Sunday, December 31, 2006

Christmas Catch up

I have been rather restricted in my posting over Christmas, but here are some pictures. We were in England until the 29th and now we are home again relaxing and preparing for the start of 2007.
Here is the whole UK family together (pretty unusual these days)

T and J having a bath

The personalised orange trainers (the greeny colour was not exactly as expected)

My favourite site on my new palm pilot

MK hiding between the cushions

We are mid way through our New Years Eve meal, the champagne risotto was great (shared with J) the pork wellington is in the oven.

The 2006 in review and new years posts are to follow...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sale Shopping

Marks and Spencers' shelves had been ravaged, I felt like I had too by the time we got home and the bank account certainly had been. MK has a bunch of new clothes, as does the bed and the dining room will even get some curtains. As if that wasn't enough excitement for one day, our parcel arrived from the US of A with our generous Christmas presents. I can now surf the net from the comfort of my palm pilot and when it is set up at home, my life will certainly be transformed into a Utopian existence of pure organisation and occasional beeps.
I hope to get some pictures in the near future as well...

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day

Still email posting...
We have had another relaxing day, we've been walking and eating, cooking and feeding J. We need to get out tomorrow though and see some other scenery.
J has continued to be very good and even his parents have been on their best behaviour. Shopping on Wednesday to stock up baby underwear jim-jams etc...

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

After a rather difficult journey from Copenhagen we are safely ensconced in "the heart or England". We've just been to the pub for a couple of pints and some people are getting ready head off to midnight mass, I think I will babysit.
J has been on pretty good form and we are looking forward to opening presents and eating too much tomorrow
Happy Christmas, especially to the Danes who have already done most of the celebrating...

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Ho Ho Ho

We're more or less packed and ready for Christmas. The new post box is in place and we are ready for the off. The out of office assistant is handling my mail and the phone will be off for the duration. Hurray again.
I will be posting during the festive period as much as I can and also hope to get another blog up and running with my academic stuff on it!

Explanation of the picture

The picture is the feed from the webcan at Colorado University in Boulder, when I posted it there was a snowy scene. Now I can see that this updates every few minutes like the webcam itself so what you are seeing is a realtime view of Boulder and the Flatirons, (as I write this it seems to be dark!!)
Perhaps the webcam pic was too clever for me seeing as I now have to learn to do mobile blogging to keep up with bigwilliamsworld

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Nearly there

To Christmas that is although it seems that there are some significant snow issues in the Denver/Boulder area at the moment. I hope that there is enough of a let up for those planning on escaping the area for Christmas to be able to take off.

We have no such problems here, it is not even cold... yet
The image below is my new "logo" that will eventually be on a bag that a nice man in Hungary is soon to be making for me.
J has slept for 5 hours in nursery today, I hope he can keep that up this evening. Time will tell.

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If the comment doesn't appear, then I guess you made a mistake making it, otherwise I have no idea what happens to them because I don't remove them.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Knock knock

Well the door has been fitted and it looks pretty good. As a result we no longer have a post box so we have had to buy a free standing one (Danish requirement apparently and more draught proof)

J has eaten everything in sight today so we are hoping that he will sleep tonight for a change...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sharing Breakfast

J likes porridge in the mornings, that is until I have something else, then suddenly porridge is inedible and daddy's breakfast is the only thing he will eat or we get this face (with sound effects):

There is a definite feeling of Christmas in the air, that roughly means that there is nothing happening at work this week, I am in Copenhagen today just to pick up my pressy from work and have a drink with colleagues, then I intend to spend the rest of the week working at home trying to relax and mentally prepare for the big family Christmas that is to come...

The Tour of Flanders is still on the cards although MK pointed out that it is Easter weekend when we normally go to England. This means that we will probably drive down there, I'll do the race and then we'll take a ferry to Harwich, perhaps Norfolk has some advantages after all...

Apparently young Oscar is already 3cm taller and 12lb heavier that when he was born!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Got new door

That means happy new year in Danish!

"Did you get dressed in the dark this morning?"

