Thursday, December 22, 2011


Turns out that today is the shortest day. It's dark and grey whatever!

Last night was spent wrapping presents and getting ready for guests. Apparently J now understands that we have bought wrapping paper and is aware of what his presents are wrapped in so we have to get secret paper for Father Christmas's presents now. I guess it only gets more complicated.

It has been fun to hear J talking about the nativity play they did at school (it is a Catholic school so I suppose it's unavoidable) but it's odd to find myself encouraging him to believe in Father Christmas whilst at the same time having trouble hearing him talk about Mary and Jesus, Adam and Eve without interrupting and explaining that I think it's a load of rubbish. I suppose these are things that he will find out for himself as he get's older, but given that there is the same amount of evidence for the existence of Father Christmas as there is for God, then I suppose he'll come to the same conclusion as me unless the Catholics get to him whilst they have the chance...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Shortest Day

It's the worst day of the year (that is was probably some time in January or February to be honest, but in principal, the shortest, darkest day of the year should be the worst).
I had an odd day yesterday. I passed my Danish oral exam with 10 out of 12 which was OK and then I drove through a lot of traffic to an auction house to collect a piece of furniture that we had bought. It turned out that the idiots had measured it incorrectly and it was 2.40m long and not 1.40m as listed. That meant that it wouldn't fit in the car or probably in the house. The second issue was a mute point because I couldn't get it home so I got a refund. I didn't get refunded for my time, petrol or general annoyance though and it is not the first time that have messed us around. Nor the second.
It will be the last though!

Monday, December 19, 2011

What happened to the weekend?

I have no idea what we managed to achieve this weekend. I suppose we did some of the last remaining bits of Christmas shopping and I fought the Christmas tree into the stand (until it was deemed to be too crooked on Sunday when I had to do it again).

We had a delicious meal with T&B on Saturday evening and I spent the last 3½ hours of the day ironing whilst watching North by Northwest on the TV. Great film!

We wasted a lot of Sunday waiting for football matches. We had to be at the hall at 11:15 but the first game J's team played in start at 12:40 so we were bored and hungry by the time that came around. J's team won one, drew one and lost one which was somewhat below par for them and it wasn't there best display.

I cooked a duck for supper and finally had an evening of doing nothing for the first time in a couple of weeks although there was predictably nothing on the TV other than Derren Brown conning some American spiritualists which provided a little amusement.

Tomorrow: Danish exam attempt two...

Friday, December 16, 2011


That sinking feeling you get when you realise that you've done something really stupid...

I stood in the language school and asked which room I should be in for the exam. I was told that I should have had a letter with the information on. I had it at home so I called MK and asked her, she said it's 106A and it is at 13:30.

At that point it was about 16:00.


I had mixed up an email about a meeting at the school and the exam time and somehow made a total F up.

Thankfully I have been able to arrange to take it next week instead, but my word that is embarrassing.

Photo updates

Clean and clear under the stairs - needs another coat of paint  though

My cave 2.0 - where I now keep my stuff!

Falling asleep in your rice cake!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Danish part 2

This afternoon I have the oral part of my Danish exam. It is a 20 minute exam with another candidate and an examiner. I have to talk about the Danish tax system for 2 minutes and then answer some questions, talk about some pictures and then I get graded and told if I have passed or not.

I am not all that worried about failing because my spoken Danish is better than my written and that was apparently good enough to pass. However, I was apparently worried enough about it to have trouble getting to sleep last night and then to wake up at 4:30 and not be able to go back to sleep until just before the alarm went off.

Such is life.

Tonight we are celebrating (or commiserating) with my guitar lesson's group Christmas get together. MK and the kids are coming along too so that we can eat some food and play and sing some songs together. Should be fun, but also has the capacity for being rather humiliating...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Where have I been

I can't believe I have't posted in 5 days. I've been very busy.

Friday was the company quarterly meeting where we all get together to find out what is going on in the organisation, this was followed by the Christmas party. I didn't drink too much, but I wasn't in bed until 3:30 as a result of missed trains so I was pretty tired on Saturday.

