Friday, April 24, 2015

Talking Statues

Christian IV, Nyboder, Copenhagen 2003
Yes, that is true... our statues talk.... well sort of. A while ago I noticed a sticker at a base of the Christian IV statue in Nyboder, Copenhagen, Denmark and decided to take a closer look at the sticker.

It was not vandalism but turned out to be a QR code - fetched my smart phone in my pocket, scanned the code and voila: the history of King Christian IV and the Nyboder area surfaced on my smart phone. Apparently the statues have been talking since 2013, but I did not hear one of them whisper until now. Only downside to this service is that foreigners have to use data on their smart phone which can be a quite expensive feature to use when traveling.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

World Book Day 2015

Denmark Reads
Today is World Book Day and the Danish Agency for Culture has decided to make it an extra special day for a lot of people.

100.000 books will be distributed today by volunteers to some of the 1,5 million Danes (approximately 40% of our population) who rarely pick up and read a book. It's 5 books by Danish authors that will each be distributed in 20.000 copies.

I am one of the remaining 60% but I still get a chance to read the books for free if I am interested - today the books are also available as e-book downloads offering me an opportunity to read books from authors that I have not yet had on my reading list.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Ahhh You Got That Idea From the Family on TV

North Sea 2014 (own photo)
Often, when people hear that I went on a sailing trip last summer I hear the words "Ahhh you got that idea from the family on TV" - and they look bewildered, when I say "No, I had the idea about a year before they aired the television show". The doctor who had the idea about the Sailing Sclerosis project launched it in 2013 - the television show did not air until 2014.

I did not watch a single episode until after I came home from my own sailing trip - sighing loud when watching the first episode as I took us almost where I had just been myself. Some says the show is way too enthusiastic about the experience and encounters on their trip - I say, they are spot on, as it can really make you happy when eying dolphins in the right element for the first time, being on a night watch with moonlight and a sky overwhelmed with stars, being away from everything really.

They are about to make season 3 as they have really opened up peoples eyes on an alternative way of traveling and relaxing. It has become a really popular show with audience from young to old people following parts of the tree year voyage around the world. Well, mental relaxing as sailing a boat takes hard work, and yet the mental thinking is also challenged as you are in limited space with other people - you never really have a moment alone unless you can escape in your mind/own thoughts once in a while.

This book was present on our boat - signed by the author/sailor - but did not read it until a couple of months ago when I found it at the local library. About a guy who went solo around the world in his boat "only" to end up with a broken mast when he could almost smell his goal - this is NOT a spoiler as you can see that fact when reading the book cover. You get to know why he went on the trip alone and what went on in his mind when bad luck occurred. If doing a project like this you really must be mentally strong so you do not loose yourself while doing it and maybe put yourself in danger - the mast problem was pure bad luck.

One of the photographers on the television show have sailed the world in her own family and written a book about it. Taking the kids out of school and doing home schooling while sailing. How they got they idea and started telling everybody about it, so there was no way back and they just had to do it. Easiest thing is to get the idea - hardest thing is to make it happen.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Book Challenge: 26 Books to Read in 2015

Saw this on pinterest and thought I might spice up this year's reading choices with the following challenge. We have already started the 4th month of the year but not behind in this challenge as I can already tick off some of them.

1.    A book you own but haven’t read
2.    A book that was made into a movie
3.    A book you pick solely because of the cover
4.    A book your friend loves
5.    A book published this year
6.    A book by an author you’ve never read before
7.    A book by an author you love
8.    A book at the bottom at your “to be read” pile
9.    A book with a color in the title
10.  A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit
11.  A book you started but never finished
12.  A book a lion, a witch or a wardrope
13.  A book with a female heroine
14.  A book set in the summer
15.  A book of poems
16.  A book you learned about because of this challenge
17.  A book that will make you smarter
18.  A book with a blue cover
19.  A book you were supposed to read but didn’t
20.  A book “everyone” but you have read
21.  A book with a great first line
22.  A book with pictures
23.  A book from the library
24.  A book you loved…read it again
25.  A book that is more than 10 years old
26.  A book based on a true story

Monday, April 6, 2015

Astrid Lindgren

Astrid Lindgren and Pippi (Inger Nilsson)
Maybe above photo can give you a hint about who Astrid Lindgren is. She is the Swedish author who wrote Pippi Longstocking in the 1940s, the most famous character she invented. I just finished reading a biography about Astrid Lindgren written by a Danish author, Jens Andersen, and her life was a surprising read as I must admit I known her names from children's books but I knew nothing about her life.