This morning we had no electricity between 6 and 8. 18 months ago that would have meant that overslept, but not any more. J doesn't care about the lights, but he did want his breakfast (actually it turned out that he wanted mine!)
So we had breakfast by candle light, then showered by candle light, dressed by candle light etc etc.
Yesterday we had our Danish Christmas lunch, MKs family came and we ate a lot of roast pork and other Christmas goodies.

We got some lovely presents (thanks) and it is starting to feel Christmassy since we have a tree too.

Here is J having his dinner on Friday, apparently it has been a while since he was featured

Friday, December 15, 2006

2007 Challenges #2

I got the go ahead to sign up for the 24 hour moutnainbike race in Denmark. With hindsight, it would probably have made sense to ask permission before signing up for the Tour of Flanders, but never mind.

So that is objective 2. I have no idea what it will be like to sit on a mountainbike for 24 hours, but I am pretty sure it will be nice when it stops. This is also a wonderful opportunity to upgrade some parts on my mountainbike (like the frame perhaps...)
The final challenge is a more broad brush affair, but more about that another time

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The 2007 challenge.

It seems that we will not be taking part in the 2007 Transalpes race as I was too late in signing up and we are therefore number 442 on the waiting list (there are 500 places). This has left me wondering what alternatives there may be available.
Bent and I did one of the hardest one day cyclosportif "races" last year and many of them need to be part of the summer holiday for logistical reasons so I think it needs to be something different...
There is stupidly long 545km Trondheim to Oslo ride that Bent loves to do but the idea of snow in the middle of summer is somewhat off putting. There is a 24 hour mountainbike race near Copenhagen that I think I will enter if the boss approves
I think it could be fun to ride one of the Spring Classic races as well, perhaps the Paris Roubaix or the Tour of Flanders... actually I have just popped over the the Tour of Flanders site and signed up. It is 264km on 7th April if anyone wants to join me on the cobbles then sign up!
Here is the route
Here is the profile

Anyway I am now searching the internet for something suitable in the Rockies, then we can go the US again before J gets to old for us to be able to afford the fare!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sick Day

I have had the day at home sick although it hasn't felt that much like a day off as I have been emailing etc much of the day. J has managed to find some particularly nasty bugs at nursery and has made us all ill.
I'd be interested if anyone can be bothered to make comments on my bag design, I think I will also get a matching wallet.
If anyone is interested the company is called Bagaboo and they are based in Hungary and seem willing to make more or less any design of bag you fancy.
Probably back to work tomorrow whilst the wee man is going to an ear specialist...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Poorly me

Well I seem to have inherited the family cold so I woke this morning in Hamburg feeling even more like crap than when I went to sleep. If I had been home, I would have stayed in bed but that wasn't an option. So I duely went to the Holsten office and participated in the workshop until 11:30, then flew to CPH for a meeting that should have lasted until 5-ish before we went out for a team Christmas do. I left after half an hour becuase I couldn't hear and my head hurt.
So that was Tuesday - not such a bad day really, I was home just after 4!
J has been in nursery and seems in reasonable spirits, he is seeing a specialist about his ears on Thursday.
I am currently working on a custom bag for myself as I "need" a bigger one for overnight business trips when I don't want to check luggage or take a second bag. Here is the current deisgn idea that I am developing:

I am not sure about the initials, I may think up a logo of sorts...

Monday, December 11, 2006

PhD update...

It seems that a company is interested in my project proposal and want to meet us to discuss the project and their possible sponsorship. I'll keep you all informed, but we are likely to meet them before Christmas...


J has been to the doctors again this morning, apparently he has reacted to the antibiotics has was taking lat week and that caused the red spots, that is no loss as he hated the taste anyway! He still has some fluid in his ears and that is causing a lot of the sleeping/sinus problems that are keeping us all awake at night.
He will have to see a specialist so that they can decide whether or not to put grommets/drains in his little ears. We hope he is better soon.
In other news, James and Gina had a rather large and healthy 10lb2 (>5kg) baby boy on friday called Oscar. We are looking forward to seeing him at Christmas, I hope he doesn't intimidate J!!!