We bought a Christmas tree on Saturday but to be honest, that was about all I could manage. Sunday was a different story. I have been painting in the basement quite prolificly ever since (with some help from BHP). Now the old boiler room is gleaming white with a grey painted floor ready for me to be filled with shelves and "man's stuff" and the space under the stairs is gleaming white and ready for the freezer and more shelves and more stuff. The biggest challenge at the moment is finding room for all the stuff whilst we work on the rest of the basement.

I am not sure that my hope of having the main room done by Christmas is in any way realistic (having just re-checked the calendar, I can see that it is not) but I'll keep working on it until it is done.

Photos to follow...

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Sleeping / not sleeping

Well it isn't getting much better.

I had planned to get some exercise last night, but I was too tired and still aching too much from my mammoth concrete breaking session at the weekend. I decided to watch one of the Blurays we have sitting around from lovefilm and see if I could relax enough to sleep well.

It was not to be as MK decided I should spend the evening doing Christmas shopping online. We got quite a lot of that done but it took until bedtime and I had yet another bad night with waking up, cramps and then DK joining us at about 5.

Tonight I am definitely riding my bike and going to be because tomorrow night is my company Christmas party which means a late night and possible a little too much to drink.

I think I owe some pictures of the new dining table and the red wall...

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Got my new phone

Now I can spend the evening getting it set up how I want it.

I do want to get some exercise in the hope that it may help me get some sleep. I have slept really badly the last few nights. I think it is caused by stress but I can't say for sure. I am really tired though.

Not much more to say really...

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

BOGOF glasses

I've been getting really tired eyes recently, especially at the end of the working day so I decided to get an eye test. Not surprisingly (well, they did give me varifocals before that I was completely unable to get on with) I do need some reading glasses or screen glasses as they have to be called these days. 
Thankfully my employer is legally obliged to contribute to the cost and as there is a buy one get one free offer at the opticians, I managed to get 2 pairs whilst I am  personally only paying for the anti reflective coatings on one of them, all the rest is on expenses.

I'm not sure which will end up being the home glasses and which will live in my school bag...

Monday, December 05, 2011

Red wall, yellow wall, orange wall

So last week I fixed the lining paper and painted the wall orange.

We hated it (It was mostly me that hated it, MK just wasn't keen, but it turned my stomach)

Then I painted it light yellow twice. We still weren't happy.

Then I got more paint charts and found that there is an "accent red" that should go with the other colours in the room so now we have the wall split in two, the right hand side is dark red (it took 3 coats) and the left is still light yellow. The red is OK, but it goes much better with the darker shade of yellow on the other walls than the light yellow adjacent to it. Guess what? I need to get some darker yellow and do that half of the wall now.

I am really bored of painting that wall.

Tomorrow and electrician is coming to put some extra sockets in the basement and I suppose I'll go to buy some paint.

Would anyone like to suggest what I should do with the pipes that are buried in the concrete floor that used to take the oil from the tank under the drive to the boiler room. The plumber has put caps on them but they stick up out of the floor in the middle of 2 rooms and are really in the way. How do I make sure there is no oil left in them and what should I do to get rid of them?

A prize for the best answer!

Friday, December 02, 2011


I passed the written part of my Danish exam, apparently I got 10 for the comprehension part and 7 for the presentation bit but I am notnsure what it is marked out of so I don't know how good that was. MK is saying it's marked out of 12 but you can't get 11 pr some other weird thing. The amazing thing about the marking system is that it was recently changed to this to make it easier to understand and relate to other countries marking systems. Previously it was marked out of 13. Anyway, next up is the oral exam on 15th December. Today the builder finished so there will be no more of the builders turning up at 7:00 in the morning and banging on the door to come in with his ladders.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Going going gone

The orange wall has now been painted twice and now only shows a slight tint of oranginess. I expect that one more coat will have it done.

The builders are expecting to finish tomorrow as well so we can get going with the tidying up and preparing the house for guests which also includes getting a new second hand dining table on Saturday morning. By some stroke of luck, we have found one the right size, colour shape and design being sold by someone in Ringsted. Great news I think...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Practice makes perfect

I am not entirely sure that practice necessarily leads to perfection, but I could certainly note at my guitar lesson last night that a lack of practice makes things deteriorate.

