New Years Eve in Denmark


My first New Years Eve in Denmark (after 9 years), and the last one too I dare say. And yes I miss the oliebollen (raisin-filled dough balls traditionally eaten around the New Year celebrations by the Dutch), a lot, and not the least the appelflappen which are my personal favourites. And I miss Youp on tv, but who cares if you can watch Yak in stead.

Apart from that I invited 2 men over, I was a bit worried that they wouldn’t be here before New Years Eve, but they made it. Colonel Osbourne arrived yesterday, he was delayed a bit, with all the snow in Denmark he had some trouble getting here. But he is here now, and he is just as charming as I’d expected, very good company indeed. And very well dressed too. A witty man with style, I knew he was right, and so did he. And I invited the Earl of Clincham, he arrived this morning, even more delayed, but better late than never I told him. He is very charming too, and he is a young visiter, even though not that young in age. I’m sure we are going to have an entertaining evening the three of us.

The other good thing of being at home, and living on the 3rd floor is the fantastic view at the fireworks lit in the city of Århus right from my window. My camera is waiting already.

I hope you all have a nice evening, and be careful with fireworks !

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (7/10)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

I found The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe a bit boring. Maybe you should not compare the film to the Harry Potter movies, but if you do, Harry Potter is a lot more interesting to watch. Probably because the Narna story is a bit slow. And the sound was very bad in this dutch cinema, the screen a bit small and a break in the middle of a film (it’s 2h 20 long) is never good if you ask me. (And yes I am spoiled by Cinemaxx) And no, I haven’t read the book.

Good things:
Narnia features James McAvoy as Mr. Tumnus, the Faun. Well he does have weird legs in Narnia, but he is one of the most talented young British actors currently around, if you ask me. Yes he was in State Of Play, together with this other Brit, what’s his name, something with a B it was …

Narnia features Liam Neeson as the voice of Aslan, the Lion. Well casted, Lion with an Irish accent. We like that.

Narnia does have some nice special effects, talking beavers (pretty funny) and wolves, Aslan the lion, and all the other not so common inhabitants of the land of Narnia.

All in all the story is quite allright, but the pace of the film was too slow. So no more than 7 (out of 10).

The Life Chocolatic

After The Life Aquatic experiment, I took it a bit further today. And I still don’t quite understand how it happened.

I filled a cup (a thick glass Bodum one) with cold chocolate milk (there is a snowstorm coming, so better be prepared).
I put it in the microwave to warm it up, for about 2 minutes.
I took it out, and gave it 30 seconds more on full microwave speed.
I took it out again, the cup was quite warm, also on the outside.
I placed the cup on my kitchen table.
I put in a teaspoon.

Now as soon as the teaspoon landed in the hot chocolate, it began to boil over ! Resulting in the cup nearly being emptied on kitchen table (the cup still standing!), hot chocolate milk flooding down my kitchen drawers, ending in a chocolate pool on the floor, of which Willy Wonka would have been proud. And of course there was chocolate milk in all my drawers too, on plates, in bowls, in my toaster, you name it. If I do something, I do it a 100%.

The thing is that I don’t quite understand how this could happen, from a physics* point of view.

(* Physics : The science of matter and energy and of interactions between the two, grouped in traditional fields such as acoustics, optics, mechanics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism, as well as in modern extensions including atomic and nuclear physics, cryogenics, solid-state physics, particle physics, and plasma physics.)

But maybe some of you do ?

Whatever caused it – don’t try this at home kids.

A year in 25 words – the mayfly project

Can you sum up your 2005 in just twenty-four words?

I could, and this might be a temp solution for my out of diary space problem.

(Here are mine in slightly modified version – 24 words which sum up my 2005:
Greenland. The Girl In The Cafe. Bill. Awakened. Decision. Lost. Found. Heart. London. Kevin. Move. Dreams. Dare. Hope. And met some really good people. )

It is actually quite inspiring to read what people wrote. And it could be fun to sum up plans for 2006 the same way.

Inspiration for this came from the best brief biography they had ever heard, the one of a Mayfly (Ephemeroptera), which lives for just twenty-four hours:
“Born. Eat. Shag. Die.”

What a life.

XMAS the afterparty

All the things I left behind so I could take care of them “after christmas”, well they were welcoming me home today. Next year we try another approach. I’ll book the nissar (what?).

