Friday, August 31, 2007


Someone at K&Ls wedding mentioned facebook, the rapidly growing, next big thing social networking site that everyone simply must join. I was sceptical (for a change) but had a look anyway.
This is great. It started within US universities but as these people graduated, it has grown into a world wide thing. You join and then look for your friends and are amazed to see that many of them are

A: Members

B: Parents

C: Look older than when you last saw them.

You can post pictures, videos and all sorts of other crap. I love it.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Birthday Present?

It's my birthday in a month or so. I don't think I want one of these Wenger Swiss army knives. It has 80 attachments and costs an amazing £500!!!! At some point in my life that would have been the coolest thing I had EVER seen!

Kitchen Warfare

It is decided, I will spend November fitting a new kitchen. Actually I am fitting half a kitchen and renovating half a kitchen and totally redecorating the entire thing. New floors, the lot.
I am somewhat apprehensive about this so if anyone (useful) wants to come and lend a hand for a few days then you are more than welcome!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Poznan again

I am back in Poland for the first time in quite a while. It is really not such a bad place! We worked until 7 and then went for a little shopping and eating in the city centre.

The hotel is next to the office and it is a pleasant 20 minute walk to the centre. All in all, not bad!

I had nice veal with mushrooms

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sleeping in

At the weekend we generally try to sleep as long as possible. This means that J comes into our bed when he wakes up and MK tries to get him to go back to sleep. He will often fall asleep again, but usually fiddling with MK's hair and lying on her head.
I took this picture in the dark, the flash was the only light there so I hadn't realised exactly what MK has been going through to get him asleep.
At the other end of the story, I am generally getting kicked by the little angel at this point in proceedings too.
After half an hour, he usually just sits up and starts demanding food in Danish. "mad? mad mad mad?"

Tidying up

This weekend we have done quite a few things.

I finally bought new speaker cables to connect the speakers that we imported in July. They both look and sound good

We bought (and I built) a free standing kitchen unit and have decided that we like it so much, we are going to follow the theme through the rest of the kitchen (although one side of the room will not be changed)

Before: A breakfast bar we couldn't use

After: More space and more neatness

I have also finished the undercoat on the living room windows so hopefully another good weekend and that will be done...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Mum and ajen

OK, i know it was the 25th, but Happy Birthday anyway.
I hope you had a good day wherever you are in the world!

Friday, August 24, 2007

The New Chair

We made a "quick" stop at Ikea last night to get an office chair since the last one died some months ago and it is very uncomfortable working from home on the old crappy chair.

So here it is:

It's called Jerrik and contrary to popular belief, it was not cheap!

We also say some free standing kitchen units that I am afraid the wife was rather taken with...

I love it when a plan comes together

As the great man said...
It looks like things are starting to fall into place for a few changes. I just hope the weather holds out for the weekends painting...
There isn't too much to report in the actual world today, but I can reveal that we are planning a weekend in Hamburg for my birthday weekend (minus J) if we can get a babysitter. WOW

Thursday, August 23, 2007

In Limbo

I am not a patient person even at the best of times. At the moment, however I am waiting for various things to fall into place and I hate waiting.

When something I am expecting arrives in the post this week, I will be able to do some other things which could have knock-on consequences all over the place. Do you follow?
I want to know which of these consequences will happen and which won't but until I can kick-off the process with my mystery letter, all I can do is wait and watch the paint around the windows dry...

In the meantime, I am fantasizing about buying watches and bikes, but doing neither, at the moment I want these two:

The watch I can have, the bike apparently not (yet)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Notebook disaster

I normally work with 2 notebook PCs, one is mine the other is the the clients. This morning I managed to knock over a bottle of Coke Zero onto my 2 month old PC.
It doesn't work any more. Damn. I have sat it on the windowsill in the sun hoping it will dry out, but I have a suspicion that it may be a terminal problem.
On the bright side, at least there is no sugar in this Coke Zero stuff!


An hour in the sun on the windowsill and it has dried out and working perfectly. Apparently today the sun is shining on my righteous PC!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The fool

I believe there is a famous quote about a fool not being someone who makes mistakes, but someone who fails to learn from them. If that is the definition, then I am a fool!