The last 2 lessons have been the last 2 times that I have played the guitar and I struggled a bit to keep up with everyone else and I am sure I played some bum chords as well. I have been too busy over the last couple of weeks with work, Danish and decorating to spend time on the guitar and it has been tucked away whilst the work men are in which doesn't help.

I must get some practice in this week so that I am ready for the Christmas get together with the class and families in 10 days time.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bold choices

This weekend we've learned another lesson about interior design: When you make bold choices, sometimes you get it wrong.

All kinds of wrong
I patched the wall above the radiator and painted the wall and then got to work painting the wall with what was supposed to be a darker shade of the colour on the other walls. It turned out to be a horrible apricot colour that clashes with pretty much everything in the room.

I plan on covering it up tonight with the left over paint from the kitchen which is a the same colour as the original dining room walls, but a shade lighter. Then we may have another go at finding a colour. Or we may not...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

New phone

My iphone 3G is now about 2½ years old and is pretty slow and rather battle scarred. I guess I could get my boss to agree to buying me a new one, but I can't decide whether I should try to change it now or wait until the iphone 5 is released in about a years time.
I have also considered getting a lesser telephone as an interim until the iphone comes out next year, but then I think I'd have to transfer everything that I use in itunes over to an android based program and also figure out how android works. The advantage would be that I could get something smaller and faster and a bit less antiquated.

iphone 4S

I am pretty sure that I'll just wait, but if I'm going to replace it, it may as well be now, there is no point waiting for 8 months then getting a phone that will be superseded 3 months later.

Sony Xperia mini pro
iphone 5???

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Missing post

I sent a post from my phone yesterday but it appears to have not appeared - so to speak.
I spent 4½ hours in a 3 written Danish exams yesterday which felt like quite a long time. I think it went OK. The question and answer bit was pretty easy as it appears to be in all the previous papers that I have seen. The great unknown is how much of a mess I made of the 200-300 word text I had to write. You get a ridiculously long 2½ hours to write it and as a result I think you tend to over analyse what you are writing and probably correct it so much that you start changing things are are right in the first place.
I'll find out soon enough (2nd December I think) and then if I have passed, I will take and oral exam on 15th December.


There is still a guy working in the roof and he hopes to be finished next week. It is nice to be on the receiving end of a fixed price job where the estimate turns out to be too low instead of being the one explaining why you've used way more hours on a job than expected.

As I type this, BHP is painting the radiator pipes so that they look a bit smarter and MK and I are in the process of choosing a new colour for the walls in the dining room. We are bit torn between another yellowish colour (I believe the current colour is called Kenya) and something more like milky coffee. Or orange.

Colour charts in action, I am leaning towards the oranges in the middle

We are planning on doing the dining room this coming weekend and then getting going on the basement over the coming few weeks so that we can at least get the main room down there done in time for Christmas. I am hoping to get as much of this done as possible before Christmas so that I don't have it hanging over me in the new year when I want to be getting ready for the cycling season and a skiing holiday as well as looking after DK as and when he has his operation.

I just found this picture on the camera of the boys with their hair spiked after J got some hair wax for his birthday.

Hair waxtastic!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Vests and HP7a

Our parcel arrived from M&S yesterday with trousers for MK, pyjamas for DK, Christmas cards and some vests for me.

I don't remember the last time I wore a sleeveless vest, but I must say that it's pretty good. I can appreciate the warmth but I don't have a clearly visible t-shirt showing where my shirt is unbuttoned at the top. Win!

I am in Jutland at the moment working on getting one of my projects to go live with some consultants. It is weird to be away overnight for work on a Friday, but such is life. We made up for it last night by having a mini Friday night and watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1. The film wasn't exactly joyful, but it was very well done and seemed to scare MK rather more than a kids film should.

