Sandvig Library Town Hall

Bornholm baby break (or an ultra-short history of Bornholm disguised as a diary post)

We’re on Bornholm this week, having a great time in-between little Nathan’s occasional projectile vomiting and screaming attacks.

Bornholm is a small Danish island that I assure you is a real place that actually exists. It even has a history and everything:

The island is said to have been an important trading post back during the Viking times. From 1525 to 1576, Bornholm was pawned to the city of Lübeck, which is apparently a thing you can do with islands. Bornholmers weren’t too happy about that, so they revolted but were violently suppressed in the battle of Ugleenge (Danish for “the ugly English.” Probably).

In 1645, Sweden fought Denmark and took control of the island, but then the Swedes were immediately like, “Nah, we didn’t even really want it, so you keep it, Denmark,” and just up and left. In 1658, the Treaty of Roskilde gave Bornholm to Sweden once again. That same year, Bornholmers revolted and shot Swedish commander Johan Printzensköld. They then gave the island as a gift to King Frederick III, which is apparently another thing you can do with islands. Their gift came with one condition, though. I quote: “Dude, seriously, please just stop cedeing our island to all these foreign powers every time they come around, you giant pussy.”

And Bornholmers lived happily ever after…

Until the Nazis came in 1940 and were all, “Zeez ist military lookout post und listening station now, ja?”

But in 1945, the Soviets were like, “Niet, comdrade!” and bombed the shit out of Bornholm and the German forces stationed there. The Nazis surrendered. The Soviets left in 1946, but under one condition, though. I quote: “We go home now, but only Denmark is allowed to keep soldiers on the island. If we see any other Western military here, we’ll consider it foreign occupation and be forced to protect the rights of Bornholm’s Russian-speaking population by sending Soviet paratroo…uh…no, by politically supporting local Bornholmer rebels in their right to self-determination – ha ha, you almost made us reveal our clever clandestine plans!”

Nowadays, Bornholm is a picturesque island with a population of just under 40,000. There are few, if any, revolts and murders of foreign military commanders. There are, however, lots of fisheries, tourists eating fish, and a popular fictional troll, Krølle-Bølle, who steals said fish. At least that’s what most of his depictions lead me to believe. There’s even a life-size cardboard poster of Krølle-Bølle with his face cut out, so that obnoxious tourists can pretend to be the troll. Like this fucking guy:

Krolle-Bolle Dan

Stupid tourists!

We’re living in a summer house on the northern part of the island and slowly exploring the area around us via short daily expeditions. Saturday, we set sail for mainland Denmark.

You now know more about Bornholm than you ever thought you would. Until we meet again, here’s a totally innocent picture I took of a guy sunbathing:

Sunbathing dude

You have a dirty mind, dear reader. I’m embarrassed on your behalf.

Blue Passenger Plane

I’m leaving on a jet plane…

…don’t know when I’ll be back again.

Except I do.

I’ll be back in ten days.

Way to ruin the suspense.

My fiancée and I are leaving to Prague on a mini vacation, otherwise known as “taking care of all the last-minute ceremony preparations and other practical stuff.” Doomsday is drawing closer and closer. Wait a second. My sponsors are telling me it’s called a “wedding,” not a “doomsday”. Ooops, silly me!

Our bags are packed, our tickets are printed, our cats are locked safely inside a cage where they will spend the next ten days without food or water. Wait a second. My sponsors are telling me that proposal was overruled. Something about “animal cruelty” and “moral decency” and blablablah. The cats will stay with our friends. Correction—our friends will stay with our cats, at our place. Yes, our cats get their very own stay-in babysitters. Spoiled brats. The cats, not the babysitters.

What does all of this mean for you? A number of things:

  • Absence of my life-affirming and happiness-producing blog posts
  • Absence of my life-affirming and happiness-producing comments on your blog posts
  • Good weather with clear skies and warm temperatures in your area. Probably. Can’t guarantee this one.
  • Free chicken nuggets for everyone! Wait a second. My sponsors are telling me that’s crazy. God I hate having sponsors.

So until next time, friends, take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Especially your loved ones. You never know when you’ll need an interest-free loan or a kidney transplant.

Happy holidays!

Australian Adventures Await

Ladies and gentlemen. Tomorrow is Friday, December 21st 2012. This means two things will happen tomorrow:

1) Fire will rain from the skies as the Earth lives out its final hours before we’re all ultimately engulfed by flames and dragged into the merciless pits of Hell.

