Thursday 31 December 2015


Fyrværkeri (fireworks) are legal in Denmark (except for bungers or bombs). 

This week has been so much fun re living my early childhood as its been 30 odd years since fireworks were last sold in good old nanny state Australia. 

For two weeks I have been travelling around the town checking out all the markets and shops. I ve purchased samples and tested the products out in the kitchen as its raining outside. I've even modified  the Hex Hyl (Witch Howl) (see the yellow ones below) into an excellent explosive (Bunger) with the help of a 14 year old danish kid on  you tube. 

The choice of pyrotechnic goodness is a amazing here.  It ranges from high end batteries of professional grade fireworks ie a case about the size of a slab of beer that you light and stand back to watch a curated display, through rockets(rackets) of all sizes, down to throw downs (knadperler), hexehyl, jumping jacks etc.

Sale is legal from  15 dec through 31 dec and its legal to let then off between 27th dec and new years day. So I had a few weeks of going for evening walks around the lake letting of crackers, woohoo.

On new years eve it gets ridiculous. As soon as it gets dark (4pm) there are fireworks going off all over town. This builds to a crescendo around midnight when there are so many going off the sky is full for two hours and the smoke is as thick as fog.

The good lady Wilde and I took out meager (by Danish Standards) bag of fyrewærkeri down to the castle lake and spent a glorious hour or so letting them off. I purchased some rockets for the good lady and these were the highlight of our fun.

Our selection

Tuesday 29 December 2015

Puzzle me this

It's been a bit wet lately so the good Lady Wilde and I have rediscovered jigsawpuzzles. We had a great time this week compulsively applying ourselves to this little beauty.

Australia William Robinsons Winter

Friday 25 December 2015

Først Jule i Danmark

A selection from our first Christmas day in Denmark. We had a christmas at home in our wonderful appartment, where I made my version of traditional Danish fare. I must say it was delicious and the day was hygge (Danish word for cosy, relaxed, warn, friendly, safe, etc etc)

Gertys Hair dressers Christmas window

Our outside Christmas tree in our newly enclosed balcony

My attempt at traditional Danish Christmas lunch. Ribbensteg and rødkal

Our inside Christmas tree

Sunday 20 December 2015

Very Special YuleFrokost

I was extremely privileged to be invited to my landlords (Ivan) traditional YuleFrokost event last night. These 20 or so guys have been meeting every year for 30 years. They even sit at exactly the same location around the table each year and sing the same songs.

I was welcomed warmly and seated between Ivan and Hans (an old family friend of my aunt and uncle). I was mentioned in the speeches, and one of the jokes was specially translated to English for me. I believe Ivan's speech included something about me making a speach next in Danish but hopefully the Snaps was messing with my hearing.

The food was all traditional, ribbensteg, grønkal, herring etc and the toasts many. I must have had 10 shots of snaps just in toasts. Anyway I practised a little danish and some spoke english with me. I felt very welcome, although some must have just been tolerating my presence in this hallowed gathering.

I was one of the last to leave so helped tidy up then staggered through town to Greve axel. It had opened for the night club crowd for the last time. Nichlaus kindly gave me a free cone of fries to settle the munchies and then I was off to the irish pub to meet some friends for some cleansing ale. Needless to say I did not get out of bed the next day.

Ivans (standin) Yule frokost. (Hans lower left)

Friday 18 December 2015

Farvel Grev Axel and great coffee

Today my favorite cafe "Grev Axel" closes.

The owners Niclaus and Agne have become great friends and Niclaus my trusted cultural advisor. I have spent many days hanging out meeting wonderful locals, eating great food (including my inclusion on the menu the Aussie Burgrer) and of course the best coffee in Kolding.

As a fitting end to the Sprogskole (Language school) year and Grev Axels passing here I am in grev Axel with my mates from school for a final Coffee.

I will miss you Grev Axel

Now the search for a decent coffee begins

Saturday 5 December 2015

Danish 101 - Yule frokost

A danish tradition leading up to Christmas(Yule) is to have Yulefrokost (Christmas Lunch) parties. In spite of the name these can be anything from brunch through to dinner. 

Only traditional food is severed including;
  • Ribbensteg (roast rib steak pork dish with crackling) 
  • Grønkal (creamy Kale veggie dish), 
  • Hviskal (creamy white cabage like mashed potatoe), 
  • Yulemedister (a 40cm long pork sausage spiralled), 
  • Slid (picked herring, and curried pickled herring), 
  • Ruggebrød ( a dark rye bread in thin slices) 
  • Rødkal (red cabbage often pickled), 
  • Frykadele (small danish meatballs from pork and veal).

Of course this is Denmark so the beverages are not forgotten. Another tradition around Christmas is that most breweries release a limited run Yulebryg (Christmas brew) this just means that all the standard brews are increased in alcohol  content by 1-2%, are made slightly darker and come with suitably festive labelling. Snaps (schnapps) of various styles including Aquavit is consumed in shots at every toast during a meal ie every few minutes. There is also a glühwein type drink that is served warm named Gløgg. The one pictured has rum and chocolate in it.

At these events there are formal speeches usually covering the year past and traditional singing (every one is given a printed song sheet). Sounds awful but I really like it.

Our selection snaps, gløgg  and julebryg

Friday 4 December 2015

Danish 101 - Skildpadde

The Danish may not admit this but they have a thing for turtles.

I'm not sure they have any real turtles anywhere but I reckon its their unofficial national animal. The official one being the Mute Swan. I think it may be because the Danish word for Turtle is so cute and one of my favourites. "Skildpadde" pronounced skill paddler. They have chocolates in the shape of turtles, cakes, soap and there's even a statue of one in the town.

Just when you though all this was cute and quirky, things started to get really fucking wierd. Look what we found at the supermarket.

