October 31, 2009

All Hallows' Even.

The past five days went by in a flash. Wonderful days when everything in my world was just right. The house is empty now, devoid of the scents and sounds that make me so happy. Gone is the strong, pleasing voice that would call my name, like no one else can, and sing "Galway Girl" to me...

But, Batcat is right here next to me, purring loudly, waiting for me to set the fire. Watching him brings peace to my senses at all times, as his presence keeps certain things in life constant. His curiosity is astounding and the way he is able to relax highly contagious.
Every time I do something out of the ordinary he is ever so present inspecting and investigating. In the same spirit, he was assisting me recently when I was carving this years Jack-o'-lantern. I love carving pumpkins for Halloween. Over the years I have created quiet a few scary heads and they have never been the same.
Halloween is one of my absolutely favorite celebrations. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints. The festival was unknown to me as a child, but we did observe All Saints Day on the 1st of November. This was a much more solemn celebration, when we would remember family members that have passed on, by visiting their graves, lighting candles. It held a certain tranquility and sadness. I recall the long walks after the onset of darkness in the autumn cemeteries, where hundreds of candles would flicker, bringing the realms of the living and the dead in close proximity.

My first acquaintance with Hallows' Even came while living in North Carolina and very quickly I became fond of the sentiment behind it. The celebrations were non existent in Scandinavia just a couple of decades ago. Over the last few years, the Celtic festival has found its way into the cold north and as soon as the darkness settles over us tonight, many doorways will be guarded by a plethora of Jack-o'-lanterns.
Happy Halloween everyone.

October 25, 2009

Colour Culmination.

I have to conclude that this fall season has been absolutely spectacular when it comes to colour display. The few very cold, sunny days and the frosty nights we had recently have painted the landscape in rich, deep, warm shades of golden, red and brown. Judging from the photographs I took last year, the nature is about two weeks behind; an odd trend considering in the spring we were about a month ahead.

I love watching the changes in nature, that seem to currently be accelerating by each passing day. When I awoke today I was almost stunned when I looked out of the window. It seems as if just last week there was green in the foliage of the birch trees; yet today it is all gone. My surroundings look as if painted by the colours of sun and earth, signifying the ending of their yearly cycle. The leaves have began to fall rapidly and as the days are getting considerably shorter by each passing week, the stunning colours will all be gone very soon.

I could not resist but decided to post two set of collages today. One of my immediate surroundings that offer a continuous feast for the eyes, and one of the traditional birch tree update. Everything stands in its final and magnificent glory and I simply had to share with you the beauty of the Scandinavian autumn at its very best, as it is very fleeting and elusive in these parts of the world.

This is also my last post for a short while. I am taking a five day break to spend some quality time with Batcat and the Irishman and will be back on Halloween.

Have a truly wonderful fall week everyone.
(Please as always, click the below to enlarge.)

October 24, 2009

Final Splendor.

My garden is now in its absolutely last display of mature beauty. The surroundings are drenched in every shade of golden and red, as we experience the culmination of the fall colours.
In a couple of weeks, the same spot will become a cold and uninviting place. Barren as well, when all the beautiful leaves have turned and disappeared during a late autumn storm. The naked branches of caprifolium and clematis, with its dried brown left overs of the foliage, will stretch in a snake like manner, enveloping my fence, creating a winter nostalgia. It will be difficult to believe that once these were carrying scented white or cobalt blue flowers, with juicy green leaves, in the midst of the summer.

But until then, my terrace still is a secluded spot, which can offer a couple of hours of fragile sunshine, if the conditions are right. When the high pressure brings crisp air from the east, it becomes a shielded oasis, where the last rays of the autumn sun can be enjoyed.
Covered in blankest with a hot cup of coffee, I love to relish in the last splendor of the nature, before it retreats to enjoy its long winter sleep.

October 23, 2009

Flashback Friday: "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes".

