Friday, June 29, 2007

Competition time

I have been considering for a little while trying to start some sort of occasional competition for my loyal (and not so loyal) readers. I read a reasonable amount and many of the books that I read end up lying around the house getting in the way. I have two ideas, either to start some sort of informal book swapping service so that fellow readers can send books to each other using my blog as a way of communicating (entirely based on faith and honour, no cash involved) or to simply give away my used books to people who ask. The idea being that I post which book I am giving away maybe with a short review and then those who want it leave a comment explaining why they should be the one to get it, I will then decide who to send it to.

Any thoughts?

If anyone has a spare copy of Interpretation of a Murder then please send it to me, I left my half read copy in a hotel in Leeds.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Another JM

Apparently our son has a namesake who is an artist:

I don't think there is an enormous difference between their works!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


What's he got to do with it? I guess you think he would approve of my environmentally friendly choice of mower!

I can't be bothered to take it apart again at the moment, but the clutch linkage is fine, the governor connection seems to be fine, the problem is that there is no connection to the throttle and there are no parts left over. I'll take some pics at the weekend if I motivate myself to take it apart again.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Swearing at lawn mowers

In my time I have hurled a few expletives at various mowers, and as I recall even hurled a mower or two. A week or so ago I had the opportunity to swear at my Danish mower as it decided not to work. After a trans-Atlantic consultation I decided to deal with the shit in the carburettor (how often do I have to do that then?)

That was actually not a problem and easily fixed, but I am apparently not the first person to that the throttle linkage apart and (stop the giggling at the back) and I am certain that there are pieces missing. hence I can't get it working correctly...

After yet a little more swearing I decided that the answer was a new push mower, we have a very old one that only flattens the grass and I like the environmentally friendly, quiet nature of the machine.

What a fantastic idea. I swore at the mower, lavishing it with praise, it is without doubt the best idea I have ever had. I love it and the lawn looks great as a result!
It doesn't look quite like this but you get the idea.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Soooo after a lot of thought and some soul searching, the academic thing seems to be off, I have been trying for well over a year to get Copenhagen Business School interested in giving me about half of what I earn now to work for them. I have finally decided to stay in the real world and earn real money instead.
Speaking of which, I have just been told about my pay review and bonus for the year and it seems that I will have to give even more to the tax man that usual :-)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Good Day

I got an Exceeds Expectations for my year end review. Roll on the bonus!
Maybe need a new bike...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Year End

I just got a sneaky peaky at my year end rating, it looks like I might be getting a bonus after all...

For no reason in particular, here is a picture of J on my shoulders in a car park

Here is a photo of a tram that was given to the Danish tram museum by the Australians when the Crown Prince married Mary (who is of course an Aussi), it was shipped like a giant match-box model on a container ship.

Have a look at BWW for some good shots of the mid west wilderness and a bicycle factory from the outside, I'd love to go in there, maybe we'll make a family trip (only joking family!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Yep, I'm in Leeds again

This time I am staying in the Marriott which is more civilised that the Jury's Inn. Tonight is the last night on a 2 year project for one of the guys here so we're off out for a beer or two...

Home again in the morning to start thinking about going on holiday and getting ready for another attempt at a 24 hour race.

Monday, June 18, 2007

An unplanned trip to Copenhagen

Following the washout of the 24 hour mountainbike race. (Here is Steve on the way home after a full 3 hours of riding and about 2 hours of cleaning!)

That resulted in the rapid destruction of our brake pads (guess which is the new and which is the old one)

So we had an unexpected sleep in a bed and an unplanned sightseeing trip to Copenhagen

But now look what I have found...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Pain is temporary..

Quiting is forever according to Lance Armstrong; well he probably had working brakes when he said that. After 2 laps both Steve and I were metal on metal for our disc brakes and as we both have exotic British Hope brakes, there were no spares to be had anywhere.
This all stemmed from the appalling weather that started the night before the race that lead to a total and utter mud bath. The trail was a deep much mixed with mmuddy streams and the odd lake. This meant that we both fell off a few times although no serious damage was done and the grit ate through out brake pads in no time. No brakes = no riding and a few beers before a warm dry bed at home.
Pics to follow...

Friday, June 15, 2007

The final countdown

Steve and I are preparing for our weekend folly, the Nordic 24. Starting at noon tomorrow we are going to ride round and round a forest north of Copenhagen until noon on Sunday. My plan is to stop for the few hours of darkness, sleep and eat some hot dogs
I ope we will be able to do an update on Sunday and post some pictures, wish us luck...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

New layout

What do you think about the new layout? Let me know becuase I am probably going to go back to the original one. I like the green though, it is nice and calm


I am still in Switzerland, but will be home later to meet Steve and get ready for the 24hour race at the weekend.
This building in the centre of the picture is the Hotel Schiff om Rhein where we stay here in Rheinfelded, I have been on the second floor overlooking the river, sleeping with the windows open hearing the river rushing by. The photograph is taken from the old bridge across the river that forms the boarder between Switzerland and Germany. It's not a bad part of the world.

