Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Birthday

After a busy Birthday I nearly forgot to post the traditional Happy Birthday message.

Here is the Birthday boy in a familiar pose, but with an alternate phone...

Christmas Pics

Sants little helper

MKs new vest

DK being held as a captive audience for the iphone

DKs new high chair, he's not quite ready for it yet.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Christmas

I don't suppose I will be posting anything for the next few days, I hope that everyone who may happen upon this page has a happy Christmas.
D&M arrived safely yesterday afternoon bearing gifts of US mail ordered cycling gear and my new watch that I was given for my birthday.
This evening we are making pizzas and taking it easy, hopefully tomorrow will be much like today in that the sun is shining and there is not a 50kmph wind.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's getting better every day

Yesterday was the shortest day. That means that today will be longer and tomorrow longer again. This is officially when the light at the end of the tunnel is turned on. Unfortunately it is only visible from the end of February onwards...

Getting Ready

The swimming on Friday was quite a success although D didn't really seem to react to the water much. J had a good time with his mum for a long time whilst D and I waited for the lifeguard to take our locker apart to open it. Given that we paid about £14 to get it, I suppose it was about £1 per minute in the water and then a free shower...

Saturday was a very windy and rather cold day, I manager to get 4 flat tyres whilst only cycling about 3 km and at that stage decided that the bike ride really wasn't supposed to happen. Later in the day we went to buy a tree. J was very excited until he had been in the car for 30 seconds when he fell asleep. By the time we arrived at the place where we had to choose a tree, he was so fast asleep that we we're able to wake him at all.

We put the massive tree on the car and took it home. After a little hacking and sawing at the trunk and a little at my hand the tree is standing proudly in the living room. J and I decorated it yesterday and we can now get used to the fact that it half fills the house.

Tomorrow = making pizza = exciting!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Tonight we are planning to take both of the boys swimming for the first time. It is a long while since I last took J to the pool, but it will be Ds first experience. Now that he is out of casts, we get an hour a day when he can be freed from his brace and kick around as he pleases.

There are four pools at our local baths, one cool and roped for swimming lengths (or laps to the Americans), a kids pool pool for little ones, a bigger play pool with a slide and finally a hot water pool in another room that is for babies, handicapped users and I guess old people. I hope the warmth is not a direct result of the incontinence of the users, but I guess that will take a taste test to determine!

We are planning a weekend of festive preparations and hopefully getting a bit of fresh air together at some point. I am looking forward to a few easy days. Maybe we'll even get an upside down Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The eyes may have it but the ears don't

Yesterday DK was taken to the ear doctor to have his lug holes cleaned out before going to the hospital today for another ear test/examination. The ear doctor is the same guy who has been dealing with J's ears and seems to be pretty good. He had a look and said that there is no way he can hear properly with that amount of fluid still in his ears so firstly there is no point in more testing for now and secondly we need to get it out.

The result is that he is having drains put in his ears in a couple of weeks which will hopefully allow him to hear properly.

I am personally really annoyed that this seems to be yet another example of the inability of different parts of the health system to communicate with one another.

The ear doctors at the hospital have never measured the under pressure in his ears (caused by the fluid) and have done nothing other than repeatedly and apparently incompetently trying to test his hearing.

Hopefully this will work and he will be able to hear better afterwards. On the other hand I am not sure his life will be improved too much by being able to hear all of the commotion that is going on in the house most of the time...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I am somewhat perplexed about my current levels of karma. Last week whilst I was riding my bike home from work I had a flat tyre. Now that is not a good thing and given that the tyres were new and I have never had a flat with that type of tyre before I was a little irritated. However, given that my route home is predominantly unlit and uninhabited, I was very lucky that it happened where I could shelter from the rain and see what I was doing outside an estate agent's window.

This morning I rode to work again and made it almost all the way to the office without incident. Unfortunately I got a slow puncture about 2km from the office. I stopped and blew it up rather than replacing the tube and set off again. I got within a 100m or so of the gate before I had to walk.