Those who know me well - and those who know me very little - know one thing about me; I am a hopeless romantic. Romance in any form, in any shape touches my inner core. I live for romance and I need its manifestation to be present in my life on daily bases, or I will not thrive...
Therefore, the undying romantic melodies, particularly those from times long gone, capture and encompass my very soul.

"Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" is such a classic, a love song, where the lyrics complement the melody in an incredible alluring manner. The compilation is light like air, yet full of substance and inferior in beauty of poetic words.
Written originally as a show tune by American composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Otto Harbach for the 1933 operetta Roberta, it was later performed by Irene Dunne for the 1935 film adaptation, costarring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Randolph Scott. Covered by numerous artists over the years, my absolute favorite and the most famous is the captivating performance by The Platters in 1958.

Listening to it today, tomorrow, any day at any time - when I was young and when I am old and grey - will always fill my heart with the only emotion worth living for:
the undying perception of love.

October 22, 2009

The Catacombs.

As we are approaching one of the most mystical celebrations of the year, Halloween, I decided to dedicate at least one post to the sentiment of the supernatural and esoteric.

I have always been interested in the catacombs. The idea, that there are tunnels, man-made passageways and hallways carved underneath entire cities evokes a sense of utter fear and fascination in me. Often these are also connected to underground cemeteries, creating a subterranean necropolis.

The first burial galleries to be referred to as catacombs lie beneath "San Sebastiano fuori le mura", in Rome. No one knows today with certainty, if the word itself described the cemetery or the location. There is no doubt however that the San Sebastiano catacombs are the first to be referred to as such. Today, the term signifies networks of caves, grottos, or subterranean galleries that were used in medieval times as refuges during wars, as worship places and for burial of the dead.

Besides the Italian catacombs, the most famous ones lie beneath the city of Paris; the Catacombs of Paris or Catacombes de Paris. Created over a large period of time, these underground galleries were originally quarries, where building material was extracted. This eventually led to hollowing out a city below and creation of the catacombs as they are known today.
Part of the subterranean tunnels also form a very large underground ossuary. This is most probably why the Paris catacombs are classed as one of the most haunted places in the world. The history of this macabre place goes back to the late eighteenth century, when the city's cemeteries were running out of space. It was therefore decided to create three new large-scale suburban cemeteries and to condemn all existing within the city limits; the remains of these would be moved discreetly to a renovated section of Paris's abandoned quarries.

The network of tunnels located beneath Paris is approximately 300 kilometers long and frequently follows the streets and passages above, even carries the same names. Those who have visited the tunnels and even some security guards have reported hearing strange voices. There have been hundreds of reports of people feeling presence of something or someone when moving around in the tunnels, even the feeling a touch of someone, or something. There is also a tale of a young man who explored the tunnels alone, leaving behind his video camera and a tape of him running from something. It is said that he has never been found...

October 21, 2009

Autumn Elegance.

I have mentioned previously, that my drive to work is very scenic. I enjoy it during the course of the whole year, in every season, even in winter. But it is most spectacular in the fall. Often, in the past I have wished to stop on the road just to capture the magnificent colours of the autumn foliage, but I never did.
Weather-vise, last week was absolutely picture perfect; blue skies, sunny and wind still. The night brought the first frost and the foliage turn is increasing with each passing day. One day on my way to work, I took snapshots out of the car and documented my autumn drive for the first time in pictures.
Hope you enjoy it too (please click the below to enlarge).

October 20, 2009

The Mystery Of The Clothes Hangers.

There are many mysteries in the universe, even in my daily life, to which there seems not to be any clarification. Particularly many that have to do with doing the laundry, such as: why does one of the socks always get left behind in the washer, why socks disappear in the drier, why the pillow case gets entangled into the comforter case in the drier and - the most mysterious one - why am I ALWAYS out of clothes hangers.

