Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Van Gogh

Inspired painting of fallen trees by DK

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sneak Peak

Of the kids

Lessons to learn: When taking kids for photographing, check their socks

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


MK and I had an evening off last night, we wandered around the shops and did a little bot of last minute Christmas shopping, we had coffee and then dinner at Restaurant Grønnegade in Copenhagen.
We ate half price courtesy of SAS Eurobonus but managed to spend a fortune on drinks anyway. The food was good, we had a couple of fish courses which were very nice, then an æbleskive (normally a spherical doughnut type thing) but this one was filled with duck and served with fois gras which was delicious, a bit like a stuffed Yorkshire pudding. The main was two different kinds of roast pork (dull fillet and fantastic belly) then I had cheese whilst MK had desert.

It was a very nice meal and it was nice to be out alone for a change.

Earlier in the day, DK had a check up with the doctor who removed part of his bowel. She was very happy with his progress, he has grown 10cm in the last year and gained 2½kg.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Travelling again?

I just had an internal job interview for a position as a group program manager position. It might be interesting to get back out on the road again and earn some air miles instead of spending all of my time travelling on the train. I don't know yet but it could be interesting...

Another busy weekend with some exercise, cleaning, shopping, changing car wheels, more cooking and not quite enough sleep. Tonight, however, I am going out for dinner with MK for the first time in a very long time. The kids are staying with T&B as DK wants to be taken to nursery by Morfar and whatever DK wants from Morfar, DK gets (as does J for that matter!)

Friday, December 13, 2013


I am listening to an interesting audio book called Outliers at the moment.

It turns out that being a professional ice hockey player or football player has more to do with which month you were born in than skill and the same goes for many other areas of life like academic success.

If you are born in January (or September in the British system) then you will be the oldest, biggest, most mature and developed in the group when talent based selections are made in the early years of life. It is these people who get selected and then given the most training and the best opportunities for development during their schooling, lives and careers. It simply snowballs from there.

Interesting stuff and it explains why MK (birthday 10/01) is so good at ice hockey

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mastery and learning

So I have so far found out that it takes 5-10 years with 10 000 hours of concentrated effort to become a master of something, but as little as 20 hours to learn to just do something.

Learning to do something involves 5 steps:

  1. Chose what you want to learn to do and set a performance target
  2. Deconstruct the skill into specific skills 
  3. Research it
  4. Remove the barriers to practicing
  5. Pre commit to at least 20 hours of specific and targeted practice

It's apparently as simple as that. My challenge will probably be the time on the water, but I'll try to work on that when the spring comes.

So where am I in this process?

  1. I know where I want to be and how high I am aiming
  2. I've broken this down into the following points
    1. Physical fitness and strength
    2. Racing skills
    3. Starting
    4. Upwind
    5. Downwind
    6. Boat setup and trim
  3. I am already reading as much as I can on the subject
  4. I can't really do much more here, my boat is by the water and ready to go, I just need time and appropriate weather
  5. I need to make sure that I get out whenever I can and stay out on the water and work on specific skills to make sure that I am getting better each time I sail.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

More barefoot goodies

I'll soon never have to wear normal shoes again.


I have read a few books on sailing since I got my boat at the beginning of the year. I have digested and understood a number of things and try to apply them when I am out racing with the other guys - who are pretty good sailors, it should be noted. The problem is that I don't seem to be making much progress.

I have the fundamentals in place and that allows me to be in the game, but I don't know how to get better. Sometimes I go well and others times I am slow, but I don't really know why. There is some understanding missing about how to set and sail the boat in different conditions - mast rake, sale shape and how to sail with or through the waves.

Apparently experience is the key to improvement, but I am impatient so I want to find out how to get better faster. Reading sailing books hasn't helped much because the advice is to general, ideally I would like to have a coach, but that is difficult and expensive so I am going to try another option. The plan is to spend some time and effort to learn what I have to do to learn to sail better as fast as possible. There is a lot of information available about the skill of skill acquisition and that will be my starting point. I'll be reading, watching and listening to podcasts in an effort to find out how I can become a good learner and then put that into practice over the winter and into next season.

Monday, December 09, 2013


It's been an odd weekend. The water went off at 10 on Friday evening so we had to arrange some odd workarounds to get MK a shower before having her hair cut on Saturday morning and the boys swimming was cancelled.

This weekend Peberdalsgaard had an open house and a sale of meat. What is a little different is that it is a bison farm. We stood in the freezing rain for a few minutes looking at the motionless, cold miserable animals before retreating to the barn to get some meat. The spegepølse (smoked salami) is excellent and we will report back on the sausages, mince and stewing steak that we bought. The steaks and better cuts were eye wateringly expensive so we'll have a go at these first before investing in a feast worthy piece of meat.

Imagine it looking cold and wet and standing in mud

Yesterday evening's stew was a hit and the shepherds pie that I made on Saturday was also one of the best I have ever made (thanks to the lamb gravy that I had frozen) so the home cooking is riding a pretty good wave at the moment.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Survived the storm

There has been a huge storm over Scotland and Northern Europe over the last 24 hours. We have had very high winds and apparently there have been surge tides hitting the coasts on either side of the north sea.

Having been stick in Copenhagen a month ago, I decided to head home at lunchtime on the train. That worked out pretty well, the train was full, but I got home without problems only to find that garage roof felt was peeled back so far that it was almost in the neighbours garden. I climbed up onto the rather rotten roof, folded the felt back and nailed it down. BHP then helped me with some buckets of stones to hold the edges down. It seems to have worked overnight, but we definitely need a new garage in the spring.

This morning there is some snow on the ground and it is still very cold, but I decided to stay home given the trains being in a mess and the roads being unpredictable. Hopefully the forecast snow will not be too great and not here for too long over the weekend.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Slowing down

After a couple of  months of extremely long days and a lot of work, things are finally slowing down to a steady pace that seems almost too slow now. I am unfortunately still having to come to Copenhagen every day, but I am not crazy busy all day, I don't have to work at home in the evenings and I don't have trouble getting to sleep. (Although DK likes to wake us up very early and then I can't get back to sleep for him snoring)

It seems strange to not be so busy, but I'm getting used to it and I'm able to leave work in time to help with cooking for a change although I can't quite manage to get home in time to fetch the kids because I'd have to leave in the middle of the afternoon to get back in time.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Christmas has started

I have managed to avoid a hangover, but 3 days later, I am still tired and a bit grumpy after the works Christmas party.

Friday night started at an Italian restaurant with pretty good food and wine and then continued in a night club until about 2:30. I haven't been in a club for many years and I quickly remembered why when we got there and it was full of middle aged men in black suits. Later on some women did turn up (mostly dressed head to toe in black as well) but it wasn't an experience I found myself longing to repeat despite the boss buying magnums of champagne and bottles of vodka.

I managed to stagger home using trains and taxis and was in bed by 4 only to be back up at 7 having been woken by the kids and terrible cramp. I staggered around the house for a while smelling awful and still quite drunk but after a shower, I went back out the door to go to another Christmas party, this time with the Finn sailors.

This party started at 2 in the afternoon and we had a much more traditional Danish party with herrings, schnapps, pork based stuff and a lot more schnapps followed by rice pudding and cognac. I left there at about 9 and was home by 11 expecting a hangover to arrive during the night. Thankfully that didn't materialise so we had a fairly relaxed Sunday with a trip to Crossfit in the morning and visitors in the afternoon.

Now I just need to work on catching up on sleep for the rest of the week.