I would rather have been welcomed by the stack of DVD’s I ordered “before christmas” and the enormous pile of missing christmas cards. But none of that had arrived. Yet. (hopefully) The DVD’s better be there before New Year, otherwise it is going to be a pretty boring weekend.

The biggest shocker was probably to see that the number of days, which before Xmas was safely above 70, suddenly had fallen down to 67. How did that happen ? That is only about 1608 hours ! And if I am supposed to catch some sleep too, if at all possible, there are only 1072 hours left. That sounds pretty scary. Even to me.

The barbie-doll-lookalike-incheck-desk-women on Schiphol (where?) were all in a very bad mood today. I know that, because there was something wrong with my ticket, and they were forced to do a little bit extra work to get that problem solved. That little extra work required them to use their head (which they either didn’t have or had left at home), and you should have heard them. They tried to make me feel like I should be forever grateful that I was allowed to fly home, at all. They didn’t succeed.

It’s the 27th and my diary for 2005 (the uncensored full length paper version) is completely full. What to do about that ? 4 days in the 2006 one ? Glueing 4 extra pages in the old one ? Not doing anything worthwhile writing about for 4 days ? I could call Mark Darcy (who?) – so he could buy me a new one ?

The tower was beautiful again, and there was snow both in Amsterdam, and in Århus.

What a crap piece of writing. But it was either this, or a pathetic poem. I decided to save the poem for later.

Did you have a nice christmas ?

I play airguitar in a band

I play airguitar in a band

Ok the plan was this :
The Real Estate people now have a key to my flat. Which means that soon they will invade it, with potential buyers. At least that is the plan. Since my flat is in a permanent status of CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrom) – and looks like a place having survived a nearby bombexplosion – I need to cleanup. Again. Also because the photographer is coming soon, and I wouldn’t want to have warzone like pictures on the internet. Not good for potential buyers attraction.

And so I need to do something about that. And that something should be this evening. I started early and while cleaning up, I would rip some of my music cd’s to MP3’s so I can get rid of some of my old cd’s too. Ofcourse this went wrong already after the first cd. I was transferred back to the 80’s, in an improbable way, immediately. And just to give you an idea I suddenly heard:

Extreme – Hole Hearted (much better than More Than Words – do not play this song – singalong risk : High – Have to dance risk : High)
Little Angels – Womankind (Singalong risk : High)
Living Colour – Love Rears it’s Ugly Head (Airguitar risk : Extreme – Singalong risk: Extreme – Have to dance : Extreme)
Ozzy Osbourne – No More Tears (Headbangdanger – High ! Ozzy actually made one cool song)
Matt Bianco – Whose Side Are You On (most of the cd has an Airpiano Risk : Extremely High – Singalong risk : Extreme – Have to dance risk : Extremely High)

And those were only the first three cd’s, there are tons of cd’s left to rip.

A lot of boogie is going on here at the moment, but it has nothing to do with cleaning. So here is another lesson for all you wannabe cleaners out there (and it’s not even from your uncle Billy) :
Do not play cd’s you haven’t heard for years when you are supposed to be cleaning up.

I truly believe I will be an expert eventually.

E-mailowac – the sequel

Ingrid to Robert: – 6:34 pm (55 minutes ago)

Ja hup in een logje, da’s een mooie.

Mijn opa is 91 en internet (mail en skype ook) nog (cool he), en mijn
oma is ook nog redelijk fit. Da’s dan een van de goeie dingen van zo’n
familie bezoek, dat ik hen ook weer even zie. Als mensen ouder worden
weet je nooit wanneer het de laatste keer is.

Nou – ik wacht op het logje !

(en zie hier)

The Office

The Office guys

5 things about the Office:

  • It’s the (re) discovery of Martin Freeman (Tim). I suddenly understand why girls find him cute, because he really is cute in the Office. And after having seen him here, both Love Actually (a christmas neccesity) and Hitchhikers Guide are a lot more fun to watch !
  • The office in The Office looks scaringly much like the office I have been working in, in Birmingham, in a company called The Birmingham Waste Co. Ltd. They might as well have filmed it there, because apart from the David Brent type, all other types were present, a blond secretary called Dawn (!), same style of office, same atmosphere. And they were in the paper industry too, not buying paper like in The Office, but buying and selling waste paper, which is probably worse. Both the Office and The Birmingham Office are not the type of places I want to work in London. Well The Office maybe, but I would probably die laughing.
  • I want some of David Brents unrockable confidence
  • It’s more cringing than Extras if you ask me
  • I haven’t laughed this much about television since – i don’t even remember since when.

