Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009:
So long Helsingborg, Hello Malmö

What I think:

It's the end of an era.

Last Saturday, my girlfriend and I moved from Helsingborg to Malmö.

It was a pretty smooth move, although Lucy Fur (the cat) was none too pleased about sitting in a little cat-box for the two hours it took us to get there, only to be locked in the bathroom while the guys moved our stuff in. But she's settled in now - although she has suddenly developed this odd desire to crawl under the duvet to sleep during the day.

Spot the bump.
When I mentioned the move to my friends (all two of them), some of them (Johnny) asked, "But what will happen to Helsingblog?"

Well, here you are - the blog is now Helsingbloggin' - Malmö.

I will still be commuting to Helsingborg a couple of times a week, for band rehearsals and the occasional meeting (I used to travel for the same length of time (about an hour) every morning and evening when I lived in London, so this is really no big deal); in fact, I'm sitting in the basement of the Telegrafen pub in Helsingborg as I write this.

I'm actually "piggy-backing" on the pub's wireless broadband.
(Well, they charge enough for the beer here anyway; that's my justification.)

There will still be many adventures to be had in Helsingborg, so there's no point in stopping the blog just because there's a train ride between the two cities. The main difference is that you will now get some information about both places - sort of a two-for-one blog. Good offer, innit-eh?

Also, there are now a few blogs about Helsingborg for you to look at (have a look in the sidebar on the right). I especially recommend Kieron's An Englishman in the Borg. He's been writing it since he found out he'd be moving here from the UK, and describes what he's learned so far... It's a personal blog, but it has some great insights about the "how's and why's" of moving/living here. Do check it out.

Back to this blog, apologies in advance for any inconsistencies you might find with the title. You may still see it listed as Helsingblog in a few places for a while; it'll take some time to track everything down.

So. It's been a while, hasn't it? What have I been up to since last time (besides moving)?

Well, here's a brief rundown (not necessarily in the right order:

My girlfriend and I went to London for a few days in January (I think). This time, we decided to do a bit of a touristy thing, as we usually just go down the pub to meet my friends, or hit the West End, Camden, and/or a couple of other areas. So we did the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace (etc.) thing for a change, just so we could say we'd done it.

Before setting off to the city centre though, we saw this cool ad on the side of a bus in Stoke Newington, paid for by some kind of Atheist organisation(s):
We liked that.

The next bit is pretty surreal...
We went to this place near Baker Street that has all these famous people hanging around, both living and dead. But the dead people seem to look better than the living, so we decided to talk to them.

I spoke to Charles Dickens, and told him about the pub in Helsingborg that's named after him, where I've spent many a fine drunken evening. He seemed quite pleased and generally jovial at first, but when he asked about what I'd been doing in London this time around, and I told him about that bus, he started going into a big rant about "morality today" and "in my day" - blah-blah-blah - and I felt I couldn't relate to him anymore.

Here's me telling Mr Charles Dickens about the Charles Dickens pub.
In Helsingborg. In London.

It started getting pretty ugly when we started discussing Theology in general. He became the Charles Dickens I wish I'd never known. He was waving his hands around like he was going to hit me, but in a girly-fight kind of way. Well, I couldn't stand for that, so I delivered a skillfully-placed left jab straight to his right cheek, and knocked the bugger out. Take that, you Pickwick Papers-pimping parasitic prima-donna.

Charles Dickens recovered rapidly, however, and was back on his little Victorian feet, and about to totally beat my scrawny arse, when Alfred Hitchcock came forward, doing his best Harry Enfield Scouser "Calm-down-Calm-down" routine...

Yes! Saved by the Master of Suspense - and with such brilliant timing!

I remembered then why I've always admired Hitchcock so much. It's the timing, you see.

(OK, I'm back in Malmö now, The dream is over.)

The Demo
On January 17th, I was having a nice quiet drink at the Charles Dickens pub (I'll never learn, will I?), when I noticed that there was a demonstration against Israel's bombardment of Gaza going on.

I had my camera, so I took some photos. Here are two, but I have more (although some are blurry):

CSI: Helsingborg - Live at Punkten
We got another gig at Pub Punkten on February 6th. Here's proof:
So, I took the opportunity to vandalise the southern part of the city.

First, I went to the movies:

Then I went to Helsingborg's cultural
centre - the library - and wrapped
up the fountain:
It turned out to be a great gig, especially since we turned the volume down this time, as requested, and fewer people's ears were bleeding at the end than last time.

Valentine's Day (bless)
On February 14th, I made a cheesecake.

I'd bought this brilliant recipe guide called Everything I Know About Cheesecake off, and it's brilliant. It's only five Yankee bucks, and well worth it.

I had already made the mocha swirl one a couple of times, but I thought I'd try a strawberry thing.
Here it is:
OK, so it may not look great (one has to take great care to make a gorgeous-looking cheesecake), but it tasted fantastic.

Love - Light in Helsingborg
From February 14th until the 21st, Helsingborg's city council had a pretty cool idea. This was to have various different landmarks around the city displaying different kinds of light.

This had varying results; some displays on some buildings just looked tacky, while others looked wonderful.

