søndag den 27. november 2022

Godt nytår ~ 1. søndag i advent

Same post as the previous, only this time in Danish.
 
 - -🕯- -

     I går gjorde Elephant's Child mig opmærksom på at jeg havde glemt en udfordring i mine opremsninger, nemlig  Sunday Selections. Jeps, den glemte jeg. Og selv om jeg kun deltager af og til, havde jeg faktisk tænkt mig at deltage i dag. Det er nemlig en særlig dag.
     Men lad os først kaste et blik tilbage på ugen der gik:
Mandag - Sneuglejubel og så i solskin. Uglemor var i Hillerød og fik det 4. coronastik og nød turen gennem den sneklædte Gribskov. Men allerede her om eftermiddagen kom tågen rullende, smuk, men varslende om tø. Sneen var da også næsten helt væk næste morgen.

Tirsdag - Denne her fugl sad på en træstamme. Uglemor troede at der var en høg, en falk eller må¨ske en musvåge. Men det var altså en virkelig stor, gammel krage som her det ses.

Fredag - Uglemor på indkøb i Helsinge. Jule"pynten" i byen er tændt, men endnu ikke juletræet.
Klokken er fem minutter over fem fredag eftermiddag.


Søndag (i dag) - Et nypudset vindue. Klokken er halv tolv, og vi har stadig lyset tændt indenfor, man kan se lamperne reflekteret i vinduet. Det er vådt, dunkelt med lavthængende skyer, netop den slag vejr, der er en udfordring for Uglemors humør.
     Ja, Uglemor, du har pusset vinduer. Det er altså en del af dit job, så ingen ekstra point her. Men Uglemor plejer jo heller ikke at fremvise billeder af sine nypudsede vinduer, hun plejer at glæde sig over at der er overstået, og at der nu er et stykke tid til næste gang.
     Men i dag var der altså en særlig grund til at pudse vinduer.

Det er første søndag i advent. I dag starter et nyt kirkeår, og vi begynder på vores advents-vindues-kalender.
Godt nytår allesammen!


Og så vil jeg da lige gøre reklame for Jessetræet.
Jeg har som sædvanligt opdateret min BLOG om denne bibelske vandring gennem adventstiden.
Der er også et link i billedet øverst til højre.

Sunday Selections ~ New Year's edition

Dette indlæg vil som noget nyt blive udgivet på dansk lidt senere i dag.
 
 - - 📷 - -

YesterdayElephant's Child kindly told me that I had forgotten one of the recurring challenges: Sunday Selections. Yes I forgot. Now to remedy this:

Monday - Sunlit SnowOwlHappyness - but as seen from this photo the fog comes rolling in, and this means thaw. Tuesday the snow had already melted again.

Tuesday - This big crow sat on the old stump making me think it was a buzzard or a hawk, but it was - as seen here - an old crow.

Friday - MotherOwl went shopping, and the Christmas garlands in town were lit - but still not the Christmas tree. Photo taken five minutes past five in the afternoon.


Sunday (today) - A newly cleaned living room window. Half past eleven, outside are drizzle and low cloud, which I always find to be a challenge. You can see the lights burning as a reflection in the newly cleaned window.
Yes MotherOwl, you cleaned the window, but if you want praise for cleaning windows, which is rightly your job, expect to be disappointed. Nether is it normal for MotherOwl to take photos of newly cleaned living room windows. They are cleaned from time to time, as is everybody else's, MotherOwl is moderately proud of the results, but more happy to have it behind her.
Today there's more reason behind the cleaning.


It is the first Sunday of Advent and the beginning of a new liturgical year.
Happy New Year everyone!

lørdag den 26. november 2022

Z~A :: Zip through Autumn 8

The A ~ Z Challenge's baby brother, the Z ~ A Challenge*)  is here again. This time with the prompts

Nov 23- Nov 29 ~ Happy Habits, Goal of your blog for remaining 2022

Happy Habits: Writing this blog is a Happy Habit, it keeps my creative juices flowing, it puts a mild pressure on me with the recurring challenges,  Words for Wednesday every Wednesday, Poetry Monday every Monday (Hello, Capt'n Obvious) and IWSG every first Wednesday of the month. Now and then other challenges come and go: Reading challenges, drawing challenges, photo challenges, I like them all, but my compliance is nothing to boast of.

