Life as a dad – a year on (with a couple of tips)

The birth of my baby boy a year or so ago changed everything in my life – a cliche phrase tossed around with reckless abandon by fathers the world over, I´m sure.

Anyhow, in this case, it really did. Not only was Tristan´s birth a complicated affair for both his mother and him, it was something that made him a colic baby (defined as a healthy baby who cries for more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week.)

Without going into too many details – my boy´s birth was traumatic but nothing he and his mum didn´t recover fully from almost immediately. His colic meant that he only slept for more hours at a time if we pushed him in his pram or rocked him in his hammock. As as you may imagine, we gained arm muscles and walked the diameter of the earth and back for a good 11 months or so, before he eventually learned to sleep for longer periods, without being rocked.

It was singlehandedly the hardest thing I´ve ever had to conquer – while managing a full-time job (when not on paternity leave) and keeping my training regimes going – cutting down from training 3-4 times a week, to just once but it was all worth it in the end. As a child from a home rocked by my father´s alcoholism and violence (and actually, this is the first time I´ve ever shared this in writing – though most who know me are aware of this unfortunate but very real part of my life) the opportunity to be a dad to a little boy is something I take seriously. And while I know most parents take their responsibilities seriously, sadly there are still too many cases of poor parenting, often marred by excessive drugs and alcohol. This is something I will never respect nor condone – if you´re not ready for children – it´s simple – refrain.

Enough about that for now though – in the spirit of sharing some of the many memories of the last year, here are a few pics of my boy and I out on the road – to inspire all the upcoming parents out there. Walking my boy was always an adventure, whatever the weather – I took it as an opportunity to get out of the house (sometimes for 2 longs walks a day, spanning 1-2.5 hours each ) and as long as I had a good podcast in my ears and clothing to suit the elements, it was fun – meditative even.

Needless to say, my fiancée and I could not have gone the distance without the help of erstwhile equipment – 3 separate prams helped us through it all. One of these is a tank that we use to put our boy to sleep on the balcony or outside, now that he has learned how to sleep without being pushed around. I have no idea what make it is (my mother in-law donated it to us after finding it God knows where) but It´s saved us quite a few miles so we have a soft spot for it.

The other 2, however – things of beauty no less are as follows ( for all you up and coming parents ; )

Cybex Priam: A bit on the pricey end but we´ve never regretted buying this stylish pram. One nifty detail is the brown leather handle, which adds a touch of class to the entire construction. The priam is small and nimble, unlike the tank-like Emma Jungas and similar which barely fit into Copenghagen´s small lobbies let alone public transport. I recommend getting the cot and the lux carry cot with the priam.

For our holidays (and we had many of these to the Danish west coast where our folks live as well as to the Indonesian islands for a month, with a transit in Qatar,) I can recommend the Babyzen Yoyo Stroller. This foldable baby (pun intended) comes in a beautiful case that fits the cabin luggage requirements of all airlines (unless you fly with Ryanair or similar, which I strongly advocate you don´t in anycase.) We found it extremely handy and manoeuvrable – even in the potholed streets of Bali.

And now – those photos, I hope you enjoy them.

The prayer room at Hvidovre hospital, Copenhagen, where Tristan was born,
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Walking in Memphis.

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Springtime in Vestre Cemetery, Copenhagen
The endearing Belvedere Canal, Copenhagen
Autumn, by the beautiful Belvedere Canal, Copenhagen


A morning walk around the lakes in Christianshavn, Copenhagen
Trudging through an underpass in Northern Denmark
A walk in the woods with the family – Northern Denmark
Cruising in The Meatpacking District on a dark winter night
There´s this tunnel close by where we live…
Walking through the former military compound by Christianshavn
Taking the yoyo for a spin in Ryå, Northern Jutland – across what once was a railway bridge over the Ryå stream
There´s something magical about this alley, in the Vestre Cemetery in Copenhagen

Surf life around the globe

I started surfing about 4 years ago in Honolulu, Hawaii. Since then, this hobby has taught me more about myself than 25 plus years of competitive team sports have. The only pressure to perform here is how well you take your next wave.

Here are some of my favourite surf pictures and stories so far. I´ve been fortunate enough to surf on 4 continents, finding enjoyment in each and every break I´ve dragged my board onto.

Hawaii – where it all began

Mauritius – not the best waves by Le Morne (I had to take a boat out to them and they weren´t anything to shout home about but I did see some dolphins underneath my board and that was unforgettable!

