Friday, November 28, 2008

My favourite game

Fantasy real life ©. This is where I try to imagine how I would like life to be in the future, sometimes it is short term and sometimes it is longer term.

At various points, I have dreamed about living in various places and that is still an ongoing theme with Boulder generally being my preferred destination. I don't know if we'll ever be able to manage that, but it would be nice.

In the shorter term, MK and I are already very exciting about our summer holiday for 2009. We had a really nice time last time we were in Vaujany and both love that area of France. This time will be different than previous visits, J was just a bump in 2005 and I had been training for triathlon for a while. This time I am not in such good shape and I need to get some work in to be able to complete these bike races again.

Then there is the very exciting Tour of Austria that I have entered in September which will be a very challenging week indeed.

So the next step after deciding where you want to be at a given point in time is to determine the best way to get there. In my case that means I need to get fit and as is always the case - lose some weight. I had hoped that I would be able to get plenty of exercise over the last couple of weeks, but that has not been the case. However, after the weekend, I will not have to go away again for a while so I can focus on getting into a routine with some more healthy eating and plenty of exercise.

Wish me luck.

The Bloggers Dilema

There are a number of blogs that I check on a daily basis, the first being bigwilliamsworld and the second being gillselevenses, followed by a couple of cyclists blogs and That is generally my minimum surfing during the first half hour of my day.

The non family blogs that I read are updated pretty much every day (as is this one) and the guys who do them are pretty good writers (unlike this one). That means that each day when I click on the link, I am fairly confident that I will have a minute or two of entertainment and distraction in return for my visit.

I try to post here every day and sometimes it is difficult to decide what to write about. Sometimes it is obvious if something interesting (to me at least) is going on in my life then I tend to write about it, but at other times there simply isn't anything interesting going on that I can write about. If I am very busy at work, sometimes there is nothing else going on, other times, work is less hectic, but for some other reason life is quiet, like the last couple of weeks whilst the family has been in England. So is it better to post something boring than nothing at all?

I think it is. There are a couple of reasons for this, firstly, I have no idea what the 50-100 daily visitors are actually interested in. Secondly if I post nothing then people will stop visiting at all and then I may as well stop. Finally, I can decide what I think is worth writing and it is up to you whether you want to read it or not.

I just wish I had more pictures to post when there is little so say, but I don't at the moment. I have packed the camera for this weekend so I hope I can rectify that next week.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Getting ship shape

I have been forced to tidy the house up a bit because the cleaner is coming today. There wasn't much actual mess, just some Christmas present and wrapping paper on the sofa and a load of clean clothes waiting to be ironed. To be honest, there isn't much cleaning required, but I have made sure to make the place as lived in as possible so that she isn't bored.

Last night I went to a hardware store and bought the parts I needed to fit my headset and front brake, both of these were successful and I now have a very sturdy and usable headset press made from 14mm threaded bar, a load of washers, bolts and some bolts hammered into a piece of cut off steerer tube. Unfortunately I don't have enough spacers to get the stem on properly yet and I don't want to cut the steerer tube down yet. I also found that road bikes and mountain bikes have different stops on the end of the brake cables. Guess what? I have the wrong ones. I also decided that my Heath Robinson spacers for the chain ring bolts looks too nasty to live with.

So the bike now has cranks, wheels, brake and loosely fitted stem, bar and brake levers. I think that will be all until next week when I get the missing parts.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Great News

DK is out of plaster again and back in his brace. The doctor in Manchester has ordered him a different brace that he will get next week and then they can come home. Apparently he only needs a check up when we feel like it (that seems odd!)

I'm looking forward to seeing his little feet again.

Slow progress

I started building up the new bike last night, but didn't get very far. My home made headset press was not long enough for the head tube so I couldn't fit the headset. I managed to fit the bottom bracket, get the rear brake on and the rear derailleur, but then I was more or less stuck.

I need some shorted chain ring bolts before I fit the chain set and I couldn't fit the front brake without some spacers that I don't have.

I hope that I'll manage to get to a bike shop and a hardware shop on the way home so that I can get on with it this evening.

MK and the boys are going to Manchester for a hospital visit today, hopefully DK will be out of casts after that, but there is a chance that he will need another week in plaster. Hopefully J will also behave himself for Grandma whilst MK and DK are being seen.

By the way, it is really lonely at home on my own :-(

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Winter Chill

I got back to the airport on time yesterday, but then had to wait 20 minutes for the bike frame to come through and another 30 minutes for a bus to the car park as there were some problems with traffic at the round about up the road. This mean that I didn't get home until after midnight.

Tonight I am looking forward to starting to build up my new bike in the basement, I should ride one of the others on the trainer first as it is a while since my cheeks were in the saddle.

