Så kan de lære det

Sted: Korsør, Denmark

lørdag, august 19, 2006

If there are any Danish speaking people still reading this blog, then listen up:

Go to mingler.dk and set up an account.

Nice place, good for all your heated argument and danish blogging needs. if you don't speak Danish, then disregard this transmission...

onsdag, august 16, 2006

More news!

I've finally created a page for my stories. I'll post any longer texts there. The address is:


Now, the first story is in Danish, but don't let that put you off bookmarking it. There will be some english stuff there, first and foremost translations of my Danish stories. So, hang around, English speakers and readers.

Oh, and feel free to leave a comment.

tirsdag, august 08, 2006

New site!

If you wanna play poker, but don't fancy losing money, why not try a freeroll, where all you invest is a bit of time for the chance of winning real money?

And why not go to my new blog, where I give you tips on how to maximize your chances of winning?

Check it out, leave comments, and have fun.

onsdag, juli 26, 2006

SitRep Time

So, what am I up to? Job applications, that's what.

How hard can it be to get a job? Apparently, very hard. For those new to me and my situation, this is the deal: I'm 36 years old, a teacher by education (and what job experience I have), but hard of hearing. This means I can't work as a teacher in a "normal" setting, as my hearing loss prevents me from distinguising sounds and, well, hearing stuff. Not good as a teacher.

Now, You'd think there'd be other jobs a teacher-like person could get, but it all falls to the grounds because 1)I'm horrible at communicating verbally unless it's 1-on-1, face-to-face and in a quiet environment with someone speaking clearly and 2)I can't use a phone and need to see people's faces if I talk to them. I can't hear cell phones ringing at all. Ok, that is a blessing sometimes, I know, but it's a problem when waiting for a call.

Ok, so there must be jobs where you just communicate in writing or via e-mail, right? I suppose, but i have still to find them. I kick ass in written English and Danish, but the big hurdle is still that I can't get instructions in other forms than written. Journalism? No, involves verbal interviews. Writing in general? Yeah, me and 1,000,000 other budding writers wanting to publish. The Danish market isn't THAT big.

So, now I'm applying for jobs as a lorry driver. I figure that drivers go from point A to point B, so the communication amounts to getting an address and other info that can be given in written form if needed. The rest of the time would be me on the road. I haven't got a lorry-card, but getting one could be arranged with the City. This is a welfare state, after all. But now my education actually work against me. I can just see some guy running a lorry-firm opening my application and going "Whoa, college boy! He's gonna work here for a week, then get some cushy office job!"

Right now I got 20+ applications out there, no replies yet.

Any reader of this got other ideas? I'm running out.

mandag, juli 17, 2006

Yay! An update! Sorry for the time taken, but, you know, stuff keeps happening and there are lots of shinier stuff than the blog here.

Anyway: This is the first bit from the book "Tales of the Norse Gods and Heroes", retold by Niels Saxtorph from old Norse sources. Enjoy!


The World is made

Ginnungagap was the name of the vast void in the middle of the world between Niflheim in the north and Muspelheim in the south – the barren emptiness, no sea, nor beach, neither sky nor ground where grass could grow. The gap lay between the freezing glaciers of Niflheim and the fiery fires of Muspelheim.

But as the glaciers crept forward towards the yawning chasm it met the heat, the flames, and the sparks of Muspelheim, and the ice turned into dew, the dew to vapour, and in the windless Ginnungagap the vapour turned into drops and the drops became alive, first turning into the giant Ymer, since to the cow Audhumbla.

From the udder of Audhumbla flowed four rivers of milk that Ymer drank and was nourished by; as he lay sleeping a man and a woman grew from his sweaty armpits, and his left foot had a son with his right. From those, the magic people know as the jotun descended.

Audhumbla licked the salty rock and the first evening the hair of a man appeared from it, the second his head, and the third the whole of the man; big, strong, and beautiful. His name was Bure and became father of Bur; Bur wed Bestla, daughter of the jotun Boltorn; their sons are Odin, Vile, and Ve.

