Tag Archives: holidays

October 12

The more time passed, the more I felt there was no point in trying to get back on the habit of keeping a diary. I didn’t have the time to sit down and write about all these experiences I was going through in as much detail as I would have liked, and I was certainly not willing to scribble a few notes just for the sake of it so I just ignored it altogether.

For a while, I thought I would force myself to get back into the swing of things by simply putting together one of those lazy posts in which I’d go over the highlights of whatever amount of time had passed between updates, but I knew I would have faded into absence shortly after, so why even bother?

But then, this happened.

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Since my last blog entry, I saw AC/DC twice (one time front row!), met Mike Patton and Mike Bordin, stood side of the stage for Eagles of Death Metal, and spent four days in a tent with Kat at Roskilde. We did Northside, too. We spent a week stuffing ourselves with delicious Italian food in a small Sicilian town, getting drunk, visiting active volcanoes and lying on beautiful beaches. I spent four days in Lake Como, riding in helicopters, climbing mountains, and swimming in cold water. I have bought records, visited friends, and even started taking improv classes. But of all those wonderful things I have been fortunate enough to experience, giving that ring to Kat has been by far the most exciting. Unlike everything else that came before it, this was actually worth writing about.

It happened in Hamburg last week, in front of the City Hall, after a lovely dinner. We were in Germany for a long weekend, which we had originally planned as a shopping trip (as it turned out, there was a National holiday we were not aware of and all shops were closed) so there was no need for me to plan a getaway holiday out of the blue. The logistics worked in my favor.

So did the postal service, which delivered the ring I had bought on Etsy the day before our flight. Kat and I had been talking about this for a while so I asked her to put together a wishlist with her favorite ring designs, just for me to have a good range of options to choose from whenever I decided to look into it. When she mentioned she had found the most beautiful of them all, a classic 1940s 5-diamond engagement ring, I went online and bought it. Then I pretended to be broke and made sure to casually bring up the poor health of my bank account in our conversations whenever possible, reassuring Kat I would definitely look into it once I was able to afford it. This went on for about a month.

By the time we got to Hamburg, I had the ring with me and Kat had kind of forgotten about the ring she so much loved but couldn’t have because some piece of shit asshole had bought it first (fortunately, some of the other rings she had in her wishlist also got sold around the same time, so even though at some point she suspected I had bought it, the fact that the other rings disappeared all at once made her think that maybe I hadn’t bought it after all and life was just being slightly cruel). Bonus points to me for dramatic plot twist.

We landed in Hamburg on Thursday night, spent most of Friday walking around and lying in the sun near the harbor, and in the evening we went for dinner at a place I had booked us a table at. Upon arrival, we realized the place was utterly depressing so we managed to secure a table at another restaurant near by (thank you, Foursquare) and had dinner there instead. Once we were done with our food, we went for a walk around town and when we accidentally stumbled upon Hamburg Rathaus, a beautiful neo-renaissance building from the 18th century, I knew that was the moment. I put my hand in my pocket, where I had been carrying the ring for the whole evening, and tried to get it out of the little tulle bag it came in without giving away my intentions.

While I struggled with getting the ring out of my pocket, Kat was having a look around and by the time her eyes came back to me, I was kneeling in front of her, holding the little shiny thing in my hand. She was taken by surprise. “Would you marry me?” Her immediate response was: “You idiot!” – I took that as a yes.

We laughed, we hugged, we kissed. It was awesome.

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December 16

“So, how did the Christmas party go?” I hear you asking. Well, dear curious reader, I’m happy to inform you that our 80s themed Christmas bash went well, with most of my co-workers making a decent effort to dress up for the occasion. There was an Indiana Jones, a Mr. T, a hair metal band dude; a very convincing Maverick (Top Gun) played by Mette, who dressed up in a pilot’s suit and walked around the office while the film’s theme song played through a wireless speaker hidden inside her bespoke helmet; and then there was me in (almost) full Run DMC outfit. As you can see, my beard could have been better but hey, it still did the job.

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I left around midnight but I heard the party went on until five in the morning, with some of my co-workers actually passing out in the stairs of the building and others deciding to crash on a couch in the office until the morning after. It’s always like that. Last year, one of the guys working in the office got too sleepy halfway through the party and decided to have a nap in the toilet. He woke up at 4am, just when the last guys where about to lock the door and leave the office, following a series of missed phone calls from his son (who also works in the agency) who was desperately trying to find out where the fuck was he. Typical Danish Christmas party behaviour.