No matter how often I buy new ones, they seem to be magically gone within weeks. There is no logical explanation to this. I do buy more clothes of course, but I also discard old clothes, so all in all, this should lead to some sort of status quo. But no such thing, they seem to be gone almost immediately once brought home. I start to suspect a clothes hanger eating monster is living in my house.

As I was doing my laundry this past Sunday, again frantically looking for hangers around in my house, I got to think about their history. I was wondering about where this nifty tool that I seem not to be able to live without, came from. And yes, there is plenty of articles out there written about the origins of the clothes hanger, or as it is called as well, the coat hanger.

The invention of the hanger is attributed to Albert J. Parkhouse. And it even comes with an amusing story. Quoted from this site:

"One morning in 1903, Albert J. Parkhouse arrived as usual at his workplace, the Timberlake Wire and Novelty Company in Jackson, Michigan, which specialized in making lampshade frames and other wire items. When he went to hang his hat and coat on the hooks provided for the workers, Parkhouse found all were in use.
Annoyed-and inspired-Parkhouse picked up a piece of wire, bent it into two large oblong hoops opposite each other, and twisted both ends at the center into a hook. Then he hung up his coat and went to work. The company apparently thought it was a good idea, because they took out a patent on it. In those days, companies were allowed to take out patents on any of their employees’ inventions. Attorney Charles l. Patterson applied for the patent on january 25, 1904, and U.S. patent # 822,981 was granted and assigned to John B. Timberlake. (Patterson put his own name on the line that asked for 'name of inventor.) Timberlake owned the company that Parkhouse worked for. The company made a fortune; Parkhouse never got a penny."

How unfair life is indeed. I will never look at a hanger in the same way again, I believe.

October 19, 2009

The Ancient Word Processor.

When I was collecting supplies in our stock room located in the basement of my workplace the other day, I stumbled upon an array of discarded items stacked on a table in the corridor. Someone was obviously cleaning out their offices and left some of the old, unused objects outside. What caught my eye was an old typewriter.

Upon closer inspection I realized that this was a "step up" technology and would be classified as IBM Selectric typewriter, occasionally known as the IBM Golfball typewriter. It was an electric typewriter first introduced in 1961, but I believe the one featured here must have been a more modern type.

I have fond memories of these grand old machines. My grandmother was proficient at using one and I recall taking typewriting classes in school as teenager. I bet they do not run those anymore. Those typewriters were electric as well and we even had tests and were graded on the speed with which we typed and the typos we made. I used to do quiet well and could type with all the fingers of my hands and without looking at the keyboard. Or the character board, if you will. Today all this skill has gone lost. I type with one finger of each hand, looking somewhat ridiculous and I have to look at the keyboard of my laptop at all times. And I make typos in pretty much all words.

I used to keep an old, small, red and black manual typewriter in my first, tiny apartment as well. I honestly do not know where it was from, but I believe it to have belonged to my parents. It was a small but a more sturdy machine than the electric one and I had to use a bit more force to strike the keys, making my typing to be of the angry kind. It was a frustrating process as I hated making mistakes. I recall the endless retyping of documents and lots of vocal exclamation while typing, as I wanted a clean sheet without any errors.
How absurd it all seems today, in the height of the computer era, when any mistakes can be deleted with a key stroke, and be gone as if they never existed at all. Additionally, the software suggests words and even checks spelling mistakes. In multitude of languages.
Times has certainly changed in just a few decades.

In any case, this dear old, almost ancient typewriter of mine is by now long gone. I have no idea what happened to it actually, but to this day it is linked to sentimental memories of mine. I recall the absolutely last time I used it in the spring of 91, to type my first resume and my application for the position that I later obtained at Duke University in the US.
I never used a typewriter again or since.

October 18, 2009

Almost Golden.

As we are reaching the mid of the fall season, this also means the imminent peaking of the foliage turn. Right now, the nature here is bursting with warm colours, saturating the landscape in every shade of my favorite tints of the sunset and the earth.