The exciting news from DK is that the place is white over is about 3cm of snow, apparently it will be rather cold tonight but then warm up again tomorrow. Here is the view out of the office window.

Some people are having a better time with sand between their toes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Family Man again

The weekend has been very family oriented! On Saturday we didn't do very much although I managed a quick Christmas shopping trip on my own and then we dozed the rest of the day away. On Sunday we went to Solihull and completed the Christmas shopping for the family in the UK. It is amazing how many family members we have these days!

This afternoon I am heading back to DK for another hectic week of working and preparing to leave again on Friday. Thankfully next weekend I am booked on the direct flight from CPH to BHX so there is no messing around in Amsterdam although I also avoided that on Friday as the CPH to Amsterdam was not really happening so KLM booked me on the direct flight instead. Actually that was a pretty good deal except for the wasted hours in the airport, I arrive more or less on schedule.

I am hoping that my new bike frame will arrive here today before I leave so that I can get it built up before everyone is home again next week, but we'll have to wait and see...

Hopefully I can manage to get or take some more interesting pictures in the near future as I can see this is getting a bit dull.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Bachelor life

It has been a strange week on my own and a rather busy one at work. My evenings at home have been busy sorting out stuff like washing, ironing and preparing for everyone else to come home again.

Normally when I am left alone, the house becomes an unrecognisable tip within the first 20 minutes, this time it took 2 days before it started to go downhill. I've tried to get the worst of it put away, but the sofa has some clean folded and or ironed clothes on it along with a lot of wrapping paper and things, but the rest of the house is still clean and tidy.

Next week I plan on spending my evenings exercising with some degree of commitment and preparing my training plan for the coming year. A training plan to me is a little like a revision timetable that you prepare when you have exams, really it is just something to do to avoid doing whatever it is you should be doing. I am looking forward to getting a bit or routine training in, but nowhere near as much as I am looking forward to seeing the family this evening.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Too much to do

It has been a crazy day at work and now I am ironing and getting ready to go to England tomorrow. I am a bit concerned that the journey will be bad becuase there is snow forcast here, in Holland and in England and I have to get through airports in each of them.

Hopefully all will go according to plan and I can have tea with the rest of the family tomorrow and maybe a beer...

I had planned to spend my evenings cycling and taking it easy, but I have been busy and tired and not managed any exercise at all. The weather has also been awful so the thought of riding to work this week has been far from my mind, having meetings in different offices hasn't helped either.

Let us just hope that there isn't a foot of snow in the morning.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Manchester day again

It's been a busy day at work, but my mind has been in Manchester for much of the day wondering how the rest of the family are getting on. Apparently J is trying his hardest to be put up for adoption at the moment so I hope he has behaved himself and not made the day any more stressful and tiring that it needs to be.

After being out rather late again last night having dinner with M&T, I am looking forward to a night at home this evening catching up on washing and maybe getting some exercise as I don't seem to have much time these days.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blood shot eyes

I got home at about midnight last night and then had a few things that needed to be sorted out before I hit the sack. The result is that I am rather tired today. Thankfully I am going out this afternoon to visit a potential supplier and then I am going to friends for dinner so yet again I will be able to avoid preparing any food for myself.

It was nice to be home in England for the weekend without any pressure to see anyone or do anything. B, E, T and KP came to visit on Saturday and the kids played as nicely together as they can at that age. In the evening I cooked a roast chicken which was made somewhat indigestible by the cacophony that accompanied it. Never mind, I suppose quiet and relaxing meals (and evenings in general) will return at some point in the future.

I've paid my solo entry for the Tour of Austria. What have I got myself into this time???

Monday, November 17, 2008

I think I'm in...

Today was the opening of the registration for the Tour of Austria bike race next September. It turns out that I can enter the race as an individual riding so I have done exactly that. I also entered a team, but having talked to MK, she has decided that she doesn't want to do it, next year at least...

The stages are as follows

Stage 1: 13.09.09 Kirchberg – Neukirchen am Großvenediger 2433 vertical m and 121,86 km

Stage 2: 14.09.09 Neukirchen – Lienz 2539 vertical m and 131,93 km

Stage 3: 15.09.09 Lienz – Hermagor 2445 vertical m and 114,52 km

Stage 4: 16.09.09 Hermagor – St. Michael im Lungau 3664 vertical m and 141,62 km

Stage 5: 17.09.09 St. Michael– Ramsau am Dachstein 1603 vertical m and 100,82 km

Stage 6: 18.09.09 Ramsau – Murau 1854 vertical m and 105,19 km

Stage 7: 19.09.09 Murau – Velden am Wörthersee 1894 vertical m and106,14 km
Total: 16432 vertical m and 822,08 km

When I get home this evening I will make the money transfer and then I think I will officially be and and I can start planning raising some money for charity. I just hope that is some money available given the global recession and all...