Tomorrow night is gala (ball) night at MKs school so we are getting dressed up. I understand that she is somehow working for the evening so I don't yet know if it will be fun or boring. I'll report back on Monday.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Disappointing news

DK had a check up in Manchester yesterday to see how his feet are getting on. The news was not too good, his Achilles tendons are too short which pulls his heel bone up (labelled calcaneus below) meaning that he doesn't really have a boney heel at the moment, just a pad of fat which won't last forever if he walks on it.

The solution is to do a tenotomy which lengthens the tendon by partially cutting and stretching it and then putting his legs in plaster for a month (yes both legs toe to hip with 90 degree bends like when he was a baby)

That is going to be a long month for him and probably for us as well on top of two unexpected trips to Manchester, probably in late February, early March to fit around when appointments are available and so that DK can enjoy his holidays.

He didn't look too impressed with the casts last time and he couldn't even walk then.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Parents evening

Yesterday afternoon was our first parents meeting at J's school and let's just say that we didn't buy cake on the way home.
I was a little irritated to arrive 3 minutes late (having left work very early and getting stuck in traffic) to find that MK and J were almost finished having started early. Why wait for me if they were ready?!
The conclusion was that he needs to stop messing around in the cloakrooms, try to learn to concentrate for longer, stop messing around in the cloakrooms, keep working on his letters and finally, stop messing around in the cloakroom.
I think that was it.
I don't really understand why J was invited, all he took home from it was a stomach full of small biscuits from the bowl on the table and when we asked him at home what had been said, he hadn't really remembered anything at all but he seemed to think that Real Madrid had beaten Barcelona 10-5. At that point MK took out her frustrations on the vacuum cleaner whilst I savagely murdered some root vegetables to make soup.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fire Wood

It's been a good weekend. We relaxed a bit on Saturday. J played football whilst DK and I made rock cakes and then we had some family guests visit to see if we can take any walls out in the basement. The conclusion was that we probably can...
We then hit the outlets to get some new trainers for J and tracksuits for both of the boys.
Yesterday didn't pan out as planned. I should have raced my mountainbike in the morning, but having not fixed it since last weekends ride, it wasn't really worth an hours drive to get to the race and then not have working gears. I've been quite busy this week and I just didn't get around to doing the bike in time.
In the afternoon we went to L's parents to collect some fire wood. We have agreed that we can have wood to burn in return for helping them to chop and carry it in to their barn when the time comes. Seems like a good deal to me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Meaty snacks

Diets the minimise carbohydrates and rule out sugar are good in that they discourage snacking. However, sometimes you really need a nibble on something and that can be problematic. At first I was eating nuts, but they are very morish and rather calorific so I needed to find a substitute. Pork scratchings!

You can't eat that many of them, they are easily available here, cheap and don't seem to be too bad on the weight management even though I understand that they are loaded with fat (and little else)

I must admit that the ones I eat rarely look this appetising!


Wednesday, November 09, 2011


I ordered some vests from M&S last week as we were getting some stuff for the kids and MK along with a few bits and pieces for Christmas.

I have been hankering after another kind of vest for a while and have narrowed it down to two.

The first is made by Woolpower from Sweden and is mostly made of merino wool

The second is pseudo wool (totally synthetic) and made by Patagonia

I can't decide which to get, they both cost about the same and look similar. I like the idea of the wool one, but I  suspect that it may get bobbly over time but it does look less like a coat which is what I am after. The Patagonia one is a bit more coaty but I am confident that it will wear well and be well made as their stuff always is. I was leaning towards the wool, but having written this post, I think I am now more inclined to get the Patagonia...

I know the lack of colour is boring, but I don't want to limit what it will go with by getting a colour that doesn't match some other stuff. The plan is to wear it as an extra layer under my now rather large coats and to keep warm in cold offices (both at home and at work)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Sick kids

Last week MK had a flu jab and struggled to keep her eyes open for the proceeding 24 hours. DK had one yesterday and was awake repeatedly during the night and has had to spend the day at home with a fever today. I didn't realise that a flu jab was just supposed to give you a mild flu. I think I'll take my chances with J and not have one!

