Tag Archives: Denmark

ARoS: Your Rainbow Panorama

Our best impression from Aarhus is that it is a fantastic town with a great cultural offer. But the very best experience is to walk Your Rainbow Panorama on the top of the art museum ARoS. It is a work conceived by the Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson, whom Brisbanites will know for The cubic structural evolution project shown at GOMA several times. Danes will know his Circle Bridge in Copenhagen.

If you cannot make it to ARoS, here is the second best thing:

Rethink Aarhus: European Capital of Culture 2017

​It is nearly a week ago now that we came to Aarhus.

Aarhus is one of the oldest cities in Scandinavia, estimated to be founded at the mouth of Aarhus Å (the river) during the Viking Age around 770. It was named Aros which meant mouth of the river. The foundation stone of the Cathedral in the centre of the old town was laid in 1201, and following the Reformation in 1536, the town gradually grew into a merchant town. In the mid 19th century a major infrastructure project expanded the harbour and Aarhus gradually grew to be the second largest city in Denmark. Today it is home to over 300,000 people, many of whom are students.

And did I mention there is a world-class library right on the harbour, DOKK1, which is where I spent the last three days at the Next Library 2017 conference​​.

Stay tuned for more about this fantastic place.

It was a long journey through the night…

Travelling faster than human speed across time zones causes jetlag. That and a sore backside from sitting too long on a long-haul flight. But I musn’t complain: initially it took homo sapiens thousands of years to immigrate across the world, today we can do travel half-way across the globe in about 30 hours including ground travel and transfers. It is the 7 time zones between the one we left on the East coast of Australia, to the one in Northern Europe that is the killer, together with the dry, putrid air that comes from so many people stuck in a small space, the sore eyes and swelling legs that stay with you for a few days after you have again stepped foot on solid ground.

In this light, it is very hard to understand why traveling is equated with living, when all you want is to survive the situation you find yourself in to be back to where you came from. At best, it is a great opportunity to practice mindfulness, to be in this moment without longing for a future one.

Here, share some of our long trip.

At reise er at leve

Such wrote Hans Christian Andersen in ‘Mit Livs Æventyr’ in 1855. To travel is to live. I would translate that title, given the HC Andersen context, The Fairy Tail of My Life, though literally it may be better translated as The Adventure of My Life.

It has been 18 months since we returned home to Australia from our big year in Copenhagen. We have created new routines and new ways to make meaning of life and the everyday routines back in Brisbane.

We are back on Danish soil to see family and friends in Europe for seven weeks of holiday. And a little bit of library conference at the public library of the year DOKK1 in Aarhus, Denmark.

Jetlagged and with sore legs and bottom, I don’t necessarily think HC Anderson was right: life happens where you are and you make a choice to live in it, whether or not you are travelling. Travelling gives you the opportunity to experience something new and make memories. But if we live to travel, we invariably spend most of our life yearning to be elsewhere.

Before we go, I wanted to say See Ya Later to my home suburb and my boys. So I made this little film, though you may feel cheated if you expect to see Yayoi Kusama and an upside-down elephant in Mitchelton. I added for effect and to try out my new-found iMovie skills.

Glædelig jul: Merry X-mas

Santa. Photo: Mick. 2014.

Santa. Photo: Mick. 2014.

I wish all my readers a merry x-mas and a happy new year.

This time last year, we celebrated a true Danish jul together with my siblings and their families, managing to serve up our own version of the x-masses we remember from our childhood home, complete with pork roast, ris-a-la-mande, live candles on the newly felled pine tree and Santa who delighted most, but terrified one five-year old. On x-mas day we walked through a bright morning with sparkling snow in beautiful, cold sunshine. All up we were 17 people together, ranging in ages from five months to 72 years. Continue reading

Introducing: A Dual Danish-Australian citizen

Dual citizenship will let me celebrate my whole identity, both Danish and Australian. Photo by Mick 2014.

Dual citizenship will let me celebrate my whole identity, both Danish and Australian. Photo by Mick 2014.

And again there is reason to celebrate: On the eve of my return to Australia, I have regained my birthright and am again a Danish citizen.

Those of you who have followed my blog will know that I have longed for being recognised again as Danish, after losing my Danish citizenship when I became an Australian.

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Reflections on the gap

Mind the gap. Photo: Lone. 2015.

Mind the gap. Photo: Lone. 2015.

Normally, the gap year is reserved for the young, fresh out of high school, ready to conquer the world. But like youth, the gap year really is wasted on the young.

For starters, at that age you have very limited means. This means you have to work a shitty job in a shitty café – or worse – to fund your fun year out. At 48, I have accumulated a certain amount of wealth from many years of working really hard and living quite frugally, as well as an amount of long service leave I could use sensibly for the purpose. I compare this with the time when I as a 16 year old also took a gap year to attend an English language course at Cardiff University for three months. I really had very limited means and no steady income. I am sure Cardiff would have been much more fun with dosh.

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