Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Day On The Road (To Hell)

My ringtone on my mobile is currently Highway To Hell with AC/DC, but I thought Chris Rea's The Road to Hell was more appropriate as a title today. I hope you'll understand why after reading this.

I've just come home from 10 days in a Danish town called Horsens doing a reality TV show called "The Secret Millionaire", which has run for two seasons in England.

Now they've done 11 programs in Denmark. Mine will probably be shown in the fall of this year.

Basically, a TV crew of three followed me all day long while I (complete with a cover story) visited places where good souls help out people in need. At night I stayed in a borrowed, Turkish immigrant apartment.

At the end of the 10 days I put on one of my Armani suits and told the good people that in fact I was not that much down and out, and that I'd like to donate some of my own money to their cause (a total of 250.000 Danish kroner, to be exact).

In fact I'm not a millionaire in the sense that I can take out that amount from my bank account at all. Instead, we had to take a loan in our house, which my wife Anette was OK with (and thank you so much for that!).

The 10 other folks look a LOT more like millionaires than me, let me tell you that.

Folks like the guy behind JustEat, a guy with his own investment bank in London, a big IT-guy called Asger Jensby, and so on and so forth. Some of them with private chauffeurs, one live in a French castle, for crying out loud. You know the type.

The filming ended last Thursday - a week ago - and it was a good day. Lots of happiness, tears, and much more. And of course I threw a big party with more than 200participants at the end of it.

Fantastic. But perhaps the most emotinally draining thing I've tried.

Then last Friday (the day after) after spending 30 minutes in my house while re-packing and re-grouping, I found myself with my co-director Lasse racing snow scooters and drilling holes through 70 cm ice on frozen lakes in Northern Iceland with hard, Icelandic men around me.

Talk of a change of scene within 24 hours.

A couple of rough days here in Denmark, and it was time to relax on this beautiful Easter Thursday...

The plan was to eat brunch with my friend Søren (who buys breweries for Carlsberg) and his family. Well, I made it, but late of course, due to all sorts of things.

Then I left around 1400 hours in order to drive back to my town Maaloev and pick up three kids and then take them to a football match between Brondby and FC Midtjylland due to take place at 1500 hours. Running a bit late...

I had 10 free tickets from Brondby because I tried to help them with a social project called "Fra Bænken Til Banen" (from the bench to the field) where they try to get kids into jobs (they've been so successful that they're now starting to find jobs for the kids' fathers, too).

But nobody wanted my free tickets, so I ended up throwing six of them away. Bah.

I was running a bit late for the game. Perhaps that's why I was driving too fast on the street where the Police was checking speed.

I was charged with driving 97 where 60 was the limit. Ouch.

That means 2500 kroner in fine (that's OK) and I have to take a new driving test (which cost a lot more and takes a lot of time). Hmm.

But hey, I get to learn about all the new street signs and rules that have appeared since I learned to drive back in 1982. Might even get one of those new, fancy credit-card style driving licenses.

While I was standing there talking to the cops, another car was stopped for speeding in the opposite direction of me. Turned out he had just been at Brondby Stadium, but had discovered that the game had been moved from 1500 hours to 1800 hours due to demands from Viasat television, since they had another important sport thing to cover today, too.

So evidently, one should check game times and not rely on whatever is written on the tickets. Anyway, that's how I discovered that it wasn't neccessary for me to drive faster today :-)).

So we drove back, and then we went to Brondby and saw a fine match (2-1 to Brondby) in rain and snow, then back to Maaloev with the kids and then back into Copenhagen to pick up my girl Nathalie (9 years of age) who had stayed with Søren to play with his daughter Louise.

Shortly before arriving in the street where Søren lives, I hit something with my right front tire and all air went out. Then I spent half an hour in heavy rain and sleet trying to change the #%&/Q tire.

Due to very slippery cobble stones, the jack kept slipping and the car crashing down. That happened four times, the last time with the tire only half way off, and that's when I called for professionel help (and a professionel jack).

They came, tire was changed, we drove home.

All through this I was looking forward to a nice evening with my wife Anette (whom I hadn't seen too much of in the last couple of weeks) and some cheese and champagne that she had promised me.

Like in 'Driving home for Christmas'. Chris Rea. Can't wait to see those faces. Oh, I'm driving down that lane.

It was late when I finally made it home, and Anette had had to go to sleep, of course. She had been up early and had been taking care of little Viktor all day.

Bummer. But there's always email and blogging for you, then.

But I just got a text message from my oldest daughter Christine (18 years old), who's on some kind of survival training thing with the scouts.

She wrote: "By the way: I love you, dad. Have I ever told you that?".

No, you haven't. And you never needed to. But it was the finest of timings when you did :-)).

I've just poured myself a large Bowmore 12 year single malt (Enigma edition).

Here's to life.


Anonymous Doug Burns said...

The 10 other folks look a LOT more like millionaires than me, let me tell you that.

Oh I doubt that. It's not about the amount of money; it's about the style!


9:10 AM  
Blogger Daniel Fink said...

Another excellent Day In The Life!

I am looking forward to the day you start Probably the Best Charity in Denmark. You could name it "We Do Not Use Money"

9:01 PM  
Blogger Moans Nogood said...

I got SO mad at some of the things I witnessed that I joked with the TV crew I would create a new political party called "A Good Party".

That way, I could ask people what party they were voting for, and then reply 'Ah, but that is not A Good Party'.

Doug - you're right, it's all about style. The good TV folks called me up beforehand and said:

- When we do a bit of filming in the Miracle offices, could you wear, you know, business suit, and such... you know, the kind of clothes you wear when you're doing business and are being serious.

Me: Uhm. Well, no. Don't do that.

- OK, then, you must have a sort of boss office, something powerful we can film...

Me: Don't have an office.

- Well, where do you sit?!

Me: Wherever there's space. I only have a laptop and a mobile phone.

- Right. We'll think of something.

When they arrived the following Monday they wandered around the office for a while, and then the camera man said the now-famous words: "We won't get any pictures here".

That's when I knew that Lasse and I haven't spent too much money on unneccessary stuff.

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Doug Burns said...

Thank goodness they didn't see you picking up the goat food. What would they have made of that?

1:06 AM  
Blogger Moans Nogood said...

Doug - I'm sure you'll be happy to know that today a nice lady came to see the goats with her grandchild and she told me the goats are pregnant. I hadn't noticed, but she used to be a farm girl, so she could tell.

How would you like one of the upcoming, little goats to be named after you? It has to be a stubborn, intelligent, handsome little goat, but most of them at least fit two of the three.

It would also allow all our children to learn to pronounce your name. I'll personally make sure they understand the importance of the letter 'u' in there.

Come on, Doug - just say yes. Please?

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Doug Burns said...

Oh, ok then ;-)

Can I have stubborn and intelligent please? If I can have those two, then Dog is ok!

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your fake "Chinese idiot" mannerisms in those emails to the Chinese woman to be hilarious. But then I'm a racist bonehead, too.

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