Saturday, July 23, 2011


The weather has been dreadful for the last 24 hours so MK and I came home to get working on J's bedroom. I spent 5 hours washing the old chalk paint off the ceiling and now I will get on with painting the Walls and ceiling again.

In the meantime, there has been a terrible attack in Norway by some crazy right wing guy who has killed 82 people at a youth camp outside Oslo and exploded a fair sized bomb in the centre of Oslo which has done quite a lot of damage and also killed some people. It seems to be a dreadful event. I am watching a the police giving a press conference on tv, it is easy the difference between the Norwegians and how the Americans would be behaving. The Norwegians will not answer most questions and are very non committal about it at the moment.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dieting on holiday

We are all at the beach which is why there isn't much blogging being done at the moment. The wasp sting has subsided quite a lot so o guess my current look is the one I am stuck with.
I am still sticking to my diet which involves watching everyone eat fresh bread and pastries every morning and strawberries and ice cream at some point each day. Yesterday MK even made me hold her ice cream (the remainder of which she planned to throw away) whilst she helped clean the chocolate ice cream off the kids. I didn't touch it. I don't know if I will lose any weight whilst we are here but I am fairly sure that if I were eating normally, I would certainly be gaining some.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bee sting 2 days later

I don't know if this picture will publish from my phone/email but I got stung by a bee on the side of my face whilst cycling on Saturday and my eye has more or less closed with the swelling now despite antihistamines and anti- inflammatory stuff. I think it's time to call the doctors...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Don't mention the war...

Today I am wearing a shirt that was rather too fitted to wear in public a few weeks ago (it is in fact only the second time I have worn it in 1½ years) and I am feeling fairly smug about it.

I don't understand what you would have to do to your appearance for someone to comment on it in this country, last weekend I gave myself a prison haircut. Nobody has mentioned it. I've lost 11kg which is more than 10% of my starting body weight and nobody has mentioned it. You get new glasses, nobody mentions it.

I can understand that there may be an element of "if you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all" and maybe it's just me. Am I making myself look increasingly ridiculous or is everyone so intimidated by me that they are afraid to say anything? I doubt it and at least hope not!

I think I may decide to keep the hairstyle for now, as there has only been one objection and that was from a long way away. Apparently those closer to home either like/don't mind it or they're too scared to say anything.


I am now officially bored with being on a diet, this morning I was 93kg exactly (about 14½ stone) and that is fine, but I haven't reached my secret goal yet so there is not to be any letting up and it is cheat/binge day tomorrow so I can let myself go for 24 hours.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ready to go

The guys came back this morning and finished installing the fireplace. It looks great and it's only a little bit like having a dalek in the living room...

This being Denmark, we have to have the installation certified by the chimney sweep before we can try it out, but that shouldn't take too long to get sorted out and then I suppose we need some wood to burn.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chim-chimeny chim-chimeny, chim chim cheroo!

I have no idea if that is how Dick Van Dyke spells it, but there you go. There are 2 or 3 guys climbing around on the roof, in the loft and in the basement fitting our fireplace. I have a feeling that the roof may well be a leaking mess by the time they are done and apparently we don't need the cover over the top of the chimney so it doesn't matter that it is now on the lawn in pieces. I suppose time will tell on that one and at least I know that the roof is due to be fixed in a month anyway and we won't pay until the chimney sweep has certified that the work is safe anyway. The certification is a legal requirement before we light a fire and given the weather today, that could actually have been this evening!

In other exciting news, MK and I have booked ourselves a weekend in Berlin in September. We have't had a weekend off since our (cold and wet) trip to Vienna last spring. Hopefully we'll have something more like an Indian summer this time around. We are driving there, which apparently only takes 5 hours including the ferry trip and we have booked a room at the H10 hotel. Should be fun.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Denmark is pretty much asleep in July. There is little traffic and having worked from home yesterday, one gets the impression that there is not much work going on either.

MK took T the boys to the beach yesterday and was brave enough to have a swim in the sea. She claimed it to be warm, but I know better than to believe such bold statements without testing it for myself. Today she is taking them to the zoo on the train and I will take them home with me in the car at the end of the day. Thankfully the sun is shining so I am sure they will have a fun day saying hello to the animals.

Tomorrow we get the fireplace and on Thursday the exciting stages of the Tour de France get started in the real mountains.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Part one

With the fireplace being fitted on Wednesday where the television has been bolted to the wall for the last 5 years there is little choice other than to move the TV. That isn't such a challenge in itself, but the bracket is bolted to the wall with 6 big screws and the paint colour on the wall is our own mix so we can'r recreate that.

The solution has been to move the TV to the corner and paint the wall and lighter colour which tones with the old colour and lightens the room a little as well.