This weekend has been very nice and relaxing (well a little bit anyway) but in a couple of hours I am back to the airport and back home to DK so that I can work in the office for the rest of the week. This morning MK and J went to the Shustoke Playgroup for a bit of exercise and screaming. When I went to meet them there was certainly plenty of the latter going on and I can't say it ended a second too soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Amsterdam here I come

I'm off to see the family in England for the weekend and I can only hope that the weather will be better there than it is in Denmark today. Unfortunately, as a consequence of using KLM air miles to pay for my ticket, I will have to kill a couple of hours in Schipol Airport, but I suppose there are worse things that can happen.

The continuing saga of the bike frame that I ordered in June from Germany has taken yet another twist. After hearing that Germany couldn't deliver until "maybe the end of the year" I decided to cancel that order and look elsewhere, that lead me to order another orange Salsa from from Wiggle in the UK. They then contacted me to say that they can't get that either. That leaves me somewhat back where I started. I think I have now been convinced that the solution is one of these:

A Cotic Roadrat. (I can't get the picture to upload and now I have to go - maybe later)

Even I am getting bored with this...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hung Over

We had a team event yesterday at a catering company in Hellerup (next to my old office), we were split into 3 groups of 4 and then had to prepare a course each of a rather nice meal that we all then ate together.

The starter was a langoustine risotto followed by chicken and then a vanilla and white chocolate cream. I filleted a chicken or two, made the bread rolls, peeled some artichokes and then made some chicken ball things wrapped in pigs stomach. The cooking was really good fun and the food was pretty good too. There was plenty of beer whilst we cooked, wine with each course then a digestif and off to a bar for another beer before going home.

Guess what? I drank too much and went to bed very late and am paying the price today.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


MK and the boys seem to have survived the trip to Birmingham although I get the impression that it was pretty hard work. J seems to think that potty training was something that he had to learn to do and then he could forget it (like learning how to use imaginary numbers or writing fortran 77). As a result he is peeing everywhere and apparently had a pooh on the plane although he was thankfully wearing a nappy. He knows when he is going, he just can't quite get around to doing anything about it.

It was very sad leaving them at the airport last night and I was in no hurry to get home to the empty house so I went to see Quantum of Solace.

As my astute mother pointed out, the new Bond film was father humourless and for me that made it rather charmless as well. There was lot of action and some pretty cool stunts and things, but on the whole I think they need to put just a little fun back in and a little more charm. As a general rule Bond films appeal to both men and women, but I think in this case it is a male film with little to entertain women who (sweeping generalisation coming up) want more than just fighting and action from films.

The worst thing about the film was that I ate a big bag of peanut M&Ms so that was my tea (plus a ham sandwich when I got home). As a result I simply had to cycle to work this morning. Thankfully there was a tail wind and it was not raining.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Roof Racks and Rocky Mounts

We need a roof rack for our holidays next year so I am looking for bargains to be had in England whilst I am flying back and forth over the coming weeks. I think I can get the rather slick Thule Airobars for about half of the DK price on Ebay.

But I think the Thule bike rack is over priced and doesn't look that good. Having seen a lot of Rocky Mounts in Boulder (about 50% of cars have them attached) I looked into those and BINGO, they are cool, half the price of Thule and come in nice colours.

I am strangely drawn to the urban camo, but what about a pair - one baby blue and one pink?

Going, going

By the time I get home they'll be gone and the house will be VERY quiet.

Today MK and the boys are heading off to England for a rather extended visit with Grandma and Grandad G so that DK can get his feet fixed by someone who, hopefully, knows exactly what they are doing. I don't envy MK the journey with both of the boys, but I am sure that she'll cope because she just does. It never ceases to amaze me what she can cope with and just keep going. Amazing.

After I drop them at the airport I am planning to go to the cinema and see the new James Bond film so that I have something to write about tomorrow and so that I don't spend the evening completely on my own in the house. Tomorrow I plan to cycle to work and seeing as the sun is not up until 7:34 I'll be leaving in the dark, I just hope it gets a bit light before I get here!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Offensive bikewear

No, not in that way, in this case the offense is based purely on the price, this rather dashing tweed softshell from Rapha is an amazing £450. Having said that, I'd pay quite a lot not to have to wear the tux jersey.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Williams Big Gut

I have started a new blog to monitor and track both my training and weight. If you are interested it is called and there is a link on the right. I intend to post by training, weight and hours of sleep there each day.

