Thursday, June 27, 2013


I was a little late home from work last night so I missed the excitement of watching J ride his bike into the back of a parked car.  He's been told hundreds of times to look where he is going, but apparently the only way to learn that particular lesson is by riding into things repeatedly.

He'll either figure it out or Darwinism will take over the decision for him.

Yesterday it was a rather large Citroen C5 estate parked about 50m from our house that he went straight into the back of. There is a noticeable scratch and a small dent so we are expecting either an insurance claim or to pay for the repair at some point.

Most annoyingly of all, I bet he would do it again today under the same circumstances.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Chimp Paradox

I am in the process of (adio) reading The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters. Dr Peters is the psychologist for the British Cycling Team and has apparently been instrumental in Team Sky wining so many bike races including the Tour de France last year.

The book breaks the functioning of the brain down into 3 parts: the human, the computer and the chimp who seems to be responsible for many undesirable characteristics and behaviours. Basically, if we want to be happy and successful, then we need to  learn to manage our inner chimps and not let them wreak havoc whenever they feel threatened or scared.

It's a great book (adiobook in my case) and I heartily recommend it for anyone who occasionally finds themselves behaving in a way that they later come to regret or who wonders why they do things that, even at the time, they know are stupid and irrational.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Shortly after I stopped running regularly I started to have problems with my feet. The doctor usefully looked at my feet and reassured me that I was going to have problems with them in the future.

I apparently have hammer toe - as a result of wearing shoes that are too small. I take full responsibility for this, it's not my mums fault! I also appear to not walk on the ball of my foot behind my big toes.

I ditched all of my shoes that were a little on the small side and made a concerted effort togo barefoot at home and wear birkenstocks when out in the summer.
The feet problems have gone away, but I always have a few problems getting back into my "normal" shoes at the end of the summer holidays and my feet feel cramped until they get used to the shoes again.

The next step has been to search for some shoes that would keep my feet happy whilst being acceptable at work. I found a pair of Teva shoes at the outlets a year or two ago that have been OK, but are not really smart. Then after some research, I have finally ordered a pair of vivobarefoot shoes that should be OK at work and look after my feet too. I'll review them when I get them.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Time and tide

It's been a pretty hectic week so I haven't blogged much. I can also now see that I don't have much to say because the stuff that has kept me so occupied isn't really all that interesting or bloggable.

I hope to get out sailing tomorrow morning and then I have got the kids for the afternoon and evening as MK is off to TWO parties in one day!

I'll have to try to think of something interesting to do with them so any suggestions are welcome.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hurry Up Summer

The sun is shining and I am stuck inside an office again today. Yesterday I worked from home and managed a few minutes in the sunshine during the day whilst I ate some lunch and hung the washing out to dry. I even managed some of my crossfit session outside. That's probably it for the rest of the week though which seems like a terrible shame.

I also have evening meetings and other stuff to deal with during the rest of the week so spare time is going to be something of a rarity.

Now it's a matter of counting the days until we can pack up the car and hit the road.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Wet Weekend

Another weekend has passed and now J only has 2 more weeks at school before his summer holidays start.
I went sailing on Saturday morning. I wasn't very early out of the house and by the time I reached the sailing club the only other Finn going out was already on the water. I had to re-assemble the boat a bit after the regatta last weekend so it was 10:45 before I was afloat. There was a pretty strong wind blowing (around 10m/s, force 6 or 25 knots) and waves that were at least a metre high. Sailing upwind was hard work and good fun. I was happy that I didn't really have any problems making progress or managing the boat. The downwind was something more akin to a roller-coaster ride with the boat rather unstable side to side and surfing or nose diving over and through the waves. I was amazed that I got home without having an unplanned swim, I was pretty wet from the spray, but no swimming. I only managed 1½ hours on the water, but in the end I was getting tired and decided to quite whilst ahead. I didn't even manage to say hello to the other Finn sailor as our paths didn't manage to converge before he went back to the harbour. I really enjoyed being out in the wind and the sunshine and was very glad I took the chance to go out.

It may have looked a bit like this (at least in my minds eye)
I made another big batch of sausages on Saturday afternoon. Last time I chopped the fat by hand, this time I used the food processor, neither is really right so I think I'll have to get a mincer. The batch that we sampled in the evening were really good though.

Sunday was all about J and rain. There was the annual outdoor inter-school football competition that his class won last year. Despite having only 7 boys in the class, they won again this year which is pretty impressive. Yet again it was won on penalties, but there was no injustice in them winning at all. The only real downside was that it rained quite a lot so I had to go home in the middle to get dry clothes for me and more clothes for everyone else.

Straight after the football, we had to drive to Sorø for the outdoor gymnastics display that is traditionally held on the wettest weekend of the year. We sat in a bit more rain (and a few moments of sunshine) whilst J did some somersaults and a various variety of gymnastic things. The group that he will be in next year looked impressive so he'll have to stay in training.

Friday, June 14, 2013

More New-Age Mumbo Jumbo

The squatty potty!

I spend my otherwise wasted commuting hours listening to podcasts from many different places and on many different topics. I love the BBC and am a new convert to RadioLab from NPR in the US. However, over the last few months I have been listening to a lot of health and fitness shows, one of which was about having the perfect poo.

I am quite a convert to the idea of functional health and fitness and also the ideas of evolutionary medicine. The basic idea of which is that our bodies evolved in a certain way, but modern society is pushing us to use them in another way. There are many examples of this -  we don't get enough sunlight, we sit down too much, we don't move correctly and we don't sleep enough.

