January 25, 2011 |
According to a nice gentleman from Kansas who wrote to us this week, the people of Lindsborg in Kansas all have Dalarhorses outside their doors. They all eat cinnamon buns all day long and speak mock Swedish to each other. Maybe.
Home to 3,321 people, most of Swedish heritage, Lindsborg was founded in 1869 by a group of immigrants from Värmland in Sweden.
Lindsburg invented something they call “The Wild Dalas” which is a group of Dala Horses dotted around the town, painted in lovely bright colours.
If you fancy visiting, stay at the Swedish Country Inn LINK http://www.swedishcountryinn.com/ and enjoy Swedish style food. This possibly involves herring.
Hey, that is NOT a horse, people! And bunnies do not have horns, so they don’t.
Norway has its fjords. Sweden has a few peaks. But Denmark is flat. If Denmark were a woman, Trinny and Susannah would have nothing much to grope. Which is why everyone is very proud of Himmelbjerget – The Heaven Mountain.
To be honest, if you tried to get to Heaven on top of Himmelbjerget, you may as well be stood in the Thames Estuary, as it’s only 147 metres above sea level. But, as T&S would agree, you’ve gotta make the best of what you got. So the Danish people proclaimed it as their highest point in all the land.
Now, you can see where Hans Christian Andersen got his ideas from, because Himmelbjerget was pipped to the post of the title by Møllehøj, which is 170.86 metres above sea level. But Møllehøj doesn’t look like a mountain, really. Just an ever-increasing gradient. So everyone prefers Himmelbjerget. Well, actually, that doesn’t look like a mountain, either. The Emperor has nothing on at all!
Anyway, the point of the story is this: My great-grandfather, Lauritz Ludvig Kronholm, decided to leave Denmark in the early 20th century to live in the UK. We’re still trying to establish why, because while we were having fun under Mrs Thatcher, everything was wonderful back in the homeland (ahem). Lauritz was 168cm tall. That’s about 5 foot 6 inches. That is exactly the same as me, David Frederik Kronholm. In other words, we missed out on the great growth spurt that the rest of the family enjoyed later on. So, for both of us, Himmelbjerget is a mountain. It’s very high indeed and we’re both keen to continue to believe that, because it makes us feel better about our height.
Post by Mr David Jørgensen, 5 foot 6 inches tall.
January 18, 2011 |
After my success in hunting down Whigfield (we found her, she says hej), Bronte had another challenge for me. Apparently, someone wanted me to find the coolest Norse deity. “Sure,” I said. “That’s no problem. When’s my flight to Iceland booked for?”
“No,” said Bronte. “You can’t go to Iceland. You’ll just get drunk and we can’t afford to make semlor after paying your drinks bill.”
“Oh,” I replied. “OK. Well, like Whigfield, some of them are bound to be on Twitter, so I can ask them.”
Unfortunately, the Norse gods are too cool for Twitter. They communicate on another plain of existence, so until their PR gets back to me with a few quotes, I’ll just have to SCORE make it up as I go along /SCORE tell you what I know
Did you know that the gods gave us our weekdays? This is quite cool in itself. Obviously, Friday came from a female god, as you could never rely on a man to create a day that leads into the weekend. Freyja came up with Frjádagr, which we call Friday. So she’s cool. And she has a pal called Frigg, which is one of my favourite words. (Or they may have been the same god.)
Thor is obviously up there, too. Scandinavian Kitchen reckons Thor – or Þórr, more accurately – eats porridge for breakfast. Obviously, this is absurd. Thor would never be up before late afternoon after being out all night, and he’d probably prefer vodka for breakfast. Thor is a man’s god. He sorts out storms, lightning, oak trees and fertility. Basically, he’s a lover and a fighter, in a good way. This is cool. This is actually really cool, and so hot. Really, really hot.
But the coolest god of all is Freyr. He’s Freyja’s twin brother, and also takes a great interest in fertility. He likes sunlight, rain and peace. These are, of course, all wonderful things. He’s Thor without all the violence. The lover without the fighting. He’ll make you that porridge and bring it up to you with a cup of coffee, then go downstairs, wash up AND put away. Freyr also gets around in a cool fashion. He has a chariot, pulled by two boars. This is cool. He also avoids the congestion charge because no one dares to go near the boars. When he needs to go further afield, he has Skíðblaðnir, his ship. The ship goes directly to where he wants to be, over land, sea or in the air. This means that he never has to use TfL. Ever. This is cool. Even better, he doesn’t pay for on-street parking because the ship folds up into his pocket. This is really cool. Apparently, Freyr is the spiritual ancestor of the Swedish royal family. Crown Princess Victoria is cool, and now we see where she gets it from.
Here’s a little statuette of Freyr. Saucy.
So that’s the Norse gods dealt with. I’m sure the late, great Magnús Magnússon would be proud of me. I’d love to hear your own favourites – comment below, please.
Mr David Jørgensen
There are several Malmo’s in the world, only some of which are in Sweden. We found quite a few no-man places, a lot of barren landscapes randomly named after the Fatherland town of Malmo.
But we also found some living communities. Take for example Malmo, Minnesota. Home to 332 nice people.
Malmo came abouts in the 1880’s when settlers from Malmo, Sweden, moved over to live. They farmed and logged – and there was also a creamery. Oh, and a post office.
