First Frost of the Year

First frosty morning
Winter’s welcoming us with
Brillant crisp beauty

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Unexpected Dance

Your eyes were blue and full of light
Making this more than just a night
And while we danced I saw just that
Your eyes were blue and full of light
The smile, the touch, the tit for tat
They held me close – I only know
Your eyes were blue and full of light
Making this more than just a night.

———-

Man, I have written very little here lately. Basically, I’m in some kind of period without that many words.

What does happen is some photography – so hopefully, you enjoy the sideshow.

This is a deliberate attempt to write a triolet. It won’t win me any Nobel prizes in literature – but there is a certain satisfaction in seeming to have wrestled the rhythm and rhyming pattern and not lose all meaning in the process.

And there’s a memory of a swell evening in good company in there 😀

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Monday Motorway Music™, July 2 – Magical Copenhagen Nights

We had a night out last week – a small group of good colleagues as one guy was leaving the team.

The scallops…

The food was absolutely excellent – New Nordic style and both the starting scallops and the main course venison were to die for. The wines picked didn’t stand back for the food. The friendly banter and good laughs were all excellent.

But still, what really stood out for us Northeners was the evening itself. We sat on the restaurant terrace until somewhat close to midnight and I walked home in rolled up shirt sleeves. It felt no less wonderful than the previous weekend in Italy!

And the photos only halfway gives Copenhagen by warm summer night credit. Amazing 🙂

The Chain – Fleetwood Mac
Melody Gardot – It Gonna Come
Snail Mail – Pristine
Østkyst Hustlers – Hustlerstil

Photos by me.
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Monday Motorway Music™, June 25 – Three Travel Mysteries

Before I get to the travel bit – last week was one of mixed live music experiences – all good.

Tuesday was rock – Haim played in Copenhagen on the tail end of their Sister, Sister, Sistor tour. And gee, don’t come and tell me that girls can’t rock!

Switch of genre and geography: Saturday was opera – Verdi’s Aida at the Arena in Verona. With a magnificent Anna Pirozzi singing Aida and the most stunning surroundings and ambience.

That done and told, here are my three major “I don’t get it” travel mysteries:

Boarding conundrum

Those of us who travel a lot for work also get some perks for our time and trouble spent. As an elite member (“Gold”, whatevertheycallit), one of these is priority boarding. And yes, in days and time where airlines restrict checked luggage in favour of fees, it can be quite nice to get abord first and have time and reasonable opportunity to get your bag up in the overhead bin and not having it limit the already scarce space between you and the seat in front.

So – when the plane happens to be in a remote parking and boarding is by bus, why on Earth do airlines bother with doing priority boarding first, only to pack everyone together in the same overcrowded bus and releasing them to a free-for-all at the plane?

Dear airlines – either do it properly (announce priority boarding, then drive those passengers off in a bus first, followed by the next boarding waves) or don’t bother at all and just do general boarding right off the bat.

The dreaded plane change

You’ve been diligent and checked in online and early and picked decent seats. At time of boarding, the smiling gate agent hands you a new boarding card – or you get on board and find that your seat is not what the seat plan on the website/app promised.

The plane has been changed in the meantime. To a type with a different layout.

And this invariably gives someone like me a bad customer experience because – and this is the first part of the mystery – 89+ times out of 100, the change is to a less desirable seat. Even, at times, one of the dreaded middle seats.

The major part of the question is – in this day and time where we can have computers predict ordering patterns, tailor ads precisely (more or less) to our exact needs and all that, why can’t airlines create an algorithm for plane type changes?

One that goes “Reseating? Let’s iterate through the whole passenger list in some elegantly weighted manner that analyses check-in order (the sequence number is on your boarding pass, so they do know in what order people checked in) and airline status and then, as much as possible, assign people the same general kind of seats as they picked originally…?

As in “OK, Seq 008 picked an aisle seat in the forward third of the cabin. Check, done. Oh, hey, Seq 12 wanted emergency row, aisle – seems like this one is Gold and checked in early – yeah, fine, let’s grant that…”

Don’t tell me it can’t be done.

When the elite isn’t really that elite anyway

This one is particular to SAS. My dear home airline is part of Star Alliance family – but it seems, sadly, to me that they are choosing at the moment to be the black sheep of the family, the cousin who does come to the family gatherings but noone really wants to talk to.

