Monday, January 29, 2007

Hamburgering again

I am staying here tonight for a change,

I normally stay here instead, but it was full (sort of)

I am about to leave the office and have a wander around the city. I am on my own here tonight which is unusual. Hamburg is a pretty nice place really, clean and orderly as you would expect from our German friends. They are certainly a funny breed though.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hard work

We had 4 friends for dinner last night (yes that is a lot to eat boom boom! as Basil Brush would say) which was very nice, they even drove a long way in the snow.
The Gordon f'ing Ramsey cook book is now officially very good as all 3 of the things I have made from it have been good: the garlic chips from a previous entry and last night a salad with fennel, rocket beetroot leaves (should have been watercress) and pears with a great dressing and the lemon possets were a hit (double cream, lemon and sugar - can't go wrong). However the slow cooked oxtail I had planned ended up as Osso Buko (no idea about the spelling) which is slices cut through the leg of a cow (well a calf as it is veal). It was pretty good, but the meat was a bit tough. Lesson learned, next time I'll order the oxtail in advance.
Off to Hamburg in the morning on the train...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Winter is here at last

It didn't get above -3C yesterday which is at about 1o degrees colder than it has been for the last couple of months. Thankfully it is above freezing today so I guess the snow will gradually fade away.

It looks like we may be getting a visit from the US in April which will be nice, it is a good excuse to have lunch in CPH and I also have a rather special gift for someone. When the dying process in a sock factory goes wrong the results are probably onyl appealing to a very small proportion of the population, thankfully I know some of those people...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Maybe I'll have one for my tea tonight!

The train is really ideal for business travel: watch a film, read a little and fall asleep, the perfect start first half of a day. Then try to catch up in the afternoon...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Sorry for the delay

I have not been posting very regularly for the last 10 days or so as I have been travelling (as I somewhat tediously documented)

Anyway things are looking up (I am off to Hamburg again tomorrow by the way)

We had a great shopping trip at the weekend to the sales. MK found a bargain 500Kr soap dispenser...

J is walking quite a lot now which is pretty cool and it has been snowing all day here which is nice for a change, but not for MK who spent 4 hours in the car getting to and from work today.

I also made Yorkshire puddings for the first time ever and they were pretty good (thankfully)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Quick update

A 5 minute google search has led me to the following, rather predicatble conclusion: Stress related problem (maybe even a syndrome for one of my readers!) that you can read about here:

Guess I need to relax then.

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Eropean Tour continues

Poland is a funny place. I quite like it but the Communist inspired architecture (grey decomposing concrete) can be a little depressing when it is cold, windy and raining. I don't think I want to move here.

Here is a challenge for the medically inclined readership. I have some wierd pain in or around my ear on the right side of my head when i open my mouth much. Taling is fine, but eating is a bit uncomfortable and I keep knocking food off my fork!
Any ideas?

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Public Notice

Perhaps I should start a 4th blog that is open for everyone to post their comments and update the readers of this blog with how their lives are progressing...

Hamburg is a nice city, but you can have too much of a good thing in a week, and I think two visits is enough for anyone. Thankfully I am off to Poland this afternoon.
There is not much to report as I have just been working and traveling.

Perhaps I'll use my 2 hours in the airport later to write something more stimulating.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I am preparing to leave Switzerland after a rather short trip here. The crazy travel week continues, Hamburg Monday. Basel Tuesday, Hamburg Wednesday and Warsaw Thursday and Friday.
Congratulations to Ben for his new job as head boiler engineer, I really have no idea what that means that he does, I suppose it is like looking after an enormous tea urn or something...

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Action shot

I am in Hamburg at the moment (seemingly just for lunch) before heading south to Switzerland later.

Here is an action shot from yesterday, he is getting pretty good at this walking business and he doesn't even use his head to stand up!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Just a quick update

We have had a really good relaxed weekend. There are now curtains in the dining room.
Some small pictures on the walls
We had a night off from J and a great meal out at Umami
Lobster, Kobe beef, lobster soup,lamb, sushi, squid and pudding!
J is now walking about 50% of the time and crawling the rest.
I'll post some pictures when I have a chance.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Frustration and Disappointment

There is actually not as much reason to be disappointed as frustrated this morning. I had an appointment with a company who are interested in investing in my PhD at the business school. Unfortunately I received a phone call on the way there to say that the guy is sick so we will have to re-schedule. I am out of the country all of next week, so at the very best this is yet another 2 weeks delay. We just hope that it is not a change of heart on his part before even meeting us...

