Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Rational decision?

Now I am positive that our upstairs neighbour is not an average case. When returning from a short walk we found the glass window tiling in the front door smashed in and, strangely enough, covered with tape and paper. On the inside, in the hall, before entering our apartment, we could see the glass splinters still on the floor and a note on the inside of the broken window: "I came home from a 2 min. out and the door was locked and nobody was home". This did not sufficiently explain the broken window, so I went to the flat upstairs to ask him.
As he explained to me, yes, he did in fact break the glass himself to reach the lock and get in. And why? Well he had forgot his key and of course he could not stay outside in the cold (this was his explanation). I made it clear to him that the reasonable response to this situation would be to call a locksmith, and he replied that he forgot his cell phone inside - and this discussion with me upset him somewhat. He said he had already called the owner of the house and arranged for a glazier to come by soon and that he would pay for the damage.
I hope it is clear to you, dear reader, that there are several reasonable solutions to this apparent problem of being locked out *even* if you have no cell phone and *even* if your neighbour (me) is not home at the moment. Actually we happen to live next to a small shop (the place he had gone without his key) and for any likely situation the shopkeepers would be more than happy to be of help by letting you use their phone. The solution he chose: smashing in the window, actually leaves open the possibility for any person to walk up to our front door and let himself in.

Anyways, this afternoon I heard him and his buddy shouting at each other, tramping around the flat, turning up the music too loud, turning it down again, having a yes-no-yes- no-yes-no-argument and later both of them went out.

At least it will be quiet here until they return home.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Late white christmas

So the snow came. I woke up at 8am by the sound of ding-pling-ding of the hard hail on the window and it had already hailed for so long that the rooftops were covered bright white. I got up and made some tea, and by the time I went by the window again it was silent - I looked outside to see the hail had changed to a snowstorm, big snowflakes running to and fro before me. I had a cup of tea and some breakfast and soon the light changed, the sun was coming out!

Now I have to go outside with my camera to capture the magnificent snow-and-hail-filled landscape.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

This is it!

That was it.

(the shortest day of the year)

Friday, December 16, 2005

christmas = chocolate

Just as I thought Sinterklaas day was over, I received a package from the Netherlands with some very delicious content: a chocolate letter! It is made of solid semi-dark chocolate with light chocolate decorations. And the taste? Delicious! :o9

In Denmark we say that 'christmas continues until easter' but I doubt that this chocolate letter will last that long...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Earliest sunset

Today Denmark is experiencing the earliest sunset of the winter, which in Copenhagen means sunset at 15:34. The sun will set this early for about a week while the it will continue to rise later and later, shortening the day until the 21st of December (solstice), where the length of the day in Denmark will be reduced to only six hours.

We look forward to see more of the sun again.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas in Denmark Part 2

The Christmas Dinner (read: christmas party)

It is tradition to celebrate the christmas month with christmas dinners with friends, family and co-workers, not necessarily at the same time. Some ingredients are required for a successful dinner: Beer, snaps, good food and beer (preferably a christmas brew).

This weekend I went to two christmas dinners, the first was at Tegnestuen where we started off by cutting and pasting a 1:800 model of a Finnish nuclear power plant.
The second christmas dinner was with my fellow bioinformatics students at SDU. Though we are not many, we sure know how to party. ;)

By popular demand: The link to the nuclear power plant model

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Christmas in Denmark part 1

Christmas calendar on TV

Every year there is at least one christmas calendar on TV, a TV-series in 24 episodes, which they send from the first to the 24th of december. The story is of course about christmas and sweet and funny at least in the childrens christmas calendars. The grown-up versions are usually more sarcastic or even black humour, varying from year to year. This year the childrens calendar is about two children who accidentally release the old norse god Loke from his prison, and they have to go to Valhal, the city of the nordic gods, to tidy up the mess.
The postoffice sells a paper christmas calendar that matches the children series. Every day the children open a window and find an image that has something to do with the days episode on TV.

I bought myself one of the paper calendars, but I have forgot to see any episodes of the TV series yet. :o)

The website of the childrens TV calendar

Coming up:
- Christmas dinners
- Christmas eve
- Christmas stamps

Monday, December 05, 2005

Happy Sinterklaas

Today all Dutch children (and adults) celebrate Sinterklaas, or Sint Nicolas. He arrives by ship from Spain with black Pete (Zwarte Pieten) to give presents to the children who have been good and punish the children who have been bad. The punishment is either a beating with a stick or to be taken away with black Pete on the ship to Spain, neither of the two punishments are practised much - I guess 99.99% of all children are just plain good nowadays...?

Since the festivities occupy all Dutch people and shops, you will also find the internet bulging of Sinterklaas sites these days, for instance try the Sinterklaas portal or read the Blog of Sinterklaas.

If you want to hear some more Sinterklaas history, I can recommend:
Sinterklaas explained (in English)
The History of Sinterklaas from Biltongmakers (in English)
Sinterklaas is jarig (in Dutch)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Christmas munchies

As a christmas tradition (since last year) Sarah and I meet up to make all the delicious christmas goodies we can think of, and some of them we even suceed in making delicious. ;o)
Above you see some of the chocolate, some filled some solid, that we made in forms, and we also made a whole lot of chocolate-covered truffles and nougat-and-almonds squares...
Below Sarah is making the finishing touch on the christmas cake 'Julekagen' (from the cookbook Bazar by Kille Enna) which is to paint is with a thich layer of melted butter and then dust it with icing sugar. Mmmmm...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Christmas special

If you are not yet familiar with Charlotte and Vendetta, here is your chance to meet them in a christmas special. This excellent series have just recently completed the second season, and every fan is begging for more. So Amy mentioned something about a TV-series in preparation? I am looking forward to hear more about that project.

You might recognise the drawings from muffinfilms? Otherwise, do not despair, all films are available for viewing online.