Forbrydelsen IV

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En død ræv findes på towpath. Et menneske har flyttet liget til et hjørne på Ferry Lane Estate. Sahra Lund, spillet af Poppet, drives til at opdage mere om forbrydelsen. Ignorerer hendes familie, hun vender tilbage igen og igen til den sække op liget, søger under biler til katte undervejs. Tilbage på towpath, er duften stærk. Hun ved at der er en sammensværgelse under opsejling, men hun kan ikke sætte brikkerne sammen …

Yesterday I posted this on facebook;

Forbrydelsen IV

A dead fox is found on the towpath. A human has moved the corpse to a corner on Ferry Lane Estate. Sahra Lund, played by Poppet, is DRIVEN to discover more about the crime. Ignoring her family, she returns again and again to the bagged up corpse, looking under cars for cats along the way. Back on the towpath, the scent is strong. She knows there is a conspiracy afoot, but she can’t put the pieces together…

In the thread Liliana of People’s Republic of Southwark posted the Danish translation. I was so excited! I rushed to google translate to hear it read aloud which is THRILLINGTON! Although, it may be noted that the robot voice does not mumble enough for it to be good Danish.

I think we can all agree that the termination of The Killing IS GOING TO RUIN OUR LIVES. Mind you, it’s true that things have got a little bit formulaic and it would be terrible to see Sarah & co jump the shark.

Were Poppet to take on the role of Sarah Lund I’d like her to have this coat play the part of the jumper.  Sadly, as usual, I have expensive taste, and Poppet won’t be getting her outfit any time soon.

***

Meanwhile I am rather jonesing for Engrenages/Spiral to start another series. I was sure we were PROMISED a new series, but I want it so much that it’s possible I just wished it were true. However, I have either heard or dreamed that Borgen will be back on soon. (Which is basically The Killing but without murder/Sarah/the jumper.)

I hate the lull in telly over xmas. It leaves me all existential.

***

Also yesterday, I found this quote on my tumblr, which seems to fit with the Sarah Lund headspace;

“She touched the edge of its voluptuous field, knowing it would be lovely beyond dreams simply to submit to it; that not gravity’s pull, laws of ballistics, feral ravening, promised more delight. She tested it, shivering: I am meant to remember. Each clue that comes is supposed to have its own clarity, its fine chances for permanence. But then she wondered if the gemlike “clues” were only some kind of compensation. To make up for her having lost the direct, epileptic Word, the cry that might abolish the night.”

— Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49

Goodbye Sarah. We will miss you. And your jumpers.

In Which I Speak All the Languages

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Monday, November 26, 2012
Do you speak more than one language?  How did you learn the additional languages?

When I was a teenager I hitch hiked to Italy and Spain. I was a typical shy kid – I found the challenge of foreign language totally intimidating and I only remember having one conversation on either of those trips, and that was while my friend was asleep, talking french with an Italian. We were both speaking in a second language so both spoke very slowly and simply. I enjoyed it a lot, but it didn’t really encourage me – I thought that real language acquisition would be too difficult ever to manage properly.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago. A friend suggested we go to Spain for a holiday. She could speak some spanish but was rather shy. I crowdsourced on Facebook, and came up with a fail-safe lexicon;

bano (bathroom).

I figured that if I remembered that one word I could happily mime everything else. This resulted in me doing a lot of the ‘talking’. My shyness long gone, I felt that if I didn’t have to mime going to the toilet, then what was to worry about? I enjoyed my ‘conversations’ and felt rather proud of myself. I did pick up jamón because after pointing at enough breakfasts I liked the look of it seemed that saying ‘ham’ was enough to get you the good local grub.

Like everyone in the UK I believe I have some apprehension of american english. We get enough US telly, americans visit here, what’s not to know? Imagine my shock when I first arrived at New York’s airport. I got my passport out and stood in line. When it was my turn the immigration guy said “alakyahatt”. Well, I was quite intimidated – a man in uniform saying something unintelligible to me at immigration, this couldn’t be good news, could it?

This was when I discovered I had an inner Julie Andrews. I said “I beg your pardon?”

“alakyahatt”

(speaking louder and slower – this is what brits do to foreigners) “I’m terribly sorry? Could you repeat that?” (becoming increasingly panicky)

i’m terribly sorry?

This went on for what must have been seconds but I experienced it somewhat differently.

“Oh! You like my HAT! Thank you!”

Well, that was me, as you lot say “schooled”.

Since then I have come to realize that not only does one not know american dialect just from watching TV and films, but also there are key linguistic differences which must be adhered to if you want to communicate. Unless you want to resort to mime.

***

A few years ago I went to Berlin to have an operation. I went on my own, and I relied entirely on german learned over one year, I think it was, at school. Given the fact that I had perfected the art of staring out of the window and imagining survival strategies in the event of an apocalypse. This was inspired by and helped along by BBC’s Survivors. The 70′s original was remade recently so any mini-me people would be well catered for even if there weren’t a glut of such programming. We now know not only what to do and what not to do in the event of a pandemic, but also what to do if everyone gets all undead on us. Excellent.

As an added bonus I know someone in the modern version, so I can say “Look at friend! Isn’t s/he clever!” as well as gleaning survival tips.

Anyway, back to the german. What I have learned from my interest in the english language is that while english is made up of hundreds of languages the vast bulk of it comes from german and french. This is from when toffs spoke french and peasants spoke german. Hence bœuf (on the table, you see) becomes BEEF, while cow, in the field is kuh. What happened, therefore, was that I could speak a fair amount of “german” but was left stranded when I needed a word I didn’t know but which in english is french in origin.

I enjoyed butchering german, and when the taxi driver dropped me off at the airport I said Auf Wiedersehen. Germans seem to like to pretend they don’t know any english, but they watch a lot of the same telly as we do, though most of it is dubbed, but pop songs aren’t.

