Friday, March 28, 2014

Glowing Report

We had a parents evening at J' school last night. As I have said before, it is a very different concept than an English parents evening where the teachers see the parents and tell them how their kids are getting on. This one is aimed at the kids and the parents are allowed to sit in on the event.

When the kids are in the first couple of years, this seems silly, but now that he is getting bigger, it seems to work quite well.

J is doing really well. There was really nothing to add other than that he should carry on doing what he is doing. The only comment that was not so positive is that he tends to be a bit silly when they are doing work that is not their usual timetabled classes, for example, their maths classes last week were pretending to run a shop so that they could learn about money. Apparently he didn't take that too seriously.

We all left smiling.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

French Food

What on earth has happened to food in France?

Last night we ate in a small restaurant close to the (crappy Ibis) hotel and it wasn't up to much at all. A very dull goats cheese salad and a really crap, tough and fatty steak. Not impressed.

There is also a quite reasonable canteen in the building that we are in, but the food is at best OK, and today was on a par with the restaurant we ate in last night. There also seems to be a new rule of chips with everything.

I seem to remember that it used to be difficult to find a bad restaurant in Paris, perhaps I'm unlucky, but it seems that there are plenty to chose from now.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Moderately Gay Paris

I am going to be spending the next couple of days working in the Tour Prisma in the La Defense area of Paris. It's an oddly futuristic area where there are 4 levels of roads and walkways on top of each other and few ways of moving between them. Very Bladerunner.

I slept somewhere near the blue dot and I am working somewhere near the red dot.

I hope that we manage to get into the older parts of Paris for dinner tomorrow night when the last member of our team turns up from Oslo. In the meantime we can carry on working away.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Working Hard

Life goes on, I am working hard so there isn't so much time for blogging at the moment. I am also being booked up for the weekends and travelling for work on the next 2 Sundays which doesn't leave much time for sailing or anything else for that matter.

We met with a builder to talk about replacing the garage this morning. I dread to think what his estimate will be, but there is little choice other than to replace it. I suppose, there is the option of not having a garage!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Probably not necessary

When I ordered the Ray Bans that are photographed somewhere at the bottom of this page, I sort of got carried away with the great prices that I managed to find online for these sun glasses. I wanted the Persol ones that you can see here (they're not broken, they fold up!) but I couldn't decide which to get. As I was buying from what appeared to be a Danish company, I thought I'd order both and send one back. In the end, one pair came from Italy and the other from Hong Kong although both appear to be genuine. 

I think I'll end up keeping them as the cost of returning either would be about 25% of what they cost and I rather like them both.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Kaweco Sport Pen and Pencil

I can't even remember where I saw these little pens first, but I was immediately taken with the pocket sized fountain pens and the clutch pencil. These are the cheap plastic ones that look rater retro, but in truth just feel a bit cheap in the hand. Nevertheless, I still rather like them and the pen writes nicely. Now I just have to explain to MK that I really ought to have one of the aluminium ones. that cost a bit more. 
It's also nice to note that they are made in Germany which is rather nice for a change from China.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cheap hotel in Paris

Paris is an expensive city. When you get a cheap (140 euro per night) room then this is what you get. Plus the plug was stuck in the sink and the shower was crap.
Looking forward to going home again tonight.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Yet another noun turned into a verb.

I am trying a 31 day journal thing. I discovered during day one where I had to write why I was doing it that there are reasons both deep and shallow.

The deeper and more worthy reason is that it is supposed to be a great way of handling stress and increasing general well being. Apparently it is particularly important to express gratitude on a daily basis and I know that is something with which I occasionally struggle. I have a lot to be grateful for, but sometimes it's too easy to concentrate on the things that are not quite how you want them to be.

The shallow reason is that I have a lot of notebooks and pens and I am struggling to find excuses to use them and therefore probably justification for buying more of them. I also want to carry on improving my handwriting.

It looks like I'll be able to get some more sun today as well before heading to the airport this afternoon.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Look what is in our garden.

After a sunny weekend, there are plenty of obvious signs in the garden that Spring is here.

I have even been outside getting some sunshine during the day today as I have been working from home.

I'm off to Paris tomorrow evening for a quick trip.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Ready for School

We had a meeting with DK's group leader at nursery this evening and she was very happy to say that he will be ready for school next summer and she has no real concerns about recommending him to start school. This is a significant difference from her recommendation that J should stay in nursery for another year. She may have been right about J, but we've got through that phase now and he is working well at school.

DK was very happy with the news as we were too. He is developing at lightening speed these days and it's great to see how much he learns every week. It's good that he is a determined and happy chap and I am sure that he'll do very well at school.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014


It's still winter in Oslo, it's cold, raining and there is snow on the ground outside the city. I of course forgot to pick a hat up as I was leaving the house this morning so I was rather cold by the time I got to the office from the the metro station. It turns out that the office is more or less over the road from my previous employers office that I visited a couple of years ago.

Lunch was quite good, but I can feel that I was up very early this morning and I'm going to be rather tired by the time I get home again this evening.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

New sun glasses

Trying something a bit more classic (and no hair)

Monday, March 03, 2014

Weights and measures

I spent Saturday morning in the "hall" at the sailing club weighing and swinging a Finn. (The boat, not Matti the rotund Finnish chap standing by the door)

One of the curiosities on the Finn class is that there is not only a minimum weight limit (116kg since you asked) but also restrictions on the weight distribution. It has been found that the placement of the weight within the boat make a difference to how it performs and apparently the weight should be at the ends and not in the middle. To measure this, the boat is hung from some hooks in the middle and rocked backwards and forwards. By knowing the radius of the swing (length of the hooks) and the timing of the swings, it is possible to calculate the weight distribution. There is a bunch of complicated maths in there somewhere, but you swing the boat from two different hooks. Measure the average time per swing and plot it on a graph. If it's within the lines, you're good to go. The closer to the bottom left corner, the better apparently.
We only managed to weigh and swing Ricard's boat because the gig is a bit too narrow and needs some revision, but I hope to be able to get my boat re-weighed and swung in the next month or so. It was (believe it or not) and interesting morning and I learned a fair bit about how all of this stuff works in the weighing and placing of weights in the boat.