So is this good karma because the flats are happening at relatively convenient times or bad karma because they are happening at all?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Devil May Care

I have just finished reading the latest James Bond book that was written by Sebastian Faulks in the same style that Ian Flemming did. Having not read any of Flemming's Bond books, it is difficult to say how well he did in replicating his style, but I can comment on the book.
I enjoyed it in the same way that I enjoy watching the older Bond films. The book contains every stereotype of a Bond story, there is a bad guy with a physical disfigurement and a strange side-kick. There is of course a woman and a secret base hidden away from the world.
It was good read, fast moving and difficult to put down, but I was surprised that it really was like reading a book that was published 50 years ago. I was happy that it was set in the 50s/60s but I think it would have been better if it had been written in a slightly more modern style. Maybe that was never the idea.

The eyes have it

MK and DK are at the hospital this morning have some more checks done. The fist on the list were his eyes. One of the doctors thinks that he has a particular syndrome, one of the key symptoms of which is an eye defect. However, it appears that DK has perfect eyes from a structural standpoint meaning that he more or less does not have this syndrome.
Good news.
Tomorrow he is having the wax removed from his ears so that he can have them examined in detail on Thursday.

Now I am looking forward to Christmas...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Relaxing and Christmas shopping

It is pretty unusual to put relaxing and Christmas shopping in the same sentence, but when you don't have to buy too many gifts, the car parking is paid for the rest of the day and J is safely ensconced with his grand parents then it is in fact possible. MK and I spent Saturday afternoon pushing the bugaboo into people in the centre of Copenhagen whilst J wore out T&B, then we had a rather decadent evening of Italy&Italy take away and a nice bottle of wine followed by a reasonably good nights sleep.

On Sunday morning I noticed that the down pipe from the guttering was broken so that had to be fixed fairly urgently and then we went to fetch J and have dinner with T&B.

All in all, not a bad weekend despite the near fatal cold that I have.

Friday, December 12, 2008

If all else fails

Read the instructions...

When I fitted the brakes the (boring) new bike a couple of weeks ago I didn't bother reading the instructions. Perhaps that is why I can't get the back brake to work. I have just watched a video on YouTube of a SRAM employee with bad hair showing how to set them up and i can see that I was way off with my efforts. Perhaps I can fix it and there won't have been any damage done beyond a bit of excessive pad wear.

My other achievement in the last 24 hours is considerably more stupid though. I have a Citizen eco-drive watch that recharges it's own battery from a solar cell. The watch has been in a drawer for a while so when I put it on yesterday it needed some juice in the form of UV light. Low energy light bulbs are no good and it is dark 23½ hours a day here so I decided to improvise. I stood the watch face down on the bathroom light whilst I cleaned my teeth last night to get a bit of a boost. Then I forgot it.
This morning it was still there whilst I showered and shaved and when I remembered and took it down I nearly burned my fingers on it.
20 minutes later it stopped and I suspect it will never run again. The face is deformed from the heat and the second hand is twitching like a recently "pulled" chicken.
That's 2 watches in a month that have somehow left me, the first sold on eBay and then lost in the post so I had to refund the buyer and this the second.
At this rater I'll run out in a year or so!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

You did what?!?!?

Long week

Apparently if you follow the weather forecasts for the several locations around the world that my family chose to inhabit, mine is always the worst. Seldom any sunshine and generally the lowest temperatures. Anyway, as Lard used to say: Mustn't grumble.

I had planned another ride to work this morning, but I knew that I would need the car when I got here to go out and fetch some bits and pieces for work so I took the car. In the end the traffic was so bad that I may as well have ridden, just as I may as well have walked home last night.

Maybe I'll manage it in the morning and there is always the promise of a free breakfast when I get in on a Friday.

MK is Christmas shopping with the Mum and Sis today so I guess the plastic will be getting used a lot and J is taking his MorFar to gymnastics so they will both be exhausted when I get home...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The bike

Not a good picture, but you get the idea: Steel frame, cable discs, 9 gears

The journey home

It took me a long time to get home last night. It was of course dark and unfortunately raining a fair amount all the way. That was not such a problem until I got a flat tyre. I was lucky enough that it happened close to an estate agents so that I could shelter from the rain and see what I was doing whilst I changed the tube. The problem is that the bike has a rather weird set up so I have to take a lot of things off to get the tyre off (mudguards, gears, chain...). Anyway i managed to get it done without freezing too much and eventually got home around 7.

The boys had a wonderful night of taking it in turns to wake us up. J decided that he had to open his advent gift at 2:30 this morning and was then rather disappointed when there was nothing new to open when it really was time to get out of bed. The rules are going to have to change about these gifts.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Did it!

