Saturday 26 April 2014


A bit more travel news.

Earlier this month I was off to London again for another Crest Open Workshop (COW). There really is a COW by the way, see:
This one was called a "coding jam" or "hackathon" - a bunch of us got together from a few universities with the aim of producing some entries for a competition at a conference later this year. The people there were all part of the DAASE project, which is something I'm getting more involved in as the airports project nears an end. I can explain it better in person, but it's all about optimisation of  software engineering problems, including programs that repair and improve other programs (and even themselves). My group ended up working on some automated improvements to Hadoop, which is one of the hot things in computing at the moment. As it happens we were deemed to be the best team in the week and got some chocolates for our efforts - these did return to Stirling but we're not sure who's made off with them! We still have a little bit of work to do but the competition entry is nearly there so we'll see how it all pans out in a few months. More importantly it's got me started on some work with the others at Stirling who are involved in this project.

It was a tiring week (albeit good fun, with a visit to my sister's place again), and most of the time I was either here:
Or more probably here:

While that was on, Jay took the girls for a stay with my parents (and a visit to Granny and Granddad). Needless to say this went down very well with all concerned. Miriam's learning a few words just now and this came on a treat too - she now calls Jay "mummy" instead of "daddy", and has very definite words for things like "help", "please" and "Granddad". I went straight from London to there for a wee holiday myself. Do you like these birds I made? It's a parrot and a duck...

The weather was great for much of the week, so the girls got some much appreciated outside time...

(This also meant that our garden in Stirling is now usable after being soggy for months. This was well-timed as we had our friends the Lyons from Loughborough come to stay between Easter Saturday and Sunday, and their children and ours had a great time outside.)

Finally, my parents kindly looked after the girls for a couple of nights so Jay and I could have a holiday ourselves. We stayed at a hotel in Aboyne and it was very peaceful - we really did just have a couple of days off. Much appreciated!

Okay, the view from our room was average.

Monday 21 April 2014

Baby Brownlee the Third!

Sandy and I thought that having two children under four was such fun that we should have a third!

So now you'll know why I have been complaining of being so tired and why I haven't been running so much!

Baby was incredibly wriggly during the scan but lovely to see it being a real person and moving around.  Baby should be making it's appearance into the world around the end of October.

Bring on the madness!


At the weekend we planted loads of vegetables in the garden.  Naomi is old enough to start to "get it" now and she helped lots.

 Pouring the soil in the planters

Making sure there is plenty of soil for the seeds

Planting the seeds

Filling up Daddy's special tea cup planter to take some basil

All our pots with potatoes, carrots, onions, courgettes and basil.  (There are also some peas in the ground)

Watering everything to make sure it has plenty to drink :-)

Saturday 5 April 2014


Miriam had a go at helping to make Saturday pancakes today. Good stirring!