Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Occasionally you buy something expecting it to join your list of things that are a joy to own only to be disappointed by them in the long run. Perhaps that is part of the charm of your favourite things, you don't really know what they are until you have them.
Before I am accused of being materialistic, I do understand that these material possessions are not important, they are just nice little things!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I didn't find them. There are blue and white and I expect that they stood out somewhat like a saw thumb on the forest floor to such an extent that the next person along will have found them and picked them up. They had a lucky day I suppose, whilst I did not. On the bright side I did get to spend another couple of hours riding around the trails and honing my skills for next weekend when I plan on putting them on the line along with my questionable fitness in an effort to finish in the middle half of the Rivette SRAM H12 solo male category. I can't wait!
Before then I need to find some good race food, that is something that I can digest relatively easily possibly whilst cycling and that I won't get completely sick of (in any respect) before the end of the race.
Thankfully J and I have Friday off together (nursery is closed for the day) so we can whip up some delicious flapjacks with lots of dried fruit, some nuts and maybe a little chocolate. I am also planning some sandwiches, bananas, coke, salted almonds and copious quantities of Maxim energy drink.
After last nights failed search for my glasses I consoled myself by ordering a new pair of mountain bike shoes to relieve my squashed toes, I just hope they arrive before the weekend...
Monday, April 28, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
browned butter, cucumber & horseradish
celeriac, macadamia nuts & onions
Baked Lemon Sole
leak, skagen ham & apples
carrot, morels & dandelion
Lamb in ash
barley, jerusalem artichoke & star anis
malt, tonga & pear
Thursday, April 24, 2008
There is a terminal failure of the fabric in the crotch so I am going to have to sit carefully in meetings and remember to bin them when I get home. I am more than a little disappointed that these jeans are dead already as I have only had them since last autumn and not worn them too many times. The moral of the story for me is not to buy Matinique jeans from their outlet in Poland, I am just happy that I didn't pay their normal rather high prices.
Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary so we have a night off and are going out for dinner in CPH.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Todays shirt and tie combination is much more rewarding than yesterdays although it is somewhat outrageous compared with the conservative Italians
I also spent a week in Lugano and found that a little disappointing too mostly in terms of the food!
However, I am just south of Milan at the moment and am having a completely different experience. The people here have been very friendly and welcoming, we had an excellent meal of fish antipasti, fish with fresh pasta and fish primo plati with very nice wines. I am not dreading coming back again!
In other news, MK and I have decided that we will take J's little brother to Iowa for treatment all being well when he turns up. It looks like our cheap summer at home painting the outside of the house is out of the window again...
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
After my bike trip yesterday I left my wallet in the car which MK then drove to work this morning so I am inconveniencing MK to bring it to me on the way home from work. I didn't realise it was missing until I was about to leave home so I missed the train and consequently the bus and had to walk for half an hour to get to the office.
I also managed to leave my rather expensive Oakley sunglasses on the train.
All in all, today is not going well so far...
We have been busy in the garden, creating Vegetable patch 2.0 now with a path so that MK and J can grow lots of peas, fennel and maybe some potatoes. It was very exciting to be able to fork some of our own home-made compost into the new bits of the patch as well.
My contribution to the garden was to plant three gooseberry bushes and sew some lupins and foxgloves to add a little colour to the garden. So far all of our planting has been edible stuff so I decided that we need a bit of frivolity. I have also pulled hundreds of dandelions out of the lawn and the hedge.
We had the annual Anemone tour to the forest with T&B followed by a delicious and well earned meal.
On Sunday afternoon I managed to find enough time and energy for a mountainbike ride in the forest. I was very happy to find that the trails are as dry or dryer than they were last June. I am still really happy with my new bike and out in the sunshine, it was a fantastic way to end a very nice relaxing weekend.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
- Giving up soft drinks about 95% of the time. I can't remember the last coke, diet or normal that I drank.
- I have not been drinking beer or any other alcohol on a regular basis
- More or less stopping eating snacks in front of the TV after dinner
- Avoiding putting chocolate and other sugary temptations in front of myself.
- Cutting down on my intake of starchy food like potatoes, rice and pasta at lunchtimes
- Cutting out sugar altogether. I suspect that this is like stopping breathing.
