Wednesday, September 30, 2009


There was nothing quick about our trip to the hospital today. We waited for about 4 hours for DK to be flushed out which took about 20 minutes. Rather annoying, but I guess he got the worst of it.

Tomorrow will be a busy day, not only it is my birthday, but our new windows are being fitted from 8 in the morning and we are eating at J's nursery whilst seeing all the pictures and work from his field trip.

Today's most exciting event was my hair cut this evening. After some discussion with my hairdresser we decided to go with a new, more edgy look. At the end of it we both agreed that there was a good chance that nobody would notice and it is really only edgy if you're very nearly 35 years old!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Green to Yellow to Brown

We have had a nice relaxing weekend with a little culture, an early birthday celebration and some time just relaxing.

On Saturday we went to a Munch exhibit north of Copenhagen at Ordrupgaard. Lunch was OK, the exhibit was dull, but they have recently opened the house of Finn Juhl to the public much as it was when he lived there. Finn Juhl was a Danish designer and Architect who designed furniture and also the UN building in New York amongst other things. The house was really nice and quite contemporary even now. In 1942 when it was built it must have been amazing. One of the things that amused me was that the kitchen was almost identical to the one in our house when we moved in, but not in such good condition. It is a shame that is was just not suitable for today's living.

On Saturday evening I had an early birthday party at T&Bs house before they left for Russia. Thanks to everyone for the generous gifts and have a good trip.

Sunday was a day for taking it easy. J was a little under the weather so we made the usual pancakes and stayed inside for the most part. I took him for a short bike ride in the afternoon before going out for my own ride. I must admit that I felt a little silly riding in the full Lycra with J even though he goes quite fast these days.

We finished the afternoon watching Cadel Evans with the road race at the world championships. A well deserved win for a guy who rarely seems to have luck on his side and who as has his fair share of stick in the media. Well done.

There is no doubt that the summer is in it's death throws, we are now considering putting the heating on and the leaves are quickly moving through the yellows and reds to a somewhat depressing brown. I don't suppose it will be long before they've all gone. On the bright side, however, I'll be able to put my new cool weather cycling gear through it's paces...

Friday, September 25, 2009

When to fit in those rides?

Now that the season is over for the guys riding races and the evenings are noticeably shorter, it is again becoming difficult to pin down that elusive time of day when you are able to get some exercise and also have the will and energy to do it.

Riding with a bunch of guys on a sunny evening is easy, riding on your own in the dark or in the basement is not so easy. The other problem is that when it is on your own time, it is difficult to justify bailing out on the family evening meal (chimpanzee tea party that it is) or putting the kids to bed. That means that the available time slots are before 7 ish in the morning and after 7:30 ish in the evening. Normally I opt for the later seeing as I am not a morning person and despite yearning to be able to get out of bed at 5:30 to get a workout in, deep in my heart, I know it's not going to happen often.

This weekend I think I will set up the trainer in the basement and accept that it is my main option for the coming months and try to find some time to get out on the roads when the opportunity arises.

In other news, more misery is probably waiting for MK as I can see that Crank Brothers have just shown some 29er wheels at Interbike. This is what I have been yearning for ever since my current wheels died a couple of months ago. I think I'll save up for them and hope that they are available before too long...

More pictures

Apparently the last one was popular so here are a few more.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Early Morning and To Do Lists

This morning DK decided he had been in bed long enough just before 5:00 and he let us know in very clear terms (screaming) that he wanted to be out of his bed and he wanted his breakfast. I guess we'll be tired this evening.

As the summer is drawing to a close and I realise that there are still lots of house jobs that I should have done during the summer, but remain undone I have an ongoing list of jobs to do.

Chief amongst these is painting the doors for the kitchen cupboards and putting them back in place. I have now at least filled the holes in them, but there remains a great deal of scrubbing, sanding and painting to be done. I hope do have this done within the next couple of weeks.

Then there are the basement doors and windows that I started last weekend and need to finish. This will require a spell of good weather, but again, I think it is reasonable to expect this to be done within a couple of weeks. Then what?

I would like to get our basement painted and tidied up enough that it becomes a less unpleasant place to be. I am not aiming for a delightful living space, but I think I should be able to paint the walls and the floor a bit at a time during the winter and make it into more of an extension of the house than a dumping ground for all the crap that we don't want to look at. Building the bike rack was an important step in the right direction for this project because there are no longer bikes along all of the walls, but now I need to get rid of the kitchen doors and push ahead with the cleaning and painting.