They slew Ymer, and all the jotun drowned in his blood, except for Bergelmer and his wife; from those all latter kin of jotun descended.

But the sons of Bur brought the dead Ymer out in the middle of the empty Ginnungagap and created the Earth from his body: The flesh became the dry land, his blood the sea, the lakes and the rivers; mountains they made from his bones and all the loose stone, small as large, from his teeth and bone fragments. His skull they placed as the sky dome and placed the dwarves Eastern and Western, Northern and Southern to carry it, one in each corner. From his brain they made the heavy clouds.

From Muspelheim there still came a mass of sparks and flashes that freely flew around; those the gods used to create all the stars that sit in their fixed places high and low above on the sky, as well as the planets, that wander their paths. Also the sun and moon was made from the many sparks.

But there was a man, Mundilfare, who had two children he though was so beautiful and radiant that he named the girl Sun and the boy Moon. The gods found that rather too boasting, and as a punishment they took the children and placed them on the sky where they lead the horses that pull the carts for the real sun and moon.

Sun's horses are called Arvak and Alsin, but to be able to travel half the sky or more in a day they have to run so fast that the gods had to place two bellows under their bellies. Another reason Sun needs to travel so fast is that she is pursued by the wolf Skoll, who catches up with her every evening and swallows the sun.

Her brother Moon drives in the same fashion the cart of the moon and takes care of the waning and waxing, while he tried to outrun the wolf Had.

The black Nat (night) is herself the daughter of a jotun, but was married to Delling, who are kin of the Aser. They had the son Dag (day), who is as bright as his mother is dark. Those two take turns driving the sky with their horse and carriage; the horse of night is called Rimfakse, and the frothing from the bit falls every morning as dew to the ground, and then you can see how day advances with his horse Skinfakse and all air and ground gets light from its mane.

When Odin, Vile, and Ve had taken care of all this they took a stroll along the beach and found what the sea had washed ashore, amongst this two dead trees. But Odin gave them spirit and life, from Vile they got reason, and from Ve they got the senses. They called them Ask and Embla, and from these two all the humans that live in Midgård are descendants. (Some say that is was Høner and Lodur that helped Odin this day.)

But first did the sons of Bur take Ymer's eyelashes and used them to erect a strong fence around all of Midgård, so that the humans could be safe from the jotun, that keep to Udgård furthest by the world sea's coasts. Furthest north sits the jotun Hræsvælger, the fire-eater; he has the shape of an eagle and it is when it beats its wings that storms rise, that makes the sea wild and make ships flounder.

Thus man got his home between Udgård and Asgård. It is not known for sure whether Asgård was on the ground or up in the sky, because the only access is by Bifrost, the rainbow, and nobody knows where that ends. But even as the rainbow looks airy it is more solid that it would seem and furthermore does the red portion of it consist of fire, that no jotun dare walk past until, that is, Ragnarok, the end of the world, comes.

tirsdag, marts 21, 2006

Ok, new translation!

This time it's one of the best spring poems in danish. I really tried to make it rhyme in English, but it's impossible, so you get the Danish version too.

by Halfdan Rasmussen

Snemand Frost og Frøken Tø
gik en tur ved Søndersø
fandt en bænk og slog sig ned,
talte lidt om kærlighed.

Snemand Frost, som var lidt bleg,
spurgte:" Må jeg kysse dig?"
Men da frøken Tø var varm
smeltede hans højre arm.

Da han kyssed' hendes kind,
svandt han ganske langsomt ind.
Da han kyssed' hendes mund
blev han væk i sammen stund.

På en bænk ved Søndersø
sidder stakkelts frøken Tø.
Snemand Frost er smeltet op.
Hun må ha ham i en kop!