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Sent packing

Tonight J is staying with his grandparents for the first time, as a result we are having our first night alone for 13½months! We're on some kind of a roll having had K&L as baby sitters last night whilst we went to see the new James Bond film.

Firstly a quick review of Casino Royale:
Daniel Craig is a good actor which helps a lot. The film is more brutal than all of the recent Bonds, if I recall correctly, the only other time that there is any brutality in a Bond film was in Dr. No. I enjoyed the film, but it's a far cry from the Roger Moore era of films that I was allowed to enjoy as a kid, this one's not for young children. A good action film, and it needs to be good as many of the Bond signatures such as gadgets, effects and corny jokes are no longer there. Good action, plot, script, cars and watches!

In other news, I haven't gone to the Christmas party tonight, I couldn't make the interesting part because of a meeting so I'm sitting home alone writing this whilst MK is at her party.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Where does it all go?

Service the car, service the boiler, 5 tanks of petrol, some plane tickets, a couple of Christmas presents and there you have it. The little remaining after the government has had it's grubby mits on your wages, is sent mostly to the government and a little onto others pockets.
At least we'll get paid again in a couple of weeks...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Working my way home

I generally don't work whilst travelling unless there is some very pressing task to get sorted out. Today has been something like that, I have had many pressing tasks to get sorted out. Thankfully I now have a load of mail in my outbox waiting to send off when I get home in 45 minutes or so.
It seems that J is making a good recovery from his ear infection which is great news so I should have a good evening entertaining him whilst his mother is sleeping through a conservative party meeting. If he goes to sleep properly, I may even get my bike going in the basement, which brings me onto a subject that was hinted at last week, namely the Transalpes bike race that I was planning to do next year. The registration opened on Friday at noon, however, MK, J and I were slightly delayed at the airport on Friday and hence missed the first 20 minutes or so of registration and with it all of the available places. We are now on a waiting list and can enter a draw with the February edition of a German cycling magazine for another shot at a place. Damn, I was really excited about that. I guess I'll have to look for another challenge...

Monday, December 04, 2006


J has another ear infection. Damn.

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Back on the road

A quick update of my travels of the last week.

Monday/Tuesday - Hamburg
Wednesday/Thursday - Denmark
Friday/Saturday - Birmingham
Sunday - Demnark
Today/tomorrow - Poland

No wonder I don't know where I am when I wake up! This morning it was at 05:00 so that I could fly to Frankfurt before connecting to Poznan, I got here at 13:00, it is a big pain when the direct flight is full.

Anyway, mustn't grumble.
MK is home with J who has a high fever and is pouring snot, she may have to stay home tomorrow as well as there are no babysitters available, whilst I am off seeing the world. She was however happy that I had arranged another advent gift calender though so some brownie points have been scored there.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Good weekend

We just had a good weekend in the mother land so here are a few pictures of the events:
J with the customary snot trails (yes he has another cold)

T & J not really playing together (T did like to make J noises though - eh!)

A relaxing Sunday morning breakfast (without the relaxation part)

J helping to unpack when we got home

Only three weeks until we do it again...

I pressed brother B for Christmas present requests and flatly failed to make any progress, however, he did look as though he could use a couple of nice new t-shirts as the one he was wearing was very scruffy!

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Yesterday we hit Solihull and this morning we had a go at Tamworth for a few odds and ends and some festive attire for MK.
It's nice to be here, especially as I have managed to have a good pint of Pedigree and fish and ships at the Griffin and a bacon, sausage and egg sandwich with a cup of tea in the kitchen. I have also acquired an argyle tank-top!
Pictures when I have a chance...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ready to roll

Off to Brum in the morning. We have to rush to the house to sign up for the big event when online registration opens at 11:00 GMT.......

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Buying a bike part 2

New information has come to light, a very important requirement has been added to the list

" has to look very nice when not being ridden"

That changes things somewhat so new we have to suggest something artistic, such as Vanilla

I am becoming convinced that a custom Moots is the way to go. Perfect fit and geometry, relaxed position, moustache bars, compact crankset, XTR mountain bike equipment so you can have integrated shifters with hydraulic brake levers. You'd never want to ride anything else!

