Tag Archives: Jens Olsen World Clock

August 18th 1975

“Slept in. Went to Mormors works and go stared at. Went for walk to square. Saga of girls in shop – grin!”

Awww… all that country air yesterday meant I didn’t emerge from my slumbers until late.

That second sentence made me laugh out loud 35 years after the event. I can’t remember it, but I can imagine what it must have been like. My Mormor (grandmother, remember?) worked in a small blood testing facility a few blocks away from her apartment. She was one of the senior (in age) technicians, responsible for moving samples from one part of the building to the other. As a result she knew everyone that worked there and probably bent their ear regarding her handsome, intelligent & hugely talented grandson (OK, maybe those were the words she used) from England.

I suspect she had pre-empted a visit from Nig and Me, gathering all her colleagues in one area so she could show me off. I have no doubt at all that I stood there deeply embarrassed to the same degree to which she was proud.

“Grin” does seem to be the 70’s version of LOL in my world, doesn’t it?

I’m sorry to have to disappoint again but I have no recall about the ‘saga‘ (which makes it sound at least a little memorable) of the girls in whatever shop I am referring to.

To make up for it though, here’s a picture of the square to which I refer…

Specifically, Copenhagen’s Rådhuspladsen – or City Hall Square. This photo must have been taken from atop the clock tower of the City Hall itself. That zebra crossing you can see on the right of the photo leads to one end of the prior-mentioned Strøget, home – if my diary is to be believed – to an apparent succession of attractive bra-less girls.

The City Hall is also home to Jens Olsen’s World Clock. This astronomical clock consists of 12 movements with over 14,000 parts. The clock is mechanical and must be wound once a week. (I wonder what happens if anyone was to somehow forget the task?) As well as the time it displays eclipses, positions of the planets/stars, and has a perpetual calendar. Olsen designed it and helped build it, but sadly died in 1945, a full 10 years before it was first unveiled to the public.

I’ve watched it tick away it a couple of times and its really impressive craftsmanship and a quick must-see if you’re ever lucky enough to be visiting Copenhagen.



Filed under 1975 Diary Entries