Friday, November 04, 2011


We chose the same guy to fit our new windows as did it last time because he was efficient, reasonably priced and did a good job. This time he seems to be taking advantage of the fact that there are other builders in the house to palm off all of the tidying up work onto the other builder, leaving us to pick up the tab.
I have tried to deal with him and make sure that we are not getting ripped off, but to be honest, it is difficult to explain everything  over the phone when your vocabulary doesn't run to much more than "window" and "edge".

Anyway, if it doesn't go to plan (and so far it doesn't look like it is going to) then I'll set the bull dog on him...

Then he'll be sorry!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Falling off the wagon

There are a few food that I have trouble being around without giving in to their temptations. The list looks something like this:

  1. chocolate biscuits
  2. cakes
  3. Fresh bread
  4. Pastries
  5. Peanut M&Ms
Most of the rest of the banned things I can leave without any real effort. As J insisted that we made a repeat of his football cake for his second birthday party, I decided that I had to make some other cakes for myself to enjoy on my day off. They ended up being fresh raspberry and white chocolate fairy cakes and they were delicious. I ate a couple at the weekend and then put the rest in a tin out of sight. However, after dinner last night, whilst the boys were eating the boring football cake, MK had one of my remaining fairy cakes and I easily gave in to eating the rest of them.
As penitence, I then did an hour of intervals on the trainer and some core exercises so my weight this morning was actually still down on yesterday but it was still bad form to cave in to temptation.

The ultimate result is that I have decided to add a new general rule to my diet: I will now only eat home made cakes and biscuits. Nothing out of a packet - be it a hob nob or any other type of confectionery. I think this may be a bit of a challenge at first, but I think it may turn out to be the best rule I have come up with so far.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


National Novel Writing Month runs through November with the fairly wild idea that anyone can write a 50 000 word novel in a month. It started as a US thing (hence the National bit) but has become a global event with writing groups all over the place.

I had some idea that I should get myself together and write one. After all, it is only about 1600 words per day, how hard can it be?

Well it seems that it is hard. I had a guitar lesson last night so I only sat down to start after 9:00 and despite having thought about it quite a lot over the last 2 months, I still had no idea where to start a story. I did start one and wrote 442 words, about a third of what I needed to write. That is not such a problem in itself, I could catch up if I had time. The problem is that I am pretty busy with work at the moment and I have a Danish exam in a few weeks that I have paid quite a lot of money to enter and to have lessons for. It would be silly to spend all of my time and energy writing an inevitably crap story in English (and I have no intention of doing it in Danish)

Perhaps I'll just put it off until next year, but there is something about the whole idea that I can't quite drop from my head, it's just a shame that the idea I can't drop is that of writing a book and not an idea for a book which would be quite useful given the circumstances

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Birthday J

Yesterday was the BIG day for J. He got up really early as a result of it being both his birthday and the clocks going back an hour. 

We had a great day making another football cake and a huge vat of bolognaise sauce for dinner. All of the Danish family visited and we had a nice relaxed time eating, making lego aeroplanes and playing with the new electric ukulele. (I suspect that I am happier with that than J is for now...)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Good week

This has been a pretty good week. I have worked hard, but everything has more or less gone as well as I could have hoped and both of my current projects are as well on track as I could wish for.

At the moment the house is quiet as J's birthday party are on a treasure hunt down the road with MK and her parents. The peace is exquisite after the last hour and a half of frantic screaming. I have helped with cake decorations and cooking.

Cake decorating master class

Skeleton bread rolls

The Party

Cake in action

My arm has been driving me a bit mad as I can't rest my forearm on desks or tables and the healing up abrasion is very itchy. Must learn to stop falling off.
My yellow and green arm after last weekend's crash
I am pretty sure that this weekend will be a long and tough one as it's J's birthday which will involve a great deal of over-excitement and the inevitable tears and tantrums that go with it. Let's hope it goes well...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Too busy for posting

I am flat out at the moment so there is much time for updating the blog.

The windows are more or less done, there is still a missing door frame in the basement and some tidying up to be done. The big issue was that the terrace slopes back towards to the house which has obviously made rain water run into the space under the windows and rot the wood holding up the living room floor.
This is going to be replaced with bricks and mortar so we don't have the same problem in the future.