More the Office:
The Office quotes
David Brent quotes

Those of you who think you know everything are annoying to those of us who do.
David Brent

Point of no return

Right in the Eye
Look into my Eye

Today I signed some very important papers. They are going to sell my flat. “They” are expensive real estate people, and I know I can save some money selling it myself. But I think I have enough things bouncing around in my mind already, so let them handle it. And if they sell it for the price they have given me, I am one lucky potatoe, and they deserve the salary I have to pay them.

So here we go again – full speed ahead into an exiting time, where the question “Will they be able to sell it in 74 days” will pop up regulary. I have decided not to worry about it the next few weeks. Not yet. No use.

There isn’t really a way back now, there is only one direction and that is London. And even though there still is a very long list of things to take care of, I am so looking forward to this adventure. There is no doubt whatsoever left in my mind. I am going to do this.

All this moving is, apart from being a lot of hassle everytime, also bad for my christmascards. I have only received 2 until now, and I am afraid that others are arriving at wrong addresses. But hey, you can’t have it all.

The Life Aquatic

It never ceases to amaze me, how big a disaster area you create by tipping a glass of water on your desk. And all this because my mobile phone started ringing (the vibrating noise still can shock me). Somehow my hand could not pick it up without hitting the glass of water standing on my desk first, and the glass wasn’t even near my phone. Well the wet papers should not be too much of a problem, since most of them won’t have to last more than 2 months. But the really good thing was that I also managed to nearly drown my mobile phone.

The person calling was the real estate woman by the way. I had problems hearing her, it sounded like I was talking to her from the bottom of the sea. But I think she said that she wants to meet me tomorrow, at 14.00.

Is it going to be one of those weeks ? I need my weekly Ricky G. podcast fix now, that will save the day.

King Kong (7/10)

King Kong (2005)
King Kong : Cute monkey

I had no expectations whatsoever for this film. And I didn’t even like LOTR, which wasn’t Peter Jacksons fault, I just thought the books were a bit boring. But having seen the trailers of King Kong, I decided to go and see it.

So here are 5 things about Peter Jackson’s King Kong:

  • This 3 hour adventure should have been cut down to a 2 hour adventure. Now there was this annoying break in the middle, and I can easily pinpoint some scenes who I would not have missed. (F.ex. the creepy bug scenes, a big piece of the sailing trip, and more than half of the Dino scenes. If I wanted Dinosaurs I would have seen Jurassic Park in stead. Even though I have to admit that the dinosaur shots in this film beat those in JP by a mile.
  • Interesting actors in this film : Jack Black (don’t really know what to think of him, he normally plays weirdos, also in this film), Jamie (Billy Elliot) Bell, Adrian Brody, and a man with nice blue eyes, whose name, I found out, is Thomas Kretchmann. IMDB helped me remembering where I had seen him before : he was also in Der Untergang.
  • King Kong is the cutest monkey I have seen in a while, nearly human. The King Kong shots are amazingly fantastic and probably the main reason to see this film. And yes I actually had a kleenex moment, when it got defeated at the end. Just too sad.
  • I nearly got dizzy watching the scenes where King Kong is standing on the very top of the Empire State Building. Yes I am afraid of heights, and it looked so real that I had to look away a few times. Incredible what they can do with computers these days.
  • I would rate it a 7 out of 10. Go see it if you like spectacular films, and monkeys. But do see it in a cinema, with a large screen. Don’t expect an intelligent story, this is pure entertainment.

They were also showing a bit longer trailer for The Da Vinci Code, and have to say that it I now can see Tom Hanks playing Robert Langdon. He actually looked kind of cool with his long hair. Despite book which I found a little bit disappointing in the end, I look forward to this film.

Good Night, and Good Luck (8/10)

Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)Good Night, and Good Luck heeft al een hoop prijzen gewonnen, is ook genomineerd voor een Golden Globe, en deze film maaide een hoop prijzen weg uit de tuin van The Constant Gardener bij het Filmfestival in Venetie . Helaas, en misschien ook niet helemaal terecht.