WTF a 2kg can of faux turtle. Yep they have fashioned pork into fake turtle meat and jammed it into a bite size 2k can. The label is in Danish but I think the serving suggestions include a couple of hard boiled egg halves, a trough and a stomach pump.

Hand ball - KIV not KIA

The Sprogskole offered the class free tickets to the opening game of the Hand ball season tonight. So four of us embraced our inner Dane and headed out to the new arena in Kolding. Handball (Håndbol) is big here Denmark and especially in Kolding as the local team KIV Kolding-Kobehaven won last years Danish championship. I understand the Danish teams also do well in European competitions so it is definitely a Danish game.

To my surprise I really enjoyed it. The game has the cadence of basket ball ie fast, end to end turn overs and close scoring. It also includes all the American production vales of basket ball. Think non stop curated music (we will rock you) through out, young girls dancing in skimpy Lycra at every opportunity and mascots (KIVs is a dog) reving up the crowd.

We had standing seats up the back but it was the full experience right down to the one xmas beer per half (Yule øl) I think I,ll go again.

Sunday 22 November 2015

First Snow

 Awoke to my first Danish Snow fall. It was beautiful with light floating flakes falling most of the morning. Only a small amount has survied to the evening but it was still brilliant. Hopefully it doesnt snow tomorrow as I have to ride my motorcycle to Language school.

Snow on our balcony

Snow on the castle

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Danish 101 - Run Forest Run

Running is the number one participant sport in Denmark. They are crazy for this shit. The minute it rains and-or gets dark out they come decked from head to toe in Lycra, beanies, gloves, windproof jackets and of course the latest trail shoes. All this with splashes of fluoro (hopefully only for this season)

Apart from needing to shed a few kgs, I think I need to join in this madness as part of my integration to danish life. So today I took action.

I went for a walk to scope the local forest "MarielundSkov" for future 5 - 10 k runs. What a find. This little gem has been siting on my fridge door in the form of a tourist brochure (in Danish) for months now. Rather like one of those sponsor a starving African child photos or a forgotten gym membership card.

Only 700m from my door and the trails continue for 20km out of Kolding. I only walked about an 8 km loop where I discovered lots of trails and single tracks along creeks with little hills etc. There is great amount of variation for a small place. In short a beautiful place for a run. It also has marked mountain bike single tracks with various difficulties and obstacles.

Now all I have to do is fix my Achilles...again. Worst case I have a beautiful place for a walk.

Wednesday 28 October 2015

New York Tour

The good lady Wilde was on a world wide work trip that, amongst other places, put her in New York for 5 nights. So I purchaes a relativley (AUS dollar is crap at the moment) cheap ticket and off I went.
Having never been to the US I figured NYC was a good place to start. However, I'm not normaly a big city kind of traveller and my first preference for the US or any country is the natural wonders a place has to offer. 
Well, New York was a real blast. A cultural and sensory assault in a nice way. Im not sure I'd like to live there but what a place to visit (regularly).

Day 1 

I awoke to traffic noise, sirens, construction noise. Sleep was not an option with so much to see, just as well as the Hotel we were staying in was the worst I've ever experienced. I wont go into it but make sure you remove the Hotel Pennsylvania (Read rat and roach) from any future plans. Apart from being central its is appalling on all levels and not cheap.

Any way to day started a walk to Grand central for Bagel + cream cheese and coffee whilst watching the ants going about their business in this spectacular building. From there I walked to the UN, visited a tiny little garden sponsored by Catherine Hepburn, up to Central park including the first Apple store then the full length of the park and back to the Guggenheim.

WTF the G was closed so much for the city that never sleeps. So back I walked to the Hotel

16km, 3 blisters and 200 photos, priceless

Grand central

Just a wee peek at the Chrysler building


Catherine Hepburns Seat in the Catherine Hepburn garden

The first Sotre
Central Park

West side from across central park

Saki bar in SOHO

Fifth ave

Times square + road works

No idea
click to enlarge
From the long island ferry
Fulton subway station roof

World trade center memorial

World trade center memorial

World trade center tower

World trade center memorial

World trade center memorial

Rockerfeller centre ice rink

Flatiron building

Brooklyn Bridge an Engineers wet dream

Picaso sculpture exhibition at MOMA

Brooklyn - GENSPACE - BIOFABRICATE 2015 WORKSHOPS My my silk dyed by bacteria

Emipre state and lower Manhattan from the Roc

Manhattan Bridge

23rd st Subway

View sth from the Roc

Stranger - Subway

Wednesday 30 September 2015

Home Built

I feel slightly Dansk now that I've mastered the art of pulled pork. A Finish friend of ours, Maryja, dropped in for a visit last night and we demolished this and a bottle of red.
Said Pulled Pork

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Wee Down Under

My mate Leasky has a new toy.

After years of Triumph America joy Leasky has decided to join the adventure touring clan with a bright shinny new WeeStrom.

Check it out.

Leaskys New Toy

I look forward to our annual Tassie trip next summer where we can test its metal (and rubber) on the best roads in the world. Big claim, I know but don't trust me see MCNs reviewbelow

Saturday 19 September 2015

Lego Loop Suffers Snail Infestation

The weather was glorious today. Sun and clear blue Danish sky's providing a vivid contrast to the fluttering Dannebrog (Danish Flag) atop Koldinghus. I've got the 100km Lego loop wired now. Out and back to Billund with a coffee stop.

So out came the beemers. The ride was almost perfect except for the odd car ruining some of the better curves.

We stopped at what always looks like the only shop in Billund, the bakery. The coffee was passable but the snegl (snail) pastry was bloody superb. Yeah yeah its not paleo but I thought it would be silly not to have at least one Danish pastry whilst in Denmark. Yes, Theo I've weakened

Said Snegl