Happy international overalls day to all my overalls friends around the world, especially in US, where I discovered the joy of wearing overalls, when I bought my first overalls in San Francisco in 2001, Big Ben overalls! I even still have them, more and more patched as you can see on my two photos from New Orleans with Laury, my dear overall pal from New Orleans as well as the chatette in Cadrieu in France. In 2013, we had the most fantastic overalls day party in New Orleans. Today, I’m in my farmhouse, where I in principle could have been sitting outdoor in my insulated overalls since it is getting cold ! almost below freezing point, but I celebrate the day indoor in my baggy Round house overalls, and my new yarn, soon turning into something warming me when I’m going out in the coming winter season.
3 weeks ago, I went back to Tromsø to see my Norwegian colleagues as well as some of my very good American colleagues, working in music technology and I walked with my friends and then while talking and crossing a street, I miscalculated the gap between the street and the pavement and fall and hurt my pelvis! First I thought, well that will be over during the night, but in the middle of the night, I realised I had to go to the hospital and then I was scanned and they discovered a small fracture in my pelvis, so I was suddenly in a bed at the hospital for 2 days ! and then brought home here to my farmhouse with assistance in between the 3 flights and a neighbour came and brought me safe back home to my farm house. That is 3 weeks ago now and I have only been around 500 meters away from the house in all that time!! This week I’m going a bit further, when I am going to the Danish hospital for controlling that the fracture is healed and everything is ok.
Never the less, I think my life is changed fundamentally in some way after this fall. Earlier on the same day I fall, I got a refusal for a grant proposal with a lot of people involved. Since my young days, I have been organising projects, bringing a lot of different people together, trying to get different angles on things. Some have resulted in a number of things, like the study program at the University of Tromsø, some have resulted in a lab in Tromsø, some in an annual conference, but in many cases I have also struggled with a lot of conflicts and competition about power, who is going to decide, what to do etc. Many times, I have tried to create a coherent and consistent project, at least as I see it and that is not always popular. So why keep trying to make these big projects instead of just sitting down and write, do your own research, sitting in your farmhouse in your worn out baggy overalls, ripped sweater, a cup of coffee and enjoy life ! why do I struggle to choose the “butt on the chair” strategy as one put it on Facebook ? Perhaps my fall made me realise that it is time to change direction and choose “butt on the chair” strategy together with gardening, hiking and family, and leave all the big projects to younger ambitious people ? The next months will tell how much I will change, I’ll keep you updated on that !
Sitting here at the computer, I often fell into existential issues, even if I should be cured somehow by being a kind of senior. Anyway, I’m still from time to time caught by the thoughts about what life is about ? what should I do ! In principle I can do almost nothing or everything! All my life I have struggled with this conflict of being outside in the field/garden and inside in the studio!Well, if so, I live probably right now as good as I can ! being out in the countryside in fall mode, a bit chilly, wearing my fantastic insulated overalls and cutting firewood, and planting strawberry plants on our bank of earth, made by myself! before I go inside and write in my dear notebooks so again, as it always happen when I write in this blog, I must realise, my life is not that bad, on the contrary, ! so time for some dinner, have a nice evening ! your bibfessor
I ended last post with mentioning the group we met on our tour, “pilgrims” or perhaps more correct ” walkers” like us, organised in a small organisation, Nature and Mountains, really nice people, who like ourselves enjoy walking in the nature. We joined them in their pizza party at the Herberge in Thorning. Next morning we continued our walk but before we headed on, we visited the local church have to as a kind of pilgrims :) and the graveyard, where a man, who just did his work in the fields, became famous because the local priest, who was a poet and writer, wrote a song about him as iconic for the hard working people who have lived here for centuries struggling with bad soil, a lot of wind and other challenges. We also visited the local museum before we finally went on our tour across the very special landscape, inbetween a swamp, moorland and lake, very typical for this region
and here we also found traces of some of the first people who came to Denmark in the Early Stone age, around 11000 years ago. You could almost feel it when you walked there. There is also a very small museum, Klosterlund Museum, with a small collection of stone age tools. This whole area has also a special importance for me, since my grandfather had a farm nearby, so my mother has lived here as young, and I lived myself as young boy not far from here, in the 60ties and loved to come to here and feel the lived history in the nature, so to speak but before I become too sentimental, some photos from our important eating breaks, no walking without some good food and drink, there was even small “food shop” in the forest in a cupboard
