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.