The mail order package that I was waiting for seems to have been lost by the Danish courier, so I won't be getting my new extra padded gloves to be riding in at the weekend - Bummer!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Narrative Backbone

Apparently Big Williams World is lacking narrative backbone; this has lead me to wonder if this is something that could or should be considered more carefully here. I try to explain what is going on and I hope that it follows my life with a similar logic or lack thereof...
Yesterday MK had a tortuous 1½hour journey to work and had to start her first meeting from the car. 15 minutes after that meeting ended the nursery called her to say that J had a fever so she had to go home to get him. Bummer!
Hopefully the little guy is better today as MK is working from home and having him around has a serious impact on ones productivity...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Health food Danish style

The French insist that you won't get fat eating cheese as long as you always have wine with it. I just wonder if the Danes would insist that you won't get fat eating stegt flæsk as long as you have enough beer with it...

We didn't feel like cooking last night so we went to a local kro (I think bar is the best translation, but it's not quite the same) and had this national speciality.

It is fried fatty bits of pork that you eat with boiled potatoes and parsley sauce. It is of course delicious, but you can feel it clogging your arteries with each mouthful.

J had sausage and chips, he used the chips to get the remoulade (mayonnaise stuff with bits of cabbage and pickly stuff in it) into his mouth until he realised that his finger worked more efficiently.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Wedding

The weather has been fantastic this weekend and the pollen count has been fantastically high too

The wedding in Copenhagen was great although warm, we were melting in the church and rather warm in the restaurant, but the boat trip around the harbour was very refreshing, possibly as a result of the cold champagne...

There was great food and wine and we had a generally a good time but without J for a bit of a change. It was nice to stay in a hotel and the air conditioning was very welcome last night, however,to make some sort of point in our absence, J appears to have slept until 8 this morning!!!

MK was stunningly glamorous as ever

And I was happy to still fit into some of my clothes

Friday, June 08, 2007

Pics of J as requested

Looking for trouble
Eating as usual
Playing hide and seek on a tram
and finally trying to escape!

Here are some recent ones (maybe including trams)

Book reviews

I am reading "This book will save your life" although my copy has more interesting doughnuts on the cover, it guess the contents are the same. It is really very good, I heartily recommend it to both GCN and EM who have been after book recommendations. I think WRM would also enjoy it although I am hesitant to recommend it to him for fear that he will see some similarities...

I have read a few books recently but this is the best of the bunch. The William Boyd book called restless was also very good, but not quite as good as my favourite book of his, Any Human Heart. (The New Confessions was good but a bit long)

Finally there is Mr Norrel and Jonathan Strange, this was very long (over 1000 pages of small print) and took a long time to read but was worth the effort, a sort of Harry Potter for grown ups with a bigger vocabulary. This one is certainly not for WRM, but may be something for a newly retired school teacher with plenty of time... maybe not, I don't really know.

Tram Museum

We went to the local tram museum on Tuesday as it was a public holiday of sorts and the weather was nice. I haven't had a chance to download the pics yet, but suffice to say there were plenty of trams there. I had not previously appreciated how similar trams are to each other, unfortunately not making for the most interesting of museums. The place was also run by nerds as their own giant train set.
We had a ride on a tram or two, J had a lot of fun playing hide and seek (he's not very good at it though) and we ate ice creams, I suppose there are much worse ways to spend an afternoon.
Tomorrow we're off the the wedding in Copenhagen, the reception is on a boat and to top it all off we are staying in a hotel! I'll try to take some pictures, but I am not promising to get around to posting them!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Switzerland Calling

I am having a lovely time in sunny Switzerland at the moment, but normal service will continue tomorrow.
For those of you who are interested, the mountainbiking in the dark was just as terifying as you may expect, made worse by the man eating mosquitos.
Until tomorrow...

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Moutnainbiking in the dark

In a couple of weeks I am riding in a 24 hour mountainbike race as I may have mentioned before. Part of the challenge of such a race is that at some point it will get dark. There are a couple of choices that are open to you at this point, either carry on or stop.

Carrying on involves the use of lights, I have some of these although the batteries will only give me about 1½ hours of riding. The only problem here is that I have never tried riding off road in the dark before. I am planning to use them in the race, but I think I should practice a bit first and herein lies a problem. I can't seem to get myself together to go out riding at 10 o'clock in the evening. Tonight I will try again as it is a bank holiday (again) here tomorrow.

I'll try to report back if I survive.

I have been reading the fat cyclists blog for some time, the guy is quite witty and if you are interested in cycling I think that seems to combine to give 5 minutes of entertainment most days. Unfortunately for him, his wife has cancer and to my own surprise, this has effected me somewhat. I have been dwelling a little on how difficult it must be for his family to carry on as normal, but he seems to be making a good fist of it. Have a look if you like, I think it is my favourite blog. (I have ordered one of the pink Jersies from TwinSix that are supporting him and his wife, all proceeds are for charity)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Night off

We have decided that we will stay in Copenhagen after Amanda and Thomas's wedding so yesterday I managed to get a good deal on the SAS Royal hotel. I am quite excited to be staying there as it is the hotel that Arne Jacobsen designed including all of the now famous furniture specifically to go in it. I'll try to remember to get some photos... (sorry these are not good)
Reception above and the Egg chair below