Friday, March 30, 2007

Backed up to the hilt!

No I am not terminally constipated, but I am very happy that my employer decided to implement this automatic back-up program in the office that takes a copy of everything on my PC every once in a while. I had not been in the office for a couple of weeks, but that was recent enough that I had not lost much stuff (photographs were the main worry).

Now I have decided to invest in a small server thing at home to back up our photographs for safe keeping.

I was just going to use this as my representation of a supercomputer, but I suspect that only one person would know what or who it was so here is another "oh so amusing" picture of what our future server room may resemble.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Happy Birthday

To Karen this time.

I had a bad IT day on Monday, the hard disk on one of my work PCs died taking all of our digital pictures with it. Thanfully they are all backed up at the office, but it is a reminder of the importance of backing this stuff up. Anyway there will only be google pics for a few days...

Leeds was fun(ish) and I am looking forward to being on holiday very soon as I now have a ton of books to read after ordering some with the new GPS from Amazon and buying 3 in the airport. Even J got a new book:

Monday, March 26, 2007

All roads lead to Leeds

We I hope they do because I don't really know how to get to the hotel we are staying in and I know that at least 2 of the 4 passengers will take great delight in mocking me if I can't find the place!

J slept for 13 hours last night although it was far from uninterrupted, it is better than the usual 10 hours of interrupted sleep. Thankfully the fever seems to have gone this morning and there was no sign of stuff coming out of his ears... Lovely.

On Friday I finally gave in and (with permission) went and bought some new biking shoes. Since something weird happened to my feet a year or so ago and they changed shape, I have been squeezing my feet into cycling shoes that were much too small. So off I went and bought some of these ridiculous looking things:

I got the white ones as that is the colour that they had in my size. I don't think I could have bought those orange ones though, the white ones are clown shoe enough in a size 48!
They are fantastic, incredible comfortable, no knee aches and no cramped toes. The best erhm cough pounds I have spent on biking stuff for a long time.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Camping holidays

I have been getting over excited about the idea of camping with MK and J for our summer holiday. The original plan was to stay in Denmark for the summer and have a cheap holiday as we have already paid for our flights to the US for Christmas so that will be our expensive trip for the year. However, typically for me, I have expanded the scope of the cheap, stay home holiday.

Firstly it seemed logical that camping would be cheaper than renting a summer house. Well this may be true until you add up the cost of all the gear that we don't have.

Secondly, staying home is cheaper than travelling to say the South of France. Again, true until you decide to take a ferry half way up Norway. (Which is in itself an expensive country)

So there we are as MK has just pointed out to me, we have already planned to spend most of a new kitchen on our cheap holiday.

Maybe I need to got back to the drawing board...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Finally sparked some interest...

The rare, reclusive and often prone Norwegian Blue:

It seems that the talk of holidays and Norway have sparked some interest at last. I am quite excited about our trip but we haven't really decided which part of Norway to see, it is a very big country and it looks like traveling by road is relatively slow. We will probably stay in the south, maybe getting as far north as Bergen. It depends a little on which ferry we take, how long we are going for and what we are sleeping in.

There is a guy outside taking our terrace door off so that he can restore it to it's former glory, who knows how long that will take...

Finally, Happy Birthday Tina, have a great day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Summer Holiday

When you are trying to think of an inexpensive place to go on summer holiday, Scandinavia generally doesn't spring to mind, even when you live here. Norway is probably the least budget conscious friendly destination in the Nordic region, so guess where were planning to go this year?
The current plan to take a ferry from somewhere in Denmark to somewhere in Norway and then go find some fjords. Norway is painfully expensive so there are a couple of things that we are planning to minimise this pain. Firstly we will take as much with us as we can of food, booze etc, secondly we are working on some low cost accommodation for which there are 3 options

1 I have applied to be a mystery shopper with visitnorway which would get us free B&B for the duration in Family hostels

2 Camping huts are like garden sheds with beds that you can rent on camp sites

3 The most optimistic and dare-devil option is that we are seriously considering camping.

The idea of camping with a toddler may be crazy, but we are at least considering it. I'll let you know what we decide...
Pining for the fjords?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Well the sun is shining, but it is still chilly. Not too much to report really, but there are a few photos left over from the zoo, so here we are.

It must have been exciting

He's not crying, just trying to get his hands on that big black turkey thing

Come here!

Monday, March 19, 2007


We had a great day out on Saturday, not to Ikea this time, but to the zoo. It is a long time since I have been to a zoo and it was J's first time ever. He really enjoyed meeting and greeting the animals

A big bird

A small goat

Elephant: Big

Polar Bear: Big (oversized fish box makes the bear look small though)

Rhinos: Big, grey and a little frightening

The local farm

Friday, March 16, 2007

I wonder what this does...

About 10:30 last night:

"The heating is making a lot of noise dear"

"It sounds like there is air in the radiators, I'll just bleed them"

No air came out so I went downstairs to the boiler to have a look...

Apparently what that thing does is let all of the water out of the heating system in one go...

Then I had better work out how to re-fill it then, 20 minutes later, thankfully all seemed to be well and the noise has gone.
MK is very happy now, not only is the heating quiet, but she has also found us a cleaner.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sleep deprived

This has not bee a good week for sleeping so far, hopefully tonight will be better, but we seem to have been saying that for about 18 months now...

Actually the kitchen looks OK in that picture!
After a careful examination of the calendar and the bank accounts, we are considering postponing the kitchen project until the summer, there will be fewer visitors and maybe a little more in the coffers...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


J has been puking all night, it's great to be home!


Indoor safety gear!

Yes just book the flight and tell us when you're coming!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hamburgers again

I am in Hamburg again so I am sorry that I cannot publish any pictures of J's smart new haircut. I'll try to do it tomorrow, but I am very expensive if anyone wants to make an appointment...
Yesterday was eventful in Denmark as BHP (MK's Dad) fell off his bike on the way to work and was taken to hospital to be checked out. Apparently nothing was broken, just bruised pride, ribs, legs etc etc and he is still on the sofa today so MK and J are off to bother him this afternoon.
Get well soon.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Busy Weekend

This weekend, I have cut J's hair with surprising success, we have come a little closer to deciding on the kitchen and I have cycled 120km today.
Another visit to Ikea has confirmed the kitchen and we are probably going to buy a Smeg fridge (from Germany and maybe not this bright green (I hope)) and we are looking at some very funky flooring

The cycling was fn, I was on the bike for more thatn 4 hors, the legs were fine, but my bottom is not at all happy...

Then this evening I have finally made a stew that I am happy with. Pork cheeks cooked in beer with apples, they were delicious as Tim would say, tender and tasty.

Off to Hamburg tomorrow.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Ox tails

After the slightly disappointing Osso Buco cooking a few weeks ago we spotted ox tail at the supermarket last Friday and I decided to have a go at the recipe I had originally planned to do. I knew that oxtail takes some time to cook, but after 3½ hours in the oven the final result was about 6 lumps of bone with a tasty but permanently attached veneer of meat around them. Back to the drawing board on this one, I don't know if it was over or under cooked.

On the positive side, the sauce was great and was really good with the mashed potatoes.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Planning and designing

I have now spent several evenings designing a new kitchen for us and I have to say that it is a pain in the behind (if you want to know more about pains in the behind have a look at my cycling blog). Our kitchen is a slightly odd shape, but I think we have cracked it thanks to Ikea's clever kitchen designing software.

We're going with white (very Scandinavian) with an oak work surface (we wanted walnut, but aren't rich enough, although we may change our minds again on that). We are still to decide on flooring and tiles, oh and the fridge too. Our only real disagreement has been on whether or not we need a new dishwasher so that it is integrated and therefore hidden, I am not bothered, but MK wants it hidden. Guess what, it's going to be hidden.

The plan is to install it in May, but we don't really know yet how much work is involved so it may have to wait until the summer.

Pictures to follow if I can get them out of the Ikea thingy

Monday, March 05, 2007


Another entry in the boring DIY post competition I am afraid...
One of the more positive things to come out of our weekend kitchen shopping expedition was the purchase of some rather neat coat hooks. The backing is teak to match the other wood stuff in the house and the aluminium hooks fold up when there is nothing on them. Genius.
It was MKs idea so that guests don't throw their coats on the floor and we have somewhere to hang mini clothes that can't somehow be in the wardrobe.

Future DIY posts will be concentrating on "The Great Kitchen Project". I bet you can't wait!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Busy bees

We have been very busy, well I have at least so I am sorry for the lack of posts last week.
Firstly, I am very proud of myself for making J a toy cooker so that he can use his mini pots and pans. That kept me entertained for a couple of evenings last week when I should have been cycling.

Then I had to thermo-fit (mould) the liners for my new telemark boots before heading to Laax in Switzerland for a days skiing with work.

How good do you think this bar is?