my new hobby

After my motorcycle accident, I thought I was forced to give up all sports forever. Bah. That clearly wouldn’t do it for me! If you have the ability to bite your teeth together, you will come up with alternative solutions. So I did.

Now, with my pride and a heavy prejudice against boring sports, I was never going to start bowling. Instead, you find me walking on water…

To make a short story even shorter, I got bit by the windsurfing bullet the previous summer, when I stepped up, fell off, and noticed that a) this is difficult and b) I must must must master it!

So, once this summer came around, I was sort of prepared. First of all, a business friend of mine had the old classic Windsurfing International by Ten Cate lying about, not in use. The topic happened to come up at a meeting. He thought I should have it. I was overwhelmed by the generosity.

Soon, I was riding the waves on my own free windsurfer. Did I mention it was for free? It was for free.

Yeah, I still suck. My everhurting wooden ankles do not help. But I have a great time pulling up the sail! And once in awhile I catch the wind and go so faaaast I must scream.

During those last days of summer I did get something of a hang of it, if I dare say so myself. Maybe not. As fall fell right into summer – or perhaps the cold stone of Paavo – I was still testing my fancy new Rip Curl wetsuit all the time.

Äh. When you fall, you get up. And repeat. Off you go. Gently now.

Woo! Look at that guy down there, hanging way back and looking all Miami…

Fun’s over. Mark my words – next summer there shall be no mocking! I’m serious about this sport. I’m stubborn like a donkey and I never give anything up. Come the end of next season, I intend to surf like Robbie Naish on speed.

And then I’ll send a postcard to the doctors who didn’t know if I was ever going to walk again…

it goes by the name of superb

Quiz: Do you know what renowned auto mobile connoisseur Andy myself chose for his new company car?

A Skoda. Yes. Really. No one held a gun to my head. No, there is no need to adjust the picture.

And do you know what? It’s an automatic…

Before you think I’ve gone old and soft and sold my country, this is actually a pretty fancy car. For one, it’s a Skoda Superb – and it is rather swell, if not supersuperb. Did you know – of course you did – that the Superb is the flagship Skoda? Hmm. I felt funny using “flagship” in the same sentence as “Skoda”… man, it sure is a brave new world out there.
Flagship starship, this cruiser is the biggest of them all, in fact, when I have Scarlett riding in the back, I have to use a megaphone to get her attention. It’s a little house in there. The Superb is made for chilling in the huge back, command someone something. “Jeffrey, take me to the airport“.

The automatic issue. Well, this is no old man’s shuffle-o-matic. It’s got seven speeds and two clutches. DSG, look it up on the web. It’s magic. Shifts like a velvet carpet, and faster than a blink. Frankly, I now feel stupid for resisting slushboxes for so long… why shift yourself when you can have it taken care of? It’s not like a go around Mugello every day – and besides, I have two red vehicles in the garage that see to my darker urges. So there. Happy as a clam, smug as a bug.

Skoda. I like Skoda. Suck on that bonbon, you. I did treat myself a little, tho; my Superb is rolling on 18in wheels, lowered suspension, and motivated by turbo supercharger power…

… and suited in platinum grey;

The real shocker is, I could have plumped for an Alfa Romeo 159. But this one is better. And as an added bonus, no one can call me a badge snob anymore. Ha!

a summer welcome

It was a long and cold winter of the serious kind. Not since the Winter War have there been such big pillows of fluffy white. Highly enjoyable, were you six. I’m not six.

Frankly, we doubted spring would ever come. It did, eventually, like a bona fide miracle. Like watching Jesus walk on water. Like world peace. Like smoking in a bar.

And the flowers came in. It appeared I have green thumbs, because the twohundred tulips I planted in the autumn became the talk of Pleasantville. Purdy, so purdy.