Her first son was born out of wedlock here in Copenhagen, as a Danish hospital offered more anonymity to the mums and he stayed with a foster family for some years until she could bring him home. During WWII she was assigned to the Swedish postal's censurship taskforce - a big surprise as I never thought of Sweden to filter messages going in and out of Sweden as they stayed neutral during the war, but guess that was one of the costs being neutral. A lot of lines and events in her many children's book are inspired actual stories from her own family - she is really listening to children and understands them: children should learn the truth but it is of great matter how you present the truth to the children and also try to explain to them why adults do so many silly things (like making easy things into complicated ones). When she spoke her mind about political issues she was almost treated like a child as: what does a writer of children's literature know about.... But the Swedes were listening to her. An advocate for animal welfare.... and the long list continues.

I grew up with Astrid Lindgren - her books are a big part of my childhood entertainment (and memories) as the written word or TV series. Danish and Swedish are similar and still different words and pronunciation - the area where we lived we had 3 tv stations: 1 Danish and 2 Swedish - the Swedish TV stations aired Pippi Longstocking and Emil of Lönneberga more frequently than the Danish so easily picked up the Swedish - only to be very upset when the Danish TV station finally aired it but in an awful dubbed version: you could still hear the spoken Swedish when the Danish speaker was telling the story "Shut up!". My parents laughed at this loud outburst from me. During this Easter I saw that one of the Danish TV stations (we have no longer just 1 TV station but a lot) aired the Pippi show, only to be taken back to the childhood screaming "Shut up!" - they are still airing the same old awful dubbed version.

Then came the movie adaptation of the 1981 book "Ronia the Rubber's Daughter" - again bad dubbing when shown on Danish TV - loved it and there a line that just stick in my head "Voffor gör di på detta viset?". Every time I meet an old friend from school we always say that Swedish line, laugh and remember old times.

Our teacher read from the Brothers Lionheart and we all begged for an encore, when she had read the last page - it was really hard to get it at the school library as everybody just loved it. I my class there was one of the boys - the quiet type, not an outsider as he was really good at football (soccer), running etc. so the other boys did include him in their groups - twice he suggested out teacher a book for the whole class to read and one of them was "Mio, my Mio". I remember crying my eyes out after having read the final page of the book only to start re-reading it the following day..... Astrid Lindgren just had this capturing writing style.

Wikipedia notes the following: 
As of May 2013, she is the world's 18th most translated author and the third most translated children's books author after H.C. Andersen and the Grimm Brothers. Lindgren has sold roughly 144 million books worldwide.

By the way, I Love Pippi's full name: Pippilotta Viktualia Rullgardina Krusmynta Efraimsdotter Långstrump - always brings a smile on my face when people tries to remember her full name but actually never get it right :)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Happy Easter

Hopefully these Easter bunnies have already arrived at their receivers now, so time for me to say:

Happy Easter

Got the idea from a Danish creative magazine and smiled earlier this week, when I saw that Bella had taken up an idea based on same template - she had attached her string in one of the bunny's ears which might be better than me using the bunny's head - though I think she used thicker paper than I did thus making it possible to have the string in an ear instead of the head. 

Enjoying a long weekend, as we have public holidays Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday - the weather has been quite at mix but enjoying to the sunshine on daffodils in a nearby green spot in the city.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March 2015 in Books

Was offered a chance to stream a free audio-book for a limited time, and it reminded me, that I can "read" a book while making other things with my hands. One of the Danish news networks has online book clubs, where you are able to stream or sometimes also download an audiobook (limited time only) and then get to know authors you might not normally have picked. Books are expensive here so must admit that known/familiar authors are often those I pick when choosing a new book - and the free offer help me expand my world of books.

Jane Austen is not on this reading list albeit I went to two Austen events - I have plans though to make one of the months this year Jane Austen dominated, as I have 6 books waiting to be read - 2 of them brand new translations to Danish and a 3rd is Jane Austen inspired.

A Perfect Match by Katie Fforde

Priority by Iselin C. Hermann
(Original Title: Prioritaire)
Audiobook version

A Vintage Wedding by Katie Fforde

The Rose Labyrinth by Titania Hardie
Library book

A Christmas Feast by Katie Fforde
Collection of short stories 

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Library book

Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox