Friday 17 April 2015


We're still on our Easter holidays just now, spending a bit of time at home after getting back from visits to Granny+Grandad and Grandma+Grandad's houses. A good chance again to catch up with family and friends, and the girls had the expected fantastic time. Here's a selection of the activities...

So, we'll start with more of Scotland at its best in Keig...

Naomi and Miriam got to share a big bed at Granny's house. The did lead to some disagreements on the first night, but strategic placement of a large cushion and tiredness resolved the issues.

Some Easter crafts with Uncle Ian...

And also some banana bread baking with Uncle Ian...

This used to be my sleeping bag. Lydia took to it pretty well...

Lydia's first go on a swing, helped by her big sister...

Jay has been knitting a lot the past few months, so Naomi was eager to do what her Mummy was doing. Here she is having a go...

Lydia learning the ropes...

Of course, breakfast is considerably more special at Granny's house and Grandma's house, so when we returned to Stirling the girls asked for it to be "on the table" (ie cereal boxes and milk on the table rather than poured out in the kitchen). The holiday continues!

Thursday 16 April 2015


We've noticed that Miriam seems to have a bit of musical talent. Yesterday she was playing on my brother's drums and can keep a reasonably good rhythm, then later on she found a mouth organ and was having a go on that. She sounds pretty good! Enjoy...

Wednesday 15 April 2015


We've had a quite a few posts headed "miscellaneous" so here's an "assortment" instead...

We begin with some facepainting - occupying a day in enforced by waiting on a delivery.

A slightly disturbing fixation on the computer... the girls have been asking - repetitively - for the theme from The Rescuers. The film is being used as the "theme" for Naomi's transition from nursery to school and they seem to have this song memorised...

Of course, some gaming is also appealing. They are very good with a mouse and keyboard, and even better with a touchscreen.

For supporters of more traditional play though, there is little better than making a properly good mess. Sand, mud and water combined is MOST fun.

Tuesday 14 April 2015


Some excellent pictures of our girls who love each other lots and sometimes even look like it!

*it should be noted that this apparently unsafe activity was curtailed soon after the picture was taken.

Add caption

Monday 13 April 2015


Our baby is growing up fast! We're past five months already and Lydia is coming on quite the thing.

Of course, like all our girls, she's always had good head control. She enjoys her tummy time and has rolled over a few times (mainly front-to-back).

More odd to see (given how small she is) is her most excellent ability to stand. The balance needs some fine tuning but if you hold her hands she's quite capable of supporting her weight.

Also - on holiday isn't the best place to start, but she's been quite hungry of late, so we're now weaning. Her first meal was sweet potato, and seemed to go down pretty well. She's now also had apple, avocado and pear with varying degrees of success.

Sunday 12 April 2015

Potty training

Miriam has recently started showing an interest in sitting on the potty, so we've started potty training in earnest. We're going well so far - at least a couple of accident-free days. She looks so proud when she's been successful too, doing a little dance! It doesn't seem all that long since Naomi was doing this - hard to believe it's nearly two years already. Anyway, one immediate benefit is that our house is no longer filled with drying nappies every night. Party on!

As part of this, Miriam now has a button jar to match Naomi's. Both girls are now working hard to get treats...

Saturday 11 April 2015


Some more travels... this time I was off to York. You might remember that last year I took part in a "coding jam" - a few of us got together to write some code for a challenge at a conference. In the end we missed out on the first prize last time but a few of us decided to have another go for this year's challenge. Many people in our project got together in London again, but the group I was making preparations with were all either from Stirling or York, so we spent a couple of days at each of those places instead. Our focus was on optimising a Java library called Guava so tat when it runs it uses less power. Initial results are promising so we'll see how the paper does when it goes to the conference!

Here's a few shots of the University of York...

My room - which looked like it was going to be a glorified halls of residence job - was actually quite nice

Computer Science is in a very new part of the campus

The trend now seems to be for new university campuses to have artificial lakes, though I'm told this one is almost real as it's in a flood plain. Hooray!

A real lake in the older part of campus.

Hey, it's a 60s university. Got to have a UFO-inspired building!

My room was 006. That's the one played by Sean Bean in GoldenEye. He doesn't get as many cool toys as 007.