Snowman Frost and miss Thaw
went for a walk by Søndersø
found a bench and sat down
talked a bit about love

Snowman Frost, who was somewhat pale
asked: "May I kiss you?"
But as miss Thaw was hot
she melted his right arm

As he kissed her cheek
he slowly shrank away
As he kissed her mouth
he was gone the same instant

On a bench near Søndersø
sits poor miss Thaw
Snowman Frost is all melted
and she must keep him in a cup

lørdag, marts 11, 2006

I recently had an excuse to do what I have wanted to do for a long time, namely translate something of the Danish poet, storyteller and romantic Hans Christian Andersen.

If anybody finda any typos and or complete nonsense (very likely), please leave a comment.

So, without further ado, here we go:

The Tinderbox
By H. C. Andersen

A soldier came marching along the country road: One, Two! One, Two! He had his backpack on his back and his sabre by his side, because he had been to the wars and was on his way home. Then he met an old hag on the country road; she was very disgusting, her lower lip drooped to the middle of her chest. She said "Good evening, soldier! How nice a sabre and huge a backpack you have there, you're a real soldier! Now you shall have as much money as you'd ever want!"

"Thank you very much, old hag!" the soldier said. "Can you see that large tree?", said the hag and pointed to a tree that stood next to them. "It is completely hollow! You must climb to the top, there you'll see a hole that you can slide through and enter deep into the tree! I'll tie a noose around your waist so I can pull you up again when you call out to me!"

"Why should I go down the tree, then?" asked the soldier.

"Gather money!" the hag said. "You see, when you reach the bottom of the tree you'll find yourself in a large passage. It's well lit, since there are over one hundred lamps burning. Then you'll see three doors. You can open them, the key is in the locks. If you go into the first room you will see a large chest. On top of that sits a dog; he has a pair of eyes the size of teacups, but never you mind that. I give you my blue-checkered apron, that you can spread over the floor. Then quickly pick up the dog, put him on my apron, open the chest and take as many schillings you'd like. They are all copper, but if you'd rather have silver, then go into the next room. But there sits a dog whose eyes are the size of a mill's water wheel, but don't you care about that. Put him on my apron and help yourself to the money. If, on the other hand, you want gold then go to the third chamber. But the dog there has eyes the size of the Copenhagen Round Tower. That is some dog, I tell you! But never you mind! Just put him on my apron and he'll not harm you, and you can take as much gold as you'd like."

"That's not half bad," said the soldier. "But what should I give you, old hag? I'm sure you want something brought along!"

"No," said the hag, "I want not one solitary schilling. All you need to bring me is an old tinderbox that my grandmother left the last time she was down there!"

"Well, let me get the noose around my waist!" said the soldier.

"Here it is!" said the hag, "and here is my blue-checkered apron."

The solder then climed the tree and let himself fall down the hole and stood, as the hag had said, in the large passage where the many hundred lamps were burning.

So he opened the first door. Ugh, there was the dog with eyes as large as teacups sitting and staring at him.

"You're some guy!" said the soldier and put him on the hag's apron and took as many copper schillings as his pockets could hold, closed the chest, put the dog back on top and entered the second room. Holy! There was the dog with eyes as big as a mill's water wheel.

"You shouldn't stare at me so much!" said the soldier, "Your eyes might strain!" and so he put the dog on the hag's apron, but as he saw all the silver money in the chest he dropped all the copper money he had and filled his pockets and his backpack with all silver. Then he entered the third room! - How disgusting! The dog inside really had two eyes the size of the Round Tower! And they were spinning around it's head like wheels!

"Good Evening!" said the soldier and tipped his cap, because a dog like that he'd never seen before. But after he had sized it up some he thought, enough of that already, lifted it to the floor and opened the chest and, dear Lord! the wealth of money there was! He could buy all of Copenhagen and the baker's wife's candypigs, all the tin soldiers, cookies and rocking horses in the whole world! Yes, there sure was a lot of money! - The solder promptly threw away all the solve money he had fulled his pockets and backpack with, and instead filled it with gold, yes, in all his pockets, the backpack, the cap and boots were filled to the point where he could hardly walk! Now he was rich! He put the dog back on the chest, closed the door and yelled up through the tree:

"Now pull me up, old hag!"

