Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I don't think I am really I'll very often, but I woke up yesterday morning with a fever and a general aching all over kind of thing going on. Unfortunately AI am booked on a course yesterday and today in Copenhagen learning about running agile software development project so staying in bed was not an option. The course is very good so far but it was unfortunate that there was no heating in the meeting room all day so I sat shivering and sweating all day. I then had the pleasure of spending my evening interviewing Bulgarian consultants.
Last night was, if anything, worse than Sunday night so there is a lot more sweating and shivering on the cards for the day. Hopefully I will either be better tomorrow or be able to take a day off sick.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Part of the basement referb involves us moving the office furniture from the dining room into the basement. We need something to replace the storage capacity in the dining room for wine glasses, booze and cook books.

Despite our repeated problems with the biggest Danish on-line auction house (it's a real auction house, not eBay) we have again managed to win a lot and pay for some Montana shelves. Whether they turn up or not remains to be seen.

These are usually stupidly expensive and they are supposed to be brand new (presumably ex display) and also fitted with the mounts to hang on the wall and built in lighting (minus transformer).

I am already dreading trying to get them hung on the wall

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Failing to Thrive

DK had a single drain put in one of his ears on Monday and he has been put on antibiotics to deal with the ear infection that he has. He basically didn't eat anything yesterday and he is lethargic and grumpy and sleeps a lot so I have kept him at home today whilst I work in order to force feed him and give him a little more time to recover.
So far it has gone reasonably well. 2 bowls of oats and raisins with half milk, half double cream. Thickly buttered toast with cheese on it and a bread roll with a slice of butter and raisins for lunch along with a chocolate biscuit, all washed down with full fat milk. We really need to get some fat on his bones and some protein in him but it is uphill as he has a tiny appetite and capacity for food.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Well the cycling trip got postponed again!

Saturday was a real winters day with sleet and snow and general grey unpleasantness outside. J played football in the morning and we hid from the weather inside with a fire and home made spotted dick for pudding in the evening. We also moved some of the furniture into the basement and started moving into the "old cave".

Sunday was a much more reasonable day weather wise so I agreed to meet Lars at his parents house to chop wood in the forest to sit and dry for the coming couple of years. There were 4 of us working hard for a few hours and we managed to fell 2 big trees, one of which we also split into firewood whilst the other is awaiting the attention of some axes.

Despite it being cold and snowing a little, it was really nice to be out in the fresh air getting some exercise and my axe which I got as a birthday present is a magnificent tool despite not being quite as big as some other others that were being swung about. I think I could chop tougher, knottier wood with this than the heavier, blunt axes. Back again next weekend for some more wrist jarring action.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Getting Ready

I am really excited about our skiing holiday this year. J wants to try snowboarding which will no doubt be fun for us all and we are taking 2 grandmothers with us for baby sitting duties so there should be ample opportunity for skiing. It even looks as though there is plenty of snow.
This webcam image may update automatically in which case it will be dark at night!

Having bought skis last year, I did't really need much gear this year, but my long underwear was too big when I was 10kg heavier and I wanted a new ruck sack, so the underwear is on it's way along with one of these.

This weekend I am planning on getting back out on my bike for the first time in a while. Not surprisingly, this coincides with the arrival of the winter. I guess I just have to MTFU and get on with it!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I've been driving in my car

It's not quite a Jaguar!

I did the 6 hours round trip to our HQ yesterday in heavy rain and completely dark both ways. That's a long way in a silly little car and I didn't enjoy it at all. On the positive side, the "profit" on the expenses will cover the new thermal underwear I have ordered for our skiing holiday and we have managed to leave both of the kids at their respective daily entertainment establishments today. DK was deeply unimpressed at being left at nursery after many days of one to one entertainment at home but sometimes life isn't exactly what you want!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Everyone's sick

DK has had a fever since last Wednesday and has developed a rather unpleasant cough. I am starting to think that it may be pneumonia (probably just bronchitis in reality) and MK is also suffering with the same thing, but she is much tougher than DK. I have been working from home to take care of him quite a lot, but MK arranged to work from home today so that I can go to some meetings in CPH.

On top of that J has been up all night throwing up all over the place so I must confess to being quite happy to leave the house this morning. I suppose it is just a matter of time until I come down with something, but for now I am the only one in good health.

It's typical that the kids get ill as soon as the regular baby sitting service goes on holiday.

Monday, January 16, 2012


No not him!

J's school took part in the local inter-school football tournament on Saturday morning. Normally he plays for the club so this was the first time that the school has had a team together and given that there are only 7 boys in his year group and one of them is on holiday I was not particularly optimistic about their chances agains the bigger schools.
Well to cut a long story short, despite losing one of the group matches, they went on to win the tournament (as did the girls team from his school). They got gold medals and a whole page of the local paper on the competition and we were all very proud of him and the team. He scored about 6 goals along with the other star of the team (V) who got about 7.

Here they are getting their gold medals

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day off...

