The Orange Feeling

I'm doing a bit of packing. Just a few items dumped into a big plastic holdall, nothing fancy. Where do you suppose one is going, when packing the following items.....?

Item one: Completely outworn Birkenstocks (they almost went into the bin - but then I thought, nope: I have use for them, for a special occasion!). Next item: old trainers I use for painting, therefore adorned with various colors of paint speckle (also very worn). Sunblock. Cheap, small bumbag. One roll of toilet paper. Small flashlight. Wobbly, but small, wooden folding chair. Baby wipes. Pile of clothes (small) that I don't feel too particular about, well suited for lounging on the (dusty) ground. Solar powered cell phone charger that doesn't work very well. Visa card (most important item).

Yup, you've guessed it - of course.

I've been going to Roskilde on and off, since I was *sixteen. Not every year, far from that, but still I think I've lost count of my many visits. Sometimes I've gone for the whole length of the festival, sometimes just for a day or two. Lately we've taken to camping there again, but for fewer nights and in a very quiet corner.

To me, Roskilde is the festival. We have a load of festivals in Denmark, but I only need this one, and that's how I've always felt. The weather may sometimes disappoint, but to me, this festival never does.

I always came for the music. Even when I was sixteen! I missed out on the crazier aspects of camping life (which is legendary on this festival - with outrageously creative theme camps and wild parties in the camping areas), because that whole culture just didn't exist when I was in my teens and twenties, and now I an waaay to old for that. I need my sleep! 

But I also need the live music. And The Orange Feeling (TM... I think?). It really is very, very special. And the festival has evolved enormously over the years I've known it. 

To me, today, it is a much more interesting place, and a safer place for young kids (even though it is more than twice the size!) - and it's a cleaner, more environmentally conscious place. You can do better, cheaper shopping for the daily necessities (and also for the un-necessities!), get better showers and even swim in a lake! Back when I was sixteen, we had crappy tents, polartec fleece or lightweight raingear weren't invented (and my first festivals were quite rainy). Cash was king, and we never had enough of it. We didn't have cellphones, and sometimes spent half the festival looking for lost friends. Recycling on the festival grounds was limited to glass bottles, so everything paper and plastic were just piled up here and there, and sometimes turned into really stinking bonfires. And, another thing: we didn't really dance (and I love dancing, so much). Dancing was considered a kind of a non-rock'n roll thing to do, and therefore limited to a bit of hopping around, when funk or salsa bands played. But of course we had fun all the same! (Later, in the club crazy nineties, the whole dancing thing really took it's natural place at Roskilde - and now it's here to stay!)

I don't go there for the headliners, really - even though they are interesting, I mean, there is always at least one headliner that make you go woooow, can't wait to see that! But often you are surprised at the outcome. Last year, the headliner I looked forward to the most, was a rather boring concert (Stevie Wonder, one of my biggest, lifelong heroes. But his gig was really dull, I think. Endless singalong-audience-sessions, and one of the most miraculously funky bands in the world, that just never really got to play! Sigh.) On the other hand, a headliner I didn't think I was even going to bother seeing, was the most fantastic experience: Major Lazer created the wildest, happiest, silliest party I have ever witnessed in front of Orange Stage!

I go there to dig for new music - music I haven't heard before, and Roskilde's lineup at the bottom of the poster, with the small print, is always what interests me the most.

Last year I fell completely in love with Connan Mockasin from New Zealand, an artist I had never heard of before Roskilde, and have listened to ever since. Connan, and his very fine band, played one of those unforgettable sun-and-beer-drenched magic afternoon gigs, that only happens in a place like Roskilde. It was glorious. Here he is, from that day (photo credits, anyone?) in his weird fur hat (it was about 28 degrees C. in the tent, and a bit later the band - and most of the audience - took off a lot of clothes!), while his psychedelic, funky guitar gently weeps.

I hope I will have such delightful surprises again this year. Actually, I know I will. Because I really never haven't!

*I was sixteen in 1979. Among the he headliners that year were Jeff Beck and Stanley Clarke (we may have danced a bit that day), reggae legend Peter Tosh, Talking Heads and blues old timer Taj Mahal.


Lokalkompagniet - a cool place and a work project

Just a few weeks ago, I was hired to do a design job for a really fun and unusual place; Lokalkompagniet. Situated in Nykøbing Sjælland, Odsherred, a northern region of Sjælland, famous for it's beautiful landscape and coastline, it's bountiful gardens and farms - and it's appeal to all kinds of small farmers, foodies, artists and craftspeople.

Lokalkompagniet, is both a shop, an information centre, a local activity hub and - last but not least - a super cozy coffee bar and eatery, for anyone interested in great quality food from small local producers. Which is exactly the point of the place; giving all the small farm - and arts/crafts shops in the area a shared venue in the main town, Nykøbing Sjælland, in the middle of main street! You will find it in the former farmacy, in Algade 24, and it is open every day. There is a cozy garden out back, where you can enjoy today's special lunch, at a very reasonable price - and based on local products entirely! Much more info (in Danish) here...