On a happier note, this is the last day of the 7 day set diet. It was very difficult to eat the spicy soup for breakfast today and I am looking forward to something more normal tomorrow (although less of it than usual, but more on that another time). This morning I was 4,4kg (approx 9lbs I guess) lighter than last Saturday morning. Today is brown rice and vegetables, but tomorrow I get to go out for dinner!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Diet Day 6

After a rather Atkins like day 5 (two steaks for lunch with tomatoes and roast veal for dinner) I weighed 3,6 kg (corrected from earlier today) less this morning than I did on Saturday morning. I think I can actually feel that I have lost it as well which is nice!

Today it is as much beef and tomatoes as I like and some of the f'ing soup. I got the soup ration out of the way at breakfast, it's not good eating slightly curry flavoured soup before 7 in the morning.

Tomorrow I get to eat brown rice and vegetables, how interesting...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Happy Birthday

It's MKs birthday today so Happy Birthday to her. She has had lots of presents.

For those of you who have been wondering what I decided to get her, it was a DIY picnic hamper thing and thankfully she seemed pretty chuffed with it.

In "other news" J is walking more and more now although there is a still a lot of crawling and landing on his bottom, the progress is swift. He has also learned to climb onto the sofa so there is no longer anywhere safe from him in the living room. The weekend's project will be putting up some shelves...

Strangely I don't seem to have shed any more weight despite having starved for the last 36 hours.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Diet Day 4

I finished the first batch of soup last night and had to make some more:

I suppose all is going well, apart from a little dressed salad with the raw carrots and tomatoes for lunch yesterday, there was no cheating. This morning I had lost 2,6kg which seems to be a ridiculous amount in 3 days, I guess it must mostly be water and will probably be back on in a few weeks. I hope not

Anyway, I am feeling fine and enjoying todays rations of bananas and skimmed milk (and soup which I had for breakfast).

Tomorrow it is 200-500g of steak and up to 6 tomatoes (and soup of course)! This will be a bit of a challenge as we are eating at MK's grandparents house for her birthday, I will have to try and avoid the cake...

J and I have developed a new game: How many pegs can you get on a bib?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Diet Day 3

I have managed to behave myself reasonably well on the diet for the weekend. Last night I was supposed to have a jacket potato with butter, I actually had 2½ (not enormous though) with Mont D'Or cheese on them and some salad (within the rules)

Anyway, I weighed myself this morning and I am 1,4 kg lighter than I was on Saturday morning before breakfast. Today I can eat only fruit and vegetables along with the soup. I had fruit for breakfast and will brave the salad bar for lunch. Apparently by the end of today I should have lost 2½ to 3½ kg, we'll have to wait and see.

Tomorrow will be challenging: bananas, skimmed milk and soup...

The weekend has been rather domestic as MK was at work all day on Saturday and worked all day at home on Sunday, I am really looking forward to our night off and dinner our next weekend for MK's birthday.

The biggest problem about this dieting thing is the constant obsessing about food, it can't be a good thing!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Accademic blog underway...

If anyone is interested, my PhD proposal (as it currently stands) is now online on my new "williams accademic world" blog that I am working on. It is, as they say "under construction"...

It's very boring so sorry about that...

Diet report

I began the soup based diet yesterday after a little deliberation about the nice things that are sitting in the fridge that I will now probably not get to eat (Mont D'Or cheese for example). The surprising and good news is that the soup is actually quite nice. The less good news is that I prefer my usual cereal for breakfast, but there you go.
Yesterday was soup, fruit and Jeremy to entertain (we had a good day actually). My only small cheat was that I ate two half bananas that J didn't finish, otherwise all was OK although I am hungry this morning. Today is vegetables and soup and a baked potato tonight (with butter!!)
I'll report diet progress during the week along with my other fascinating updates on daily life.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Diet Birthday

The responce to the diet suggestion has been mixed, but I think I will head off to the supermarket later to pick up the ingredients for the soup and get on with it. The only probelm with a set one week diet is that it will run over MKs birthday (if I can get that far...)

My blatant scrounging of a digital camera here, it arrived in the post yesterday and I hope that having a camera with a working battery will mean that I can post more pictures here.

The shopping trip was a big success, my loyal readers will have to wait a few days to get the details... as they say, watch this space!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Birthday present anguish

I just can't decide what to buy MK for her birthday, I have plenty of ideas, but cannot decide between them. I guess I'll have to decide later as I have a bit of time to look this evening.

I am toying with the idea of doing this diet for a week starting on saturday meaning that I can celebrate the end of the diet with our night off parenting on 12th...

