Sunday, 25 June 2017

End of P2

It's almost the summer holidays, so Naomi has made a present for her teacher. I think it's brilliant!

Saturday, 24 June 2017


Our first strawberry has arrived - exciting!

You'd be surprised by how many people this can be shared  between.
 Plenty more yet to come. Definitely shaping up to be a more productive summer than the non-veg exploits of wet 2015.

Naomi also made a hedgehog at Rainbows. Pretty cool!

PS - sorry for the brief sentences, I'm typing while holding a tiny baby.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Shameless plug

Those of you who like to know what I get up to at work might be interested in this blogpost on some work I recently had published. This was about reduce the energy consumed by running software, which has obvious benefits in terms of extending battery life of mobile devices and reducing environmental impact.


Today we were concerned that we couldn't find Lydia. On closer inspection, I found her asleep in her bed, tucked in very nicely.

It turns out that Miriam realised her sister was a bit tired, and took her to bed for a nap. What a good big sister!

Tuesday, 6 June 2017


A couple of weeks back Naomi asked if we could do some science experiments. Natually this strongly appealed to me, so we duly obliged. We had a go at learning how an airplane wing works with a piece of paper, seeing water surface tension in action, and making some bubbles by mixing acid and alkali. Here is the latter...

Fill balloon with bicarbonate of soda (alkali)

fill bottle with vinegar (acid)

seal balloon onto bottle, and pour alkali into acid 
the reaction makes carbon dioxide, which makes bubbles and blows up the balloon

Monday, 5 June 2017


More work travel. A couple of weeks back I was in Swansea at the Digital Economy Crucible. More training and networking, and generally good stuff. These are particularly good because they bring together researchers from lots of different backgrounds and there's a chance for really original ideas to come out of it all. Last year's Scottish Crucible let to me being involved in the Crowd Sound project, so hopefully something else will come out of this one. I'm attending two more stints in Edinburgh and London over the next couple of months too.

In related news, I have a blog post on some recent work I did here that some of you might find interesting. It's about reducing the electrical power consumed by software.

Best hotel room view for some time!

The venue. We also had a meal at the top of the tower!

Swansea. Apparently Bonnie Tyler lives around here somewhere.

Sunday, 4 June 2017


The past few weeks have been very sunny. This has helped our attention-deprived children no end!

Barbecue fun

Again, it's a hard life.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Miriam at school

Oh dear, I appear to have opened a door to the future! Miriam has started her "transition" period at nursery, and has now had her practice visit to school. She had a great time but is looking just a bit too grown up!

Settling In

Esther has been with us for over four weeks now - really! - and the time is flying by. Everyone is having a lot of fun getting to know her.

Ewan the Dream Sheep keeps Esther company. He really is The Business. 


Our long-serving Moses basket has finally bitten the dust. When I brought it down from the loft it literally* fell to pieces.

(*Yes, I literally mean "literally". You may look up the word in my metaphorical "grammatical gripes" list if you're unsure.)

As a replacement for the Moses basket, we got the SnuzPod. This would have been most welcome during Lydia's phase of sleeping in our bed - and has already proven its worth.

This caption intentionally superfluous.

The older girls have been receiving presents to celebrate Big Sisterdom. Lydia loves her bubbles!

It's a hard life.

But there is still plenty to smile about!


Additional unnecessary caption.

Lydia has learnt well how to be a big sister. She loves getting things for Esther, and providing her with entertainment.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017


12 days on, Esther has so far shown her self to be a highly content child. She's sleeping reasonably well for her age on most nights and aside from the usual hunger/wind/tired baby crying she quite likes looking around her and taking it all in. Her sisters have also been very cute around her, and have been keen to help with her first bath.

Her tummy button took a while to heal up so this only happened today, with three big sisters very eager to join in the fun. Esther doesn't look so happy in the pictures but she did seem to enjoy it!

Really, the kirchen was actually the best space for this activity!

All clean! But why didn't they brush my hair after drying it?

Friday, 5 May 2017


We've been planning to get the girls a trampoline for some time. They love to bounce when they visit friends with them, and have plenty of energy to spare on such an activity. A big problem is they pretty much kill off the grass underneath them so we couldn't get one while we had a rented house. (I can just see it - "Subtracted from deposit - 10 sq m premium plush turf, fresh from Hampden. Bill for outstanding amount to follow. No, it doesn't matter that it was just moss before.") Of course, now we have our own lawn to destroy things are different! Having some spare funds from Christmas money made the decision easy for us, but it took until the finer weather (and having some paternity leave to actually build it) for it to happen.

Needless to say, it's been a popular activity the past few days. Our two immediate neighbours have also got one each, so that corner is now trampoline central!

Naomi and Miriam volunteered to clear a spot for the new trampoline by moving the mini one out of the way.

Hmm, there are a lot of parts.

Snack for the work party.


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Esther Anne Taylor Brownlee

Having made us wait just a little bit longer than we might have expected, Esther made her appearance early on Friday morning. She is already finding her place in an apparently large family and has three very loving sisters (as well as two loving parents) to look after her. Here's a few shots of our precious little girl's first few days...

One of our neighbours generously gave us some leftover birthday cake, which even had the right number on (with a minor correction)

"I used to hang out here all the time"