I didn't eat for 24 hours between Tuesday night when we celebrated MK's birthday and getting home from an evening meeting at work last night so that was 24 hours without eating. It was actually quite easy and I think I should try to do it once a week and see if it helps with controlling my weight.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Roof Box

Last time we went skiing, the other half of our party was travelling in a transit van so they had plenty of space to take our skis (they don't fit in the car). This time we don't have that luxury so I have been considering possible solutions. We have a roof rack already so it wasn't a big leap to get a ski box for the roof which also gives us extra capacity for carrying stuff around.

MK spotted this ex demo model in the Toyota dealers a couple of months ago and it was still there when we called yesterday and appears to have never been fitted to anything. That saved us a third of the price and it wasn't even that difficult to get it home hanging out of the back of the car.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy Birthday MK

It's MK's birthday today.

Yesterday was a busy one. I picked the kids up a bit early as they were not on top form in the morning. We went and bought wrapping paper and then wrapped MK's birthday presents and made cards for her.

Then after dinner and clearing up, MK went to gymnastics so I made a birthday cake and painted the door frames, skirting boards and floor in the basement. That took me up to 11:30 and left me rather sick of painting on my hands and knees. The floor paint isn't really the colour we were expecting, but it costs a fortune so there is very little chance of us changing it. Tonight we will be celebrating a bit and I have a guitar lesson so it should be a less tiring evening.

Monday, January 09, 2012


Having just spent a lot of money on having the roof fixed, it was, at the very least, disappointing to find a puddle on the living room floor last week. Admittedly it has been very windy and rained hard, but the roof should be completely watertight, not just fairly watertight. Having been in the loft to investigate, I could see that there are a few places where water has been dripping onto the the boards up there. I suppose the builders will have to take a look at that.

What is more concerning is that there is condensation on a lot of the underside of the roof. I suppose that is the effect of having had the ventilation gaps (leaking holes) filled in but I suspect that the insulation also needs to be moved from the edges of the roof space so that there is more breathing room. I guess we'll have to consult the builder when he comes to check out the leaks anyway.

The cause is simple, hot damp air in the loft space. The solution is not so simple - Dehumidifier, more insulation, new moisture membrane??? I don't really know

All told, it s a bummer and will no doubt end up costing money one way or another.

Thursday, January 05, 2012


I have had two bad nights sleep wise and I think I've only slept 8 hours in total. This morning I was out the door at 6:00 for the 3 hour drive to the head office. I was then in meetings until 6 and now I am sitting in a very dull Scandic hotel room having eaten a supermarket salad and working on a bottle of wine.

Now I need to get some work done because I will be in meetings all day tomorrow and then driving 3 hours home after dinner so I won't see the family until Saturday morning. I hope the weather improves for the drive home as it was very windy and rainy this morning and was snowing on the way to the hotel this evening.

Anyway, enough moaning.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Doesn't add up

So we were advised that we would save money by changing our oil furnace to the district heating and then when the first meter reading was due, we had used double the expected amount of energy. We now apparently need to put more insulation in the loft which will cost about £1000 for me to do it myself and £3000 for a builder to do it. I suppose that will also pay back over about 20 years. We're going to be laughing when we retire with all the energy savings we are making!

Any smart ideas how I can get £3 per roll insulation delivered to Denmark from B&Q to avoid paying £35 per roll for it over here?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


The walls are done and I have the skirting board that I need to replace the rotten stuff in the main room in the basement. Tonight is guitar night and I am away overnight on Thursday so I only have Wednesday night this week to work on the house. I am hoping that will be enough time to get the radiator pipes painted and the skirting board repaired and painted. Then I can spend a bit of time at the weekend doing the last job - getting the floor painted.

I am convinced that the builders have done something to the insulation in the loft as the house seems to get cold very quickly since they were working up there. There isn't much insulation and we were told that it should be replaced. The insulation itself is not expensive and I don't think it is difficult to put it in, but I know if will be a time consuming and dirty job and there are a couple of areas that I don't know how to deal with. How do I get the insulation under/over the walkway and on the loft hatch for example???

I don't suppose I'll get around to doing anything about the insulation before the end of January but I know I have to do it at some point.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New Year

I (obviously) took a break from blogging over Christmas and the New Year. We have been busy with guests and general festivities and I have been working hard getting the basement sorted out.

It was lovely to have G&G visit for Christmas and the kids really enjoyed having them stay despite, or perhaps because we had to move them into the same room together.

New Years Eve was a quiet event as usual, we always seem to end up having an evening in with some nice food and a bottle of bubbly. This year I knocked up a quick beef wellington to eat after the fois gras that we shared with the kids and we demolished the (almost) last of the Christmas chocolates before midnight when I had to get back into weight loss mode. I managed to gain about 5kg in a week by eating lots of chocolates and cake. I aim to get rid them and more before the end of the month so it is strictly slow carb for me in January.

The basement is going well, I hope to get the main room finished this week and then move on to the rest of the basement as well as changing the insulation in the loft and putting a new floor down in the hall. It's going to be a busy time until Easter.