Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Getting busy

I've not been too busy at work of late, but that looks to be changing as I should have 3 projects running by next week. Should be fun.

Guitar lesson was fun again last night although I think I am the worst player in the group and apparently the only one who doesn't know every bar chord by heart. I can't believe that this group is really the "players with a little experience". I suspect I should have gone with the beginners, but I'm enjoying it and they haven't thrown me out yet!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

In Sweden

I'm right next to this building today at a customers office. It is a great building and much more complex than it at first appears, for example, the windows are not square. I really like it although it is ALWAYS incredible windy here.

I also had the treat of driving over the bridge to get here. It's a nicer bridge than the Storre Belt going to Jutland, but it's as nice an experience driving over it in the mornings because the sun is not in the right place.

Back to guitar lessons tonight. I hope my little bit of practice has helped...

Monday, August 29, 2011

and I look old


Saturday was the company family day out at a local amusement park. We drove through torrential rain, but thankfully is stopped for most of the 4 hours that we were there and it had put off a lot of people so the queues were not too long and it started to pee down again on the way home so it could all have been worse.

Sunday was spent at the supermarket, watching J playing football and then building his new bed which took most of the day. After dinner I did a couple of hours of ironing and then went to bed.

What a great weekend.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Yesterday evening I decided to train with the bike club. We normally ride about 80km, it takes 2,5 hours including some intervals and a bit of chatting and rolling along together in a group of 10 or so. Last night there we're 4 of us and we rode 105km in just over 3 hours. I did and interval session on Wednesday evening, but I hadn't really eaten properly afterwards or during the day yesterday and The result was that I was completely dead when I got home home. I lay on the hall floor shivering and I could hardly stand up long enough to have a shower. The other problem with getting that tired is that it is hard to eat anything which makes recovering even harder. I did eat a bit and then had a really bad night with a lot of cramps and very little sleep.
Looking on the bright side, despite having drunk about 4 litres of water since I got home, I was still down to 88,8kg this morning which is my lightest yet and I think it is even under 14 stone.

On a totally different note, they have announced that there will be a general election in Denmark on September 15th. I think it is Herat that thinks can be done so quickly here with this sort of thing and it means that we will only have to suffer 3 weeks of electioneering!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy Birthday G&J

Happy Birthday to you both

I had never though about twins birthday cakes before, but it seems that there are some novel ideas out there.

I got me new saddle yesterday, the old one has the edges missing and the rough plastic is cutting through my cycling shorts. Believe it or not, the saddle was less than half the price of a new pair of shorts so replacing it made sense. I got a Selle Italia SLR with carbon rails, it only weighs 135grammes and my first impression is that I can see they have saved weight by missing out almost all of the padding. My goodness it is firm.

My first impression was that it was comfortable, I had to fiddle around moving the seat post up and bit and then getting it level and in the right position, but it seemed fine. I am a little concerned that there may be some numbness issues though after my initial ride, so I fear it may not be the one for me, but only time will tell.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Guitar lesson

OK so I did stay up late again watching the cycling - I never learn!

Yesterday evening I went to my first guitar lesson at the evening school. There were 8 other people and a teach and it was very much an in at the deep end experience for me. As everyone was chatting at the start, I could see that most of them had been playing together for some years and they were all a LOT better than me. Undeterred, I joined in playing the weird and wonderful Danish songs that we were given (I even recognised one of them) and had a good time with it.

The great thing about being one of 10 guitars playing at any one time is that your mistakes are quite well hidden and if there is a chord you don't know, you can just skip a couple of beats and catch up on the next one. I can see that I need to do a lot of practice especially as I have not really played since the spring when the weather finally got better.

The group was a rather entertaining mix from a grumpy teenage girl to middle aged guys and there was even a guy in a wheelchair to give the group a real politically correct, TV sitcom feel.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I have never been very good at making myself go to bed or at falling asleep when I get there. Thankfully I have gradually learned that life is much more enjoyable on 8 hours sleep per night than it is with only 6 hours although sometimes I forget, or something distracts me.

For the last couple of nights, I have been distracted by exciting things on the TV, firstly on Sunday there was a Darren Brown program which went on too late and then last night there was live coverage of the US pro cycling challenge race being held in Colorado that I couldn't help watching. I then spent quite a long time trying to find a mosquito that I could hear when the lights were out, but not see when the lights were on.