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We’re starting to plan our summer holidays and it seems that next year we’ll be heading to Croatia. Kat and I had talked about going somewhere warm, ideally on the seaside, and we both have heard really positive comments about Croatia, which apparently is not only stunning but quite affordable, so in the end that’s what I think we’ll do. The basic plan is to fly to Split and from there, take a bus or a ferry to some of the surrounding islands. I really can’t wait.

To top it all off, AC/DC has finally announced their European tour and I have decided to go see them in Paris, Madrid and Roskilde. Although Kat is only attending the show in Denmark, she’ll be joining me on my mini rock tour, which is fantastic. We both like Madrid, and she’s really excited to show me her favourite spots in Paris, a place she knows quite well, as her mum used to live there a while ago. We have already booked our flights and we’re just waiting for the tickets to go on sale this week. I think we will have an amazing time.

Oh! And speaking of AC/DC… on Sunday, while I was studying Danish in the living room, I heard the sound of a guitar coming out of the kitchen. I walked there and what did I find? Kat, listening to “Thunderstruck”, while making us blueberries and Nutella pancakes. She just blows my mind, every time. My friends say I should put a ring on her, and you know what? I think they’re right.

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September 2

After spending the weekend in London, Kat and I are now in Brighton. First time we both visit the city and I think we both like it, especially today that weather is so nice.

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I’m here to attend Reasons to be Creative, a 3-day conference that focuses on design, art and technology. So far, there has been a strange mix of really good speakers and underwhelming keynotes from which I expected a lot more. That’s the thing with these kind of events, I guess; it’s hard to tell which talks you will really enjoy based solely on the information provided beforehand.

Very often I feel like I’ve made the wrong choice and wish I had decided to see someone else instead. Except for Mr. Bingo, of course, who always smashes it. His talk last night’s was everything I could hope for: it was funny, insightful, witty and made me a little jealous inside. Wish it had been longer. After the talk, I went to say hello and took the opportunity to get my copy of “Hate Mail” signed. As you can see, Mr. Bingo got a bit emotional about it.

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This morning, Kat and I went for a walk along the seaside, it was lovely. Really nice and quiet. Then met up again for lunch and decided to get some fish and chips, which Kat had never tried, and decided to sit by the beach.

Bad idea.

I got gangbanged by a bunch of seagulls who took away half of my fish, the rest I threw away…

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July 25

After three days of unusual hot and sunny weather, it’s raining in Bergen so I have been forced to take shelter in a little bakery called Godt Brød, where I have just devoured two really good summer rolls (that’s how they call it here; imagine a cinnamon roll but with a delicious white cream in the middle) and a cortado. The coffee is quite average but the pastries are great and the wifi free so I can’t complain.

Yesterday, after doing a 4-hour boat tour around the fjords (well, a very basic form of fjord, the really big ones are far from Bergen) I realized I had seen pretty much everything I wanted to see in this town so I decided to change my flight for tomorrow morning instead of waiting until Sunday night as I had originally planned. To be honest, after almost two weeks of walking every day for 8-10 hours, I’m just tired and really feel like going back to Copenhagen.

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Also, I know the weather is going to be crap in Bergen in the next couple of days and I’m really missing Kat so when I saw the opportunity to fly a little earlier I just went for it so, that’s it, I’m leaving early tomorrow and should be back home for breakfast. I really can’t wait…

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July 24

I’m alive. And one year older.

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In Bergen now after six wonderful days in Iceland, a truly fascinating country. I haven’t been able to post here but I have been keeping track of my wanderings on Facebook, I will make screen shots and upload them here once I’m back in Copenhagen…

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July 16

Back on a plane again. Wish I could give you some sort of technical info about my flight, like how high we are now, what’s our cruising speed or where exactly the plane is flying over as I type this lines, but WOW air doesn’t offer any flight tracking details on board and the screen that is three rows ahead is just showing some movie starring Ben Stiller so all I can tell you is that I’m on my way to Iceland and that I have two slightly annoying little girls yelling in the seat behind me.

I was very excited about this trip until I got an e-mail this morning from the travel company I was planning to go on a night hike this Friday, informing me that is very likely to get cancelled due to heavy rain. I checked the weather forecast and, apart from today and tomorrow, it seems that all the arctic summer is ready to give us are cloudbursts. I know, weather can change at any time and rain is not really a big deal, but I guess that in my head I just pictured it differently. I have been wanting to go to Iceland for so long that I’d hate if this ends up being one of those holidays in which you’re forced to stay inside because the weather doesn’t give you any other choice. Anyway, we’ll see what happens, maybe I will enjoy the raindrops and the cloudy icelandic landscapes. Who knows?