Is Christmas realistic as a target? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Blogging and Birthday Plans

I am determined that this blog should not be just a diary regurgitating my somewhat tedious daily activities. It is meant to be more than that. My aim is, and has always been, to look to the future, ponder the meaning of life in general and of course allow my family in distant parts to follow our kids growing and developing.

At times I have also used it for self ridicule as a form of motivation to get in shape and lose some weight although I am sure that this is not really the reason that I have managed a little success in this area this year.

I suppose this is more of a reminder to me than anything else so that I avoid falling into the trap of just stating what I have done each day without considering or discussing the wider context although I reserve the right to talk about bikes whenever the fancy takes me.

As I mentioned yesterday, I had been harbouring secret plans for a 100 mile bike ride on Sunday that didn't ever come to fruition. As a s result I still have a nagging desire to get out for one last long ride to enjoy the autumn colours and savour the feeling in your legs of being really really tired. Consequently I am now considering starting a new yearly event to be held on or around 1st October each year - The Birthday Century. My plan for 1st October this year is to enjoy breakfast with the family and then head out and ride 100 miles or so before maybe catching up on some work and having a well earned bottle of wine and a good meal. Sounds like a pretty good day to me.

As requested:

It's not the best photograph ever taken - sorry there is so much window and door, but they look like they are both having a good time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I wasn't gone for long...

I was busy at work all day on Monday and had no internet connection all day today in the meeting room where I was stuck in Faxe - hence no posting here.

Anyway, all is well. We had a busy weekend doing all kinds of stuff. I painted the basement windows and door, cleaned the windows and did a bunch of other domestic things including making a lot of banana buttermilk pancakes. These are a big hit with DK who still can't eat bread or anything hard so I had to make them on both Saturday and Sunday morning.

I had been harbouring secret plans to do a 100 mile bike ride on Sunday in the forecast good weather. Unfortunately there were all sorts of obstacles to escaping the house for 5 hours or so meaning that I just went for a ride in the afternoon with DK sleeping peacefully in the trailer behind me whilst I pedalled.

I made up for Sunday's missed ride this evening with a good hard ride out with the bike club. We did 85km or so in a pretty hard wind but I felt good and hung in with the fast guys all the way. I think that may well be the last evening training session of the year as the race season ends this weekend and it is now dark by 7:30. It's time to head indoors for evening training and to spend the weekends training instead of racing. Now I am looking forward to racing with the club in the 2010 season if I can keep training over the winter.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Thankfully DK slept better last night, but I was foolish enough to watch a James Bond film (the dreadful License to Kill at that) and go to bed late so I have woken up tired this morning.

The situation is not helped by the 65km ride I did with the bike club last night. I was somewhat relieved that most of us who had been on the 85km hammer-fest on Tuesday evening opted for the shorter ride last night and took it relatively easy from the point that the long and short ride groups split up. One of the mistakes I made was going for an hours easy ride on Wednesday lunchtime to loosen up my legs, in the end I rode too hard and it only made matters worse yesterday. I struggled to keep up on any of the hills. Thank goodness I was not alone.

J is back from his trip tonight and chaos will surely return to the house with him. It has been quiet without him but I think it has been good for DK to get some extra attention. He is heavily into walking around the house holding both of our hands at the moment so I am feeling confident that I will win my bet with MK that he will be walking before the end of October.

Tomorrow morning I am looking forward to getting back into our Saturday morning ritual of making pancakes for breakfast and at some point I would like to fit in a last 100 mile ride of the year. Sunday looks like the best bet with the weather, but I think I'll have to get out the door early to avoid trouble and be able to get the garden work done that MK is planning.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

On The Road

Yes I am "reading" Jack Kerouac at the moment, (actually I am listening to the audio book whilst driving around) but in this instance I am referring to DKs road to recovery. He seems to be back to his normal self and it not taking any pain killers any more.

There is a way to go before he can walk unaided, but he is a very determined climber and we are expecting him to work out the furniture combination that he needs to get onto the living room windowsill very soon.
The result of all of this is that both MK and I are very happy with his progress as you can see above. Now we just need J to come home again and carry on teaching him naughty tricks.
I'm off out with the bike club again tonight and hopefully I'll get home in one piece again...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bike club hammering

I went out with the bike club last night and got my ass kicked again. It was nice to get out in the sunshine and do a bit of work but by the time I got home 85km later it was cold, getting dark and I was totally worn out. I haven't had much time or energy for cycling in the last couple of weeks and it has always been an effort to keep up with those guys but it is worth the effort.

The racing season finishes at the end of September so there are only a couple of weeks left before everyone heads indoors for spinning sessions during the week and the outside rides are reserved for the weekends.