Tonight I'm not going to turn the TV on to avoid the problem, I also have my first guitar lesson this evening to keep me out of mischief. I'll report on that tomorrow.

J is sleeping without a nappy now. We have had 2 dry nights (I carry him to the toilet before I go to bed and try to get him emptied before putting him back in his bed) so it has been reasonably successful although it seems that there was an accident at some point last night.

Monday, August 22, 2011


What a lovely weekend!

We spent Saturday at home in the morning with J and DK having a couple of friends over for a play date. After lunch we took some drinks and a big cake with us to the forest for a walk and some fresh air in the wilds. When we got home I made salmon fish cakes which were rather nice and we finished off the B&B pudding which had been in the freezer for a couple of weeks.

Yesterday was a big sports day. J played in his first 3 football matches in Slagelse. His team didn't win anything, but I am reliably informed that he played well and they all had fun and stopped off at a farm on the way home to have ice cream and a look around. Meanwhile I was riding in a bike race in Roskilde.I had felt pretty good since last week and everything went well. I finished in 21st place - in the main group which was my aim for the day. I was actually in a great position coming into the finishing straight but as it was an uphill finish and I didn't have the umph to get into the top 15 to score any points. It's a great invigorating feeling to be riding along in a group of nearly 70 riders at 50km/h, it's hard work, complete concentration and a little terror all rolled into one!

I think my fitness is now back to where it was when my back gave out last year, but I have the advantage of weighing about 7kg less. I think I should be in a good position to have a full competitive season in 2012.

I am also looking forward to seeing J's next football matches, he loves playing and is getting better and better at it to my amazement, I have no idea where he has inherited that skill from, I can't see it on either side of the family from where I am sitting!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Photo update

Bread and butter puddings. The experimental peanut butter and jam one was not that good so I won't be doing that again. otherwise yummy and made better by cooking in a water bath.

First day at school (please ignore the bin bags)

The chilli harvest. The smallest of the orange ones was enough to make 4 large burgers pretty hot so I will treat the bigest with some respect!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Boring diet update

It's been a while since I did an indulgent post about my dieting, so here we go again.

I got some new bathroom scales last week which are more accurate than the old ones and measure body composition in a few different ways including a setting for "athletes". Judging by the results I get using the athlete mode, I am clearly not what they consider an athlete to be because I am certainly not 9% body fat. Oh well, that put me in my place!

I generally weigh myself in the mornings before I get in the shower (these are the weights shown above) but following the advice for the new scales, I weighed myself when I got home from work and was happy to see that I was 89.8kg and now down to 15.7% body fat.

I think I have about another 4kg to go before I'm done, but I feel good and I was strong enough to ride 100km with the bike clubs fast guys on Tuesday night and the 32" waist jeans are a spot on fit.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

School report

J's first day at school seems to have gone well. He was happy when he got home and enjoyed himself. There are only 22 kids in his class and most of them seem to be girls. Unfortunately, this morning he didn't want to go back.

Yesterday the new ones were all assigned a buddy from the 5th grade (I think) who is going to look after them as they settle in to the school. J was happy with his new friend, but was quite concerned that he wouldn't be sitting with him all day today to explain what was going on AND he was concerned that they would be reading and writing today which he doesn't know how to do!

By the time I had dropped him off, he had forgotten all of his fears and was happy to be there before the bell went. I took him into the playground and he had a big smile for me as he waved goodbye.

If I think back to my first day at Shustoke school when I was left at the gate (as I am told parents were instructed to do), then it is a much less traumatic experience. Apparently one of the girls yesterday was even allowed to go home half way through the morning because she didn't like it.

They finished at 11:30 yesterday which included a break and lunchtime so it wasn't too taxing. A normal day will finish at 12:30 and then he goes to the SFO which is a day care institution attached to the school where they can play and or do their homework until being fetched by parents at some point before it closes at 17:00.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

First day

J started school this morning which seems to have gone smoothly.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I'm tired

I spent Saturday cooking for some guests who came to dinner in the evening: devils on horseback (dates with bacon around them) and cheese straws to nibbles, then pork fillet en-croute, dauphinoise potatoes and broccoli   followed by (the now predictable) individual bread and butter puddings with BHPs home made rose hip jam. It all worked out really well and it was a nice way to enjoy my cheat day.

