Wednesday, September 26, 2012

That knocking noise

Well apparently that's the end of the Mazda for us, we'll be doing our best to palm it off on some poor unsuspecting car dealer this weekend and head back in the direction of a Spaz Bus as someone once called it.

Our first Danish car was about as far from an ego trip as one could get without having bought a used one in metallic mustard.

Then my ego took over and we bought a big fancy car

and now we have decided to head back to either this:

or the newer version like this

the result should be significantly lower spending on fuel, insurance and tax along with a slight increase in practicality and self worth.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Busy, grumpy and not sleeping well

There is a lot going on at work at the moment which spills over into non working time. It isn't necessarily that I am spending time working outside office hours, but work is on my mind more than it should be.

The aforementioned car trouble mean that we are likely to have to change the car pretty soon which was neither planned nor budgeted and that is also playing on my mind along with the fact that I can't help feeling responsible for not checking the oil in the damned thing more often. (Having said that, it was an expensive car when it was new and I don't think I should need to check the oil every week to avoid killing it)

I am also burning the candle at both ends a little by training in the mornings and not really getting to sleep early enough to leap out of bed with any semblance of enthusiasm.

I guess something will give at some point, but in the meantime, I'll try to get better sleep and consider not being quite so mean to the kids. (I probably won't manage it though)

Friday, September 21, 2012

That time if year again

The first fire since....


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Car problems

Our Mazda is more or less the same age as J but unfortunately it seems to be ageing less well than he is. It has always used a bit of oil and shortly before the summer, I think the oil level got low enough that it has damaged itself from low oil pressure (I'm working on training Mrs M to inform me of awful noises coming from the car when she drives it, but I think she just turns up the radio)

Yesterday afternoon I took it to our mechanic for a quick look, hoping he would say that there was a problem with a valve, but it seems to be something deeper and more dangerous than that. We have booked it in for a couple of hours investigation next week, but after some research, I am fearing the worst and we are planning a quick car change before the engine gives up entirely and we are left with a worthless wreck or a big bill.

We were planning on changing it in a couple of years, but now I think we may just change it this weekend...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Guitar lessons II

My group guitar lessons started again last night and it was with some trepidation that I packed up my dusty guitar. I have tried to practice a bit over the last couple of days which had helped a bit, but I was rather rusty after a 6 month break from lessons and practice.

I got through the lesson without making too much of an idiot of myself despite there being just 5 of us. My fingers were pretty painful by the end, but I will get practising again and hopefully make some progress as the weeks go by.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Guitar lessons

I am starting guitar lessons again this evening for the autumn term. I took a break over the summer and have barely touch my guitar since the last lesson in the spring. I have tried to practice a bit over the last few days, but I expect that this will be pretty tough this evening both on the ends of my fingers and also good old fashioned embarrassment.

The lessons are in a group and apparently there will only be 5 of us whereas there were about 8 last time so it will be harder to hide my missed chord changes and not singing than it was before as well. Now I have to get back into the pretty dreadful old Danish songs that we have to massacre each week.

Wish me luck...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Champions again

J's class won the Ringsted school football tournament for the second year in a row yesterday. Considering that they are by far the smallest school entered in the competition, that is quite an achievement. 

The winning team

More medals for the collection
They drew their first 2 pool matches and won the last and then got through the semi finals on penalties. They then went on to win the final 1-0

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Race report

The bike was ready, I wasn't...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cottage Pie

Make with mashed barbecued sweet potatoes on top.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blue Lights

I am not particularly good at falling asleep at night and there are a number of reasons for that.

  • Firstly I spend much time looking at screens, I am trying to curtail that before bed, especially the ipad.
  • Secondly there is a blue LED on the phone next to my bed which I covered with black tape yesterday after reading that blue light is the worst for keeping you awake (it has also annoyed me for over a year)
  • Thirdly, there is a street light outside our window which I plan to try and block out with a blind this evening.
  • Finally I have installed some software on my computer that should cut out the blue light automatically when the sun goes down so that my body doesn't think that it's daylight all the time that I am looking at my screen. Take a look here if you're interested

I'll report back on any improvements, but I think I already noticed an improvement last night without the blue light.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Feet on the ground

It's been a pretty busy week or so (I don't remember the last time that wasn't the case).

It has been fun to have G&J visiting and great to have back up on the fetching/delivering and entertaining of the kids. The weekend in the summer house was as good as ever and It was fun to get out sailing yet again.

If I ever want to race that boat though, I will have to do quite a lot of work to firstly figure out how all of the controls are supposed to be connected and also be a bit more certain of her seaworthiness.

We've eaten and drunk well with our guests in an effort to introduce them both to our "primal" way  of eating. It appears that G has taken it to heart a little more enthusiasm than J, but it's up to them to decide if they want to carry on when they get home.

I yet again failed to get out the door on my bike this morning after my alarm clock radio came on silently. It's a shame as it was a beautiful morning and it is now raining. On the positive side, we had plenty of time to get out of the door and queue all the way to CPH.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Guests in the basement

G & J are with us for a week and have successfully managed to christen the basement bedroom without any apparent ill effects.

Whether or not they manage to get themselves home from Copenhagen today alone on the train is anyone's guess, but they have at least one mobile phone and pre paid train tickets.

Life continues a pace and we are all busy running from work to school to cooking to classes for gymnastics, music, athletics, football and guitar whilst trying to make sure that homework is done, there is food in the fridge and everyone is happy.

It's fun, but we're all ready for bed by 9:00 every evening and I failed to get up in time to cycle this morning because my alarm didn't go off. Thankfully there will be another opportunity tomorrow morning and I will take more care with the buttons tonight.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Flat pack

I confirm my theory that I couldn't stand up the wardrobe from it's side without it falling apart.

The lack of space in our bedroom meant that I built it on it's side and then tried to pick it up, unfortunately it did a parallelogram shape and then pulled all of the fixings out of the crappy chipboard.

Thankfully I did manage to restore all of the holes with the end of a screwdriver, some wood glue and a bit of care.

After installing the draws, it turned out that the door hinges had to go where the draw runners were attached so I had to move all three sets of draw runners before hanging the doors.

Anyway, it all came together in the end and looks fairly straight and true and I just need to attach it to the wall when the boss is certain which wall it will stand against.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Tidying up

I finally got around to cleaning the basement to make way for our guests arriving tomorrow. The place wasn't really too bad, but it needed a run around with the vacuum cleaner and moving the bikes around a bit.

Oddly, the biggest challenge was finding space for the Christmas decorations. they had to go where the roof box was, that had to go on the cupboard which in turn needed moving from the dining room.

I think the final conclusion was that we needed to go to Ikea to get a wardrobe/cupboard for the basement to put stuff in, but that is not important as we bought a wardrobe for our bedroom instead. Neither of us really know how that all happened, but I now have a big flat-pack project to get done tonight.