This week was the week of the fall holidays, meaning most Danes were off work and school. They could not have asked for better weather. The days were sunny and still, the nights very cold, perfect conditions to intensify the colour onset. I brought my camera with me every day to work, taking pictures constantly, as I could not help but marvel over the incredible beauty surrounding me. It amazes me each time the effect the sun and the light has on me, it lifts my spirits in an unusual way.

My birch tree is probably one week away from its absolute most beautiful display of almost entirely golden. Fearing though that he weather is about to turn for the worse,today's update might be one of he most stunning ones to come.

October 17, 2009

My Favourite Spot.

My favorite spot in my house, throughout fall and winter is on my favorite chair in front of the fireplace. I can sit there for hours reading, or just leaning back, drinking something warm, looking into the flames, with Batcat sleeping on the warm sheep skin at my feet.

Immediately to my right are my large windows facing west. They offer some sunshine in the early hours of the afternoon, at least until the late fall. Right now, I can gaze at the open space beyond, which is bursting with warm colours against the blue sky.

We have had one of the most beautiful fall weeks on record. Sunny, cool days and clear, very cold nights, bringing the first frost of the season. Of course this is an ideal weather to light the fire in the afternoons and evenings.
My biggest problem is at all times to have enough firewood. I really do not have a large terrace, therefore I can only store limited amount of wood outside. Thus the only way to get firewood is to purchase it in home improvement stores, where it is sold in sacks. It is somewhat pricey, but the wood is of superb quality, pre-cut and already dried and ready to be used. I often wait until the stores offer it on sale and then I buy as much as my little Toyota will carry. I store it in my basement and every time I bring fresh wood home, I take much pleasure in stacking it. There is something infinitely calming, at least to me, in arranging the firewood. Furthermore, it spreads wonderful scent throughout the house. Batcat of course loves to assist me at all times, hiding in the piles and hunting the discarded plastic sacks.

I love when the basement is full of wood. It gives me a certain comfort to know that no matter the weather, I can always keep warm.

October 16, 2009

Flashback Friday: "Everytime We Touch".

I think everyone my age remembers "Moonlight Shadow", one of the big hits of the 80's, composed and performed by Mike Oldfield. It featured furthermore the unforgettable voice of Maggie Reilly, who performed the vocals of the song in 1983.

Although she is best known for her collaborations with Oldfield between year 1980 and 1984, she was also in the pub-rock group Cado Belle, and made one album with them in 1976.

In 1992, Reilly released her debut solo album Echoes, from which the below compilation entitled "Everytime We Touch" is taken. The sound is very enticing and almost ethereal. Her voice is soothing and full of longing and if I close my eyes, the lyrics and the harmonies can take me anywhere in space and time.
One of my all time favorite compilation to dream myself away to...

October 15, 2009

Weird Facts.

I am always intrigued by the mystical, the unusual and enticed by the enigmatic. I also enjoy reading about the weird facts of the world we live in. And guess what, the web is full of charts listing the odd.

Here are a few facts that captured my interest. Whether they are true or not is anyone's guess, but they make for a fun read:

*Elephants are the only animals that can't jump.
*Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
*Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie.
*Skepticisms is the longest word that alternates hands when typing.
*The Earth weighs around 6,588,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons.
*Thomas Edison, light bulb inventor, was afraid of the dark.
*A dragonfly has a lifespan of twenty-four hours.
*A duck's quack doesn't echo. No one knows why.
*A rat can last longer without water than a camel.
*An ostrich's eye is bigger than it's brain.
*Compact discs read from the inside to the outside edge, the reverse of how a record works.
*Crickets hear through their knees.
*Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears
never stop growing.
*All polar bears are left handed.
*Debra Winger was the voice of E.T.
*From the age of thirty, humans gradually begin to shrink in size.
*It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
*Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.
*Only female mosquitoes bite.
*Race car is a palindrome.
*The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.
*There are no clocks in Las Vegas casinos.
*There is a city called Rome on every continent.
*There is about 200 times more gold in the world’s oceans, than has been mined in our entire history.
*A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

October 14, 2009

The Departing Sun.