J is off on this nursery trip so it is just DK who is keeping us busy. He is eating a lot at the moment and insisted that we got up at 4 this morning to give him a midnight snack before he went back to sleep for an hour or so. He is getting rather talented at pointing to what he wants, he makes you pick him up then he points you to the kitchen and the the food and complains bitterly until he gets what he wants. We can't understand that he is eating so much, but are happy to keep feeding him hoping that he will put on some weight and keep growing. Now his swollen tummy has gone down, he looks like a skinny little oik!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hirschsprung Disease

After being initially rather angry and upset about the news from the hospital yesterday we are getting on with getting J ready for his Colonie field trip thing today. He is going away with the nursery for 3 nights so we will be living in relative peace and quiet for 3 days.

DK seems to be making a good recovery and is eating a lot at the moment. He is also filling nappies on an almost hourly basis so there are currently no problems at the other end although that may change...

We have been told that it is actually rather difficult to take a biopsy of the large intestine correctly, but we hope that the doctors won't f#*k it up next time they do it because we have more or less run out of faith in our health care service that we pay so much for.
The best description of Hirschsprung disease that I have found is here and if DK has it then surgery is apparently inevitable, I don't know if that is a good thing because it would mean that the problem should be solved, but we were at some point hoping that he would be able to eat more substantial food after his palate heals and the problem may go away on its own.

I suppose we'll have to wait until October to find out now.

Monday, September 14, 2009


We just had a call from the hospital to say the the biopsy samples that were taken from DKs gut were too superficial so they were not able to test them properly. We will therefore have to go back on the 30th for 3 days more rounds of colonic irrigation and will have a general anaesthetic on 2nd October to do another biopsy.
Apparently the Xrays seem to show that there is a good chance he has Hirshprungs Disease so it is important to take the biopsy to get a final result.

We are not impressed :-(

Back to normal (ish)

MK and DK came home from the hospital yesterday and were both very happy to be home again. DK is eating very well and seems to be recovering well although he can only eat soft stuff for another week or so and we have to be careful what he gets hold of so that nothing long, hard or sharp ends up in his mouth.
J came home from T&B as well and was happy to see us all and deliver his cakes that he had made with T.

Yesterday morning I took my new winter bike on it's maiden voyage and was very impressed with it. It may seem somewhat over the top for a winter bike but I don't care and I took all of the parts from my old Cannondale so it is only the frame that is new.

On Friday night between 10 and midnight I finished my bike rack for the basement and am quite pleased with the results. It isn't pretty and I suspect that many of the angles are not exactly 90 degrees, but I made it myself from scratch and it only cost me about £20. It is a bit of a squash to fit them all in and my mountain bike is missing from the rack because it is missing a back wheel, but I think I can squeeze it in at some point. Do we have too many bikes? No not at all - the rack holds 6 and we have 6 to put in it.

Finally, last week before DK went into hospital for his operation, we had a test run with the trolley and were happy to see that he can walk with it on his own. It will be a while before he walks totally unaided but it was nice to see this much progress.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Doing well

Yesterday DK had more morphine in the morning so he was rather spaced out when I arrived. By the time J arrived with T he was more or less back to normal provided that someone was carrying him around where he wanted to go. He ate a big lunch and two dinners which is unusual for him and when I left he was sleeping peacfully and MK was about to hit the sack with her book as well.
I went home and ironed the living room curtains and I am about to go in search of a apaintbrush to finish off the dining room windows.
They should be coming home tomorrow and we hope to get the results of the biopsy on Monday or Tuesday.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

All done

DK has been awake after the operation and everything went well. He has just had some morphine and is now snoring away peacefully. MK is recovering well too!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Operation is ON for tomorrow

It seems that the cold is more or less gone so we are on for tomorrow. Cleft palate, colon biopsy and tongue thing ( the bit under the Tongue) to be snipped. I'll update later but all seems well so far

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


I suppose one of the consequences of colonic irrigation is that whatever goes up, must at some point come out again. DK soiled himself and his bed twice last night, once before going to sleep and once shortly afterwards. He then slept through the night before doing the same again this morning, once in his bed and once on the kitchen floor.

Just to add to the fun, J didn't quite get his bedtime nappy on straight and consequently wet his bed as well so there are lots of bed clothes hanging up to dry in the basement at the moment.

DK is back for more today so I guess there'll be plenty more laundry to be done tonight as well. His cold seems to be turning into a cough so we think there is a good chance that the cleft palate operation will be cancelled for this week which is a pain because it means that MK is likely to have to change her start date at work, we have to go through the stress and worry again at a later date and we still won't get an answer about his tummy because the biopsy was to be taken during the cleft palate operation.