Sacred Heart Medical Diet

This 7-day eating plan can be used as often as you like. If correctly followed, it will clean out your system of impurities and give you a feeling of well-being. After only 7 days of this process, you will begin to feel lighter by at least 10 pounds and possibly 17 pounds, and experience an abundance of energy.
1 or 2 cans of stewed tomatoes
3 plus large green onions
1 large can of beef broth (no fat)
1 pkg. Lipton Soup mix (chicken noodle)
1 bunch of celery
2 cans green beans
2 lbs. Carrots
2 Green Peppers
Season with salt, pepper curry, parsley, if desired, or bouillon, hot or Worcestershire sauce. Cut veggies in small to medium pieces. Cover with water. Boil fast for 10 minutes. Reduce to simmer and continue to cook until veggies are tender.
This soup can be eaten anytime you are hungry during the week. Eat as much as you want, whenever you want. This soup will not add calories. The more you eat, the more you will lose. You may want to fill a thermos in the morning if you will be away during the day.

Unsweetened juices
Tea (also herbal)
Cranberry juice
Skim milk
Water, water, water

Any fruit (except bananas). Cantaloupes and watermelon are lower in calories than most other fruits. Eat only soup and fruit today.
All vegetables. Eat until you are stuffed with fresh raw, cooked or canned veggies. Try to eat green leafy veggies and stay away from dry beans, peas or corn. Eat veggies along with the soup. At dinnertime tonight reward yourself with a big baked potato and butter. Don't eat any fruits through today.
Eat all the soup, fruit and veggies you want. Do not have a baked potato. If you have eaten as above for three days and not cheated, you should find that you have lost 5-7 pounds.
Bananas and skim milk: Eat at least 3 bananas and drink as much milk as you can today, along with the soup. Bananas are high in calories and carbohydrates, as is the milk but on this particular day, your body will need the potassium and carbs. Proteins and calcium to lessen the cravings for sweets.
Beef and tomatoes: you may have 10 to 20 ounces of beef and a can of tomatoes, or as many as 6 tomatoes on this day. Eat the soup at least once today.
Beef and veggies, eat to your heart's content of the beef and veggies today. You can even have 2-3 steaks if you like with green leafy veggies but no baked potato. Be sure to eat the soup at least once today.
Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juice and veggies, again, be sure to stuff yourself and eat the soup. You can add cooked veggies to your rice if you wish.

It's almost certainly stupid, but quite a challenge to get through a week of that and I need some practice at stupid callenges...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

We're in the race!

SC and I are in the Nordic 24. It seems that they opened the entry a bit early and we are numbers 3 and 4 on the list here

I guess the next thing is to get some more training done and of course get that new bike...
So here is the secret to getting ready for a punishing 24 hour bike race: Chips
For our new years eve supper, we had Gordon Ramsey's fancy chips

Cut a bulb of garlic in half and put it in a pan with some olive oil and a sprig or two or thyme
Boil some Charlotte (long, thin fancy spuds) for 10 minutes
Drain the potatoes and cut into quarters length-ways (into chips!)
Fry them with the garlic and thyme until golden brown
Serve with plenty of fancy salt
The best chips I've ever made.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Nordic 24

Hopefully by this time tomorrow, I will have a confirmed place in the Nordic 24 hour bike race in the summer. So what do I need to go with that then???

The answer is obvious when you consider the questions from the right perspective (that is the from the point of view of my backside); what I need is a new bike of course.

My current stable only has one hardtail mountainbike in it and if I am to ride off road non-stop for 24 hours then I am going to need something to ease the pain that is inevitably going to occur in the shape of a bouncy full suspension bike.

This is where my friend (and hopefully co-racer) comes in. He is desperate to sell his Cannondale to me for a respectable price so that he can upgrade to something that will better fit his skills, dodgy neck and improved financial status.

Clearly the stars are aligned on this one* as we will be passing his house in our car at Easter as well so MK had better get working on those excuses...

* The evidence that this is meant to be is overwhelming:
  • I like the bike
  • It is the right size
  • I have a reason to buy it this year having not been that interested in mountainbikes for a while
  • We are going to be nearby in our car at the right time
  • It is going to be cheap

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year ramblings

We have been as busy as usual in 2006 although our accomplishments are perhaps less obvious than in previous years, they have pretty much all related to J. There have been no major sporting achievements other than a dabble at road racing on my bike (I'll try again this season) and the progression with the house has been slower. We have however now more or less finished inside of the house and the garden has been transformed. The doors and windows are being fixed at the moment and we hope that 2007 will see the end of the renovations.

J has been great fun and we have enjoyed watching him grow and learn through the year, he has even started taking his first steps in the last few days.

We are now planning for 2007, currently on the cards are the previously mentioned 265km Tour of Flanders in April followed by 2 weeks in Wales (part with my family and partly just the 3 of us) and a 24 hour mountain bike race in Denmark in June that I hope my friend Steve will join me for. First of all we are off to France to ski for a week in February...

We have a few other tricks we are working on depending on the progress of my academic career and a few other details. So look out for us in the coming months