Saturday, 12 December 2015


We start with two (actually three including non-visible ones) tired girls on the way back from a hard morning at IKEA*...

Naomi in particular has been asking to keep some toys in her room so she can have a bit of personal space. For this to happen we had to remove the futon (so story reading is a bit more uncomfortable) and we replaced it with some drawers to keep toys and dressing up things in. We also took the chance to get a wardrobe for the increasingly impressive range of dresses that the girls have - and for occasional visits of the Narnian variety.

Of course, the best part with such things is in the construction, and both Naomi and Miriam were very helpful. They were more than capable of sorting out the right widgets given a picture of what was needed, and screwing on the feet.

Some reaching may be required.

Almost there...

You might notice that we've taken the bold step of accepting a houseful of girls now, and colouring items accordingly.

Miriam helped too,!

They even shared the responsibilities

The finished product. They're pretty good!

*other self-assembly furniture stores exist, though not as many as there used to be. No, we're not on commission. Have you tried the Swedish Meatballs?

Sunday, 6 December 2015


So a little while back Microsoft gave me some free use of their cloud computing facilities - which I used for the work on airports and aircraft taxiing. They seem to have liked what I did, so they wanted to make a blogpost and a video about it. They also wanted to do filming with the people I worked with in Nottingham and at Manchester airport, so it worked out much simpler for me to visit Nottingham rather than having their team from Seattle touring the length of Britain.

This meant that a couple of weeks ago I had a wee trip back to the East Midlands, and since I was there anyway I took a quick detour to Loughborough University to catch up with some work there.

Night 1 (after a much-delayed flight from Edinburgh) was at the glamorous Travelodge - Nottingham EM Airport Donington Park M1. Take in that lovely view from my window!

I hired a car for all the back-and-forth around EM. That 183 is the total miles that the car has done! I have *never* driven a car this new.

The second night I stayed in Nottingham at the P&J Hotel (residents of anywhere in the north of Scotland will get why this was a bit odd). Certainly a bit more character! Actually quite a nice place to stay.

Part of the "character" was the long winding route to my room! I do like places like that.

This path runs along most of the buildings at the University of Nottingham's Jubilee Campus, where Computer Science is located. I walked along this many times until we got enough shots on camera of me walking.

The ever-impressive Lufbra Civil engineering building.

My hire car. I've included this just because I liked the carful of beer next to it! You'd think it was a student car park or something.

As someone used to being on the other side of the camera (albeit a few years back now) the filing was a strange experience. For one thing, I have never worn makeup before! We also spent a long time with me looking busy in front of a computer and looking busily engaged in conversation. The video will appear in the next month or so - depending on how nicely I come over I'll maybe post it when it's online!

It was also great to catch up with a few folk at LU again too. Hopefully next time I'll have enough time for a trip into the town to see some non-uni friends - sorry it was such a flying visit this time.

Saturday, 5 December 2015


is the magic number!

Miriam is now THREE. She makes sure you know it whenever she can. We spread the festivities over two days, her actual birthday and a party a couple of days before...

Tricolour jelly in preparation for the party

The problem with doing excellent cakes is that Jay needs to do a better one every year!

Party food!

Party games!
Miriam and Connie trying our her new doctor set

Dr. Brownlee will see you now.

More party food!

Early morning presents on the real birthday

"I like firefighters!" Miriam and Naomi then proceeded to use the megaphone (which actually works by the way) to warm everyone to "STAND BACK FROM THE FIRE" for several days following.
More train tracks - the day really can't get any better.

Fun times had by all.