That's it really

Friday, November 07, 2008

Makeover time

I thought it was time to add a bit of summery colour to the old blog, there is enough dullness outside at the moment.
Any thoughts?

Horizontal stripes are not flattering

This was last week, but I just noticed how big him tummy looks here. I'll post another at some point soon showing how much he has deflated now. As you could probably imagine, his outlook on life has changed considerably!

A plan's coming together

In my head at least...
My aim is to raise some money to help educate doctors in developing countries to learn to use the Ponseti method for correcting club feet. There are a few charities doing this and I will have a look at them to decide which one I want to raise funds for.

The next challenge is how to raise the money. For the time being I am going to try to get entered in the Trans Austria bike race in September which is a pretty tough 7 day race across Austria (no surprise there) that you enter in pairs. The next part of the challenge is to find a willing and able partner, my first contact is the father of another baby who was born with a club foot who is a keen cyclist. I have no idea if he will be interested, but I'm asking anyway. My initial idea is to sell the advertising space on our Jerseys each day in return for a bit or corporate love and some exposure (hopefully media, not the riders).

The first big hurdle is to get into the race, last time I tried to enter something like this I was 10 minutes late getting to the computer and ended up 600 or so places down the waiting list.

Is there any chance of this working?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I never thought I'd see the Americans elect a coloured guy as president, but they have and I get the feeling that the whole world is breathing a sigh of releaf as a result. Let us just hope that he is able to deliver the change that he has promised.

In other important news, DK is eating well and despite not filling a nappy yesterday, he delivered us a mother load this morning that resulted in not only all of his own clothes, but also most of his mothers being careful removed and put straight into the washing machine. Thankfully he seems to be doing pretty well so MK can concentrate on getting J into his new Børnehave (nursery/Kindergarten) for a little while before going to the UK next week. DK will be in plaster again for a couple of weeks and it will be a trying time for everyone, but in the long run it will be well worth the effort when his little feet look how they should and we can all make an effort at getting on with some normal sort of life for a while. I will be spending the weekends with them in England and hopefully J can join some playgroup from time to time to practice his English so that he can communicate with the other grandparents when they visit at Christmas.
After the failed trip to buy a new snow suit for J, we found this Patagonia one available at Wiggle (on of my favourite online shops) and it is now waiting for his arrival in England.

It has been a tough couple of weeks and we have been left without a great deal of energy or "joie de vivre" by the end of each week. One thing that I have decided to do though based on the last few weeks is to try and raise some money for charities helping parents and kids with club foot. We have been moderately luck with DK in that we have had treatment available to us and we have been able to travel to get further treatment when it proved necessary. There must be many many others who are not that lucky. There are a couple of charities who work in this area: Steps are a small UK based charity who help people with lower limb problems.

Whilst Ponseti international helps to train doctors from developing countries to treat clubfeet so that children will be able to walk and have a normal life.

More on this to follow...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Analytic Cycling

Nerd alert!

There is a great website called that allows you to determined how much faster or slower you will go by changing various things about the way that you ride a bike. The variables that can be changed are almost endless from the coefficient of friction between you and the road, your frontal area (relating to wind resistance), your power output and of course your weight.

I decided that I ought to find out how much weight I need to lose to beat my previous time in the Marmotte bike race next summer by enough to earn a gold award.
Look at this clever chart that shows how much time you save as the road goes up and your weight goes down.
Last time the ride took me about 10½ hours, I was sitting at the side of the road eating or getting food for about 45 minutes so I think I need to find another 45 minutes to an hour in order to reach the 8 hours and 49 minutes required for the gold award. I think I weighed about 100kg last time and I weigh about 105 at the moment.

The race covers 175km with 5000 vertical metres of climbing so if I can get the same level of fitness, guess how much weight I need to lose.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Guess what we did today?

Yes that's right we went to a hospital, this time was again to Roskilde and the reason was for a check up on DK's tummy trouble. He has been eating and pooing well all weekend so we were not too worried about it. After 5 hours we left with a good report for DK's tummy, he has gained a few grammes and is doing well.

The doctor was new to us on Friday and must be about the 10th to see DK. He is, however, the first to take an holistic view of the situation and think about linking all of the bits and pieces together regarding his cleft palate, club feet, missing ball and asymmetrical face. As a result he is interested in trying to see if there is something that can pull together all of these things. One of the steps for this was to have DK photographed - his first full frontal shots at just under 4 months old.

Like his big brother he seems to have already mastered the art of charming all he meets.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Day out

We went to the Zoo today, J was hard work, but that in the end it was not a bad day.

The important thing is that DK has been eating well all day so we are fairly confident that there will not be any problems in that department next week. We just have to make sure that there is enough coming out the other end!