Maar filmtechnisch is ie mooi, in zwart wit, mooie close ups, mooie muziek. Met een goede cast : Edward R. Murrow is indrukwekkend, Robert Downey Jr. begin ik steeds interessanter te vinden (en ja ik heb Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang al gezien), en George Clooney (die de film ook geregisseerd en geschreven heeft trouwens).

Het probleem is een beetje dat je als onvoorbereide kijker even in het verhaal moet komen. Want waar gaat het eigenlijk over. Het gaat over een Amerikaanse senator die met vrij rigoreuze maatregelen de communisten in de USA probeert te stoppen. Het probleem is alleen dat dit zonder enige bewijsvoering gebeurt (het is tenslotte USA) en David Strathairn, journalist en programmamaker bij de CBS gaat hier met zijn team in zijn programma kritische vragen over stellen. En dat doe je niet ongestraft.

Het is een interessante film, een waar gebeurd verhaal voor zover ik begrepen heb. De vraag is of deze film prijzen heeft gewonnen vanwege het lef om Amerikaanse politiek kritisch te belichten. Da’s niet genoeg voor een prijs wat mij betreft. Een mooie zwart wit film, maar hij haalt het wat mij betreft niet bij de gekleurdheid van The Constant Gardener. (8/10)


In december doen ze hier elke morgen een spelletje op het werk, met kadootjes en een dobbelsteen, affijn u kent het waarschijnlijk wel, wie dubbel 6 gooit wint het kadootje. En dat dan 4 weken lang elke dag, tot het kerst is. Geforceerd leuk, en ik doe er dus echt niet aan mee, want ik kan niet geforceerd leuk zijn. En kollega’s die dan niet tegen hun verlies kunnen die zijn geforceerd niet leuk.

Maar dit keer bij de maandagmorgen vergadering, ik kwam te laat, waren ze nog aan het dobbelen. Ja kom en doe mee, zeiden ze enthousiast. De beker met dobbelstenen ging de tafel rond en degene die het eerst dubbel zes gooide won het kado.
Nee, ik doe niet mee aan die onzin wilde ik zeggen, zei dat niet, maar zei dat ik niet mee deed, al helemaal niet onder dwang. Dat laatste zei ik ook niet.
De beker ging rond, en kwam bij mij. Ik gaf hem ongebruikt door aan mijn buurman. Neeee Ingrid, kom op nou, niet zo flauw. Neeeee zei ik nog. Weeeeel zeiden ze.

Ik pakte de beker, schudde de dobbelstenen, keek de kring eens rond met mijn meest ongeinteresseerde blik en gooide op mijn allernonchalanst de dobbelstenen op tafel.

Dubbel zes.

Je had de gezichten moeten zien, dat was goud waard. En de volgende keer zullen ze het wel laten om me te vragen.

De prijs – een zak pasta – 5 kilo. Niet echt een kado voor een single, en die 5 kilo gaan we ook echt niet meeslepen naar London. Dus ik gaf de zak aan een kollega die vertelde dat ze al 20 jaar niets had gewonnen. Nou hier dan, eet smakelijk. Ciao.

The Girl In The Cafe

Bill Nighy - The Girl In The Cafe
Bill Nighy en Kelly MacDonald – The Girl In The Cafe

Dit is macrogeluk : Én Bill Nighy én Kelly MacDonald genomineerd voor een Golden Globe award voor beste acteur / actrice in dé beste film van 2005 : The Girl In The Cafe.
Als ie hem wint geef ik een feestje. Als ie hem niet wint (de concurrenten zijn tough : Donald Sutherland, Ed Harris, Kenneth Branagh en Jonathan Rhys Meyers) – klaag ik ze aan, de Globes.

De Awards show wordt 16 januari 2006 uitgezonden.

Als u hem nog steeds niet gezien hebt, tja dan heeft u wat gemist.

Love Actually on a wall

Love Actually on a wall
Every day I bike past this anonymous appartmentbuilding, because it is located about 50 meters from where I work. And suddenly one day (about a week or two ago) the building got a bit more interesting. I know that graffitti normally shouldn’t be encouraged, but today I brought my camera, stopped shortly, and here you go. I always have to smile when I pass it.

Love Actually on a wall.