Monday, 21 May 2018


Some years ago I bought a tree as an anniversary present - it was our fourth and the traditional present is fruit and flowers. So it was an apple tree, mature enough that it had a couple of apples on it when it was planted. It's still there, in our garden on Anderson Drive, I saw it last year (it's very tall now!). We were rather sad to leave it behind and always agreed that when we had an "our" house we'd plant one again.

So, very exciting, here is a firm marker that we'll we living here for a while...


We've had a hectic few weeks so blog posting has taken a bit of a back seat. We'll try to catch up soon...

Back in February, we took a wee trip to Loughborough, Mostly catching up with friends but we also took a look at the National Space Centre, which Miriam and Naomi were really too young for when we still lived there. It's a brilliant day out and well recommended!

Breakfast in a house made for even more people than us!

Yes, that's a real rocket in the tower behind us.

Lunch under the Earth.

There was also a "make your own weather forecast video" attraction, here's the girls watching ours. (Sorry - we didn't manage to record it!)

Drawing in the moon's shadow

Naomi having a go at landing on the moon.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Week off

Making use of my research-so-not-quite-as-much-teaching job for a few more weeks, this week I took a week off. It's been very busy the past few months and so I wanted a little time around the house with my girls. It started last weekend with a visit with Miriam and Naomi to the Science Fair at the university: they were both very engaged in the various activities. Then most of the week I was around the house with Jay and the younger two, catching up on some odd jobs (now we'll be living in this house for a good long time to come), playing some games, and just resting.

This bit of the science fair was demonstrating a computing problem known as Travelling Salesman Problem, that I sometimes work on. Very pleasing that the girls spent a long time here!

Some proper white coat science action.

Esther getting in on the relaxation business. 
Some fun at the park


The cupcake monster game just goes on and on.

Gang Show

As a new Brownie, Naomi is now old enough to take part in the Stirling Gang Show - which meant a week of late nights a couple of weeks ago. We saw her on the last night, and she was excellent. Below is her in her octopus costume (for the "under the Sea" dance), which she designed!


We built an igloo when it snowed a couple of weeks back. In the end it lasted almost a week! I was quite pleased with it, and I think the girls were too. (all three older ones helped) One use at least for the surplus recycling boxes we have!


Esther has her first word - rather than just a sound accompanied by a gesture to show what she wants (usually AH!)

Pox II

...of course it was only a matter of time before Lydia also came down with The Pox. At least that's all the children now. Lydia coped with it very well but it was BAD and all were left very tired!

Miriam made a get well card for her sister!

Saturday, 3 March 2018

The Pox

Just what you want when cooped up in the house by the snow. Oh dear.

More Snow!

Some of you might have noticed that it's been snowing, even in Stirling! This has been the most snow of any winter since we moved here, and it finally feels like a proper Scottish winter. Of course, last week it was really looking like Spring - here are some snowdrops we inherited with the raspberries I got from a friend...

Needless to say, I did not take the bike to work the past three days.

I like how the trampoline has filled up with snow!

Hard to see, but Miriam has made a snow unicorn, bottom right of this picture. It even has an icicle horn!


Sunday, 25 February 2018

Esther walks

Hot on the heels (boom boom) of learning to crawl, Esther has taken some steps. She's done it a bit more since (like a few steps in one go this morning), but here's one of her first from last week. It's at about 2:35 if you don't want to watch the whole thing!

Tea time

Yesterday Naomi had some tea for the first time. She liked the idea (see above) but I don't think she was all that keen on the taste!

Friday, 16 February 2018


Most of you will know by now but I've now got a new job: from 1 June I'll be a Lecturer at the University of Stirling (technically it's "Lecturer in Cyber Security"... more on that some time!) In practical terms for our family the crucial thing about this is that it's permanent, so for the first time since the move to Loughborough we can properly plan long-term! We no longer need to worry about relocating, changing schools, whether it's really worth commiting to that, or painting this or that because it won't be long before we move etc, etc. Work-wise it means I can also do my own research rather than working for someone else (though in practice I've been more-or-less doing that for a while), and I'll now have a load of teaching to do. Somewhat excitingly I'll also get an office to myself (I have never had this before!) and I took a look at it today, it's great! Here's the view from the window...

Very exciting indeed, and as always God's timing is perfect. Being a post doc researcher has been a lot of fun and gave us time and flexibility to figure out family life right when we needed it. Now we have security at just the right time too.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018


Naomi has been asking to do more cooking with Mummy, naturally the others wanted to join in too. Tonight we made meatballs, sweet potato chips and veggies sauce. Lydia helped grate the cheese.


Naomi was desperate to go skating, despite never having been. She has been asking for ages so we said she could invite some friends and go for a birthday treat. If I am honest, I thought she would be awful but she was anything but, really good and I even had a bit of fun! (I ached everywhere for days after, though!!)

Excited in the queue, this might be my favourite ever picture of Naomi

getting brave enough to go round on her own (albeit near the wall)

She is getting too cool to smile for the camera

"Try and look like you're enjoying yourself"

Lydia was getting on really well with a penguin!

Mummy and Naomi together

Mummy and Lydia

Mummy and Naomi

Myummy and Miriam

It was a slippy, slidey, fally kind of affair

Lots of fun was had and she says she wants to go again