washed down with champagne).  Yep, it was hard not to sit and think, "The Emperor's New Clothes?"  Here we are, paying the best part of kr.5,000 (US $950, UK £560) for lunch for two, eating glorified fried eggs! ;)



But, as usual, I digress!  Anway, the New Nordic 'Thang' has been trickling down to the man in the street ever since.  First of all, we have the renaissance of rough-and-ready-rugbrød (ryebread).  Which is back with a hearty, healthy vengeance as a lunchbox staple.  But then again, did it ever really leave?



Then someone had the bright idea of marketing rugbrød (ryebread) as a tapas delicacy.  Slice the ryebread, roast it, add salt (big, manly flakes, selvfølgelig), put it in little bags and sell it at highly inflated prices [said the canny Scot].  Dang!  'Cos these rugbrødschips (ryebread chips) are actually very addictive!



But you know when the trend has finally gone mainstream when it hits the lowest supermarket shelves.  Yep, even the humble potato chip has had a New Nordic makeover.  They even came up with the cheesy name of Sbrød.  A combo of sprød (crunchy) and brød (bread)... 


Just add a glass of beer micro-brewery-unfiltered-pilsner or apple juice some freshly-tapped-birch-juice and you're all set!


Diane :)

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Time to call 1813, the Emergency Helpline!

Yesterday afternoon at 5.15pm my DD11 (dear daughter, aged 11) did a spectacular stunt when getting out of the car.  Fell backwards, lost her shoe, managed to upright herself - whilst simultaneously jamming her thumb in the car door.  At full force.  Yep, the poor wee lamb got a fright (not to mention gave her Mum a fright) and ended up with a bleeding, mangled thumb.

So DS14 (dear son, aged 14) fetched her duvet and propped her up on the sofa, while Mum fetched painkillers and a bag of frozen sweetcorn to place on the (by now) huge and throbbing thumb.  Now what?  Oh yes, phone Akuttelefonen 1813 (the Emergency Helpline for Greater Copenhagen).  You call them if a) you need a doctor outside of surgery hours b) you've had a minor accident which may require a visit to Skadestuen (the Emergency Room) or c) need advice about a medical problem.  You can even send them a picture from your smartphone of your kid's spots/rash - very helpful for young Mums!  If you need an ambulance or if it's a matter of life and death, you should always call 112.



Um, but hang on a mo'.  Call 1813?  What about all that bad publicity?  Will I even be able to get through to the switchboard?  To give you a little background: the new 1813 emergency helpline came into being on 1 January 2014.  And had a catastrophic start.  Which wasn't a surprise to anyone because the changeover to the new system had been highly controversial.  Danish GPs, who previously provided the after-hours emergency service, refused on principle to work for the new helpline as they don't believe it will provide the same standard of care for patients.  So the new service was undermanned from day one, resulting in telephone chaos.  Callers were put on hold for hours.  Or - worse - couldn't get through at all.

But back to the Throbbing Thumb...  It's now 5.35pm and I dial 1813 and get a recorded message with various options.  Type in DD11's identification number and am told that I am fifth in the phone queue, with a wait time of approximately 3 minutes.

Realise, while I'm still on hold, that I made a mistake in DD11's id number.  So put the phone down (or whatever you say in these days of mobile phones...) and redial 1813, retypying the correct id number.  This time I get through immediately, to a nurse.  "Yes, sounds like you need to have the thumb x-rayed.  I'll book you in for 6.33pm at the Akutklinik (Emergency Room).  There's no need to turn up before then and there shouldn't be any waiting time when you get there."

Okay, the hospital is 10 minutes drive from us, so we'll just chill at home for half an hour.  So I grab a drink and a bite to eat, a stack of Anders And blade (Donald Duck magazines) and DD's medical papers/id card.  And we head off in the car at 6.10pm...


At 6.20pm we pull into the hospital car park.  Log in online with DD's id number at the Akutklinik reception.  And at 6.25pm a doctor comes to greet us and inspects The Thumb.  6.3opm and we're sent off to the x-ray department.  Follow the lines...


We're the only people at the x-ray dept, so we walk right in.  At 6.40pm we're done and are told to walk back to reception and wait.

At 6.50pm the doctor comes back and says - hooray, hooray - it doesn't look like The Thumb is broken.  But there could be a teeny, tiny crack so he'll get a second opinion from the x-ray doctor in the morning.  He checks our phone number and says they'll phone us if we need to come back.

6.55pm we're back in the car, on our way home.

At 7.05pm DD11 is back on the sofa.  All snuggled up, ready for another episode of Sherlock.

Hooray for happy endings!  And "two thumbs up" for a very successful first experience with 1813!

Diane :)

 

Friday, 7 March 2014

Oh what, wow, he's the greatest dancer! Marvelous!

It's Friday!  Which means I'm in the mood for dancing!  [And 'romancing' - anyone else remember the Nolan Sisters?]

And nothing hits the spot like a bit of Marvelous Mosell...  Remember him?  (See Friday Fun - It's Marvelous! Mosell!)  The Danish rapper who mixes his own 'fly' lyrics with classic tunes.  All topped off with crazy videos!   And - for those of you learning Danish - there are usually subtitles. 

Here he is - with a bit of help from Chic and Sister Sledge - with a tale of his exploits as Den Bedste Dancer (the greatest dancer)...

 

 "Der var både bajere og hash,


men jeg sagde: Stik mig bare en


kærnemælk i et snavset glas


med et sugerør i


og gør det i en fart, for jeg er sørme tørstig!"


"There was beer and hash


but I said: Give me some


buttermilk in a dirty glass


with a straw, and do it nifty


'cos I'm really thirsty" ;)


 

So, anyone for the slosh?

Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Diane :)

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Spring, sand, sea and sun!

What a difference a month makes... Spring officially started here in Denmark on Saturday (1 March) and, though we've still got the odd night of frost, the erantis (Week Seven. Sea or sun?) are out in full force and things are definitely beginning to look up!  To give you an example...  Here's a photo I took of my sweetie-skinny-dipping-buddy V just four weeks ago (6 February).  Freezing fog and ice on the bathing steps.  Yep, you don't have to be mad to be a winterbather, but we find that it helps... ;)



And here's me this morning. The sun was out - hooray, hooray - and we had an air temp of 4c (39.2f).  Okay, okay, so the water is still a tad on the chilly side - about 3c (37.4f). But we're not complaining.  In fact, the sea was so beautiful and clear this morning that we just had to swim twice!



And there's more good news 'cos apparently the Danish weather gods are going to give us a beautiful, Danish spring weekend with sun, sun, sun and temperatures up to 13c (55.4f).  Time to head for the beach!

Diane :)