Otherwise all is well. Tomorrow is J's kids birthday party and then the long weekend birthday begins...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I must be getting old

I don't really know how I ended up looking at jeans online, but I ended up at the G-Star website (they have an outlet in Ringsted) and was really taken aback by 2 things.

Firstly, to my eye, these jeans look crap. Totally knackered and a dreadful fit - I can cope with "distressed" or even "destroyed" or even some odd twisted "anti-fit" thing but putting them all together just looks like they were tailor made for a bow legged slob and found in a skip

Secondly they are £350 (3200DKK or about $600) WTF is that about?

I can only assume that my total inability to understand how or why anyone would buy these is an indication that I am getting rather old and out of touch with the yoof of today.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Windows 2.0

Yesterday the window guy called to say that he was coming to start fitting the new windows today. That meant that we had a couple of hours work to do last night to clear everything away from the doors and windows that are due to be changed, but it's all in a good cause.

The chimney has been re pointed already and they were hoping to get the ridge done outside today so that they could start removing and replacing the mortar on the underside of the roof tiles today.

I'll try to get some photographs if it is still light when I get home, otherwise it'll have to wait until I am home in daylight hours again.

Exciting times...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Slush Cup #1

Not me or my photograph, but you can see it was a beautiful day to be in the forest
The first race of the winter mountain bike season is a race against the clock to determine which group you start in for the first real race in a couple of weeks. Having only ridden twice in October and having not ridden my mountain bike since May, I was not expecting great things and I wasn't disappointed with my predictions.
148 out of 186 overall and 60th out of 73 men - Crap.
I fell quite heavily on the first lap and hurt my arm and my left hip (makes a change from the right one) and when I got back on my bike, I realised that the bars were twisted by about 45 degrees. I managed to straighten them a bit but not completely so I had to ride the remaining 2½ of 3 laps with a 10-20 degree offset on my bars which didn't help matters much.

I need to do two things before the next race:

  1. Train
  2. Get used to riding off road again

This week's crash damage

I have also woken up feeling like I was hit by a truck and with a cold this morning just to remind me how badly prepared I was for that race.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Diet days off and a slush cup in the sunshine

Normally I pig out on a Saturday as my day off the diet. This weekend I will not indulge as much as usual in an effort to control the one day a week weight gain and to see what happens generally. I usually feel pretty bloated and crappy by the end of a day of chocolate and cake eating . We are going to friends for dinner in the evening so I will eat whatever we are given there, but otherwise, my day will just be normal eating.

Sunday is the first Slush Cup of the season and will also be the first time I have ridden a mountain bike since riding in a 12 hour race in May. As it is a race against the clock, there is less pressure to make a crazy fast start so I hope my rusty handling won't be a problem, much as I also hope that the latex in my tyres is 4 months won't leave them deflated either. The weather forecast for the whole weekend is really good so it should be a good race and I hope that we can all get to do some nice stuff outside together as well.

Race report on Monday.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I'm being financially controlled by MK - the CFO on  daily basis and she immediately noticed that I have bought myself a fairly expensive piece of clothing. It's an SNS Herning cardigan which should be nice and warm and I got it for about half what it was when brand new as it has been worn a couple of times.

It am pretty sure that I will be able to sell it again if I am in too much trouble or I don't like it, but I am expecting some hot water regardless of the final outcome.

Next week I'll be disposing of some stuff on eBay, so hopefully I will be able to mitigate the financial and familial pressures both at the same time...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Missing the last evening

Today is my Mum's last day in Denmark for this visit, but I had to leave home at 6:00 to drive to Ã…rhus. Unfortunately, it looks like I will not be able to get home this evening so I will not get to spend the last evening with her and the family as I will be staying here overnight.