I can deal with the cold, I can deal with the snow and even the wind. I can deal with the absence of foliage and with the fog and rain, But I CAN NOT deal with the darkness that envelopes us in the midst of winter. It consumes everything. Most of all all our life force.
As the sun is slowly retreating on our evening sky, this means the imminent onset of the dark period in the North.

The golden disc was setting this past weekend on a cloudy sky, giving rise to a magnificent final sunset. Making the grey sky look as if on fire, its final rays once again created a light show that takes my breath away.
I was sitting there, watching it depart with a sense of melancholy, as it offered the final true sunset of this year. This was the last time for many months to come that I got the privilege to watch it set over a natural horizon. In a few days, the sun will have moved to my far left, towards the hills in the south, where it will stay for the rest of the fall season.
Once winter arrives, I will hardly see it at all.
(Please click the below to enlarge.)

October 13, 2009

Defining The Season.

Every season holds a certain kind of significance, perhaps even magic, which distinguish it from the three others. Fall is no exception. There are certain characteristics to this time of the year, making it a very distinct period in time.

I have grown to love autumn. It used to be an unwanted prelude to the dreaded winter, but today I enjoy its splendor. Perhaps I identify in some way with this season, as it somewhat reflects my own status, the way I stand on the verge of the summer's end and am about to enter the autumn of my life.

Here is a list of ten distinctive events that define this glorious season for me:

1) Turning Of The Foliage.
As soon as the leaves start turning the trees and bushes into every shade of golden, red and brown, I know autumn has arrived. I love colour and to be suddenly almost part of a painted scenery is magical in more way than one.

2) Scent Of Smokes From Burning Fires.
The air becomes saturated from the burning of firewood, that brings a cosy and relaxing atmosphere. But there is also another apparent scent of burning of the fields and autumn leaves. This scent has been around as long as I can remember and as soon as it fills the air, it can take me back in time to the autumns of my childhood, if I only close my eyes...

3) Autumn Storms.
Rain and wind riping through trees without mercy - the Scandinavian storms are like no other. And only the citizens of the North can clearly appreciate them. Some relish in the power of nature and its manifestation at rugged shores of the west, where seas are high and winds forceful.

4) Dark Evenings.
The light vanishes as if by a stroke of magic. Each day feels shorter and the sun lies low on the horizon, turning the daylight into the hues of orange. It sets earlier and earlier each day, submerging us in darkness already in the late afternoons until it disappears almost completely.

5) The Return Of Candlelight.
My favorite fall event. I love candles, mostly as I love the quality of light they create. Everything looks beautiful and magical by candlelight and to a certain degree, candles equal tranquility. Every evening the flickering of the flames helps me to wind down after a busy day.

6) Fall Produce.
Growing up in Sweden, the autumns meant family weekend excursions to forests to pick mushrooms, but also to private farms and fruit tree orchards, where we were allowed to pick fruit to take with us home. We picked apples, pears, plums and of course, corn cobs and enjoyed being together in beautiful surroundings. The taste of such fresh produce picked and eaten on the same day simply can not be described.

7) Autumn Cuisine.
When the summer departs, and the cold and windy days arrive, I long for the hardy and rich Scandinavian autumn food. Stews and hot soups are my favorite, but I love "Brændende Kærlighed", which translates something as "Burning Love". It certainly tastes very good.

8) Nature Walks.
There is something different about taking a walk in an autumn forest. Whether it is during a beautiful sunny afternoon, when the sky is blue in deep contrast to the golden foliage, or whether it is in the misty mornings and during foggy days, feeling the fallen leaves rustle under ones feet, invoking a film noir experience. The enchantment of the season is ever so present, enticing our mind and soul, and filling our heart with a sense of sweet melancholy.

