Archive for January, 2010

Welding vegan chocolate cakes!

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

26 January 09

cooking in tegleholme

cooking in tegleholme

Ok so we made it to Malmo and I haven’t written anything about Copenhagen since Christmas so Sweden is on hold until I catch up.   We moved back from the posh house after Christmas to the very welcoming arms of all at Tegleholme.  I spent the first week back working with Sinne and Monne building a kitchen.  It was amazing, I saw the kitchen go from basic and not very cosy where everyone cooked in 2’s and 3’s (mainly skipped meat) to collective meals of 15\20 people and the kitchen being the place to hang out.  That probably took longer than a week to achieve, but the building structure was in place after a short while.  We made a breakfast table out of old pallets and found wood, which was sanded and oiled so we could use it for shopping.  Its been really amazing learning such practical skills from 2 really amazing women, who although they say they’ve forgotten their ages, they’re only 18!

I made it my mission for the next while to improve my cooking skills! Cooking at Tegleholme was like being on a surreal version of ready steady cook!  Every few days a few people would go on a mammoth skipping mission (going to the bins of the supermarkets and taking what we needed), it was like a weird Christmas morning each time they back.  Whoevewr was in the kitchen would ooo and ahhhh at the delights they had brought back.  The chefs mission for the next few days was to try and make as many wonderful dishes out of the food as they could.  The first week I was there we had leeks with everything, last week it was broccoli and banana.  I made a skipping wish list (mainly with baking ingredients) that some saw as a challenge, Monne definitely won, bringing practically everything on my list home.  Staying at Tegleholme has definitely made me reassess my relationship with food.  I have been so shocked with the food thrown out from supermarkets.  We were able to live like kings, eating organic, having fresh cream, milk, bread, amazing danishes (the ones we get in Ireland or the UK are not like they are here), rounds of cheese, wine basically anything you could ask for – I’ve eaten better quality food here than I have since I left home 7 years ago.

So I’ve introduced proper English scones to Denmark! I said I was going to make scones and got a few shrugs from those in the kitchen, so I made them, put a bowl of home made jam and fresh whipped  cream with them beside them and told people to dig in.  They went down very well with exclamations of “these aren’t scones these are amazing”.  In the following weeks I taught others how to make them and now they’re a staple part of breakfasts at least once a week, and now when anyone new comes along they’re treated to “scones but not like Danish ones!”

Most of my recipes are coming from a cook book I took from my mam when leaving home – the stork cookbook.  Its falling apart, looks very old but has how to make everything in it, including cheese sauce which went down a treat! Its not very good for vegan dishes though (with the arrival of Jo and Pete that made 2 vegans and 3 vegetarians and the rest freegan – eat anything if its free) so I had to improve my vegan baking.  Monne lent me a vegan cookbook called ‘don’t feed the bears’ where you are encouraged to play a named death metal song while you cook! I’ve learned how to make a very simple vegan chocolate cake that actually tastes amazing! Although I still think it tastes better before it goes in the oven, the first time I made it, I ate the leftover batter with fresh cream and was in heaven!

I haven’t spent all my time in the kitchen though.  Although I do have to say that cooking has been a thoroughly relaxing and very satisfying experience, those of you who know me that past few years know that I spend as little time in the kitchen as possible, Brian does most of the cooking.  It was very funny to hear all these people talking to me as if I had been cooking for 20 my whole life.  New challenges are what its all about!

cop23Speaking of new challenges, I’m learning to weld (picture to follow) not quite as scary as I though it would be, Martin turned out to be an excellent teacher, very patient and extremely positive with all my efforts.  Angle grinding is my next mission.  Its been really great doing lots of workshops, I now understand a little more about 12volt electricity from Brian and Rob’s wonderful 2 part electricity workshop, I helped make a pedal powered washing machine and Casey did a really interesting ‘non violent communication’ workshop.  All in all lots of new skills learned.

We also managed some trips out, i went to the sauna in Christiania with Jo and Jim, a hot but relaxing day out and then chilled with coffee and had a really interesting chat about black bloc, climate camp, green capitalism etc.  We also visited a group of people living on a boat nearby.  They’ve made their own submarines, very cool!

Staying in Tegleholme has done my soul well, I feel rested and with many new skills.  The people staying there are one of the most welcoming and open groups\collective I have ever come across.  They are so happy to share their home, skills, food and just about anything with anyone who wants to stay.  An amazing bunch of people I’m sure I’ll come across again – maybe not on land….


Grainne, x

wowser, its been a while

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010


having started out with this blog and promising myself that it’d be regular. So, now it’s time to atone and do some updating.

we’re still here in Copenhagen and enjoying life here. an example of a typical day in 2010 has been getting up at about 12, working in the workshop for a few hours, having dinner (possibly even making it for 20 people), do some electrics, eat again, do a bit of reading/writing, watch a movie, then go to bed. Its great. I’ve been having a chance to not do anything. Nobody is relying on me finishing something, i’m not due in work, not meeting anyone in particular at any particular time. Nice…

the space in cop is really nice, and the community is growing up nicely. there are workshops being run every day on things from yoga to electrics and its a chance to do lots of learning. To be honest, it’s just as well that there are things here to do as its too cold to go outside. Yeah, it snows all the time here. What really gets me is when i get out of bed feeling a bit bleary eyed, and then open the door and this wall of bright white snow. I don’t love that.

We’re gonna head up to sweeden in the next few days, for a few days. The idea of heading up closer to the artic circle, ordinarily would appeal to me, but at the moment the cold is scaring me off. Oh, and we’re gonna get the bus/hitch, so without the comfort of our van it might get chilly.

anyway, here is a load of random pictures of random things with random people

(it would seem that we’re experiencing technical difficulties. please hold the line)

still snowing!?!?

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010


i awoke this morning at 8am for a morning pit stop, and boy oh boy was it dull. There was hardly any light and it was bucketing down with snow. Needless to say, i went promptly back to bed after that! It amazes me just how little light they get around here…which may also explain why all the graffiti is so garish.

Things are still moving along here at a suitably slow pace, but the creative juices are still flowing. Last night one guy was son interested in the publication called ‘Turbulence‘ that he made a really nice pair of shoes from it. turbulence

yesterday i also got to do some angle grinding and some welding. The grinding is crazy and the spinning plate has a mind of its own; you expect the thing to drag you of along the floor to where it wants to go. And the welding was also a bit mad; precision is the name of the game – a bit like airfix.

Anyway, here is a picture of part of the floating city (that doesn’t actually float), and some of the rig that is still here…and some others…


why would you get up

floating city with rig

wow, its 2010

Monday, January 4th, 2010


2010. 100 years after the titanic sunk. But to be honest, it’s just another day for me and G in Copenhagen. The lack of daylight is a bit crazy, but getting out of bed before 4 might help me out with that. We actually have to get up early tomorrow as Grainne is making scones in order to rally the ‘floating city’ troops to breakfast. And with her baking that smells as good as it does, it might actually work.

The crew we are staying with are trying to make a floating city. they have the energy, willingness to learn and skills to share, but now they (we) are trying to pull together some semblance of order to make it happen. It’s very cool that they do all their meetings in English, but i can’t help feel that it hampers the process, and possibly gives native english speakers and advantage (and sometimes a laugh too…). The ‘municipality’ have an interesting approach to these types of projects involving the youth (their choice of phrase, not mine), and have given them a huge space for bugger all rent.

so, to keep it all interesting we’ll stick up some pictures tomorrow….but here is a randomer for now…

We watched an episode of Star Trek last night, and here is an example of the quality of props and ‘alien’ things..



kitchen queen

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

since we’ve been in Copenhagen, we’ve been trying to make ourselves useful at the Candy Factory and the Floating City. It now seems that Grainne has become known as the Kitchen Queen…..but i can’t help wonder why?


look at the size of that spoon!

look at the size of that spoon!

a long night…

Friday, January 1st, 2010

so, happy new year dudes.

its the first of january, five thirty and i’ve got a really strong coffee. I woke up this morning and my head was slightly sore. New years in copenhagen is mad. It was like living in the blitz for all the fireworks, and as well as broken beer bottles in the bike lanes we saw some smashed up shops and crazy drunk danes.

At the place were we are staying, some of the crew put on a party. It turned out only being their mates (about ten), lots of beer, a really big sound system (6k) and a huge empty warehouse. Me and G spent the midnight hour together and then i went and had a practice on their rig. The dj console was setup in a boat/art work thing which was sound proofed and there was no monitor, so occasionally i’d stick out my head to hear what was going on.G gave me a critical review afterwards, and it all seemed to be ok.


At about 2ish we went to the Candy Factory for the main event. We got there and the place was heaving. I’ve already described the place, but there was a sound system upstairs and down, with people in every room between. We went upstaris to get stuck into some cava and listen to the dudes playing their version of daft punk. Upon reflection, daft punk was totally the sound of the mid noughties, so somewhat appropriate – so long as i never have to hear it again.

so about 4am arrived and it was my turn. I decided to play the downstaitrs room which, although it had a slightly smaller sound system, was darker and fuller. Of i went, and realised that i had setup my gear in a spot in the room with an even lower roof than everywhere else, so i was at a 90 degree angle while playing. The danes seemed to like it, and just as well ‘cos i ended up playing for 2 hours before getting relief. Funny enough, the dj after me sounded like he was part of a french electro musical duo….

Now, not to put a downer on the whole affair, but i got a puncture on the way home, and after cycling for a bit, decided to walk. Now, a lesser person might have taken this as a downer, but i walked the last bit of the journey and it was really nice. ’twas me and a load of danes on the roads, and although it was cold, it was a nice way to end what had been a hectic night.

And now we’re back to now. i’m in the kitchen drinking coffee and Grainne is making food! I’m gonna head away and start finishing many of the little bits on the van that i’ve started and not finished, so i’ll catch you later.