Friday, October 8, 2010

the next one

It's raining like a monsoon outside, the wind is howling, it's past midnight and I'm exhausted from a busy, busy week. I've tipped over the point where tiredness becomes a mild insomnia. I don't feel like drawing, knitting or reading, so I thought I'd write briefly about my next upcoming adventure, a trip to Denmark. My grandad is one tough Dane, with a penchant for smelly cheese and blue china plates. I love him dearly, and want to visit his homeland (he lives in California).

Having been raised moving from place to place and always feeling the foreigner, I wonder what connection I might feel to Danish culture, if any. I've never had a sense of nationality or belonging, I've always adopted the elements of the cultures I was enveloped in that spoke to me most. I had visited Copenhagen once with my mum when I was five, and don't remember much except gleefully playing in a public fountain with a bunch of semi-nude blonde kids. I'm eager to learn more about where those drops of Scandinavian blood that run through me are from, and to visit the town where my grandad ate his first piece of smelly cheese. I'm also looking forward to seeing where his dad, John Tranum, parachuting and base jumping pioneer and famed stuntman of the 20s and early 30s, lived and was buried.

Here's a fabulous picture of my great-grandad from a Danish site:

I love this photo. Among his long list of record-breaking jumps, this daring Dane hopped off the Eiffel Tower, the Pasadena Bridge, and successfully rode a motorcycle off a thousand foot cliff. I wonder if I've inherited a bit of his wild streak with my passion for swinging from trapezes.

It's a wonderful feeling, looking forward to a trip. I've got a couple of others that I'm tossing around in my head, but nothing set in stone. Right, now. I'm going to try and shut my eyes.


black bear cabin said...

what an awesome photo!!! you definitely have his sense of adventure! what fun :)

Serena said...

Your Great-Granddad was quite a dare-devil! Neat photo! I'm sure you will thoroughly enjoy your upcoming trip to Denmark ~ :)

omar said...

hi, my brother lives ins Copenhague. Are u going there? it is a beautiful city. I usually spend Xmas time there with his family. I did some sketches of some places in Copenhague and post in urbansketchers blog. You will find plenty of places to sketch.
The channels with the boats are a great motive! But do your own tour and take advantage of the opportunity of getting lost . U will find the most woderfuls little cafes an stores in the most unthinkable places. try getting a bike to move arround. The weather could be a problem depending when you go. There is a great art supliers store in the main pedestrian street downtown.
have fun!

omar said...

I forgot : u have to visit the Cristiania neighbourhood. an occupated old military camp in the 70's with his own laws an even architecture. The Cristiania bikes are famous in all Copenhague.

szaza said...

Thanks so much, Lisa and Serena!

Thank you Omar for your suggestions. I will definitely check out Christiana, it's on my list. The weather will most likely be cold and wet, but I don't mind. I'll check out your sketches :)

Marty Harris said...

Learning knew things about you in these in these terrific puffs of wind. I suppose I could just ask what other incredible relatives you have, and to unload a few more incredible stories on us.

Thanks for sharing as always. Love your blog.

szaza said...

Haha— oh I have marvellous people who are tied to me in some way, each with fascinating stories. One of my favourites is of my father's father and his passionate love for his patient, who he vowed to marry— and did. But those stories will come out perhaps before another trip...

I suppose some will come out, some I'll keep.

I'm so happy you enjoy the blog, Marty. Thank you!