On Saturday I was painting the frame of our newly repaired window, yes the one that broke when the wind caught it and swung it open into the drainpipe.
Apparently a heavy garden chair is not enough to contain the wind under these circumstances, so the three of us heard the smash from the other side of the house. There it was, a chair lying down (in shame I like to think) and a million shards of new, expensive thermo-glass.

Another £200 lesson in being a "¤#%&{£ing &*ØÆÅ%¤&!"

On the other hand we had a productive weekend and we also learned that J can climb right to the top of a ladder but is not so good at getting down.
Here is J in his new Boulder T-shirt reading about Spot at school

Monday, August 20, 2007

Head Shock!

I finally fitted the new brake pads to my mountainbike at the weekend only to find that the suspension in the headset (front!) has completely seized up. Apparently these things are almost impossible to fix on your own and I don't even have the tool to take it apart. Bummer.
Perhaps the only solution is to upgrade to a lefty...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Grand Designs

For those of you who don't know, Grand Designs is a British TV series that follows people building or having built their dream homes. It has been a huge success and I think is inspiring people to pursue their dreams of building interesting houses.
At some point in our lives, I think it would be fun to build a house. By that I realise that fun is exactly what it would not be, but the sense of achievement and the fact of having exactly what you want afterwards would be huge.
Firstly we have to decide where and we are not even sure of the right country yet...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Harry Potter

I think there has been enough introspection for a little while and we have reached some conclusions at home. Thankfully.

Last night we escaped the parental duties and went to the cinema (movies for my Amreican readers) to see Haryr Potter and the Order of the Pheonix.

The film was quite good, but given the depth that the book goes into, this is really little more than a precis of the story with little explanation about why anything happens and what the consequenses or various actions may be. I think you can safely assume that the film would make no sense if you had not see the first 3 and that to get the most out of it you should have read the book. The problem with having read the book is that you know what will happen. There was also a small dissapointment for me that Tonks was just not as attractive as I had expected her to be.

On the whole I think it gets 6/10.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Slowing Down

Continuing from yesterdays self indulgence. I have been thinking increasingly about some form of sustainability in the way that we live (that is our little family, not the world as a whole) .
Our needs are actually not extravagant, other than our expenditure on air fares that eats a lot of our spending, we live in a modest manner. That appears to be sufficient for us, we are not hankering after luxury homes, cars or whatever else is available (except bicycles).
So what do we need? How much is enough and how many material benefits are we willing to sacrifice in order to slow down and enjoy life more?
Not easy to answer...
The decision at the moment seems to be more about a possible but not guaranteed compromise of future income rather than an immediate departure from a life of comfort.
Reconciling this is difficult for me having been brought up in a society that places great importance on job and status, both of which are intrinsically linked to income. Is a down-shift a waste of an opportunity or is it taking an opportunity?

I am much more hesitant to post this than normal, I don't know why...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ruminations on life

Over the course of the past year or so I have spent too much time trying to decide life's next step should be. I am not someone who seems happy to stick with the status quo for very long before needing a change and I seem to have managed only a few years in a few different circumstances before looking for new challenges or problems whichever you wish to call them. I am starting to feel the need for a change again.

So before setting out for a new patch of greener grass, perhaps it is important to try and define exactly what constitutes green grass and what makes one patch greener than another?
Given that being rich without working is apparently not an option, it seems that some sort of employment is essential for survival, this should include some (but not too much) intellectual challenge, travel and stress. Some financial reward is essential, but all I really need is enough for a reasonable house and standard of living, transport, an adequate pension, at least one really nice bike and some time to ride them.
This is more complicated given our family's geographical situation, we will never be near to all of them so there will always be some compromise on that front. Given that, what makes a place nice to live in? Landscape (ie mountains), food, cost of living, ease of commuting, education, health care, tax and plenty of others.
What has all of this added up to? So far, I don't know, but I am thinking about it. A lot.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Running in Switzerland

This is Rheinfelden in Switzerland, it is a rather quaint little town with a big brewery. I am here for the night, maybe for the last time and I have been inspired to do something that I have not done for two years. I am going to go for a run. On each of my previous visits this summer, we have sat over the Rhein drinking beer and watched groups run over the bridge next to the hotel into Germany, along to the next bridge and back into Switzerland. When I was packing last night, it occurred to me that as this could be my last chance, I should have a go.

