Monday, 29 February 2016


A few weeks ago Lydia (who is, I think, addicted to breastfeeding so couldn't be left behind!) and I went to Loughborough to see some of my friends. There were plenty of laughs along the way and it was really good to hang out with some of my best people!  Daddy did an awesome job of playing with the bigger two for the weekend!

I didn't actually take that many photos but here are some of the highlights...

We travelled by train, the first of which was at 7.17am! YAWN!
Mummy, that baby keeps waving at me!

I know I have barely slept all day but I can't understand why I feel so tired!

Eating dinner in a big girl bowl!

Staying with friends means getting to try out a new (huge) bathroom!

Why didn't Dolcinos exist when I lived in Loughborough? Although maybe I should be grateful for my waistline's sake...
This waffle was every bit as good as it looked!

Going home and a bit tired!

And at home...

Starting a castle kit Naomi got for her birthday

While Naomi was busy Miriam played with bricks

Several hours later (in some unprecedented concentrating from Naomi) she has finished one of 5 towers for her castle!

Daddy played the guitar with Miriam

It all got a bit much for Miriam!

Naomi tried out another birthday present, Hama beads!

Miriam does trains, let's face it Daddy does better tracks than Mummy...

Thursday, 25 February 2016


Well, at least a little. A few months ago now I went to Nottingham so that Microsoft could make a video about some work I'd done. The video and a blog post are now online here: - or you can just watch it below.

Friday, 19 February 2016


A few things which don't really fit in anywhere else...

Another great Naomi drawing

I also got a new (well, recycled) bike recently, as the last one had succumbed to several thousand miles of commuting through all weathers over the past six years.

Naomi got a button jar treat recently and invited me to go to the cafe with her. Yum!

We nipped back up to Banff for a day for my brother's 30th birthday.

Nice views from the restaurant at the Banff Springs Hotel

The latest in the Bill meme - our fridge at work has become more amusing of late :)

Clearly the sky was feeling patriotic a couple of days ago.

We've had this plant since getting engaged - it's a Madagascar Dragon Tree - and it had finally reached the point where it was interfering with the ceiling. Unable to place it on the floor thanks to likely child damage, I discovered that these things are quite hardy and can survive considerable pruning. Considerable pruning thus took place and we now have a much shorter plant, plus three stems on which I'm trying to encourage root growth.

On close inspection, small swellings are appearing at the top of the stems - I'm expecting these to sprout new leaves.

On to another kind of pruning... Supposedly these trees are coming down to make way for a new building in the university. I find these X marks quite sinister!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016


Some more classic child play activities...

Lydia has been doing lots of cute things with Dolly recently, including putting her in the high chair and a lot of pushing the pram.

We recently got a new fridge and obviously this meant that a large box became available....

Monday, 15 February 2016


Once again at trip to a COW workshop in London. This one was on genetic improvement of software (essentially getting the computer to do the job of fixing or improving code rather than some chump with a keyboard like me). All interesting stuff - one of the students that I supervise was giving a talk and that went well, plus there was a chance to catch up with a few other researchers. I decided it would be helpful to maximise the value of the trip by adding on a visit to the industrial partner on my current project. This is a small business called Machine Intelligence, based in Devon, that develops software for things like image processing using artificial intelligence techniques. Also a very useful trip - John (my supervisor) and I saw quite a few nice real-world applications, and now have some good problems to work on. I also got to ride on a new stretch of railway out west of London, which was good for me :)

As the trip was a bit longer, my parents (already down for Naomi's birthday) stayed around for a bit to help Jay with the girls. Somewhat unfortunately, my flight down was in the evening of Naomi's birthday, but having lots of presents and grandparents around helped mitigate this as an issue!

Yes - another room at the Ibis London Euston St Pancras. Going to get them all yet!

The view out of my window wasn't so hot this time though.

The setting for two days of workshop. Spot the COW!

A fringe benefit was that the hotel we stayed at in Devon - The Oxenham Arms - was very nice. Well recommended if you're down that way.

The wee village we were in was idyllic!

A slightly nicer view out of my window.

And the ridiculously nice view from the beer garden.

Yes, this is actually true. They are still playing.
I might need to visit again in the summer.

Sunday, 14 February 2016


A wee catch up on Naomi's birthday. For this, we had a party with her friends on the Saturday (with lots of craft - I ended up in the bathroom for most of the time cleaning party dresses and drying out painted party bags), and a family celebration on the Sunday (her actual birthday).

Before we start, I thought I'd include this card that Naomi made me for my birthday. This one made me smile!

Naomi's birthday cake

A slight rearrangement of furniture in progress so we could accommodate many children

A safe hiding place.

Pinning a tail on any creature is sore, so we pinned bows on a dress instead.

A royalty-free rendition of a popular celebration song.

On to the actual birthday...
A very grown up looking girl!

Grandma brought a small present for Miriam and Lydia too

Our present for Naomi was a new bike - which she loves. We just need some more clement weather now!