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going to replace it, it may as well be now, there is no point waiting for 8 months then getting a phone that will be superseded 3 months later.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