Thursday, September 30, 2010

Body Age

I just had my body age measured by a consultant at work as part of our employee health screening thing. Apparently my body age is 1 year above my real age which is not bad considering that I have not done any exercise for the last 3 months. The thing that pushed it over my real age was my blood pressure which was too high. Thankfully I know that this is white coat syndrome because when I measure it at home, it is much lower than it was today (128 over 98).

Small print

On Sunday we signed a conditional contract with the estate agent to buy the house that we are looking at when we sell ours. We have to pay a small deposit which the estate agent holds and provide a bank guarantee to prove that we can get a mortgage for the cost of the new house. No problem really, however, the seller is no obliged to sell only to us and we can't buy the new house until we sell ours so the contract is not really worth a great deal to us.

However, we have since found out that we have to pay a fee to have the mortgage guarantee which equates to about £300 per month and given the circumstances (the house is still on the market and ours is not even officially for sale yet) we'd rather not be coughing up that money for more or less nothing.

There are 2 clauses in the contract which allow us to get out of it, the first is if the bank don't like it and the second is if our lawyer doesn't like it. Annoyingly enough, we are now having to pay our lawyer to get us out of the contract.

Considering that we still want to buy the house and nothing has changed, I don't really see why this has become a problem, especially as the bank have no problem lending us the money. Anyway, I am sure we'll get it sorted out this week, but it is annoying that we have to use a lawyer to do so.

On a brighter note, the sun is shining and it is my birthday tomorrow so we are having the evening child free and going out for dinner.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back from nowhere

I was away overnight on Monday in the south of Sweden. It turns out that there is not much there although we did manage to get to the customer we were visiting.

The photographer has also uploaded the pictures of our house. He certainly made a better job of it than I could. Maybe someone will be interested based on these.

Monday, September 27, 2010


The photographer is coming to take some pictures of our house today so we have spent the weekend clearing up both inside and out.

We have also now signed a conditional contract on the other house so as soon as this one is sold, we can get moving on the other...

Friday, September 24, 2010

On the market

There are some oddities to the Danish housing market. One of the more obvious ones is that houses are now given an energy mark much the same way that Fridges, cooker and cars are. The house we are trying to buy has been given a C, the Zero Energy house that we looked at which takes heat from waste bath water and uses heat exchangers for apparently everything gets an A.

We don't know what our house will get, I know it will be lower than a C though and until we have that mark, the estate agent is not allowed to show it as for sale! Strange.

Anyway, the photographer is coming on Monday for the all important lifestyle shots so we will be spending the weekend hiding our belongings in the basement and trying to make the place look like nobody lives in it. To help with our task, J&DK will be spending the day with T&B so that we don't have to argue with them about every single piece of scrap paper and conker that we think is surplus to requirements.

Today's excitement will be the return of J from his koloni (field trip). It has been very quiet without him for the last 3 days. I think DK has missed him a lot and has not been himself at all for the last couple of days. It is funny, last year DK enjoyed having MK and I to himself but this year he has missed J and doesn't seem bothered about us being there or not. Times change I suppose.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Bed: Night #1

After a couple of hours of fighting with a giant sponge, I managed to get our new bed togehter. We have a big think Tempur mattrass and a TempraKON down topper.

Tempur was developed by NASA and is some sort of multi purpose batter which is delicious as a crispy coating for seafood and vegetables but also makes for an odd mattress. It adapts to your shape and is supposed to offer great support when you are sleeping. The bed felt rather odd, but in a good comfortable way. I think both MK and I will take a bit of time to get used to it, but my first impressions were quite good coupled with "did we really need to spend so much money for something that feels rather a lot like the old bed"

TemprKON is another NASA invention and it is designed to regulate your temperature by storing heat when you are hot and releasing it when you are cold. This seemed to work quite well as I was not too hot during the night and it feels quite pleasantly cool to lie on.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Last night whilst MK was out at her gymnastics session I decided to have a go at resuming my Pilates program. I tried it a couple of weeks ago but wasn't at all comfortable with bending in half as it hurt my back, but over the last week, I have felt no pain or tightness in my back at all so I thought I'd give it another shot.


I (just) managed to complete the 40ish  minute workout without any pain in my back although it did hurt my stomach muscles a lot in the right way. I was expecting to be aching this morning, but that seems to be fine too so I suppose I am now well on the way to recovering fully from the herniated disc.

The odd thing about posting this today is that I am working from home today waiting for our new bed to be delivered. (It arrived whilst I was typing this.) We decided to get a Tempur bed whilst I was suffering with my back as the old (well not that old) bed seemed to have developed a certain amount of sagginess and we have never been too thrilled with it. I just hope that we are happier with the new one for longer than we were with the old one.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Washout weekend

I should have been partying on Friday night and taking the kids to the zoo on Sunday along with some friends, but I have been ill all weekend. We have spent the time cleaning out the house a bit and trying to get it ready for some publicity shots when the time comes.

J had a friend to sleep over on Saturday night. It all went reasonably well and I only had to go out for one short walk to escape the manic screaming on Saturday evening but that was at least partly to do with my headache.

We hope to hear back from the bank today about borrowing money and then we can get on with selling this and negotiating for the other. I'm not sure how it will work out, but I know we are going to have a MUCH bigger mortgage...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sick Day

Today was supposed to be a very busy day. MK had a course in Copenhagen and I was supposed to be at our company quarterly meeting and summer party in Helsingør. Unfortunately our bodies have had other ideas.

DK has been a bit under the weather all week which culminated in him being sick on the hour, ever hour last night. I have a cold, sore throat and dicky tummy whilst MK also seems to have a fever and isn't at all well.

So the upshot is that J is in nursery as he is the only healthy member of the family today and the rest of us are lolling around hoping to feel a bit better before the weekend arrives.

In good news, I am now water resistant to 1000 metres as the proud (2nd) owner of this rather fine Oris.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

De cluttering

If we are going to sell our house, then we will need to convert it into a more desirable place to live and that apparently means removing the clutter. We looked at a house on Sunday morning which appeared to be home to a family with 3 small children but there was not a single thing out of place. In fact there was barely anything to be seen that was child related other than the names on the kids doors and a few child theme items in each room. It was incredible.

So what do we need to do?

I will take some pictures tonight and then we can begin the process of hiding our belongings in the basement and cupboards. Hopefully any potential buyers will not realise that there is no space to store a food processor in the kitchen and no sensible place for a microwave. Then we have to give the impression that the amount of shelf and bookcase space we have is enough to house our book, toys and other crap to say "hey, look, you can achieve the sort of clean, simple, minimalist living to which you aspire just by buying this beatifully maintained house"

Just don't look in the cupboards, under the beds or at the dodgy pointing on the chimney...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Training plans and waterproof jeans

I am preparing for my return to the cycling world, and much like preparing to revise for exams, there is a lot of preparation involved. You can't just get on your bike and go for a ride. Oh no, there is a lot of spreadsheet work to do first, periodisation to to be colour coded and targets to be set before ones cheeks can meet the saddle again. I am currently in the middle of this highly technical and very delicate operation and expect it to be ready to my bum to touch the saddle around the beginning of October.
I'm going with orange shades for the autumn, blue in the winter and green for the spring. I am not sure about the summer yet, but it may be yellow or red.

DK is working from home with me today. He was very tired yesterday and awake a few times during the night with a fever, I decided that he could do with an easy day at home to get some rest and fight off whatever it is that has his imune system working in the evenings.

Finally, I just found out that the water resistant jeans that I have been coveting since last winter are not on sale for half price so I have ordered a pair along with a couple of extra from some nice people in Derbyshire. I suspect I will get some grief for this from the other half.


Here is a link to the house

Monday, September 13, 2010

Now we need to sell this place.

We looked at the house with the pool on Sunday morning along with another new one which was fancy and modern, but not really what we want and it is one of the first built in a new area so it would be in a building site for the next 5 years or so.

The house with the pool is perfect, just the right amount of rooms, space and all that stuff and it is in a great spot. Hopefully we'll be able to sort something out and buy it.

I'd be interested in how the "cold hearted" calculation was made on the cost of having a swimming pool. Without knowing the size of it or the costs of electricity, I'm quite impressed that you managed to work that out. Would you care to share your workings?

I have a friend up the road with a similar outdoor unheated pool, we will find out what it costs to run it and if we aren't going to use it, then we'll fill it in or make it into a skate park!

I got the new kitchen cupboard up and the lights attached on Saturday so I think we are more or less done with our kitchen for now.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Where's this going?

