Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Back to school

It turns out it is hard to keep the blog updated with all the fun things we did over the summer as we were too busy doing all those fun things!  Hopefully one or two posts on that coming soon.  For now, though, here is a back to school special.

Very hard to get a good back to school photo with three faces to get looking at the camera, here are some of my favourites (we didn't really achieve a brilliant one).

(It's been very serene here today)

Tuesday, 5 July 2016


Lydia has suddenly started learning to talk and seems to be picking up a few words every day. Many of them only make sense in context, but she's getting there.

For a long time, she's had one word for pretty much everything "jooosh". This has meant the following on various occasions:

  • Juice (and any drink: water, milk etc)
  • Lake/Rain/River (from juice)
  • Shoes
  • Kiss
  • Teeth (particularly in reference to brushing them)
  • Food (sounds a bit more like "cheese")
  • Jacket

Recent expansions
Cat: meaning cat, dog, bird, all other animals and cuddly toys
Bah: bath and bed
Dat: everything else, usually accompanied by pointing and a sound similar to "want"

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Fathers' Day

Is today! And it's been pretty good. A long lie which was very much appreciated, followed by cards and hugs from all my favourite girls.

Card from all on the left, and home-made by Miriam on the right
Naomi's on the left (that's a picture of her), and another from Miriam on the right
Naomi wrote this, it's "God loves you" - and my daughters have helped me know this so much more than I did before.
That's me on the left and Miriam on the right (Miriam's people all have that fancy hair just now)
Miriam's other card. I think one of the figures is Jay.
Naomi wrote this on everyone's behalf. 
Naomi drew me a milkshake. This was an excellent supplement to the large chocolate I was also provided with today.
Lydia did her bit too!

Miriam drew this...
... and this - obviously that's a flag on the right. The bit on the left is a dress with a heart at the top.
Miriam also drew me some faces.
Naomi drew me the whole family!
One of the best parts of the day was that Naomi told me she didn't mind what we did as long as we could spend time together. This is pretty much my thinking on family time too! So while Jay went for a reciprocal nap this afternoon, I had a couple of hours uninterrupted play with Naomi and Miriam. For the most, part we made things with the play snow, and it was really good fun. After that, Lydia got up from her nap and we played "hiding under a blanket" for a bit - then it was a mixture of TV, reading stories, play kitchen and other such things.

It's a real privilege to be father to these three girls. I love them!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016


I have not blogged for ages, an in a departure from the norm thought I'd do a post about myself!

I am still running and still loving it. I've always wanted to race but really struggled to find one that fits into life (isn't too far away/too late/means missing church on a Sunday) but recently someone introduced me to a website that features a fair few wee club races that are more likely to be on a Saturday than the "big" races.  This meant that I fairly easily found a 10K (6.2 miles for those who prefer it in old money) race not *too* far from home, in Haddington :-) (East Lothian).

My wonderful friend gave me a lift (in their Jag, don't you know ;-) ) and made sure to be at the finish line round about when I expected to finish. Thanks Helen, you made a really fun day even more fun and it was lovely to have a friendly face to search for at the finish line.

I had gone to the race really hoping to finish in under an hour, perhaps I wanted it more than  I realised as I was a little disappointed with my time of 1 hour 1 minute and 0 seconds but as I reflect I realise I still beat my previous personal best and it was a *scorcher* of a day, far too hot to go and run!  I am really pleased with my run (now) and look forward to doing another, after all, I need to run one in under an hour!

Here's some pictures that Helen took on the day

Trying not to look too nervous

Girl's day out!

Trying to get to the finish line!

Well deserved medal and drink!

Did I mention that I won a medal?

Helen surprised me at the end with a wee bottle of champagne, much appreciated.

Eek, that was me!

Helen's husband even bought me flowers to congratulate me on my first race... 
Finally, there was a photographer taking official photos, this was mine. I LOVE it. There is nothing about it I don't love. I think I am going to buy the version without his email address. What a brilliant memento of a brilliant day :-)

Sunday, 15 May 2016


A truly gargantuan catchup of ragtag activities from the past couple of months. There's been a lot going on!

We took Naomi to the park to try learning to ride her bike. Definitely a work in progress - she's pretty good until she knows we're not holding her, but unfortunately she figures that out instantly!

Lydia has been learning the finest traditions of the Cockney folk song, and can now complete the riff on demand.

She also has a fond appreciation for snacks...