So far so good. The new position for the TV is a big improvement and we seem to have found good homes for the other furniture that we have had to relocate. The flue for the fireplace will go straight up through the ceiling and join the chimney up in the loft and it just stands on a glass plate on the floor so there should be no other problems with the decorating for now.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Brændeovne and prison haircuts

We loaded the kids into the car and headed to Næstved on Wednesday evening to pick out a fireplace for the living room. I was pleasantly surprised how quickly we agreed on one given that there were apparently around 300 on offer and most of them looked pretty similar. In the end we chose a SCAN-53 like the one above except that the door section is black, not grey (the top and bottom are stainless steel). It was more or less half price and I think we got a pretty good deal from them given that this is their low season and I think they are glad of the sale and some work. It's being fitted next Wednesday which means that I need to move the TV and fix the wall up before then which will, no doubt, be more work than I think.

We are considering using wallpaper on the end wall of the living room to cover up the (filled) holes that the TV bracket will leave as we don't have any of the paint left and it was our own blend so we can't recreate it.

I finally plucked up the courage to give myself the prison haircut last night. As I won't see many (if any) colleagues and clients next week and then have the following 2 weeks off, I decided that there was enough time for re-growth if or when I hated it. It seems that I have even less hair than I thought I had and I don't appear to look much like me anymore...

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


It's time for a quick resume of the weekends action in the Alpes...

BHP and I flew out to Geneva with our bikes on Thursday evening, picked up the rental car (a golf estate which was rather nice) and I drove us to Alpe d'Huez. We arrived at our apartment at bedtime so there wasn't much to do other than hit the sack. Friday was spent getting the bikes ready, signing in and resting. BHP had an afternoon nap whilst I read my book in the sunshine until I was fairly extensively sunburned. I am apparently a fool who is unable to learn that you get burned by the sun in June even if there is a cool wind blowing.

The Marmotte race itself started on Saturday morning at 7:00 so we were up early and rode down to the start at the foot of the mountain. At about 7:15 we were finally under way and began set off along the valley before beginning the climb up the Col du Glandon. I enjoyed the climb, the conditions were great and I wasn't pushing myself too hard as BHO and I had agreed to ride together and I knew that he was behind me. We met once or twice on the way up and I waited for him for a couple of minutes at the top so that we were never too far apart. The descent was long and fun and thankfully uneventful. We met again at the bottom and headed off on the long flattish section that takes you to the bottom of the Col du Telegraph. I was lucky enough to get into a fairly good group whose wheels I could sit on the whole way and I was feeling better than I had ever done before at this stage of the race.

BHP and I met up again at the foot of the climb but I could see that he was not having a great day. I rode steadily up the climb and then we descended to Valloire to the food depot where we stopped for something to eat. BHP said that we wasn't sure he would make it to the end so I should carry on without him and be prepared to come and get him in the car if necessary. I was rather reluctant to do that, but there were plenty of supporters to help him if he needed something and if he would really need a lift home, then it would be a long time before I could get back with the car so there was no use in waiting too much. I left him with some salt tablets and energy gells and set off up the fearsome Galibier.

I got over the top after 7 hours of riding and began the long, long descent to Bour d'Oisans where the race started. It was windy but I was relieved that the hardest climb was over and I was still feeling sort of ok. I knew that it was about an hour to the bottom of the Alpe d'Huez climb and then at least 1:15 to get to the finish so I was hopeful of getting somewhere close to my 9 to 9½ hour finishing time.

I stopped at the foot of the last climb having 8 hours of riding showing on my computer. I had a few cups of Pepsi and a few sweets and thinking that I still had 2 or 3 energy gels in my pockets, I set off up the savagely steep climb. After the 5th of the 21 hairpin bends I stopped in some shade to have a quick drink and a gel and then set off again. I made it to the church where the gradient eases about two thirds of the way up the climb but was frustrated to find that I had no energy gels left and I was running on empty.

The only option was to keep struggling on to the finish. I came in with a time of 9:45 on my computer, but the official time was 10:30. My slowest official time I have had in 3 attempts but I was happy. I had been texting with BHP and I knew that he was making good progress (he arrived about 1½ hours after me) which was great news and a fantastic achievement at 68. Considering that I was stuck on the floor with a herniated disc this time last year and had to start training from scratch in February, I am quite proud of myself for having managed to drop 10kg and get in good enough shape to finish the race at all. I managed to get the silver time again (just) but one day I'll be back, light enough and fit enough to earn the gold award.

We had a huge steak on Saturday night and spent Sunday afternoon sitting by the lake in Geneva before flying home in the evening.

I must say a huge thanks to BHP for sponsoring our weekend, it was a great experience again and has been my main motivation for getting back into shape this year after 2010s back problems. Now on with the racing...

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Happy Birthday DK

I have a lot of catching up to do with the blog, but the most important thing today is DK's third birthday. His first 2 years were eventful and hard going for the whole family but the last year has been great. No serious medical problems and he has come on in leaps and bounds.

This morning the nursery class are coming and staying for lunch and the T&B will be with us for supper this evening.

Tomorrow I'll get around to the Marmotte...