Last night we met with the estate agent to talk about the value of the house and selling it. I really don't like estate agents. They all seem to have the same hair cut and glasses and they all seem to be slimy so and sos.

Anyway, we seem to have made a reasonable return on our house over the last 6 years but we are not 100% convinced about moving. We obviously need to sell this house before we can buy something else and we haven't seen anything that we really want yet so the enthusiasm is starting to fade a little. On the plus side, it is cheap to borrow money at the moment, we can get a 3.5% to 4% fixed rate for 30 years at the moment and it seems that the market for bigger houses is rather weak so we could get a pretty good deal on a bigger house whilst not doing too badly selling our own. On the other hand, we will have to spend a fortune on actually selling, buying and moving and in the end we are bound to end up with a bigger mortgage to pay each month.

I suppose we just need to chew it over for a week or so and see if there are any houses that get us sufficiently excited to justify the upheaval.
I do have a feeling that we are going to rather like this one on Sunday though...

Thursday, September 09, 2010

New Bins

The new glasses arrived today, but the sun glasses are not ready yet. I think they look very good, but it is hard to see the interesting coloured bits from this picture.
So I took this one as well.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Weekend walkabout

We went to a farming museum at the weekend as part of Uncle L's birthday celebration. The 3 cousins had a great time although we must admit that the tallest of the 3 was a little challenging in his behavior...

This weekend we are off to the zoo.

In house news, the first house house has been rejected because of the shade induced permafrost and the second house has been rejected because all the bedrooms were too small. Next up is the one with the pool and there are some others to consider as well. Next step is to find out what our house is worth and what we want to spend on a new one...

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Gymnastics season

Yesterday was the start of another season - Gymnastics. J has his session at about 4:30 in the afternoon and MK has hers at about 8:00 in the evening. It sounds like the grown ups do more or less the same as the kids which is probably quite good fun to watch!

I am really busy at work so I toll the evening opportunity to get another 3 hours of work done before hitting the sack.

Hopefully our new bed should arrive next week and then we need to figure out what to do with the old one. I guess that if we are going to get a house with another bedroom, then we'll need another bed so it can go into storage for the time being. In the meantime, we can get the house tidied up. Any volunteers for painting the ceilings?

Monday, September 06, 2010

House Hunting

Over the last couple of weeks we seem to have come to the conclusion that we should move house. I don't really know how we have reached this decision or even why. It would be nice to have a study and it would be nice to have a guest room (These could be the same room) and at some point in the future I am sure it will be nice to have 2 bathrooms, but to be honest, we are fine as we are.

We know that, but still we are fascinated with moving so we are visiting houses. The first one is 2,5 years old but has never been lived in. It is a really nice house, but it right next to a small patch of woodland on it's south side so there is not really any sunshine on it during the mid part of the day. We expect that is the reason that it hasn't sold despite the price coming down by nearly 30% over that time. We like the house a lot, but I don't think MK can live with the lack of sunshine.

Next up we'll have a look at this place:

Finally this one, but I think we are both a little afraid of having to deal with a swimming pool.

There is also the issue of selling our own house which may prove to be more difficult than we realise...

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Handball again

The hand ball season started again yesterday apparently...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Time ticking by

I had to drive to the middle of Jutland yesterday which meant about 6 hours driving and some sitting in meetings. It was a reasonably uneventful day which is a really good thing because I have avoided sitting down as much as I can during the last couple of months and I was worried that my back would cause me some problems by the time I got home. That didn't happen, it was fine and I am very happy about that. I am somewhat less happy about the prospect of having to make that journey on a regular basis if we win the project we were there to bid for, but I'll have to face that if or when it happens.

In the meantime, MK and I are getting back into the groove of working and parenting so we are obviously looking for new challenges. Moving house is something we are considering, but only up the road if at all. In the meantime, we will carry on working, eating and sleeping like everyone else.

The next big event on the horizon is the arrival of MKs new glasses in the next week or so. Apparently having fixed the short sightedness to some extent, the astigmatism is now sufficiently annoying that MK decided she needed some glasses so we had a thoroughly unpleasant 45 minutes in the opticians choosing some frames on Saturday morning. There are few things that I will not do with the kids again and that is certainly one of them

" yes you do look silly J"
"don't pull the arms like that DK"
"do you really need a poo?"
" put them down! PUT THEM DOWN"