Sunday was bike race day. It started reasonably well, I felt OK and managed to stay with the group over the bigger hills and was happy with progress until there was a crash in front of me at the bottom of a longish hill. That meant that I had to start from a stand-still and try to chase back to the group. I think I may have made it as there were some slower sections of the course, but then another rider took me out when he decided to turn left at a right hand turn. Next think I knew, I was lying in the road with a few scrapes and a painful right hand.
That was enough of that for the day so I decided to go home as I was never going to get back to the group and I was feeling sorry for myself. No real damage was done to either me or my bike, just a few scrapes and I'll be back again next week to see if I can manage to end my racing season by getting to the finish with everyone else!

Friday, August 12, 2011

TFI Friday

For some reason I am glad this week is over (well almost).

The weather has been very average and last night we lit the fire again which made the living room almost unbearably hot (about 28 C). I was planning on doing some ironing, but just staying awake was a big challenge. The crappy weather looks set to continue so I guess we may as well assume that the summer is officially over and get on with Autumn.

We have some friends coming for dinner on Saturday evening and I am planning on making my favourite lemon curd bread and butter puddings. The desert was easy to decide upon, but we have had trouble deciding on the main course. At the moment it looks like it will be pork fillets en-croute and something to nibble as an appetiser whilst we try to get the kids to bed!

I have a bike race on Sunday which I hope will go better than the last one. I have trained a bit more although not enough this week and I am a bit lighter than I was 6 weeks ago as well. I want to believe that this will be enough, but knowing that the course is very hilly, I am not all that confident.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cleft lip and palate centre

Today DK had 3 appointments at the cleft lip and palate centre in Hellerup. First off, the dentist checked out his teeth. He will need braces starting somewhere between 5 and 7 and then again when he is a teenager. Not a surprise when you see how close together his teeth are.

The speech therapist was happy with the cleft palate, but his speech is quite a long way behind where it should be. She couldn't really say why other than that it is not related to the palate. We expect that he'll learn to speak more as time goes by.

Finally the ear nose and throat Doctor was happy with him so we are free for another year.

On the way home I had to stop at the bike shop after my seat post collar mysteriously broke on it's own. All in all everything is pretty good. We have the fire going so it is ridiculously hot in the living room despite being cold and wet outside. it seems that summer is over and we can expect cold grey weather until next April.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Travel Plans

We're thinking about our travel plans for the coming year. First up is our weekend away in Berlin without the kids. When we went to Vienna last spring we had a bit if trouble finding places to eat having not really planned in advance. This time, we have done a bit of research and made a reservation at Renger Patzsch Restaurant.

We will be home again for Christmas, but I am still hopeful that we may be able to persuade G&G to visit. MK wants to go skiing in February, but we are not sure if we will or where we should go as skiing holidays tend to be rather costly and DK is still too small to ski which means that someone has to forego skiing whilst looking after him at least for another year. 

More excitingly, we are seriously considering going to Cornwall for our summer holiday next year. It is nice to go away and I would like MK and the kids to get to see a bit more of the UK and if we don't use our summer holidays for it, then I guess it will never happen. I have found a nice house overlooking Polruan which looks perfect.

I guess it is rediculously early to be planning our 2012 summer holiday, but we have to plan ahead a bit and our summer holiday (well the cost of it at least) dictates to large extent what we do for the rest of the year.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


What on earth is going on in the UK? Riots???

I suppose it has happened a few times in my life over things like the poll tax and other things I can't remember but it still comes as a shock, especially as it appears to me to have started over a local incident in London which (according to the BBC) was then misreported via Twitter and provoked all of the anger. On the other hand, it appears to have been a poor excuse for a bunch of scum bags to go out stealing stuff.

Does anyone have any good ideas for flooring in our basement. The quote of 125,000kr (£13,000 or $20,000) is waaaaay too much to consider for the minimal benefit will give to our lives so now we need to find an alternative. I am considering paint...