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Last night, Kat gave me a card I’m only allowed to open on my birthday and she made sure to pick an eye-melting bright pink envelope to keep it safe until then. How nice. I was talking about her this morning with my friend Carlos, who made me company at the airport for a bit, and I was telling him how much I like Kat and the lovely things she comes up with. We haven’t been together for too long but it feels like it’s been a good while, and this kind of simple little details, which many people tend to take for granted, never cease to amaze me and always bring me joy.

While in Madrid, after she has done one of those lovely things I’m telling you about, I asked Kat: “what would I do without you?”

She kindly replied with a smile: “Well, you’d probably be jerking off somewhere.”

Aw. Who said romance is dead?

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May 28

Today, I spent about 10 hours walking around Barcelona and I’m too tired to write about it. I’d say one thing, though: if you’re in town during the next couple of months, go see an exhibition entitled “Metamorfosis” at Centre de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona. It’s mind-blowing.

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May 27

Hello from seat 25A of a Vueling flight, destination Barcelona. If I was seated in First Class, I could probably tell you where exactly the plane is currently cruising over but Vueling, being the low cost airline that it is, only provides you with a safety instructions manual, a less than average food menu and a white paper bag you are most welcome to puke in if your body ever feels indisposed during the flight. No fancy screen showing the plane’s progress in real time, no outdated movies to watch, nothing. Just you, the sky and the sound of a hundred people snoring and chatting, with the occasional baby’s cry in the background.

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It feels good, though. To be on holidays. Last time was in December 2013, when I did Copenhagen-London-Caracas to spend some time with my family during Christmas and New Year’s. It was a long trip, as it always is, but totally worth it. Since then, I had stay grounded in Copenhagen, busy doing what your average grown-up does, I guess. This year, however, I looked up in advance where exactly all the Danish holidays were placed in the calendar and managed to plan little getaways around them. This is one of them. It has been a while since I last visited Barcelona and the Primavera Sound had booked some of my favourite bands for this year’s festival so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to spend a week on the beach, seeing concerts and catching up with old friends.

Oh, the captain has just encouraged us to turn off our electronic devices and get ready for landing.

I will continue this later.

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May 26

Another fine weekend. On Friday, my friends Rebeca and Sarah came from London to visit for a couple of days. They arrived at midnight so I went to pick them up at the Central Station, made a quick pit stop at my place to drop their bags and went out straight to away to meet Carlos and his friend Paul (funnily enough, he was in the same flight with Sarah and Rebeca but none of them knew the people they had come to visit knew each other) at The Union. Terrific cocktails, as always, and it was nice to see Mike behind the bar again, too.

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On Saturday, I left Sarah and Rebeca exploring Christiania during the day while I took care of some important matters and then we reunited in the evening. The idea was to go out to the Meat Packing District but in the end, they decided to stay at home drinking vodka and eating chips with Mark and some of his friends, so I decided to head to Kat’s for a fun night in. Next morning, I walked with her to a school nearby where she was taking part in the European Parliament elections and there I discovered why the Danes are so good a cycling drunk: turns out they get accustomed to the dizziness and loss of balance produced by the excess of alcohol, at a very young age. That’s right, in the school’s playground they had a few rotating poles with a platform at the bottom, where kids could stand on, and then spin for as long as they want to recreate that feeling you get when you get drunk, I assume. It was fascinating. I was going to make a video to show you how it works but then a realized that an adult, short as it might be, discreetly filming somebody else’s infants would look slightly creepy so I abandoned the idea and moved on.

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After that, Kat was off to meet her friend Karla for brunch and I went to Sort Kaffe og Vinyl for a cup of coffee in the sun. Then I went home to pick up my bike and joined Sarah and Rebeca, who had rented bikes for the day, to go around town. We started cycling around Vesterbro, then Østerbro via the lakes to check The Little Mermaid out, which I hadn’t seen before. It’s not as bad as they make it sound but it definitely isn’t a life changing experience, either. We sat in front of the water for a bit, enjoying the sun, then walked around the citadel (another undiscovered spot for me) and shortly after we headed to Ørestad to see Tietgenkollegiet, a circular-shaped student residence designed by Danish architects Lundgaard & Tranberg, which Rebeca -being an architect herself- was very keen to see.