2) My girlfriend and I will depart on a 5-week long trip to Australia.

Let’s focus on the more noteworthy of those two events.

Australia! Yes! Finally! I’ve been looking forward to this since the start of the year.

I know you’re probably caught off guard by this announcement, since I gave little indication that this trip was in the works. Well, I’m sorry. It’s just, I guess it’s time we take a break. You know, see other people for a while.

Truth is we’ve been saving up vacation days like Doomsday nutjobs save up zombie-piercing bullets and meteor-proof umbrellas. The end result is the longest vacation I’ve had since high school years. Can’t wait.

Red Meteor

Tsk, goddamn meteors again. Better go grab my rain gear.

Australia is a magical land where everything is upside down, inside out and, quite possibly, in reverse. Here it’s winter, there it’s summer. We drive on the right side of the road, they drive on the left. We say “Hello, how are you?”, they say “You are? How hello!” Probably.

While I’m busy riding kangaroos, wrestling koalas and playing catch with wombats I will have very limited time for the blog. This means that you can expect to hear from me only sporadically, if at all, until late January. I will try to make an appearance on your blogs and send a cryptic message or two on Twitter, but I can’t promise anything. No, I can’t! Stop it, don’t be so needy!

I’d like to leave you with a lovely drawing by the equally lovely Kalieta. Some weeks ago she asked her blog visitors if she should draw something specific. Being the egoistic narcissist that I am I suggested drawing a nest for Nest-Expressed. The very next day Kalieta came up with this (visit her blog post for the full sized picture):

Nest Kalieta
Awesome, right? Right!

I’d like to extend Kalieta’s sentiment to the rest of you, wish you a fantastic holiday season with your families and loved ones, full of joy and with only a limited amount of end-of-world incidents. See you all in 2013!

A very Nest December to you!

Guess Who’s Back?

No, it’s not Elvis Presley. He’s dead, remember? Ooooor, is he?

Anyways, it’s just me.

Hope it’s not a let-down after I’ve gotten your hopes up with the whole Elvis thing!

My girlfriend and have returned from the fun-yet-hectic family trip. We have slept in eight different places in four different cities during the past two weeks and are now patiently waiting for this incredible achievement to be entered into the Guinness World Records.

We’ve had our good share of drinking, minor injuries and other fun things. We’ve met a bunch of interesting characters. One of them was a girl of around six. Whenever she misspoke she would perform a “system reset” by closing her eyes, shaking her head side to side and saying “oi-oi-oi” in rapid succession. Another one was a guy who complained about amateur guitar players always choosing to play depressing songs. I’m not sure I’ve noticed this trend, but then again, my attention span is…wait, where was I?

What does this have to do with anything?!

In my home town of Kharkov we’ve come across this classically “Engrish” sign for the Children’s Railroad:

To put in two ends comes true free of charge!

In a tiny town of Mestecko in Czech Republic we’ve come across this simple and straightforward road sign:

It’s like two drunk guys arguing while giving you directions…

All in all it’s been great, but I wish it lasted longer. That’s what she said.

Also during the holiday I’ve gotten a pleasant surprise. Remember the “Pulling The Plug” piece I’ve submitted to DudeWrite’s flash fiction contest? Well, it’s been picked as the winner by 2 out of 3 judges, as well as getting the most popular votes, along with another great story from Chiz-Chat. You can read more details and the judges’ comments at DudeWrite, in case you want to, like, read more details…and the judges’ comments.

But enough about me, let’s talk about a few other humourists for a moment.

Another awesome surprise was Martin Bannon sending me a signed copy of his recently released Senseless Confidential. It was waiting for me in the mailbox yesterday when I arrived. I have won Martin’s “leave a comment, win a book” competition. At this rate I think I should start playing the lottery. That’ll teach me to make stupid decisions like playing the lottery! I haven’t started reading the book, but knowing Martin and judging from the great reviews it’s been getting I’m already excited to check it out.

Also I have finally started on Martin Little, Resurrected by Ella Medler. I must shamefully confess that I’ve only gotten through the first two chapters for now. However, it’s already clear that it will be a fun read! Though hey, don’t listen to me, check out the reviews for yourself.

Finally, I will have a special guest on the blog this Wednesday. His name is Scott Bartlett and he’s doing a blog tour for his book Royal Flush, which is also collecting great reviews. So you’ve got that to look forward to now!

How about all of you? Have you had any vacation? How has your life been without my posts in it for a whopping two weeks? Same? Slightly not the same at all? Kind of the same, yet also different?