One of the things that many of us (me included) are not able to do as adults is squat correctly because we have poor mobility and flexibility. Apparently the structures that stop your poop from coming out when you don't want it to are only really properly allowed to open up when you are squatting. When you are sitting as you do on a normal toilet, things aren't quite aligned as they are supposed to be

We haven't bought a squatty potty, but we have a range of different sized plastics steps around the house for the shorter members of the household to reach things (that's everyone else in the house). After a bit of experimentation, I can conform that the 20cm high Ikea step works fine and you really do notice a difference when you use it.

I heartily recommend giving it a try with some sort of step or box so you can make your own minds up. I am also going to get DK to try a step to see if we can save 20 minutes of our evening that we normally spend waiting for him on the loo.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Starting to look like a holiday destination.


There are a few online reviews from the Helly Hansen Cup last weekend, but I get a mention here as one of the several rookies taking part here


Going to bed early has never been one of my strengths. In fact, until fairly recently, I have always gone to bed late and (unless enticed) always thought that there was something more interesting to do than be in bad.

I have now finally discovered the wonderful benefits of sleeping well and sleeping for a long time. We aim to hit the sack at 10:00 each night although it is usually 10:30 by lights out so that we can try to get about 8 hours per night. We have also put up blackout blinds to get the room as dark as possible.

I have noticed that I am a lot better in the mornings now, I feel much less irritable and I don't crash after lunch feeling sleepy through the afternoon as I did for many years. Part of that is certainly related to my diet, but I am also sure that getting enough sleep helps to ward off tiredness. I would certainly never want to be the sort of person who falls asleep at the dinner table (for many reasons)

A great deal of statistical information appears to link insufficient sleep with all sorts of health problems from high cholesterol to weight gain and type 2 diabetes. How much of that is true is hard for me to say, but the average amount of sleep that people get has gradually been declining as average body weights have been increasing.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Helly Hansen Cup

I'm tired but I am, as you can see, available for sailing equipment catalogue shots in the dinghy park. 

I have spent the last two of days taking part in a sailing regatta in Rungsted. There were a number of firsts over the weekend. First regatta away from my home club so the boat had to be dismantled, transported and re-assembled before I could sail. My first time sailing with a reasonable amount of wind and my first 2 day regatta.

Saturday was the most interesting day. I had to assemble the boat that someone kindly transported to the club for me on his double trailer. There was plenty of wind and I did fairly well considering my abilities and lack of experience. The starts went well and I enjoyed it a lot despite getting battered and bruised a bit and maybe breaking my little toe.

Sunday was a bit of an anticlimax as the wind let us down during the second race by shifting and too much to run proper races so racing was abandoned after just two races.

I wasn't last, but I was last out of the people who took part in all of the races. My best was 14th place in one race but I was also last in a couple. There is work to be done...

I'm NED724
Not in last place
Still not in last place
Probably in last place

Friday, June 07, 2013

4 Boys

Our friends twins are in hospital so we have inherited a 4 year old and a 7 year old to go with our since yesterday afternoon.

As MK is a totally amazing person, I was still able to have a short sail yesterday evening and pack my boat up for the regatta over the weekend whilst she fed the mob. It seems that we will eb hosting them again this evening so I'll have to make sure that I am pulling my weight.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Års Charmetrold - Charmer of the year

J was voted the Charmer of the year for the school last week by the year 9 students on their last day - earning him a big bag of sweets. In typical J style, he also asked if it would be in the newspaper. It's odd that J is convinced that he is shy but the reality of it is, that as soon as he is familiar with his surroundings, he is very outgoing and gets on with everyone.

He is also a cheeky and charming little boy. Now he just has to sort out his table manners...

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Constitution Day

It's Grundlovsdag in Denmark today so we get a half day's holiday. I've come to work with the Mrs as there is nobody else in her office or mine and we are going out for lunch before collecting the kids from the summer house where they have been entertained overnight by T&B.

I am hoping that we can drag D134 (my "other" boat) down the beach and have a bit of a sail this afternoon before proper training tomorrow and the regatta at the weekend.

The sun is shining and life is good.

Monday, June 03, 2013


We ate lots of sausages in England last summer and unanimously decided that English sausages are the best (that's how I remember it anyway). When we got home I decided that it would be fun to try and make some sausages, but it took until this year to get around to doing anything about it. I ordered a sausage stuffer like the one above from Germany (over engineered and rather expensive) and it was delivered last week. We have half a pigs worth of minced pork in the freezer (16 x 750g bags) and they sell pigs guts for making sausages in the supermarket so we were set.
I did 3 different types

  • Fresh sage from the garden
  • Fresh oregano and fennel seeds
  • Paprika and smoked paprika
They are all really nice and I made enough for 4 meals from 3 bags (2.25kg) of mince. However the lessons to learn are - 
  1. make sure there is plenty of fat mixed in with the meat. I chopped my speck by hand and it wasn't really integrated in the meat enough. 
  2. Don't skimp on the seasoning, it seems to disappear in the cooking.
  3. It's a bit messy and fiddly so it should really be a bulk process.
We think the first effort has been a success and except for the price of the stuffer, we can make our own sausages with organic meat and no dodgy chemicals for less then the cost of the factory ones we would normally buy from the supermarket.

Saturday, June 01, 2013


Home made sausages

Possibly the least photogenic food shot ever. I'll try another when we have cooked some.