Naomi has taken to laying out her clothes like this as she chooses them. I guess it's because Jay lays out the clothes each night in preparation for school/nursery the next day. The best part is that she layers everything properly too: under there are vest and underwear all in the right places.!

I just liked Naomi's hair this day

Sisters doing a bit of drawing

Miriam's hair is quite good at building up static charge. This is in her new car seat, but the same happens with thep lastic toys in the garden too. I've always liked charge-induced big hair, you can imagine how much fun I had with the van der Graaff in school.

Lydia looking nicely relaxed after a lovely breakfast of hoops.

This was on Jay's birthday. I took the day off work and her we are enjoying a bit of time with Lydia while her sisters were out at school and nursery.

Some innovative use of the birthday candles already in our possession. Not as tricky as last year though!

Miriam does enjoy her jam.

 Lydia can play peekaboo!

A wee Easter treat made by Naomi at Sunday School

Don't leave Lydia unattended. Chaos will follow.

Baking some gingerbread men (and other shapes)...

Naomi and Miriam are highly creative with their Lego 

For some reason, the milkman elected to leave our milk in this convenient location one morning.

During the school Easter holidays, we went for a break to grandparents in both New Deer and Keig.
Extra excitement when cousins are around!

Miriam quite enjoying having access to her cousin Innes' toys.

A "being quiet" competition (yes, really)

Naomi made this sign after being told repeatedly to avoid disturbing her baby sister's nap. "No one come in, Lydia's room. No noise."

Dinner at Granny's house always means sweet desserts!

At least the graffiti in my car is well done.

Naomi has been asking for some time for a picture of my office. Here it is - currently I've taken over both the desks in the middle and the zone to the right, but no doubt that'll need to end soon as we have more people joining us soon.

Another open day, another go on the 3D printer. Here it is printing a Klein bottle (3D version of a Mobius strip) - technically impossible to represent in 3D space but we'll give it a go anyway...

Loads of widgets! Here's my spot for the open day. (a finished Klein bottle is in black to the left of the cup)

Given a 3D printer, what would you print? For me the answer is obvious.


I recently spent a night in Edinburgh doing the Scottish Crucible (there's a picture of me there under "Scottish Crucible 2016 launched") - a training a networking programme for young researchers. There's another couple of trips, but this one was spent at the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Scottish Parliament, with a stay overnight in a hotel overlooking Waverley station. It was very intense, so no pictures of the event, but here's the view from my room...

I bought Naomi an umbrella in Paris a few years back, but the toddler years took their toll on it, so we finally had to replace it. The girls are very happy with these! 
Miriam has started swimming lessons. She was most pleased to get her goggles.

Lydia sporting her new cardigan, made by her Grandma.

 Granny and Grandad came for a visit, here we are having a much appreciated meal out at the restaurant that also has soft play. What's not to like?

Finally, some good weather has made an appearance, so we've had lots of outdoor play...
At the park

In the garden

The Quadro has been reconstructed into a schoolhouse

It has a blackboard, here is Naomi educating her sisters
and occasionally getting distracted.

Lydia can now climb on the big slide. Terrifying: just not for her.
 Some real sunshine last weekend, we had to get the pool out!

And a picnic outside

Followed by a barbecue this weekend. Awesome.

We had to admit defeat with growing tomatoes from seed this year, so here are some shop bought plants. Two tomatoes and a sweet pepper: hopefully they will produce something that doesn't just get eaten by slimy creatures this time!

 Also a revisit to the impossible-to-kill house plant I mentioned in a previous post.

The sticks (and one was nothing more than than) in the glass of water started to sprout leaves and roots...


The big plant also started to branch out at the top of the two stems

Following this, the new plants were moved into their own pots of compost and are now doing well...

The big plant is already starting to interfere with the ceiling once again!

there was recently a transit of the planet Mercury across the sun. I tried some solar projection to view it using some binoculars, with Naomi helping. We got quite a big image, and might have seen something, but it's possible it was also a sunspot. Unfortunately, getting a good photo of our image, while holding the binoculars steady and preventing Naomi getting too close proved too difficult for me!

We conclude with some nice craft and artwork...
Naomi built this little garden scene using her Lego 

Another "sounds" lesson. This time S for singing, slide, snake and sweets.

Naomi's rainbow

Two Mothers' Day cards from Naomi

We found this picture that Naomi had drawn, a copy of the cover of the book that Jay has been reading to her at bedtime.

Naomi's "button treat" this week was a magazine, which came with some nice paints.