9) Hot Or Strong Drinks In Front Of The Fire.
The absolute best, after returning from a long autumn walk is to light the fire an enjoy its warm glow in good company of people we love and - with hot drinks. Or strong drinks for that matter. I personally prefer something strong that warms me from within, while the flames warm my face and make my mind wander.

10) Halloween.
The tradition of Halloween has become very special to me over the years. I guess due to the fact that it embodies the intriguing and mystical in life; it holds a magical enchantment based on Celtic traditions, it brings light into a dark season, it represents time of harvest and it certainly signifies the imminence of the Holiday Season.

What feelings or sentiments does autumn invoke in you?

October 12, 2009

Sailing Into The Uknown.

I love boats and ferries. I hate flying and I am not sure that I will ever board a plane again, but if someone asked me to pack my bags and sail around the world, I am ready in an a hour. Well, perhaps two. I would do it despite all the danger involved. To me this is a prospect of incredible, once in a lifetime adventure.

Today my mortgage prevents me from taking cruises, but every time the large cruise ships chose my city as their port, I can not help but stare at them in awe. These large resorts of the sea hold my fascination. I simply love the idea of going to sleep while on the open ocean and wake up in a new, exciting place. The transition is natural and gradual and my logic can grasp and understand it.
In fact, at one time, I considered an alternative way of travels aboard freighter ships. This is to me by far the most thrilling way of seeing the world. Furthermore, it offers opportunities of meeting people that are different, perhaps a bit eccentric, but definitely not mundane. Lots of writers and adventures chose this means of transportation.

I have a long history with the good old ferries. There used to be a multitude of them connecting the Scandinavian countries and even connecting the European North with the continent. But ever since the majestic super bridges were built, the ferries have become obsolete and many have gone out of business. Luckily, my city still has a large port accommodating ferries which sail on route between the Danish islands. I find this to be a comforting thought.

Perhaps the most eventful ferry crossing in my life took place in the August of 1980. I spend two days and two nights on a ferry that connected the city of Hamburg in Germany with the capital of Finland, Helsinki. This was one of the last parts of an adventurous trip, which started about four weeks prior in the former Yugoslavia. We were political refugees making our way through western Europe into Sweden. One can say that we were on the run, for lack of better words. The large ferry was taking us into our future and we were as scared as we were hopeful.

The black and white photograph of me, my sister and my father is taken by my mother aboard that large ship, that took us to Finland. The drawing was made by me, when I was siting on it's wide, deserted sun deck, watching the ocean and the freighter ships in the distance passing us by. Already then at such a young age, I was experiencing a sense of longing, mixed with a sense of adventure. But I was also anxious, a feeling that I sensed was consuming my parents at that time.
It took me decades to fully understand the sentiments and the distress, that the decisions to immigrate must have caused my parents. It takes courage and an incredible conviction to leap into the unknown. As the years passed by, I came to realize that in order to live fully, one has to dare to act, while maintaining the hope and the capability to dream, always embracing changes of the tides of time.

October 11, 2009

Colour Countdown.

The colours are ever so palpable all across the nature in my surroundings. It is now only a matter of a couple weeks before the foliage has lost every trace of green. It has been a calm Sunday weather-wise. There is almost no wind, which is very unusual and the sun is there in intervals. This is a quiet a difference considering that last week stormy weather passed through Denmark. It did some damage, even to our front yard, where it ripped off branches from a magnificent ash. It is indeed a shame as that tree displayed the most stunning red foliage in the end of October. Most of the tree still stands, as seen on the picture on the right, but it can not be compared to its former glory.
The branches that came down has been collected and are now lying in a pile in front of our birch tree. They will not go to waste but will be cut in a few weeks (hopefully with a help of a strong, handsome Irishman) into smaller pieces and will be stored on my terrace. Next year, after drying, the branches will become a great fire wood for my fireplace.

Below yet another update on our majestic birch tree. Most of its golden leaves were ripped away after last weeks storm, still, the colour countdown of its foliage turn is in full progress.