It was lovely to see her, and I am pretty sure that she is more interested in spending time with J&DK than she is to spend time with me. I am just grumpy anyway...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend in the sunshine

This is not my picture - our battery was flat. The sun was shining whilst we were there.
We have had a nice relaxed weekend with my mum visiting. Saturday morning was spent buying food and me making a stew whilst Mum made an (unintentionally) huge Victoria sponge cake at my request. The cake was supposed to be a mere 4 egg number, but having miscalculated the amount of butter/margarine required, it ended up being 8 eggs!
After lunch we went to Gyrstinge for a walk in the forest and to see the lake before returning to some delicious stew and dumplings and a lot of cake.
Sunday morning was the usual combination of me taking J to football whilst DK went to gymnastics with MK. We spent the evening with MK's parents having more good food and also got to see K,L&A.
Sorry this is becoming incomprehensibly filled with acronyms.

Anyway, today I am working again and the rest of the gang are in Copenhagen at the Royal Ballet to see Bamse and Kylling Ballet which is a kids ballet with some much loved children's TV characters dancing with the royal ballet.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Office worker

DK is a bit under under the weather and we are meeting G&G in Copenhagen this afternoon so I decided to bring him in to the office with me for a couple of hours after my telephone meetings this morning.

He has had fun doing some drawings and then eaten rather a lot of lunch before being given and ice cream by the nice lady in the canteen.

I'll clean the desk later...

He is now installed in the play room watching TV before we head off for the weekend and school holiday week for MK and the kids next week.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jet Lag

It's been pretty difficult to get out of bed the last couple of mornings. Last night it was also quite difficult to fall asleep until I remembered to take a melatonin tablet which did seem to help.

When the alarm clock went off this morning, I discovered that DK was in the bed beside me and it was again a huge effort to get out of the bed and into the shower. I did make it though and we all managed to get out of the house on time which was quite something as both MK and I had to go to Copenhagen for the day which meant an early start.

I have promised DK to take him to work with me tomorrow. I may live to regret that offer, but he wasn't at all impressed at being left in daycare this morning and I seem to be a sucker for his puppy dog eyes.
This may have been my warmest birthday ever - note the shorts!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Back home

I had a great trip to the US last week with a good variety of weather to contend with from warm sunshine to sleet.

At Total Climbing in Boulder

Getting over an overhanging section on a wall that is past vertical (graded 5.8 apparently)

The view from Flagstaff mountain -  the turnaround point of my bike ride
I did the usual stuff - eating mexican food, cycling, shopping and more mexican food and enjoyed catching up with everyone. The only real drawback was missing MK and the boys, I think I'll take someone or all of them with me next time.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011


Well I'm in Colorado and it's 4:30 in the morning. I am catching up on some work and working out the jetlag after a long long day travelling yesterday. I met Andy Hamsten at Heathrow airport and shook hands with him. I think he was amazed that someone would recognise a retired pro cyclist, but then I have seen recent pictures of him as well. Here he is wining the Giro d'Italia in the snow quite a few years ago.

My battery is about to die, so this will be short...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Beautiful day

We are having an Indian Summer at the moment, I rode my bike in shorts with short sleeves last night and I am wearing shorts right now (working at home this afternoon after a meeting in the centre of Copenhagen this morning).

This afternoon I am going to get a haircut to sort out the mess I made myself and then get ready for a barbecue this evening and my birthday tomorrow.

I need to figure out how I can watch or hear the world cup rugby match tomorrow morning between England and Scotland. Any recommendations welcome (live streaming maybe?)

Thursday, September 29, 2011


The new cooker was delivered on Monday but the plug didn't match the socket so we just called our tame electrician to come and sort it out as apparently that is a legal requirement.

He was a little confused that the cable (and plug fitted) only had 3 wires in it when the standard in Denmark is to have 5 so he had to change the cable on the cooker.

Then he went downstairs to the fuse cupboard and returned to tell us that one of the phases (is that the right name?) had tripped the circuit breaker. None of this really matters because he had the cooker going in a few minutes, but it does, however, appear that there may well be nothing wrong with the old cooker and the only thing we have achieved by buying a new one is that we no longer need to clean the old one.

That was really embarrassing!

Does anyone want to buy and working, but rather dirty Smeg cooker?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Birthday plans

As some of you will remember, it is my birthday this coming Saturday which apparently calls for some celebration. When I sent out the invitations to the Danish based family members, the sun was shining and I had dreams of walking in the forest and a barbecue in the late summer sun.

