Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday, December 30th, 2007:
Happy New Year,
and Helsingborg - The Video
(introducing a local celebrity)

What I think:

Firstly, let me take this opportunity to wish all Helsingblog readers a Happy New Year; this includes the occasional and accidental, as well as the regulars.

Here's looking at you:

Now that that's out of the way...

I realised today that this blog is now two years old. Hurrah! Two years of memories and idiotic observations immortalised here. I love this big webby thing.

I know I used to write a lot more than I do these days, but please bear with me; I'm still kind of distracted with starting up my business here. So far, I've managed to get officially registered, I've received one of the tax documents I'll need, and I've got a logo.

Check this out:

What do you think?

Yes, the company name is We Can English; kind of an ironic play on words. You see, I've noticed (more than once) that some Swedes who are misguidedly confident about their English proficiency will say, "I can English". This is because, in Swedish, the "speak" or "write" that you'd think should be in this statement is considered unnecessary; it's understood.

My colleague Helena did the logo for me. Cool, innit (US: huh / CAN: eh / AUS: G'day, Bruce & Sheila, more shrimps on the barbie) ?

And I've bought the domains:, .se, and as well. No actual web pages yet, but I can deal with that a bit later.

I start all on my own in mid-January, and I'm well-excited about that. And terrified; I'm not the most organised and methodical person alive, and it will be difficult to discipline myself (I'm used to paying someone else to discipline me. I will miss the smell and the luxurious textures of PVC and hot leather).


Moving right along, as a special New Year's treat, I'd like to present to you a fantastic little video - a ballad about this fine city. The artist's name is Rolf "Beme" Gilleberg - more about him later. But now, without further ado, please take a few moments to enjoy a lovely song, and some great views of Helsingborg. Here is Helsingborgsvisan (The Ballad Of Helsingborg):

Affects me every time.

Rolf - or "Beme" as he's known, although I really don't know why - is a bit of a local celebrity.

I've taken the liberty to roughly translate this song (with much help from my girlfriend). I hope that Beme doesn't mind. I've put a few little explanatory notes in brackets along the way. Here we go:

The Ballad of Helsingborg
Helsingborg, it's my dream
By the sound so tender
(The "sound" is Öresund, sort of a narrow strait between Helsingborg and Helsingör, Denmark.)
I saw you there
My friend Helsingborg
Come into my embrace
Helsingborg's harbour and Pålsjö's pond
Kärnan's height and Jordbodalen's depth
Everything's wonderfully delightful.

Myriads of people on Hamntorget (Harbour Square)
A warm summer's day
Magnus Stenbock on his horse (A statue in front of City Hall)
He can see everything best
And the old town with Maria Church's glory
And Bruksgatan's charm
I love it all.

Helsingborg, it's my dream.

The summer wind by the Öresund (The sound - see second line, above)
The sun always shines clearly
On the girls on Fria Bad
(a beach)
With the scent of the salt of the sea
I love it all.
My friend Helsingborg,
My faithful old treasure.

Helsingborg, it's my dream.

Beme owns a music store in central Helsingborg. It's quite a nice place. And along with all the guitars, keyboards, amps and other stuff you'd expect to find, he's got an assortment of more exotic intruments - things like sitars, tablas, and a didgeridoo (US/CAN/UK/Rest of world: a big painted wooden pipe that you put to your lips and make farty sounds to produce something like music).

Check out Beme's shop, see clips from more of his videos (he seems to be very much into birds (fåglar) and love (kärlek), if the videos are anything to go by), and look at loads of his personal photos on his extensive website ->

I've been there a few times, bought a few things, and even had some restoration work done on my acoustic guitar there. When I went there just to browse once, I found Beme on the floor, in the position just prior to standing on his head. Kind of a scary sight.

He explained that it was his Yoga time. I thought, yeah, fair enough, but you're in the middle of the shop.

Maybe he should close the shop when he's doing Yoga; perhaps have a special sign to put on the door, like "I'm having my Yoga time, please come back when my chakras are aligned with my karmic awareness - usually about fifteen minutes, on a good day", or something.

In any case, he's a very kind, easy-to-talk-to, nice guy. We need more people like him in Helsingborg. It's time that the Swedish government did something about it. But maybe we don't need any more videos about Helsingborg; let's not overdo it.That's what I think.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHAHA! Love it! This town definitely needs more characters like him.

1:53 am  
Blogger Clarissa said...

Oi, Mark. I love your business' name and the logo. I would suggest you register the .eu version of the name as well, if available. My domainer friends all indicate that .eu is going to be big. xx, c

3:28 pm  
Blogger kellypea said...

A very Happy New Year to you, Mark! And congrats on the business plans you've got in place. The idea that you're "not the most organized and methodical person..." should seal your success. I'm sure you'll be very successful (SoCal: kick butt and take names,Dood).

Got my resident teen an electric guitar for Christmas. (He asked for one AND lessons if you can believe it.) Any advice?

7:15 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of "We Can English:"

Have you ever visited They happen to be a rather funny website as features especially Asian examples of minced English, Japan and China being especially well represented.

You might want to check them out.

1:44 am  
Blogger Tug said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR MARK!! Much luck with your business...that's awesome.

6:31 pm  
Blogger cary said...

I will miss the smell and the luxurious textures of PVC and hot leather

Ah, the necessities of life one must do without when trimming the budget...

Good luck, Mark - having recently started my own business, I understand the pitfalls and wonders that await.

7:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot begin to describe the various faces made by Dock Ellis when I played this luuuurvely video clip for him.

12:16 am  

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