The dangers of self-promotion or what clothing does the Emperor wear?

I am going to go out on a limb here. I have been reading a lot of blog posts over the years but there seems to be a stream of self-gratulation that is fast becoming a river. Some posts take a point, expand on it, and offer some thoughtful critique and whether you agree or not, bring home that the world really is round not flat. That the world we live in has various meanings and perspectives and not anyone group has all the answers. They are usually intriguing and thought provoking.

Now, I see much more subliminal writing that purports to have a unique point of view but really is representing a business. Hans Christian Anderson wrote a fairy tale ‘The Emperors New Clothes’. Though considered a fairy tale there is a school of thought that says the stories were satires on the Danish way of life. There seems to be a similar set of clothing being offered in the blogosphere. The bias is for business, and the posts do not necessarily distinguish the framework for further discussion. Sure we can all throw in little ads of our accomplishments but when the blog becomes solely a business grandizement and that under the guise of an individual, it really isn’t a blog. It is more a subliminal message of a business.

What eventually will happen is those blogs get glanced at rather than read and eventually they get dropped of the daily reading list. I am glad there are more and more blogs being written because the choice to read something mentally stimulating is important.

5 days left

Time is clipping along faster than possible. I have only 5 days left here in Denmark before leaving. For that past 2 and next 3 it has been visiting time, catching up with old friends and family.

Yesterday I was at my wife’s cousins place for a birthday party. Someone was there I hadn’t seen for over 20 years. What is always interesting is that there are this wonderful group of people that you know and even if you don’t get to see them often you connect right away. It is like time has stood still between the absence and nothing has been lost in the relationship.

Today it is off to Hilerød to vist more family. If the weather is good there is a chance to get some wonderful pictures of a castle up there. Last time I was there it was too dark. The opportunities to take some great shots is around every corner. Last time I looked Aperture had 2300 RAW images. Time to head out.


I don’t usually think much about food except when hunger strikes. Everyone has their own favourites and dislikes (parsnips). Some say we are what we eat or when in Rome, eat what the Romans eat.

Today was shopping day. The fridge was bare so instead of going to Netto as the habit of the past, went to Irma. The prices are higher and there is a greater selection of product. And here is where the story starts.

First you need to forget about the prices. They are different and you will not be able to make rhyme or reason of them. Good bottle of French wine $12, Castello blue cheese $3, 6 eggs $5, 1 litre of 3.5 % pasturized, not homogenized milk for $2, $8 for a loaf of bread.

Here is the scoop on the product.

• Castello blue cheese – a creamier blue cheese with a less pungent taste. Wonderful zing to the taste buds.

• eggs – huge eggs probably the size of a small goose egg. Dark orange yolk.

• Karse – don’t know what you call this in English (cress?) but you put it on any open faced sandwich. I put it on cheese. It comes in a small container and you cut off with a scissor, these small stemmed leafs. They are very small. Has a piquant-mild taste.

• The milk – this is ecologically produced, only pasturized not homogenized, packaged and available for purchase in less than 24 hours after it leaves the cow. Tastes very fresh.

• bread – this is by far the best bread I have ever tasted and the small bakery is right across the street from where I am staying. It is expensive but two slices make a meal. It is handmade and cooked in a wood burning oven. Imagine this with fresh milk and a variety of toppings – blue cheese, Danish butter, Danish butter with strawberry jam, sliced tomatoes with karse, etc.

One of the best things about traveling is the taste and smells that you do not encounter anywhere else. There are also those memories that are associated with what you eat and smell. Yesterday when that bread, butter and strawberry jam had its first bite taken, there was a sudden memory of Svendborg, Denmark 35 years ago. Those are times you don’t bother to try and understand why, you just savour and enjoy such a simple pleasure.

Some interesting spaces

I’ve been here a week now, over the jet lag and getting used to the sounds and sights of Denmark again. Funny how you start noticing the little things that you miss after you have been away from somewhere for a while. It’s great fun practicing your Danish, sometimes you make it other times you get this puzzled look. After a few times you just start speaking in English.

The weather has been typical, a few rainy days and a few sunny but mostly on the cooler side. The wind can howl like it did earlier today and presented us with some wet snow.
Yesterday we went to the State Art Gallery and saw an exhibit on frames. Very interesting. Up until the 1600’s the framemaker made more than the artist!

There is a piece by Kroeyer that I can’t find in the directory but here is one of women in a sardine factory. The most amazing thing about this artist is his use of light. You can sit and look at his work again and again as what they represent is so seemingly real. Here is another one “The Iron Foundry“. And there were a few Mattise, Munch, Picasso, etc. paintings which gives the gallery such an interesting look and feel. It wasn’t busy and you could take all the time you wanted to.

Tomorrow morning we head off to Barcelona for a week. The forecast is for sun and tempatures in the mid-teens (celsius). I was in Spain (Ibiza) in 1971 when it was under Franco’s dictatorship. There have been massive changes there. And we will keep our intake of Sangria to a maximum minimum right?.

Some sad news

When you are in the credit union business for long time you get to meet a lot of people. Sometimes you are very fortunate to meet some pretty wonderful people. When I first came to the credit union Frank was on the board of directors. He was a nurseryman, blunt, outspoken but a true co-operator and a fierce credit unionist. Over the years I got to know Frank quite well going for the occasional lunch and visiting him at his place. We had rousing discussions about member loyalty, the responsibility of the member and how important it was to be relative to the members. Beneath that harsh exterior was a very kind and gentle person who was true to himself. He used to show up with boxes of produce to give to the staff. The potatoes he grew were unlike anything I’ve tasted and it was an honour to have Frank give you some of his vegetables.

Everyday when coming to work I have passed Frank’s place and seen his trees grow to be harvested and his wonderful garden and hedges kept perfect and proper. This morning when I drove by I noticed a number of vehicles in the yard that hadn’t been there before. It just appeared strange. This afternoon we were told that Frank had passed away.

Today is a sad day. We will always remember Frank and when I drive by tonight it will be difficult to hold back the tears. He was a good man, someone you will genuinely miss. It’s people like Frank that make this job worthwhile. It’s people like Frank that make this life that much brighter. Take care Frank as we are all going to miss you.