Archive for September, 2006

Man down

Deathtrap (my bike) is in trouble.

I was riding home last night and the back tyre blew.

I took him to my local bike dealer this morning and I think he must have seen me coming.

“What have you done with this bike?” he exclaimed before I was even in the shop.

“This is a Raleigh, it is a good bike. Old but good. Like me. This will not live the winter. You have to give it to me. I will help.

“The chain is dead, the tyre is dead. This bike is nearly dead.”

I felt my heart sink. Before I even opened my mouth I knew that I would agree to whatever he suggested.

“Do what you need to”, I muttered and walked away.

So, while I wait for Deathtrap to be brought back from the brink, here’s something I found earlier by new favourite band, Grizzly Bear.

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Down my way

My street has its own site!

It won’t be of much interest if you don’t understand Danish but I will add it to my links anway.

Over and out.

Sol Seppy

You wait all week for a post and then two come along at once.

A while ago I found a video of Sol Seppy’s track Wonderland over on Do Copenhagen.

It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve seen all year and I’m still not bored of watching it or hearing it.

Anyway, she’s playing Vega on November 3 as are the band she used to be in, Sparklehorse.

In the meantime, visit her site and see the video for yourself.

It’s just like being five again, not that I can remember much about what that was like, alas.

With the exception of playing Kiss Chase with girls a lot older than me at primary school.

Heaven, in other words.

Cafe Front Page – Next to the restaurant

p1040308.JPGDanish cafe society is built around one holy premise – Godawful customer service.

No self-respecting Copenhagen cafe owner would dream of hiring someone actually capable of smiling.

Staff members must be surly to the point of outright rudeness.

Preferably they will be good-looking but not because this might entice customers.

No, their attractiveness simply serves to emphasise the comparative ugliness of the patrons.

They are all possessed of the same disdainful sneer which they bestow upon anyone who dares enter the establishment.

“What the fucking hell do you want you complete cretin?”, they  silently inquire.

“A cup of coffee please.”

“A fucking cup of fucking coffee? Why the hell were you born you inconsequential imbecile? Get the fuck out of my sight before my eyes start bleeding you fart molecule.”

The reason I say this is to emphasise that if you want American-style brown-nosing you are in the wrong city.

Cafe Front Page is no different. After wasting several minutes of my life while several waitresses milled around performing a range of seemingly crucial tasks like texting one another, I was eventually served.

Actually, I should point out here that the Danes are extremely patient.

Despite being sticklers for efficiency, they think little of waiting in line while a solitary waitress takes the orders of the people in front of them.

And then painstakingly prepares said orders.

And then takes the money.

All the while, the other serving staff continue their vital work of polishing the beer taps.

It’s infuriating but you quickly adapt. It is the way of things.

I like to think that this laissez-faire attitude stems from the fact that the Danes are actually time rich.

Their work/life balance is light years ahead of the UK’s and as a result they don’t quibble at the odd queue.

Anyway, Cafe Front Page. I liked it.

It’s neatly and clearly divided between a French-style bar area complete with TV showing football matches and the cafe itself with a traditional but still very enticing menu.

The burgers I saw being served looked mouth-watering as did some of the salads.

I settled for a tasty slice of homemade carrot cake and a cafe au lait. I may have a job but I still can’t afford a Danish brunch.

There is also outdoor seating overlooking one of the four man-made lakes, while, as the name suggests, there is a restaurant next door about which I know absolutely nothing.

Where: Sortedam Dossering 21, Nørrebro

Phone: 35 37 38 27

Finally…

Well, it’s finally happened – I’ve been offered a job in Copenhagen.

It’s just a three-month contract for now but it feels good.

I’ll be copywriting for a cool little firm staffed mainly by expats so I should be able to make some new friends too.

It’s been a long time coming but I always felt something would turn up.

It is daunting moving to a new country, not knowing the language, being so reliant on your partner, but it’s rewarding too.

I feel it’s made me a bit stronger mentally and it’s definitely broadened my horizons.

Anyway, hope everyone had a good weekend, and thanks as ever for reading.

Hot Chip

Aiiieee! 

I am very annoyed. Hot Chip are playing Little Vega on Friday and, as per usual, I will not be here. I miss all the best gigs.

In case you’ve never heard of them, here’s their MySpace page.

One of the four tracks you can hear there is Colours and I just can’t stop listening to it.

It conjures up childhood memories, or, more specifically, adolescent memories.

The birdsong makes me think of when I was 15 and I believed that my girlfriend would be mine forever and all the impermanence around us could be defeated by the strength of our mystical union.

Yes, I was one of those introspective souls who wrote poetry and honestly believed that I was infinitely more profound than everyone else.

Ah, there’s no sense in pretending, I still do.

Brusque Frisking

I’ve just been rereading my last post (thanks for the correction Tim, and yes, it’s a great movie!) and I laughed out loud at the phrase ‘brusquely frisking’.

Instantly a character popped into my head. A Scandinavian detective called Brusque Frisking.

I am going to start writing a series of novels with him as the main protagonist. He’s a world-weary sort of chap. Mid 40’s. Good at what he does if a little, err, brusque.

His mother, a one-time French TV star died in childbirth and Brusque’s father, a Norwegian diplomat living in Paris, took his son home to a remote town in the north of the country to grieve.

Frisking senior dies in a skiing ‘accident’ when Brusque is just 14 and the mysterious circumstances of his death are what drives the son’s determination to right wrongs, and yes, he enrols with the police as soon as he is old enough.

His early years are spent in Norwegian backwaters, breaking up fights between loggers and oil-rig workers until he gets a break.

A Swedish counterfeiting operation is using trails deep in the Norwegian hinterland to transport cash into Finland and from there down into Russia.

Brusque, engaging in a spot of night-fishing as his is wont, stumbles across two of the couriers and, faking his identity, infiltrates the set-up.

His bust is a resounding success. He is promoted and sent to Oslo forthwith.

But life in the big city is tough and all the while he is no nearer to solving the case of his father’s death…