Despite the very encouraging weather forecast, the reality is that I don't want to try and feed 9 people out in the middle of nowhere with a wood fire and nowhere to prepare food or wash anything so I have decided to cook at home and then have a stroll afterwards.

So far I have decided that I would like to do braised lamb shanks for a main course, but I still have to decide on a starter (or nibbles depending on what I can come up with) and a dessert.

Being on a diet and having one day a week in which you are allowed to eat sweet things makes for a great deal of indecision. During the week you think of so many things you'd quite like to have that my the weekend, it is almost impossible to decide between them and you end up trying to eat them all. This is a recipe for belly ache and doesn't appear to help weight loss too much either although things are going well again this week.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

World Champioships

The whole family went to Copenhagen on Sunday to watch the World Championship road race. The weather was fantastic and everyone behaved so we had a great day. We got a good spot on a corner so we could see the riders coming into the corner and disappearing up the road.

There were too many people for us to go and see the finish or the awards ceremony, but we heard the commentary over the loudspeakers, and it was fantastic that Mark Cavendish won. The boys really enjoyed it so I am hopeful that they will develop some sort of interest in cycling in the future.

I am super busy at the moment, hence the short or missing posts. Soz

Friday, September 23, 2011

Self-Indulgent Bonus Post

So the weight loss has slowed quite a bit recently, but I am still on the diet and I think my body composition is still shifting, it more slowly.

I have had some odd realisations about life as less chubby person, some of which have been quite a surprise to me:

  1. I feel the cold more. This is not a surprise as I have experienced this before and it's not such a big change, I just sweat a bit less and wear a sweater more often
  2. The sensation of washing myself is different in that my shoulders and back feel harder and more bony. I don't really like it to be honest, but I suppose it shouldn't come as a surprise
  3. I have bones in my back and bum that make it quite uncomfortable sitting on hard chairs
  4. It hurts more knocking against things like door frames and the floor when I fell off my bike
  5. I have very long bony hands with stupidly thin looking wrists
  6. The varicose veins on my legs stick out more which is not all that attractive
And finally, yes I am self obsessed!

Late night in Burger King

It's a very long time since I last found myself sitting eating in Burger King at 11:00 at night. The last time I did it was probably over 10 years ago and I was almost certainly one of the loud and annoying drunk people on that occasion.

Last night Bert and I worked until 10:30 at the office and then went to the hotel to check in before trying to find something to eat. The options were Burger King or 7-eleven - so no choice at all then. I only went with Bert to get some fresh air, but in the end I had a chicken salad without any dressing that was almost edible!

The hotel was fine and I enjoyed plenty of scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast to make up for last night and I am looking forward to a decent meal at home this evening

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Heating and the Worlds

We now have heating! It was a joy getting up at 05:30 this morning to have a shower in a warm bathroom. The 2½ hours drive afterwards was less fun, but that is life.

J and I went to Copenhagen yesterday to watch the cycling world championships. It was the time trial so the riders go one at a time against the clock meaning there is a steady stream of fast moving riders to watch. We also stood close to a big screen so that we could watch the action on that as well.

J sat on my shoulders throughout the afternoon which got to be pretty uncomfortable after a while but he saw a lot and enjoyed it so much that I may take him to watch the road race on Sunday as well.
It was great to see Bradley Wiggins getting a silver medal for GB

J's favourite - Fabian Cancellara could only manage 3rd after winning the last 4 years

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nearly Done

Apparently the plumbers should finish their work today which is great news because it if too cold in the house without any heating on and the cleaner is coming tomorrow and can get rid of the mess they have made in the house. To be honest there is remarkably little mess but it appears to be causing MK some serious trauma anyway.

 Heating as it was going in.
 New kitchen radiator
 Dining room decorating to be done ( possibly the most boring picture ever seen)
 More or less completed heating system (tall thing on the left is the hot water tank)
 The mess piled in the basement room to make space for the plumbers to work
J doing his homework (facepaint is from supporting at a school football match)
This afternoon (provided that the weather holds up) J and I are going to Copenhagen to watch the cycling world championship time trial.