I got out of bed at 6:20 this morning, 2 hours after J joined us and began the process of slowly pushing me out with his feet. I think the Danish tradition of giving kids presents during advent is nice, but J is getting up earlier and earlier each day to see what the Nisse (elf type things apparently) have left for him.

Anyway, I got out of bed, cleaned my teeth, ate some cornflakes and hit the road on the new bike in the pitch black and the rain. The bike worked perfectly, the lights are excellent and all in all it was only moderately unpleasant. By the time I left the main road to take the small quieter roads, it was getting light, the rain had stopped and it was even becoming pleasant to be out. I am looking forward to the ride home this evening but I guess that by the time I am home, 90km will probably seem rather more than I am able to comfortably ride given my inactivity for the last month.

That which does not kill you, makes you stronger apparently and anyway it was a good excuse for a big lunch.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Everything but time

I managed to spend a lot of time doing very little at the weekend. We had a really nice relaxing morning on both Saturday and Sunday (I was even allowed to sleep past 9:30 on Sunday!) with slow breakfasts and plenty of tea. It is funny how a pot of tea in the morning has become one of life's luxuries especially as I rarely drink a cup before leaving the house during the week these days.

I managed to finish building my new bike on Saturday including a few small mistakes that took me a while to work out (like feeding the gear cable through the wrong part of the shifter - I didn't know it could be done until then...), but I got it together in the end and went for a successful spin around the block in the dark. I took some pictures and I'll try to post them soon.

On Sunday I had a chance to actually ride it , however, after my lie in and long breakfast I foolishly decided to fit the mudguards before I left. An hour and a half later it turned out that there was no way I could go anywhere and be back in time for our afternoon rendez vous with K&L. So guess what? I had a shower and skipped the ride. Initially I was cursing my procrastination, but then realising that if I had been truly motivated to ride, I would have. I guess that deep down I just wanted to spend the time fettling and I should simply embrace that and enjoy it. I did and felt a weight lifted from my shoulders.

I have bought clothes to the office today so I am hoping that I'll manage to get out of bed and ride in tomorrow morning. We'll wait and see...

Friday, December 05, 2008

4 in the bed and the little one said...

Not much really, but for some reason I woke up this morning to a bed full of people for the first time in a while. Thankfully they were all asleep and had not even woken up when I left just after 7.
It is nice to have them all home and I am looking forward to a relaxed weekend and a ride on a bike or two despite the awful weather forecast for tomorrow. I may even be able to finish the Roadrat this evening...
We might get some Christmas decorations up in our own house too.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

All home at last

It's great to have them all home, here are some pictures that came home in the camera with them:

Making cookies

The lovely little feet

Hiding in Mummy's hair

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Social Gaff

Last night I was invited to eat with my colleague's house with his family. He took the train to work so that we could go to his house in our car and thus avoid the complicated navigation that would otherwise have been required.

He has a lovely house and it was very interesting to meet and talk to his wife who is a lecturer in Chinese at Copenhagen University. All in all it was a pleasant evening

My mistake was that I forgot to take anything with me to say thank you. I only realised when I was going home that I should at least have taken a bottle of wine, but I forgot and I suppose that it is too late now. I guess we'll just have to invite them to eat with us some time and then they can return the favour of not bringing a gift.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Back in the wet

My goodness it rained a lot when I got home yesterday evening, but none the less I got home safe and sound at around 11:00 along with the roof rack and bike carrier that I had bought on eBay and didn't even have to pay excess baggage on. I quickly did a bit of unpacking and then accidentally did a bit of bike building for an hour too so I was rather later to bed than planned.
The weekend was fun. We spent most of Saturday and Sunday with B,E, T & K in Bicester playing and receiving rather more aural stimulation than we needed. I did manage to take some pictures, but also managed to leave the camera with MK in England so that will have to wait.

It has been a weird few weeks with MK and the boys being in England. I have been busy working, travelling and trying to keep on top of the household stuff so it will be really nice to have a weekend at home with everyone together and maybe I can also find time to go for a bike ride! The new bike is almost complete, I am missing a short piece of gear cable housing and I can't find the chain I bought. Perhaps it will show up this evening.