"Do you bring the tinderbox?" asked the hag!

"It's true!" said the soldier, "I completely forgot" so he went and got it. The hag pulled him up so he was once more on the country road, but with pockets, boots, backpack, and cap filled with money.

"So what do what to do with the tinderbox" asked the soldier.

"None of your business!" said the hag, "and you got your money! Just give me the tinderbox!"

"Nonsense!" said the soldier, "tell me right away what you intend to do with it, or I'll pull out my sabre and chop your head off!"

"No," said the hag.

So the soldier chopped her head off. Down she went. But he tied all his money up in her apron, slung it over his back as a sack, put the tinderbox into his pocket and headed straight for the city.

It was a lovely city and he went to the loveliest inn, demanded the very best rooms and his favorite food, because now he was rich as he had so much money.

The servant sent to polish his boots, however, thought that those were strange boots for such a rich gentleman to own, but he had not yet bought new ones. The next day he got real boots and nice clothing. Now the soldier had become a notable gentleman, and people would tell him of all the fancy things that the city had, and about their king and what a pretty Princess his daughter was.

"How does one get to see her?" asked the solder.

"She can't be seen!" they all said, "She lives in a large copper castle with so many walls and towers around. Nobody but the king dares go to and from her, because it has been foretold that she will marry a plain common soldier, and the king doesn't like the sound of that!"

"I would really like to see her!" thought the soldier, but of course, he'd never be allowed.

Now he was having fun, and went to the theater, drove round the King's Garden Park and he gave so much money to the poor and that was a nice thing to do! He certainly remembered how it was to not have a penny in the old days. He was now rich, had nice clothes and gained so many friends who all said he was a nice chap, a real man of the world, and the soldier liked that. But as he gave away money each day and got nothing in return, he was soon left with only two schilling and had to move out of his beautiful room and into a small chamber, all the way up under the roof, he had to shine his own boots and fix them with a needling pin and none of his friends came to see him because there was so many stairs to climb.

It was a completely dark night, and he couldn't even buy a candle, but then he remembered that there was a small scrap in the tinderbox he had gotten in the hollow tree the hag had helped him into. He took out the tinderbox and the candlescrap, but just as he lit it and the sparks flew from the flint the door burst open and the dog he has seen under the tree, with eyes the size of teacups, stood before him and said: "What is my master's command!"

"What's this!" said the soldier, "what a great tinderbox that gives me what I want! Get me some money," he said to the dog and zoom, it was gone! Zoom, it had returned and held a large bag of schillings in it's jaws.

Now the soldier understood what a wonderful tinderbox it was! If he struck it once, then the dog sitting on the chest of copper money came, if he struck it twice the one with silver money came, and if he struck three times the one with gold. - Now the soldier moved back to the beautiful rooms again, got back into good clothing, and suddenly everybody realised he was their friend and they loved him so very much.

One time he thought: It's a strange thing that noone is allowed to see that princess! As far as thay say she's ever so lovely, but what good is that when she sits in the big copper castle with the many towers all the time, can't I get to see her? - Where is my tinderbox! And then he struck it and zoom came the dog with eyes the size of teacups.

"I know it's the middle of the night," said the soldier, "but I really want to see the princess, just for a moment!"

The dog immediately went out the door, and before the soldier gave it any thought, he saw it again with the princess, sleeping on the dog's back, looking so lovely that anybody could see she was a real princess. The solder couldn't help himself, he had to kiss her, because he was a real soldier.

The dog ran back with the princess when it became morning, but when the king and the queen poured their morning tea the princess said that she had had such a weird dream about a dog and a soldier that night. She had ridden the dog and the soldier has kissed her.