Goal of your blog for remaining 2022: They are easily told. I go for simple goals in my blogging life:
- To blog every Monday, hopefully with a poem.
- To blog every Wednesday with a story using some or even all the prompts given.
- To blog on the first Wednesday of December using the IWSG prompt.
- To blog in between these days when I have something to say or show.
- To wish everyone a Merry Christmas when the time is right, and
- To end this year's blogging wishing all my readers a happy New Year.

- - 💡 - -

*)
Zip through Autumn:
Here's a link and the list of dates and prompts. So if you care to join, get on board.

Sept 21- 27 ~  Zero excuses, Yearn to
Sept 28- Oct 4 ~ Xenodochy in blogging, Why blog
Oct 5- Oct 11 ~  Variety, Unique to my blog
Oct 12- Oct 18 ~ Ten-year plan, SMART goals

Oct 19- Oct 25 ~ Recommend, Questions for visitors
Oct 26- Nov 1 ~ Priorities, Open
Nov 2- Nov 7 ~ Never blog this, Motivating
Nov 9- Nov 15 ~ Lesson, Know where I've been
Nov 16- Nov 22 ~ Joy and Job in blogging, Ideas
Nov 23- Nov 29 ~ Happy Habits, Goal of your blog for remaining 2022
Nov 30- Dec 6 ~ Fortitude, Easy tips
Dec 7- Dec  13~ Dare, Chance
Dec 14- Dec 20 ~ Balance, Achievements in 2022

fredag den 25. november 2022

Fredagsfrustration :: Digitalisering og centralisering af forretninger

Friday Frustration :: Digitalisation and Centralisation of Supermarket Chains

Efter at være flyttet tilbage til Danmark fra Tyskland, hvor vi havde tilbragt et år, blev jeg begejstret, da Aldi og Lidl - to tyske supermarkedskæder - åbnede i Helsinge, den ene, Lidl, næsten inde i centrum, den anden, Aldi, et stykke udenfor byen ... nu kunne vi få meget af det, vi savnede fra Tyskland. Gode pølser, sært syltetøj, slik, kager, yoghurt i bøtter, fyldepenne, adventslys i fire forskellige højder, julekort med krybber og engle ... masser af sære ting.
     For nogen tid siden var jeg i Aldi igen. Jeg kommer der ikke så tit, for der er vel en kilometer derud til fods - og kiggede efter julekager, juleslik og en hel del andre varer, jeg plejer at købe der. Deres Stollen (tyske julekager) var de samme gode, som de også havde haft de foregående år. Men deres øvrige udvalg var væsentligt mindre igen i år. Og så var det præcis det samme som jeg havde set i Netto, Lidl og Rema1000 inde i byen. Sådan havde det også været til halloween og til oktoberfest. 
     Mit yndlingsslik var udsolgt, og jeg spurgte en medarbejder, om det mon kom igen. Det kunne han ikke sige, for varebestillingen var nu digital og centraliseret. Han kunne ikke se, om det kom, eller bestille hvad, der skulle komme. Jeg købte Stollen nok til hele julen og gik igen.

    Forleden var jeg så Aldi igen - jeg havde et ærinde i nærheden og ville lige se, om mit yndlingsslik skulle være kommet - men gik skuffet ud af butikken med en tom kurv. Mit yndlingsslik var ikke kommet, og den der lap med varenavn og pris var fjernet - det betyder normalt at varen er udgået.
     Så gik jeg en runde og kiggede på slagtilbuddene, de faste varer og sæsonvarerne, og konstaterede, at Stollen (de der tyske julekager) var den eneste vare, der var anderledes her, end i resten af byens butikker (af dem, jeg køber, naturligvis). Alle de andre sære, tyske varer, jeg havde købt der gennem årene, var enten udgået eller erstattet af billigere, dårligere produkter, mestendels fra andre lande end Tyskland. Og Stollen  havde jeg jo allerede købt sidste gang, jeg var der. Så nu kan jeg vente et helt år med at handle der igen.