Denmark – Cold, not known for surfing but oh such waves!

Løkken – the beach break closest to my home away from home in Jutland

Cold Hawaii, Klitmøller / Vorupør. My favourite surf spot in Denmark

Indonesia – a surfer´s paradise

Jungut Batu – Nusa Lembongan Island – my favourite surf spot in Indonesia – on a small island with very few cars on it


Balangan Beach – the first place I surfed in Indonesia. The break is quite a rough one and it´s popular but there´s a laidback feel to life in these parts that I liked

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There are many facets to Bali's Balangan Beach. From jaw-dropping vistas of the sunset, to that beautiful surf break (apt for novices as well as more advanced surfers.) You'll find numerous surf schools / board rentals along the beach – many of which are located in the timber warungs (family-owned restaurants,) so you can easily catch a great meal after the surf has pummeled you.) I rolled with the dudes from @westcoastbalisurfschool (thx Didi!) but the guys from @dawnpatrolbali are pretty cool too. At this time of year (the start of January,) I found surfing at high tide on a longer board (personal preference) to be easiest. The waves here break 100-200 metres frm the shoreline, come in thick and fast and roll smoothly for 10-20 metres. There's lots of intense white water though – so prepare to roll and duck a fair bit when paddling out and be aware of the strong shoreline current that'll drift you into the rocks at the right of the beach if you lose your bearings. Beyond the surf (swipe right for photo)- I was sad to see a lot of plastic in the water and on the shoreline. Bali has a severe plastic problem and we need to all make an effort to fix it. My suggestion would be for each surf operator / warung / resort, etc. to have optional packages in their setup in which guests can donate towards or better yet, participate in cleaning up the beach themselves. Plastic is everyone's problem, not just Bali's so let's work together because we need to fix it.

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2020 vision 😎

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Batu – Bolong – an easy but crowded break in Canggu, Bali. Truly a surf Mekka

Hawaii – a visual guide to Big Island and Honolulu

Hawai – land of Earth, air, water and fire. Of all the places I have visited, it stands out as one of the most spectacular. In many ways, I find it hard to believe that Hawaii is part of The United States – it seems so genuine and humble by comparison to the mainland. Here’s a video of one of my best trips yet, and a bunch of photos to boot.

Kailua Kona

Hilo

Kalapana

Kīlauea

Waipio Valley / Hawi

Hapuna Beach

Mauna Kea

North Shore (Banzai Pipeline, Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach)

Banzai Pipeline

Waimea Bay

Sunset Beach

Honolulu

Everything will be alright

The world is bleeding and so are our hearts and souls. The very fabric of our societies is being stretched, beyond imagination.

And yet, together we are and always have been stronger. And together, in spirit, we shall rise through it all. I wrote this poem and made these images from my life in 5 of the many countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

I want to fly again

Into the wispy winds of time

Beyond the valleys and the seas

Over sandy beaches

And laughing children

Over hands held in love

And friends embracing

I want to fly again

Into dream-carved sunsets

Beyond dancing shadows

Over smokey fires

And smiling octogenerians

Over lovers locked in dance

And flowers in bloom

I want to fly again

I want to fly again

Denmark – Det hele skal nok gå

New York – Everything will be allright

Italy – andrà tutto bene

Spain – Todo saldrá bien

Paris – Tout Ira Bien

Visit Stockholm: The Swedish Capital´s Colourful Metro Stations

Stockholm in the winter is well and truly a cold, dull and dark place.

Scratch beneath the surface and you will find a whole new world, however — one of colour, caves and vast artworks, each with their own story and heritage.

Since the late fifties, Stockholm´s metro stations have been decorated by the works of numerous artists, who have created epic underground wonderlands that are both functional as well as fun.

I didn´t visit all of Stockholm´s elaborate metro stations (saving some for another rainy day) but those that I did have the pleasure of seeing truly beguilded me.

My imagination wandered ‘neath the bedrock and beyond it´s confines — I saw Darth Vader, Zion´s hall from The Matrix and so much more.

Visit Jutland – Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse

The Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse is probably one of Jutland´s most well-known icons.

Located along the rough West coast, the lighthouse has been around since 1900 and was moved 70 metres inland last year, to save it from the encroaching sea.

The video and the pictures below were taken just before the lighthouse was moved further inland.

While you´re in the area, be sure to make a stopover at the old fishing town of Lønstrup (see my pictures of this beautiful town here.)