Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Prague

Not quite as exotic as last year, but this year's conference trip was to Prague. A city I've wanted to see for a long time and it was a nice place to visit. Friendly people and a really varied mixture of architecture - some Alpine, some almost Nordic, some Turkish, some Soviet and more. Somewhat happily I had four publications at this one - two that I wrote myself (one on a tool for research into automatically improving software, and one on my "evolving sounds of places" project), one by one of my PhD students, and one literature review paper that I'm still not sure how I ended up on but was happy to be asked. I also ended up chairing a panel discussion at the last minute as my former PhD supervisor (what was meant to be doing it) was ill and unable to travel, so he asked me to cover. My busiest conference yet! But still good fun and, as always, one of the highlights of the year.


The view from my hotel room - just a sample of the different architectures...





Our taxi driver pointed at this (the conference was here) and said "typical Soviet building"

Lots of trams!

I enjoyed the name of "nostalgic museum".
I guess there might be other kinds.

There's the famous castle

Some evidence of work... this is the poster I presented.

There was also some of this. Networking is important.
The local beers are also just very good.

My PhD student Ken, doing his talk.
I've made it look like the room was empty but really everyone was at the left hand side of the room for some reason.


A famous bridge visible in the distance.

More trams!

And the famous clock.

And some local food. Wholesome and generally very good.
And catchup with various people. On the right is Nada, who I shared an office with for several years and is now a lecturer at the University of Lille. In the middle is yet another John (those one is from Leicester) who I've known for a while via the DAASE project. On the left is Saemi and his wife Heidi. I helped to supervise his PhD and his now a lecturer in the office next to me. There were far more connections but not photographic evidence of those!

Easter

I just found these pictures from Easter's egg rolling! A little overdue but a fun afternoon out enjoying the lovely ground of my workplace.






Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Esther playing

Esther is very much one of the big girls now and it getting very good at playing, both by herself and with her big sisters...

This shape sorter (genuinely called an "intelligence box", I think it came from ebay China) is surprisingly engaging for her as she has totally mastered it.
Hidey...


Boo!

Getting the hang of our very own bike

Puzzles are a big favourite.

So are sisters.

She is also starting to draw real things. This is a "person, two arms"

Pirates!

Most nice days the girls ask if we can build something with "the pipes" - the Quadro set we got free a few years ago. It is very fun but it also takes up most of a day so we only do it once or twice a year... This time we decided that it was time to rebuild the the climbing frame and the obvious place to go next was a pirate ship!






Saturday, 6 July 2019

Bunk beds

Esther has been getting rather big for her cot, and many times now has nearly climbed right out over the side. The toddler bed was also a bit on the small side for Lydia, and although it could be extended we were already a bit short on space in that room. So, we have finally succumbed to the inevitable and got another bunk bed so she and Lydia can have some more space.


The toddler bed is especially wee for two!


So, another trip to IKEA was on the cards... It's summer so I can easily take a day off and we can make it into a bit of a day out. This, of course, means Swedish meatballs!




Yes, a whole bunk bed in the back of our car. Brilliant!
There's also a comfy chair for my office so I can sit and ponder.

Lydia was a big help with the construction!
The finished article...


So far, Esther is coping surprisingly well with the big girl bed, and Lydia is managing being up top fine (after a couple of nights of seeing how much up-and-down-the-ladder she could do) We'll see  how well that continues...

...and so it came to pass

Indeed, the crop is good. It keeps on coming too.






More on the way!




We also have some sweet peas. Not as tasty but good to look at!

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Mmmmm....

Looks like we're going to have a good strawberry crop this year!


We also had some more lovely colours this year as the tulip bulbs we planted last year finally came to something...