This blue marble

– and yet it spins


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The Jackson Five (Two) of the 18th century

salzburg-4Today I learned that Mozart’s father was a tour manager for his two young child prodigies Wolfgang Amadeus and Nannerl. No school, no normal life, and years of touring around playing concerts in European courts. Wolfgang Amadeus was five years old when they started. I mentioned this to a friend who immediately retorted, “just like Michael Jackson’s father managing the Jackson Five.” Indeed, Mozart’s family was a Jackson Five of the 18th century. salzburg-3Perhaps father Leopold was a parent prodigy, too? How else do you have unwavering faith in your four-year-old to even think of teaching him minuets, and the basics of composing sheet music. Surely there must be potential in any child who is able to scrabble a composition down in scrawny hand with ink blobs galore at the age of five, when most children still learn how to write single letters. And surely there were hundreds of hours spent at the piano and with ink quill in hand, as even child prodigies need practice.

But what did little Wolfgang think of kids his own age who, growing up in a household with certain means, surely had time to play? What was it like to tour European courts and have to become popular with kids of royalty and servants, over and over again? How long and strange would little Wolfgang’s Facebook friends list have been, had he had one? The Cook’s son from a summer castle in Tuscany; the youngest prince of France, with lots of likes from his jealous friends who didn’t get to do a concert tour of three years before the age of ten.
salzburg-15(Salzburg, Austria; July 2019)


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Quick dip into Italy

AlpsSwoosh: across the Alps and into a way-too-fancy airport hotel where I spent a good 6 hours in a meeting. All I truly experienced of Italy was the sveltering heat outside and a plate of penne all’arabbiata.

Some crew and ground handling chaos later: swoosh back over the Alps again. Such is the life of an employee of a global company – until we run out of oil, or all the flying picks on my conscience too much.

(Over the Alps; June 2019)


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Walking meetings rock

cowsdkThe prettiest work meeting location. Lots of energy for performance indeed. Why do I not conduct walking meetings much more often? As my primary office (aside from home-office) is in London, I should really try to remember the beautiful little park we have across the street.

(I thought our Copenhagen office was in the middle of an industrial district – until my colleague showed me these meadows and cows.)

(Copenhagen, Denmark; June 2019)


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Sightseeing at the cemetery

cphcemetery-2As with everything in society, there are cemeteries that are more trendy than others. Cemeteries that are elite and attract many notable people, and celebrities wishing to be notable. In the case of such cemeteries, to be cool one unfortunately has to be dead and buried. This is how it is at Assistens Cemetery in Copenhagen: the list of poets, philosophers, American jazz musicians (?!) and scientists buried here is long. cphcemetery-1If you are into grave-sightseeing (really!), two notable graves on your list should be Hans Christian Andersen, the man behind the fairytales The Little Mermaid and The Emperor’s New Clothes; and Soren Kierkegaard, the man behind existentialism. cphcemetery-4If you are just into strolling and picnics, a basket of delicious goodies and lots of time is recommended. And no, it is not morbid to have a picnic here – people do it all the time. When the cemetery was first built, 250 years ago, it was so far from the city center that people probably made a picnic out of the trip anyway.
cphcemetery-3(Assistens Cemetery, Copenhagen, Denmark; June 2019)


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At the ironworks

stromforsA weekend in Finland: summer sun, an idyllic little ironworks village, and bluegrass music. In the style of our family we arrived five minutes before the last gig ended. Oh well, we can still claim we attended the bluegrass festival at the ironworks. Even if it was mainly for a stroll and an ice cream in the sun.

(Strömfors, Finland; June 2019)


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Bye Brande

brandemose-10For nearly a year these perfect picnic spots have been mine to explore while traipsing around the backs of my little home town. There never was a picnic, though, and I never saw anyone else on a picnic, either. Perhaps because of the shockingly high number of ticks in any grass around here: if I just sit in it for a while I can count the black dots crawling my legs.

And yet this lovely place never felt like home. I know nearly no-one outside of home, save for the taxi driver who takes me to the airport and back. And perhaps my next-door neighbors, although I never exchanged more than polite greetings with them. It is a difficult life for a natural extravert to have to leave the country (or take the train to its other coast) to be able to go to work or to meet with friends. And it has been a trying year overall. Somehow I find myself still here, now also with a Danish employment contract.brandemose-1The boxes have been nearly packed and in a week’s time it is time to open the door in a new apartment in a proper town. Hopefully it is also time to open the door to new friends and hobbies nearby. springflowers(Brande, Denmark; June 2019)


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Modern watermelons

melon-2This watermelon has nearly no seeds, a very thin rind, and barely any green flesh at the edges. Seedless watermelons exist – and who knows when one might run into an almost rindless watermelon in the grocery store?

One does not need genetic manipulation to significantly alter life: a few centuries of focused work does just as well. The watermelons in Giovanni Stanchi’s 17th century fruit stilleben look more like the oversized berry that a watermelon botanically is: a green fruit with swirls of red flesh covering clusters of seeds. My watermelon on the kitchen counter looks quite alien in comparison, almost industrially produced, don’t you think?

Image humbly borrowed from Wikipedia

(Brande, Denmark; May 2019)