Buying a bike part 1

Oh what joy to be able to post on this subject, vicarious satisfaction knows no bounds!

What sort of bike?

Road bike
You know what a road bike looks like so here is a Cannondale cross bike

Light, sexy, fast, aesthetic advantage over all others
Fragile, not greate on rough roads/tracks etc, a little impractical with shopping etc

Cross bike
Lemond cross bike

Cool factor, disc brakes, practical and light
Maybe expensive as in a niche

Trek Soho "fitness bike"

Practical, comfortable and durable
Geeky/nurdy, bit expensive as again a niche and not really a decision, but the result of failing to make a decision

Mountain bike
This is a Cannondale Urban bike, but it is just an MTB with slick tyres

Good value, reasonably practical, disc brakes, cool (extra cool if you get a 29" wheel bike, but then more expensive), versatile. Could be good to get 2 sets of wheels - 700c and 26"
Unoriginal, not good on the road, attractive to thieves

Yeah well, I dunno, probably best to get one of each!
But if you only want one, it depends on what you want to do, but I can't help thinking that a road bike is not what you want unless you plan to start riding more on the roads for fun rather than to get from A to B. Otherwise, go with the cross bike or find a cooler hybrid like Trek Soho
Of course you could buy this one, everyone will want it!
It is a Seven, but how about this Moots (from Steamboat Springs so supporting local business) old school touring bike, this is really nice and pretty suitable I would say.

That's it, drive to Steamboat Springs and get the guys to make you one of these, it will be ready by spring and I'm sure they'd do you one with disc brakes if that's what you want.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ich bin ein Hamburger

I have no idea how to spell any of those German words, but I guess neither had JFK!
Anyway, last night we stayed in a nice hotel and went out for a nice meal: Lemon grass soup served with quail and lentils followed by a selection of very good fish and finally three different creme brulle (raspberry, strawberry and white chocolate). That was the surprise menu and it was a goo surprise.
So US Chrissy presents... hmm Just some ideas, but there is not really any need to send us anything
Gilette fusion razor blades

Palm TX wifi PDA
I'm looking for other things, but need to check details...
long sleeve t shirts/jumpers
Shimano 105 9 speed STI shifter/brake levers
Handlebar tape
Pair of jeans, need to get spec...

It's hard work spending other peoples money.......
I'll get back to it later when I've had a rest and I can find some pictures to make it more fun.

OK there are some pictures...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Christmas wish lists

Those not in Denmark, please ignore this post, it is something that we are required to do over here to make everyone's life easier when gifts are to be exchanged, it means that you get what you want and it is easy to decide what to get others. It still grates on me to issue a list of requests though...

There are two purposes to this post.
First can the rest of the HP based clan please let us have your Christmas requests.
Secondly, here are our wish lists.

Joint family things:
Silver FatBoy original beanbag thing
Minipod speakers white, silver or black...
New calendar for Georg Jensen calender board
Marmekko plastic covered tablecloth
Iittala Teema 0,4l mugs in different colours
MKs requests:
DAB radio
Ski socks
Ski goggles (maybe kiddies size!)
Smart jacket thing for work
Tshirts for work (not plain cotton ones)
Apple coring and slicing machine (?)
Full facial jobby from beautician
Zwilling all purpose shears
Jeremy requests:
Junior sized duvet
Bananas, bananas, bananas, yoghurt, bananas, bananas, rice cake, bananas etc etc...

WM requests:
Zwilling manicure set (clippers, scisors and file minimum)
Zwilling kitchen tools eg pizza cutter
Rapha merino training top or fixed jersy (half the price!) biggest size
Whisky glasses - Waterford crystal Aura design if possible
Goretex paclite (or equivalent) biking jacket
Motorcycle riding lessons (whatever is compulsory to get a licence, I know how to ride)
Triumph Scrambler
Telemark Ski lessons: week 6 in Val d'Isere :o)