Friday, August 05, 2011

Cars 2

I have J with me at work today which is going pretty smoothly so far. He has coloured in some Spiderman pictures and is now watching the TV. After lunch we are going to have a little shopping trip to get some new clothes ready for starting school in a few days and then we are going to see the new cars film (in English).

It seems to be an exciting day for him and he is enjoying it, especially the 55" TV that he has all to himself.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Ringsted Festival

This weekend is the annual Ringsted Festival which means that there will be cars up and down the road looking for parking spaces, we will be kept awake until the early hours of the morning with load music and it will almost certainly rain for most of the weekend. The forecast is predicting at least some rain but you never know.

The festival entrance is less than 100m from our house so we will be able to hear the lot whether we are inside the house or outside, windows closed or open.

This picture is from 2005 and it is about 4 times this size this year judging by the infrastructure that is being put in place at the moment.

I think we need to either embrace the festival, buy tickets and go to see it, OR we get the hell out of there and spend the weekend somewhere else. I am still undecided so I have checked out the artists who will be keeping us awake over the coming 3 days and nights. I think some of you outside Denmark will know one or two of them - Aqua, Alphabeats and Infernal being the only ones you may know and then there are a load of "famous in Denmark" like the famously tough and scary white rappers - Nic and Jay. Gansta!

I am still not sure what we'll do, last year I hit the sleeping pills and if we are staying at home, I will do that again. The other option is a camping tour to the woods, but, hardcore as I may be, that will have to be somewhat dependant upon the weather, just like the festival. Maybe I'll let MK and the kids decide.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Muffin Tops

As the weeks have passed, I have been pretty good at sticking to my diet (yes I know I have also written about it a lot too) and there has been steady progress. At times, it seemed that I had stalled somewhat, but I have lost weight and my clothes have become too big and I have had to gradually update my wardrobe to chuck out the big stuff (well store it safely) and get the odd new thing. At the weekend I got a new pair of jeans which were 34" waist, but when we got home, MK and I agreed that they were actually a bit big so yesterday afternoon I went back to try some smaller ones and have come home with a pair of 32" waist jeans! I am also down to 92.2kg (14,5 stone).
I still have more to go though as was demonstrated by me getting my ass kicked (yet again) on the club bike ride again last night.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


Whilst cleaning my bike at the weekend I set about taking the nasty pump mount off and replacing the non matching bottle cage bolts with nice new red anodised ones. All went well until I reached the last bolt and realised that I had cross threaded it when I put the pump holder on before the marmotte. Bugger.

I had ruined the first half of the thread and frankly didn't really know how to fix it myself without a big risk of ruining everything. I decided to head off to the bike shop to get it fixed which turned out to be a good idea. He reamed out the knackered few millimetres of thread so that the bolt went into the good thread and solved the problem. I guess I could have done that, but the risk was just too high for me.

Whilst there I spent some time (more time than is healthy) talking to the guys about race wheels and what would be an appropriate choice for me to use. I don't think I actually reached a conclusion and I am still pondering which ridiculously expensive bling hoops I should be getting to put on my bike as I puff around at the back of the pack trying not to get dropped. I am still a few kilograms away from a 6 pack, but it is going in the right direction and I am determined to be competitive towards the end of this season and come out fighting in 2012.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Sorry for the delay

I generally don't advertise on here that we are going on holiday just in case that information may be useful to anyone who would like to burgle our house, I also tend not to blog when I am on holiday and that is why there have not been many posts in the last couple of weeks. Anyway, were back now after 2 weeks on the Danish coast with T&B in a lovely summer house. The weather was OK for a Danish summer and we all had a good time relaxing, swimming in the sea and generally messing around.

I have managed some reasonable bike training and stuck to my diet so I am feeling pretty good about myself. MK and I also managed to get J's room decorated on a couple of the wet days (we had 4 days of uninterrupted rain in the middle of the holiday) so it is ready for his new bed to be delivered in the next couple of weeks.

Today was a big day, I took DK to Børnehave (the big nursery where J has been for the last 3 years) for his first day this morning whilst MK took J to the SFO for the first time. That is the daycare attached to his new school where he will spend his free time after school when he starts next week (they finish at lunchtime and play there until they are picked up). It all seems to have gone well and the next big step is school starting for real.