And what did I have to do with this? Well - I designed the logo, and (because that's all we've had time for up till now) consulted on colors, typography etc. It had to be a super quick minimalist project - there was no time for a lot of printing and producing things, so all energy went into creating an interesting logo, and using the logo for some small touches here and there, like simple rubber stamps for a bit of quick and easy branding, and on large blackboards for various info. But it is an ongoing process, so more will follow!

Lokalkompagniet opened Saturday, and I was there for the opening, of course - the name (and therefore the big handpainted logos on the facade) was a secret until the opening hour, and it was revealed with speeches, live soul music and lots of festive to do! 

The place is so promising, and an absolute must, if you are in the area!

The shop has everything you could wish for when it comes to jam, honey, syrups, cordials and oils, all made from the lush gardens in the area - and high quality organic meat, handmade sausages, and even locally produced (and grown) wine and beer. 

The lunch wagon in the back yard is highly recommended; I had a yummy, really spicy frankfurter with relish, potato salad, homemade mustard and ketchup and fresh apple cordial to go with it.

Lokalkompagniet is also the host of some of the local arts- and crafts people - you will find quality ceramics, glass and jewellery among other things, and the group of participating companies is sure to grow eventually. Check the website and facebook for info (links further up in the post).

I was asked by the super talented jewellery maker Ane Meinert Folke, one of the artists represented in the shop, if I would like to wear some of her jewellery for the opening, and I chose to wear these beautiful earrings in gold and grey enamel, and had many compliments! (- a bit like when Bvlgari or Tiffany calls Beyoncé before the Oscars, and asks her if there is, perhaps, some little diamond tiara or such, she would care to wear....?)

Fun project, great day!
Thanks to all of you up there, and see you soon again.


Midsummer week in woolies

It's freezing here in Denmark, and it is really getting on my nerves. It is such an utter waste of time to be frustrated about the weather, but this cold is really draining me. I sit indoors all day, with a constant fire in the wood stove or a feeble electric heater on (- that causes the meter to spin out of control!). I can't be bothered to do any gardening, and it takes half a day to build up the courage to shower in the outdoor shower.

We went to a summer party at my son's preschool today, and the children had made lovely collages, where they explored single colors - for instance the yellow of the sun. They warmed me!

The young artists hadn't signed their work much, so I can't tell you their names. But they did beautiful yellow!

Tuesday was the official Midsummer's Eve in Denmark, and since it was just an ordinary working day, we weren't really doing anything. But then we were invited to dine in the most spectacular location, last minute. And so we did. And the ocean was right there, below us, and the sunset was just wow. And we even built a fire. 

So what am I complaining about? Not much. I just want out of this sweater.


Spring turned into summer....

And we relocated to our little summer home. We still wear wooly blankets at night, though.

I am working from my incredible super compact mini work space now, very busy with an interesting project. Outside my window, less than a meter from me, a couple of exhausted blackbirds are feeding their young, in their nest in the hedge. Let me tell you; being a new blackbird parent is no picnic!

Someone dear to me gave me a crazy Venetian glass bowl, and outside the garden is going wild. 

Our peonies exploded, as if on steroids, this year.
And this year I am managing to harvest a bit of rhubarb - last year they were out-grown by weeds, because we were traveling all of May. I will be making the world's best rhubarb jam, with vanilla and ginger, when I have a bit of spare time (not much of that right now). 

Jam recipe after the photos!

World's Best Rhubarb Jam - at least according to me!

From Swedish foodie, writer and tv personality Leila Lindholm - and since this particular recipe is not on her website, I will take the liberty to put it here. It is very easy to make, and you will love it.

About 500 grams of fresh rhubarb, rinsed and cut into small bits
About 30 grams of peeled fresh ginger, cut into thin, small slices
One vanilla pod (scrape the seed paste out and add that, but put the peel into the mix as well)
Juice of one lemon
Half a cup of water
1 kilo of sugar, perferably 'syltesukker' *
OR add a bit of starch for jam making. In DK I would use Melatin.

(*a product very common here in DK - it is ordinary sugar which contains just the bit of added starch needed for jam- and marmelade making) 

Mix everything, except the sugar, in a sturdy, large pot, and let boil with no lid, for about 15 min.

Add sugar, while stirring the pulp - gently and slowly. Let boil for a couple of additional minutes. If you use starch, it is usually added as the very last thing, and then the jam has to settle a bit. Read the instructions!

If you like, fish the vanilla pod peel out (or leave it - it has lots of taste and looks decorative).

Pour the jam into sterilized hot jars (this amount should make about four jars = about one litre).

Let cool and enjoy!

PS: if you can't make the jam right now, when rhubarb is in season, just rinse it, cut it, and throw it in the freezer. That's what I just did!