-- 🛒 --

After moving back to Denmark from Germany, where we spent a year, I was thrilled when Aldi and Lidl - two German supermarket chains - opened in Helsinge, one, Lidl, almost in the centre, the other, Aldi, a bit outside the town ... now we could get much of what we were missing form our stay in Germany.

Some time ago I was in Aldi - I do not go there often as I have to walk about a kilometre to get there - looking for Christmas cakes, sweets and a lot of other things I usually buy there. The Stollen (German Christmas cakes) were the same good ones as they'd had in previous years and I bougth some. But for the rest the selection was significantly smaller. And the Christmas candies etc. were exactly the same I had seen in the other supermarkets in town. It had been the same for Halloween and Oktoberfest.
Some of my favourite candy were sold out, and I asked an employee if they were coming back. He couldn't say, because the stock was now digital and centralised. He could see neither if it was coming, nor order what was to come.

A couple of days ago I went to Aldi again  - I had another errand close by and wanted to see if my favourite candy had returned - and left the store disappointed with an empty basket. My favourite candy hadn't arrived and that piece of plastic with the item name and price had been removed - this usually means the item is out of stock. I then went for a stroll up and down the aisles and looked at the special offers, the regular items and the seasonal items, and noticed that Stollen (those German Christmas cake) was the only item that was any different from what was on offer in the town's other supermarkets  (from items I buy, of course). All the specific German stuff I went there to buy were discontinued or replaced by low-quality items mostly of non-German origin. And as  had already bought Stollen the last time I was there, I can now wait a whole year to go shopping there again.

onsdag den 23. november 2022

Words for Wednesday -- November 23 -- The long Saturday 8

This meme was started by Delores a long time ago.  Troubles led her to bow out, but the meme was too much fun to let go, and now Words for Wednesday is provided by a number of people and has become a movable feast with Elephant's Child as our coordinator.

  Essentially the aim of this meme is to encourage us to write.  Each week we are given some prompts. These prompts can be words, phrases, music or images.
  What we do with those prompts is up to us: a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or treating them with ignore ...
  We can use some or all of the prompts, and mixing and matching is encouraged.

  Some of us put our creation in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog. This fun meme includes cheering on the other participants.

  And the more the merrier goes here as well, so if you are posting on your own blog then please tell us in the comments, so that all other participants, can come along and applaud.

Messymimi, who is supplying the prompts for the Wednesdays of November has given us:

Push
Leash
Shelf
Help
Talk
Mail


And a wonderful picture of a secret garden
.
This time around I'm not using the words in the order they were given, I'm not even using many of them, only
talk and tell. .
And this chapter is more tell than show - it is a kind of brain dump, I needed to write down what  happened during that very long Saturday. Finally I found another title than Á Íslandi, and I have corrected the title on the old chapters. 



Finally the brooms were all ready, the racetrack was cleared, lunch had bean eaten here, there and everywhere, and if anybody was hungry it was their own fault for having forgotten their manners when talking to the Nisser. Nothing really terrible had been handed out though, only bland sandwiches and bitter tea.

***

Hilde, Rasmus, Fiona and Finnbogi returned from Trømsø, laden with things from Liisa's cubicle at her job and from various hideouts in their house. The news were bleak, she was getting weaker by the hour, and Rasmus wanted to return to stay at her bedside.
"I have to be the good husband to all outer observers," Rasmus said, "I will return as soon as possible, but right now my place is at Liisa's bed. It is a strange feeling, that someone you knew and loved is ... not what you thought. I have much to think over during my vigil."
"You're rigth," Hilde said. "As much as we'd like you to stay here, it would be strange if you did not stay at her bedside. Our thougths and well wishes go with you."
"We'll refrain from touching any of what we found until you return," Finnbogi said. "Is it wrong of me to add ... and might it be soon?"
"No, I don't think so," Rasmus said soberly. "There's no hope for a cure, and even should she return to health, her presence would just give cause for even more problems and inconvenience for all of us."
In the end almost everyone had signed up for the broomrace, and those that had not, came to Knud and asked to be written on the list anyway. Thus all the magicians at Birch Manor ended up racing against one another, excepting only Rasmus who was in Trømsø.