- Not eating sweets or other treats that are put in front of me by other people. I blame this on my upbringing - I think it is simply rude to say no thanks when offered a cake
- I can't cut out all starchy food in the evenings because that's what people eat in this part of the world and I am pretty hungry when I get home from work leading to the biggest problem:
- I keep snacking when I get home. I try to make sure that there is nothing worth eating in the cupboards, but my ingenuity and live of dry breakfast cereal seems to get the better of me on a regular basis
Michael "The Chicken" Rasmussen - Danish almost winner of the Tour de France.
By way of showing off a little, I cycled home from work last night in just over 1½ hours with a tail wind in the sunshine. This morning I cycled back to work into the wind with persistent rain. It was not fun at all and took 1:45.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Iowa City is the home of Dr Ponseti who is recognised as the worlds leading expert in correcting club feet and who treats patients for free at the University Hospital. In terms of treatment, his are the safest hands in the world, but Iowa is a long way from home.
Iowa City and Iowa University
Manchester is home to Dr Davis who is a certified Ponseti doctor and seems to be the most recognised person in the UK for treatment. However we don't live in the UK and there may be some issues in getting treatment there and it is still some way from home although we have family nearer and the there would be fewer problems getting back for check ups...
Manchester and the Booth Hall Childrens Hospital
We are really struggling to decided what to do right now, but it is nice to know that we have the luxury of options and that we are fortunate enough to know in advance what is on the cards...
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
On Sunday afternoon we piled into the van again and went to Copenhagen to visit some "new friends". I sparked a wave of controversy last week when I mentioned out plans to interview new friends, but I can now announce both the reasons and the results on the interview. Firstly they were very nice people and were watching the Paris - Roubaix bike race when we got there so I didn't have to miss yet another exciting bike race, secondly they were very helpful and informative on the subject of club feet and treatment in Denmark.
When we had the second scan done on our unborn child at about 20 weeks into the pregnancy, the doctors could see that it has 2 club feet and will need to have some treatment to correct that in the first years of his life. We of course went home and began researching how this correction is done and it turns out that there are several methods that can be sued. The most popular these days being a non surgical method know as the Ponseti method. Using this method, Dr Ponseti has a 98% success rate in correcting club feet and because he doesn't perform surgery, the long term results are very good. This is because the scar tissue resulting from surgery causes problems in later life. The Ponseti method uses a series of plaster casts over a couple of months from shortly after birth and continues with wearing braces for a couple of years, latterly only when asleep.
This is where things get complicated. The doctors in Denmark don't see many babies with clubfoot as it only affects 1 in1000 births. The Ponseti method is used, but apparently not well and the success rate is 60% so we have been researching our options. The people we met on Sunday have just come home from the US having gone there when the Danish doctors couldn't fix their babies foot and decided that they couldn't do any more to help without surgery. Doctor Ponseti (who is now 93) offers free treatment to anyone with club foot who goes to Iowa and has already told us that "To my knowledge there are no doctors successfully using the Ponseti technique in Denmark". We are investigating other options in Europe, but at the moment it looks like we will be spending a month or so in Iowa this summer...
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
MK and J both have colds and I was shattered yesterday so I decided to take a night off riding in an attempt to avoid getting the cold. I have a feeling that I have failed as I am starting to feel under the weather already but we'll have to wait and see.
This morning also saw the driving of another nail into the coffin of our car. The wipers apparently failed to work so MK has taken it to the garage to be fixed. As the warranty is finished I expect that they'll charge us a fortune for fixing it and there is probably not much wrong. I am never buying another Peugeot.
Monday, April 07, 2008
So after I cooked the 25kr ($5) per bite lamb chops ( that was 3 chops for 150kr or $30!) and we scoffed them with some mash, cabbage and sauted spring onions I shucked the Mamasita in the car and hit the road.
What a fantastic idea that was. It was a lovely evening and I finally got to test out the hand me down lights that WRM gave me. They work really well although I was completely terrified of getting lost. I don't know the woods that well and when you shine a light around in the trees, it all looks the same.
Thankfully I got back to the car without too much difficulty and got nearly 2 hours of lovely fragrant forest riding it. I think I am more happy with this new bike than any other I have had so far.
