Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Finally the flowers in the garden are doing something. 

Lupins, Foxgloves and miniature lilacs

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sticky Sticks

In our vegetable box last week we got some Skorzonerrødder which we generally just call sticky sticks. They are muddy roots which you peel and eat like most root vegetables - boiled or roasted. When you peel the dirty brown outside off, they are white-ish inside but secrete some sort of sticky stuff which you can't seem to wash off your hands so you need to wear gloves when you are preparing them.

I think they are supposed to be a poor mans asparagus, but I think that is doing them an injustice as they are really nice on their own, sort of like a parsnip but with a subtle asparagussy flavour.

So far, I can't find an english name for them - does anyone know what they are called?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Last notch

After eating Carpaccio and rocket for supper last night along with a couple of glasses of red whilst MK was out at a meeting, I was gratified to find my weight had fallen a little farther this morning.

The result is that I have had to pull my belt in by another notch meaning that I am on the last ones. Any further narrowing around the waist will leave me with no option other than to make new holes in my belt.

I need to get some training done tonight though to keep up the virtuous cycle I have started and I am also planning on turning the packet of dried chickpeas I put into soak last night into chickpea flower so that I can try making flatbreads. Sounds interesting huh?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Windows and Doors

We've had a quote from the people who replaced some of our windows a couple of years ago to replace the remainder of them and a couple of doors.

That is the 4 basement windows and door and 3 windows upstairs along with the terrace door. At the same time, he suggested we should change the big windows in the living room which seems to make sense, but mostly because we can change the uninsulated panels below the windows at the same time.

Blimey, you could buy a car for that money. Even in Denmark!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Still Dieting

Apparently, the diet that I am following should allow me to lose about 2kg per week until my body fat percentage reaches somewhere between 10 and 12% and then it should level our. I had been following it fairly strictly but not really losing anything like as much as I should so I had to revisit the rules and see where I was going wrong.

There are the rules I should have followed:

·         NO bread, pasta, rice, potatoes etc
·         NO drinks with calories
·         NO fruit
·         NO Cereal
·         NO Dairy
·         As in NONE. Just don’t do it, even a bit
As much as you want of …….
·         Vegetables
·         Beans/lentils
·         Lean meat
·         Eggs
·         Seeds/nuts
·         Lots of water
·         Coffee
·         Red wine with meals.
       One day a week eat what you want

However, I had decided that I could have milk in my tea in the mornings and the evening and that I could eat some meat products which had some sort of cereal in them such as meatballs and sausages. I have also been eating too many cashew nuts.

This week I have moved over to black coffee (I have also discovered that an Americano is almost as good as a latte if it is good espresso) and ditched the meat products that don't look like pure meat.

As a result the weight loss seems to have picked up a bit again. This morning I was 97.6kg which means that I have dropped 6,5kg since starting the dieting and am now more optimistic about getting below 95kg or even hitting 93kg by the time the Marmotte rolls around at the end of June.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Great weekend

We made the most of the long weekend.

On Friday we messed around and relaxed for much of the day and I managed 75km out on my bike before we went to friends for supper in the evening. (To be honest, I can't really remember what we did during the day)

On Saturday we went to the forest and had a barbecue at a spot where you can sleep on a wooden platform. Our disposable barbecue was a dud so I had to do a full on Ray Meyers style camp fire in order to cook the lamb and sausages but it all worked out fantastically well in the end and we had a really nice day.

MK, J and DK went to football in the morning whilst I got another 100km in on my bike and then we did a bit more messing in the garden until the rain arrived later in the afternoon. I roasted a chicken which was entirely wasted on the children, but MK and I enjoyed it anyway and we hit the hay before 10:00 becuase we were all exhausted.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Long weekend

Tomorrow is "Big Prayer Day" in Denmark so most of the country will all be in church giving thanks for our high levels of smugness and contentment. Or not as the case may be. Danes pay an optional church tax (well, I actually chose not to) so they don't actually need to attend church other than for Christmas, weddings, funerals and oddly enough, confirmations which appear to be a big thing here.

Apparently we should also be celebrating with some slightly different bread rolls called hvedeknopperne.  As I recall, they are ever so slightly spicy, sort of like a hot cross bun without the fruit, cross and most of the spices.

Anyway, I will be giving thanks for my two good legs, an expensive bike and the predicted good weather and get out for some fresh air and exercise during the day and then off to some friends for a barbecue in the evening. I think we may even try to get the family out to the forest for a wander around and to smell the pine trees.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I am really tired of learning Danish at the moment. I think I have now passed the stage of being happy to be understood and am now working in the finer details of grammar and trying to extend my vocabulary.
That is the problem, I don't seem to have a good understanding of how grammar works in English so I struggle to understand when I am given an explanation of how the grammar functions in Danish even though it is more often than not the same as English.
I M tempted to give up again for now, but I suppose I hVe to battle though these last exercise books and have some die of taking the official government certification of competance test when it next happens in th autumn.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wood Pellet Boilers

The fireplace guy came to see us this morning to size up the job of installing a wood burner. Whilst he was here we got talking about what we would do in the future with the central heating and he raised the idea of a wood pellet burner. I have read about these before and thought they were a good idea but assumed that they must be either illegal or taxed heavily in Denmark. It turns out that they are neither and may actually be a good idea for us as a replacement to using oil and cheaper to connect to and run than the local heating.

The impact of that would be repairing and re-lining the chimney on top of all the work involved in changing the heating system. However, that will be cheaper than connecting to the local heating and apparently the cost of the a KW worth of wood pellets is about half the price of the equivalent amount of oil. Now we need some estimates before we decide which way to go because it affects how we will connect the fireplace to the chimney if we want to go down this route.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Blogger was down when I had time to blog yesterday so here is an extraordinary Saturday edition.