October 10, 2009

Calendar Photographs.

Today I removed my coffee table set that I keep on my front terrace and placed it in our shed for the winter, where it will stay until spring. This signifies that the season of warm days has ended and that very soon, we will receive the first frost.

I will also sort all my photographs which I have taken over the course of this year and decide which ones to to use for the creation of my calendars. In mid October, I create 3 small table calenders; one for my parents, one for my aunt and for myself. I have done this for the past 3 years and it seems to be a hit among my relatives.
Interestingly, the word calendar is derived from the Latin word kalendae, which is the Latin name of the first day of every month. I had no idea that the first day in each month was significant enough to have term of its own.

As I type this, it slowly getting dark outside. Not only do days loose the heat, they are also loosing light by each passing week. Once we reach the end of this month, the onset of the dark period will envelop Scandinavia once again.

October 09, 2009

Flashback Friday: "Six Ribbons".

I was thirteen years old when I arrived in Sweden with my parents and my sister as an immigrant. It was a big change and a difficult time for our whole family, but it was also a very exciting time as well.

I do not remember much of the first few months, but one thing stands out very well. A song. Or a compilation, if you will.

I recall sitting in my aunts living room, watching a heartfelt story unfold every week on television, trying to make sense of the images. Trying to take in the English language which we did not understand and the Swedish subtitles in the bottom of the screen, which we were only starting to comprehend.
Well, perhaps I did not always grasp the details of every scene, but I understood that the destiny of those depicted within resembled somewhat my own.

The main soundtrack stayed with me, in my mind, without a title as that eluded me at such a young age, but the harmonies were there, even though forgotten for almost thirty years. Stored on the dusty book shelves of my mind, until my Irishman brought them back one day in our conversations and elucidated the origins and the title of the story that took place on a television screen, ages ago in my past.
Entitled "Six Ribbons", it is the theme song from the Australian series "Against The Wind", starring the enigmatic Jon English, who is also the performer of this poignant song, which climbed the charts in the early 80's.

It is an incredible feeling to make re-acquaintance with something we considered lost, but which we find again perhaps by coincidence. Or perhaps because we were meant to, as the meaning within will speak to us in a new way.

October 08, 2009

Just Jeans.

I am experiencing a fashion crises again. I have those once in while, often when the seasons change. As a typical woman, I love clothes and I love the idea of putting together outfits that just work, because they are unusual in colours and style. Well, these days all I can decide on wearing with certainty each morning are my jeans. I wonder how many people out there do not own at least one pair of jeans. Even more interesting would be to know, how many do. This must be by far the most successful piece of attire ever created. Sturdy, durable, comfortable and endlessly fashionable.

The word "jeans" comes from the French phrase bleu de Gênes, literally meaning the blue of Genoa. Jeans fabric, or denim, originated independently in two places: the French town of Nîmes, which denim owes its name to; and in India, where trousers made of denim material were worn by the sailors of Dhunga, which came to be known as dungarees.

Traditionally, jeans are dyed to a blue color using indigo dye. Initially, blue jeans were work trousers worn by factory workers during World War II. Popularized by Hollywood and movies such as the Rebel Without a Cause, blue jeans became a symbol of youth rebellion during the 1950s. As the decade passed, the relaxed atmosphere of the 60's made wearing of blue jeans more acceptable and by the 70's, they became a general fashion, at least for informal wear.

I myself have owned many pairs of jeans in my life and many different brands and types as well. Even today I wear them almost every day. When I was in my early twenties, with the arrival of Cable TV to Scandinavia in the 80's, Levi's sultry and sensual commercials made jeans an absolutely sought after item. These adds even launched carriers of young actors and performers, such as Brad Pitt and Nick Kamen.

The below is a favorite Levi's commercial of mine from that decade. Featuring a Levi's classic with a classic tune and sensual theme, it feels as timeless as a pair of jeans.