He replied “So long!”

***

I hadn’t been to France since hitching through as a teenager when my brother and I went with my dad on a trip to see the relics and graves at the Somme. My dad wasn’t being a history buff, he believed he might see the grave of his uncle who had been killed in WW1. This was never going to happen, since the kind of war that that was ensured that everyone and everything got mashed in together. Indeed, two raised areas of ground were known at the time as “Sausage and Mash” and not because that’s where you’d get a hearty meal.

Anyway, talking of hearty meals, we may have eaten the worst meal in France that night, so by the time we were let loose in a small town for lunch my brother and I were grimly determined to eat something nice. The tour guide opted for a liquid lunch, and it seemed everyone else was joining them. We had a look round and there was nothing open – it was a sunday. We spotted, however, an hotel, which seemed to be starting to seat people. While the french would be spending the afternoon eating we had less than an hour. This required advanced french – in short, this required begging.

Happily, french is the one language I can speak in sentences in, and can hooch together make-like phrases well enough to be understood. Considering children in the UK started learning french in primary school, you’d think this would be perfectly a perfectly reasonable thing, but let me tell you, as much as the french don’t want to learn english, we resist learning french, and I was speaking like a HERO.

I looked at the menu and chose what I wanted and my brother and dad agreed to have the same. I asked the waitress if we could have it within an hour and she was totally scandalized and said “Non”. She conceded that we could have the main course but nothing else. I agreed. Then something magical happend – between her and the chef some quick work was turned around and she excitedly announced that we had time for starters before our main. Wonderful! Heaped with gratitude she dashed off and brought us starters. As soon as we’d finished those the mains arrived, and towards the end of the meal, she told us that we would have time for dessert as well.

Our feast was only marred by one thing. Since I do not cook rabbit I do rather like to have it if it’s on a menu. Our mains comprised of rabbit in prune sauce. My dad asked what we were eating and I told him. He balefully told us that his stepfather had killed his pet rabbit during the war.

I bet it was delicious.

***

And finally! I do not speak any Scanwedgian language, but like the rest of the UK I have lapped up Wallander in swedish with subs, The Killing, in danish, Borgen in swedish and danish, and recently I have enjoyed Lilyhammer in english and norwegian. I’ve also seen many nordic films over the years. Although there are plenty english loan words in use there is also something else going on. I would never have thought that spending my formative years in Scotland would have been of much use to me apart from giving me a rather crisp classless accent, but I was wrong. Dear reader, there are quite a few words and expressions which these languages share with lowland scots. It is very exciting to the ear.

It is also useful to have lowland scots for Scrabble and Words With Friends.

Martial Arts, Fostering Watson, and Sarah Lund’s New Jumper

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Talk about the opening of your favourite book.

Angry White Pyjamas by Robert Twigger opens in the streets of Tokyo. The protagonist is dawdling along and he finds some ball bearings that are used in gambling halls in the gutter and is childishly enjoying them when suddenly he witnesses a volatile incident between two drivers. As he watches he is on tenterhooks wondering how a salaryman can possibly avoid a beating from a truck driver wielding a piece of wood. The incident ends in the classic abject physical apology of the salaryman bowing on the ground and begging forgiverness to the gratification of the truck driver.

Twigger, aged 30, was given pause for thought. What could he have done if things had escalated? What if he, himself was suddenly attacked? He feels the natural vigour of his physique from his twenties had slid into a pulpy unreliable decay. Before taking us along for the ride of a lifetime as he learns martial arts as taught to the Japanese police force, Twigger paints a picture of the slovenly life he and his flatmates are living. As his uneasiness about his physical weakness gnaws away at him he describes the daily life of physical and intellectual laziness he and his friends shared. Their appliances gathered from dumpster diving, their grimy apartment and cheap crappy food. They lived in a crumbling part of town, and none of them were doing anything worthwhile or even interesting. The three of them decide to shape up and take themselves along to the local Dojo…

I have bought and lent and bought and given away more copies of this book than any other. It may be the book I have read most often, and I’d happily read it again. Being evidently autobiographical it kind of fizzles out at the end, but the book itself is gripping – and has won both a literary award and a sports writing award. 

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In animal based news I will find out today whether WE MIGHT FOSTER WATSON!!!!!

watson! he’s only two! little boo boo! pops will go mental!

The facebook blurb on him said;

I NEED A FOSTER HOME WHILE I WAIT FOR MY FOREVER HOME!

Watson is a 2 year old neutered male Mastiff cross who is looking for his new home after finding himself on the streets with his one eyed cat friend as his previous owners had lost their home and could not take him with them. This handsome boy is friendly, affectionate and loves being around people. He is good with other dogs and could possibly live with a calm female. We would prefer to rehome Watson to someone with previous experience with large breeds. As he is still young, he would benefit from further training and socialisation. He can live with children aged 12 years plus.

No matter how lovely he is, though, if we take him on we have to work hard to get him rehomed. I know perfectly well that my eyes are bigger than my stomach, and it is completely out of the question  for me to keep two dogs… but a temporary visitor? I know, it will probably be heartbreaking when he is adopted, but still!

***

Slightly late to the party, I had been waiting for a good patch to start to watch (and read the subtitles of) the new series of The Killing. Not only am I a big fan of nordic noir, but I am also a keen watcher of the outfits of the leading ladies. A couple of days ago I started hearing ripples about the new jumper Sarah Lund is sporting. Here it is;

The chevron effect is unfortunately something I would really not rock, what with my large frontage. DAMMIT. Why is my taste in clothes not commensurate with my figure? POOR ME!!!

For the past three series she has been noted for her uniform of fairisle jumpers. Not something I fancy, since I can feel them itch from here.