***

Martine was the one starting the races.
The first races were simple, all the grandchildren able to fly were sent off five and five after approximate size and prowess. The winner of each group were given a small prize and set to race against one another.
It came as no surprise to anybody that Emil, Fiona's oldest grandkid won the race with Mary in the second place, much to her chagrin. She had fully expected to win. Marit and Jans grandkids, Mads and Mikkel who were identical twin, shared the third place.

Then it was the children's turn, grown up men and women in their late twenties, thirties and forties, none of them having sat on a broom for more than a few, inadequate weeks were tried the same way as their children.
Of course once again one of Fiona's progeny triumphed. Stine, her youngest daughter, won the race, only just beating Trine, her older sister and mother of Emil. Number three was a big surprise, Susan and Knud's youngest son, Peter, who no-one even had thought of betting on.
Otto, Fiona's equanimous and nice, non magical husband almost lost his voice from cheering him on.

After a break, where the Nisser served wonderful cakes and tea and coffee even better than Knud's best, the apprentices stood ready at the starting line.
My, Fiona, Hilde, Marit and Jan opened the race with Fiona as the logical bid for a winner, and she lived up to the expectations, leaving all the rest behind, even if Marit and Hilde did their very best.
Susan and Knud had been persuaded into participating with all the old apprentices. Enough non magical spouses were around to serve as referees and line watchers.
So Susan and Knud were at the starting line together with Helge, Finnbogi, and Tage. Finnbogi and Tage quickly took the lead with Susan and Helge far behind and Knud fighting a loosing battle to keep up with the two in front. In the end Finnbogi overtook Tage, who as a gentleman let him pass and win.

The third heat held a couple of surprises. Lis, Heidi, Rósa, and Anna were expected, but two more stood ready at the line, Martine and Aamu, shakingly holding on to her broom and supported by her husband Uwe and Daniel, her son. Only Uwe, Daniel and Susan knew that she had decided to accept her magic, and had touched Susan's old skirt only hours before the race.
Estrid, who quietly had taken over the flag from Martine, swung the flag, and off they soared. First Finnbogi had the lead, then Anna went up and over him in a fine racing manoeuvre, then Rósa did some sneaking up and were in front, until Aamu, having found her old form overtook her shortly before the finishing line. All stood up clapping and yelling, and then Martine showed her style and stamina.

Aamu was overtaken by only a couple of inches on the line. All clapped and shouted even louder and Helge and Knud yelled and rung a bell to bring order in the chaos once again.
Uwe, Daniel and Aamu were embracing, and Susan and Anna helped Martine off her broom.
More cakes and hot drinks were consumed before the final race.

Fiona, Martine and Finnbogi inspected their brooms, wiped down the handles and made ready for the final battle.
"Finally," Martine said with a warm smile, "Finally I get to see if still have it in me. Don't hold back. Let the best man win!"
"I only wish Sif and Elvin were her as well," Finnbogi said.
"Then you would not have stood a chance," Fiona said, looking a Finnbogi with a challenge in her eyes.
"You're probably right, but I would gladly lose every race forever to have them here," Finnbogi said.
The defiant glitter died in Fiona's eyes. "So would I ," she said. "And Veronika too."
"Get ready!" Helge called and they grasped their brooms and went to join Martine at the starting line.
For the last time that day Estrid swung the flag and Fiona and Finnbogi swung their legs over the brooms, Marit loosened the grip on Martine's broom, and as Estrid dipped the flag they went off.  It was the best broomrace ever flown in Denmark, it was close, very close for a long, long time, but then Martine's mastery and experience told and she slowly, inch by inch went in front. She turned and twisted the broom in her hands, ending up with the straws in the same position, that had earned Fiona the victory at Unicorn Farm. Too late Fiona realized what Martine was doing and emulated her. But her extra speed burst came too late, and Martine passed the finishing line just before Fiona overtook her.
"You won!" Fiona said, "fair and square. I forgot that trick you taught me... "
"And I remembered," Martina said smiling and leaning onto Marit's shoulder.
The ceremony was everything a ceremony of this kind should be, festive, friendly, funny and not too long. They ate, drank and celebrated far into the night. Martine took her leave at around ten o'clock. she was tired after the day's celebrations, and wanted her beauty sleep.
Aamu was the centre of much attention, almost everybody wanted to hear how and why she had decided to accept her magic again. She told the story of the portals, and repeated Daniel's words of magic books over and over and each time ended by adding that she wanted to live as normal a life as possible, only with magic. Continuing as a librarian in Schiltach, leading reading circles and baking German cakes. Uwe, her husband, spent much of the evening in the company of Eyvind Haugen and Otto Sørensen, Hilde and Fiona's non magic husbands.  

