Saturday 17 January 2015


So, the Christmas holidays are well and truly over. Since then, we've had a busy couple of weeks. At work, I've had many bits of writing to do, much of which is still ongoing. (actually, one, done in a bit of a rush just before Christmas, is intended for public consumption rather than mere academics - you can read it here). I was also hosting a workshop for people working in transport optimisation problems at Stirling this week, with about 25 people from across Scotland. Good fun but lots of work! Jay and the girls have very patiently put up with reduced Daddy input, but it's been even busier for them, between unsettled babies, unknown illnesses and all the usual toddler activities. Oh, and the near incessant "is it my birthday today?" from Naomi. Anyway, today is the first day much resembling a Saturday off since we got back, so it's time for some catchup blogging again.

First up, we visited all the grandparents over Christmas, with many family and friends too. Here we go...

The fringe benefit of having forgotten to get wrapping paper is that making some becomes an activity that can be enjoyed by children.

Is that Dennis Hopper? I didn't know he was a patron of Peggy Scott's awfy fine dining.

Of course, Granny and Grandad's house also has good food!

It's a hard life.

Naomi and Miriam are at a stage of a constant struggle between playing really nicely together and fighting-to-the-death. Scenes like this are common, where they'll happily share a chair just to be close, but then one of them moves in slightly the wrong direction and full-scale war breaks out, as it did here soon after the picture. What fun.

A new baby to look after during the holidays is always good though.

The park next to Granny's has a great wee house the play in!
(also here is Naomi starting to look a bit more like her Mummy)

More fun at the park

Now on to Christmas morning. Are you ready girls?

It's present time...

Hmm, someone around here likes stickers...

They have a lot of fun with the ice cream set

What's not to like? It has ice cream after all.

MORE clip clop shoes. I heard that someone likes those too.

Then on to the Brownlee household, with the super size dinner table. One of my sisters+family was missing and we've still got this many!

More presents? And more grandparents? And cousins to play with? This day is AWESOME!

Naomi is now good enough with letters that she can usually spot names based on the first letter, so she was able to help deliver presents.  Often they ended up with the person they were "from" rather than "to", but she got many right. well done!
How do you do? How very charming to meet you.

A few days later on we made a visit to Uncle Ian and Auntie Christine. It was great to spend a bit of time with them (we don't get many chances just now), but obviously the best part was that they had a pink knife and fork,

Ian also had an Ikea gingerbread house. Yes, they actually do those.

Yes, some assembly is required.

Icing for glue.
And some decoration.

What do you think?

Yes, it also tasted good.

Miriam appears to like most forms of transport for play. Here's a plane she helped make.

I had a great caption for this but something irrelevant has pushed it out of my head.

Temporary conversion of Ian's spare room into a madhouse.

Then back to Grandma and Grandad's for Daddy's birthday. He's 100000 you know (though not in base ten)

Then a new year trip to the park. Honestly, there were ducks to feed.

Definitely ducks around here somewhere.

We just really like this picture!

Then the usual game of Tetris to pack the car. I was particularly pleased with the packing this time,

We also managed to catch up with a few friends that we've not seen in a long time. I also paid a visit to our old house in Aberdeen. We've got a new tenant and a few things needed sorted out - as I was around I sorted them personally to save on costs. This was the first time back in the house since we moved to Loughborough. Needless to say it was a bit strange, but not as much as I'd thought. It certainly didn't feel like four years since we left though.

That's all for now!

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