I have recently been in four different airports – MXP, AGP, DUB & BLQ – where there are lounges marked with a big friendly “Star Alliance Gold Lounge” signs and security fast track queues for Star Alliance Gold members.

Only to be told that yes, my card has a beautiful Star Alliance Gold symbol and name on it – but as it also has an SAS logo in the other corner, sorry, but it is not the right kind of Star Alliance Gold.

At some point, SAS needs to decide if it is part of the family or not. Because this is just getting bloody annoying.

Oh well. First world problems, I guess 😉

The music list is a longer one – had a meeting today on the other side of our small country.

Born In The USA – Bruce Springsteen
Get Out Of You Lazy Bed – Matt Bianco
Smoke On The Water – Deep Purple
Celebration – Kool & The Gang
Born For This – Paramore
Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
By The Time I Get To Phoenix – Cæcilie Norby
My Love, My Life – ABBA
Better Than Anything – Sinne Eeg
Orinoco Flow – Enya
The Ballroom Blitz – The Sweet
Bag duggede ruder – TV-2

Photos by me.
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Monday Motorway Music™, June 18 – Those Su-ummer Nights!

We’ve had a long, long stretch of warm, sunshiny weather.

So long, in fact, that the area I live in is dry beyond belief and the traditional Midsummer celebration in my village has been cancelled – it was due to be this coming Saturday but the ban on bonfires that has been called to to the draught will be in place beyond that. And a Danish “Skt. Hans” (Midsummer) celebration without a bonfire isn’t one.

(Here is one of last last year’s local bonfires)

Oh well. We can enjoy the summer and the weather in other ways. The photos up at the top and down below are both from a canoe evening with the scouts last Wednesday. A truly great and beautiful evening!

Thunderstruck – AC/DC
Missing – Everything But The Girl
Bat Out of Hell – Meat Loaf
Chicago Institute – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
The Man With the Child in His Eyes – Kate Bush

Photos by me.
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Monday Bicycle Music™, June 11 – That “Horses” Thing

I did the bike thing again yesterday 🙂

And this picture is just one of these small things that makes your day better already from the morning (snapped at 07:34) – and that you don’t see from your car window on the way up the motorway.

(and yeah, I have scrutinized my calendar and realised that some glitch – probably around 40 cm in front of the screen – meant that this didn’t post Monday…)

[Now, where did the music list go…? Ed.]

Photo by me.
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Monday Bicycle Music™, June 4 – Back On Several Horses, Finally

Oh my, there has been a lot of blank pages here, lately. Basically, I have hardly checked in since I checked out for vacation. And yes, it was a very good vacation – but not really so good that it lasted for weeks and weeks afterwards 😉

I don’t know –  I just have not had much writing juice. With work and work travel and private travel also and life and what have you… The ink well has been pretty dry, is all.

And utterly unrelated – but for a much longer period of time I also haven’t really done much on my bike. Whether it’s a sudden flash of motivation or the fact that Denmark is really having some summer or whatever I have no clue – but over the last weeks, I have started a reasonably regular biking schedule once again. Four trips to my regular work site over the last weeks (those are 18 km each way) and, today, a trip to the other main company site. As that’s a 24 km trek, I felt quite good about it this morning! And I’m planning another one to the same place on Friday. Go me 🙂

From one of the many travels in the spring, here is a photo showing that it is not just Denmark and the Netherlands that can call themselves bicycle countries:

– picture snapped at the, admittedly, big bicycle parking at the back of the railway station in Ghent, Belgium.

A beautiful city, by the way – I was there for a conference but would imagine it could be a perfect place to go for a weekend getaway.

 

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And with that, over and (hopefully not) out.