***

Next morning, as breakfast was served, Martine did not show up. Susan went and looked for her. She lay in her bed, a slight smile on her face and both hands clasped around the small gold medal from yesterday's broom racing. Susan placed a gentle hand on her shoulder to wake her up, but pulled back immediately. Martine's shoulder was cold to the touch and stiff. Susan felt for a pulse, and was not surprised not to find any. She then found a small mirror on the bedstand and hold it up to Martine's face. It did not mist, not even the tiniest bit.
"She's dead." Susan said under her breath, "May God have mercy upon her soul." She looked back at Martine. "At least she died happy."

Susan went down to the hall where almost everybody else were having breakfast, She told Helge, Knud, Fiona and My who sat together at a small table about what has happened.
"Do we have to call for an ambulance and so on?" Susan asked, "she is very obviously dead and has been for long, probably since yesterday evening."
"Don't you have a house doctor?" Fiona asked. "Then call him," she said as Susan nodded.
"Her, it's a woman doctor," she said and rose. "I'll go and call her. No need for a grand alarm I think. We keep to our normal ruse, Reunion, Harry Potter theme, and so on."
Susan returned very fast: "The doctor agreed to come over and do what has to be done - this includes writing a death certificate. It seems not to be a very complicated matter. I'm relieved about this, we do not need more drama!  ... And I saw Martine's face ... she died happy, smiling, clutching her medal."

The doctor came, and Susan told of the reunion turned family gathering, the magic, Harry Potter themed week, and showed her to Martine's bedroom. The doctor examined her, and turned to Susan. "Who's her next of kind, and can you provide me with the CPR number, address, full name and so on?"
"I don't know of any family," Susan said according to truth. "She was our teacher at the 4H school - the one we're having the reunion for - and we found her two years ago looking for old pupils, not really expecting to find any of the teachers, for our 25th jubilee. She comes from Norway, but has lived in Denmark for over 30 years. When we found her, she was at a home in Funen, and we had just bought this big place, so she moved into the gardener's old house. She needed help, but not much, and even if it was a good home, a real home with a garden and a family was way better."
Susan had risen while she talked and now opened a drawer and handed the doctor the relevant papers.

The doctor sat down at Martine's table and filled out the death certificate. "At 82 we need no autopsy or anything. It was most probably a heart failure or a massive bleeding in the brain that killed her. I can see the tell tale signs. But I take it you want her body stored in the mortuary until you can arrange a burial?"
"That would indeed be practical," Susan said. "How do we arrange for that?"
"I do," The doctor said. "An ambulance will arrive later today for her body. You may wash or dress her if you like, but she looks so happy. And holding that gold medal."
"Yes, one of our pretend games of magic," Susan said "She won our broom racing contest yesterday."
"You do not sound sad," the doctor added. "Are you?"
"No ... yes .. err" Susan said. "I'm going to miss her, terribly so even. She was old, wise and always cheerful. Like a super grandma. But she has had two busy, filled years here, she died happy, without suffering, without growing weak and frail. It's not a bad way to go, I think."  
"No, it's not," the doctor agreed. "I'll leave one copy of the certificate here with you - you'll need to show it to the ambulance folks, to the undertaker and so on. I'll take the other copy and do what have to be done digitally when I am back in the clinic. Then she'll be legally dead. You'll have to search for any family of hers. An add in the relevant Norwegian paper will do."
"Thank you," Susan said. "May I see you out?"
"Please," the doctor said and smiled. "This is a wonderful place you live in."


Now I have to ask any reader reaching the end some questions.
- Is Martine's death an OK thing to happen here.
- Am I killing off too many people? First David/Walther, now Martine and soon Liisa.
- I think they are getting too dependent on Martine in particular, I need them to stretch their own wings, but I feel bad about killing her. What do you say?