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Around 4pm, we met Carlos, Paul and Kat at Torvehallerne for a late lunch in the sun and then the girls and I walked to Kongens Have, to drink some white wine (Rebeca and Sarah) and cold cokes (Kat and I). When it started to get cold, we moved to Bar 7 for a cocktail and then we call it a day.

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It’s now Monday, I’m leaving to Barcelona tomorrow for the Primavera Festival and I still have to do a bit of laundry, which I couldn’t get done over the weekend because I was too busy having fun. Just as it should be…

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Somebody please remind me to stop prying into other people’s affairs. This weekend, while nosing around Kat’s apartment, I found the card she bought for my birthday, which she had been insisting in giving me in advance and that I expressly asked her not to. She was suppose to give me the card in an sealed envelope before I left to Iceland and I was only going to open it on my birthday but I fucked up the whole thing. Wish I could unseen the damn card and pretend nothing happened because it would have been a really cool surprise.

From now on, Kat said, all objects she wants to keep out of my reach will be placed on the top shelves and picture her delivering that sentence with an air of mockery to it. You get the idea.

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May 14

Well, Jimmy Page is all over the news these days. He’s been doing press to support the Led Zeppelin re-releases and just last week he was in Boston to receive a honorary doctoral degree from Berklee College of Music and delivered the commencement speech to nearly 900 music students, some of whom ditched the traditional hand shake and went all in and hugged Jimmy when receiving their degrees. It must have been a fantastic experience. I mean, not only you’re graduating from one of the most prestigious music schools in the world but on top of that, you get Jimmy-fucking-Page to hand you your degree. It’s just bonkers.

Shortly after, the Internet exploded with pictures of joyful fans who spotted him around Boston. Like this guy, who waited a few hours until Jimmy and Ross were done with their record shopping so he could ask for a picture and an autograph. He got both, including a selfie with the man himself. Bastard. I must admit, it made me happy to read his exciting account of the encounter but those pictures also made me a bit jealous. At least for a second. Then, reality kicked in and everything was fine again. Every time I look back at all the times I met Jimmy, I can’t help to think to myself: “Man, I’m one lucky motherfucker.”

Sure, I don’t have a single picture with him (never asked for one anyway) but the memories… the memories remain (and I will treasure them FOREVER!): the time we met outside Earls Court, the Wilko Johnson gig we attended to the same day I met him for the first time, the beer he bought me that night, the EELS show we saw at Somerset House, the burgers we shared before the gig, the guitar pick he gave me, the LZ II copy I got as a present, the signed “Celebration Day” he personally gave me, the record shopping days in London, walking around Camden after that Mick Ralphs concert, Whitesnake at the Roundhouse, talking about the Stones show on the phone; the cup of tea in his house in Reading, the time we rode the Tube together after a morning at Spitalfields Market, the laughs, the chats, the friendly pats on the back… me? Jealous? Bitch, please ;-)

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I just compulsively bought into this and ordered a poster bundle. Stupid Facebook. And stupid electronic commerce, which makes spending money such an easy undertaking.

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Twenty-nine bucks for three posters seems relatively reasonable but when you look at how much the international shipping costs, the whole poster bundle thing stops looking as such a good deal. However, I do like the aesthetic of most NIN posters and I find the idea of buying a surprise package a little bit exciting so fuck it, it’s done. Fingers crossed I get something I actually like.

Speaking of NIN, they played Copenhagen last night and I deliberately missed the show. Partly because I will see them at Primavera Sound in a couple of weeks and partly because the venue they were playing here is shite; the sound is usually awful and if you’re not front row, chances are you are going to have an unpleasant sonic experience so in the end I decided to skip this show and use that money to buy a ticket to Copenhell, which this years features an interesting bill: Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Sepultura, Anthrax and Black Lebel Society. My friend André, who’s now working as Tour Manager for Arch Enemy, will also be in town as the band is also playing the festival and it’s gonna be nice to catch up with him after so long (last time I saw him was in 2010, I think) so I think it was the right move to make.

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Update on the Iceland/Norway holiday: Turns out my friend Anna and her friend will be going on a cruise to the Faroe Islands while I’ll be in Reykjavík so in the end, if Mark or Rodrigo don’t join, I might actually end up being all by myself on my birthday. Not that it worries me that much, really. That was the original plan and I will be happy to stick to it.

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