Life

Jeg tror vi har ledt efter lys i øjnene

The almighty Samuel Evans went for stroll in the engine room and fixed my blog.

Since we spoke last, yours truly has discovered the sweet sounds of Beach House, finished the collected works of Murakami, developed an unhealthy appetite for everything sweet from Ottolenghi and moved to Islington. In sum, perfectly on track to become your liberal, Guardian reading, food loving, folding bike riding stereotype.

It’s good to be back.

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Brilleabe 2.0/Dwarfed

Buying a new pair of glasses after five years in my own private cocoon was probably a good idea. There are birds in London! The only problem now is that I feel like a dwarf because I can see the ground beneath me in some detail. As I said, it was probably about time I made that purchase.

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A sad state of affairs

It is sad, but I only have work updates to offer at the moment:

Most of my time is spent working on a project for the UNDP, developing new social and environmental performance indicators for the new EU Member States, both the countries themselves and the companies within them. In my field, tasks do not come much more interesting than that.

We are moving to nice new offices down by the Thames, at Embankment. As part of the new decor, everyone has been asked to commission a painting of their favourite spot(s) in London. Some of them have already started appearing on the artist’s blog. My choice? The South Bank Skate Park.

Yes, I will make the annoying text above go away at some point…

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Going home for Christmas

He was working in the office next door and we would often end up in the same lift or see each other when making a brew in the kitchen. Being a smoker and going out for a fag several times a day, he would leave a trail of tobacco fumes in the lift and in the corridors. As a result, he seemed to be present even when he was not there in person.

Two-minute conversations rarely lead to deeper insights, and so it happened that we would more often than not start our exchange of trivialities with an assessment of the cold/windy/humid/rainy weather of the UK compared to the sunny haven of California.

He was only in London for a limited period, with work, always talking about his imminent return to the Golden State, retirement and time with the family. In fact, I only ever referred to him as ‘California’. He never got my name.

His much anticipated move back was days away, but then earlier this week he fell to the floor in said corridor, hit by a stroke. 30 minutes of resuscitation failed to bring him back to life.

Merry Christmas – make sure you enjoy it.

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New pictures…

…from a lovely walk in Hampstead Heath. London is feeling more and more like home.

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Ever wondered why this blog is called burn?

I certainly have. Today I started reading a book I should have finished at least a decade ago. The kind of book that goes with guitars, long hair and a curious mix of late-teen wanderlust and adolescent weltschmertz. And this special book contained a quote that I really like, or at least the original typescript did:

[…] I shambled after as usual as I’ve been doing all my life after people that interest me, because the only people that interest me are the mad ones, the ones that never yearn or say a commonplace thing … but burn, burn, burn, burn like roman candles across the night.

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Naive bordering tacky, yes – but there you have it.

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V-day approaching

This weekend I followed in the footsteps of many a great poet and went to the countryside. Not just any place in the countryside, but to a site so unique and beautiful that I better keep it a secret. The place was a favourite of Arthur Conan Doyle and W. B. Yeats, and the movie adaption of Pride and Prejudice was shot here.

Where else would you find a quote like this one, inscribed into the floor of a mausoleum:

The poets who loved penns

W. B. Yeats
Walter de La Mare
W. I. Turner
Ruth Ritter
V. Sackville West
Dorothy Wellesley

They learn in suffering
what they teach in song

As a foreigner, I plead guilty to complaining a lot about the standard of living and quality of life on this island, especially in London. BUT, there is no use in denying that English gardens and manor houses are made of the same stuff as dreams. Unfortunately, pictures cannot convey that message.

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Who said there is no such thing as German humour?

Ever wondered what idiocy in its purest form looks like?

Here is a serious contender.

PS. It is a little odd – not necessarily good or bad, just odd – that ‘German humour‘ has such a long entry on wikipedia.

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I spy with a Google eye

What better way to introduce Google’s controversial UK Street View service than to show off my new home.

London, here I come.

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Looking for a place in London

I will soon join the endless queue of people looking for a place to live in London. If you know of a small flat, a room in a nice house or have an idea of where to start the search, please shoot me an email. Muchas gracias.

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