Monday 30 January 2012


What do you think might be the message conveyed by this sign? Or the many following shortly after, going right across the road? Or the 8 similar signs preceding it along this very road? I'm at a loss. Clearly given the large number of cars driving around the cones and yellow no-entry signs, which then proceeded to avoid oncoming traffic by driving fast and ducking in and out of gaps between cones and large holes in the ground, the message isn't anything about the road being closed.

Sarcasm aside, I'm glad the polis showed up the next day to rectify the situation, it was a bit worrying being faced by head-on cars when I was travelling home at night in the opposite direction. (in case you're wondering, provision was made for cyclists to still proceed along the road in the direction it was closed - for this way lies student-town and many cyclists)  Still, Loughborough is more cycle-friendly than Aberdeen!

In other news, I thought I'd share a picture of a giant hydraulic ram. It's right in the centre of the picture below, and is used for smashing concrete into many pieces. This is the lab building in which are housed the computers that my experiments run on. There's a few other things that anyone like me who's into gizmos would like; including a flood plain simulator and "3D inkject printer" which makes models of buildings up to 10 feet high. One of the cool things about being in a non-computing department is the big set of different toys to peer at! They've not let me play with any of them yet though, apparently they're expensive.

Thursday 26 January 2012


In case you hadn't realised, The Child has had a birthday! She is a whole one year old now!  It does feel about 2 minutes ago that she was born so we are struggling to come to terms with this fact, though me a little more than Sandy!

Here are some pictures of Naomi on her big day!
This video shows her playing with one of her favourite gifts, a toy phone from Granny and Grandad (Sandy and I hope this will give our mobile phones a small reprieve, but probably not!)

The Day started in Mummy and Daddy's bed with some milk and then some presents!

Presents kept us occupied while Mummy made breakfast
Naomi seemed to get the idea of presents better than she had at Christmas and with a little help was very good at ripping off the paper.

The presents just kept on coming, she was really getting into the swing of it!

Auntie Liz reads a new favourite story to Naomi

Due to a technical failure we don't have a photo of the moment the cake was presented, but here is the cake before Naomi was shown it.  She loved getting the cake brought to her and tried to blow out the candle.  She then screamed when it was taken away to be sliced!
Look! Stuff!

Playing with her friends on the day

More playing with her Mobile phone toy

This was taken today but is a birthday outfit so I thought we would share!

Saturday 21 January 2012


It's been a long time coming (since before Christmas), but after a month of furniture surfing ("cruising"), Naomi has pretty much figured out walking! Here she is a couple of days ago:

Since then she's been getting a bit more stable and ambitious, and is now trying to walk whenever she can. The only issue now is getting up to standing without something to lean on.

We're also having a lot of fun helping her learn how to feed herself. I can sense this picture being dug out in a few years' time :)

Finally, here she is looking quite grown up with mummy's bag...

Wednesday 18 January 2012

What we get up to

A wee while ago I did a post about all the things that Naomi and I get up to, of course, as Naomi grows the things we do change too, so I thought I'd do another post telling you about now!

Monday sees us go to a group called Little People, it is run by one of the local churches and is just an opportunity to play with lots of toys and other children in a bigger space than we have at home!  Naomi loves it and likes to hear the story  and have a drink that happens each week (although I suspect that has more to do with it being one of only 2 times in the week I allow her to drink squash rather than water).

On a Tuesday we have a similar group run by another church, this one is called Play Time.  At this group we also get to have a play in a soft play room, Naomi loves this, particularly the slide in the room.  Every week my blood pressure is significantly raised as Naomi, who has no fear, toddles around and tries to go on lots of things I am sure she is too small for!

On a Wednesday and Thursday we don't have any particular groups to go to, but we take frequent trips to the park, Naomi is particularly fond of the swing and the slide but just being outside makes her happy!

We also go and see other friends, Naomi is not very good at sharing (not that you would expect her to be at her age) so we like to get lots of practice in the hope that it won't *always* end in tears!

Every other Friday we have my Mum's cell group, I get together with some Mums from church and we support each other in the very difficult task of being Mums and in being Christians.  I love this group and Naomi quite likes it too as there are bigger boys and girls to play with, she seems to like being bossed around!

The weekends are lovely here, Saturday is a day that Sandy, Naomi and I can all spend together, we sometimes go for a walk or another trip to the park but it is just nice to be a family.  Sunday is mainly taken up with church, Sandy and I both serve on different teams so we share serving and childcare but Naomi is very easy at church, she loves everything that goes on there and the friends she gets to see.

That said, our routine is all to pot at the moment as Naomi tries to work out if she is still a two naps a day kind of girl or if she is only going to nap once!  The days she only naps once she tends to be exhausted but it can be very hard to convince her to sleep more!  She is also tired because last week she learned to walk!!  We will try and get a video of that together soon and you will be able to see for yourself.

Thanks for reading!  Here is a photo to reward you

Friday 13 January 2012


The latest thing Naomi likes to do...

We've tried getting her to do it with her own hand but she makes it quite clear she wants us to do it for her! Meanwhile, tonight, on returning from work, I was informed that Naomi hadn't napped since 2pm. This usually results in a somewhat cranky or at least unpredictable child - and tonight she was something akin to a hummingbird at times - full of energy but short on patience! This reminded me of Apu (from The Simpsons) describing a time he'd been awake 96 hours...

In other news, yesterday at work I saw this truck. Sadly the picture hasn't come out too well, and the truck drove away before I could get another one, but you can just make out a piece of cardboard stuck to the inside of the truck wall. It said "The End Is Nigh" - and all I can say in response (as a Scot living in England) is "we're doomed!". Chilling in a humorous way.

Apparently I'm short on sleep too.

Wednesday 11 January 2012


We've been back in Scotland to celebrate Christmas and new year, along with a few birthdays (mine, and all 3 nieces on the Brownlee side). We've had a great time, and enjoyed catching up with folks where we could. If we didn't make it to you this time - we will try next time we're up! Thanks to all of you for the abundance of toys and other gifts that Naomi was given for Christmas - she is very much enjoying everything.

This is the first time we tried the full journey in one go since Naomi was born. Naturally we were a little concerned at the prospect - when younger she really didn't like the car - and the full trip with necessary stops for feeding and so on amounts to eleven hours or so. As it turns out, it was about as good as it could have been - Naomi slept some of the way, but also had some fun playing with toys in her seat, and looking out of the window. One of the benefits of her now being front-facing is that we can talk to her! Here she is enjoying a stop at some services...

A visit to the park in New Deer with her cousins...

Apparently Granny's asparagus is an excellent hair gel alternative. It does also tast good by the way.

Opening presents, and playing with wrapping paper on Christmas day at Granny and Granddad's in Keig...

Naomi's cousin Holly, with one of the largest deserts I've seen. This was at the Christmas dinner in New Deer.

New Year's Eve (my birthday) has normally involved a ceilidh in New Deer for Hogmanay. Unfortunately it starts about an hour after Naomi's bed time, and both of us were pretty tired anyway! So in the end we had a quiet night in with my parents, seeing in the new year then straight off to bed. I thought I had some pictures of new year but all I can find is this one of Naomi enjoying a good feed on New Year's day.

We're now back in Loughborough again and catching up with things here. January's already flying past and we're fast approaching a certain person's brithday. Hard to believe indeed.