I tried out my new phone camera as it was in my pocket anyway and the result are not bad considering that the lens is about 3m across although it is 2 mega pixels apparently
Sunday, April 06, 2008
The haircut is good I think, nice and short and none of that Swedish hockey hair thing going on any more. I also managed to cut J's hair without too much trauma.
I only rode my bike once and only for an hour although it was pretty intense.
I cut the lawn which was HARD work with the push mower. Several kind people walking past were kind enough to point out that it was hard work because I had let it get too long. What would we do without the advice of passing gardeners?
Oh yes, enjoy gardening just a little more.
On Saturday night I cooked rather a nice meal, steak with fresh herb butter followed by my new invention PBJB&BP (peanut butter and jam (or jelly to some) bread and butter pudding). First reactions were mixed, but I think it was actually pretty good for a change. I still need to work on my savoury versions.
Sunday was spent at T's birthday party in Sorø, there was lots of food and a lot of songs. J was well behaved and as someone may have once said: I think they all enjoyed themselves.
I'm in an introductory course all day Monday, hence the Sunday evening post
Friday, April 04, 2008
This week has been something of a shock to the system for me as I have had to work every day and for more than 8 hours on some of them! I am not sure I will ever get used to this "having a job" and certainly find it an inconvenient intrusion on my free time.
This weekend should provide ample opportunities for interesting diversion ans so far I have planned the following
- Haircut (at the unpleasantly early time of 08:00 on Saturday)
- A trip to the tip with some cardboard
- A trip to the supermarket so that I can fall out with J in public
- Mow the lawn for the first time (a big job no doubt)
- A bike ride to try and return myself to a human state
- Another bike ride in preparation for the big event of the day
- Big family birthday party
- Missing the Tour of Flanders
Admittedly this last point is more of a non-event than an event, but it is the first of the Belgian Classic bike races and I am looking forward to it having ridden the course last year (you can read about that here). This year I have a feeling that Tom Boonen will be able to pull something out of the bag, but it is a great race and for me really gets the cycling season into full swing. The evenings are lighter in theory it is getting warmer and soon I can even think about wearing shorts for the first time since 2006.
One good thing about working hard during the week is that you appreciate the weekend all the more...
Thursday, April 03, 2008
I couldn't find a picture of anything as unappetising as the dish I am describing - sorry!
Two things sprang immediately to mind as I helped myself to a splat of the orange gunge that constituted lunch today: The first was that this would not be a memorable meal for any good reasons and the second was to be thankful that the visiting Italians had gone home before they were subjected to this affront to their cuisine.
If I were forced to guess as to how this dish had been made, then it would be
- Put a layer of lasagna in a dish
- Place cheap watery chicken breasts over the lasagna
- Pour over several tins of cheap cream of tomato soup
- Cover with another layer of lasagna
- Top with packet white sauce and some grated cheese
- Cook for too long in a medium hot oven
This is fusion cuisine gone wrong on every level
When looking for a picture of disgusting chicken, this little chap turned up. I feel a bit sorry for him really and he must be cold most of the time. He deserves better than to be turned into lasagna, at least he could be deep fried or made into a nice curry...
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
I got to bed at 01:00 and wake up again at 6 to get to the office at 08:00. 11 hours later I am still here having sat in a meeting for the whole day.
Bleary eyes all round
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Firstly Happy Birthday George, have a good day and don't forget to buy cakes for everyone at work!
At the weekend we decided to have a look for some new shoes for J as the weather is warming up and he'll need to get out of the wool and goretex boots before we go to England in May where we plan to buy him some summer shoes. After the customary screaming blue murder, crying and filling his nappy with some unholy smelling materials, we finally settled on these.
They were in the sale so we saved 25% making them only moderately ridiculously expensive. What came as something of a surprise to us was that fact that they are the same size as the winter boots we bought in November. How much too big must they have been that they are the right size for new shoes now - 5 months later? I suppose the Danish way is that kids get 2 pairs of shoes a year so they need plenty of space, but I can't believe that it is the best for their little feet. In the future we'll be a bit more aware that we're not being sold shoes at least 2 sizes too big.