Time to tippa-tappa (Scarlett’s definition of walking on the beach). Time to dip a toe into the sea. Hello summer, why don’t you stay for awhile?

room for you know whom

This cosy little space-squeeze was formerly known – and very well known – as the LEGO-room – a holy haven of construction creativity for me, my brothers, and all our friends.

Since there’s a new family in town, I wanted to dress the room up a little, to better suit the very discerning tastes of Scarlett. I asked what she wanted, and this, I think, is what she said:

suitcase blues

When daddy has to go away on business, Scarlett makes sure she packs herself into my suitcase. And every time I wish I could just leave her there, close it up, take her with me. Luckily, I don’t have to travel abroad too often. I absolutely hate goodbyes and this is one girl you can not live without.

By the by, that’s a rather – if I may say so myself – sweet suitcase you’re looking at; the 1950s legend Rimowa Topas. Take it as a stand against consumer culture – I will probably never have to buy another carry-on again.
I ordered mine from Germany, and it came with a complimentary bottle of champagne…

LA is my lady

And what happened then? We went to the city of angels, where, funnily enough, there are no angels. At least not the kind with wings and the ear of god. Then again, who needs angels in Beverly Hills?

Oh, how plush Los Angeles is. Completely delectable. So hot. Cool. Sexy. Unless you walk into the wrong neighbourhood. Suddenly you think you’re in Detroit. Or Addis Abeba. You turn around. Back. Retrace your steps. Rodeo Drive, Bugatti Veyron parked outside Louis Vuitton. Ah. That’s better. Did you know that Aaron Spelling’s mansion is up for grabs? 150 million dollars. We drove past it – they have a room which only exists for wrapping presents in. Fantastic audacity. I don’t know whether to scream in outrage, or whoopaloo in delight.

Ah, “to make it” – that’s what it is all about in America. Some make it, most die trying. Since no one has yet defined the reason of being, I’ll keep the judging to a minimum. Besides, those houses on stilts up on Mulholland Drive made me salivate. I think I might have a little of America in me. Always had. Always admired their aspiration, ambition, anti-irony. Come on. They even conquer age here. Only an American could take on such a thing, and win. Almost, anyway.

Yeah. I heart LA. And we saw it all. Chinese Theatre, Shirley Temple in cement, Kodak Theatre, Walk Of Fame, Hollywood, the sign that says Hollywood, the marina, Venice Beach (where I had an outburst of diarrea in junkies’ toilets for twentyfive uncomfortable minutes on a cold steel toilet without toilet seat), Jimmy Kimmel Live, Jim Morrison’s house, his other house, where he used to get packed, where he took his laundry, Santa Monica Pier, Bel-Air (best ever-isolation from all sorts of poverty, including poverty of reality), Chateau Marmont (first choice for glorious smack overdose), Sunset Strip, the Viper Room, the Standard, in fact, every club Paris Hilton goes to, the outside of Universal Studios, where Michael Jackson died, Crips, Bloods, Justin Timberlake’s house, Beverly Hills Hotel, the traffic (suicide sprung to mind), Mickey Mouse, a million billboards, the Playboy Mansion (restrain yourself), Victoria’s Secret shop, Hooters, Hollywood Boulevard, LA Country Club, Julia Robert’s house, all locations where they shot Pretty Woman, heck, many locations where they shot a lot of movies, and and and and and…

And and and and and.

I should coco

This is most of what’s left of the famous Coco Palms Resort after mad hurricane Iniki came through in ’92. But, the memories of this legendary place remains. Any movie star worth their salt came here in the good old golden days, and none less than Elvis the king himself did Blue Hawaii here.

While on the topic of movies, Kauai is something of a mini-Hollywood. Whenever you watch your favorite actor getting killed in the jungle, the green stuff is all courtesy of Kauai magic. From King Kong to Indiana Jones, from Jurassic Park to Gilligan’s Island, from The Man With The Golden Gun to Tropic Thunder, this is where they come to shoot.

Share this information at a cocktail party.