Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ear there any everywhere

DK was supposed to see the speech therapist today, but that was postponed for a trip to the ear doctors for a hearing test. Amazingly, we have never had a 100% conclusive hearing test for him, instead having to settle for "he can probably hear fairly well" as an answer.

Of course the hearing test was another wash out. The drain has fallen out of his right ear so he will have another put in on Monday next week (with yet another general anaesthetic) and the speech therapist will go ahead as planned tomorrow.

Let' see if she still thinks he is somewhat retarded or if she is impressed by his 29 word vocabulary.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pippi and the Ninja

Yesterday was the the Danish equivalent of Halloween where the kids dress up and take it in turns to hit a barrel until it breaks and a cat gets out. The cat has now been replaced by sweets but the pagan roots remain.

J went as a Ninja

DK was Pippi

Friday, February 24, 2012

Congestion Charges

When the current government was elected in Denmark, there was a fairly determined commitment to implement a congestion charge ring around Copenhagen modelled on the one in London. I was not very happy about that as I have no realistic alternative to the car unless I want to double my commuting time to 1½ hours each way.

There is some congestion in Copenhagen, but relative to London, it is insignificant and the prices being discussed were rather high. The general feeling seemed to be that nobody really wanted the congestion charge and it was far from clear how much it would cost to implement, how much revenue it would generate and what the overall impact would be on the economy. As usual, the statistics were being manipulated to support the people using them and nobody knew what it all meant.

Then the good news came. Firstly the decision was delayed whilst the areas around the proposed ring considered the impact on them and then on Wednesday the whole plan was dropped with smug grins and red faces liberally scattered around the coalition government. It was a rather unusual turn of events, but one that I am thankful for. I understand that on 29% of people commute by car within Copenhagen and I would happily use the train if it didn't take so much longer than driving. Until that problem is sorted out, I think the congestion charge would be little more than a straightforward tax.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I am away overnight in Viborg this evening. It's not the most interesting town in Denmark and it has been something of a frustrating day, but never mind.

Yesterday MK bought a fancy dress outfit for DK to wear to the Fastelavn party this weekend.

I can't say I am too impressed to be honest, but it is apparently exactly what he wanted.

This isn't DK, but he looks frighteningly like this with the costume and wig on!
I'll take some pictures of him for future blackmail and general embarrassment! J wants to be a Ninja, but apparently every other little boy in Denmark does too so it's proving a little tough to find him an outfit.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Before starting to write this, I did a quick google image search to try and find an appropriate picture. I wish I hadn't. But I did find this:

We now have a date for DK's operation on his feet. The plan is to lengthen his Achilles tendons so that his heel bones point down as they should instead of up as they do at the moment. He will then spend a month with both legs in plaster from his toes to his hips and we will spend a month running around after him and entertaining him (thankfully with some help).

I'm sure it will all be fine in due course, but we are not looking forward to going through it and the travel element adds to the frustration of it all.

Monday, February 20, 2012


We got home late on Saturday night from a lovely week skiing in Livigno, Italy. We all skied (except Grandma), ate well and enjoyed the change of scenery. It was extremely cold for the first few days - between -10C and -20C but then after a storm on Wednesday which closed almost all of the lifts, it was not far below freezing point for the remainder of the week.

They say a picture says a thousand words so here are some.

J won the ski school race at the end of the week 
DK loved skiing and insisted on hitting the slopes every day
We took J to the top of the mountain
Lunch in a restaurant - Pizza for the kids and beer for Morfar
We even managed to have some time skiing without the kids.
Thanks for the company, baby sitting and lunches.

Thursday, February 09, 2012


Some time ago I read that we shouldn't be using deodorant with aluminium in it. Apparently

  • Its been shown to be associated with both the plaques and the tangles in the brains of Alzheimer's victims.
  • Aluminium accumulates in nerve cells that are particularly vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease.
  • Many experimental studies have been done on animals and cells that show that aluminum has a toxic effect on the nervous system.
I assumed that it would be easy enough to find a brand of deodorant that is free of aluminium salts, but it is not. I have tried 3 or 4 different types. The first was good but too expensive and none of the subsequent ones really seem to work that well. One from the body shop doesn't work, another which was the active ingredient "crystal" which doesn't work and a Sanex version with minerals that was actually OK, but I can't find it any more.

I guess the search will continue and in the meantime, I continue to become just a little too aware of my own scent by the end of the day.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


Thankfully the cold was not quite so biting this morning as it was just below freezing instead of the double digits below zero that we've had for the last week or so. There is quite a lot of ice in the sea and winter is very much in the air.

Sometimes I really struggle to find something to write for this blog (and I guess that is evident to you readers), if I think about what I did yesterday is was basically, wake up, eat breakfast, deliver kids, work, fetch kids, cook, eat, clear up, ironing, TV, bed. That was it.
Today I get to add a couple of hours of driving into the mix, but there won't be a big difference.

One thing that I did do though was to begin the process of getting a cycling coach. He is the guy who gave me the diet tips that I have used to lose weight over the last year and as he used to be David Millar's coach, I am pretty sure he knows what he is talking about. I am looking forward to getting back into proper training after our skiing holiday to be ready for racing from the end of April.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Certified Scrum Master

I took my test yesterday after the 2 day course last week and I am now a certified scrum master.
As was pointed out somewhere else, this has nothing to do with Rugby at all and everything to do with agile project management.

The idea is that instead of running projects where you spend a couple of months planning, investigating and writing a solution description, followed by a couple of months building a solution and then a couple of months testing. You work in short cycles of 2-4 weeks which each involve a little bit of planning, some implementation/programming/building and then some testing so that at the end of each "sprint" you have added some usable functionality to what you had before. You keep repeating this cycle until you are finished or run out of time or money. Whatever happens, you should only ever be a short time away from having something that works with some defined functionality that was the most important at the point that it was made.
The scrum part is the daily 15 minute meeting where everyone states what they did since yesterday, what they will do today and what is getting in their way.

Sorry if that is dull, but I found the course very interesting and Í am in the process of implementing it in one of our product teams

Monday, February 06, 2012

Back to normal

Last week was insanely busy but I survived it and it appears that this week will be significantly more normal.

It has been, and still is interestingly cold with the temperature fluctuating between about -6C and -13C as the coldest so far. However, this hasn't had too much affect on us other than reducing the length of time we want to spend outside. J played in 2 football tournaments at the weekend. They won on Saturday adding another gold medal to his collection and came second on Sunday (despite winning only 1 game and losing the other 2). Anyway, the upshot was that they are invited to the Sjæland championships in March.

Thursday, February 02, 2012


I am stupendously busy at the moment, but feeling much better (thanks for asking).

I have already done nearly 6 days work this week and I'm not quite done with Thursday yet and tomorrow will be another marathon so I am looking forward to a lie in on Saturday morning and some down time.