Lullaby of Birdland – Andrea Motis; Joan Chamarro Quintet & Scott Hamilton
Stand By Me – Bruno Camurati
Let’s Stay Awake – Sinne Eeg
Constant Craving – k.d. lang
Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing – Aretha Franklin
Un-Break My Heart – Toni Braxton
Don’t Let It Bring You Down – Annie Lennox

 

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Lonely House

I walk around in this house
Really,  I don’t
But, well, in my mind, I do

The house that only exists there
In my mind

I’m alone there
Of course I am
Since no-one else know about it
But also because that’s why it exists

It is, after all, the house of my loneliness

It’s not a bad house
It is big, with many rooms
The furniture is nice if a bit outdated
And worn if you look carefully enough

The cupboards are a thing of their own
If you open one, it is sure to be empty
Yet, they hold the memories

I walk around there mostly
Rarely sit down
Normally do not spend much time reflecting or pondering
It is as if the house has a certain warmth
That strangely fails to spread to you

It’s odd, actually
That I walk all the time from room to room
But never notice that the windows have no views

Maybe it’s because the house
Though silent has it’s own music
Sad, slow songs that mostly play inside your head
So I can listen to what it doesn’t play to me
To me, the music seems very pleasant,  melodic, harmonic
Even if, should you write it down, it would likely be all in minor

I think of the house as one
That is so like a house of distant, vaguely nice relatives
You’ve been there often
And know your way around
And yet, you somehow feel that you ought to leave

I sometimes wonder
What would happen
If I one day found that the door was open.

The start of this came from a few lines in a play we saw over the weekend – a play about 1930-40s Danish singer Liva Weel. Of course, I can’t recall the words used – but it had the image of a house as a picture of loneliness.

A note on the photo: Yes, I know that I ought to have used a photo from inside a house. And if I find one in the collection, I’ll throw that in instead. But is is just not too often that I am inside such houses – so this one, from Syracusa, Sicily, will have to do for now.

Photo by me.
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Monday Motorway Music™, February 19 – Checking Out For 3-4 Weeks

 

It’s vacation time – we’re going on a major 3 1/2 weeks trip to Patagonia (south end of Latin America, not the clothing brand). I expect pretty sparse internet connections and a lot of enjoyable vacationing with my wife. And all that in turn means probably very little writing.

The house-sitters are moving in as we move out, so that’s taken care of – no empty house to worry about. And tomorrow will be a day of me relaxedly sorting stuff out and putting it into suitcases (yeah, well – this time, for a trip this length and with hiking gear to include also, even I will check in luggage 😉 ) before we take off in the first part of the evening.

The photo above is from the plane on the way home from Zagreb last week. Nice view!

Stay cool, dudes.

Dansevise – Lars H.U.G.
Angel – Eurythmics
Sometime Lately – Darts
Oh Yeah – Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music
Twilight Birds – Gasolin’Vacation

Photos by me
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Cobblestone Cooking Music XXXVII – Sauce Tartare

Hey – it’s been a while without CCM posts, hasn’t it? Don’t worry – the family has eaten in all the time that has passed since I last did some cooking stuff here 😉

Today I’m not doing a full meal (well, ok, yes I am – I’m just not writing about it all) – it’s Friday after work, it’s the weekend, there is a limit to the creative energy…

  • The Kinks, Sunny Afternoon
  • Katrine Madsen, A Rainy Afternoon

I’m actually cooking Fish & Chips today – and for that, of course, you need to go to the Brits for how-tos and recipes. My favourite is a very nice and easy to handle recipe from the BBC – I’ll leave you to peruse that by yourself.

  • Melissa Etheridge, Rock and Roll Me
  • Diana Krall, Dream A Little Dream Of Me

But I have one point where I disagree with the recipe – the side / condiment, whatever you call it. Tomato sauce? Nah! A tartare sauce is the thing! And it is dead easy to make 🙂

  • Majbritte Ulrikkeholm, I’ve Been Missing You
  • Maria Augusta, How Deep Is Your Love

Taste-giving ingredients (well, most of them) – from the bottom left and clockwise: onion, capers (vinegar-pickled), parsley, chives and cornichons, all finely chopped.

Actually, this is the part that takes most of the time – the chopping of these things.

  • Melody Gardot*, My One And Only Thrill
  • Bette Midler, The Rose

Once that is done, put together a mayonnaise dressing: a good mayonnaise – I’m too lazy to make my own, so I tend to use Hellman’s – and some yoghurt naturel or creme fraiche, a bit of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Mix in the chopped stuff – and presto!

  • Elton John, Candle In The Wind
  • Darts, Sometime Lately

Total time today from start to finish was 18 minutes – not hurrying. And then just leave the tartare sauce could for a while while you do the rest and check if anything misses in the taste just before serving.

Happy cooking!

Photos by me.
* Melody Gardot is playing at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival later this year. And guess who’s got tickets? 🙂 🙂
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