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...