Malmo boats a camp site called Pete’s Retreat LINK http://petesretreat.com/ – if you are thinking about going to Malmo this is the only place to go. Literally.
Malmo post office circa 1910
There is even a selection of lovely tourist gifts to bring back home…
Located 32° 1′ 25″ North, 92° 2′ 20″ West, Copenhagen is in the parish of Caldwell, Louisiana.
Not to be confused if you are trying to book a trip to the Louisiana museum which is near Copenhagen, Denmark, of course.
Copenhagen Louisiana has little in the way of museums. In fact, while it is not quite the middle of nowhere you can see ‘Nowhere’ from Copenhagen.
For £67K you can buy yourself 57 acres of forrest with about 1/2 mile of river running through it. Bargain. And no neighbours too.
The nearest McDonalds is about 20 miles away. You get the drift.
your new view
January 16, 2011 |
Oh, the powers of the Blog. Mr Jørgensen blogged about Whigfield last week in the “Ask the Scandies” LINK TO NEW PAGE section, and what happens? She gets in touch with us. On twitter. Naan is on Twitter.
We wonder what else we can make happen? Joey Tempest: Done. A-ha: done. Aqua: done. Basshunter? done. Carola? Oh yes. Let’s get Carola next. That would be amazing.
Wonder if Carola tweets?
January 12, 2011 |
Where IS Whigfield?
Cast your mind back to 1994. So many momentous events occurred. Sweden joined the EU. Norway didn’t. Munch’s The Scream was stolen in Oslo, and in Stockholm, gay civil unions were legalised. Meanwhile, Denmark’s contribution to history that year was in the form of Sannie Charlotte Carlson, a singer from the small town of Skælskør.
For a while, Whigfield was the biggest star in the world (sort of).
She sold more records than Blur and Oasis. Combined. Dee-dee-na-na-na, Liam. Dee. Dee. Na. Na. Na.
Sadly – in Europe, at least, Whigfield’s star didn’t shine so brightly after Saturday night turned into Sunday morning. Another couple of singles didn’t do as well (a couple of number 7 singles these days means you’re in the musical dumper faster than you can say “Cheryl Cole is my mentor”). If you need a visual representation of Whigfield’s UK chart history, click here, but it isn’t comfortable viewing LINK http://www.theofficialcharts.com/artist/_/whigfield/ .
Happily, Whigfield was still big in South Africa. Triple-platinum big.
But then she vanished. So, where is Whigfield now?
She was spotted at London’s Gay Pride celebrations around 2002. “Hello London, I’m absolutely f****d!” she announced, before launching into Saturday Night.
But today, well, Whigfield doesn’t exist. This isn’t a sad tale, however. Sannie has left the rigours of chart scrutiny for the other side of the business, and is now writing music with the likes of Benny Benassi (he did that video with the models operating pneumatic drills. You know the one.) and lots of other Eurostars.
And she’s performing. Under the new name of Naan. As in the bread.
Naan. And she’s 40 years old.
Anyway, that’s Whigfield-Sannie-Naan. If you want to find out more, visit her fancy website at www.sanniecarlson.com LINK http://www.sanniecarlson.com/ (“It will take some seconds to load the website. Please be patient.”)
Post by Mr David Jørgensen
January 10, 2011 |
You’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.
Well, actually, you are.
Odense to you may be a town on Fynen, Denmark, but it’s also a place in Kansas.
Located between Tulsa and Kansas City, Odense is not really a big place. In fact, it is so small we couldn’t even find a photo from there. Or any shops. Or any people.
If you have been to Odense and survived, we’d like to hear from you.
Last year, we found another one of Aunt Inga’s old recipes. As some of you know, Aunt Inga is Jonas’ great aunt who is responsible for our Sticky Swedish Chocolate cake. Aunt inga was so fond of food and she was a great cook.
In her old recipe folder we also found this recipe for something she calls ‘Kuckelimuck Cake’.
Kuckelimuck is a word invented by ‘Karlsson on the Roof’: a story by Astrid Lindgren who wrote about the boy who had a friend called Karlsson who flew around (he had a propeller on his back) and did naughty things and got the boy into trouble.
Karlsson believed that if you were sick, your medicin was Kuckelimuck – but kuckelimuck to Karlsson was just a whole load of different sweeties.
So, while we have been re-working Aunt Inga’s recipe for Kuckelimuck cake, we have been a bit inspired by Karlsson himself too. Today we decided to honour them both and here is the result: our Kuckelimuck Cake. Lovely vanilla sponge with icing and a bucket load of sweeties.
While we’re not planning to sell the cake in the shop, we wanted to share the result with you never the less. Mainly because we just love the word Kuckelimuck.
lovely Aunt Inga
the recipe we found …
January 6, 2011 |
Oh, and we found a Gothenburg in Nebraska, United States too. It’s -5 celcius there, so pretty similar to the actual Gothenburg.
Gothenburg was founded in 1882 by Olof Bergstrom. He was Swedish. From Gothenburg, believe it or not. There are only two Gothenburgs in the entire world.
The town has about 3,000 inhabitants and even have their own newspaper – Gothenburg Times LINK http://www.gothenburgtimes.com/. It has a high school and probably also a football team or two. And their local basket ball team is called “The Swedes”.
It is not known how many people in Gothenburg are called Glenn. Probably most of them. Everyone in Gothenburg’s called Glenn.