with a lot of history. Centuries ago, in the Medieval age and Renaissance, a lot of conflicts between small wannabe kings took place in this region. and later people tried to make a living here in the intermediary region of East and West, the big divide, where small peasants made their best to make a profitable business out of their situation, having bad soil, but also being a meeting place for people from East and West with different needs, so a good place for market places. Finally we came to our next Herberge, in Thorning,where we even got a room for ourselves thanks to a really nice group of people who also were doing this walk, more about them tomorrow
I have made many posts about who I am, because I consider this blog as a kind of place to tell about my life and my thoughts about life. As regular readers know, I am very glad for overalls, have almost been obsessed with overalls for many years, but after a trip to the other end of the world, all the way down to Australia, I discovered that perhaps it will be good and more reasonable not to continue to insist on wearing overalls all over! I have not worn overalls all my life. It started in 2001 in California, where I discovered that overalls gave me a physical freedom, free of belt, so I could just breathe all the way up and down. It also gave me a kind of freedom of not being all too careful not to be dirty. As a child I was very afraid of being dirty until I moved to a farm and got dirty out in the field and when I was at my grandmothers summerhouse. I still remember the freedom I felt, when I went in very worn out jeans went to a hotel restaurant with my grandmother. I think that it may be the reason why clothes mean a lot to me when it comes to how I feel. I cannot say that clothes does not matter ! It does for sure for me.
When I 25 years ago, when I was around 40, left a permanent job without having a new one! and thought a lot on life in general, what to do in life etc. I felt a freedom to wear this outfit
I am wearing a leather jacket from the thrift-store and some work-pants my wife didn’t use anymore, both worn out, giving me a strange kind of freedom, but also a joy of having something on with a kind of history, with a patina. I’m sure it helped to find out what to do in life and now 25 years after, I am also free, now retired and grandfather, and have build this “house” for my grandkids, in my most worn out overalls, my favorite pair of overalls, with a lot of patina,
yes, I will wear them until it is impossible to keep some threads together! It gives me a lot of energy and confidence to wear them, but and that is the new thing, I must also admit that some time, another suit may be better and give me another freedom, like when I was in the opera in Sydney in Australia, wearing my black silk jacket and new black jeans, casual elegant, giving me the freedom to just go around, being a bit updressed, actually belonging to the most dressed up part of the audience ! After having posted it on Facebook, getting comments and many likes, I thought: well, sometimes it is better to be elegant than hippie-baggy-thrifty guy, and actually it also shows a part of myself, the worn overalls do not show, my taste for opera, for being a part of the opera community, not snobbish, but just good art with elegant clothes and good food. THat leads me to another side of me, the learned scholar, which I realised I am, also in Sydney at our conference, at a reception, celebrating myself, making me very grateful and honoured, but also confident that I don’t need to make excuses for myself, especially not when I also are wearing a casual version of learned style, like this, giving me the freedom just to say what I felt, not being afraid of being misunderstood due to some strange clothes! so all these styles are all me leading to the conclusion that I have as most people have, many sides. Some may say that I have just realised that perhaps one should not insist on one kind of clothing, but find some clothes, which suit the place you are. Right, I am still learning and hopefully will still be learning new things as long as I live. Now I will enjoy my old overalls here at the farmhouse and tomorrow continue my report from our “pilgrimage” tour and later about my trip to Australia, in other words, I am back on the blog.
I have a small garden with only Mullein plants, or in Latin Verbascum and in Danish called King lights! I have always been attracted by this plant, of its pride. As the case is with all flowers, a Mullein/Verbascum is not just a Mullein/Verbascum. There are a whole family with about 360 different species ! I only have 4 of them. The big one is Verbascum densiflorum
really royal format ! The other big one is Verbascum Thapsus
and then there are 2 which look a bit alike, verbascum nigrum, dark verbascum, and Verbascum Chaixii, nettle-leaved mullein
and there are still around 356 species to get, so I have more to do ! and perhaps also a challenge to have them all in our small farmhouse garden, but a few more species would be nice.