Yesterday evening we went to the Brændovne shop to see what they had to offer. There is someone coming to look at the loft and roof on Tuesday before we get a final price on the installation but they seemed to be in the process of moving to a new location and as this is the low season for selling fireplaces there were some good offers to be had. At the moment it looks like it's going to be this one:

We just have to get the 25% off and a good deal on installation.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I went out for dinner last night with some colleagues and had a really nice meal at Cofoco (Copenhagen Food Company). 6 interesting courses and a laugh to go with it. Not bad.

The meal wasn't a total diet blow-out as the courses were small and seemed pretty healthy, however, as I am working at home today, I thought I'd try making a vegetable juice drink to go with my lunch. I juiced 3 large carrots, 3 sticks of celery (which I hate) and some fresh ginger. It seems that there was too much ginger, I am not keen on carrot juice and I hate celery so the experience was basically thoroughly unpleasant. I was expecting it to be dreadful anyway so I just downed it in one and went back to work. However, 30 minutes later I feel like I have been poisoned so I hope that I survive the afternoon!

At the race

Here I am pulling a face and trying not to hit a tree if I recall correctly.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Not Fair

Yesterday was a very sad day for cyclists as a guy was killed in a terrible accident in the Tour of Italy. He fell on a fast descent and seems to have died more or less instantly from serious head injuries despite doctors being on the scene within 30 seconds. That's not fair for him or his family.

On a significantly less important level, I am also being unfairly treated by my weight which seems to stubbornly refuse to fall either at all or at a rate which I consider to be reasonable considering how little enjoyment I am getting from my eating these days. I have barely enjoyed a single meal since getting home from England after Easter and yet I don't seem to be losing much or at least enough (in my eyes) weight.

I will be very disappointed if I am not into the 97.somethings by the end of the week.

Monday, May 09, 2011


This time last year I was suffering with back ache after having ridden a 12 hour mountain bike race as part of a team of 3. I can now see that it was the first sign of a more serious problem that hit in June, but I have learned a lot since then and I was happy to be there riding again this year. I was certainly slower than last year and my back ached whilst I was riding, but I stretched as best I could and I have been fine since the ride.

My legs were tired yesterday but I felt generally OK other than being dehydrated so I am ready to get back in the saddle this evening and continue training for the Marmotte with next weekends ride in Jutland with BHP. We are riding the 170km version of a ride we did a few years ago which takes in most of the significant hills in Denmark. I hope I can finish it!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Finally warming up

Tomorrow we are taking J to his school for a first meeting with the other kids and parents and then I am off to a mountainbike race in the afternoon with some other guys.

I hope the sun stays out

Great website

Have a look at this blog http://www.foundshit.com/

The first page isn't the best but if you scroll back through a couple of pages there are some really interesting and funny things.

Thursday, May 05, 2011


We are now considering getting a fireplace installed during the summer to add a bit of hugge and help out on the heating bills. The fact that it is freezing at the moment also adds to the desire to add some extra heating to the house without cranking up the heating again.

Problem is that we don't know where in the living room to put it...

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Following on from our decision to renovate our house rather than moving, we have immediately run into some stumbling blocks. The first is to agree what has to be done, when and by whom. It appears that both the quality of my workmanship and the humour in which the work is done are being drawn into question by some of the other residents of the house and there was an assumption that more or less all of the work would be done by tradesmen.

I, on the other hand, thought that there were some jobs that I could certainly manage on my own without killing anyone or making a total hash of it so I think we will have to negotiate somewhat to see who will do what.

In the meantime, we have to figure out what has to be done in which order, what we can do ourselves and what has to be left to professionals and finally figure out what it will all cost and where the money will come from. As it stands, I don't think there'll be much done before next summer with the exception of fixing the roof and adding insulation to the loft.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


I spent 6 hours in the car yesterday so I decided to work from home today. The only problem is that it is freezing cold and I can hardly feel my fingers.

Meanwhile, there isn't much happening other than us making some plans for the coming weekends which don't seem to leave us much spare time until July.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Re-prioritising Life

Last week, as I mentioned, we heard that the house we wanted to buy had been sold to someone else. Having been told that we would sell our house in a matter of weeks at the price we decided to sell, this has not happened and we are now quite tired of the whole enterprise.

So what next?

We, we have considered what we need, what we have and what we want to do in the next 10 years or so and come to the same conclusion that we did before which is that we don't need to move house. However, we have now decided that we don't need to more and therefore we won't move, but we will finalise the renovations that our house needs to fulfil our needs.

We want to finish the basement so that we can use it as part of the living space for the house with some office and living space down there and a better space for handling washing and things. We also need to replace the garage with something we can use as a workshop/bike storage which will be secure and practical. We also need a double width drive to avoid swapping the cars around all the time. We quite quickly came up with this list (tenders are invited!)

  • Repair roof and chimney
  • Add insulation to roof
  • Replace hall floor
  • Repaint all whitewashed ceilings along with living room ceiling
  • Build new (brick built) garage/workshop
  • Widen drive and repave it
  • Tile basement floor
  • Change heating system and radiators
  • Replace basement door and windows and old doors and windows in house
  • Improve lighting and wiring in the basement for living requirements
  • Decorate basement and everywhere else in due course
  • Fit a new bathroom
It's a lot of work but we don't need to do it all at once and we can spend the next 5 years working on it but I think we are agreed that we can fit into the house we have and will get some satisfaction from telling the estate agent to get lost.