The last time I ran was 30km in the World Long Distance Triathlon Championships in August 2005. I suspect this will, in some ways seem harder.

This was the winner, but you get the idea!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Busy bees

We had a busy weekend, finally getting some painting done on Sunday. The weather was crap on Saturday to coincide with the Ringsted festival of course, but we managed to hear most of it from the comfort of our own home! The Canadians cam to have dinner with us and I even managed a decent bike ride on Sunday morning.
Now everyone is back from their holidays and my workload has suddenly gone through the roof, so this will have to be a short one.

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's the weekend


Tomorrow I am have my hair cut and that's about it for the plans. We can get on with the painting and enjoy the rain :-(

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Back on our own again

This morning I had to get up rather earlier than I generally do to take Mum to the airport. It has been really nice having her staying with us and J seems to have enjoyed it too. Yesterday MK was off work as well so there was a trip to the beach organised. Apparently it rained a lot but it seems that they all had fun.
Not much to report from me today so I'll just post a picture or two from the files...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tennis Rackets

It took us a while to get around to finding a tennis shop, but we managed it today in Hellerup. As a result Mum (who blogs here) owns a Prince O3 blue tennis racket and is all set to hit the courts when she gets back home. We are looking forward to tales of tennis, tea and something else beginning with T such as Tupperware, Tablecloths or Tricycles...
I can't wait.
By the way, please note that there was an appalling spelling mistake in Gill's Elevensies original URL and she can now be found at the correct spelling
For today only, it may be worth a visit as I have donated some photographs!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Yet another new blog to fill your dreary days

Have a look over here for some full-on entertainment.

Gills Elevensies

Great weekend

We had a really great weekend, to kick things off I managed to get out on my bike on Friday evening for the first time since we were in Boulder.

Saturday was the big day, firstly Mum, J and I went to watch the finish of the Tour of Denmark bike race in Ringsted. (I suspect I was more interested than these guys were!)

Then we went to the big wedding, everything went perfectly and we got to talk to some very nice interesting people, eat cake and drink champagne

In the evening there was another "do" with lots of good food, wine and plenty of speeches. Whilst Mum and J went home to bed.

On Sunday we all went back for brunch and then the 4 of us hit the beach to soak up the sunshine on the first day of good weather for a couple of months.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Baby Sitting

We have a resident baby sitter for the week, even better, one that came bearing gifts! So this afternoon I will get to ride my bike in the broken sunshine and enjoy the extra company this evening.

Tomorrow is THE wedding so let us all hope for good weather and quiet children in church...

I now have a set of Thomson twins, namely a reclaimed X4 stem on the Pompino
and an X2 on the Cannondale

Thursday, August 02, 2007


My motivational issues (as consultants and Americans may call it) actually has nothing to do with my work (which I don't think a robot will be doing for a while yet!). My lack of motivation is relating to exercise, I just can't make myself overcome the crappy excuses that are always available.

Here is a long winded explanation of my excuse:

A typical day involves getting out of bed shortly after 6, washing, eating and getting J out the door to nursery in time to get the train at 8. At the moment there is no way that I am getting up at 5 to train before all of that. The evening is a shared combination of looking after J, cooking and then bathing him and putting him to bed at about 8. We have decided that it is important to eat together so that really means (allowing some time for digestion) that the first time I can get out is after 8, but hang on! Isn't that the first moment of the day when MK and I can actually relax and talk to each other? Yes is it and a I am generally rather lethargic by then too.

So without having read this book, here is what I plan to do. Fit the new stem to my bike that some kind old lady is delivering today, and ride the damned thing every day (if at all possible) either early in the morning or before bed, but no excuses.
I'll let you know how I get on...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


A couple of weeks ago we had the pleasure of eating at the Chataqua dining hall a couple of times (Lunch and breakfast as I recall) and it is really a lovely place to eat. You sit on the deck and get treated to great views and pretty good food served by slightly weird young guys and less weird girls.

The place has been open since 1890 something and has probably not changes a great deal since then. Here is some evidence that we were there:

It really is a treat to be able to walk around the corner to a place like this and just sit and relax for a while, good honest holiday stuff:

I guess if we go back there at Christmas it will be a totally different story, but perhaps one we should try...
Here we are last August: