New in Denmark

Danish, Danish (and only Danish) Music Day!

Tomorrow, 27 October 2016, is the last Thursday of the month of October which means that it is – selvfølgelig! – “Spil Dansk” (Play Danish Music) Day! 🙂

So don’t be suprised if the only music you hear on Danish state radio is by Danish groups (some of which also sing in English), Danish songwriters, Danish producers. Anything that has even remotely been touched by the red and white flag counts! But if you’re interested in Hit Lists and what you’d normally expect to hear around these parts – and what people actually buy and add to their collections – then take a look at where you’ll find every official Danish list. There are the usual American artists, as you would expect, but also Danish artists like Lukas Graham, Volbeat and Rasmus Seebach are still in there. On a side note, Hitlisten’s info on the increasing number of vinyl records sold is rather interesting for an old, nostalgic lady like myself 😉

One of the more avant garde and original Danish artists right now is Bisse, who has taken the reviewers and the indie fans by storm. In Denmark, albums are given marks (or hearts) out of six. Here’s his own song, where he gives, “Seks hjerter til livet” – “Six hearts to Life”.  Check out his album “Højlandet” which got 5/6 stars across the board from Danish reviewers. Bisse sings in Danish and you can hear him on soundcloud here.

And what do I currently have on my turntable? Agnes Obel. I’ve never really been a huge fan of her, but I love, love, love her latest album, “Citizen of Glass”! Agnes sings in English – here’s the song “Familiar” from the new album. And, although she has been settled in Germany for a few years, it’s kind of cool that she was born around the corner from us and was a former pupil at my DD14’s school (dear daughter, aged 14)…

But while we’re at it…let’s not forget one of our old favourites from Marvelous Mosell (with a teeny bit of help from Chic and Sister Sledge…) which contains the immortal lyrics:

Der var både bajere og hash,

men jeg sagde: Stik mig bare en

kærnemælk i et snavset glas

med et sugerør i

og gør det i en fart, for jeg er sørme tørstig!”

“There was beer and hash

but I said: Give me some

buttermilk in a dirty glass

with a straw, and do it nifty

‘cos I’m really thirsty” 😉

What’s not to love?!

Happy ‘Spil Dansk‘ Day! Put on those dancing shoes and remember to turn it up to 11! But don’t forget to get out and hear music live… Like Johan, from my very favourite Danish band Magtens Korridorer, you’ll probably be swept off your feet! 😉


Diane 🙂

I heart Danish comfort food! (Part twelve – Burning Love – Brændende Kærlighed)

Dear Readers

There’s no turning back! Despite a good fight by the Indian Summer the last couple of weeks, autumn is well and truly here. I’m now wearing my gloves on my morning bike rides because it is so darn ch-ch-chilly! But, hey ho, I’m a seasoned winterbather so I’ve learned to just suck it up and enjoy the small things…here I am this morning after my skinny dip, with some seaweed in my hair! 😉 (Air temp 8c/46f , sea temp still fairly ‘high’ at 12c/53f)

But every (soggy, rain-filled) cloud has a silver lining so the onslaught of the autumnal weather means the excuse to turn up the ‘hygge‘ on, get snuggly indoors and enjoy some fantastic Danish comfort food. I can’t fathom that I’ve been blogging here for five years, have written an eleven-part series on comfort food, but have not yet mentioned…Burning LoveBrændende Kærlighed! 😉

Like most Danish comfort food, it isn’t healthy. Nor is it pretty. So you are forewarned!


Fry up a lot of bacon until it is good and crispy and crunchy. The more, the merrier. I usually buy a whole piece and chop it up myself into little strips.


Remove the bacon from the pan and fry up a whole lot of onions. I also added a carrot or two (just to get some extra veggies in). Just get the onions nice and soft. You don’t want them too brown and you don’t want them to get crunchy.


Next you are going to make up your mashed potato. Now, if you are going the whole hog, you can boil/mash/add butter/salt. But last night I used the cheat’s version and went with a packet as we didn’t have much time. Did you know that there are several types of mash mix…check the label. Some have extra oils and chemicals added. Others are basically just cooked dehydrated flakes of real potato which you then rehydrate. (A fun fact which I learned in my heydays working at the European Court of Justice in the 1990s…yes, we had a case about the ingredients, and what should be listed as ingredients, in mashed potato! Case C-144/93 Pfanni Werke)


But, as usual, I digress! Potato, potahto…you decide what kind of mash you want to use! 😉 Put your mash in a large dish, top with the soft onions, pour the crunchy bacon on top of that. You can, selvfølgelig, add some chives or parsley on the top for a green garnish. But as my DS16 (dear son, aged 16), once said when he was about 5 years old, “Mummy, why do you put grass on top of our food?” Ha! 😀 But I would suggest that you finish off the dish with some freshly ground black pepper and serve it with lots of pickled beetroot…


Then dig in!


After that you are free to go lie down on the sofa and hygge to your heart’s content…

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Diane 🙂



Culture Night 2016 – Choirs, Cuisine and Carlsberg’s Coziness

Every October there is an event in Copenhagen that I have come to greatly enjoy these past 10 years. It is called Kulturnat or Culture Night. It is 24 hours of amazing events in all areas of culture in all areas of the city. From music and art to architecture, food and lectures, there is something for everyone. This year I think it will be even better with some new cozy offring from Carlsberg, the country’s well-known brewery. (more…)

Off to Danish church? Don’t forget your smartphone!

One of the things I love  about Denmark (stop me if you’ve heard this one before…) is the mixture of new and old. On the face of it, Denmark is a liberal, modern, forward thinking country. When you scratch the surface, you discover the Danes’ deeply ingrained love of traditions. This morning I saw the new/old combo working in reverse.


We were at church for a Harvest service…


It was very traditional, so there were all the usual elements you’d expect. Beautiful displays at the church entrance.



Inside the church there were candles and flower/grain decorations at the end of every pew… (Yes, there we go again with those ubiquitous candles!)


When I went to church as a child in Scotland (on a side note, the Danish and Scottish church are very similar: they are both Lutheran), a large wooden plate would be passed around  halfway through the service at Collection time. You would put in your coins as it was handed along the pew. Ching, ching! Or a little brown envelope containing your donation. When the plate made it to the other end of the pew, it was then handed to the first person in the pew behind, and off it went again. And so on and so forth. Fast forward to 2016… Ain’t nobody got time for that! 😉 These days you can make a donation on the way in, or on the way out. In our church, the collection box is fixed to the end of the first pew.


Oh, but hang on a minute, we’re in Denmark, right? Where most people don’t carry small change or banknotes. You see, we hardly ever use cash: we use our bank cards or our phones to pay for things. Remember my post from 2014? Cash ain’t King when you don’t have a Crown? Never fear! The church has thought of everything! Did you notice the little sticker above the collection box? With the ‘Mobile Pay’ or ‘Swipp’ app on your smartphone, you simply type in your donation and press send.


And, voilà, it’s done! No more fiddling around, desperately looking for coins underneath the sofa cushions or in your Dad’s coat pockets, before heading out to church. Less risk for the church of having the collection box stolen.


Hallelujah! Have a super Sunday!

Diane 🙂





Policy Formulation and Consensus Building: Something to Learn from Denmark

It was July 2009, when I got confirmation to start my masters study at Technical University of Denmark from September 2009 on-wards. That means, I was going to Denmark. By no means, I have heard much about Denmark. Except the university, I was not even aware of anything other than name of Copenhagen. And according to my father, ‘I can only see island and only island’, where are you going to live? That was the level of information, anyone had about Denmark prior to my admission into one of the top technical universities of the world. Like everyone, I used Google to get more information about my new home.

I have also joined few Facebook groups to get more information. To inquire more about the perception of other people, I have also searched newspaper websites to search news items about Denmark. Not much positive is written about Denmark at least from the people’s perspective, but I chose to ignore it. As, many people land in foreign country without willing to leave their previous land behind. Perception from such people may not help, when I was looking forward to travel to a land far away from my home.

That was also the first time, I got to know about large scale electricity production from Wind Mills. It was also the first time, I heard about Vestas. The New York Times article talked about importance of Wind Energy in securing future of Denmark. Let me not go into the wind energy sector, as that is not the purpose of this blog. But, a real question, is how wind energy became so huge in Denmark? Why it has grown so fast in recent years? and why other countries are taking inspiration from Denmark?

I will not comment on the direction of political parties of Denmark at present. But their thinking and mutual bonding about Wind Energy sector deserve some appreciation.

The article at New York Times highlighted, consensus built among the political parties to harness the wind energy potential of Denmark. When a long term plan was set, every political was brought on board. Very rarely, many parties come on board and sang in one voice. The long term plan has been finalized to give priority to Wind Energy sector. It has been agreed, that whichever party will come into power, the long term plan for Wind Energy sector will not be altered. If it has to change, then it has to be through mutual agreement. The subsidies provided to the farmers form the backbone of entire wind energy industry. It started a completely new style of thinking in gaining energy from the renewable resource.

There has been many examples, but arriving on discussion based on mutual discussions is very normal style of functioning in Denmark. In my view, building consensus in decision making has both pros and cons in larger global affairs. Definitely, it is not necessary need to true in other parts of the world as it slow down decision making process considerably. However, this style of working works very well in the land of vikings.

So, learn to build consensus by taking account with every stakeholders, when you are in Denmark.

[This blog post reflect my personal opinion]