Squirk's Overseas Experience

The tales of one Kiwi returning to Mother Britain and exploring the Big Wide World... without being eaten by a shark.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Roskilde, day 4 - hygiene on the streets

I've seen a lot of Scandinavian boy-parts in the last few days.

This is part 4 of a series. If you haven't been following, you might like to read about my Danish adventures from the beginning.

When nature calls, it seems to be a strong festival tradition to just find a nearby fence to aim at... even if it's a see-through chain-link fence with crowds of people on the other side. This isn't limited to the boys, actually, and squatting Scandinavian woman is not an uncommon sight. The practice seems to be enshrined enough to feature on a board in the History Tent but those kinds of photographs would not go down well in Britain!

My Danish flatmates tell me that it's also a festival tradition to avoid bathing for the duration of the event. Well, I'm a rule-breaker sometimes. I used the communal showers outside the campground perimeter, and felt all the better for it.

The four of us native English speakers decided to sample some street culture and expressed ourselves in aerosol on the graffiti wall and watched some crazy skaters nearly wreck themselves pulling vert tricks.

Photos to follow!

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Roskilde, day 3 - a relaxing adventure

I did my first spot of rock climbing and Bob got his picture in the festival newspaper for stacking 15-odd big plastic drink crates on top of each other.

This is part 3 of a series. You can read part one and part two as well.

There's not a whole lot more to report, apart from maybe...

  • the couple suspended from a light pole with only masking tape to hold them
  • the guy playing in mud puddles on an inflatable jet-ski
  • the misunderstanding that saw me consume two Mexican dinners and one Brazilian

There were also a bunch of messy drinking games but I can't tell you much about those!

Oh, and it seems that Kiwi dub/soul/whatever legends Fat Freddy's Drop are playing at the festival (although Bob and I seem to be the only Kiwis around).

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Roskilde day 2 - entrance at last

After a catastrophic beginning, things started to look up for the Two Roberts.

This is part 2 of a series. You can read part one if you like.

Thanks to a heroic effort on the part of the fabulous Mr Gwynn, we are finally inside!

He went to my house, knocked on the door and introduced himself to my flatmates, waited there for two and a half hours for the landlord to come around and unlock my bedroom door, and send photos of my tickets to a bunch of people.

That man deserves a DB.

The evening was spent listening to Swedish "grime" music, eating Mexican food and drinking with Swedes. Jack's lovely sister Sunny studies in Glasgow, Scotland, but wasn't prepared for the kilt-wearing Swedish man who decided to expose his root vegetables at close range. There were people wearing kilts and flying kites around high-voltage power pylons, though, so maybe nature will take its course.

Stay tuned!

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Roskilde, day 1 - mea culpa

If you were taking more than a week off work to go to a festival in a foreign country (and paying a fair chunk of money for the privilege), what would you bring with you?

This is part 1 of a series of updates.

You'll need your passport, for sure, a sleeping bag, some clothes, maybe something to read. If it were you, instead of me, maybe you'd also bring your tickets.

That's right, I was in Denmark but I left my festival tickets on the desk in my room in England. They told me and my innocent companion that they would only let us in if someone in England took a photo of the tickets and send the photo to them by e-mail. Of course, it couldn't possibly be that simple...

Our bags went inside the campsite where we couldn't get at them, my phone was missing all the useful numbers and burned through its credit with sky-high roaming charges anyway.

Luckily there was a couple of no-shows at the local youth hostel, so we did get a bed for the night. I will owe many people many favours before this is over!

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Nine days of madness

I'm going to Denmark in the morning. Apparently there's some kind of music festival with some pretty big international names playing including Deftones, Franz Ferdiand, and Guns'n'Roses. A bunch of UK and Scandinavian acts are on the list, but I've been very poor in keeping up with the music scene so I'm relying on luck and advice to find the good ones.

I'm looking at the full line-up and see Icelandic favourite Sigur Rós who's apparently pretty fabulous, according to the Man Who Knows.

And I never even went to The Big Day Out...

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Draw a pig

I have updated the sidebar. Now, hopefully the people who don't know what Flickr is can stop bugging me for photos.

Also, I took cues from Carly and the little one: I drew a pig.

My drawing of a pig

I couldn't do one properly the first time because I already read what drawing the pig sideways says about your sexual orientation (or something) but it's been long enough that I forgot. Now I can truly be judged on my miniature farm animal!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Sleep is for the weak

Anyone who's worked with me knows that I'm not always on time. Okay, that's perhaps a little mild. Sometimes, when I was aiming for a 9 am start time, I lay in bed for so long that I didn't get to work until after midday. It was too hard to get up.

I didn't dread my job or anything -- it was just incredibly difficult to physically sit up. I would just lie awake in bed for hours, willing myself to get up; watching the clock tick past nine, past ten... I would curse myself out loud but still only manage to roll onto my side.

I'm much better now, thankfully -- it's difficult to pin down exactly why. Steve Pavlina, in his article How to become an early riser offers some straightforward tips on getting sorted.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Where has Rob been?

I've been doing a fair bit of Interesting Stuff, but none of it has been going in here. Why not?

It's not as if my holiday in Italy was a Super Secret Treasures. Seeing A Midsummer Night's Dream in the open air of Regent's Park wasn't an everyday occurance that may as well go unsaid. It's not even my notorious slackerism this time!

What's really plugged the flow is The Girl.

More precisely, time spent with her is time not spent by myself. I find that writing is like walking around in your underwear -- it's best when nobody else is around. I'm a pretty solitary person, and need my "alone time". Time to read, time to write, time to work on personal projects.

Although that "alone time" dwindled down to almost nothing, it was for a good cause -- and now I'm getting a whole lot more of it, since I'm no longer in a full-time relationship.

She's been gone a week.