"That is some nice tale!" said the queen.

So one of the old court maids were ordered to stand guard by the princess' bed the following night, to see if it was really a dream, or what else it could be.

The soldier wanted so terribly to see the the lovely princess again, so the dog came at night and took her and ran as fast as it could, but the old court maid put on hiking boots and followed it just as fast. When she saw that it dissapeared into a large house she thought, now I know where it is, and she drew a big cross on the gate with a piece of chalk. Then she went home and got in bed and the the dog too came back with the princess, but as the solder saw that there was drawn a large cross on the gate where he lived he too took a peice of chalk and left crosses on all the gates in the city. And that was a wise move, since the court maid couldn't find the right once since there were crosses on all of them.

In the morning the king and queen, the old court maid, and all the officers came to see where it was the princess had been.

"There it is!" said the king, as he saw the first gate with a cross.

"No, that's where it is, my sweet husband!" siad the queen, who saw the second gate with a cross.

"But there is ne, and there is one!" they all said when they saw a cross. Naturally they realised that searching was no help.

But the queen was after all a clever woman, who knew more than horse carriage riding. She took her large golden scissors and cut a large piece of silk to pieces and then sew a nice little bag. She filled that with small, fine buckwheat grains, tied it to the back of the princess, and when that was done she cut a tiny hole in the bag, so the grains could trinkle everywhere the princess came.

At night the dog came back, took the princess on it's back and carried her to the soldier, who cared so much for her and really wanted to be a prince so she could be his wife.

The dog never noticed how the grains trinkled all the way from the castle to the soldier's window, where it ran straight up the wall with the princess. In the morning the King and Queen could easily see where their daughter had been, and then they took the sodier and locked him up in jail.

There he was. Ugh, it was so dark and awful,.and they said to him: Tomorrow you're going to hang. Listening to that was not nice, and he had forgotten his tinderbox at the inn. In the morning he could see through the iron bars how the people hurried outside the city to see him hang. He heard the drums and saw the soldiers marching. All the people ran along; there was also a shoemaker's lad with his apron wearing slippers, he was in such a rush that one of his slippers flew off and went straight to the wall, where the soldier was looking through the iron bars.

"Hey, shoemaker lad! Slow down," said the soldier to him, "nothing will happen before I get there. Anyway, would you run to where I used to live and get me my tinderbox, and I'll give you four schilling! But better move it!" The shoemaker's lad wanted the four schilling, and bolted to get the tinderbox, gave it to the soldier and - we'll get to that!

Outside of town a large gallows had been erected, around it stood the soldiers and many hundred thousand people, the King and Queen were sitting on a nice throne opposite the judge and all of the council.

The soldier was already standing on the ladder, but as they were about to put the noose around his neck he said that a sinner was always allowed a simple request before his punishment. He wanted so much to smoke a pipefull of tobacco, as it was the last pipe he'd smoke in this world.

The king could hardly deny this, and the soldier took his tinderbox and struck it, one, two three! There was all the dogs, the one with eyes the size of tea cups, the one with eyes as a mill's wheel, and the one with eyes the size of the Round Tower!

"Help me now, so I won't hang!" said the soldier, and then the dogs jumped at the judges and all of the council, grabbed one by the legs and one by the nose and threw them into the air, so they fell down and broke completely.

"I don't wanna!" said the King, but the largest dog took both him and the queen and threw them after the other. All the soldiers were shocked and all of the people were shouting "little soldier, we want you to become king and you shall have the lovely princess!"

Then they put the soldier in the King's carriage and all the dogs were dancing in front of it shouting "Hooray!" and the boys would whistle between their fingers ans the soldiers would present arms. The princess was out of the copper castle and she was made queen, and she liked that! The wedding lasted for eight days and the dogs were invited to the main table where they would sit in wide eyed wonder.

(translated from Danish by Jesper Nielsen, 2006)
(insane props to Kylie for the proofreading)