But I have to say that the projection/show they had on the castle-like-thing in the centre was very, very well done. It was a 10- or 15-minute animated projection display shown on this great landmark, and it was worthy of a few "oohs and ahhs" for sure. Thumbs up for that one.

I tried to take a video of it using my camera, but the result didn't do it justice. So here's a still, shamelessly stolen from the city's website:
Helsingborg Fashion - puh-lease...
While we were walking around, my girlfriend stopped at a shop window, stared in horror, and pointed at the display.

Let me take this step by step:

First, we have the not-quite-shorts/not-quite-trousers (US/CAN: pants) thing happening here:
I know I've mentioned this before (some scrolling involved), but this is something I do not like.
Guys: Keep your legs covered or don't. Make up your minds.

Then we have this:
The bow-tie. It's for the nerdy heroes in the background, who are starting to gain fame in some high-tech crime-solving TV shows. Hurrah for the geeks. Yeah.

I hate it, but OK, it's there; I can handle its existence (just about).

But this:
This... ensemble.... What event could anyone possibly imagine attending in this monstrosity of an outfit?
Write your answers on a postcard, then burn it.

CSI: Helsingborg - Live at Telegrafen
We got a gig at Telegrafen on February 27th. This was cool, as it was the first gig that was closest to the city centre, and one that many of my friends and acquaintances would be able to attend.

So I got busy with the crime scene tape a couple of nights earlier.
This photo was taken outside the Bishops Arms, while I was listening to this couple have a wonderful drunken argument:
Ahh, young love.

The gig itself turned out to be the best we'd ever had. Having mostly people we knew there probably helped, but we were definitely in top form anyway.

My girlfriend's parents even came to see the show. Wow.

She had specifically asked me to try to tone the language down a bit (apparently, I swear more than Johnny Rotten at the dentist's) so, after the first song, I said something like, "Listen up: my girlfriend's parents are here, so do me a favour and keep your f*cking language clean, awright?". Or something...

The show was a great success. We might even be allowed to play again within three miles of the place, within the next two years or so.

No, but seriously, it went very well. Here's a photo of a girl (whom I didn't pay - honest) who liked our show so much that she bought one of our t-shirts, and grabbed some CSI crime scene tape to wrap around her head and wrist:
The restraining order is in effect until August next year.

That's it.

It's almost 3:00 a.m. and I will now be publishing this post without reading it through, so apologies for the mistakes.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been reading Helsingblog. I will continue the blog, but it will be a bit different. Maybe even more frequent than it has been lately.

I would also like to thank the Swedish government for doing nothing about it, as this is what I've come to realise that they're best at.

And welcome to Helsingbloggin' - Malmö.

That's what I think.


Blogger Miss Kitten said...

I'm just as perplexed about that ensemble as you are. On top it's saying, "I'm an English professor from 1938," and on the bottom it's saying, "I'm a beach bum who can't afford to buy shorts, so I'll just cut the legs off a pair of old jeans and roll them up. Pass the fuckin' bong, man."

12:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok - is it just me or do those ridonkulous shorts appear to have a mysterious stain between the legs (in the crotchal area)??? All that I can think of is the party scene in SuperBad and the girl who... ... ...

5:55 pm  
Blogger kierUK said...

Hey Mark...its a real shame to see you go...but I do approve of the new title! I can sleep easy now I know we dont have to have deep conversations about it over beers...although I still think we should have the beers :)
Best of luck with it all..and thats for the link

8:16 pm  
Blogger Miss Kitten said...

I showed my boyfriend that bad fashion picture and he said it shouts "GAY" along with something else too dirty to post here. A censored version is, "I want m**t up my b*m."

However, I reminded him that I know many gay men (okay two: Mutley and Paulo) who certainly wouldn't be caught dead in such a train wreck of an outfit.

My ex-boyfriend however, is probably metrosexual enough to wear something like that.

11:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mark, just read your blog for the first time as i am living in Spain, moving to Helsingborg, i need to find information about the city and the way of liviing, prices etc.

But i can help you about that toilet thing you don´t know. It is called Bidet, name comes from French and every single toilet in spain has one, as i am a woman, i would say it is very usufull for us.... and also to wash feet after the beach.... any way imagination but really woman use more than men...


10:22 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi helsingblog, as you know, im sure you do, im a fan of you. im so sad to hear that it's no longer helsingblog! you're like the king of all helsingblogs! who is going to keep an eye on helsingborg now when you're gone? sobs. malmö doesnt need you. helsingborg does. come back helsingblog.

7:19 pm  
Anonymous cynthia said...

Haven't checked in for awhile - very funny post - from your visit with Charles Dickens to this quote: ...apparently, I swear more than Johnny Rotten at the dentist'sCongrats on the move, shows and, and, and....

hmm the outfit - definitely confusing - hopefully the mannequin wasn't also sporting socks and sandals on its feet.

8:02 pm  
Blogger DeeDK said...

Just had to respond once more, I know my timing is OFF... the pants thing? Those are capris, and in the US anyway, are strictly for WOMEN ONLY. I've never seen a man wear those, maybe there was some confusion on the part of the store buyer? Perplexing...
And, can I buy a CSI:Helsingborg from you through the internet?

9:41 am  

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