The final exciting health update of the day is that J looks like he has a cold sore on his top lip. I have no idea where he got that from, but I certainly wasn't going to kiss him goodbye this morning.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The long week ahead

Today was the first of what will no doubt be a very long week. DK has been Xrayed both with and without some sort of magic fluid that shows up in his bowel (my arm was captured a couple of times too holding him still). They said they had some good pictures, but we didn't get any sort of diagnosis - that will have to wait I suppose.

After that we went back to the Children's ward so that DK could be washed out with a litre of saline solution ready for some endoscope action on Wednesday. He is going back for another colonic tomorrow but I guess he is getting used to it now so it doesn't seem to bother him all that much although he does cry a bit.

So far so good. Finally Happy Birthday to Lars, we hope to be in a fit state to see him at the weekend...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Basement Projects

Our basement is a complete disaster area at the moment. There aer doors and windows leaning against the walls and unwanted furniture scattered about the place. The results of our flash flooding is that some areas are clear whilst others are pile with stuff and there are leaves and dead flies all over the place. This weekend I will clear it out as much as I can, sweep up the dead insect and leaves and vacuum the cobwebs from the windows so that I can begin turning it back into a usable space. I can then press on with the other unfinished projects that are sitting down there
  1. Paint the inner window frame parts for the dining room and put them back in place
  2. Prepare and paint the kitchen cupboard doors
  3. Build my new bike

Here in lies the problem, there is only one of the above jobs that I want to do and it is the one I should do last. No prizes for guessing that building the bike is more fun than painting anything but I must resist the temptation, if only because there is a significant risk of losing something important in the mess whilst trying to put it all together.

Anyway, whilst MK and DK are away next week and I am home with J, I plan on spending my evenings getting on with the basement projects and getting everything set up for a winter of riding the trainer down there and trying to keep everything tidy for once.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Autumn's coming

Yesterday was pretty warm, but unfortunately I spent 6 hours in the car so I didn't really get to enjoy it much although I did mow the lawn after the kids went to bed so that I got at least a little fresh air. I actually only cut some of the grass because more than half of it has not really grown for a couple of months.

Today it is overcast and grey and it is beginning to look like the summer is drawing to a close. I generally see this as a pretty dreadful time of year, the days get shorter so there is no evening cycling and when you can get out you there is an ever changing ballance to be found between over and under dressing.

It's bearable for a while and there is an undeniable beauty in the changing colours of the trees, but in the end you know it's just going to get cold dark and miserable for the next half year or so.

This weekend I am planning a long ride to visit a friend and then ride with him before going to some other friends for dinner with the rest of the family. I think there is a good chance that I will get my 4th and last >100mile ride of the year in before everything winds down at the end of September.

Next week whilst MK and DK are in hospital I will be home with J which means that I will have some time in the evenings to tidy up the basement, finish painting the windows and get on with building my new bike. Any riding that I manage will probably be either on the trainer in the basement or with J in the trailer. That isn't necessarily such a bad thing, I think I'm going to have to knock this summer season on the head pretty soon anyway. Perhaps I need some new Autumn/Winter/Spring riding gear anyway, it is my birthday in a few weeks after all...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Tough times for DK

Yesterday we visited the main hospital in Copenhagen for DK to see a specialist about a missing accessory... The doctor was more interested in his tummy though as I mentioned so next week he and MK (and possibly me) will be at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday as well as the rest of the week for his cleft palate operation. This is so that he can be cleaned out inside his gut for a barium enema and to take a biopsy sample from his bowel to test for Hirschsprung's disease. This is a genetic disease that effects the bowel meaning that part of it does not have the required nerve cells to function properly so it becomes a blockage point.If he has Hirschsprungs disease then this would explain his rather swollen abdomen and permanent constipation but the treatment seems to be a bit frightening because it involves removing the non-functioning section and joining up the working parts.

Part of me hopes that this is not the problem and that it will go away when he is able to eat a more normal diet (that is after the cleft palate is fixed) but another part of me would be happy to have identified the problem and be able to fix it.

Both MK and I were pretty upset yesterday at the prospect of another problem requiring surgery and it is all the more upsetting to think that it will involve cutting DK open and removing part of him. Actually just writing that makes me not want to think about it any more, but I don't suppose we will have the luxury of pretending it doesn't exist.

I know that being a parent isn't supposed to be easy, but sometimes it seems to be really unfair, just when you think the end of the medical treatments is in sight, another diagnosis crops up and you are back at the start of another round of treatment. MK and I can cope with it, but we both feel really sorry for DK who remains a happy little boy who is more or less completely preoccupied with climbing and learning to stand up steadily so that he can get on with walking.